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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Byzantine Mints| ▸ |Thessalonica||View Options:  |  |  | 

Byzantine Thessalonica, Greece

When Anastasius became emperor the once vast number of Roman mints had been reduced to only two: Constantinople and Thessalonica. Thessalonica did not strike Byzantine copper coinage until the reign of Justin I. The mint closed about 630 but opened again under Alexius I (1081 - 1118) and operated until the 14th century for various despotates, kingdoms and empires that took the city as their capital. In 1423, Despot Andronicus, ceded Thessalonic to the Republic of Venice to protect it from the Ottomans who were besieging the city. The Venetians held Thessaloniki until it was captured by the Ottoman Sultan Murad II on 29 March 1430.

Byzantine Empire, Alexius III Angelus-Comnenus, 8 April 1195 - 17 July 1203

|Alexius| |III|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Alexius| |III| |Angelus-Comnenus,| |8| |April| |1195| |-| |17| |July| |1203|, |tetarteron|
According to the Golden Legend, a plague-bearing dragon lived in a lake near a city called Silene, in Libya. To appease the dragon, the people fed it two sheep every day. When the sheep failed, they fed it their children, chosen by lottery. It happened that the lot fell on the king's daughter, Sabra. Sabra was sent out to the lake, dressed as a bride, to be fed to the dragon. Saint George was ridding past when dragon reared out of the lake. He fortified himself with the Sign of the Cross charged it on horseback with his lance, and gave it a grievous wound. He then called to the princess to throw him her girdle. After he put it around its neck, the dragon followed the girl like a meek beast on a leash. The princess and Saint George led the dragon back to the city of Silene. It terrified the people at its approach, but Saint George called out to them, saying that if they consented to become Christians and be baptized, he would slay the dragon. The king and the people converted to Christianity and George slew the dragon. On the site where the dragon died, the king built a church to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint George, and from its altar a spring arose whose waters cured all disease.
BZ95143. Bronze tetarteron, CLBC I 8.4.3; DOC IV-1 5a; Hendy p. 152 and pl. 23, 9-10; Grierson 1138; SBCV 2015; Sommer 66.6, gVF, well centered on a typical tight flan, porosity, some light corrosion, weight 3.720 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 8 Apr 1195 - 17 Jul 1203; obverse O/ΓE/WP ΓI/OC, Half-length facing bust of St. George, beardless and nimbate, in military attire, spear in right hand and hilt of sword in left; reverse AΛEΣIOC ∆ECΠOTHC, Alexius standing facing, labarum in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand; $240.00 SALE |PRICE| $216.00


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

|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; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00


Crispus, Caesar, 1 March 317 - 326 A.D.

|Crispus|, |Crispus,| |Caesar,| |1| |March| |317| |-| |326| |A.D.|, |centenionalis|
In 320, Crispus, the eldest son of Constantine I, led a victorious campaign against the Franks, assuring twenty years of peace along the Rhine frontier. He established his residence in Augusta Treverorum (modern Trier), capital of Germania.
RL89707. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Thessalonica 78 (R1), SRCV IV 16857, Cohen VII 168, Hunter V -, Choice VF, well centered, excellent portrait, much silvering, areas of light corrosion, weight 2.754 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 315o, 4th officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 320 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left; reverse VIRTVS EXERCIT (courage of the army), standard inscribed VOT / XX, flanked by a seated captive on each side, captive on left seated left with hands bound behind back, captive on right seated right with right hand raised to head and looking back left, S - F across fields, TS∆ in exergue; ex Beast Coins, ex Harlan Berk CICF (2013); scarce; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00 ON RESERVE


Byzantine Empire, Maurice Tiberius, 13 August 582 - 22 November 602 A.D.

|Maurice| |Tiberius|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Maurice| |Tiberius,| |13| |August| |582| |-| |22| |November| |602| |A.D.|, |half| |follis|
Cassander of Macedonia founded Thessalonica in 315 B.C. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a half-sister of Alexander the Great. Thessalonica became the capital of Roman Macedonia in 168 B.C. and was later the administrative center for all of Greece. Its location at the nexus of both the East-West and North-South trade routes was ideal. In 1423, Andronicus ceded the city to Venice to protect it from the besieging Ottomans. The Venetians held Thessaloniki until it was taken by the Sultan Murad II on 29 March 1430.
MA95737. Bronze half follis, DOC I 72, Hahn MIB II 112B, SBCV 508, Sommer 7.37, Morrisson BnF - (p. 189), Wroth BMC -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, VF, ragged flan, bumps, scattered porosity, weight 5.853 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 582 - 583 A.D.; obverse D N TIBE mAVRIC P P AVC, crowned and cuirassed bust facing, crown with cross and pendilia, globus cruciger in right hand, shield on left shoulder; reverse large K (20 nummi) between A/N/N/O and I (regnal year 1), cross above, TES (Thessalonica) below; this is the first specimen of this type handled by Forum; scarce; $50.00 SALE |PRICE| $45.00


Byzantine Empire, Focas, 23 November 602 - 5 October 610 A.D.

|Focas|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Focas,| |23| |November| |602| |-| |5| |October| |610| |A.D.|,
Focas became emperor through a military revolt. He was an oppressive evil tyrant. His reign was a period of disaster with invasions, persecution of the aristocracy and civil unrest. Focas restored recognizable portraiture to the coinage - an oddity considering his appearance is often described as grotesque.
MA95738. Bronze DOC II part 1, 49; Wroth BMC 67; Tolstoi 86; Hahn MIB 92; SBCV 654; Sommer 9.33; Morrisson BnF - (p. 229); Ratto -, aVF, centered on a broad flan, green patina, weight 5.070 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 602 - 603 A.D.; obverse O M FOCAS PERP AVG (or similar), armored bust facing, wearing cuirass, paludamentum, and crown with pendilia and cross on circlet, cross in right hand; reverse Large K (20 nummi), cross above, I (regnal year 1) right, TE in exergue; this is the first specimen of this type handled by Forum; scarce; $50.00 SALE |PRICE| $45.00







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Catalog current as of Friday, July 3, 2020.
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