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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Comnen Dynasty| ▸ |Alexius I||View Options:  |  |  | 

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

Joint rule with John II (his eldest son), 1092 - 15 August 1118 A.D.
Alexius I, Comnenus got help from the Venetians early in his reign, and succeeded in putting an end to the Norman threat. Alexius was responsible for a fair amount of reconstruction of the Byzantine Empire. He also brought about monetary reform in 1092. This was made necessary by the trade concessions made to the Venetians in return for their help with the Normans. His wife, Irene Dukaina, is also represented on his coinage. Alexius established a mint at Thessalonica, where his rival Nicephorus had minted coins before Alexius defeated him. This mint supplied "coin of the realm" to the Balkans. Alexius I was succeeded by his son and co-emperor, John II.
Byzantium Empire 1081 AD

Duchy of Durazzo (Republic of Venice), 1205 - 1213, Imitative of Byzantine, Alexius I Tetarteron, 1093 - 1118

|Greece|, |Duchy| |of| |Durazzo| |(Republic| |of| |Venice),| |1205| |-| |1213,| |Imitative| |of| |Byzantine,| |Alexius| |I| |Tetarteron,| |1093| |-| |1118||tetarteron|NEW
The Duchy of Durazzo was a short-lived overseas colony of the Republic of Venice, encompassing the port city of Durazzo (modern Durrs in Albania) and its environs. It was established in 1205, following the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade, and lasted until it was reclaimed by the Byzantine Despotate of Epirus in 1213.

The Durrs Hoard discovered in 1967, near the apse of the chapel of the amphitheater of Dyrrachion, included 862 ornamented cross-type copper coins imitative of tetartera of the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus. Similar types to our imitative coin. Pagona Papadopoulou studied the hoard and concluded the coins were hidden in the chapel when the forces of Michael I Comnenus Ducas, the Despot of Epirus (1204-1215) attacked and put an end to the Venetian Duchy in 1214. She also studied many other finds of the type and concluded the coins were struck by the Venetians beginning shortly before or after 1204 A.D., probably at Corinth.
Durazzo
BZ99037. Bronze tetarteron, cf. Papadopoulou type IIa, Sommer 59.26.2; Hendy pl. 8, 11; for the prototype see DOC IV-1 40 (Byzantine, Alexius I, Thessalonica, 1093 - 1118 A.D.), aEF, green patina, crude, porous, weight 1.130 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Corinth (Greece) or Durazzo (Durrs, Albania) mint, 1203 - 1213 A.D.; obverse crude Maltese cross fourche with arms of equal length, no base, no X at center, globus and two pellets at the end of each arm, Φ - C / X - [?] in the angles; reverse no legend, barbarous half-length bust facing, bearded, wearing crown with pendilia and jeweled chlamys, cruciform scepter in right hand, globus cruciger with four-pellet cross in left hand, pellets left and right; from a Las Vegas dealer; rare; $160.00 (152.00)


|Alexius| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Alexius| |I| |Comnenus,| |4| |April| |1081| |-| |15| |August| |1118| |A.D.||aspron| |trachy|NEW
Although he was not the founder of the Comnenian dynasty, it was during his reign that the Comnenus 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.
BZ99109. Billon aspron trachy, DOC IV-1 25; Hendy III pl. 7, 2; Wroth BMC 14; Morrison BnF 59/Cp/Bi/01; Ratto 2064; SBCV 1918; Sommer 59.17, aVF/F, scyphate, marks, darker spots, edge cracks, weight 3.354 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 2nd coinage, c. 1092 - 15 Aug 1118 A.D.; obverse Christ seated facing, throne with square back, bearded, nimbate, wearing pallium and colobium, Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking back of throne; reverse + AΛEAΞIW - ∆ECΠT (Alexius, despot), bust of Alexius facing, bearded, wearing crown with pendilia, stemma, divitision, and jeweled chlamys, cruciform scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand; from the Robert Wachter Collection; ex CNG, Auction 413 (31 Jan 2018), part of lot 823 (listed as AR histamena); $80.00 (76.00)


