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-(1208-1222) Théodore I Lascaris (Sear 2062)23 viewsSégusiaves
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1409a, Julian II "the Philosopher," February 360 - 26 June 363 A.D.143 viewsJulian II, A.D. 360-363; RIC 167; VF; 2.7g, 20mm; Constantinople mint; Obverse: DN FL CL IVLIANVS P F AVG, helmeted & cuirassed bust right, holding spear & shield; Reverse: VOT X MVLT XX in four lines within wreath; CONSPB in exergue; Attractive green patina. Ex Nemesis.


De Imperatoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Julian the Apostate (360-363 A.D.)

Walter E. Roberts, Emory University
Michael DiMaio, Jr., Salve Regina University

Introduction

The emperor Flavius Claudius Julianus reigned from 360 to 26 June 363, when he was killed fighting against the Persians. Despite his short rule, his emperorship was pivotal in the development of the history of the later Roman empire. This essay is not meant to be a comprehensive look at the various issues central to the reign of Julian and the history of the later empire. Rather, this short work is meant to be a brief history and introduction for the general reader. Julian was the last direct descendent of the Constantinian line to ascend to the purple, and it is one of history's great ironies that he was the last non-Christian emperor. As such, he has been vilified by most Christian sources, beginning with John Chrysostom and Gregory Nazianzus in the later fourth century. This tradition was picked up by the fifth century Eusebian continuators Sozomen, Socrates Scholasticus, and Theodoret and passed on to scholars down through the 20th century. Most contemporary sources, however, paint a much more balanced picture of Julian and his reign. The adoption of Christianity by emperors and society, while still a vital concern, was but one of several issues that concerned Julian.

It is fortunate that extensive writings from Julian himself exist, which help interpret his reign in the light of contemporary evidence. Still extant are some letters, several panegyrics, and a few satires. Other contemporary sources include the soldier Ammianus Marcellinus' history, correspondence between Julian and Libanius of Antioch, several panegyrics, laws from the Theodosian Code, inscriptions, and coinage. These sources show Julian's emphasis on restoration. He saw himself as the restorer of the traditional values of Roman society. Of course much of this was rhetoric, meant to defend Julian against charges that he was a usurper. At the same time this theme of restoration was central to all emperors of the fourth century. Julian thought that he was the one emperor who could regain what was viewed as the lost glory of the Roman empire. To achieve this goal he courted select groups of social elites to get across his message of restoration. This was the way that emperors functioned in the fourth century. By choosing whom to include in the sharing of power, they sought to shape society.

Early Life

Julian was born at Constantinople in 331. His father was Julius Constantius, half-brother of the emperor Constantine through Constantius Chlorus, and his mother was Basilina, Julius' second wife. Julian had two half-brothers via Julius' first marriage. One of these was Gallus, who played a major role in Julian's life. Julian appeared destined for a bright future via his father's connection to the Constantinian house. After many years of tense relations with his three half-brothers, Constantine seemed to have welcomed them into the fold of the imperial family. From 333 to 335, Constantine conferred a series of honors upon his three half-siblings, including appointing Julius Constantius as one of the consuls for 335. Julian's mother was equally distinguished. Ammianus related that she was from a noble family. This is supported by Libanius, who claimed that she was the daughter of Julius Julianus, a Praetorian Prefect under Licinius, who was such a model of administrative virtue that he was pardoned and honored by Constantine.

Despite the fact that his mother died shortly after giving birth to him, Julian experienced an idyllic early childhood. This ended when Constantius II conducted a purge of many of his relatives shortly after Constantine's death in 337, particularly targeting the families of Constantine's half-brothers. ulian and Gallus were spared, probably due to their young age. Julian was put under the care of Mardonius, a Scythian eunuch who had tutored his mother, in 339, and was raised in the Greek philosophical tradition, and probably lived in Nicomedia. Ammianus also supplied the fact that while in Nicomedia, Julian was cared for by the local bishop Eusebius, of whom the future emperor was a distant relation. Julian was educated by some of the most famous names in grammar and rhetoric in the Greek world at that time, including Nicocles and Hecebolius. In 344 Constantius II sent Julian and Gallus to Macellum in Cappadocia, where they remained for six years. In 351, Gallus was made Caesar by Constantius II and Julian was allowed to return to Nicomedia, where he studied under Aedesius, Eusebius, and Chrysanthius, all famed philosophers, and was exposed to the Neo-Platonism that would become such a prominent part of his life. But Julian was most proud of the time he spent studying under Maximus of Ephesus, a noted Neo-Platonic philospher and theurgist. It was Maximus who completed Julian's full-scale conversion to Neo-Platonism. Later, when he was Caesar, Julian told of how he put letters from this philosopher under his pillows so that he would continue to absorb wisdom while he slept, and while campaigning on the Rhine, he sent his speeches to Maximus for approval before letting others hear them. When Gallus was executed in 354 for treason by Constantius II, Julian was summoned to Italy and essentially kept under house arrest at Comum, near Milan, for seven months before Constantius' wife Eusebia convinced the emperor that Julian posed no threat. This allowed Julian to return to Greece and continue his life as a scholar where he studied under the Neo-Platonist Priscus. Julian's life of scholarly pursuit, however, ended abruptly when he was summoned to the imperial court and made Caesar by Constantius II on 6 November 355.

Julian as Caesar

Constantius II realized an essential truth of the empire that had been evident since the time of the Tetrarchy--the empire was too big to be ruled effectively by one man. Julian was pressed into service as Caesar, or subordinate emperor, because an imperial presence was needed in the west, in particular in the Gallic provinces. Julian, due to the emperor's earlier purges, was the only viable candidate of the imperial family left who could act as Caesar. Constantius enjoined Julian with the task of restoring order along the Rhine frontier. A few days after he was made Caesar, Julian was married to Constantius' sister Helena in order to cement the alliance between the two men. On 1 December 355, Julian journeyed north, and in Augusta Taurinorum he learned that Alamannic raiders had destroyed Colonia Agrippina. He then proceeded to Vienne where he spent the winter. At Vienne, he learned that Augustudunum was also under siege, but was being held by a veteran garrison. He made this his first priority, and arrived there on 24 June 356. When he had assured himself that the city was in no immediate danger, he journeyed to Augusta Treverorum via Autessioduram, and from there to Durocortorum where he rendezvoused with his army. Julian had the army stage a series of punitive strikes around the Dieuse region, and then he moved them towards the Argentoratum/Mongontiacum region when word of barbarian incursions reached him.

From there, Julian moved on to Colonia Agrippina, and negotiated a peace with the local barbarian leaders who had assaulted the city. He then wintered at Senonae. He spent the early part of the campaigning season of 357 fighting off besiegers at Senonae, and then conducting operations around Lugdunum and Tres Tabernae. Later that summer, he encountered his watershed moment as a military general. Ammianus went into great detail about Julian's victory over seven rogue Alamannic chieftains near Argentoratum, and Julian himself bragged about it in his later writing. After this battle, the soldiers acclaimed Julian Augustus, but he rejected this title. After mounting a series of follow-up raids into Alamannic territory, he retired to winter quarters at Lutetia, and on the way defeated some Frankish raiders in the Mosa region. Julian considered this campaign one of the major events of his time as Caesar.

Julian began his 358 military campaigns early, hoping to catch the barbarians by surprise. His first target was the Franks in the northern Rhine region. He then proceeded to restore some forts in the Mosa region, but his soldiers threatened to mutiny because they were on short rations and had not been paid their donative since Julian had become Caesar. After he soothed his soldiers, Julian spent the rest of the summer negotiating a peace with various Alamannic leaders in the mid and lower Rhine areas, and retired to winter quarters at Lutetia. In 359, he prepared once again to carry out a series of punitive expeditions against the Alamanni in the Rhine region who were still hostile to the Roman presence. In preparation, the Caesar repopulated seven previously destroyed cities and set them up as supply bases and staging areas. This was done with the help of the people with whom Julian had negotiated a peace the year before. Julian then had a detachment of lightly armed soldiers cross the Rhine near Mogontiacum and conduct a guerilla strike against several chieftains. As a result of these campaigns, Julian was able to negotiate a peace with all but a handful of the Alamannic leaders, and he retired to winter quarters at Lutetia.

Of course, Julian did more than act as a general during his time as Caesar. According to Ammianus, Julian was an able administrator who took steps to correct the injustices of Constantius' appointees. Ammianus related the story of how Julian prevented Florentius, the Praetorian Prefect of Gaul, from raising taxes, and also how Julian actually took over as governor for the province of Belgica Secunda. Hilary, bishop of Poitiers, supported Ammianus' basic assessment of Julian in this regard when he reported that Julian was an able representative of the emperor to the Gallic provincials. There is also epigraphic evidence to support Julian's popularity amongst the provincial elites. An inscription found near Beneventum in Apulia reads:
"To Flavius Claudius Julianus, most noble and sanctified Caesar, from the caring Tocius Maximus, vir clarissimus, for the care of the res publica from Beneventum".

Tocius Maximus, as a vir clarissimus, was at the highest point in the social spectrum and was a leader in his local community. This inscription shows that Julian was successful in establishing a positive image amongst provincial elites while he was Caesar.

Julian Augustus

In early 360, Constantius, driven by jealousy of Julian's success, stripped Julian of many troops and officers, ostensibly because the emperor needed them for his upcoming campaign against the Persians. One of the legions ordered east, the Petulantes, did not want to leave Gaul because the majority of the soldiers in the unit were from this region. As a result they mutinied and hailed Julian as Augustus at Lutetia. Julian refused this acclamation as he had done at Argentoratum earlier, but the soldiers would have none of his denial. They raised him on a shield and adorned him with a neck chain, which had formerly been the possession of the standard-bearer of the Petulantes and symbolized a royal diadem. Julian appeared reluctantly to acquiesce to their wishes, and promised a generous donative. The exact date of his acclamation is unknown, but most scholars put it in February or March. Julian himself supported Ammianus' picture of a jealous Constantius. In his Letter to the Athenians, a document constructed to answer charges that he was a usurper, Julian stated that from the start he, as Caesar, had been meant as a figurehead to the soldiers and provincials. The real power he claimed lay with the generals and officials already present in Gaul. In fact, according to Julian, the generals were charged with watching him as much as the enemy. His account of the actual acclamation closely followed what Ammianus told us, but he stressed even more his reluctance to take power. Julian claimed that he did so only after praying to Zeus for guidance.

Fearing the reaction of Constantius, Julian sent a letter to his fellow emperor justifying the events at Lutetia and trying to arrange a peaceful solution. This letter berated Constantius for forcing the troops in Gaul into an untenable situation. Ammianus stated that Julian's letter blamed Constantius' decision to transfer Gallic legions east as the reason for the soldiers' rebellion. Julian once again asserted that he was an unwilling participant who was only following the desire of the soldiers. In both of these basic accounts Ammianus and Julian are playing upon the theme of restoration. Implicit in their version of Julian's acclamation is the argument that Constantius was unfit to rule. The soldiers were the vehicle of the gods' will. The Letter to the Athenians is full of references to the fact that Julian was assuming the mantle of Augustus at the instigation of the gods. Ammianus summed up this position nicely when he related the story of how, when Julian was agonizing over whether to accept the soldiers' acclamation, he had a dream in which he was visited by the Genius (guardian spirit) of the Roman state. The Genius told Julian that it had often tried to bestow high honors upon Julian but had been rebuffed. Now, the Genius went on to say, was Julian's final chance to take the power that was rightfully his. If the Caesar refused this chance, the Genius would depart forever, and both Julian and the state would rue Julian's rejection. Julian himself wrote a letter to his friend Maximus of Ephesus in November of 361 detailing his thoughts on his proclamation. In this letter, Julian stated that the soldiers proclaimed him Augustus against his will. Julian, however, defended his accession, saying that the gods willed it and that he had treated his enemies with clemency and justice. He went on to say that he led the troops in propitiating the traditional deities, because the gods commanded him to return to the traditional rites, and would reward him if he fulfilled this duty.

During 360 an uneasy peace simmered between the two emperors. Julian spent the 360 campaigning season continuing his efforts to restore order along the Rhine, while Constantius continued operations against the Persians. Julian wintered in Vienne, and celebrated his Quinquennalia. It was at this time that his wife Helena died, and he sent her remains to Rome for a proper burial at his family villa on the Via Nomentana where the body of her sister was entombed. The uneasy peace held through the summer of 361, but Julian concentrated his military operations around harassing the Alamannic chieftain Vadomarius and his allies, who had concluded a peace treaty with Constantius some years earlier. By the end of the summer, Julian decided to put an end to the waiting and gathered his army to march east against Constantius. The empire teetered on the brink of another civil war. Constantius had spent the summer negotiating with the Persians and making preparations for possible military action against his cousin. When he was assured that the Persians would not attack, he summoned his army and sallied forth to meet Julian. As the armies drew inexorably closer to one another, the empire was saved from another bloody civil war when Constantius died unexpectedly of natural causes on 3 November near the town of Mopsucrenae in Cilicia, naming Julian -- the sources say-- as his legitimate successor.

Julian was in Dacia when he learned of his cousin's death. He made his way through Thrace and came to Constantinople on 11 December 361 where Julian honored the emperor with the funeral rites appropriate for a man of his station. Julian immediately set about putting his supporters in positions of power and trimming the imperial bureaucracy, which had become extremely overstaffed during Constantius' reign. Cooks and barbers had increased during the late emperor's reign and Julian expelled them from his court. Ammianus gave a mixed assessment of how the new emperor handled the followers of Constantius. Traditionally, emperors were supposed to show clemency to the supporters of a defeated enemy. Julian, however, gave some men over to death to appease the army. Ammianus used the case of Ursulus, Constantius' comes sacrum largitionum, to illustrate his point. Ursulus had actually tried to acquire money for the Gallic troops when Julian had first been appointed Caesar, but he had also made a disparaging remark about the ineffectiveness of the army after the battle of Amida. The soldiers remembered this, and when Julian became sole Augustus, they demanded Ursulus' head. Julian obliged, much to the disapproval of Ammianus. This seems to be a case of Julian courting the favor of the military leadership, and is indicative of a pattern in which Julian courted the goodwill of various societal elites to legitimize his position as emperor.

Another case in point is the officials who made up the imperial bureaucracy. Many of them were subjected to trial and punishment. To achieve this goal, during the last weeks of December 361 Julian assembled a military tribunal at Chalcedon, empanelling six judges to try the cases. The president of the tribunal was Salutius, just promoted to the rank of Praetorian Prefect; the five other members were Mamertinus, the orator, and four general officers: Jovinus, Agilo, Nevitta, and Arbetio. Relative to the proceedings of the tribunal, Ammianus noted that the judges, " . . . oversaw the cases more vehemently than was right or fair, with the exception of a few . . .." Ammianus' account of Julian's attempt at reform of the imperial bureaucracy is supported by legal evidence from the Theodosian Code. A series of laws sent to Mamertinus, Julian's appointee as Praetorian Prefect in Italy, Illyricum, and Africa, illustrate this point nicely. On 6 June 362, Mamertinus received a law that prohibited provincial governors from bypassing the Vicars when giving their reports to the Prefect. Traditionally, Vicars were given civil authority over a group of provinces, and were in theory meant to serve as a middle step between governors and Prefects. This law suggests that the Vicars were being left out, at least in Illyricum. Julian issued another edict to Mamertinus on 22 February 362 to stop abuse of the public post by governors. According to this law, only Mamertinus could issue post warrants, but the Vicars were given twelve blank warrants to be used as they saw fit, and each governor was given two. Continuing the trend of bureaucratic reform, Julian also imposed penalties on governors who purposefully delayed appeals in court cases they had heard. The emperor also established a new official to weigh solidi used in official government transactions to combat coin clipping.

For Julian, reigning in the abuses of imperial bureaucrats was one step in restoring the prestige of the office of emperor. Because he could not affect all elements of society personally, Julian, like other Neo-Flavian emperors, decided to concentrate on select groups of societal elites as intercessors between himself and the general populace. One of these groups was the imperial bureaucracy. Julian made it very clear that imperial officials were intercessors in a very real sense in a letter to Alypius, Vicar of Britain. In this letter, sent from Gaul sometime before 361, the emperor praises Alypius for his use of "mildness and moderation with courage and force" in his rule of the provincials. Such virtues were characteristic of the emperors, and it was good that Alypius is representing Julian in this way. Julian courted the army because it put him in power. Another group he sought to include in his rule was the traditional Senatorial aristocracy. One of his first appointments as consul was Claudius Mamertinus, a Gallic Senator and rhetorician. Mamertinus' speech in praise of Julian delivered at Constantinople in January of 362 is preserved. In this speech, Claudius presented his consular selection as inaugurating a new golden age and Julian as the restorer of the empire founded by Augustus. The image Mamertinus gave of his own consulate inaugurating a new golden age is not merely formulaic. The comparison of Julian to Augustus has very real, if implicit, relevance to Claudius' situation. Claudius emphasized the imperial period as the true age of renewal. Augustus ushered in a new era with his formation of a partnership between the emperor and the Senate based upon a series of honors and offices bestowed upon the Senate in return for their role as intercessor between emperor and populace. It was this system that Julian was restoring, and the consulate was one concrete example of this bond. To be chosen as a consul by the emperor, who himself had been divinely mandated, was a divine honor. In addition to being named consul, Mamertinus went on to hold several offices under Julian, including the Prefecture of Italy, Illyricum, and Africa. Similarly, inscriptional evidence illustrates a link between municipal elites and Julian during his time as Caesar, something which continued after he became emperor. One concrete example comes from the municipal senate of Aceruntia in Apulia, which established a monument on which Julian is styled as "Repairer of the World."

Julian seems to have given up actual Christian belief before his acclamation as emperor and was a practitioner of more traditional Greco-Roman religious beliefs, in particular, a follower of certain late antique Platonist philosophers who were especially adept at theurgy as was noted earlier. In fact Julian himself spoke of his conversion to Neo-Platonism in a letter to the Alexandrians written in 363. He stated that he had abandoned Christianity when he was twenty years old and been an adherent of the traditional Greco-Roman deities for the twelve years prior to writing this letter.

(For the complete text of this article see: http://www.roman-emperors.org/julian.htm)

Julian’s Persian Campaign

The exact goals Julian had for his ill-fated Persian campaign were never clear. The Sassanid Persians, and before them the Parthians, had been a traditional enemy from the time of the Late Republic, and indeed Constantius had been conducting a war against them before Julian's accession forced the former to forge an uneasy peace. Julian, however, had no concrete reason to reopen hostilities in the east. Socrates Scholasticus attributed Julian's motives to imitation of Alexander the Great, but perhaps the real reason lay in his need to gather the support of the army. Despite his acclamation by the Gallic legions, relations between Julian and the top military officers was uneasy at best. A war against the Persians would have brought prestige and power both to Julian and the army.

