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Theodora, 21 April 1042 - 12 June 1042 and 11 January 1055 - 21 August 1056
Zoe and Theodora, the two elderly daughters of Constantine VIII ruled jointly for 7 1/2 weeks (21 Apr - 12 Jun 1042) following the deposition of Michael V. They were unfit for rule and did not get along. The senator Constantine Monomachus was selected as a husband for Zoe ascended the throne as Constantine IX. Theodora held sole rule for a year and a half after the death of Constantine IX until her death (11 Jan 1055 - 21 Aug 1056). She nominated Michael Stratioticus, a civil servant, as her successor. BZ89542. Gold histamenonnomisma, DOC III, part 2, 1c; SBCV 1837, Wroth BMC 4 var. (pellets in nimbus); Morrison BnF 1 var. (same); Ratto -, Sommer -, VF, broad flan, bumps and scratches, die wear, weight 4.186 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, sole reign, 11 Jan 1055 - 21 Aug 1056; obverse + IhS XIS REX REGNANITInm (Jesus Christ, King of Kings), Christ Pantokrator standing facing on dais, wearing nimbus cruciger with no pellets, pallium and colobium, right hand raised in benediction, book of Gospels cradled in left arm, double border; reverse + ΘEO∆wPA AVΓOVCTA (Theodora, Empress), Theodora (on left) and the Virgin (on left) standing facing, jointly holding labarum between them with pellet on shaft, Theodora with right hand on breast, wearing crown with pendilia, saccos with cross and loros; the Virgin nimbate, wearing pallium and maphorium, M - Θ (mother of god) flanking her head; from the Robert Watcher Collection; rare; $1600.00 (€1360.00)
Byzantine Empire, Nicephorus Basilacius, Usurper, Summer 1078 A.D. (Anonymous Class N Follis)
Until 1976 this type was regarded as anonymous (Class N) because neither of the two known specimens had a visible legend. In 1976, Grierson published a new specimen with a legend naming the ruler, Nicephorus (Grierson, P. "Nicephorus Bryennius or Nicephorus Basilacius?" in NumCirc LXXXIV.1 (January 1976), type a). There were two candidates, Nicephorus Bryennius and Nicephorus Basilacius, both usurpers, Bryennius in 1077 - 1078, and Basilacius in Thessalonica for a few months during 1078. In 1992, Roger Bland published an example with the legend on the obverse right side reading POCBAC, which has been accepted as proving this type was struck by Basilacius (Bland, R. "A Follis of Nicephorus Basilacius?" NC 1992, p. 175 ff. and pl. 36, B). Our coin has a nearly completeinscription, among the best of all the specimens known to Forum.SH87639. Bronze follis, DOC IIIpart 2, p. 706, N.1 (anonymous class N follis); Grierson 1976, type a; Bland Basilacius pl. 36, B; SBCV 1903A; Sommer 58.1, VF, near completeinscription with at least part of each letter visible, crude, overstruck with severe undertype effects, bumps, scratches, corrosion, weight 5.607 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, summer 1078 A.D.; obverse +NIKHΦO-POC BACΛE, facing bust of Christ, nimbuscross with plain arms, wearing tunic and himation, right hand raised in blessing, Gospels in left, IC-XC flanking across field; reversepatriarchal cross on base; barred IC - XC / NI-KA (Jesus Christ conquers) in the quarters; among the best examples known to Forum of this extremely rare and always crude overstrucktype!; extremely rare; $1500.00 (€1275.00)
Byzantine Empire, Leontius, 695 - 698 A.D.
Leontius' success as a general forced the Arab Caliph Abd al-Malik to make concessions and pay tribute to Emperor Justinian II; but when war was renewed, Leontius was defeated. Furious over the loss, Justinian imprisoned him for two years. When he was freed, Leontius and his former prison comrades organized a revolt, and he took the throne. Justinian was deposed, his nose and tongue were slit and he was exiled to a monastery. After the Arabs took Carthage, the fleet Leontius sent to retake the city failed. Rather than report defeat to the emperor, the army overthrew their admiral and named Apsimar, a Germanic sailor, as their leader. Apsimar changed his name to Tiberius, returned to Constantinople, seized the thrown, cut off Leontius' nose and ears and exiled him to a monastery. In 705, Justinian II returned to Constantinople with an army of Bulgars and Slavs. Both Leontius and Tiberius were dragged through the streets in chains and beheaded. SH89538. Gold solidus, DOC IIpart 2, 1b, Morrisson BnF 16/Cp/AV/02, SBCV 1330, Hahn MIB III 1, Sommer 15.1, Wroth BMC -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, EF, mint luster, flow lines, uneven strike with part of obverselegend and mintmark weak, obverse off center, die wear, tight flan, weight 4.319 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople mint, 695 - 698 A.D.; obverse D LEO-N PE AV, bearded facing bust, wearing loros and crown with cross, globus cruciger in right hand; reverseVICTORIA AVSY S, cross potent set on three step, CONOB in exergue; from the Robert Watcher Collection; rare; $1200.00 (€1020.00)
Byzantine Empire, Philippicus Bardanes, 4 November 711 - June 713 A.D.
