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Byzantine Empire, Constantine VIII, 15 December 1025 - 11 November 1028 A.D.
Constantine VIII was crowned emperor when he was an infant; however, for his first 63 years of "rule" he was a junior emperor and rarely played even a minor role in state affairs. He spent his life in search of pleasure and entertainment, including spectator sports at the Hippodrome, feasting, riding and hunting. After his brother Basil II died, Constantine was sole emperor for nearly the last three years of his life. He carried on as he always had, enjoying life and avoiding state business as much as possible. Ineffective and cruel, he allegedly ordered the execution or mutilation of hundreds of innocent men. SH94413. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III part 2, 1.1; Wroth BMC 3, Morrisson BnF 3; Ratto 1969; SBCV 1815; Sommer 42.1 var. (pellet on shaft of labarum), Choice gVF, well struck on a broad flan, small die crack bottom obverse edge, minor die wear on reverse, weight 4.394 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 15 Dec 1025 - 11 Nov 1028; obverse + IhS XIS REX REGNANTIhM, bearded bust of Christ facing wearing nimbus cruciger with straight arms and crescents in upper quarters, pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left, triple border; reverse +CWnSTAnTIn bASILEhS ROM, bust facing, with long beard, wearing crown and loros, labarum (no pellet on shaft) in left, akakia in right, triple border; scarce; $1900.00 SALE |PRICE| $1710.00
Constantine IX Monomachus, 12 June 1042 - 11 January 1055
In 1047, Constantine's nephew, general Leo Tornikios rebelled and besieged Constantinople from 25 to 28 September. Two assaults on the walls were turned back by the defenders under the personal leadership of Constantine. Despite suffering from gout and having no military experience, he showed courage and energy. Tornikios was forced to withdraw. After a failed attack on Rhaidestos, his followers abandoned him. He found refuge in a church, but was lured out, captured, and on Christmas day, he was blinded at Constantinople. Nothing thereafter is known about him. SH94417. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III-2 1a, Wroth BMC 8 - 11, Morrisson BnF 1, Ratto 1987, Sommer 48.1, SBCV 1828, Choice aEF, weight 4.375 g, maximum diameter 28.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 12 Jun 1042 - 11 Jan 1055; obverse +Ihs XIS REX REGNANTInm, Christ enthroned facing on lyre-backed throne, wearing nimbus cruciger (halo with cross), tunic and himation, gospels in left, triple border; reverse +CWNSTAnTn BASILEWS Rm, bearded bust of Constantine XI facing, crown with cross and pendilia, jeweled chlamys, cruciform scepter in right, globe surmounted by patriarchal cross in left, triple border; from the Robert Watcher Collection; $1000.00 SALE |PRICE| $900.00
Byzantine Empire, Constans II, September 641 - 15 July 668 A.D.
In 647 A.D., Gregory the Patrician declared himself emperor in the Byzantine Exarchate of Africa. An Arab army of 20,000 men under Abdullah ibn Sa'ad invaded Africa, taking Tripolitania and the city of Sufetula (240 km south of Carthage). Gregory was killed during the invation. Africa returned to imperial allegiance after his death, but the foundation of Byzantine rule was fatally undermined. SH94411. Gold solidus, Ratto 1509; DOC II part 2, 5e (not in the collection but refs. Ratto); Hahn MIB 9; SBCV 942; Sommer 12.7; Morrisson BnF -; Wroth BMC -; Tolstoi -, Choice VF, well centered, small graffito reverse inner right, weight 4.415 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 180o, 10th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 647 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTINVS P P AVG, bust facing with short beard indicated by a single row of dots, wearing chlamys, tablion ornamented with pellets, and crown with cross on circlet, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse VICTORIA AVGY I (victory of the Emperor, 10th officina), cross potent on three steps, E (indiction year 5) right, CONOB in exergue; scarce officina; $800.00 SALE |PRICE| $720.00
Byzantine Empire, Alexius I Comnenus, 4 April 1081 - 15 August 1118 A.D.