Julian set out on his fateful campaign on 5 March 363. Using his trademark strategy of striking quickly and where least expected, he moved his army through Heirapolis and from there speedily across the Euphrates and into the province of Mesopotamia, where he stopped at the town of Batnae. His plan was to eventually return through Armenia and winter in Tarsus. Once in Mesopotamia, Julian was faced with the decision of whether to travel south through the province of Babylonia or cross the Tigris into Assyria, and he eventually decided to move south through Babylonia and turn west into Assyria at a later date. By 27 March, he had the bulk of his army across the Euphrates, and had also arranged a flotilla to guard his supply line along the mighty river. He then left his generals Procopius and Sebastianus to help Arsacius, the king of Armenia and a Roman client, to guard the northern Tigris line. It was also during this time that he received the surrender of many prominent local leaders who had nominally supported the Persians. These men supplied Julian with money and troops for further military action against their former masters. Julian decided to turn south into Babylonia and proceeded along the Euphrates, coming to the fortress of Cercusium at the junction of the Abora and Euphrates Rivers around the first of April, and from there he took his army west to a region called Zaitha near the abandoned town of Dura where they visited the tomb of the emperor Gordian which was in the area. On April 7 he set out from there into the heart of Babylonia and towards Assyria.

Ammianus then stated that Julian and his army crossed into Assyria, which on the face of things appears very confusing. Julian still seems to be operating within the province of Babylonia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The confusion is alleviated when one realizes that,for Ammianus, the region of Assyria encompassed the provinces of Babylonia and Assyria. On their march, Julian's forces took the fortress of Anatha, received the surrender and support of several more local princes, and ravaged the countryside of Assyria between the rivers. As the army continued south, they came across the fortresses Thilutha and Achaiachala, but these places were too well defended and Julian decided to leave them alone. Further south were the cities Diacira and Ozogardana, which the Roman forces sacked and burned. Soon, Julian came to Pirisabora and a brief siege ensued, but the city fell and was also looted and destroyed. It was also at this time that the Roman army met its first systematic resistance from the Persians. As the Romans penetrated further south and west, the local inhabitants began to flood their route. Nevertheless, the Roman forces pressed on and came to Maiozamalcha, a sizable city not far from Ctesiphon. After a short siege, this city too fell to Julian. Inexorably, Julian's forces zeroed in on Ctesiphon, but as they drew closer, the Persian resistance grew fiercer, with guerilla raids whittling at Julian's men and supplies. A sizable force of the army was lost and the emperor himself was almost killed taking a fort a few miles from the target city.
Finally, the army approached Ctesiphon following a canal that linked the Tigris and Euphrates. It soon became apparent after a few preliminary skirmishes that a protracted siege would be necessary to take this important city. Many of his generals, however, thought that pursuing this course of action would be foolish. Julian reluctantly agreed, but became enraged by this failure and ordered his fleet to be burned as he decided to march through the province of Assyria. Julian had planned for his army to live off the land, but the Persians employed a scorched-earth policy. When it became apparent that his army would perish (because his supplies were beginning to dwindle) from starvation and the heat if he continued his campaign, and also in the face of superior numbers of the enemy, Julian ordered a retreat on 16 June. As the Roman army retreated, they were constantly harassed by guerilla strikes. It was during one of these raids that Julian got caught up in the fighting and took a spear to his abdomen. Mortally wounded he was carried to his tent, where, after conferring with some of his officers, he died. The date was 26 June 363.

Conclusion

Thus an ignominious end for a man came about who had hoped to restore the glory of the Roman empire during his reign as emperor. Due to his intense hatred of Christianity, the opinion of posterity has not been kind to Julian. The contemporary opinion, however, was overall positive. The evidence shows that Julian was a complex ruler with a definite agenda to use traditional social institutions in order to revive what he saw as a collapsing empire. In the final assessment, he was not so different from any of the other emperors of the fourth century. He was a man grasping desperately to hang on to a Greco-Roman conception of leadership that was undergoing a subtle yet profound change.
Copyright (C) 2002, Walter E. Roberts and Michael DiMaio, Jr. Used by permission.

In reality, Julian worked to promote culture and philosophy in any manifestation. He tried to reduce taxes and the public debts of municipalities; he augmented administrative decentralisation; he promoted a campaign of austerity to reduce public expenditure (setting himself as the example). He reformed the postal service and eliminated the powerful secret police.
by Federico Morando; JULIAN II, The Apostate, http://www.forumancientcoins.com/NumisWiki/view.asp?key=Julian%20II

Flavius Claudius Iulianus was born in 331 or maybe 332 A.D. in Constantinople. He ruled the Western Empire as Caesar from 355 to 360 and was hailed Augustus by his legions in Lutetia (Paris) in 360. Julian was a gifted administrator and military strategist. Famed as the last pagan emperor, his reinstatement of the pagan religion earned him the moniker "the Apostate." As evidenced by his brilliant writing, some of which has survived to the present day, the title "the Philosopher" may have been more appropriate. He died from wounds suffered during the Persian campaign of 363 A.D. Joseph Sermarini, FORVM.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.




2 commentsCleisthenes
v5~0.jpg
2145 Theodore II (Magn.) AE Tetarteron SBCV-2145 DOC IV 13 24 viewsOBV- Lys. Pellet in Upper and lower field, to either side.

REV- Full length figure of emperor wearing stemma, divitision and Chalmys; holds in r hand labarum on a long shaft and in l. anexikakia.

Size 18.57

Weight 1.9gm

DOC lists 2 examples sized 17mm and 21mm and only one weight .95gm
Simon
l7.jpg
2157 Anonymous2 (Magn.) AE Tetarteron – SBCV-2157 DOC IV 9 Type G4 views
OBV Radiate, floriated, cross

REV Three-Quarter-length figure of St. Theodore, bearded and nimbate, wearing tunic, breastplate, and Saigon Holds in r. hand sword resting over shoulder in l. shield

( This coin is lacking an inscription for St Theodore, should be appearing in two columnar groups.)

Size 20mm

weight 2.9gm

DOC lists 3 examples weighing between 2.07gm to 2.60gm and sizes 20 to 22m
Simon
z3.jpg
2170 Theodore Ducas AE Tetarteron SBCV-2170 DOC IV 11 Var. B CLBC 72 viewsOBV- Inscription in 5 lines

REV- Half length figure of emperor on l. and st Demetrius beardless and nimbate. Between them a patriarchal cross-crosslet, on a long shaft decorated with crescent and pellet, the base of the shaft ending in three steps.

Size 23.4mm

Weight 4.8gm

Doc lists 7 examples with weights from 2.63gm to 5.50gm and sized at 23mm with one variation at 17mm
Simon
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515a. Aelia Flacilla33 viewsEmpress, wife of Theodosius the Great, died c. A. D. 385 or 386. Like Theodosius himself, his first wife, Ælia Flaccilla, was of Spanish descent. She may have been the daughter of Claudius Antonius, Prefect of Gaul, who was consul in 382. Her marriage with Theodosius probably took place in the year 376, when his father, the comes Theodosius, fell into disfavour and he himself withdrew to Cauca in Gallæcia, for her eldest son, afterwards Emperor Arcadius, was born towards the end of the following year. In the succeeding years she presented two more children to her husband Honorius (384), who later became emperor, and Pulcheria, who died in early childhood, shortly before her mother. Gregory of Nyssa states expressly that she had three children; consequently the Gratian mentioned by St. Ambrose, together with Pulcheria, was probably not her son. Flaccilla was, like her husband, a zealous supporter of the Nicene Creed and prevented the conference between the emperor and the Arian Eunomius (Sozomen, Hist. eccl., VII, vi). On the throne she was a shining example of Christian virtue and ardent charity. St. Ambrose describes her as "a soul true to God" (Fidelis anima Deo. — "De obitu Theodosii", n. 40, in P. L., XVI, 1462). In his panegyric St. Gregory of Nyssa bestowed the highest praise on her virtuous life and pictured her as the helpmate of the emperor in all good works, an ornament of the empire, a leader of justice, an image of beneficence. He praises her as filled with zeal for the Faith, as a pillar of the Church, as a mother of the indigent. Theodoret in particular exalts her charity and benevolence (Hist. eccles., V, xix, ed. Valesius, III, 192 sq.). He tells us how she personally tended cripples, and quotes a saying of hers: "To distribute money belongs to the imperial dignity, but I offer up for the imperial dignity itself personal service to the Giver." Her humility also attracts a special meed of praise from the church historian. Flaccilla was buried in Constantinople, St. Gregory of Nyssa delivering her funeral oration. She is venerated in the Greek Church as a saint, and her feast is kept on 14 September. The Bollandists (Acta SS., Sept., IV, 142) are of the opinion that she is not regarded as a saint but only as venerable, but her name stands in the Greek Menæa and Synaxaria followed by words of eulogy, as is the case with the other saints

Wife of Theodosius. The reverse of the coin is very interesting; a nice bit of Pagan-Christian syncretism with winged victory inscribing a chi-rho on a shield.
1 commentsecoli
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AE billion trachy John III SB 2102 type N108 viewsObverse: hP- theta V barred, Three quarter length figure of virgin nimbate, orans, wearing tunic and maphorion; star to lower left and right in field.
Reverse: IW, full-length figure of emperor on l., and St. Theodore bearded and nimbate, holding between them sheathed sword, point downward, resting on shield. Emperor wears stemma, divitision, collar-peice, and paneled loros of simplified type; holds labarum -headed scepter in r. hand. Saint wears short military tunic and breast plate, holds spear in l. hand.
Mint: Magnesia
Sear 2102, DOC
25mm, 3.02g
wileyc
sb2270.jpg
AE trachy, Michael VIII17 viewsObverse: Half length figure of St. Theodore, bearded and nimbate, wearing tunic, breastplate and sagion, holding in right hand, spear which rests on left shoulder and in left hand a shield.
Reverse: Full length figure of emperor left and of Christ, bearded and nimbate. Emperor wears stemma, divitision, collar piece and loros of simplified type; holds sceptre in right hand and anexikakia in left. Christ, wearing tunic and colobion, crowns emperor.
Mint: Constantinople
Date: 1261-1282 CE
SB 2270 Michael VIII C13
29/18mm, 1.24g
wileyc
AthenTetVF.jpg
Athens, Greece, Old Style Tetradrachm, 449 - 413 B.C.133 viewsSilver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31 ff., SGCV I 2526, VF, near full crest, Athens mint, 16.410g, 25.1mm, 90o. Obverse: head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; Reverse: AQE right, owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, all within incuse square.

This coin is one of the most familiar of all the coins struck throughout the ancient Mediterranean. The images of Athena and her Owl, while not static, changed undramatically, in an unhurried and deliberate way. Although its production rests firmly during the time that numismatists call the Classical era (479 BC --336 BC), this coin's "style" better reflects the earlier Archaic period.

The Athenian "Owl" (until its debasement as a result of the Peloponnesian War) was the standard of its day. Between the late 5th century BC and the late 3rd century BC, these coins were the currency against which all other coins were measured. This high esteem was due to the Athenian tetradrachms' consistent weight and quality of silver.

"The little elf-like owl dear to ancient Athens had greenish-blue-gray eyes that could see clearly where humans could not. Glaukopis -- the "shining eyed one" was often shortened to glaux, a nickname for the tetradrachm that bore the owl's likeness" (http://notes.utk.edu/bio/unistudy.nsf/0/da0222e2e80272fd85256785001683e4?OpenDocument).

It is only with the emergence of the Imperial coinage of Alexander the Great (beginning quickly after his ascension to the throne in 336 BC) that the ancient world had another coin as widely accepted. As Martin J. Price notes, "“The impressive list of twenty-three mints on Asian soil and one in Egypt, all used to strike Alexander’s imperial coinage during his lifetime, shows that there was a conscious policy of providing this form of money on an empire-wide basis" (Price, Martin J. The Coinage in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus. Zurich: The Swiss Numismatic Society in Association with British Museum Press, 1991. 72).

More than two millennia after the Athenian Tetracrachm was first struck, the 26th President of The United States, Theodore Roosevelt (b. 1858; d. 1919), is said to have carried an Athenian "Owl" in his pocket--to remind him just how beautiful a coin could be.

J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
10291.jpg
Bardas Parsakoutenos, magistros and doux of Anatolikon. Lead seal c. AD 970-990 268 views10291|Bardas Parsakoutenos, magistros and doux of Anatolikon. Lead seal c. AD 970-990
Star with six rays ending in something resembling arrows; circular invocational legend + KE ROHΘEI TW CW ΔUΛW
+RAPΔ|MAΓICTP,|S ΔUΞ TWN| ANATOΛ’K|TWN OΠAT|O ΠAPCK’ in six lines
30mm; 16.24gram.

Before turning to the identification of the seal’s owner, there are a number of issues to be addressed about the reverse legend. Up to the fourth line, all is clear. A nominative legend listing Bardas’ dignity of magistros and his office of doux ton Anatolikon. The last line has his family name Pars(a)k(outenos). The fifth line, however, does not make sense. It might be an engraver’s error, repeating TWN of the third line and O ΠAP of the last line. This explanation, even though unelegant, has to do for now, unless an otherwise unknown office or command is meant.
The seal’s owner is probably the person named in Leon Diakonos (VII.1) as one of three brothers Parsakoutenos, who backed Bardas Phokas the younger during his rebellion of AD 970 against John I Tzimiskes. These brothers, Theodore, Bardas and Nikephoros took their name, according to Leon, “after the city of their birth, Parsakouta”, which is a village on the road between Nymphaion and Sardis in the Thrakesian theme (p. 162, n.4 of the English edition). Leon adds that the Parsakoutenoi were cousins of Bardas Phokas and that they held the rank of patrikios and adds that they ‘mustered troops with great zeal’. Skylitzes (291.13-14) adds that Theodore and Nikephoros were the sons of the patrikios Theodoulos Parsakoutenos, and were exarchs in Cappadocia (p. 162, n.3). The rebellion, however, was extinguished by the skilled general Bardas Skleros, and Bardas Phokas was temporarily imprisoned.
Leon Diakonos once again mentions Bardas Parsakoutenos in book X, chapter 7, during the revolt of Bardas Skleros. He is now called magistros, a higher rank than patrikios, which implies that his earlier allegience to a usurper had not frustrated his political career. In the late 970’s, Skleros conquered large parts of Asia and was threatening to blockade the Dardanelles, hindering merchants and grain transports to the capital. In the end, he was defeated by Bardas Phokas on 24th of March 979 and fled to Muslim territory. But before his final defeat on the battleground, according to Leon Diakonos, his fortress at Abydos was seized, his army destroyed, and fire was set to his fleet of triremes by an imperial fleet of fireships dispatched from the capital under the command of Bardas Parsakoutenos. The seal, listing Bardas’ dignity as magistros, not patrikios as attested in AD 970, might well be from this period.
1 commentsGert
theodore_3_LS10.jpg
BCC Ls1534 viewsLead Seal
Early 7th century CE
Obv: monogram of Theodore
(THR), in field: Star
Rev: Inscription in 4 lines
[........ / b?]ASIL S / hART / [[....]?
Pb 20x17mm. 6.57gm. Axis:0

Theodore, cubicularius, (a dignity reserved for
eunuchs), Imperial chartoularios (an official entrusted
with administrative and fiscal duties).
v-drome
BCC_LS25_Theodore.jpg
BCC LS2523 viewsLead Seal
Byzantine 6th-7th Cent.CE
Obv:Facing bust of Virgin Mary,
nimbate, with infant Christ,
nimbate. Cross to right and [left?]
Rev:Cruciform monogram with Greek
letters possibly including: Θ, Ε, Ο,
Δ?, ω, Ρ, ΟΥ
Probably "of Theodore"
Max. Dia.: 22mm. 6.00gm. Axis:180
Surface find from the beach at Caesarea
Maritima, 1972.
v-drome
BCC_LS26_Theodore.jpg
BCC LS2620 viewsLead Seal
Byzantine 5th-7th Cent.CE
Obv:Cruciform monogram with
Greek letters including:
Θ, Ε, Ο, Δ, ω, Ρ, ΟΥ “of Theodore”
Rev: Cruciform monogram with Greek letters
including: C, Γ, ΟΥ, Α? Χ? Μ? Φ? Τ? Ι?
Max. Dia.: 16.5mm. 4.29gm.
Axis:0
v-drome
BCC_LS4_.jpg
BCC Ls428 viewsLead Seal BCC Ls4
Early 7th century CE
Obv: monogram of Theodore (THR), in field: Star
Rev: Inscription in 4 lines
[C]UbIC / (B?)ASI(L?)C /hART /[UL/]?
19mm 10.14gm

