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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Comnen Dynasty| ▸ |Alexius I||View Options:  |  |  | 

Alexius I, 4 April 1081 - 15 August 1118 A.D.

Joint rule with John II (his eldest son), 1092 - 15 August 1118 A.D.
Alexius I, Comnenus got help from the Venetians early in his reign, and succeeded in putting an end to the Norman threat. Alexius was responsible for a fair amount of reconstruction of the Byzantine Empire. He also brought about monetary reform in 1092. This was made necessary by the trade concessions made to the Venetians in return for their help with the Normans. His wife, Irene Dukaina, is also represented on his coinage. Alexius established a mint at Thessalonica, where his rival Nicephorus had minted coins before Alexius defeated him. This mint supplied "coin of the realm" to the Balkans. Alexius I was succeeded by his son and co-emperor, John II.
Byzantium Empire 1081 AD

|Alexius| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Alexius| |I| |Comnenus,| |4| |April| |1081| |-| |15| |August| |1118| |A.D.||hyperpyron|NEW
Similar types were struck at Constantinople and Thessalonica and are often carelessly misattributed to the wrong mint. Distinguishing the mint is actually quite easy. On coins struck at Constantinople the emperor's chlamys (cloak) has jewels (round pellets) on the bottom edge. On specimens of this type struck at Thessalonica, such as this coin, the jewels ornament the edges on the sides of the chlamys, but not on the bottom.
SH97094. Gold hyperpyron, DOC IV part 1, 20; Hendy p. 83, var. III; cf. Sommer 59.23; CLBC 2.1.3j; Grierson 1048; SBCV 1924, gVF, scyphate flan, well centered, flow lines, a few scratches on obverse, weight 4.294 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, post reform, 1092 - 1118 A.D.; obverse  KE RO-HΘEI (Lord, help [Alexius]), IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsoús Xristós - Jesus Christ), Christ Pantokrator enthroned facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, gospels in left, double border; reverse A/ΛE/ΞI/W / ∆EC/ Π/T - TW / KO/MNH/N/W (MNH ligate), Alexius standing facing, wearing chlamys, four jewels on collar, no jewels on the bottom of the chlamys, curved diagonal fold in chlamys under his left arm, labarum scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, manus Dei (hand of God) above right; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 92 (2 Aug 2020), lot 992; $750.00 (€690.00) ON RESERVE


Byzantine Empire, Theme of Chaldia (Trebizond), Theodore Gabras, c. 1075 - 1126 A.D., In the Name of Alexius I

|Empire| |of| |Trebizond|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Theme| |of| |Chaldia| |(Trebizond),| |Theodore| |Gabras,| |c.| |1075| |-| |1126| |A.D.,| |In| |the| |Name| |of| |Alexius| |I||follis|
The general Theodore Gabras captured Trebizond and ruled it and the theme of Chaldia as a virtually autonomous state (c. 1081 - 1098). He was celebrated for his martial exploits, and was later venerated as a saint in the region. 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.
BZ95867. Bronze follis, Bendall Trebizond (NC 77), p. 133, issue 13B & pl. 7, 18; DOC IV p. 433, 13b; Schlumberger pl. ii, 5; Hendy -; Wroth BMC -; Ratto -, gF, overstruck on Michael IV follis, dark brown patina, obverse off center, light marks, weight 6.735 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 180o, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, c. 1092 - 1098 A.D.; obverse facing bust of Christ, bearded and nimbate, wearing tunic and himation, Gospels in right hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsoús Xristós - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse Latin cross on three steps, a globule at the end of each arm, AΛBP (Greek: AΛεξιω Bασιλευϖ Pωμαιων - Alexius king of the Romans) in angles, Arab countermark 'Lillah" (For Allah); rare; $800.00 (€736.00)
 


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

|Alexius| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Alexius| |I,| |Irene| |and| |John| |II,| |Autumn| |1092| |-| |15| |August| |1118| |A.D.,| |John| |II| |Coronation| |Issue||tetarteron|
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.
BZ95153. Lead tetarteron, DOC IV-1 pl. IV, Pb 37; Grierson 1035; CLBC 2.5.1; SBCV -; Hendy -, Sommer -, aF, bumps, encrustations, thick patina, weight 4.375 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, John II coronation issue, autumn 1092; obverse ∆/MI/TP (or similar, Demetrius, columnar on left), IW ∆ECΠT (or similar, John, Despot, clockwise on right), full-length figures St. Demetrius (on left) and John II standing facing, holding labarum between them; Saint nimbate, wears garb, sword in right hand, John wears stemma, divitision, collar-piece and jeweled loros; reverse AΛEZIW ∆- HPHNIV (or similar, Alexius, Despot - Irene), full-length figures of Alexis (on left) and Irene, holding long cross between them, both wear stemma, divitision, collar-piece and jeweled loros, Alexius holds anexikakia in right hand; from the S. Lindner Collection; scarce; $100.00 (€92.00)
 


|Alexius| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Alexius| |I| |Comnenus,| |4| |April| |1081| |-| |15| |August| |1118| |A.D.||half| |tetarteron|
Although he was not the founder of the Comnenian dynasty, it was during his reign that the Comnenos family came to full power. Inheriting a collapsing empire and faced with constant warfare during his reign against both the Seljuq Turks in Asia Minor and the Normans in the western Balkans, Alexius was able to curb the Byzantine decline and begin the military, financial, and territorial recovery known as the Comnenian restoration.
BZ95145. Bronze half tetarteron, CLBC 2.4.6; DOC IV-1 39; SBCV 1930; Hendy p. 88 and pl. 8, 9; Grierson 1056; Sommer 59.25, F, well centered, overstruck as is common for the type, weight 3.444 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 1092 - 1118 A.D.; obverse bust of the Virgin Mary facing, orans, MP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation: Mητηρ Θεου - Mother of God) across field; reverse + AΛZI ∆ECΠ (or similar), Alexius bust facing, wearing crown, stemma, divitision and chlamys, labarum in right hand and globus cruciger in left; from the S. Lindner Collection; $125.00 (€115.00)
 










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. Eastern Roman Successors of the Sestertius. (Chicago, 1987).
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 - 14).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).

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