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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.
Byzantine Empire, Theme of Chaldia (Trebizond), Theodore Gabras, c. 1075 - 1126 A.D., In the Name of Alexius I
The general Theodore Gabras captured Trebizond and ruled it and the theme of Chaldia as a virtually autonomous state (c. 1081 - 1098). He was celebrated for his martial exploits, and was later venerated as a saint in the region. Following the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire by the Fourth Crusade in 1204, the region became the center of the new Empire of Trebizond which survived until falling to the Ottomans in 1461.BZ95867. Bronze follis, Bendall Trebizond (NC 77), p. 133, issue 13B & pl. 7, 18; DOC IV p. 433, 13b; Schlumberger pl. ii, 5; Hendy -; Wroth BMC -; Ratto -, gF, overstruck on Michael IV follis, dark brown patina, obverse off center, light marks, weight 6.735 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 180o, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, c. 1092 - 1098 A.D.; obverse facing bust of Christ, bearded and nimbate, wearing tunic and himation, Gospels in right hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsoús Xristós - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse Latin cross on three steps, a globule at the end of each arm, AΛBP (Greek: AΛεξιω Bασιλευϖ Pωμαιων - Alexius king of the Romans) in angles, Arab countermark 'Lillah" (For Allah); rare; $720.00 (€590.40)
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 part 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: Ihsoús Xristós - 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
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 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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Hendy, M. Coinage and Money in the Byzantine Empire 1081-1261. (Washington D.C., 1969).
Marchev, V. & R. Wachter. Catalogue of the Late Byzantine Coins, Vol. I, 1082 - 1261 AD. (Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, 2011).
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Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines à l'époque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
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Sommer, A. Die Münzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Münzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
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