Theodore, Cubicularius,(a dignity reserved for
eunuchs), Imperial Chartoularios (official
entrusted with administrative and fiscal duties).
v-drome
BCC_Ls5_.jpg
BCC Ls5x35 viewsLead Seal BCC Ls5
Early 7th century CE
Obv: monogram of Theodore (THR), in fld.
Bust of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger.
Rev: Inscription in 4 lines
CUUIC / UL ET C / hART / UL/
Theodore, Cubicularius, and Chartoularios.
Extremely rare.
Pb 21mm. 9.15gm.
v-drome
sear_2061.jpg
Billion Trachy Theodore I Commenus-Lascaris SB 2061 Type A45 viewsObverse: Virgin nimbate enthroned without back, holding nimbate head of Christ on Her breast
Reverse: Theodore and St Theodore stg, facing holding patriarchal cross between them, Emperor on l., wears stemma, divitision, a collor piece and simple panelled loros, hold labarum in r. hand and saint wears a short military tunic and breast plate holds spear in left, resting over shoulder.
Mint: nicaea
Date: 1205-12? CE
Sear 2061 H 30.7-10
23mm 2.49gm
wileyc
sb2144.jpg
Billion trachy John III Type V, SB 214434 viewsObverse: Bust of Christ Emmanuel, beardless, and nimbate, wearing tunic and kolobion; holds scroll in l. hand.
Reverse: Full length figure of emperor on l, and St. Tryphon, beardless and nimbate, holding between them long shaft at the head of which lys, and the base of which small globe. Emperor wears stemma, divitison, jeweled loros of simplified type, and sagion; holds labarum on long shaft in r. hand. Saint wears short military tunic, breastplate, and sagion; holds scepter with triple heard in l. hand.
Mint:Magnesia
Date: 1221-1254 CE
Sear 2144 attributed originally to Theodore II (type D (12.1-6) now John III Type V; pls XXXVI and LIV).
25mm, 3.26
wileyc
sear_2050.jpg
Billion trachy small module Type G SB 205041 viewsObverse: Virgin enthroned holding nimbate head of Christ on Her breast
Reverse: Theodore and St Theodore stg, facing holding patriarchal cross between them, Emperor on l., wears stemma, divitision, a collor piece and simple panelled loros, hold labarum in r. hand and saint wears a short militar tunic and breast plate holds spear in left, resting over shoulder.
As Theodore I Lascaris of Nicaea (1208-22) first billion coinage
Mint: uncertain
Date 1204-?
sear 2050 H. 29 19-20 Type G
wileyc
20110505-144028.jpg
Billion trachy small module Type G SB 205049 viewsObverse: Virgin enthroned holding nimbate head of Christ on Her breast
Reverse: Theodore and St Theodore stg, facing holding patriarchal cross between them, Emperor on l., wears stemma, divitision, a collor piece and simple panelled loros, hold labarum in r. hand and saint wears a short militar tunic and breast plate holds spear in left, resting over shoulder.
As Theodore I Lascaris of Nicaea (1208-22) first billion coinage
Mint: uncertain
Date 1204-?
sear 2050 H. 29 19-20 Type G
20/16 1gm
wileyc
SB_2067.jpg
Billion Trachy Theodore I Commenus- Lascaria SB 2067 (clipped) 22 viewsObverse: IC XC barred, in field, Full length figure of Christ bearded and nimbate, wearing tunic and holding kolobion, holds gospels in l. hand
Reverse: Full-length figure of emperor on l., and St. Theodore bearded and nimbate, holding between them labarum on long shaft. Emperor wears stemma, divistsion, collar-peice and jeweled loros of simplified type; holds in r. hand anexikakia, sword hangs point downward to l. of waist. Saint Theodore wears a short military tunic and breastplate; holds spear in l. hnad, resting over shoulder, sword hangs point downward to r. of waist.
Mint: Magnesia
Date: 1208-1222 CE
Sear 2067, DOC 7, type C
17/24mm, 1.34 gm
Notes: though currently (2010) attributed to Theodore I at this time Hendy in DOC comments that this coin might well be of John III
wileyc
20110505-141213.jpg
Billion trachy Theodore I Commenus-Ducus SB 216242 viewsObverse: Christ enthroned
Reverse Theodore L., and St. Demetrius .
Mint: Thessalonica
Date: 1224-1230
Sear 2162
26mm 2.4gm
wileyc
2010-05-07_sb_2164.jpg
Billion trachy Theodore I Commenus-Ducus SB 216441 viewsObverse: Christ enthroned
Reverse Theodore L., and St. Demetrius r., stg holding cross in circle on staff between them.
Mint: Thessalonica
Date: 1224-1230
Sear 2164
17mm .89gm
wileyc
sb206225mm335g.jpg
Billion trachy, Theodore I Type B, second Coinage SB 206235 viewsReverse: IC XC barred in field. Christ bearded and nimbate, wearing tunic and kolobion, seated upon throne without back; holds Gospels in l. hand. Asterisk above cushion of throne, to either side.
Obverse: Full length fissure of emperor wearing stemma, divitision and chlamys; holds in r. hand scepter crucifier and in l., anexikakia. Asterick frequently on l., or r., or both, of inside of chlamys as it drapes from the arms.
Mint: Nicaea
Date: 1208 CE
SB 2062, DO IV, pl XXVII, 6
25mm, 3.35g
wileyc
sb2069.jpg
Billion Trachy, Theodore I type E, SB 2069/ John II per Dumbarton Oaks Catalogue (DOC IV)32 viewsObverse: IC XC O EMMANOHA in two columnar groups. Bust of Christ Emmanuel, beardless and nimbate, wearing tunic and kolobion, holds scroll in l. hand. five dots in each limb of nimbus cross.
Reverse: Full length figure of emperor on l., and St. Theodore, bearded and nimbate, holding between them shaft, at head of which a star, and at base of which a kite shaped shield. Emperor wears stemma, divitision, and chlamys; holds in r. and labarum headed scepter. Saint wears short military tunic and breastplate; holds spear in l. hand, resting over shoulder.
Mint: Magnesia
Date: 1222-1254 CE
SB 2069
28mm, 2.88g
wileyc
Sear-2270.jpg
Byzantine Empire: Michael VIII Palaeologos (1261-1282) Æ Trachy, Constantinople Mint (Sear-2270; PCPC 31; Bendall-Donald C.13)11 viewsObv: O/AΓI/O/S to the left, Θ/ЄOΔ/PO/S to right or variation; Half-length figure of St. Theodore, bearded and nimbate, wearing tunic, breastplate and sagion; right hand holds spear resting over left shoulder; left hand holds shield
Rev: X/M to the left, OΠ/A/Λ/O/S to right or variation; IC XC in upper and right field; Emperor wears stemma, divitision, collar-piece and loros of simple type; right hand holds scepter cruciger; left hand holds anexikakia
SpongeBob
PC241181.JPG
BYZANTINE, Latin Trachy 1204-1261 Constantinople65 viewsObv: Virgin Enthroned
Rev: Emperor and St. Theodore with Patriarchal Cross Between Them
22-26 mm
Small module imitation of Empire of Nicaea trachy, Sear 2061
Laetvs
NicaeaSear2061.jpg
BYZANTINE, Theodore I 1208-1222 Nicaea68 viewsObv: Virgin Enthroned
Rev: Emperor and St. Theodore with Patriarchal Cross Between Them
Sear 2061
Laetvs
104.JPG
BYZANTINE, Theodore I 1208-1222 Nicaea56 viewsObv: Christ Enthroned
Rev: Emperor Standing, Holding Scepter Cruciger and Akakia
Sear 2062
Laetvs
PC241159.JPG
BYZANTINE, Thessalonica Manuel 1230-123745 viewsObv: St. Theodore
Rev: Emperor and St. Demetrius with Sword Between Them, Manus Dei Above, Sear 2182.
Overstruck on Sear 2177, DO IV pl XLI 3c.L (visible at upper left of obverse, lower left of reverse)
Laetvs
ThesS2132.JPG
BYZANTINE, Thessalonica Manuel 1230-123744 viewsObv: St Theodore (indistinct)
Rev: Emperor and St. Demetrius with Sword Between Them, Manus Dei Above
Sear 2182
Laetvs
ThesS2182.JPG
BYZANTINE, Thessalonica Manuel 1230-123768 viewsObv: St. Theodore
Rev: Emperor and St. Demetrius with Sword Between Them, Manus Dei Above
Sear 2182
Laetvs
ThesS2182ov.JPG
BYZANTINE, Thessalonica Manuel 1230-123759 viewsObv: St. Theodore
Rev: Emperor and St. Demetrius with Sword Between Them, Manus Dei Above
Sear 2182
(Overstruck on an uncertain undertype. Christ's face is visible to the left of the Emperor.)
Laetvs
ThesS2168.JPG
BYZANTINE, Thessalonica Theodore 1224-123070 viewsObv: Bust of Christ
Rev: Emperor Standing, Holding Labarum-Headed Scepter and Patriarchal Cross-Topped Globus Cruciger, Manus Dei Above
Sear 2168, DO Vol IV pl. XXXIX 10
Laetvs
096.JPG
BYZANTINE, Thessalonica Theodore 1224-1230 37 viewsObv: Bust of Christ
Rev: Emperor and St. Demetrius Holding Cross-in-Circle-topped Shaft Between Them
Sear 2161, DOC vol IV plate XXXVIII, 4
Laetvs
Theodosius_I_37.jpg
C109 viewsTheodosius I AE4

Attribution: RIC IX 26a, Heraclea
Date: AD 379-395
Obverse: DN THEODOSIVS PF AVG; diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust r.
Reverse: SALVS REIPVBLICAE; Victory advancing l. dragging captive,
SMHA in exergue
Size: 13.1 mm
Weight: 1.6 grams

Emperor Gratian appointed Theodosius as co-emperor of the East until Gratian’s death in AD 383 during a rebellion. He then appointed his eldest son as co-emperor of the East, and later, after the death of Valentinian II, his son Honorius as co-emperor in the West. The reign of Theodosius was marked by dealing with the Goths, who now resided within the borders of the empire. The Goths within the Empire had, as a result of the treaties, military obligations to fight for the Romans as a national contingent, as opposed to being fully integrated into the Roman forces. However, many Goths would serve in Roman legions and others, as foederati, for a single campaign, while bands of Goths switching loyalties became a destabilizing factor in the internal struggles for control of the Empire. In AD 390 the population of Thessalonica rioted in complaint against the presence of the local Gothic garrison. The garrison commander was killed in the violence, so Theodosius ordered the Goths to kill all the spectators in the circus as retaliation; Theodoret, a contemporary witness to these events, reports:

“the anger of the Emperor rose to the highest pitch, and he gratified his vindictive desire for vengeance by unsheathing the sword most unjustly and tyrannically against all, slaying the innocent and guilty alike. It is said seven thousand perished without any forms of law, and without even having judicial sentence passed upon them; but that, like ears of wheat in the time of harvest, they were alike cut down.”

Interestingly, despite his often ruthless policies against rebellious groups and persons, Theodosius promoted Nicene Trinitarianism within Christianity and Christianity within the Empire. On February 27, AD 380, he declared "Catholic Christianity" the only legitimate imperial religion, ending state support for the traditional Roman religion.Theodosius I was the last emperor of a unified Roman Empire. He reunited the Easter and Western empires, yet they were split again upon his death. Towards the end of his reign, Theodosius saw the rise of a Gothic leader named Alaric. Alaric had participated in Theodosius’ campaign against the usurper Eugenius in AD 394, but rebelled against Arcadius soon after the death of the emperor.
2 commentsNoah
NICAEA_THEODOREO_I_COMNENUS_LASCARIS.jpg
EMPIRE OF NICAEA - Theodore I Comnenus-Lascaris22 viewsEMPIRE OF NICAEA - Theodore I Comnenus-Lascaris (1208-1222) Aspron Trachy Nomisma. Obv.: Christ , bearded and nimbate, wearing tunic and kolobioj, enthroned facing, holding gospels in left hand Asterisk above cushion of throne, to either side. Barred IC XC in fields. Rev.: Full-length figure of emperor wearing stemma, divitision, and chlamys; holds in right hand scepter cruciger, and in left, anexikakia. ΘΕΟΔΨΡΟC ΔΕCΠΟΤΗC ΚΟΜΝΗΝΟC O ΛΑCKAPHC in two columnar groups. (Only the KO is visible on the coin, normal with syphate issues.) Manus Dei to right of emperor's head. Reference: SB 2062, Hendy #6.dpaul7
Seasr-2157.jpg
Empire of Nicaea: Anonymous (ca. 1222-1258) Æ Tetarteron, Magnesia (Sear-2157; DOC 9)10 viewsObv: Ο ΛΓΙΟC ΘЄΟΔΟΡΟC, in two columnar groups. Three-quarter-length figure of St. Theodore, bearded and nimbate, wearing tunic, breastplate, and sagion; holds in right hand sword, resting over shoulder, and in left, shield
Rev: Ornate cross, with saltire cross at center and set upon floral scroll
Dim: 18 mm, 1.70 g
Quant.Geek
Sear-2104.jpg
Empire of Nicaea: John III Ducas-Vatazes (1222-1254) BI Trachy, Magnesia (Sear 2104; DOC IV, Type P 50; Lianta 252-53)18 viewsObv: Ο AΓΙΟC ΘЄΟΔШΡΟC in two columnar groups. Half-length figure of St. Theodore nimbate, wearing tunic and breastplate; right hand holds sword, resting over shoulder; left hand holds shield.
Rev: IШ ΔЄCΠOTHC O ΔϪKAC in two columnar groups. Full-length figure of emperor wearing stemma, divitision, jeweled loros of simplified type and sagion; right hand holds labarum-headed scepter; left hand holds patriarchal cross on globe, which he holds by the shaft.
Quant.Geek
Sear-2102.jpg
Empire of Nicaea: John III Ducas-Vatazes (1222-1254) Æ Trachy, Magnesia (Sear 2102; DOC IV, Type N 48; Lianta 247-48)22 viewsObv: MP - ΘV in upper field. Three-quarter-length figure of Virgin nimbate, orans; Star to left and right in lower field
Rev: IШ to left, Λ/Θ/Є/Δ to right; Full-length figure of emperor on left, and of St. Theodore, bearded and nirnbate; between them sheathed sword, point downward, resting on shield; Emperor wears stemma, divitision, collar-piece and panelled loros of simplified type; right hand hold labarum-headed scepter, Saint wears short military tunic and breastplate; left hand holds spear
Quant.Geek
Sear-2067.jpg
Empire of Nicaea: Theodore I Comnenus-Lascaris (1208-1222) BI Trachy, Magnesia (Sear 2067; DOC IV, Type C 7)24 viewsObv: IC XC in field. Pup-length figure of Christ, bearded and nimbate; left hand holds Gospel; small crosses flanking
Rev: (ΘЄOΔШPOC OΘЄOΔШPOC?); Full-length figure of emperor on left, and of St. Theodore, bearded and nimbate; between them labarum on long shaft. Emperor wears stemma, divitision, collar-piece and jeweled loros of simplified type; right hand holds anexikakia; sword hangs point downward to left of waist. Saint wears short military tunic and breastplate; left hand holds spear, resting over shoulder; sword hangs point downward to right of waist.



From the Iconodule Collection
Quant.Geek
Sear-2067(1).jpg
Empire of Nicaea: Theodore I Comnenus-Lascaris (1208-1222) BI Trachy, Magnesia (Sear 2067; DOC IV, Type C 7)3 viewsObv: IC XC in field. Pup-length figure of Christ, bearded and nimbate; left hand holds Gospel; small crosses flanking
Rev: (ΘЄOΔШPOC OΘЄOΔШPOC?); Full-length figure of emperor on left, and of St. Theodore, bearded and nimbate; between them labarum on long shaft. Emperor wears stemma, divitision, collar-piece and jeweled loros of simplified type; right hand holds anexikakia; sword hangs point downward to left of waist. Saint wears short military tunic and breastplate; left hand holds spear, resting over shoulder; sword hangs point downward to right of waist.
Quant.Geek
Sear-2061.jpg
Empire of Nicaea: Theodore I Comnenus-Lascaris (1208-1222) Æ Trachy (Sear-2061)17 viewsObv: MP - ΘV in field; Virgin nimbate, seated upon throne without back; holds beardless, nimbate head of Christ on breast
Rev: ΘЄOΔШPOC O ΘЄOΔШPOC; Full-length figure of emperor on left, and St. Theodore, bearded and nimbate; between them patriarchal cross on long shaft; Emperor wears stemma, division, collar-piece and panelled loros of simple type; right hand holds labarum-headed scepter; Saint wears short military tunic and breastplate; left hand holds spear resting over shoulder
SpongeBob
Sear-2061(1).jpg
Empire of Nicaea: Theodore I Comnenus-Lascaris (1208-1222) Æ Trachy (Sear-2061)16 viewsObv: MP - ΘV in field; Virgin nimbate, seated upon throne without back; holds beardless, nimbate head of Christ on breast
Rev: ΘЄOΔШPOC O ΘЄOΔШPOC; Full-length figure of emperor on left, and St. Theodore, bearded and nimbate; between them patriarchal cross on long shaft; Emperor wears stemma, division, collar-piece and panelled loros of simple type; right hand holds labarum-headed scepter; Saint wears short military tunic and breastplate; left hand holds spear resting over shoulder
Quant.Geek
Sear-2141.jpg
Empire of Nicaea: Theodore II Ducas-Lascaris (1254-1258) AE Trachy, Magnesia (Sear-2141) 10 viewsObv: IC XC in field; Full-length figure of Christ bearded and nimbate, standing on dais; right hand raised in benediction; left hand on Gospel; B B in field
Rev: ΘЄOΔШPOC ΔЄCΠOTHC ΔϪΚΑC ΛΑCΚAΡΙC in two columnar groups; Full-length figure of emperor on left, crowned by Virgin nimbate; Emperor wars stemma, divitision, jeweled loros of simplified type and sagion; right hand holds scepter cruciger; left hand golds globus cruciger

Quant.Geek
Sear-2142.jpg
Empire of Nicaea: Theodore II Ducas-Lascaris (1254-1258) AE Trachy, Magnesia (Sear-2142; DOC 10)16 viewsObv: Lys to left and right in lower field; Full-length figure of St. Tryphon, beardless and nimbate, wearing tunic and kolobion; holds cross in right hand
Rev: ΘЄΟΔШΡΟC ΔЄCΠΟΤΗC ΔϪΚΑC Ο ΛΑCΚAΡΙC, in two columnar groups; Full-length figure of Theodore wearing stemma, divitision, and paneled chlamys; holds in right hand labarum-headed scepter and in left, globus cruciger. Manus Dei in upper right field
Quant.Geek
Sear-2142(1).jpg
Empire of Nicaea: Theodore II Ducas-Lascaris (1254-1258) AE Trachy, Magnesia (Sear-2142; DOC 10)14 viewsObv: Lys to left and right in lower field; Full-length figure of St. Tryphon, beardless and nimbate, wearing tunic and kolobion; holds cross in right hand
Rev: ΘЄΟΔШΡΟC ΔЄCΠΟΤΗC ΔϪΚΑC Ο ΛΑCΚAΡΙC, in two columnar groups; Full-length figure of Theodore wearing stemma, divitision, and paneled chlamys; holds in right hand labarum-headed scepter and in left, globus cruciger. Manus Dei in upper right field
Quant.Geek
Sear-2142(2).jpg
Empire of Nicaea: Theodore II Ducas-Lascaris (1254-1258) AE Trachy, Magnesia (Sear-2142; DOC 10)15 viewsObv: Lys to left and right in lower field; Full-length figure of St. Tryphon, beardless and nimbate, wearing tunic and kolobion; holds cross in right hand
Rev: ΘЄΟΔШΡΟC ΔЄCΠΟΤΗC ΔϪΚΑC Ο ΛΑCΚAΡΙC, in two columnar groups; Full-length figure of Theodore wearing stemma, divitision, and paneled chlamys; holds in right hand labarum-headed scepter and in left, globus cruciger. Manus Dei in upper right field
Quant.Geek
Sear-2144.jpg
Empire of Nicaea: Theodore II Ducas-Lascaris (1254-1258) AE Trachy, Magnesia (Sear-2144)15 viewsObv: Facing bust of Christ Emmanuel.
Rev: Theodore and St. Tryphon standing facing, holding lis-tipped staff between them.
SpongeBob
Sear-2145.jpg
Empire of Nicaea: Theodore II Ducas-Lascaris (1254-1258) Æ Tetarteron, Magnesia (Sear 2145; DOC IV, Type A 13; Lianta 309-10)18 viewsObv: Large fleur de lis, pellet in upper and lower field, to either side
Rev: ΘЄOΔШPOC ΔЄCΠΟΤHC in two columnar groups. Full length figure of emperor wearing stemma, divitision, and chlamys; holds in right hand labarum on long shaft, and in left, anexikakia
SpongeBob
Sear-2142(3).jpg
Empire of Nicaea: Theodore II Ducas-Lascaris (1254-1258) Æ Trachy, Magnesia (Sear 2142; DOC IV, Type B 10)16 viewsObv: Lys to left and right in lower field; Full-length figure of St. Tryphon, beardless and nimbate, wearing tunic and kolobion; holds cross in right hand
Rev: ΘЄΟΔШΡΟC ΔЄCΠΟΤΗC ΔϪΚΑC Ο ΛΑCΚAΡΙC, in two columnar groups; Full-length figure of Theodore wearing stemma, divitision, and paneled chlamys; holds in right hand labarum-headed scepter and in left, globus cruciger. Manus Dei in upper right field
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Empire of Nicaea: Theodore II Ducas-Lascaris (1254-1258) Æ Trachy, Magnesia (Sear 2143; DOC IV, Type C 11; Lianta 307-8)21 viewsObv: O AΓIOC ΘЄΟΔШΡΟC, in two columnar groups; Full-length figure of St. Theodore, bearded and nimbate, wearing short military tunic, breastplate and sagion; holds in right hand spear; holds in left hand, shield
Rev: ΘЄΟΔШΡΟC ΔЄCΠΟΤΗC Ο ΛΑCΚAΡΙC or O ΔϪΚΑC, in two columnar groups; Full-length figure of Theodore wearing stemma, divitision, jeweled loros of simplified type and sagion; holds in right hand labarum on long shaft; holds in left hand, globus surmounted by patriarchal cross
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Empire of Nicaea: Theodore II Ducas-Lascaris (1254-1258) Æ Trachy, Magnesia (Sear 2143; DOC IV, Type C 11; Lianta 307-8)22 viewsObv: O AΓIOC ΘЄΟΔШΡΟC, in two columnar groups; Full-length figure of St. Theodore, bearded and nimbate, wearing short military tunic, breastplate and sagion; holds in right hand spear; holds in left hand, shield
Rev: ΘЄΟΔШΡΟC ΔЄCΠΟΤΗC Ο ΛΑCΚAΡΙC or O ΔϪΚΑC, in two columnar groups; Full-length figure of Theodore wearing stemma, divitision, jeweled loros of simplified type and sagion; holds in right hand labarum on long shaft; holds in left hand, globus surmounted by patriarchal cross
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Sear-2147.jpg
Empire of Nicaea: Theodore II Ducas-Lascaris (1254-1258) Æ Trachy, Thessalonica (Sear 2147; DOC 1; Lianta 467-68)15 viewsObv: Large cross with floriate ends to limbs; in center, small linear cross, or dot
Rev: ΛKOΛACKAPIC ΘЄOΔШP ΔHMHTPIOC in three columnar groups. Full-length figure of emperor on left, and of St. Demetrius, beardless and nimbate; between them model of the city of Thessalonica with three towers, surmounted by large stars. Emperor wears stemma, divitision, collar-piece and jeweled loros of simplified type; right hand holds labarum-headed scepter. Saint wears short military tunic, breastplate and sagion; left hand holds spear, resting over shoulder
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Roman_Amphitheatre_Paris.jpg
France, Paris, Arena of Lutetia70 viewsThe Roman Arena that was discovered by Théodore Vaquer during the building of Rue Monge, in the 5th arrondissement, between 1860–1869. It was first built in the 1st century AD. Victor Hugo created a preservation committee called "la Société des Amis des Arènes" to preserve it. However in the photo, taken by me in May 2014, can be seen the line of apartments on Rue Monge that cover the remaining third of the Arena.Masis
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German States, Hannover George V 1851 - 1866. AE 2 PFENNIGE, 1855 B.64 viewsGerman States, Hannover George V 1851 - 1866. AE 2 PFENNIGE, 1855 B. Crowned EAR monogram, V below / 2 PFENNIGE 1855, B below, struck in a ring. Mintmaster Theodore Wilhelm Bruel.

