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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Comnen Dynasty| ▸ |John II||View Options:  |  |  |   

John II Comnenus, 15 August 1118 - 8 April 1143 A.D.

John II was the oldest son of Alexius I and succeeded to the throne in 1118. He was a good and capable ruler and did much to further the Byzantine Empire. He recaptured lost territory and added territory to the Empire. He attempted to curtail the trading privileges given to the Venetians but was forced to give up this idea. His reign was brought to an early end when he died in a hunting accident. His youngest son, Manuel I, succeeded him.Europe 1135 AD


Byzantine Empire, Theme of Chaldia (Trebizond), Duke Constantine Gabras, c. 1126 - 1140 A.D.

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Constantine Gabras (or Gavras) was the governor or doux (duke) of the Byzantine province of Chaldia, centered on the Black Sea port of Trebizond and its mountainous hinterland, the Pontic Alps, in northeast Anatolia, now part of Turkey. Gabras rebelled against the Byzantine emperor John II Komnenos and ruled Chaldia as a semi-independent prince between 1126 and 1140. Following the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire by the Fourth Crusade in 1204, the region became the center of the new Empire of Trebizond which survived until falling to the Ottomans in 1461.
BZ76967. Bronze follis, S. Bendall, "The mint of Trebizond under Alexius I and the Gabrades," NC 1977, Appendix, pl. 7, 27; DOC 4.1; SBCV -, VF, dark green patina, typical uneven strike, clipped flan, and generally crude manufacture, weight 1.362 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, c. 1126 - 1140 A.D.; obverse cross pattée within circular border; reverse cross pattée within circular border; rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, John II Comnenus, 15 August 1118 - 8 April 1143 A.D.

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In 1122, John II Komnenos defeated the Pechenegs in the Battle of Beroia (in modern Bulgaria). The Pechenegs later fought as mercenaries for the Manuel I Komnenos in southern Italy against the Norman king of Sicily, William the Bad. A group was also present at the battle of Andria in 1155. For some time, significant communities of Pechenegs still remained in the Kingdom of Hungary. With time the Balkan Pechenegs lost their national identity and were fully assimilated, mostly with Magyars and Bulgarians.
BZ83484. Bronze half tetarteron, DOC IV-1 16b; Hendin pl 11, 13; Morrisson BnF 60/Th/AE/08; Wroth BMC 67; Ratto 2108; SBCV 1954, VF, green patina, obverse slightly off center, weight 1.986 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, c. 1137 - 1143 A.D.; obverse Christ standing facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, holding Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iisoús Xristós - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse + Iω ∆ECΠOT, bust of John facing, wearing crown and jeweled chlamys, labarum in right, globus cruciger in left; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Alexius I and John II, Autumn 1092 - 15 August 1118 A.D., John II Coronation Issue

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Issued for celebrations throughout the Empire to honor the coronation of John II as co-emperor in 1092. This scarce type and two rare types issued for the coronation, are traditionally identified as the earliest tetarteron. They may actually be sphragidia that were distributed only to a select group of people who participated in the celebrations, or for charitable purposes.
BZ53323. Lead tetarteron, DOC IV part 1, 42.2 ff.; Grierson 1046 (Constantinople, half tetarteron), SBCV -, aF, weight 3.474 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain mint, c. 1092 - 1093 A.D.; obverse IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ), bust of Christ facing, nimbate, bearded, wearing tunic and colobium, open Gospels in left; reverse AΛCE ∆EC, bust of Alexius facing, wearing stemma, divitision, and jeweled loros, cruciform scepter in right, globus cruciger in left; scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Alexius I, Irene and John II, Autumn 1092 - 15 August 1118 A.D., John II Coronation Issue

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Issued for celebrations throughout the Empire to honor the coronation of John II as co-emperor in 1092. This very rare type and two other types also issued for the coronation, are traditionally identified as the earliest tetarteron. They may actually be sphragidia that were distributed only to a select group of people who participated in the celebrations, or for charitable purposes.
BZ53331. Lead tetarteron, DOC IV-1 32; Grierson 1033; SBCV -, aF, weight 3.799 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, John II coronation issue, autumn 1092; obverse IΩ∆ECΠOT, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) in fields above, half-length figures of Christ (on left) and John II holding labarum between them, Christ is bearded and wears tunic and kolobion, John wears stemma, divitision, collar-piece and jeweled loros; reverse ΛΛEZIΩ EIPHNH, half-length figures of Alexis (on left) and Irene, holding long cross between them, both wear stemma, divitision, collar-piece and jeweled loros; very rare; SOLD


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This coin has a scarcer reverse legend variation ending in ΠOPΦYPOΓENIT, vice the normal ΠOPΦYPOΓNT. It also appears to be restruck on a reverse brockage of the same type. An incuse of part of the reverse legend is visible on the left side of the obverse.
BZ67761. Bronze tetarteron, Wroth BMC 64 (same rev. leg.); Morrisson BnF 60/Cp/AE/10 (same); DOC IV-1 12b var. (leg. var.); SBCV 1945 var. (same); Sommer 60.8 var. (same), VF, restruck on a reverse brockage, full reverse legend, weight 2.792 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 1137 - 1143 A.D.; obverse Christ standing facing on footstool, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in left, to left IC, to right XC; reverse IΩ ∆ECΠOT TΩ ΠOPΦYPOΓENIT (sic), John standing facing, wearing crown and jeweled chlamys, cruciform scepter in right, globus cruciger in left; rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, John II Comnenus, 15 August 1118 - 8 April 1143 A.D.