|Alexius| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Alexius| |I| |Comnenus,| |4| |April| |1081| |-| |15| |August| |1118| |A.D.||aspron| |trachy|NEW
Although he was not the founder of the Comnenian dynasty, it was during his reign that the Comnenus 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.
BZ99108. Billon aspron trachy, DOC IV-1 25; Hendy III pl. 7, 2; Wroth BMC 14; Morrison BnF 59/Cp/Bi/01; Ratto 2064; SBCV 1918; Sommer 59.17, Fair/VF, scyphate, weight 3.323 g, maximum diameter 28.7 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 2nd coinage, c. 1092 - 15 Aug 1118 A.D.; obverse Christ seated facing, throne with square back, bearded, nimbate, wearing pallium and colobium, Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking back of throne; reverse + AΛEAΞIW - ∆ECΠT (Alexius, despot), bust of Alexius facing, bearded, wearing crown with pendilia, stemma, divitision, and jeweled chlamys, cruciform scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand; from the Robert Wachter Collection; ex CNG, Auction 413 (31 Jan 2018), part of lot 823 (listed as AR histamena); $60.00 (57.00) ON RESERVE


|Alexius| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Alexius| |I| |Comnenus,| |4| |April| |1081| |-| |15| |August| |1118| |A.D.||hyperpyron|
Similar types were struck at Constantinople and Thessalonica and are often carelessly misattributed to the wrong mint. Distinguishing the mint is actually quite easy. On coins struck at Constantinople the emperor's chlamys (cloak) has jewels (round pellets) on the bottom edge. On specimens of this type struck at Thessalonica, such as this coin, the jewels ornament the edges on the sides of the chlamys, but not on the bottom.
SH97094. Gold hyperpyron, DOC IV-1 20; Hendy p. 83, var. III; cf. Sommer 59.23; CLBC 2.1.3j; Grierson 1048; SBCV 1924, gVF, scyphate flan, well centered, flow lines, a few scratches on obverse, weight 4.294 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, post reform, 1092 - 1118 A.D.; obverse KE RO-HΘEI (Lord, help [Alexius]), IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ), Christ Pantokrator enthroned facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, gospels in left, double border; reverse A/ΛE/ΞI/W / ∆EC/ Π/T - TW / KO/MNH/N/W (MNH ligate), Alexius standing facing, wearing chlamys, four jewels on collar, no jewels on the bottom of the chlamys, curved diagonal fold in chlamys under his left arm, labarum scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, manus Dei (hand of God) above right; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 92 (2 Aug 2020), lot 992; SOLD


|Alexius| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Alexius| |I| |Comnenus,| |4| |April| |1081| |-| |15| |August| |1118| |A.D.||hyperpyron|
Although he was not the founder of the Comnenian dynasty, it was during his reign that the Comnenus 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.
SH94415. Gold hyperpyron, DOC IV-1 20g; Hendy pl. 4, 3-5; CLBC 2.1.2; Morrisson BnF 59/Cp/Av/3; Wroth BMC 7; Ratto 2059; SBCV 1913, Choice gVF, scyphate, beautiful luster, weight 4.348 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 180o, Philippopolis mint, 1092 - 1118 A.D.; obverse KE RO-HΘEI (Lord, help [Alexius]), Christ Pantokrator enthroned facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) high across field, double border; reverse A/ΛE/ΞI/W / ∆EC/ΠO/TH - Tw / KO/MNH/Nw, Alexius standing facing, wearing chlamys, five jewels on collar, labarum scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, manus Dei (hand of God) above right, six pellets in loros end; from the Robert Watcher Collection; ex Goldberg Coins, New York Sale XLII (9 Jan 2018), lot 483; SOLD







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REFERENCES

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Bellinger, A. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection, Vol. IV, Part 1: Alexius I to Alexius V (1081-1204). (Washington D.C., 1966).
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Morrisson, C. Catalogue des Monnaies Byzantines de la Bibliothque Nationale II, 711 - 1204. (Paris, 1970).
Papadopoulou, P. "Ttartra d'imitation du XIIIe sicle : propos du trsor de Durrs (Albanie)" in Revue numismatique, volume 161 (2005), pp. 145 - 162, pl. XIII - XIV.
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines l'poque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
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Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).

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