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Home > Catalog > |Byzantine Coins| > |Comnen Dynasty| > |Michael VII| > BZ86360
Byzantine Empire, Michael VII Ducas, 24 October 1071 - 24 March 1078 A.D.
Anna Komnene, in her medieval biographical text Alexiad, describes the beautiful Georgian princess Maria of Alania: "...he had told Botaniates a great deal about her family and personal beauty, and often praised her to him. And certainly she was as slender of stature as a cypress, her skin was white as snow, and though her face was not a perfect round, yet her complexion was exactly like a spring flower or a rose. And what mortal could describe the radiance of her eyes? Her eyebrows were well-marked and red-gold, while her eyes were blue. Full many a painter's hand has successfully imitated the colors of the various flowers the seasons bring, but this queen's beauty, the radiance of her grace and the charm and sweetness of her manners surpassed all description and all art. Never did Apelles or Pheidias or any of the sculptors produce a statue so beautiful. The Gorgon's head was said to turn those who looked upon it into stone, but anyone who saw the Queen walking or met her unexpectedly, would have gaped and remained rooted to the spot, speechless, as if apparently robbed of his mind and wits. There was such harmony of limbs and features, such perfect relation of the whole to the parts and of the parts to the whole, as was never before seen in a mortal body, she was a living statue, a joy to all true lovers of the beautiful. In a word, she was an incarnation of Love come down to this terrestrial globe."Empress Maria
BZ86360. Silver miliaresion, DOC III part 2, 6b, Morrisson BnF 55/Cp/AR/2, Grierson 969, Sommer 55.5, SBCV 1874, Wroth BMC 15 ff. var. (inscription variations), Nice gF, well centered, light marks, porosity, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, weight 2.125g, maximum diameter 24.2mm, die axis 180o, 24 Oct 1071 - 24 Mar 1078 A.D.; obverse EN TOVTW NIKATE MIXAHΛ KAI MAPIA (under this [sign] be victorious, Michael and Maria), cross crosslet on globus on three steps, pellets flanking shaft low, pellet in crescent and X on shaft, facing bust of Michael on left wearing crown with cross and chlamys, facing bust of Maria on right wearing crown and loros, triple linear border; reverse MIXAHΛ / KAI MAPIA/ ΠICTOI RA/CILEIC PW/MAIWN (Michael and Maria, faithful rulers of the Romans), in five lines, ornaments above and below, triple linear border; very scarce; SOLD

Catalog current as of Saturday, October 19, 2019.
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