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John II was the oldest son of Alexius I and succeeded to the throne in 1118. He was a good and capable ruler, and did much to further the Byzantine Empire. He recaptured lost territory and added territory to the Empire. He attempted to curtail the trading privileges given to the Venetians but was forced to give up this idea. His reign was brought to an early end when he died in a hunting accident. His youngest son, Manuel I, succeeded him.
BZ91209. Bronze tetarteron, cf. DOC IV-1 12; Wroth BMC p. 564, 62; Morrisson BnF 60/Cp/AE/1; Ratto 2099; SBCV 1945; Sommer 60.8, VF, dark blue-green patina, scratches, some light porosity, weight 4.352 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse Christ standing facing on footstool, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in left hand, to left IC, to right XC; reverse IW DECΠOTH TW ΠOPΦVPOΓNIT (or similar), John standing facing, wearing crown and jeweled chlamys, cruciform scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand; ex CNG e-auction 395 (12 Apr 2017), lot 389; scarce; SOLD


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St. Demetrius, the son of a Roman proconsul in Thessalonica, was captured preaching and imprisoned. His fellow Christian prisoner, Nestoras, a small man condemned to die in the arena, killed the emperor's favored gladiator. Nestoras was beheaded on the spot. Learning that Nestoras had been inspired by Demetrius' blessing, Maximian had Demetrius executed by spears on 26 Oct 306 A.D. After the growth of his veneration as saint, Thessalonica suffered repeated attacks and sieges from the Slavic peoples who moved into the Balkans. Demetrius was credited with many miraculous interventions to defend the city. Hence later traditions Demetrius regard him as a soldier in the Roman army, and he came to be regarded as an important military martyr. Unsurprisingly, he was extremely popular in the Middle Ages, and along with Saint George, was the patron of the Crusades.
BZ62305. Bronze half tetarteron, DOC IV-1 17; Morrisson BnF 60/Th/AE/10; Hendy p. 11, 15 - 17; Sommer 60.16; SBCV 1955; Ratto -; Wroth BMC -, aVF, uneven strike, weight 2.028 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, c. 1118 - 1122; obverse Θ / ∆I/MI-T/PI, nimbate bust of St. Demetrius facing in military attire, sword in right hand, shield in left hand; reverse IW - ∆CC, facing bust of John II, wearing crown and loros, labarum in right, globus cruciger in left; rare; SOLD


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This white metal coin is very unusual for the billon of the period. Dumbarton Oaks notes John's billon was about 10% silver at the beginning of his reign and was reduced to around 6%.
BZ10984. Billon aspron trachy, Morrison BnF 60/Th/B/1; Wroth BMC 60; Hendy p. 11, 3; Ratto 2099; Sommer 601.3; SBCV 1952, VF, white metal, clipped, weight 2.524 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, obverse MP - ΘV, the Virgin Mary enthroned facing, nimbate, wearing tunic and maphorium, holding before her the nimbate head of the infant Christ; reverse emperor stands facing wearing crown, divitision and loros, labarum in right, akakia in left; rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Alexius I and John II, Autumn 1092 - 15 August 1118 A.D., John II Coronation Issue

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Issued for celebrations throughout the Empire to honor the coronation of John II as co-emperor in 1092. This scarce type and two rare types issued for the coronation, are traditionally identified as the earliest tetarteron. They may actually be sphragidia that were distributed only to a select group of people who participated in the celebrations, or for charitable purposes.
BZ53332. Lead tetarteron, DOC IV-1 42.2 ff.; Grierson 1046 (Constantinople, half tetarteron), SBCV -, aF, weight 4.317 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain mint, c. 1092 - 1093 A.D.; obverse IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ), bust of Christ facing, nimbate, bearded, wearing tunic and colobium, open Gospels in left; reverse AΛCE ∆EC, bust of Alexius facing, wearing stemma, divitision, and jeweled loros, cruciform scepter in right, globus cruciger in left; ex Alex G. Malloy; scarce; SOLD


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BZ09111. Bronze tetarteron, DOC IV-1 14a; Ratto 2109; Wroth BMC 67; Morrisson BnF 60/Th/AE/01; Hendy pl.11, 11; SBCV 1953; Sommer 60.14, aVF, weight 4.06 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, obverse bust of Christ facing wears nimbus cruciger, pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand, IC - XC; reverse + Iω ∆ECΠOT, bust of John II facing, wears crown and jeweled chlamys, jeweled scepter in right, globus cruciger in l.; face of Christ unstruck, nice patina; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Bellinger, A. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection, Vol. IV, Part 1: Alexius I to Alexius V (1081-1204). (Washington D.C., 1966).
Berk, H. Roman Gold Coins of the Medieval World, 383 - 1453 A.D. (Joliet, IL, 1986).
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins. (London, 1982).
Hendy, M. Coinage and Money in the Byzantine Empire 1081-1261. (Washington D.C., 1969).
Marchev, V. & R. Wachter. Catalogue of the Late Byzantine Coins, Vol. I, 1082 - 1261 AD. (Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, 2011).
Morrisson, C. Catalogue des Monnaies Byzantines de la Bibliothèque Nationale II, 711 - 1204. (Paris, 1970).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines à l'époque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
Sabatier, J. Description générale des monnaies Byzantines. (Paris, 1863).
Sear, D. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sommer, A. Die Münzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Münzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 1914).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).

Catalog current as of Sunday, August 18, 2019.
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Byzantine Coins of John II