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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Byzantine Coins ▸ Comnen Dynasty ▸ Isaac I ComnenusView Options:  |  |  | 

Byzantine Empire, Isaac I Comnenus, 1 September 1057 - 22 November 1059

Isaac I Komnenos was the founder of the Komnenian dynasty. Orphaned at an early age, he was raised under the care of Emperor Basil II. He made his name as a successful military commander. In 1057 he led a conspiracy of dissatisfied eastern generals against the newly crowned Michael VI. Proclaimed emperor by his followers on 8 Jun 1057, he rallied sufficient military forces to defeat the loyalist army at the Battle of Hades. On 1 Sep 1057, Isaac was crowned emperor in the Hagia Sophia. To strengthen the Empire's fiscal condition he reduced salaries, implemented harsh tax measures and confiscated Church properties. This aroused much opposition particularly, from the Patriarch of Constantinople, whom he had arrested and exiled but who died before he was put on trial. The eastern frontier held firm during his reign, Hungarian raids were resolved by a treaty in 1059, while the restive Pechenegs were subdued by Isaac in person in summer 1059. Soon after, he fell ill and abdicated his throne in favor of Constantine X Doukas. Isaac retired to the Stoudion monastery where he died in 1060.


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Isaac I Komnenos was the founder of the Komnenian dynasty. Orphaned at an early age, he was raised under the care of Emperor Basil II. He made his name as a successful military commander. In 1057 he led a conspiracy of dissatisfied generals against the newly crowned Michael VI. He was proclaimed emperor by his followers and defeated the loyalist army in battle. On 1 Sep 1057, Isaac was crowned in the Hagia Sophia. To strengthen the Empire's fiscal condition he reduced salaries, implemented harsh tax measures and confiscated Church properties. This aroused much opposition particularly, from the Patriarch of Constantinople, whom he had arrested and exiled but who died before he was put on trial. The eastern frontier held firm during his reign, Hungarian raids were resolved by a treaty, and the restive Pechenegs were subdued by Isaac in person in summer 1059. Soon after, he fell ill and abdicated his throne in favor of Constantine X Doukas. Isaac retired to a monastery where he died in 1060.
SH87502. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III-2 2; Morrison BnF 50/Cp/AV/01; Wroth BMC p. 512, 3; Ratto 2007; Sommer 51.1; SBCV 1843, gVF/XF, well centered and struck, weight 4.400 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1 Sep 1057 - 22 Nov 1059; obverse +IhS XIS REX – REGNANTIhm (Jesus Christ King of Kings), Christ enthroned facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, gospels in left hand, double border; reverse +ICAAKIOC RA – CIΛEVC PωM (Isaac King of the Romans), Issac standing facing, bearded; wearing crown with cross and pendilia, and military attire: cuirass, tunic, cloak and high boots; sword over his right shoulder in his right hand, resting left hand on scabbard hung on his side; from the Robert Watcher Collection, ex iNumis auction 6 (11 Oct 2008), lot 426; scarce; SOLD







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REFERENCES

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Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).

Catalog current as of Monday, December 10, 2018.
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Byzantine coins of Emperor Isaac I Comnenus