Although he was not the founder of the Comnenian dynasty, it was during his reign that the Comnenus family came to full power. Inheriting a collapsing empire and faced with constant warfare during his reign against both the Seljuq Turks in Asia Minor and the Normans in the western Balkans, Alexius was able to curb the Byzantine decline and begin the military, financial, and territorial recovery known as the Comnenian restoration. SH94415. Gold hyperpyron, DO IV 20g; Hendy pl. 4, 3-5; CLBC 2.1.2; Morrisson BnF 59/Cp/Av/3; Wroth BMC 7; Ratto 2059; SBCV 1913, Choice gVF, beautiful luster, weight 4.348 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1092 - 1118 A.D.; obverse KE RO-HΘEI (Lord, help [Alexius]), Christ Pantokrator enthroned facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) high across field, double border; reverse A/ΛE/ΞI/W / ∆EC/ΠO/TH - Tw / KO/MNH/Nw, Alexius standing facing, wearing chlamys, five jewels on collar, labarum scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, manus Dei (hand of God) above right, six pellets in loros end; from the Robert Watcher Collection; ex New York Sale XLII auction (9 Jan 2018), lot 483; $700.00 SALE |PRICE| $630.00
Byzantine Empire, Basil II Bulgaroktonos and Constantine VIII, 10 January 976 - 15 December 1025 A.D.
Basil II Bulgaroktonos was the longest-reigning Byzantine emperor (for almost 50 years). He ruled with his brother, Constantine VIII as his adviser. Bulgaria (the Bulgars) was an ongoing problem during his reign, but was finally defeated and absorbed into the Empire. Basil brought great wealth to the Empire. At the time of his death, at almost 70 years of age, he was planning a campaign to wrest control of Sicily from the Arabs. Constantine VIII took over after the death of Basil, and the Empire began its decline. SH94414. Gold tetarteron nomisma, DOC III part 2, 15b (4 spec.); Morrisson BnF 19; Wroth BMC 5; Sommer 41.7 (LP); SBCV 1806; Ratto 1940, aVF, well centered, light deposits, weight 4.187 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1005 - 1025 A.D.; obverse + IhS XIS REX REGNANTIhm, bust of Christ facing, wearing nimbus cruciger with two pellets in each arm, pallium and colobium, holding book of Gospels in both hands; reverse + bASIL C COhSTAhTI b R, facing busts of Basil (on left) with short beard wearing square pattern loros, and Constantine VIII, wearing garment with large V-shaped ornamented collar, both wear crown with a cross and pendilia, together in their right hands they hold between them a long patriarchal cross with X on the shaft; $650.00 SALE |PRICE| $585.00
Byzantine Empire, Philippicus Bardanes, 4 November 711 - June 713 A.D.
Philippicus Bardanes was from a prominent Armenian family in Pergamum and a general of the Opsikion Theme army under Justinian II. While Justinian II ruled in a bloodthirsty frenzy of revenge, the Bulgars ravaged the empire right up to the city walls. Bardanes arrived at Constantinople with the army. But, instead of fighting the Bulgars he seized the throne. An ineffective ruler, Philippicus engaged in destructive internal religious disputes while the external threats grew and Bulgars and Arabs continued to raid Byzantine territory. In less than two years, he was deposed in a coup, blinded and exiled to a monastery.BZ82676. Bronze follis, Anastasi 374, SBCV 1460A, Hahn MIB 24, DOC II part 2,, -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, Morrisson BnF -, F, ragged flan, weight 3.824 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 4 Nov 711 - Jun 713 A.D.; obverse Philippicus standing facing, wearing helmet and military attire, eagle-tipped scepter in left hand, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse large M flanked by two stars, monogram above, SCL in exergue; very rare; $610.00 SALE |PRICE| $549.00
Byzantine Empire, Romanus IV Diogenes, 1 January 1068 - 19 August 1071
Due to their distinctive iconography, these histamenon types were nicknamed "six-headers" in their day. SH94416. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III part 2, 1; Morrisson BnF 53/Cp/AV/02; Wroth BMC 1; Sommer 54.1; SBCV 1859; Ratto -, aVF, full border centering, flow lines, double struck, bumps and scratches, weight 4.393 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1 Jan 1068 - 19 Aug 1071; obverse KWN MX AN∆, Michael standing facing on footstool, transverse labarum in right hand, akakia in left hand, flanked by Constantius and Andronicus, each standing facing on an individual footstool, each holding akakia in inner hand and globus cruciger in outer hand; reverse + PWMANS EV∆UKIA, Jesus Christ standing facing on footstool, crowning Romanus and Eudocia, each holds a globus cruciger in inner hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsoús Xristós - Jesus Christ) flanking Christ's head; from the Robert Watcher Collection, ex Heritage auction 3002 (18 Sep 2008), lot 22928; $520.00 SALE |PRICE| $468.00
Byzantine Empire, Andronicus III Palaeologus, 24 May 1328 - 15 June 1341 A.D.
