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Byzantine Empire, Revolt of the Heraclii, 608 - 5 Oct 610 A.D.
Heraclius the Elder, possibly of Armenian origin, was a Byzantine general and the father of Byzantine emperor Heraclius. He distinguished himself in the war against the Sassanid Persians in the 580s, was a subordinate general under Philippicus during the Battle of Solachon, and possibly served under Comentiolus during the Battle of Sisarbanon. About 595, Heraclius the Elder is mentioned as a magister militum per Armeniam sent by Emperor Maurice to quell an Armenian rebellion led by Samuel Vahewuni and Atat Khorkhoruni. About 600, he was appointed as the Exarch of Africa and in 608, Heraclius the Elder rebelled with his son against the usurper Phocas. Using North Africa as a base, the younger Heraclius managed to overthrow Phocas, beginning the Heraclian dynasty, which would rule Byzantium for a century. Heraclius the Elder died soon after receiving news of his son's accession to the Byzantine throne. BZ86357. Bronze follis, DOC II 16, Morrisson BnF 9/Ax/AE/02, Hahn MIBEC 16a, Grierson 164, Tolstoi 279, SBCV 722, Sommer -, Ratto -, aF, uneven strike, a little off center, scratches, overstruck, edge cracks, weight 5.587 g, maximum diameter 29.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Alexandria or Alexandretta mint, Sep - Oct 610 A.D.; obverse dm N ERACLIO CONSULII, facing busts of Heraclius and his father, both bearded, bareheaded and wearing consular robes, cross above center; reverse Large M (40 nummi), cross above, ANNO left, X/IIII (year 14) on right, A (1st officina) below, AΛEZAN∆ in exergue; rare; $280.00 (€246.40)
Byzantine Empire, Manuel II Palaeologus, 25 September 1373 - 1423 A.D.
Manuel's half stavrata with this reverse legend (which translates: "Manuel who is faithful to Christ the Lord") comprise the "Pistos" (Faithful) series. The "Pistos" series, numbers about half the quantity of half stavrata of the "Imperial" series, with the normal basileus legend (which translates: "King Manuel Palaeologus"). In A Private Collection of Palaeologan Coins, Simon Bendall asserts, "Evidence suggests there were two mints in Constantinople -- the imperial mint producing coinage for the emperor's needs and a public mint where the members of the public could bring in bullion or plate to be turned into money. The "Pistos" coins were probably the production of this public mint at Constantinople." BZ89546. Silver half stavraton (Pistos series), quarter hyperpyron, sigla 71; DOC V 1480 (same dies); Bendall PCPC 343.5 (same dies); B-D LPC p. 160, 2; Grierson 1518; Sommer 88.3; SBCV 2552, gVF, toned, uneven strike, typical tight flan, weight 3.427 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 180o, Public Mint, Constantinople mint, c. 1405 - 1415; obverse bust of Christ facing, cross nimbus, tunic and himation, right raised in benediction, Gospels in left, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) divided across field, no sigla, double border with pellets between; reverse I MAVOHΛ E XO TO ΘEV ΠHCTOC BA (Manuel who is faithful to Christ the Lord, blundered, incomplete cross at start), bust of John VII facing, bearded, nimbate, crown with pendilia, pellet in both left and right fields (sigla); from the Robert Wachter Collection; rare; $225.00 (€198.00)
Empire of Trebizond, Manuel I Comnenus, 1238 - 1263 A.D.
Manuel I Megas Komnenos (died March 1263) was an Emperor of Trebizond, from 1238 until his death. At the time Manuel reigned, the Empire of Trebizond comprised a band of territory stretching along the southern coast of the Black Sea. Although Michael Panaretos, a 14th-century Greek chronicler, calls Manuel "the greatest general and the most fortunate" and states he ruled "virtuously in the eyes of God", the only event he documents for Manuel's reign is a catastrophic fire striking the city of Trebizond in January 1253. The major events of his reign are known from external sources, most important of which is the recovery of Sinope in 1254, which had been lost to the Sultanate of Rum forty years before. BZ89548. Silver asper, Sommer T3.20 (same dies), Retowski 217 (same dies), SBCV 2602, aEF, crude style usual for the type, toned, uneven strike, die wear, weight 2.807 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 180o, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, 1238 - 1263 A.D.; obverse A (with circle) /EV/Γ - O / TPA/ΠC/TI/d (C blundered), Saint Eugenius standing facing, long cross in right hand; reverse MH/N/HΛ/o - K/MH/N (MH's ligate), Manuel standing facing, labarum in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, Manus Dei (hand of God) upper right; nicer than the referenced two plate coins, which are from the same dies; very rare; $280.00 (€246.40)
Salonina, Augusta 254 - c. September 268 A.D.
Andreas Alfoldi in "The Numbering of The Victories of the Emperor Gallienus and of the Loyalty of His Legions," suggests this type was struck c. 265 - 266 A.D. to commemorate the birth of a third son to Salonina and Gallienus, named Marinianus after his grandmother. Alfoldi also writes that he is convinced that the third son of Gallienus was the Marinianus made consul ordinarius in 268 A.D. RA89479. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 579aa, RSC IV 39, Hunter IV 15, RIC V-1 S5, SRCV III 10633, Choice aVF, well centered, dark patina with earthen highlighting, centers a little weakly struck, scratches, weight 2.824 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 264 - 265 A.D.; obverse SALONINA AVG, draped bust right, wearing stephane, hair in ridges and in plait looped below ear up the back of head, thin crescent behind shoulders; reverse FECVNDITAS AVG, Fecunditas (Fertility) standing left, reaching down to child at her feet with right, cornucopia in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 73, part of lot 970; $70.00 (€61.60)
Kingdom of Persis, Nambed (Namopat), 1st Century A.D.
