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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Anonymous Folles||View Options:  |  |  | 

Byzantine Anonymous Folles Depicting Jesus Christ

On these coins the emperor's name and portrait are not part of the design, hence they are anonymous. Instead of the earthly king, these coins depict Jesus Christ, King of Kings. For more information on these types, see the following articles in NumisWiki:
Christian Themes in Byzantine Coinage by Zach Margulies.
The Byzantine Anonymous Follis
Ornamentation on Anonymous Byzantine Class A2 & A3 Folles

Byzantine Empire, Nicephorus Basilacius, Usurper, Summer 1078 A.D., Anonymous Class N Follis

|Nicephorus| |Basilacius|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Nicephorus| |Basilacius,| |Usurper,| |Summer| |1078| |A.D.,| |Anonymous| |Class| |N| |Follis||follis|NEW
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 different more complete but blundered and obscure inscription on the obverse right side.
BZ99035. Bronze follis, DOC III-2 p. 706, N.1 (anonymous class N follis); Grierson 1976, type a; Bland Basilacius pl. 36, B; SBCV 1903A (Ex. Rare); Sommer 58.1, F, uneven strike, overstruck with strong undertype effects, weight 5.863 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, summer 1078 A.D.; obverse +NIKHΦW-POC BACIΛE (or similar), facing bust of Christ, nimbus cross with plain arms, wearing tunic and himation, right hand raised in blessing, Gospels in left, IC-XC flanking across field; reverse patriarchal cross on base; IC-XC / NI-KA (Jesus Christ conquers) in the quarters; from a Las Vegas dealer; extremely rare; $800.00 (760.00)


Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class A2, Basil II & Constantine VIII, 976 - 1025 A.D.

|Anonymous| |Folles|, |Byzantine| |Anonymous| |Follis| |of| |Christ,| |Class| |A2,| |Basil| |II| |&| |Constantine| |VIII,| |976| |-| |1025| |A.D.||anonymous| |follis|NEW
This is a new ornaments variety, which we have just added to NumisWiki. It is a variation of Grierson 30, but this coin has two pellets vice three in each arm of the nimbus cruciger and this coin has a pellet in square on the book vice and ordinary pellet. Both this coin and BZ93547, received together from the Errett Bishop Collection, share this ornaments variety.
BZ93549. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ class A2; Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments 30b; DOC III-2 A2.16a; SBCV 1813; Sommer 40.2.1, aVF, areas unstruck, weight 14.249 g, maximum diameter 32.86 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 976 - 1025 AD; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (romanized Hebrew - God is with us), facing bust of Christ, wears nimbus cruciger ornamented with two pellets in each limb of cross, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings), ornaments above and below inscription; from the Errett Bishop Collection; new previously unknown ornaments variety; rare; $140.00 (133.00)


Imitative Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, c. 970 - 980 A.D.

|Anonymous| |Folles|, |Imitative| |Byzantine| |Anonymous| |Follis| |of| |Christ,| |c.| |970| |-| |980| |A.D.||anonymous| |follis|
Of this type of imitative, Lampinen writes, "The second phase of Balkan coinage production goes into high gear with the introduction of the anonymous follis series during the reign of John I (969 - 976). The explicit Christian imagery must have struck a chord with the recently converted Balkan masses because the official mint issues were accompanied by a fair quantity of copies, to meet the excess demand. These Christian issues would also be the prototypes for the initial coinage of several medieval Christian states, such as the first Crusader issues of Edessa and Antioch, medieval Armenia and distant Georgia in the Caucasus."
BZ89911. Bronze anonymous follis, See Lampinen Imitative p. 154 for a similar imitative; for the likely prototype cf. official Byzantine anonymous class A1 folles; SBCV 1793, VF, green patina, double struck, porous, crude and blundered, weight 6.880 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, unofficial (Balkan?) mint, c. 970 - 980 A.D.; obverse facing bust of Christ, wears nimbus cruciger ornamented with two pellets in each limb of cross, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands, blundered imitation of the abbreviation: IC - XC (Greek: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse blundered inscription imitating: + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings); rare this crude; $120.00 (114.00)


Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class I, Nicephorus III, 7 January 1078 - 1 April 1081

|Anonymous| |Folles|, |Byzantine| |Anonymous| |Follis| |of| |Christ,| |Class| |I,| |Nicephorus| |III,| |7| |January| |1078| |-| |1| |April| |1081||anonymous| |follis|
The inept rule of Michael VII led to several revolts. Nicephorus seized the capital, was crowned and married Michael's wife, Empress Maria of Alania. To ensure the succession of her son Constantine, Empress Maria conspired with Alexius Comnenus to dispose of Nicephorus. Just as Nicephorus had banished Michael to a monastery, Alexius Comnenus banished Nicephorus to a monastery.
BZ93551. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, DOC III-2, class I; SBCV 1889; Sommer 40.11, VF, overstruck on earlier follis, weight 4.542 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 7 Jan 1078 - 1 Apr 1081; obverse bust of Christ facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, gospels in left, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse Latin cross with X at center, globule and two pellets at each extremity, floral ornaments in lower fields, crescents in upper fields; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $120.00 (114.00)


Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class A3, Basil II & Constantine VIII, c. 1023 - 11 November 1028 A.D.

|Anonymous| |Folles|, |Byzantine| |Anonymous| |Follis| |of| |Christ,| |Class| |A3,| |Basil| |II| |&| |Constantine| |VIII,| |c.| |1023| |-| |11| |November| |1028| |A.D.||anonymous| |follis|
The emperor's name and portrait are not part of the design on the Byzantine types referred to as anonymous folles. Instead of the earthly king, these coins depict Jesus Christ, King of Kings.
BZ98859. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ class A3; Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments 47; DOC III-2 A2.47, Wroth BMC 4 (Romanus III), Sommer 40.3.4, SBCV 1818, gF, dark green patina, flat strike areas, weight 9.179 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 1023 - 11 Nov 1028 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (romanized Hebrew - God is with us), facing nimbate bust of Christ, pallium and colobium, Gospels in both hands, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings), square above and below inscription; J; $110.00 (104.50)


Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class A3, Basil II & Constantine VIII, c. 1023 - 11 November 1028 A.D.

|Anonymous| |Folles|, |Byzantine| |Anonymous| |Follis| |of| |Christ,| |Class| |A3,| |Basil| |II| |&| |Constantine| |VIII,| |c.| |1023| |-| |11| |November| |1028| |A.D.||anonymous| |follis|NEW
This coin has a few spots of corrosion on the reverse that could be active. It is, however, from an old collection, so unlikely to be a problem if maintained in a climate controlled environment.
BZ93548. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ class A3; Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments 14; DOC III-2 A2.14; SBCV 1818; Sommer 40.3, F, well centered on a broad flan, potentially active corrosion, weight 10.732 g, maximum diameter 32.01 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 1023 - 11 Nov 1028 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (romanized Hebrew - God is with us), facing nimbate bust of Christ, two pellets in each arm of the cross, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iησοúς Xριστος - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings), ornaments above and below inscription; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $100.00 (95.00)


Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class A2, Basil II & Constantine VIII, 976 - 1025 A.D.

|Anonymous| |Folles|, |Byzantine| |Anonymous| |Follis| |of| |Christ,| |Class| |A2,| |Basil| |II| |&| |Constantine| |VIII,| |976| |-| |1025| |A.D.||anonymous| |follis|
The class A2 anonymous follis is identified by Wayne Sayles in "Ancient Coin Collecting V" as one of the masterpieces of Romaion coinage.
BZ99209. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ class A2; Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments 20; DOC III-2 A2.3; Sommer 40.2; SBCV 1813, aVF, very broad flan, porosity, weight 17.881 g, maximum diameter 34.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 10 Jan 976 - 15 Dec 1025 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (romanized Hebrew - God is with us), facing nimbate bust of Christ, two pellets in each limb of cross, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands ornamented with two pellets in a frame of pellets, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE' (Jesus Christ King of Kings), inscription in four lines, nothing above, pellet below; big 34 mm bronze!; $100.00 (95.00)


Imitative Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, c. 970 - 980 A.D.

