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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Macedonian Dynasty| ▸ |Basil II||View Options:  |  |  | 

Basil II, 10 January 976 - 15 December 1025 A.D.

Joint rule with Constantine VIII (his brother), 10 January 976 - 15 December 1025 A.D.
Basil II Bulgaroktonos was the longest-reigning Byzantine emperor (for almost 50 years). He ruled with his brother, Constantine VIII as his adviser. Bulgaria (the Bulgars) was an ongoing problem during his reign, but was finally defeated and absorbed into the Empire. Basil brought great wealth to the Empire. At the time of his death, at almost 70 years of age, he was planning a campaign to wrest control of Sicily from the Arabs. Constantine VIII took over after the death of Basil, and the Empire began its decline.
Europe 1000 AD

Byzantine Empire, Basil II Bulgaroktonos and Constantine VIII, 10 January 976 - 15 December 1025 A.D.

|Basil| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Basil| |II| |Bulgaroktonos| |and| |Constantine| |VIII,| |10| |January| |976| |-| |15| |December| |1025| |A.D.||tetarteron| |nomisma|
References list many variations in details, but the lozenge shaped ornaments at the intersections of the cross are not described in any of the many references checked by Forum. The obverse die is match to DOC III part 2, 2c, a histamenon nomisma, weighing 4.35 grams. Our coin weighs 4.056 grams, the proper weight for a tetarteron nomisma. It is possible that the two denominations shared a die; however, in DOC III, Grierson comments that some histamena appear to have been intentionally clipped down to circulate as tetartera. That comment appears to apply to this coin.
SH73343. Gold tetarteron nomisma, Unpublished variant; cf. DOC III-2 2c (histamenon, same obv die, plain patriarchal cross on rev); SBCV 1796 (histamenon) & 1802 (tetarteron), VF, a histamenon nomisma clipped to circulate as a tetarteron nomisma, double strike, weight 4.056 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 977 - 989 A.D.; obverse + IhS XIS REX REGNANTIhM, bust of Christ facing, wearing nimbus cruciger with pellet in upper arm of nimbus cross and bars in side arms, pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left; reverse + bASIL C COhSTAhTI b R, facing busts of Basil (on left) wearing lozenge pattern loros, and Constantine wearing a plain chlamys, both wear crowns with a cross and pendilia, together in their right hands they hold between them a long patriarchal cross with lozenge ornaments at intersections and triangle shaped arms; ex Change et Numismatique du Port (Toulon, France); very rare variant (lozenges on cross); SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Basil II Bulgaroktonos and Constantine VIII, 976 - 1025 A.D.

|Basil| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Basil| |II| |Bulgaroktonos| |and| |Constantine| |VIII,| |976| |-| |1025| |A.D.||histamenon| |nomisma|
On 1 May 1006, the brightest supernova ever recorded, SN 1006, occured in the constellation of Lupus. It was observed and described in China, Japan, the Middle East, Europe, and elsewhere.
SH18902. Gold histamenon nomisma, SBCV 1800; DOC III-2 6, Choice gVF, a little wavy, weight 4.384 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1005 - 1025 A.D.; obverse IhS XIS REX REGNANTINM, nimbate facing bust of Christ, holding Gospels; reverse bASIL C CONSTANT b R (or similar), crowned facing busts of Basil, wearing loros, and Constantine, wearing chlamys, holding cross between them; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Basil II Bulgaroktonos and Constantine VIII, 10 January 976 - 15 December 1025 A.D.

|Basil| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Basil| |II| |Bulgaroktonos| |and| |Constantine| |VIII,| |10| |January| |976| |-| |15| |December| |1025| |A.D.||tetarteron| |nomisma|
Basil II Bulgaroktonos was the longest-reigning Byzantine emperor (for almost 50 years). He ruled with his brother, Constantine VIII as his adviser. Bulgaria (the Bulgars) was an ongoing problem during his reign, but was finally defeated and absorbed into the Empire. Basil brought great wealth to the Empire. At the time of his death, at almost 70 years of age, he was planning a campaign to wrest control of Sicily from the Arabs. Constantine VIII took over after the death of Basil, and the Empire began its decline.
SH79728. Gold tetarteron nomisma, DOC III-2 15b (4 spec.); Morrisson BnF 19; Wroth BMC 5; Sommer 41.7 (LP); SBCV 1806; Ratto 1940, F, well centered, light marks, weight 4.163 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1005 - 1025 A.D.; obverse + IhS XIS REX REGNANTIhm, bust of Christ facing, wearing nimbus cruciger with two pellets in each arm, pallium and colobium, holding book of Gospels in both hands; reverse + bASIL C COhSTAhTI b R, facing busts of Basil (on left) with short beard wearing square pattern loros, and Constantine VIII, wearing garment with large V-shaped ornamented collar, both wear crown with a cross and pendilia, together in their right hands they hold between them a long patriarchal cross with X on the shaft; SOLD







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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).
Berk, H. Roman Gold Coins of the Medieval World, 383 - 1453 A.D. (Joliet, IL, 1986).
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).
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 - 14).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).

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