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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.
BZ90229. Bronze tetarteron, DOC IV-1 5a; CLBC I 8.4.3; Hendy p. 152 and pl. 23, 9-10; Wroth BMC 39; Grierson 1138; Ratto 2214; 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 half-length facing bust of St. George, beardless and nimbate, wearing military attire: cuirass and sagion, transverse spear in right hand, left hand resting on hilt of sword, O / ΓE/WP-ΓI/OC (in columns to left and right, WP ligate); reverse AΛEΣIOC - ∆ECΠOTHC (or similar), half length figure of Alexius standing facing, wearing crown, divitision, and chlamys, labarum in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand; ex S. Lindner Collection; rare; $225.00 SALE PRICE $203.00

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

|John| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |John| |II| |Comnenus,| |15| |August| |1118| |-| |8| |April| |1143| |A.D.||tetarteron|NEW
John II was a capable ruler. 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.
BZ99283. Bronze tetarteron, DOC IV-1 14b; Morrisson BnF 60/Th/AE/02; Wroth BMC 70; Hendy pl. 11, 12; SBCV 1953; Sommer 60.14, Choice aVF, broad flan, dark uneven patina, areas of slightest porosity, weight 3.762 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 1137 - 8 Apr 1143 A.D.; obverse bust of Christ facing wears nimbus cruciger, pallium and colobium, pellet in each limb of nimbus, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbr.: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking shoulders; reverse Iw ∆ECΠTH (John, Despotes), bust of John II facing, wearing crown with cross and pendilia, and jeweled chlamys, jeweled scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand; from the S. Lindner Collection; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00

Byzantine Empire, Andronicus II Palaeologus and Michael IX, 21 May 1295 - 12 October 1320 A.D.

|Andronicus| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Andronicus| |II| |Palaeologus| |and| |Michael| |IX,| |21| |May| |1295| |-| |12| |October| |1320| |A.D.||trachy|
Although a brave and energetic soldier, Michael IX was defeated again and again. He made peace with Bulgaria by marrying his daughter to the Bulgarian emperor. After another defeat, he retired to Thessalonica, where his premature death at age 43 was in part due to grief over the accidental murder of his younger son Manuel by retainers of his older son Andronikos III.
BZ98876. Bronze trachy, DOC V 765; Grierson 1466; B-D LPC p. 230, 5; Bendall PCPC 229; SBCV 2457; Sommer 80.27, aF, scyphate, dark green patina, scratches, porosity, double struck, off center, edge splits, weight 1.212 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 21 May 1295 - 12 Oct 1320; obverse six-petaled flower; reverse Michael on left, standing facing, beardless, scepter in left hand, akakia in right hand; Andronicus on right, bearded, standing facing, crowning Michael with right hand, scepter in left hand; rare; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00

Byzantine Empire, Justin II, 15 November 565 - 5 October 578 A.D.

|Justin| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Justin| |II,| |15| |November| |565| |-| |5| |October| |578| |A.D.||half| |follis|NEW
In 569, Justin II and his wife Sophia sent a relic of the "True Cross" to the Frankish princess Radegund, who had founded a monastery at Poitiers.
MA95683. Bronze half follis, DOC I 63.3, Morrisson BnF 5/Th/AE/04, Sommer 5.18.2, Hahn MIB II 68b, SBCV 365, Wroth BMC 102, Tolstoi 40, Ratto -, gF, dark green patina with some flaking, weight 6.423 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 567 - 568 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINVS P P AVI, helmeted, cuirassed bust facing, wearing diadem with pendilia, globus cruciger in right hand, shield ornamented with horseman on left arm; reverse large K (20 nummi), cross above, ANNO left, III (year) right, TES below; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00




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