|Anonymous| |Folles|, |Imitative| |Byzantine| |Anonymous| |Follis| |of| |Christ,| |c.| |970| |-| |980| |A.D.||anonymous| |follis|
Of this type of imitative, Lampinen writes, "The second phase of Balkan coinage production goes into high gear with the introduction of the anonymous follis series during the reign of John I (969 - 976). The explicit Christian imagery must have struck a chord with the recently converted Balkan masses because the official mint issues were accompanied by a fair quantity of copies, to meet the excess demand. These Christian issues would also be the prototypes for the initial coinage of several medieval Christian states, such as the first Crusader issues of Edessa and Antioch, medieval Armenia and distant Georgia in the Caucasus."
BZ98863. Bronze anonymous follis, See Lampinen Imitative p. 154 for a similar imitative; for the likely prototype cf. official Byzantine anonymous class A1 folles; SBCV 1793, VF, uneven strike with weak areas, rev. double struck, porous, a few small pits, weight 6.090 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 180o, unofficial (Balkan?) mint, c. 970 - 980 A.D.; obverse facing bust of Christ, wears nimbus cruciger ornamented with two pellets in each limb of cross, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands, blundered retrograde imitation of the abbreviation IC - XC (Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse blundered retrograde inscription imitating: + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE; rare this crude; $80.00 (76.00)


|Anonymous| |Folles|, |Byzantine| |Anonymous| |Follis| |of| |Christ,| |Class| |C,| |Michael| |IV,| |12| |April| |1034| |-| |10| |December| |1041| |A.D.||anonymous| |follis|NEW
"The obverse on this type represents an icon to which the Empress Zoe was particularly devoted, and a similar representation appears on a pattern histamenon of Zoe's brief sole reign in December, 1041." -- David Sear's Byzantine Coins and Their Values
BZ99041. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ class C; DOC III-2 C.1; SBCV 1825; Sommer 40.5; Wroth BMC 6 ff. (Theodora), VF, brown tone, edge and surface cracks, tight oval flan, double strike on obv., weight 5.705 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1034 - 1041 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (romanized Hebrew - God is with us), three-quarter length figure of Christ standing facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iησοúς Xριστος - Jesus Christ) flanking across field; reverse jeweled cross with pellet at each extremity, in the angles IC - XC / NI-KA (Jesus Christ Conquers); $70.00 (66.50)







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REFERENCES

Bates, G. Archaeological Exploration of Sardis: Byzantine Coins. Sardis Monograph 1. (Cambridge, 1971).
Berk, H. Eastern Roman Successors of the Sestertius. (Chicago, 1987).
Bland, R. "A Follis of Nicephorus Basilacius?" NC 1992, p. 175 ff. and pl. 36, B.
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins. (London, 1982).
Grierson, P. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection, Vol. III, Part 2: Basil I to Nicephorus III, 867-1081. (Washington D.C., 1973).
Grierson, P. "Nicephorus Bryennius or Nicephorus Basilacius?" in NumCirc LXXXIV.1 (January 1976), pp. 2 - 3.
Hahn, W. Moneta Imperii Byzantini. (Vienna, 1973-81).
Hendy, M. Coinage and Money in the Byzantine Empire 1081-1261. (Washington D.C., 1969).
Hennequin, G. Catalogue des monnaies musulmanes de la Bibliotheque Nationale. (Paris, 1985).
Lampinen, P. "Imitative Issues," in W. Sayles, Ancient Coin Collecting V: The Romaion/Byzantine Culture. (Iola, WI, 1998), pp. 149 - 162.
Metcalf, D. "Interpretation of the Byzantine Rex Regnantium Folles of Class A" in NC 1970.
Morrisson, C. Catalogue des Monnaies Byzantines de la Bibliothque Nationale II, 711 - 1204. (Paris, 1970).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines l'poque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
Sabatier, J. Description gnrale des monnaies Byzantines. (Paris, 1863).
Sear, D. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sommer, A. Die Mnzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Mnzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 1914).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Coins of the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Lombards and of the Empires of Thessalonica, Nicaea, and Trebizond in the British Museum. (London, 1911).

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