Philippicus Bardanes was from a prominent Armenian family in Pergamum and a general of the Opsikion Theme army under Justinian II. While Justinian II ruled in a bloodthirsty frenzy of revenge, the Bulgars ravaged the empire right up to the city walls. Bardanes arrived at Constantinople with the army. But, instead of fighting the Bulgars he seized the throne. An ineffective ruler, Philippicus engaged in destructive internal religious disputes while the external threats grew and Bulgars and Arabs continued to raid Byzantine territory. In less than two years, he was deposed in a coup, blinded and exiled to a monastery.BZ82676. Bronze follis, Anastasi 374, SBCV 1460A, Hahn MIB 24, DOC IIpart 2,, -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, Morrisson BnF -, F, ragged flan, weight 3.824 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 4 Nov 711 - Jun 713 A.D.; obverse Philippicus standing facing, wearing helmet and military attire, eagle-tipped scepter in left hand, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse large M flanked by two stars, monogram above, SCL in exergue; very rare; $850.00 (€722.50)
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 NorthAfrica 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.BZ86356. Bronze follis, DOC IIpart 2, 16, Morrisson BnF 9/Ax/AE/01, Hahn MIBEC 16a, Grierson 164, Tolstoi 279, SBCV 722, Sommer -, Ratto -, VF, rev. a little off center cutting off part of mintmark, scratches, overstruck, weight 11.035 g, maximum diameter 30.4 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; $610.00 (€518.50)
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 2601, 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, nicer than the only two specimens auctioned in the last two decades as recorded on Coin Archives; very rare; $500.00 (€425.00)
Byzantine Empire, Manuel II Palaeologus, 25 September 1373 - 1423 A.D.
Manuel's half stavrata with this reverselegend (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 basileuslegend (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); Bendall 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; obversebust of Christ facing, crossnimbus, 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; $450.00 (€382.50)
ByzantineAnonymous Follis of Christ, Class A3, Basil II & Constantine VIII, c. 1023 - 11 November 1028 A.D.
This is a new ornaments variety, unlisted by Bellinger and Grierson, with one pellet in each limb of the nimbuscross, two pellets vertically arranged within a jeweled border on the Gospels and the ornamentation shown below both above and under the reverseinscription. We have designated this new variety Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments F1d.
SH82730. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, class A3; SBCV 1818; Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments F1d, aEF, well centered on a tight flan, porosity, edge crack, weight 9.903 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 150o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 1023 - 11 Nov 1028 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (Latinized Hebrew: Emmanuel - "God with us"), facing nimbatebust of Christ, two pellets in each arm of the cross, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iisoús Xristós - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings), ornaments above and below inscription; unpublished variety; $400.00 (€340.00)
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 NorthAfrica 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; $360.00 (€306.00)
Constantine IV Pogonatus, 15 July 668 - 10 July 685 A.D.
Constantine IV Pogonatus should be credited with saving Europe from Muslim conquest. Beginning in 674, the great siege of Constantinople, by the caliph Muawiyah I, lasted four years. The newly invented famous "Greek Fire" made the city impregnable and the Arabs were forced to retreat. In 681 he deposed his two brothers. He was succeeded by his 16-year-old son Justinian II.BZ84239. Bronze half follis, Anastasi 245, DOC II 67, Spahr 186, Hahn MIB III 112, SBCV 1214, Berk -, VF, green patina, rough, weight 2.566 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 679 - 681 A.D.; obverse helmeted and cuirassedbust facing slightly right, holding spear over shoulder; reverse large K, cross above, +AN-NO ∆ (year 4) flanking left and right; very rare; $320.00 (€272.00)
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