Persis was located in what is now southern Iran. "Persians" settled the area as early as the 8th century B.C. From the time after its conquest by Alexander the Great, Persis was most often quasi-independent, under the hegemony of a Seleukid or Parthian king. Immediately following Alexander's death, Persis was subject to the Seleucid Kingdom. About 290 B.C., Persis regained independence. The coins produced during this period were Greek-inspired, but inscriptions were Aramaic, symbolic of Persis' rejection of the Greek ruling class. Sometime between c. 250 and 223 B.C., the Seleucids regained control. Mithradates II later incorporated Persis as a sub-kingdom of Parthia. Under Parthian domination, the coins and appearance of the kings depicted on them assumed the Parthian style. The last King of Persis, Artaxerxes, defeated the Parthians and founded the Sassanian Empire. GS89568. Silver hemidrachm, cf. Alram IP 601; Sunrise 625; BMC Arabia p. 226, 6; Tyler-Smith -, VF, toned, a little rough, weight 1.119 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 180o, Persepolis (Fars Province, Iran) mint, 1st century A.D.; obverse bearded bust left, wearing Persepolitan crown with stepped battlements, diadem, torque and robe; reverse king standing right, holding scepter, before him, star and crescent with horns left, blundered inscription around; ex Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher); $60.00 (€52.80)
Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.
To the ancient Romans, Rome was "Roma Aeterna" (The Eternal City) and "Caput Mundi" (Capital of the World). During the Early Middle Ages, the population fell to a mere 20,000, reducing the sprawling city to groups of inhabited buildings interspersed among large areas of ruins and vegetation. The empire is history but Rome is still today, the Eternal City. Rome's influence on Western Civilization can hardly be overestimated; perhaps a greater influence than any other city on earth, making important contributions to politics, literature, culture, the arts, architecture, music, religion, education, fashion, cinema and cuisine. RA89640. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1613b2, RIC V-1 654, SRCV III 10343 var. (obverse legend, star position), Hunter IV - (p. lxix), Choice VF, full boarders on a broad flan, white metal, weak centers, light marks, tiny encrustations, weight 3.716 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 264 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS P F AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right seen from front; reverse ROMAE AETERNAE (to eternal Rome), Roma seated left, grounded shield at near side, Victory in right hand, vertical spear in left hand; ex Beast Coins, ex Dan Hoffman Gallienus Collection; $45.00 (€39.60)
Iberian Celts, Hacksilver, c. 300 - 150 B.C.
Hacksilver or hacksilber, are fragments of cut and bent silver items treated as bullion, either for ease of carrying before melting down for re-use, or simply used as currency by weight. It was common in trade until the first century B.C. and again in the middle ages with the Vikings. CE88154. Hacksilver fragment, cf. Kim and Kroll 59; Van Alfen Hacksilber 53 ff., Garcia-Bellido 393, cut on four sides, perhaps from a disk ingot; 2.585g, 14.0mm, $60.00 (€52.80)
On 1 March 317, Constantine the Great and co-emperor Licinius elevated their sons Crispus, Constantine II (still an baby) and Licinius II to Caesars. After this arrangement, Constantine ruled the dioceses Pannonia and Macedonia, and established his residence at Sirmium, from where he prepared a campaign against the Goths and Sarmatians. RL88065. Billon reduced follis, RIC VII Arles 129 (R2), Hunter V 29, SRCV IV 16713, Cohen VII 99; only issued by the 4th officina, VF, dark patina, tight flan, stuck with worn/damaged dies, weight 2.782 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Arelatum (Arles, France) mint, 1 Mar 317 - 318 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse PRINCIPIA IVVENTVTIS (in honor of the Prince of Youth), Mars advancing right, nude but for helmet, boots and chlamys on shoulders and flying behind, transverse spear in right, round shield on left arm, R S at sides, QARL in exergue; scarce; $45.00 (€39.60)
Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D.
Jupiter or Jove, Zeus to the Greeks, was the king of the gods and god of the sky and thunder, and of laws and social order. As the patron deity of ancient Rome, he was the chief god of the Capitoline Triad, with his sister and wife Juno. The father of Mars, he is, therefore, the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. Emperors frequently made vows to Jupiter for protection. The Roman's believed as the king of the gods, Jupiter favored emperors and kings, those in positions of authority similar to his own. RA89647. Billon antoninianus, Göbl MIR 1668i, Hunter IV S199 corr. (draped only), RIC V-1 S608 corr. (draped or cuirassed), RSC IV 362 corr. (cuirassed only), SRCV III 10240, Choice VF, excellent centering, dark patina, traces of silvering, light earthen deposits, weight 3.062 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 267 A.D.; obverse GALLIENVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse IOVI CONSERVAT (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing left, globe in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, PXV (=TR P XV) in exergue; ex Beast Coins, ex Dan Hoffman Gallienus Collection; $40.00 (€35.20)
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