KM # 221
oneill6217
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German States, Saxony. Johann 1854 - 1873. Copper Pfennig 1856 F.63 viewsGerman States, Saxony. Johann 1854 - 1873. Copper Pfennig 1856 F. K.S. S.M. on either side of crowned arms / 1 PFENNIG 1856 F.

KM 1184
Mintmaster Gustav Theodore Fischer, Dresden mint 1845 - 1860.
3,457,000 minted.
oneill6217
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Heraclius, Follis, Ravenna mint, 630-631 AD (year 21), Sear 91428 viewsHeraclius (610-641 AD)

630-631 AD (year 21)

Follis

Obverse: DD NN HЄRACLIVS ЄT HЄRA CONST PP AVCC (or similar), Heraclius, crowned, in military attire and holding long cross, standing facing, foot on prostrate figure (a Persian?) below; to right, Heraclius Constantine, wearing crown and chlamys, holding globus cruciger, standing facing

Reverse: Large M; Above, cross; To left, ANNO; To right, XXI ; Exergus, RAV

Ravenna mint

This issue commemorates the victory of Heraclius over the Sasanid kingdom in 629 AD.

After years of war between Romans and Sasanids, in 612, Heraclius launched a major counter-offensive in Syria in 613. He was decisively defeated outside Antioch by Shahrbaraz and Shahin, and the Roman position collapsed. Over the following decade the Persians were able to conquer Palestine and Egypt and to devastate Anatolia. Meanwhile, the Avars and Slavs took advantage of the situation to overrun the Balkans, bringing the Roman Empire to the brink of destruction.
During these years, Heraclius strove to rebuild his army, slashing non-military expenditures, devaluing the currency and melting down Church plate, with the backing of Patriarch Sergius, to raise the necessary funds to continue the war. In 622, Heraclius left Constantinople, entrusting the city to Sergius and general Bonus as regents of his son. He assembled his forces in Asia Minor and, after conducting exercises to revive their morale, he launched a new counter-offensive, which took on the character of a holy war. In the Caucasus he inflicted a defeat on an army led by a Persian-allied Arab chief and then won a victory over the Persians under Shahrbaraz. Following a lull in 623, while he negotiated a truce with the Avars, Heraclius resumed his campaigns in the East in 624 and routed an army led by Khosrau at Ganzak in Atropatene. In 625 he defeated the generals Shahrbaraz, Shahin and Shahraplakan in Armenia, and in a surprise attack that winter he stormed Shahrbaraz's headquarters and attacked his troops in their winter billets. Supported by a Persian army commanded by Shahrbaraz, the Avars and Slavs unsuccessfully besieged Constantinople in 626, while a second Persian army under Shahin suffered another crushing defeat at the hands of Heraclius' brother Theodore. Meanwhile, Heraclius formed an alliance with the Turks, who took advantage of the dwindling strength of the Persians to ravage their territories in the Caucasus. Late in 627, Heraclius launched a winter offensive into Mesopotamia, where, despite the desertion of the Turkish contingent that had accompanied him, he defeated the Persians at the Battle of Nineveh. Continuing south along the Tigris, he sacked Khosrau's great palace at Dastagird and was only prevented from attacking Ctesiphon by the destruction of the bridges on the Nahrawan Canal. Discredited by this series of disasters, Khosrau was overthrown and killed in a coup led by his son Kavadh II, who at once sued for peace, agreeing to withdraw from all occupied territories. Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem with a majestic ceremony in 629.


Sear 914, D.O. 297, B.M.C. 452, T. 282, B.N. 5, M.I.B. 253a.

RRR

VF

6,98 g.
L.e.
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Heraclius, Follis, Ravenna mint, 630-631 AD (year 21), Sear 914, celebrating the defeat of the Sasanid kingdom and the restoration of the True Cross to Jerusalem. 103 viewsHeraclius (610-641 AD)

630-631 AD (year 21)

Follis

Obverse: DD NN HЄRACLIVS ЄT HЄRA CONST PP AVCC (or similar), Heraclius, crowned, in military attire and holding long cross, standing facing, foot on prostrate figure (a Persian?) below; to right, Heraclius Constantine, wearing crown and chlamys, holding globus cruciger, standing facing

Reverse: Large M; Above, cross; To left, ANNO; To right, XXI ; Exergus, RAV

Ravenna mint

This issue commemorates the victory of Heraclius over the Sasanid kingdom in 629 AD.

After years of war between Romans and Sasanids, in 612, Heraclius launched a major counter-offensive in Syria in 613. He was decisively defeated outside Antioch by Shahrbaraz and Shahin, and the Roman position collapsed. Over the following decade the Persians were able to conquer Palestine and Egypt and to devastate Anatolia. Meanwhile, the Avars and Slavs took advantage of the situation to overrun the Balkans, bringing the Roman Empire to the brink of destruction.
During these years, Heraclius strove to rebuild his army, slashing non-military expenditures, devaluing the currency and melting down Church plate, with the backing of Patriarch Sergius, to raise the necessary funds to continue the war. In 622, Heraclius left Constantinople, entrusting the city to Sergius and general Bonus as regents of his son. He assembled his forces in Asia Minor and, after conducting exercises to revive their morale, he launched a new counter-offensive, which took on the character of a holy war. In the Caucasus he inflicted a defeat on an army led by a Persian-allied Arab chief and then won a victory over the Persians under Shahrbaraz. Following a lull in 623, while he negotiated a truce with the Avars, Heraclius resumed his campaigns in the East in 624 and routed an army led by Khosrau at Ganzak in Atropatene. In 625 he defeated the generals Shahrbaraz, Shahin and Shahraplakan in Armenia, and in a surprise attack that winter he stormed Shahrbaraz's headquarters and attacked his troops in their winter billets. Supported by a Persian army commanded by Shahrbaraz, the Avars and Slavs unsuccessfully besieged Constantinople in 626, while a second Persian army under Shahin suffered another crushing defeat at the hands of Heraclius' brother Theodore. Meanwhile, Heraclius formed an alliance with the Turks, who took advantage of the dwindling strength of the Persians to ravage their territories in the Caucasus. Late in 627, Heraclius launched a winter offensive into Mesopotamia, where, despite the desertion of the Turkish contingent that had accompanied him, he defeated the Persians at the Battle of Nineveh. Continuing south along the Tigris, he sacked Khosrau's great palace at Dastagird and was only prevented from attacking Ctesiphon by the destruction of the bridges on the Nahrawan Canal. Discredited by this series of disasters, Khosrau was overthrown and killed in a coup led by his son Kavadh II, who at once sued for peace, agreeing to withdraw from all occupied territories. Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem with a majestic ceremony in 629.


Sear 914, D.O. 297, B.M.C. 452, T. 282, B.N. 5, M.I.B. 253a.

RRR

VF

6,98 g.
L.e.
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Kingdom of Thessalonica: John Comnenus-Ducas (1237-1242) BI Trachy, Thessalonica (Sear 2200; DOC IV, Type B 15; Lianta 378-80)14 viewsObv: ΓⒶ ΔΘЄOΔPC in two columnar groups. Full-length figure of St. Theodore, bearded and nimbate, wearing short military tunic, breastplate and sagion; right hand holds spear; left hand holds shield; Lily in field to either side
Rev: IШΛNHCΔCCΠT - OAΓIC; Full-length figure of emperor on left, crowned by St. Demetrius, beardless and nimbate. Emperor wears stemma, divitision, collar-piece and panelled loros of simplified type; right hand holds labarum-headed scepter; left hand holds anexikakia. Saint wears short military tunic, breastplate and sagion; left hand holds sword, point resting on ground. Star in upper center field.
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Kingdom of Thessalonica: John Comnenus-Ducas (1237-1242) BI Trachy, Thessalonica (Sear 2200; DOC IV, Type B 15; Lianta 378-80)17 viewsObv: ΓⒶ ΔΘЄOΔPC in two columnar groups. Full-length figure of St. Theodore, bearded and nimbate, wearing short military tunic, breastplate and sagion; right hand holds spear; left hand holds shield; Lily in field to either side
Rev: IШΛNHCΔCCΠT - OAΓIC; Full-length figure of emperor on left, crowned by St. Demetrius, beardless and nimbate. Emperor wears stemma, divitision, collar-piece and paneled loros of simplified type; right hand holds labarum-headed scepter; left hand holds anexikakia. Saint wears short military tunic, breastplate and sagion; left hand holds sword, point resting on ground. Star in upper center field.
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Kingdom of Thessalonica: John Comnenus-Ducas (1237-1242) BI Trachy, Thessalonica (Sear 2202; DOC IV, Type D 17a; Lianta 384-86)16 viewsObv: ΛΘЄOΔШPS in two columnar groups; Half-length figure of St. Theodore, bearded and nimbate, wearing tunic, breastplate and sagion; right hand holds sword resting over shoulder; left hand holds sheath?
Rev: IШΔCCΠO - ΛΔHMHT; Half-length figure of emperor on left, and of St. Demetrius, beardless and nimbate; between them large cross within circle, surmounting triangular decoration on long shaft; Emperor wears stemma, divitision, collar-piece and jeweled loros of simplified type; Saint wears tunic (breastplate?) and sagion; Emperor holds shaft with left hand, saint with both hands
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Kingdom of Thessalonica: Manuel Comnenus-Ducas (1230-1237) Æ Trachy, Thessalonica (Sear 2182; DOC IV, Type F 1230- 1237; Lianta 361-63)29 viewsObv: O/Λ/Θ/OΔ/Ш; Bust of St. Theodore, bearded and nimbate, wearing tunic
Rev: ΜAΝϪΗΛ OΛΔM; Half-length figure of ruler on left, and of beardless, nimbate military saint (Demetrius?); between them sheathed sword, pointed downward. Ruler wears stemma, divitision, collar-piece and jeweled loros of simplified type. Saint wears tunic, breastplate and sagion. In upper center field a cloud, with a star in the center, out of which extends Manus Dei, crowning the ruler.
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KM 190 German States, Oldenberg. Theodore Wilhelm Bruel (Hannover). 1844 - 1868 A.D. 29 viewsKM 190 German States, Oldenberg. Theodore Wilhelm Bruel (Hannover). 1844 - 1868 A.D. HRZGTH OLDENB, crowned R monogram / 1 SCHEIDE MUNZE 1858 Boneill6217
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Latin Rule, Sear 205027 viewsByzantine Empire, Latin Rule, 12 April 1204 - 25 July 1261 A.D. Billon aspron trachy nomisma, SBCV 2050; DOC IV, pt. 2, 36, VF, Constantinople mint, 1.464 grams, 23.1 mm, die axis 180o, obverse “MR - QU”, nimbate Virgin enthroned facing, holding nimbate bust of Christ in her crossed arms; reverse Emperor Theodore, holding labarum, and St. Theodore, holding spear, together holding long scepter topped with a Patriarchal Cross; ex FORVMPodiceps
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LIEGE - JOHN THEODORE27 viewsLIEGE - JOHN THEODORE - (1744-1763) AR Double Escalin, dated 1753. Reference: KM#161.dpaul7
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LOWENSTEIN-WERTHEIM-ROCHEFORT60 viewsLOWENSTEIN-WERTHEIM-ROCHEFORT -- Cu. Double tournois (Denier), 1634. Johann Theodore, 1611-1644 (pictured facing right). KM #20.dpaul7
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Manuel Comnenus-Ducas, CLBC 13.8.317 viewsBust of St. Theodore, bearded, nimbate wearing chiton, body armor and holding spear and shield
legend off flan
half length figures of Emperor left and St. Demetrius right, holding sword between. Cloud above center with Manus Dei extending downwards, crowning emperor
AE trachy
Thessalonica
18mm, 1.08g
novacystis
Nicea_Teodoro_I_02.jpg
Nicaea24 viewsTheodore I
1204-1222
Mint of Nicaea
Grierson 1147 - scarce
antvwala
Nicea_Teodoro_I_01.jpg
Nicaea21 viewsTheodore I
1204-1222
Mint of Nicaea
Grierson 1146
antvwala
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PAMPHYLIA, Aspendos83 viewsPAMPHYLIA, Aspendos. Circa 380-325 BC.

Greek ASPENDOS, modern BELKIS, ancient city of Pamphylia, now in southwestern Turkey. It is noted for its Roman ruins. A wide range of coinage from the 5th century BC onward attests to the city's wealth. Aspendus was occupied by Alexander the Great in 333 BC and later passed from Pergamene to Roman rule in 133 BC. According to Cicero, it was plundered of many of its artistic treasures by the provincial governor Verres. The hilltop ruins of the city include a basilica, an agora, and some rock-cut tombs of Phrygian design. A huge theatre, one of the finest in the world, is carved out of the northeast flank of the hill. It was designed by the Roman architect Zeno in honour of the emperor Marcus Aurelius (reigned AD 161-180)

The present-day Belkiz was once situated on the banks of the River Eurymedon, now known as the Kopru Cay. In ancient times it was navigable; in fact, according to Strabo, the Persians anchored their ships there in 468 B.C., before the epic battle against the Delian Confederation.

It is commonly believed that Aspendos was founded by colonists from Argos. One thing is certain: right from the beginning of the 5th century, Aspendos and Side were the only two towns to mint coins. An important river trading port, it was occupied by Alexander the Great in 333 B.C. because it refused to pay tribute to the Macedonian king. It became an ally of Rome after the Battle of Sipylum in 190 B.C. and entered the Roman Empire.

The town is built against two hills: on the "great hill" or Buyuk Tepe stood the acropolis, with the agora, basilica, nymphaeum and bouleuterion or "council chamber". Of all these buildings, which were the very hub of the town, only ruins remain. About one kilometer north of the town, one can still see the remains of the Roman aqueduct that supplied Aspendos with water, transporting it from a distance of over twenty kilometers, and which still maintains its original height.

Aspendos' theatre is the best preserved Roman theatre anywhere in Turkey. It was designed during the 2nd century A.D. by the architect Zeno, son of Theodore and originally from Aspendos. Its two benefactors— the brothers Curtius Crispinus and Curtius Auspicatus —dedicated it to the Imperial family as can be seen from certain engravings on the stones. Discovered in 1871 by Count Landskonski during one of his trips to the region, the theatre is in excellent condition thanks to the top quality of the calcareous stone and to the fact that the Seljuks turned it into a palace, reinforcing the entire north wing with bricks. Its thirty-nine tiers of steps—96 meters long—could seat about twenty thousand spectators. At the top, the elegant gallery and covered arcade sheltered spectators. One is immediately struck by the integrity and architectural distinction of the stage building, consisting of a Irons scacnae which opens with five doors onto the proscenium and scanned by two orders of windows which also project onto the outside wall. There is an amusing anecdote about the construction of this theatre—in which numerous plays are still held, given its formidable acoustics — and the aqueduct just outside the town: in ancient times, the King of Aspendos had a daughter of rare beauty named Semiramis, contended by two architects; the king decided to marry her off to the one who built an important public work in the shortest space of time. The two suitors thus got down to work and completed two public works at the same time: the theatre and the aquaduct. As the sovereign liked both buildings, he thought it right and just to divide his daughter in half. Whereas the designer of the aquaduct accepted the Solomonic division, the other preferred to grant the princess wholly to her rival. In this way, the sovereign understood that the designer of the theatre had not only built a magnificent theatre— which was the pride of the town—, but would also be an excellent husband to his daughter; consequently he granted him her hand in marriage

AR Stater (21mm, 10.76 g). Two wrestlers grappling; DA between / Slinger to right; triskeles in field. Tekin Series D; SNG France 87 (same reverse die). Ex-CNG B9FV15E
1 commentsecoli
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Salduquds: Izz al-Din Salduq (1129-1168 CE) AE Fals, NM, ND (Album-1890)14 viewsObv: Two standing figures with the one on the right holding a patriarchal cross on three steps in his right hand. This may be the Byzantine emperor John II Comnenus on the left and St. George on the right, but it could equally well be the Emperor Manuel I Comnenus and St. Theodore on the right.
Rev: Arabic legend on four lines - السلطان المعظم مسعود بن محمد عز الدين صادق بن علي (The Mighty Sultan Mas‘ud ibn Muhammad ‘Izz al-Din Salduq ibn ‘Ali)

Citing the Western Seljuq overlord Mas'ud, who ruled 1134-1152
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Sear 206119 viewsTheodore I Comnenus-Lascaris (1208 – 1222 CE) Billon aspron trachy, weight 4.12g, diameter 29mm. Mint of Nicaea.Abu Galyon
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Sear 206266 viewsTheodore I Comnenus-Lascaris (1208 – 1222 CE) Billon aspron trachy, weight 3.3g, diameter 29mm. Mint of Nicaea. Abu Galyon
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Theodore Comnenus-Ducas of Thessalonica, SBCV 21 viewsO EMMANγHΛ
Bust of Christ Emmanuel, beardless
ΘEOΔΩPOCΔγK OΛΓIOΔIMITP
Full length figures of Theodore and St.Demetrius, long haloed cross between
Empire of Thessalonica, Thessalonica mint
AE assaron, 22mm, 1.71g
novacystis
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Theodore Ducas AE Tetarteron SBCV-2170 DOC IV 12 Var. B 17 viewsOBV- Inscription in 5 lines

REV- Half length figure of emperor on l. and st Demetrius beardless and nimbate. Between them a patriarchal cross-crosslet, on a long shaft decorated with crescent and pellet, the base of the shaft ending in three steps.

