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Byzantine Empire, Heraclius & Heraclius Constantine, 23 January 613 - 11 January 641 A.D., Overstruck on Focas
Heraclius came to power in 610 following a successful revolt in North Africa against the tyrannical rule of the Emperor Focas. His son Heraclius Constantine was elevated to joint rule in 613 A.D. Heraclius' most spectacular military achievement was the total defeat of Rome's old enemy on the eastern frontier, the Sassanid Persians. Unfortunately, this only facilitated the Arab conquest of Persia and the eastern provinces of the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines lost Syria and Palestine before Heraclius died in early 641 A.D. and Egypt fell to the Arabs soon after.BZ91698. Bronze follis, SBCV 805; DOC II-1 76 - 83; Hahn MIB 160b, Sommer 11.53; undertype: Focas, follis, Constantinople, 604 - 610 A.D., SBCV 640, VF, overstruck with strong undertype effects, holed, weight 10.091 g, maximum diameter 30.9 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 613 - 616 A.D.; obverse [dd NN hERACLIuS Et hER]A CON[St PP A], Heraclius on left, Heraclius Constantine on right, both in chlamys holding globus cruciger in right, cross between heads; undertype: O N FOCA..., crowned facing bust, mappa in right, cross in left; reverse large M (40 nummi), Christogram above, ANNO left, uncertain year right (years 3 - 5, obscured by undertype effects), A (1st officina) below, CON (Constantinople) in exergue; undertype: large XXXX, ANNO above, uncertain year right (years 2 - 8), CON[...] in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $50.00 SALE |PRICE| $45.00
Byzantine Empire, Justinian I, 4 April 527 - 14 November 565 A.D.
The Plague of Justinian in 541-542 A.D. (with recurrences until 750) was a pandemic that afflicted the Byzantine Empire and especially its capital, Constantinople, as well as the Sasanian Empire and port cities around the entire Mediterranean Sea, as merchant ships harbored rats that carried fleas infected with plague. Some historians believe the plague of Justinian was one of the deadliest pandemics in history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 25-100 million people during two centuries of recurrence, a death toll equivalent to as much as half of Europe's population at the time of the first outbreak. In 2013, researchers confirmed the cause of the Plague of Justinian was Yersinia pestis, the same bacterium responsible for the Black Death in 1347-1351. MA95675. Bronze half follis, DOC I 65d (not in the collection, refs. Tolstoi), Tolstoi 325 SBCV 165, Hahn MIBE 96, Sommer 4.25, Morrison BnF -, Wroth -, Ratto -, VF, centered on a broad flan, some light corrosion, small edge splits, weight 10.818 g, maximum diameter 29.7 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 541 - 542 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINIANVS P P AVG (AN ligate), helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, helmet with plume, globus cruciger in right hand, shield ornamented with horseman on left arm, cross right; reverse large K (20 nummi), cross above, ANNO left, XV (year 15 right), E (5th officina) below; $31.00 (€28.52)
Byzantine Empire, Justin II, 15 November 565 - 5 October 578 A.D.
In 572, Justin II refused to pay the annual tribute to Khosrau I, putting an end to the 50-year peace treaty that was established ten years earlier. Justin sent a Byzantine army into Persian territory, besieging the fortress city of Nisibis (modern Turkey). MA95677. Bronze follis, DOC I 97a, Morrisson BnF 5/Ni/AE/17, Wroth BMC 137, Hahn MIB 46b, Sommer 5.27, SBCV 369, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, VF, green patina, tight flan, old scrapes, light earthen deposits, weight 12.554 g, maximum diameter 30.0 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 571 - 572 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTI-NVS P P AV, Justin and Sophia, nimbate, enthroned facing, globus cruciger in his right, cruciform scepter in her right, cross between heads; reverse large M (40 nummi) between ANNO and GI (regnal year 7), cross above, A (officina 1) below, NIKO in exergue; $9.00 (€8.28)
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