His grandfather disinherited him, so Andronicus III revolted, gaining joint rule. They fought again and in 1328 he took the city. Later Andronicus II was sent to a monastery to die old and blind. Andronicus III was at war his whole reign, chiefly with the Ottomans, who held almost all of Asia Minor even before his rule. ME92835. Silver reduced basilikon, DOC V 874 var. (B sigla without pellets, Γ / O / A reverse center), Bendall PCPC -, B-D LPC -, SBCV -, Sommer -, Lianta -, aVF, well centered, nice toning, weight 1.591 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 24 May 1328 - 15 Jun 1341 A.D.; obverse The Virgin orans standing facing, veiled, nimbate, MH - ΘV (Greek abbreviation: Mητηρ Θεου - Mother of God) flanking above hands, B• - •B (sigla, B on right reversed) divided across field; reverse ITHMH∆ AN∆PIK, St. Demetrius on left, standing facing, nimbate, holding cross to chest, and Andronicus on right, standing facing, crowned, placing hand on chest, Γ / P / ∆ downward between; this is an unpublished variety of an extremely rare type, from Coin Archives we know of two other specimens; $400.00 SALE |PRICE| $360.00
Byzantine Empire, Heraclius & Heraclius Constantine, 23 January 613 - 11 January 641 A.D.
Heraclius came to power through revolt against the tyrannical Focas. He defeated the Sassanid Persians, but this only facilitated Arab conquest of Persia and the eastern Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines lost Syria and Palestine before Heraclius died and Egypt fell soon after. SH94408. Gold solidus, DOC II part 1, 8e; Wroth BMC 18 - 21; Sommer 11.6.1; Morrisson BnF 12 - 13; Ratto 1359; Hahn MIB 8a; SBCV 734; Tolstoi -, VF, uneven strike, obverse off center, a few scratches, weight 4.146 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 613 - 616 A.D.; obverse dd NN hERACLIuS et hERA CONSt pp AVG, facing busts of Heraclius, on left with short beard, and his son Heraclius Constantine, beardless and smaller, each wearing an elaborate crown with cross, cross between them above; reverse VICTORIA AVGu E (victory of the Emperor, 5th officina), cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $400.00 SALE |PRICE| $360.00
Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class A3, Basil II & Constantine VIII, c. 1023 - 11 November 1028 A.D.
The emperor's name and portrait are not part of the design on the Byzantine types referred to as anonymous folles. Instead of the earthly king, these coins depict Jesus Christ, King of Kings.SH82755. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ class A3; Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments 24a; DOC III-2 A2.24a; SBCV 1818; Sommer 40.3.8, EF, some mint luster, areas of porosity, obverse legend weak, weight 11.982 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 1023 - 11 Nov 1028 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (Latinized Hebrew: Emmanuel - "God with us"), facing bust of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger with two pellets in each limb of cross, pallium, and colobium, holding gospels with both hands, gospels ornamented with two pellets within a jeweled border, to left IC, to right XC; reverse + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings), ornamentation above and below inscription; $360.00 SALE |PRICE| $324.00
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