Size 23.4mm

Weight 4.8gm

Doc lists 7 examples with weights from 2.63gm to 5.50gm and sized at 23mm with one variation at 17mm
Simon
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Theodore I Lascaris25 viewsAR trachy - Mint of Magnesia
Sear 2066 (?) - very scarce
antvwala
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Theodore Mancaphas, 1188-1189. Trachy123 viewsChrist standing on dais, IC - XC / Theodore standing facing, holding patriarchal cross-scepter transversely with both hands.
Philadelphia, 1188-1189.
26.7-29.0 mm, 4.2 g.
A. Urs Sommer 64.1
2 commentsPekka K
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Theodore Mancaphas. Usurper in Philadelphia, circa 1188-1189 and circa 1204-120621 viewsTheodore Mancaphas. Usurper in Philadelphia, circa 1188-1189 and circa 1204-1206. BI Aspron Trachy (27mm, 3.96 g, 6h). Christ Pantokrator standing facing on daïs; [monograms] flanking / Theodore standing facing, holding patriarchal cross. DOC 2; Bendall & Morrisson pl. XXV, 2; SB –. Good Fine, brown patina. Rare.

From CNG
The coinage of Theodore Mancaphas was first published in 1967 – although unattributed – and has been assigned to various rulers by some (see DOC pp. 393-395 for alternative attributions and Philip Grierson’s sound rejection of them). Indeed, we are explicitly told by the contemporary historian Nicetas Choniates that Mancaphas struck coinage with his name and image (although he states, surely incorrectly, in silver – with only electrum and highly debased billon issues surviving today).

The reverse legend, particularly clear on the current specimen, can be expanded to Θεόδωρος Βασιλευς Μαγκαφας. The use of basileus in place of despotes is remarkable for the time. Mancaphas (from the Turkish mankafa [“crazed”] was the (unflattering) family name of Theodore, one that his opponents whom were aware of the meaning must have found to be entirely appropriate!
Sosius
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Theodore Mankaphas (mint of Philadelphia)60 views1188-1189
trachy 34
5,68 g
DOC 2, Joppich 7.1 R5
1 commentsantvwala
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Trajan Decius; Tarsus, Cilicia28 viewsCILICIA, Tarsus. Trajan Decius. AD 249-251. Æ (33mm, 19.74 g, 6h). Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Lion attacking bull right. SNG Levante 1161 (same dies); SNG France 1764 (same dies). VF, earthen black-green patina.

From the Kelly J. Krizan, M.D. Collection.

Pompey subjected Tarsus to Rome, and it became capital of the Roman province of Cilicia, the metropolis where the governor resided. In 66 BC, the inhabitants received Roman citizenship. To flatter Julius Caesar, for a time it took the name Juliopolis. It was also here that Cleopatra and Mark Antony met and was the scene of the celebrated feasts they gave during the construction of their fleet (41 BC). In William Shakespeare's 1606 play Antony and Cleopatra (Act 5, Scene 2), after Antony's death Cleopatra says she is going to Cydnus to meet Antony, i.e., she will commit suicide to meet him in the afterlife; "Go fetch / My best attires: I am again for Cydnus, / To meet Mark Antony"

When the province of Cilicia was divided, Tarsus remained the civil and religious metropolis of Cilicia Prima, and was a grand city with palaces, marketplaces, roads and bridges, baths, fountains and waterworks, a gymnasium on the banks of the Cydnus, and a stadium. Tarsus was later eclipsed by nearby Adana, but remained important as a port and shipyard. Several Roman emperors were interred here: Marcus Claudius Tacitus, Maximinus II, and Julian the Apostate, who planned to move his capital here from Antioch if he returned from his Persian expedition.

Tarsus was the city where, according to the Acts of the Apostles, "Saul of Tarsus"[Acts 9:11] was born, but he was "brought up" ([Acts 22:3]) in Jerusalem. Saul became Paul the apostle after his encounter with Christ (Acts 9:11; 21:39; 22:3), and he briefly returned here after his conversion (Acts 9:30). From here Barnabas retrieved him to help with the work in Syrian Antioch (Acts 11:25).

Already by this time a Christian community probably existed, although the first recorded bishop, Helenus, dates only from the third century; Helenus visited Antioch several times in connection with the dispute concerning Paul of Samosata. Later bishops of Tarsus included Lupus, present at the Council of Ancyra in 314; Theodorus, at the Council of Nicaea in 325; Helladius, who was condemned at the Council of Ephesus and who appealed to the bishop of Rome in 433; above all the celebrated exegete Diodorus, teacher of Theodore of Mopsuestia and consequently one of the fathers of Nestorianism. From the sixth century the metropolitan see of Tarsus had seven suffragan bishoprics; the Greek archdiocese is again mentioned in the tenth century , and existed until the twentieth century upheavals, part of the Patriarchate of Antioch.

Owing to the importance of Tarsus, many martyrs were put to death here, among them being Saint Pelagia, Saint Boniface, Saint Marinus, Saint Diomedes, Saint Quiricus and Saint Julitta.

At about the end of the tenth century, the Armenians established a diocese of their rite; Saint Nerses of Lambroun was its most distinguished representative in the twelfth century.

A cave in Tarsus is one of a number of places claiming to be the location of the legend of the Seven Sleepers, common to Christianity and Islam.
ecoli
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[1616b] Heraclius, 5 Oct 610 - 11 Jan 641 A.D.54 viewsBYZANTINE EMPIRE. Heraclius AD 610-641. AE.Follis. Ref:Sear 833; 12.91g. VF; Nicomedia mint. Obverse: Facing bust of Heracliu, holding cross in right hand. Reverse: Incial letter M, ANNO to left, II to right ( Year 2 AD 611/612), officia letter A betweem limbs of M, above cross; mint-signature NIKO in exergue . Very fine, earthern deposit in fields-not as yellow as picture suggest. Ex Pavlos S Pavlou.


De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Heraclius (October 5, 610 - February 641 A.D.)

R. Scott Moore
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Accession
The last years of Phocas' reign were troubled ones with many foreign threats, such as the Slavic incursions, and internal threats, such as violent religious conflicts and even unsuccessful rebellions. In 608, the exarch of Carthage revolted and dispatched a fleet under the command of his son, Heraclius, to Constantinople. Along the way, in Egypt, Heraclius joined forces with his cousin Nicetas who was able to capture Cyrenaica and Egypt from Phocas' general Bonosos. Heraclius' fleet continued on to Constantinople where he entered into secret negotiations with one of Phocas' top military leaders, Priscus. He was married to Phocas' daughter Domentzia. With the support of Priscus, the patriarch Sergius I, and the faction of the Greens, Heraclius was able to seize the city, have Phocas beheaded and became emperor on October 5, 610 AD.

Private Life
Heraclius, the son of the exarch of Carthage, Heraclius, and Epiphania was born around the year 575. When he was crowned as emperor in 610 AD, he married Fabia, who then took the name Eudocia. From this marriage, Heraclius had a daughter, Eudocia, and a son Heraclius Constantine, who was proclaimed as co-emperor in 613. Suffering from epilepsy, Fabia died in 612 and Heraclius married his niece Martina in 613. With Martina, Heraclius had nine children of which four died in infancy. Heraclius' marriage to Martina was never received favorably by either the people of Constantinople or the Church.

Foreign Affairs
When Heraclius first came to the throne in 610, the Byzantine Empire was being attacked from numerous sides. In the west, the Avars and Slavs were expanding into the northern Balkans. The Slavs controlled the Danube regions, Thrace, Macedonia, and were soon invading Central Greece and the Peloponnesus. In the east, meanwhile, the Persians under the rule of Chosroes had begun a series of successful attacks on the empire resulting in the loss of Damascus in 613, Jerusalem in 614 (destroying the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and capturing the Holy Cross) and Egypt in 619. Recognizing the difficulty in fighting on two opposing fronts at the same time, Heraclius signed a peace treaty with the Avars in 619, and focused on the eastern half of the empire. In the spring of 622, Heraclius left Constantinople for Asia Minor and began training his troops over the summer, focusing on a more involved role for the Byantine cavalry.

In the autumn, Heraclius' army invaded Armenia and soon won several victories over the Persians. The Avars, in the meantime, became restless and Heraclius was forced to renegotiate the peace treaty with them at a much higher tribute level. Heraclius then returned to the army and for the next several years unsuccessfully attempted to break through the Persian army and into Persia. In August of 626 while Heraclius and his army were in Lazica away from Constantinople, a Persian army attacked the city from the east while an army of Avars, Slavs, and Bulgars attacked from the west and from the sea. On August 10, the Byzantine navy was able to defeat the opposing fleet and then rout the combined Slav and Avar land force. With the defeat of their allies, the Persians retreated to Syria.

In the autumn of 627, Heraclius began to work his way into Persian territory winning an important battle in December at Nineveh during which most of the Persian army was destroyed. As Heraclius continued to move further into Persian territory, Chosroes was deposed and succeeded by his son Kavadh-Siroe whose first act was to secure a treaty with Heraclius. The treaty was very favorable to the Byzantines and returned all the former Byzantine territories to the empire. Within a few short months, Kavadh-Siroe fell ill and died after naming Heraclius as guardian of his son, Chosroes II. For all practical purposes, the Persian Empire no longer existed. In 630 Heraclius traveled to Jerusalem where he returned the Holy Cross to the city among much acclaim.

The defeat of the Persians created a larger problem for the Byzantine empire. The struggle between the Byzantines and the Persians had worn down both sides and the defeat of the Persians allowed the Arabs to quickly absorb what remained of the Persian empire. It also removed the buffer between the Arabs and the Byzantines allowing the two empires to come into contact and conflict. In 634 the Arab armies invaded Syria and defeated Theodore, the emperor's brother, in a string of battles. Heraclius raised a large army that attacked the Arabs near the Yarmuk, a tributary of the Jordan, in the fall of 636. After a successful beginning, the larger Byzantine army was defeated allowing the conquest of Syria. The Byzantine defeat also led to the Arabs quickly taking Mesopotamia, Armenia and eventually Egypt.

Internal Affairs
While Heraclius enjoyed military success, major changes occurred internally under his rule. Greek replaced Latin as the official language of the empire and Heraclius adopted the Greek title of in place of the Latin Caesar, Augustus, or Imperator. The recovery of the eastern areas of the Byzantine Empire from the Persians once again raised the problem of religious unity, centering around the understanding of the true nature of Christ. The eastern areas, particularly Armenia, Syria, and Egypt believed in monophysitism, Christ having one nature composed of both divine and human elements. The other areas of the empire followed the orthodox view expressed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 that decreed Christ had two natures united in one person. In an effort to bridge the gap between the two views and bring them back together, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Sergius, promoted the concept of monoenergism which proposed that the two natures of Christ had one energy. While this was received favorably at first, monoenergism soon had vocal opponents, among them the monk Sophronius who became patriarch of Jerusalem in 634 AD. The opposition to monoenergism led Sergius to propose a new doctrine that of monotheletism, the belief in a single will in Christ. Heraclius supported the new doctrine of Sergius and put it forth in an edict known as the Ekthesis, and posted it in the narthex of Hagia Sophia in 638. This failed to settle the controversy as it was rejected by the Orthodox, the Monophysites, and even the Church of Rome.

Succession
During the last years of Heraclius' life, it became evident that a struggle was taking place between Heraclius' son from his first marriage, Heraclius Constantine, and his second wife Martina who was trying to position her son Heraclonas in line for the throne. On the 11th of February 641, Heraclius died and in his will left the empire to both Heraclius Constantine and Heraclonas to rule jointly with Martina as Empress and mother of both.

Copyright (C) 1997, R. Scott Moore. Published: De Imperatoribu Romanis, http://www.roman-emperors.org/heraclis.htm Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

1 commentsCleisthenes
man1pano.jpg
[1663a] Byzantine Empire: Manuel I Comnenus Megas (1143-1180)---NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH---[1685a] Empire of Trebizond: Manuel I Komnenos Megas (1218-1263 AD)155 viewsManuel I Comnenus Megas (1143-1180). AE billon trachy; Sear 1964; 30mm, 3.91g.; Constantinople mint; aF. Obverse: MP-OV-The Virgin enthroned. Nimbate and wearing pallium and maphorium; Reverse: Maueil standing facing, wearing crown, holding labarum and globe surmounted by Patriachal cross. Ex SPQR.


De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

MANUEL I COMNENUS (A.D. 1143-1180)

Andrew Stone
University of Western Australia

Introduction: Sources
The reign of the emperor Manuel I Comnenus (5 April 1143- 24 September 1180) could well be regarded as a high-water mark of Byzantine civilization. It was the apogee of the so-called "Comnenian Restoration". Politically, the emperor undertook an ambitious foreign policy which has been seen by some, particularly in the light of many ultimate failures, as "misguided imperialism", recent scholarship has come to question this traditional judgment and suggests instead that the the Comnenian foreign policy was rather an energetic seizing of the different opportunities that presented themselves in the rapidly changing constellations of powers of the time. Such measures were made possible by the internal security of the empire under this, its third, Comnenian incumbent, although there were a few other aspirants to the throne, not least among them the emperor's cousin Andronicus. Manuel and other key members of the "Comnenian system", as it has been called, were patrons of rhetoric and other forms of learning and literature, and Manuel himself became keenly interested in ecclesiastical affairs, even if here his imperialistic agenda was a factor as he tried to bring Constantinopolitan theology in line with that of the west in a bid to unite the Church under his crown.

In terms of volume of contemporary material, Manuel is the most eulogised of all Byzantine emperors, and the panegyric addressed to him supplements the two major Byzantine historians of the reign, the more critical Nicetas Choniates and the laudatory John Cinnamus, as primary sources for the student of the period to study. The Crusader historian William of Tyre met Manuel personally, and such was the scope of Manuel's diplomacy that he is mentioned incidentally in western sources, such as Romuald of Salerno. Among authors of the encomia (panegyrics) we have mentioned are Theodore Prodromus and the so-called "Manganeios" Prodromus, who wrote in verse, and the prose encomiasts Michael the Rhetor, Eustathius of Thessalonica and Euthymius Malaces, to name the most important. Manuel, with his penchant for the Latins and their ways, left a legacy of Byzantine resentment against these outsiders, which was to be ruthlessly exploited by Andronicus in the end.

Manuel as sebastokrator
Manuel was born in the imperial porphyry birthchamber on 28 November 1118. He was the fourth of John II's sons, so it seemed very unlikely that he would succeed. As a youth, Manuel evidently accompanied John on campaign, for in the Anatolian expedition of 1139-41 we find Manuel rashly charging a small group of the Turkish enemy, an action for which he was castigated by his father, even though John, we are told, was inwardly impressed (mention of the incident is made in John's deathbed speech in both John Cinnamus and Nicetas Choniates). John negotiated a marriage contract for Manuel with Conrad III of Germany; he was to marry Bertha of Sulzbach. It seems to have been John's plan to carve out a client principality for Manuel from Cilicia, Cyprus and Coele Syria. In the event, it was Manuel who succeeded him.

The Securing of the Succession 1143
In the article on John II it is related how the dying John chose his youngest son Manuel to succeed him in preference to his other surviving son Isaac. Manuel was acclaimed emperor by the armies on 5 April 1143. Manuel stayed in Cilicia, where the army was stationed, for thirty days, to complete the funeral rites for his father. He sent his father's right-hand man John Axuch, however, to Constantinople to confine Isaac to the Pantokrator Monastery and to effect a donation of two hundredweight of silver coin to the clergy of the Great Church. The surviving encomium of Michael Italicus, Teacher of the Gospel, for the new emperor can be regarded as a return gift for this largesse. In the meantime the Caesar John Roger, husband of Manuel's eldest sister Maria, had been plotting to seize the throne; the plot was, however, given away by his wife before it could take effect. Manuel marched home to enter Constantinople c. July 1143. He secured the good-will of the people by commanding that every household should be granted two gold coins. Isaac the younger (Manuel's brother) and Isaac the elder (Manuel's paternal uncle), were both released from captivity and reconciled with him. Manuel chose Michael Oxeites as the new patriarch and was crowned either in August or November 1143.

Manuel confirmed John Axuch in the office of Grand Domestic, that is, commander of the army, appointed John of Poutze as procurator of public taxes, grand commissioner and inspector of accounts and John Hagiotheodorites as chancellor. John of Poutze proved to be an oppressive tax collector, but was also unsusceptible to bribery. However, this John diverted monies levied for the navy into the treasury, which would, as we shall see, further Byzantine dependence on the maritime Italian city-states of Venice, Genoa and Pisa.

Early Campaigns: 1144-1146
Manuel's first concern was to consolidate the work of his father in securing the eastern frontier. He sent a force under the brothers Andronicus and John Contostephanus against the recalcitrant Crusader prince Raymond of Antioch, which consisted of both an army and a navy, the latter commanded by Demetrius Branas. Raymond's army was routed, and the naval force inflicted no small damage on the coastal regions of the principality. In the meantime the Crusader city of Edessa fell to the Turkish atabeg Zengi. Raymond therefore travelled to Constantinople as a suppliant to Manuel. It was subsequently decided, in the light of Manuel's imperial status, that the terms under which he would marry Bertha of Sulzbach should be improved. Manuel asked for 500 knights, and Conrad happily granted them, being prepared to supply 2000 or 3000 if need be all for the sake of this alliance. Bertha took the Greek name Irene.

