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Byzantine Empire, Alexius III Angelus-Comnenus, 8 April 1195 - 17 July 1203
According to the Golden Legend, a plague-bearing dragon lived in a lake near a city called Silene, in Libya. To appease the dragon, the people fed it two sheep every day. When the sheep failed, they fed it their children, chosen by lottery. It happened that the lot fell on the king's daughter, Sabra. Sabra was sent out to the lake, dressed as a bride, to be fed to the dragon. Saint George was ridding past when dragon reared out of the lake. He fortified himself with the Sign of the Cross charged it on horseback with his lance, and gave it a grievous wound. He then called to the princess to throw him her girdle. After he put it around its neck, the dragon followed the girl like a meek beast on a leash. The princess and Saint George led the dragon back to the city of Silene. It terrified the people at its approach, but Saint George called out to them, saying that if they consented to become Christians and be baptized, he would slay the dragon. The king and the people converted to Christianity and George slew the dragon. On the site where the dragon died, the king built a church to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint George, and from its altar a spring arose whose waters cured all disease.BZ95143. Bronze tetarteron, CLBC I 8.4.3; DOC IV-1 5a; Hendy p. 152 and pl. 23, 9-10; Grierson 1138; SBCV 2015; Sommer 66.6, gVF, well centered on a typical tight flan, porosity, some light corrosion, weight 3.720 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 8 Apr 1195 - 17 Jul 1203; obverse O/ΓE/WP ΓI/OC, Half-length facing bust of St. George, beardless and nimbate, in military attire, spear in right hand and hilt of sword in left; reverse AΛEΣIOC ∆ECΠOTHC, Alexius standing facing, labarum in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand; $215.00 (€197.80)
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