The Seljuk sultanate of Rum under Masud had become the ascendant Turkish power in Anatolia. Manuel himself supervised the rebuilding of the fortress of Melangeia on the Sangarius river in Bithynia (1145 or 1146). In the most daring campaign of these early years, after building the new fort of Pithecas in Bithynia, Manuel advanced as far into Turkish territory as Konya (Iconium), the Seljuk capital. He had been wounded in the foot by an arrow at a mighty battle at Philomelium (which had been Masud's headquarters), and the city had been rased; once at Konya, he allowed his troops to despoil the graves outside the city walls, before taking the road home.

Cinnamus relates that the gratutitous heroics which Manuel displayed on this campaign were calculated to impress Manuel's new bride. Manuel and his army were harried by Turks on the journey home. Manuel erected the fort of Pylae before leaving Anatolia.

[For a detailed and interesting discussion of the reign of Manuel I Comnenus please see http://www.roman-emperors.org/mannycom.htm]

Frederick Barbarossa and the "two-emperor problem"
Frederick Barbarossa, who was to become a constant menace to Manuel's designs, had succeeded his uncle Conrad III in 1152, but unlike him proved in the end unprepared to make any territorial concessions in Italy. The origins of this "cold war" between the two empires cannot be dated with any certainty, but there may have been a tendency to date it too early. One school of thought would not date the outbreak of this rivalry to any earlier than 1159-60, the death of Manuel's German wife, Bertha-Irene. About this time there was a scare at Constantinople that Frederick Barbarossa would march on Byzantium, perhaps reflecting a desire on Frederick's part to crusade (which he eventually did, in the reign of Isaac II Angelus). The new Pope, Alexander III, by, as it would seem, offering to grant Manuel the imperial crown, used it as a bargaining chip to play off the emperors of west and east against one another. Manuel may have supported Alexander during the papal schism of 1160-1177 because he was the preferred candidate of Hungary and the Crusader states, both of which he hoped would recognise him as their feudal overlord. By this means he could claim sovereign rights over the crusading movement, and thereby turn it to his advantage. The playing off of Manuel against Frederick continued right up until 1177, the Peace of Venice, whereby Frederick agreed to recognise Pope Alexander, the autonomy of Sicily and of the northern Italian communes. But this result was not a foregone conclusion in the 1160s and early 1170s, and Manuel used Byzantine gold to win supporters in Italy and thereby keep Frederick occupied.

Marriage to Maria of Antioch 1161
Bertha-Irene died in late 1159/early 1160. Manuel sought to strengthen his ties with the Crusader principalities by selecting an eastern Latin princess for his wife. The exceedingly beautiful Maria of Antioch, daughter of Raymond of Antioch, was chosen, and the nuptials celebrated at Christmas, 1161.


Dynastic considerations 1169-1172
Manuel's wife Maria of Antioch gave birth to a baby boy 14 September 1169 in the porphyry marble birthchamber, the cause of great festivities. The infant was crowned emperor in 1171. With the death of Stephen III of Hungary in 1172, Stephen's brother Béla was sent out from Constantinople to assume the throne (though without Sirmium and Dalmatia being surrendered to the Hungarian crown). A husband for Maria Porphyrogenita was therefore required. At first it was proposed that she marry William II of Sicily, who was outraged when she failed to show up at Taranto on the appointed day, the emperor having had second thoughts.


The final months 1180
Manuel took ill in the month of March 1180. During this period of terminal illness the last major religious controversies took place. We are told that Manuel directed that the anathema pronounced against the god of Muhammad be removed from the abjuration against the Islamic faith declared by converts to Christianity. Manuel was opposed by the last patriarch of his reign, Theodosius Boradiotes (1179-1183), as well as, notably, by Eustathius of Thessalonica. Both parties were satisfied in the end upon a reading of the emperor's proposed amendments to the abjuration. This controversy would seem to be a different one from the one alluded to in Eustathius' funeral oration for Manuel, since Manuel is praised by Eustathius for his stance in it, which seems to have revolved around a book written by a convert from Islam that magnified the Father at the expense of the Son (and therefore had Arian overtones). It became apparent that the emperor was dying, and, on the advice of Theodosius, he renounced astrology. As his end approached, he assumed the monastic habit and the name Matthew, demanding that his wife Maria become a nun. Manuel's son Alexius was but eleven, and the minority would prove to be disastrous for Byzantium. Manuel died thirty-seven years and nine months from the beginning of his reign.

General strategies in Manuel's foreign policy
The funeral oration for Manuel by Eustathius of Thessalonica is an interesting document in that it discusses some of the general policies pursued over Manuel's reign. It endorses his policy of dividing his enemies, the Petchenegs, the Sicilian Normans and the Turks, among themselves by using Byzantine gold, a policy of "divide and rule". We have seen how this was applied especially in Italy. Another general policy was to create friendly buffer states on the frontiers of the empire, most notably Hungary (and Serbia) and the Crusader States. Manuel would deliberately underpin the most powerful potentate in each region (the king of Hungary, the king of Jerusalem, the sultan of Konya) and thereby emphasise his own absolute sovereignty. In the funeral oration this granting of autonomy is justified as the reward for good service, as in the parable of the talents. We also see in the panegyric of the 1170s the downplaying of the idea of world rule which was so prevalent in the reign of John. Although Manuel claimed sovereign rights over many of his neighbours, his territorial claims were limited: coastal southern Italy, Dalmatia and Sirmium, coastal Egypt. The Byzantines seem to have come to terms with the reality of nation states and it is in Manuel's reign that they begin to refer to themselves not only as "Romans", but as "Hellenes", in order to demarcate themselves from the barbarians surrounding them.

Manuel's taxation, government and army
Nicetas Choniates roundly criticises Manuel in his history for increasing taxes and lavishing money on his family and retainers, particularly his Latin favourites. We have also seen how money was spent in Manuel's ambitious foreign policy. Mention is made of two towers, one at Damalis, and one next to the monastery of the Mangana, between which a chain could be stretched to block the Bosphorus. Then there was the work done at both the Great Palace and the Palace of the Blachernae, galleries, a pavilion alla Turca and numerous mosaics. He also founded a monastery at Kataskepe at the mouth of the Black Sea, which was endowed from the imperial treasury.

Choniates further criticizes the continuation and spread of the granting of pronoiai, parcels of land, the income from each of which supported a soldier. Many of these were granted to foreigners, for example, Turks captured in the Meander campaigns were settled around Thessalonica. The pronoia would pay not only for a soldier's upkeep, but his expensive equipment, for in Manuel's reign the bow and arrow and circular shield had been replaced by a heavier western-style panoply of armour, large triangular shield and lance. Choniates laments how fashionable a practice it had become in Manuel's reign to forsake the land or one's trade and become enlisted in the army.

Manuel and the "Comnenian system"
Throughout Manuel's reign, as under his father John, the top tier of the aristocracy was formed by the emperor's family, the Comneni, and the families into which they married. The extended family was, however, by now becoming unwieldy, and beginning to lose its cohesion, as the example of Manuel's cousin Andronicus shows. Under Manuel it was degree of kinship to the emperor which determined one's rank, as synodal listings show. So it was that very quickly after Manuel's death the upper tier of the aristocracy splintered into separate groups, each with its own identity and interests.

Literature
The various aristocratic courts, that of the emperor and other key members of the extended family, most notably the sebastokrator Isaac Comnenus the elder and the sebastokratorissa Irene, widow of Manuel's brother Andronicus, attracted literati who would seek to serve under them. Such figures would not only turn their hands to literature, encomia in prose or poetry, expositions on mythology, commentaries on Homer or the philosophers, historical chronicles and even, in this period, romances - the twelfth century is a high point of literary production at Constantinople, so much so that some have even talked of a "Comnenian renaissance" - but they would seek to perform more menial, such as administrative, duties to support themselves. Such men would often come from noble families whose prestige had been eclipsed by the Comnenian upper tier of the aristocracy. Serving under a lord was one way of advancing oneself, entering the Church was another.

The patriarchal church and education
The deacons of the church of St Sophia were a powerful group, the chartophylax being second only to the patriarch. These deacons would either go on to become bishops in the provinces, or possibly first hold one of the professorial chairs associated with the patriarchal church. First there were the "teachers", didaskaloi of the Gospels, Epistles and Psalter. Then there was the maistor ton rhetoron, "master of the rhetors", responsible for delivering speeches in praise of the emperor on January 6 each year and of the patriarch on the Saturday prior to Palm Sunday, as well as for other state occasions. And there was the hypatos ton philosophon, "consul of the philosophers", an office which had lapsed but was revived under Manuel.

Character and Legacy
Was Byzantium of the middle to late twelfth century living on borrowed time? Until recently this was the verdict of many scholars. Yet John II and Manuel had, if there is any kernel of truth in their encomia, at least temporarily reversed the overrunning of Anatolia by the Turks, and Manuel had won Dalmatia and Sirmium from Hungary. But Byzantine collapse was rapid, which is the reason why scholars have searched in the reigns of John and Manuel for the beginnings of the disintegration that occurred under the last Comneni and the Angeli. The history and comments of Nicetas Choniates have been adduced as vindicating this view. The victory of the military aristocracy that the establishment of the Comnenian dynasty represents has been seen as both the reason for the temporary reversal of Byzantine fortunes - government by three very capable autocrats - and of ultimate failure, because of the splintering into factions that oligarchy, such as was present in the Comnenian system, foments. A Marxist interpretation is that the feudalisation of the Byzantine Empire, the depletion of the free peasantry, that began to take place in the middle period was the reason for its ultimate failure. But to the Byzantines at the time Byzantium seemed to be holding its own; the "nations" around were being kept at bay, and even though the panegyric of renovation is less evident than in the reign of John II, the emperor remains despotes, "master" of the oikoumene, "world". Indeed, Manuel would be remembered in France, Genoa and the Crusader States as the most powerful sovereign in the world.

We have mentioned the funeral oration for Manuel by Eustathius of Thessalonica. This contains a series of vignettes of the personal aspects of Manuel. There are commonplaces: the emperor is able to endure hunger, thirst, heat and cold, lack of sleep and so on, and sweats copiously in his endeavours on the empire's part. Although these ideas have been recycled from earlier reigns, notably that of John II, the contemporary historians agree that Manuel was an indefatigable and daring warrior. However, there are more specifically individual touches in the Eustathian oration. Manuel had a manly suntan and was tall in stature. The emperor was capable of clever talk, but could also talk to others on a man-to-man basis. Eustathius makes much of the emperor's book-learning (Cinnamus claims to have discussed Aristotle with the emperor). The restoration of churches was a major concern for Manuel. He also had some expertise in medicine (he had tended Conrad III of Germany and Baldwin III of Jerusalem personally). Manuel showed temperance in eating and drinking, with a certain liking for beer as well as wine, the latter being mixed sour after the manner of ascetics. Likewise, he would not slumber long. He would generally choose walking over riding. The oration closes on the widow and orphan Manuel has left behind. The situation resulting for the Byzantine Empire at this stage, with the vacuum created by Manuel would result in no less than implosion.

Copyright (C) 2003, Andrew Stone.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
ManuelStGeorge.jpg
[1663a] Byzantine Empire: Manuel I Comnenus Megas (1143-1180)---NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH---[1685a] Empire of Trebizond: Manuel I Komnenos Megas (1218-1263 AD)131 viewsMANUEL I COMNENUS AE tetarteron. 1143-1180 AD. 19mm, 2.8g. Obverse: Bust of St. George facing, beardless, wearing nimbus, tunic, cuirass and sagion, and holding spear. Reverse: MANVHL-DECPOT, bust of Manuel facing, wearing crown and loros, holding labarum & globe-cross. Simply wonderful style, very sharp for the issue. A gorgeous late Byzantine coin! Ex Incitatus.


De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

MANUEL I COMNENUS (A.D. 1143-1180)

Andrew Stone
University of Western Australia

Introduction: Sources
The reign of the emperor Manuel I Comnenus (5 April 1143- 24 September 1180) could well be regarded as a high-water mark of Byzantine civilization. It was the apogee of the so-called "Comnenian Restoration". Politically, the emperor undertook an ambitious foreign policy which has been seen by some, particularly in the light of many ultimate failures, as "misguided imperialism", recent scholarship has come to question this traditional judgment and suggests instead that the the Comnenian foreign policy was rather an energetic seizing of the different opportunities that presented themselves in the rapidly changing constellations of powers of the time. Such measures were made possible by the internal security of the empire under this, its third, Comnenian incumbent, although there were a few other aspirants to the throne, not least among them the emperor's cousin Andronicus. Manuel and other key members of the "Comnenian system", as it has been called, were patrons of rhetoric and other forms of learning and literature, and Manuel himself became keenly interested in ecclesiastical affairs, even if here his imperialistic agenda was a factor as he tried to bring Constantinopolitan theology in line with that of the west in a bid to unite the Church under his crown.

In terms of volume of contemporary material, Manuel is the most eulogised of all Byzantine emperors, and the panegyric addressed to him supplements the two major Byzantine historians of the reign, the more critical Nicetas Choniates and the laudatory John Cinnamus, as primary sources for the student of the period to study. The Crusader historian William of Tyre met Manuel personally, and such was the scope of Manuel's diplomacy that he is mentioned incidentally in western sources, such as Romuald of Salerno. Among authors of the encomia (panegyrics) we have mentioned are Theodore Prodromus and the so-called "Manganeios" Prodromus, who wrote in verse, and the prose encomiasts Michael the Rhetor, Eustathius of Thessalonica and Euthymius Malaces, to name the most important. Manuel, with his penchant for the Latins and their ways, left a legacy of Byzantine resentment against these outsiders, which was to be ruthlessly exploited by Andronicus in the end.

Manuel as sebastokrator
Manuel was born in the imperial porphyry birthchamber on 28 November 1118. He was the fourth of John II's sons, so it seemed very unlikely that he would succeed. As a youth, Manuel evidently accompanied John on campaign, for in the Anatolian expedition of 1139-41 we find Manuel rashly charging a small group of the Turkish enemy, an action for which he was castigated by his father, even though John, we are told, was inwardly impressed (mention of the incident is made in John's deathbed speech in both John Cinnamus and Nicetas Choniates). John negotiated a marriage contract for Manuel with Conrad III of Germany; he was to marry Bertha of Sulzbach. It seems to have been John's plan to carve out a client principality for Manuel from Cilicia, Cyprus and Coele Syria. In the event, it was Manuel who succeeded him.

The Securing of the Succession 1143
In the article on John II it is related how the dying John chose his youngest son Manuel to succeed him in preference to his other surviving son Isaac. Manuel was acclaimed emperor by the armies on 5 April 1143. Manuel stayed in Cilicia, where the army was stationed, for thirty days, to complete the funeral rites for his father. He sent his father's right-hand man John Axuch, however, to Constantinople to confine Isaac to the Pantokrator Monastery and to effect a donation of two hundredweight of silver coin to the clergy of the Great Church. The surviving encomium of Michael Italicus, Teacher of the Gospel, for the new emperor can be regarded as a return gift for this largesse. In the meantime the Caesar John Roger, husband of Manuel's eldest sister Maria, had been plotting to seize the throne; the plot was, however, given away by his wife before it could take effect. Manuel marched home to enter Constantinople c. July 1143. He secured the good-will of the people by commanding that every household should be granted two gold coins. Isaac the younger (Manuel's brother) and Isaac the elder (Manuel's paternal uncle), were both released from captivity and reconciled with him. Manuel chose Michael Oxeites as the new patriarch and was crowned either in August or November 1143.

Manuel confirmed John Axuch in the office of Grand Domestic, that is, commander of the army, appointed John of Poutze as procurator of public taxes, grand commissioner and inspector of accounts and John Hagiotheodorites as chancellor. John of Poutze proved to be an oppressive tax collector, but was also unsusceptible to bribery. However, this John diverted monies levied for the navy into the treasury, which would, as we shall see, further Byzantine dependence on the maritime Italian city-states of Venice, Genoa and Pisa.

Early Campaigns: 1144-1146
Manuel's first concern was to consolidate the work of his father in securing the eastern frontier. He sent a force under the brothers Andronicus and John Contostephanus against the recalcitrant Crusader prince Raymond of Antioch, which consisted of both an army and a navy, the latter commanded by Demetrius Branas. Raymond's army was routed, and the naval force inflicted no small damage on the coastal regions of the principality. In the meantime the Crusader city of Edessa fell to the Turkish atabeg Zengi. Raymond therefore travelled to Constantinople as a suppliant to Manuel. It was subsequently decided, in the light of Manuel's imperial status, that the terms under which he would marry Bertha of Sulzbach should be improved. Manuel asked for 500 knights, and Conrad happily granted them, being prepared to supply 2000 or 3000 if need be all for the sake of this alliance. Bertha took the Greek name Irene.

The Seljuk sultanate of Rum under Masud had become the ascendant Turkish power in Anatolia. Manuel himself supervised the rebuilding of the fortress of Melangeia on the Sangarius river in Bithynia (1145 or 1146). In the most daring campaign of these early years, after building the new fort of Pithecas in Bithynia, Manuel advanced as far into Turkish territory as Konya (Iconium), the Seljuk capital. He had been wounded in the foot by an arrow at a mighty battle at Philomelium (which had been Masud's headquarters), and the city had been rased; once at Konya, he allowed his troops to despoil the graves outside the city walls, before taking the road home.

Cinnamus relates that the gratutitous heroics which Manuel displayed on this campaign were calculated to impress Manuel's new bride. Manuel and his army were harried by Turks on the journey home. Manuel erected the fort of Pylae before leaving Anatolia.

[For a detailed and interesting discussion of the reign of Manuel I Comnenus please see http://www.roman-emperors.org/mannycom.htm]

Frederick Barbarossa and the "two-emperor problem"
Frederick Barbarossa, who was to become a constant menace to Manuel's designs, had succeeded his uncle Conrad III in 1152, but unlike him proved in the end unprepared to make any territorial concessions in Italy. The origins of this "cold war" between the two empires cannot be dated with any certainty, but there may have been a tendency to date it too early. One school of thought would not date the outbreak of this rivalry to any earlier than 1159-60, the death of Manuel's German wife, Bertha-Irene. About this time there was a scare at Constantinople that Frederick Barbarossa would march on Byzantium, perhaps reflecting a desire on Frederick's part to crusade (which he eventually did, in the reign of Isaac II Angelus). The new Pope, Alexander III, by, as it would seem, offering to grant Manuel the imperial crown, used it as a bargaining chip to play off the emperors of west and east against one another. Manuel may have supported Alexander during the papal schism of 1160-1177 because he was the preferred candidate of Hungary and the Crusader states, both of which he hoped would recognise him as their feudal overlord. By this means he could claim sovereign rights over the crusading movement, and thereby turn it to his advantage. The playing off of Manuel against Frederick continued right up until 1177, the Peace of Venice, whereby Frederick agreed to recognise Pope Alexander, the autonomy of Sicily and of the northern Italian communes. But this result was not a foregone conclusion in the 1160s and early 1170s, and Manuel used Byzantine gold to win supporters in Italy and thereby keep Frederick occupied.

Marriage to Maria of Antioch 1161
Bertha-Irene died in late 1159/early 1160. Manuel sought to strengthen his ties with the Crusader principalities by selecting an eastern Latin princess for his wife. The exceedingly beautiful Maria of Antioch, daughter of Raymond of Antioch, was chosen, and the nuptials celebrated at Christmas, 1161.


Dynastic considerations 1169-1172
Manuel's wife Maria of Antioch gave birth to a baby boy 14 September 1169 in the porphyry marble birthchamber, the cause of great festivities. The infant was crowned emperor in 1171. With the death of Stephen III of Hungary in 1172, Stephen's brother Béla was sent out from Constantinople to assume the throne (though without Sirmium and Dalmatia being surrendered to the Hungarian crown). A husband for Maria Porphyrogenita was therefore required. At first it was proposed that she marry William II of Sicily, who was outraged when she failed to show up at Taranto on the appointed day, the emperor having had second thoughts.


The final months 1180
Manuel took ill in the month of March 1180. During this period of terminal illness the last major religious controversies took place. We are told that Manuel directed that the anathema pronounced against the god of Muhammad be removed from the abjuration against the Islamic faith declared by converts to Christianity. Manuel was opposed by the last patriarch of his reign, Theodosius Boradiotes (1179-1183), as well as, notably, by Eustathius of Thessalonica. Both parties were satisfied in the end upon a reading of the emperor's proposed amendments to the abjuration. This controversy would seem to be a different one from the one alluded to in Eustathius' funeral oration for Manuel, since Manuel is praised by Eustathius for his stance in it, which seems to have revolved around a book written by a convert from Islam that magnified the Father at the expense of the Son (and therefore had Arian overtones). It became apparent that the emperor was dying, and, on the advice of Theodosius, he renounced astrology. As his end approached, he assumed the monastic habit and the name Matthew, demanding that his wife Maria become a nun. Manuel's son Alexius was but eleven, and the minority would prove to be disastrous for Byzantium. Manuel died thirty-seven years and nine months from the beginning of his reign.

General strategies in Manuel's foreign policy
The funeral oration for Manuel by Eustathius of Thessalonica is an interesting document in that it discusses some of the general policies pursued over Manuel's reign. It endorses his policy of dividing his enemies, the Petchenegs, the Sicilian Normans and the Turks, among themselves by using Byzantine gold, a policy of "divide and rule". We have seen how this was applied especially in Italy. Another general policy was to create friendly buffer states on the frontiers of the empire, most notably Hungary (and Serbia) and the Crusader States. Manuel would deliberately underpin the most powerful potentate in each region (the king of Hungary, the king of Jerusalem, the sultan of Konya) and thereby emphasise his own absolute sovereignty. In the funeral oration this granting of autonomy is justified as the reward for good service, as in the parable of the talents. We also see in the panegyric of the 1170s the downplaying of the idea of world rule which was so prevalent in the reign of John. Although Manuel claimed sovereign rights over many of his neighbours, his territorial claims were limited: coastal southern Italy, Dalmatia and Sirmium, coastal Egypt. The Byzantines seem to have come to terms with the reality of nation states and it is in Manuel's reign that they begin to refer to themselves not only as "Romans", but as "Hellenes", in order to demarcate themselves from the barbarians surrounding them.

Manuel's taxation, government and army
Nicetas Choniates roundly criticises Manuel in his history for increasing taxes and lavishing money on his family and retainers, particularly his Latin favourites. We have also seen how money was spent in Manuel's ambitious foreign policy. Mention is made of two towers, one at Damalis, and one next to the monastery of the Mangana, between which a chain could be stretched to block the Bosphorus. Then there was the work done at both the Great Palace and the Palace of the Blachernae, galleries, a pavilion alla Turca and numerous mosaics. He also founded a monastery at Kataskepe at the mouth of the Black Sea, which was endowed from the imperial treasury.

Choniates further criticizes the continuation and spread of the granting of pronoiai, parcels of land, the income from each of which supported a soldier. Many of these were granted to foreigners, for example, Turks captured in the Meander campaigns were settled around Thessalonica. The pronoia would pay not only for a soldier's upkeep, but his expensive equipment, for in Manuel's reign the bow and arrow and circular shield had been replaced by a heavier western-style panoply of armour, large triangular shield and lance. Choniates laments how fashionable a practice it had become in Manuel's reign to forsake the land or one's trade and become enlisted in the army.

Manuel and the "Comnenian system"
Throughout Manuel's reign, as under his father John, the top tier of the aristocracy was formed by the emperor's family, the Comneni, and the families into which they married. The extended family was, however, by now becoming unwieldy, and beginning to lose its cohesion, as the example of Manuel's cousin Andronicus shows. Under Manuel it was degree of kinship to the emperor which determined one's rank, as synodal listings show. So it was that very quickly after Manuel's death the upper tier of the aristocracy splintered into separate groups, each with its own identity and interests.

Literature
The various aristocratic courts, that of the emperor and other key members of the extended family, most notably the sebastokrator Isaac Comnenus the elder and the sebastokratorissa Irene, widow of Manuel's brother Andronicus, attracted literati who would seek to serve under them. Such figures would not only turn their hands to literature, encomia in prose or poetry, expositions on mythology, commentaries on Homer or the philosophers, historical chronicles and even, in this period, romances - the twelfth century is a high point of literary production at Constantinople, so much so that some have even talked of a "Comnenian renaissance" - but they would seek to perform more menial, such as administrative, duties to support themselves. Such men would often come from noble families whose prestige had been eclipsed by the Comnenian upper tier of the aristocracy. Serving under a lord was one way of advancing oneself, entering the Church was another.

The patriarchal church and education
The deacons of the church of St Sophia were a powerful group, the chartophylax being second only to the patriarch. These deacons would either go on to become bishops in the provinces, or possibly first hold one of the professorial chairs associated with the patriarchal church. First there were the "teachers", didaskaloi of the Gospels, Epistles and Psalter. Then there was the maistor ton rhetoron, "master of the rhetors", responsible for delivering speeches in praise of the emperor on January 6 each year and of the patriarch on the Saturday prior to Palm Sunday, as well as for other state occasions. And there was the hypatos ton philosophon, "consul of the philosophers", an office which had lapsed but was revived under Manuel.

Character and Legacy
Was Byzantium of the middle to late twelfth century living on borrowed time? Until recently this was the verdict of many scholars. Yet John II and Manuel had, if there is any kernel of truth in their encomia, at least temporarily reversed the overrunning of Anatolia by the Turks, and Manuel had won Dalmatia and Sirmium from Hungary. But Byzantine collapse was rapid, which is the reason why scholars have searched in the reigns of John and Manuel for the beginnings of the disintegration that occurred under the last Comneni and the Angeli. The history and comments of Nicetas Choniates have been adduced as vindicating this view. The victory of the military aristocracy that the establishment of the Comnenian dynasty represents has been seen as both the reason for the temporary reversal of Byzantine fortunes - government by three very capable autocrats - and of ultimate failure, because of the splintering into factions that oligarchy, such as was present in the Comnenian system, foments. A Marxist interpretation is that the feudalisation of the Byzantine Empire, the depletion of the free peasantry, that began to take place in the middle period was the reason for its ultimate failure. But to the Byzantines at the time Byzantium seemed to be holding its own; the "nations" around were being kept at bay, and even though the panegyric of renovation is less evident than in the reign of John II, the emperor remains despotes, "master" of the oikoumene, "world". Indeed, Manuel would be remembered in France, Genoa and the Crusader States as the most powerful sovereign in the world.

We have mentioned the funeral oration for Manuel by Eustathius of Thessalonica. This contains a series of vignettes of the personal aspects of Manuel. There are commonplaces: the emperor is able to endure hunger, thirst, heat and cold, lack of sleep and so on, and sweats copiously in his endeavours on the empire's part. Although these ideas have been recycled from earlier reigns, notably that of John II, the contemporary historians agree that Manuel was an indefatigable and daring warrior. However, there are more specifically individual touches in the Eustathian oration. Manuel had a manly suntan and was tall in stature. The emperor was capable of clever talk, but could also talk to others on a man-to-man basis. Eustathius makes much of the emperor's book-learning (Cinnamus claims to have discussed Aristotle with the emperor). The restoration of churches was a major concern for Manuel. He also had some expertise in medicine (he had tended Conrad III of Germany and Baldwin III of Jerusalem personally). Manuel showed temperance in eating and drinking, with a certain liking for beer as well as wine, the latter being mixed sour after the manner of ascetics. Likewise, he would not slumber long. He would generally choose walking over riding. The oration closes on the widow and orphan Manuel has left behind. The situation resulting for the Byzantine Empire at this stage, with the vacuum created by Manuel would result in no less than implosion.

Copyright (C) 2003, Andrew Stone.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
Manuel1ComAR_Sear2601.jpg
[1685a] Empire of Trebizond: Manuel I Komnenos Megas (1218-1263 AD)313 viewsEmpire of Trebizond: Manuel I, Komnenos, Silver Asper, Sear-2601, struck 1238-1263, 2.9 grams, 21.9 mm. Nice VF; Obverse: St. Eugenius standing facing, holding a long cross; Reverse: Manuel standing facing, holding labarum and akakia, Manus Dei in upper right field. Nicely centered with technically 'mint state' surfaces, but a touch of strike unevenness and irregular toning. Ex Glenn Woods.

Manuel I Megas Komnenos (Greek: Μανουήλ Α΄ Μέγας Κομνηνός, Manouēl I Megas Komnēnos), (c. 1218 – March 1263), Emperor of Trebizond from 1238 to 1263, surnamed the "Great Captain", was the second son of Alexios I, the first emperor of Trebizond, and Theodora Axouchina. He succeeded his brother, John I Axouchos. In spite of his alleged military abilities, Trebizond became or remained a vassal to the Seljuk Turks and, after the Battle of Köse Dag in 1243, to the Mongols of Persia. Trapezuntine forces served in the battle as Seljuk tributaries. The Seljuk forces were shattered in the defeat and the Sultanate of Iconium began to decline.

In 1253, Manuel negotiated for a dynastic alliance with King Louis IX of France, by which he hoped to secure the help of the Crusaders against the Seljuks and Laskarids of Nicaea, but Louis advised him to seek a wife from the Latin Empire of Constantinople. Jean de Joinville testifies to Manuel's wealth, saying he sent Louis: "various precious things as a gift; amongst others, bows made of the wood of the service tree, whose arrow-notches screwed into the bow, and when they were released, one saw that they were very sharp and well made."

The destruction of Baghdad by Hulagu Khan in 1258 revived the trade route running north from Armenia and the upper Euphrates valley to Erzerum and then through the Zigana Pass to Trebizond. This trade route caused the beginnings of Trebizond's commercial prosperity, because goods from the Silk Road were now transported to Trebizond and the Black Sea, instead of to the Mediterranean. Although some bronze coins have been attributed to Alexios I, and silver aspers were certainly coined by John I, Manuel struck both bronze coins and a large silver currency. Trapezuntine coins circulated widely outside the empire, especially in Georgia.

Manuel rebuilt the Hagia Sophia monastery in Trebizond between 1250 and 1260. Eastmond describes Manuel's church as 'the finest surviving Byzantine imperial monument of its period.' When Michael VIII Palaiologos recaptured Constantinople from the Latin Empire in 1261 he unsuccessfully demanded that Manuel abandon his claim to the Byzantine succession.

Manuel married three times and left several children, four of whom reigned after him. By his first wife, Anna Xylaloe, a Trapezuntine noblewoman he had:
• Andronikos II, who succeeded as emperor.

By his second wife, the Iberian princess Rusudan, he had:
• Theodora

By his third wife, Irene Syrikaina, another Trapezuntine noblewoman, he had four children:
• George
• Anonymous daughter, who married King Demetre II of Georgia
• Anonymous daughter
• John II.

The Empire of Trebizond (Greek: Βασίλειον τής Τραπεζούντας) was a Byzantine Greek successor state of the Byzantine Empire founded in 1204 as a result of the capture of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade. Queen Tamar of Georgia provided troops to her nephew Alexios I, who conquered the Pontic Greek city of Trebizond, Sinope and Paphlagonia. It is often known as "the last Greek Empire."

Foundation
When Constantinople fell in the Fourth Crusade in 1204 to the Western European and Venetian Crusaders, the Empire of Trebizond was one of the three smaller Greek states that emerged from the wreckage, along with the Empire of Nicaea and the Despotate of Epirus. Alexios, a grandson of Byzantine emperor Andronikos I Komnenos, son of Rusudan daughter of George III of Georgia, made Trebizond his capital and asserted a claim to be the legitimate successor of the Byzantine Empire.

The Byzantine Emperor Andronikos I had been deposed and killed in 1185. His son Manuel was blinded and may have died of his injuries. The sources agree that Rusudan, the wife of Manuel and the mother of Alexios and David, fled Constantinople with her children, to escape persecution by Isaac II Angelos, Andronikos' successor. It is unclear whether Rusudan fled to Georgia or to the southern coast of the Black Sea where the Komnenos family had its origins. There is some evidence that the Comnenian heirs had set up a semi-independent state centred on Trebizond before 1204.

The rulers of Trebizond called themselves Grand Komnenos (Megas Komnenos) and at first claimed the traditional Byzantine title of "Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans." After reaching an agreement with the Byzantine Empire in 1282, the official title of the ruler of Trebizond was changed to "Emperor and Autocrat of the entire East, of the Iberians and the Transmarine Provinces" and remained such until the empire's end in 1461. The state is sometimes called The Komnenian Empire because the ruling dynasty descended from Alexios I Komnenos.

Trebizond initially controlled a contiguous area on the southern Black Sea coast between Soterioupolis and Sinope, comprising the modern Turkish provinces of Sinop, Ordu, Giresun, Trabzon, Bayburt, Gümüşhane, Rise and Artvin. In the thirteenth century, the empire controlled Perateia which included Cherson and Kerch on the Crimean peninsula. David Komnenos expanded rapidly to the west, occupying first Sinope, then Paphlagonia and Heraclea Pontica until his territory bordered the Empire of Nicaea founded by Theodore I Laskaris. The territories west of Sinope were lost to the Empire of Nicaea by 1206. Sinope itself fell to the Seljuks in 1214.

Prosperity
While Epirus effectively disintegrated in the 14th century, and the Nicaean Empire succeeded in retaking Constantinople and extinguishing the feeble Latin Empire, only to be conquered in 1453 by the Ottoman Empire, Trebizond managed to outlive its competitors in Epirus and Nicaea.

Trebizond was in continual conflict with the Sultanate of Iconium and later with the Ottoman Turks, as well as Byzantium, the Italian republics, and especially the Genoese. It was an empire more in title than in fact, surviving by playing its rivals against each other, and offering the daughters of its rulers for marriage with generous dowries, especially with the Turkmen rulers of interior Anatolia.

The destruction of Baghdad by Hulagu Khan in 1258 made Trebizond the western terminus of the Silk Road. The city grew to tremendous wealth on the Silk Road trade under the protection of the Mongols. Marco Polo returned to Europe by way of Trebizond in 1295. Under the rule of Alexios III (1349–1390) the city was one of the world's leading trade centres and was renowned for its great wealth and artistic accomplishment.

Climax and Civil War
The small Empire of Trebizond had been most successful in asserting itself at its very start, under the leadership of Alexios I (1204–1222) and especially his younger brother David Komnenos, who died in battle in 1214. Alexios' second son Manuel I (1238–1263) had preserved internal security and acquired the reputation of a great commander, but the empire was already losing outlying provinces to the Turkmen, and found itself forced to pay tribute to the Seljuks of Rum and then to the Mongols of Persia, a sign of things to come. The troubled reign of John II (1280–1297) included a reconciliation with the Byzantine Empire and the end of Trapezuntine claims to Constantinople. Trebizond reached its greatest wealth and influence during the long reign of Alexios II (1297–1330). Trebizond suffered a period of repeated imperial depositions and assassinations from the end of Alexios' reign until the first years of Alexios III, ending in 1355. The empire never fully recovered its internal cohesion, commercial supremacy or territory.

Decline and Fall
Manuel III (1390–1417), who succeeded his father Alexios III as emperor, allied himself with Timur, and benefited from Timur's defeat of the Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Ankara in 1402. His son Alexios IV (1417–1429) married two of his daughters to Jihan Shah, khan of the Kara Koyunlu, and to Ali Beg, khan of the Ak Koyunlu; while his eldest daughter Maria became the third wife of the Byzantine Emperor John VIII Palaiologos. Pero Tafur, who visited the city in 1437, reported that Trebizond had less than 4,000 troops.

John IV (1429–1459) could not help but see his Empire would soon share the same fate as Constantinople. The Ottoman Sultan Murad II first attempted to take the capital by sea in 1442, but high surf made the landings difficult and the attempt was repulsed. While Mehmed II was away laying siege to Belgrade in 1456, the Ottoman governor of Amasya attacked Trebizond, and although defeated, took many prisoners and extracted a heavy tribute.

John IV prepared for the eventual assault by forging alliances. He gave his daughter to the son of his brother-in-law, Uzun Hasan, khan of the Ak Koyunlu, in return for his promise to defend Trebizond. He also secured promises of help from the Turkish emirs of Sinope and Karamania, and from the king and princes of Georgia.

After John's death in 1459, his brother David came to power and misused these alliances. David intrigued with various European powers for help against the Ottomans, speaking of wild schemes that included the conquest of Jerusalem. Mehmed II eventually heard of these intrigues, and was further provoked to action by David's demand that Mehmed remit the tribute imposed on his brother.

Mehmed's response came in the summer of 1461. He led a sizeable army from Brusa, first to Sinope whose emir quickly surrendered, then south across Armenia to neutralize Uzun Hasan. Having isolated Trebizond, Mehmed quickly swept down upon it before the inhabitants knew he was coming, and placed it under siege. The city held out for a month before the emperor David surrendered on August 15, 1461.

With the fall of Trebizond, the territory of "the Last Greek Empire" was extinguished.


List of Trapezuntine Emperors

• Alexios I Megas Komnenos (1204–1222)
• Andronikos I Gidos (1222–1235)
• John I Axouchos Megas Komnenos (1235–1238)
• Manuel I Megas Komnenos (1238–1263)
• Andronikos II Megas Komnenos (1263–1266)
• George Megas Komnenos (1266–1280)
• John II Megas Komnenos (1280–1284)
• Theodora Megale Komnene (1284–1285)
• John II Megas Komnenos (restored, 1285–1297)
• Alexios II Megas Komnenos (1297–1330)
• Andronikos III Megas Komnenos (1330–1332)
• Manuel II Megas Komnenos (1332)
• Basil Megas Komnenos (1332–1340)
• Irene Palaiologina (1340–1341)
• Anna Anachoutlou Megale Komnene (1341)
• Michael Megas Komnenos (1341)
• Anna Anachoutlou Megale Komnene (restored, 1341–1342)
• John III Megas Komnenos (1342–1344)
• Michael Megas Komnenos (restored, 1344–1349)
• Alexios III Megas Komnenos (1349–1390)
• Manuel III Megas Komnenos (1390–1416)
• Alexios IV Megas Komnenos (1416–1429)
• John IV Megas Komnenos (1429–1459)
• David Megas Komnenos (1459–1461)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_I_of_Trebizond
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empire_of_Trebizond


Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
CommodusRSC190.jpg
[906a]Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 Dec 192 A.D.168 viewsCOMMODUS AR silver denarius. RSC 190. RCV 5644. 16.5mm, 2.3g. F. Obverse: L AEL AVREL COMM AVG P FEL, bust of Commodus wearing lion skin in imitation of Hercules and Alexander the Great, facing right; Reverse: HER-CVL RO-MAN AV-GV either side of club of Hercules, all in wreath. RARE. Ex Incitatus.

This coin refers to Commodus' belief that he was Hercules reincarnated. According to the historian Herodian, "he issued orders that he was to be called not Commodus, son of Marcus, but Hercules, son of Jupiter. Abandoning the Roman and imperial mode of dress, he donned the lion-skin, and carried the club of Hercules..." (Joseph Sermarini).

De Imperatoribus Romanis:
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Commodus (A.D. 180-192)

Dennis Quinn

Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus, the son of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius and his wife-cousin Faustina, was born in Lanuvium in 161 AD. Commodus was named Caesar at the age of 5, and co-Augustus at the age of 17, spending most of his early life accompanying his father on his campaigns against the Quadi and the Marcomanni along the Danubian frontier. His father died, possibly of the plague, at a military encampment at Bononia on the Danube on 17 March 180, leaving the Roman Empire to his nineteen-year-old son.[[1]] Upon hearing of his father's death, Commodus made preparations for Marcus' funeral, made concessions to the northern tribes, and made haste to return back to Rome in order to enjoy peace after nearly two decades of war. Commodus, and much of the Roman army behind him, entered the capital on 22 October, 180 in a triumphal procession, receiving a hero's welcome. Indeed, the youthful Commodus must have appeared in the parade as an icon of new, happier days to come; his arrival sparked the highest hopes in the Roman people, who believed he would rule as his father had ruled.[[2]]

The coins issued in his first year all display the triumphant general, a warrior in action who brought the spoils of victory to the citizens of Rome.[[3]] There is a great deal of evidence to support the fact that Commodus was popular among many of the people, at least for a majority of his reign. He seems to have been quite generous.[[4]]. Coin types from around 183 onward often contain the legend, Munificentia Augusta[[5]], indicating that generosity was indeed a part of his imperial program. Coins show nine occasions on which Commodus gave largesses, seven when he was sole emperor.[[6]] According to Dio, the emperor obtained some of this funding by taxing members of the senatorial class.[[7]] This policy of munificence certainly caused tensions between Commodus and the Senate. In 191 it was noted in the official Actus Urbis that the gods had given Commodus to Populus Senatusque Romanus. Normally the phrase Senatus Populusque Romanus was used. [[8]] While the Senate hated Commodus, the army and the lower classes loved him.[[9]] Because of the bad relationship between the Senate and Commodus as well as a senatorial conspiracy,[[10]] Rome "...was virtually governed by the praetorian prefects Perennis (182-185) and Cleander (186-9)."[[11]]

Commodus began to dress like the god Hercules, wearing lion skins and carrying a club.[[12]] Thus he appropriated the Antonines' traditional identification with Hercules, but even more aggressively. Commodus' complete identification with Hercules can be seen as an attempt to solidify his claim as new founder of Rome, which he now called the Colonia Lucia Annia Commodiana. This was legitimized by his direct link to Hercules, son of Father Jupiter.[[13]] He probably took the title of Hercules officially some time before mid-September 192.[[14]]

While the literary sources, especially Dio, Herodian, and the Historia Augusta, all ridicule the antics of his later career, they also give important insight into Commodus' relationship to the people.[[15]] His most important maneuver to solidify his claims as Hercules Romanus was to show himself as the god to the Roman people by taking part in spectacles in the amphitheater. Not only would Commodus fight and defeat the most skilled gladiators, he would also test his talents by encountering the most ferocious of the beasts.[[16]]

Commodus won all of his bouts against the gladiators.[[17]] The slayer of wild beasts, Hercules, was the mythical symbol of Commodus' rule, as protector of the Empire.[[18]]

During his final years he declared that his age should be called the "Golden Age."[[19]] He wanted all to revel in peace and happiness in his age of glory, praise the felicitas Commodi, the glorious libertas, his pietas, providential, his victoria and virtus aeterna.[[20]] Commodus wanted there to be no doubt that this "Golden Age" had been achieved through his munificence as Nobilissimus Princeps. He had declared a brand new day in Rome, founding it anew in 190, declaring himself the new Romulus.[[21]] Rome was now to be called Colonia Lucia Annia Commodiana, as noted above, and deemed "the Immortal," "the Fortunate," "the Universal Colony of the Earth."[[22]] Coins represent the archaic rituals of city-[re]foundation, identifying Commodus as a new founder and his age as new days.[[23]]

Also in 190 he renamed all the months to correspond exactly with his titles. From January, they run as follows: Lucius, Aelius, Aurelius, Commodus, Augustus, Herculeus, Romanus, Exsuperatorius, Amazonius, Invictus, Felix, Pius.[[24]] According to Dio Cassius, the changing of the names of the months was all part of Commodus' megalomania.[[25]] Commodus was the first and last in the Antonine dynasty to change the names of the months.


The legions were renamed Commodianae, the fleet which imported grain from Africa was called Alexandria Commodiana Togata, the Senate was deemed the Commodian Fortunate Senate, his palace and the Roman people were all given the name Commodianus.[[26]] The day that these new names were announced was also given a new title: Dies Commodianus.[[27]] Indeed, the emperor presented himself with growing vigor as the center of Roman life and the fountainhead of religion. New expressions of old religious thought and new cults previously restricted to private worship invade the highest level of imperial power.[[28]]

If Eusebius of Caesarea [[29]] is to be believed, the reign of Commodus inaugurated a period of numerous conversions to Christianity. Commodus did not pursue his father's prohibitions against the Christians, although he did not actually change their legal position. Rather, he relaxed persecutions, after minor efforts early in his reign.[[30]] Tradition credits Commodus's policy to the influence of his concubine Marcia; she was probably his favorite,[[31]] but it is not clear that she was a Christian.[[32]] More likely, Commodus preferred to neglect the sect, so that persecutions would not detract from his claims to be leading the Empire through a "Golden Age."[[33]]

During his reign several attempts were made on Commodus' life.[[34]] After a few botched efforts, an orchestrated plot was carried out early in December 192, apparently including his mistress Marcia. On 31 December an athlete named Narcissus strangled him in his bath,[[35]] and the emperor's memory was cursed. This brought an end to the Antonine Dynasty.


SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
Alföldy, G. "Der Friedesschluss des Kaisers Commodus mit den Germanen," Historia 20 (1971): 84-109.

Aymard, J. "Commode-Hercule foundateur de Rome," Revue des études latines 14 (1936): 340-64.

Birley, A. R. The African Emperor: Septimius Severus. -- rev. ed.-- London, 1988.
________. Marcus Aurelius: A Biography. London, 1987.

Breckenridge, J. D. "Roman Imperial Portraiture from Augustus to Gallienus," ANRW 2.17. 1 (1981): 477-512.

Chantraine, H. "Zur Religionspolitik des Commodus im Spiegel seiner Münzen," Römische Quartalschrift für christliche Altertumskunde und für Kirchengeschichte 70 (1975): 1-31.

Ferguson, J. The Religions of the Roman Empire. Ithaca, 1970.

Fishwick, D. The Imperial Cult in the Latin West. Leiden, 1987.

Gagé, J. "La mystique imperiale et l'épreuve des jeux. Commode-Hercule et l'anthropologie hercaléenne," ANRW 2.17.2 (1981), 663-83.

Garzetti, A. From Tiberius to the Antonines. A History of the Roman Empire A. D. 14-192. London, 1974.

Grosso F. La lotta politica al tempo di Commodo. Turin, 1964.

Hammond, M. The Antonine Monarchy. Rome, 1956.

Helgeland, J. "Roman Army Religion," ANRW II.16.2 (1978): 1470-1505.

Howe, L. L. The Praetorian Prefect from Commodus to Diocletian (A. D. 180-305). Chicago, 1942.

Keresztes, P. "A Favorable Aspect of Commodus' Rule," in Hommages à Marcel Renard 2. Bruxelles, 1969.

Mattingly, R. The Roman Imperial Coinage. Volume III: Antoninus Pius to Commodus. London, 1930.

Nock, A. D. "The Emperor's Divine Comes," Journal of Roman Studies 37 (1947): 102-116.

Parker, H. M. D. A History of the Roman World from A. D. 138 to 337. London, 1935.
________. and B.H. Warmington. "Commodus." OCD2, col. 276.

Raubitschek, A. E. "Commodus and Athens." Studies in Honor of Theodore Leslie Shear. Hesperia, Supp. 8, 1948.

Rostovtzeff, M. I. "Commodus-Hercules in Britain," Journal of Roman Studies 13 (1923): 91-105.

Sordi, M. "Un senatore cristano dell'éta di Commodo." Epigraphica 17 (1959): 104-112.

Speidel, M. P. "Commodus the God-Emperor and the Army," Journal of Roman Studies 83 (1993): 109-114.

Stanton, G. R. "Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus, and Commodus: 1962-1972." ANRW II.2 (1975): 478-549.

Notes
[[1]] For a discussion of the circumstances surrounding the death of Marcus Aurelius, see A. R. Birley, Marcus Aurelius: A Biography -- rev. ed. -- (London, 1987), 210.
Aurelius Victor, De Caes. 16.4, writing around the year 360, claimed Aurelius died at Vindobona, modern Vienna. However, Tertullian, Apol. 25, who wrote some seventeen years after Marcus' death, fixed his place of death at Sirmium, twenty miles south of Bononia. A. R. Birley (Marcus Aurelius, 209-10) cogently argues Tertullian is much more accurate in his general description of where Marcus was campaigning during his last days.
For the dating of Marcus Aurelius' death and the accession of Commodus, see M. Hammond, The Antonine Monarchy (Rome, 1956), 179-80.

[[2]] For the army's attitude toward peace, the attitude of the city toward the peace, and the reception of the emperor and his forces into Rome, see Herodian, 1.7.1-4; for Commodus' subsequent political policies concerning the northern tribes, see G. Alföldy, "Der Friedesschluss des Kaisers Commodus mit den Germanen," Historia 20 (1971): 84-109.
For a commentary on the early years of Commodus in the public perception as days of optimism, see A. Garzetti, From Tiberius to the Antonines. A History of the Roman Empire A. D. 14-192 (London, 1974), 530. For a more critical, and much more negative portrayal, see the first chapter of F. Grosso, La lotta politica al tempo di Commodo (Turin, 1964).

[[3]]The gods Minerva and Jupiter Victor are invoked on the currency as harbingers of victory; Jupiter Conservator on his coins watches over Commodus and his Empire, and thanks is given to divine Providence (H. Mattingly, The Roman Imperial Coinage. Volume III: Antoninus Pius to Commodus, [London, 1930] 356-7, 366-7). In 181, new coin types appear defining the new reign of Commodus. Victory and peace are stressed. Coins extol Securitas Publica, Felicitas, Libertas, Annona, and Aequitas (ibid., 357).
By 186 Commodus is depicted as the victorious princes, the most noble of all born to the purple. Herodian (1.5.5) describes how Commodus boasted to his soldiers that he was born to be emperor. See also H. Chantraine, "Zur Religionspolitik des Commodus im Spiegel seiner Münzen," Römische Quatralschrift für christliche Altertumskunde und für Kirchengeschichte 70 (1975), 26. He is called Triumphator and Rector Orbis, and associated with the Nobilitas of Trojan descent (Mattingly, RIC III.359; idem, Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum. Volume IV: Antoninus Pius to Commodus, [Oxford, 1940], clxii).

[[4]] Dio tells us that Commodus liked giving gifts and often gave members of the populace 140 denarii apiece (Cass. Dio, 73.16), whereas the Historia Augusta reports that he gave each man 725 denarii (SHA, Comm., 16.3).

[[5]]Mattingly, RIC, III.358.

[[6]] Idem., CBM, IV.clxxiv.

[[7]]Cass. Dio, 73.16.

[[8]]M. P. Speidel, "Commodus the God-Emperor and the Army," Journal of Roman Studies 83 (1993), 113.

[[9]]Mattingly, CBM, IV.xii. Commodus was also popular amongst the northern divisions of the army because he allowed them to wield axes in battle, a practice banned by all preceding emperors. See, Speidel, JRS 83 (1993), 114.

[[10]]Infra, n. 34.

[[11]] H. Parker and B.H. Warmington, OCD2, s.v. "Commodus," col. 276; after 189, he was influenced by his mistress Marcia, Eclectus his chamberlain, and Laetus (who became praetorian prefect in 191 (Idem.).

[[12]]Herodian, 1.14.8. Hadrian appears on medallions in lion skins; but as far as the sources tell us, he never appeared in public in them. See J. Toynbee, Roman Medallions,(New York, 1986), 208.
He would often appear at public festivals and shows dressed in purple robes embroidered with gold. He would wear a crown made of gold, inlaid with the finest gems of India. He often carried a herald's staff as if imitating the god Mercury. According to Dio Cassius, Commodus' lion's skin and club were carried before him in the procession, and at the theaters these vestiges of Hercules were placed on a gilded chair for all to see (Cass. Dio, 73.17). For the implications of the golden chair carried in procession in relation to the imperial cult, see D. Fishwick, The Imperial Cult in the Latin West, (Leiden, 1987-91 ), 555.

[[13]] H. M. D. Parker, A History of the Roman World from A. D. 138 to 337, (London, 1935), 34; For medallions that express the relationship between Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, and Lucius Verus extolling Hercules as a symbol of civic virtue, see Toynbee, Roman Medallions, 208. For a general statement on the symbolism of Hercules in the Antonine age, see M. Hammond, The Antonine Monarchy, 238.
For a discussion of Commodus' association with Hercules, see
Rostovtzeff, "Commodus-Hercules," 104-6.
Herodian spells out the emperor's metamorphosis in detail (1.14.8).

[[14]]See Speidel, "Commodus the God-Emperor," 114. He argues this general date because a papyrus from Egypt's Fayum records Hercules in Commodus' title on 11 October 192.

[[15]]For a preliminary example, Herodian writes (1.13.8), "people in general responded well to him."

[[16]]As Dio reports, Commodus, with his own hands, gave the finishing stroke to five hippopotami at one time. Commodus also killed two elephants, several rhinoceroses, and a giraffe with the greatest of ease. (Cass. Dio, 73.10), and with his left hand (ibid., 73.19). Herodian maintains that from his specially constructed terrace which encircled the arena (enabling Commodus to avoid risking his life by fighting these animals at close quarters), the emperor also killed deer, roebuck, various horned animals, lions, and leopards, always killing them painlessly with a single blow. He purportedly killed one hundred leopards with one hundred javelins, and he cleanly shot the heads off countless ostriches with crescent-headed arrows. The crowd cheered as these headless birds continued to run around the amphitheater (1.15-4-6; for Commodus' popularity at these brutal spectacles, see Birley, The African Emperor, 86) (and Dio tells his readers that in public Commodus was less brutal than he was in private [73.17ff]).

[[17]] According to Herodian (1.15-17), "In his gladiatorial combats, he defeated his opponents with ease, and he did no more than wound them, since they all submitted to him, but only because they knew he was the emperor, not because he was truly a gladiator."

[[18]]Webber, "The Antonines," CAH, XI.360.

[[19]]Cass. Dio, 73.15.

[[20]] Mattingly, RIC, III.361. For Commodus' propaganda of peace, see W. Webber, "The Antonines," CAH, XI.392.

[[21]] W. Webber, "The Antonines," CAH, XI.392-3. In 189 a coin type was issued with the legend Romulus Conditor, perhaps indicating he began the official renaming process during that year. For a discussion on Commodus as Romulus, see A. D. Nock, "The Emperor's Divine Comes," Journal of Roman Studies 37 (1947), 103.

[[22]] HA, Comm. 7.1; Cass. Dio, 73.15.

[[23]]Mattingly, RIC, III.361. See also, Webber, "The Antonines," CAH, XI.386.

[[24]]The title Felix is first used by the emperor Commodus, and is used in the titles of almost all successive emperors to the fifth century. See, D. Fishwick, The Imperial Cult in the Latin West (Leiden, 1987-91), 473.
HA, Comm., 12.315; Cass. Dio, 73.15; Herodian, I.14.9. These new names for the months seem to have actually been used, at least by the army, as confirmed by Tittianus' Altar. See M. P. Speidel, "Commodus the God-Emperor and the Army," Journal of Roman Studies 83 (1993), 112.

[[25]] Cass. Dio, 73.15.

[[26]]Legions:Idem.; the Grain fleet: SHA, Comm., 12.7. For a further discussion of Commodus' newly named fleet, see, A. Garzetti, From Tiberius to the Antonines, 547. For coins issued extolling the fleet, see Mattingly, CBM, IV.clxix; RIC, III.359; the Senate: Cass. Dio, 73.15; the Imperial Palace: SHA, Comm., 12.7; the Roman People: Ibid., 15.5.

[[27]]Cass. Dio, 73.15.

[[28]]Mattingly, CBM, IV.clxxxiv.

[[29]]Eusebius, Hist.Ecc., 5.21.1.

[[30]]For a discussion of the treatment of Christianity during the reigns of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus as well as persecutions during the reign of Commodus, see Keresztes, "A Favorable Aspect," 374, 376-377.

[[31]]Herodian, 1.16.4; Dio, 73.4. A Medallion from early 192 shows Commodus juxtaposed with the goddess Roma, which some scholars have argued incorporates the features of Marcia. See, Roman Medallions, "Introduction." Commodus was married, however, to a woman named Crispina. He commissioned several coins early in his rule to honor her.

[[32]]The Christian apologist Hippolytus tells that she was a Christian (Philos. 9.2.12), Dio tells that she simply favored the Christians (73.4). Herodian does not take a stand on the matter either way (1.16.4).

[[33]]Cass. Dio, 73.15. He pronounces Commodus' edict that his rule should be henceforth called the "Golden Age."

[[34]]H. Parker and B.H. Warmington note that Commodus..."resorted to government by means of favorites...which was exacerbated by an abortive conspiracy promoted by Lucilla and Ummidius Quadratus (182)." (OCD2, col. 276).

[[35]]Herodian, 1.17.2-11; Dio Cass., 73.22; SHA, Comm.,17.1-2.

Copyright (C) 1998, Dennis Quinn. This file may be copied on the condition that the entire contents, including the header and this copyright notice, remain intact. Used by Permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.


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