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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; $800.00 (€736.00)
Byzantine Empire, Alexius I, Irene and John II, Autumn 1092 - 15 August 1118 A.D., John II Coronation Issue
Issued for celebrations throughout the Empire to honor the coronation of John II as co-emperor in 1092. This very rare type and two other types also issued for the coronation, are traditionally identified as the earliest tetarteron. They may actually be sphragidia that were distributed only to a select group of people who participated in the celebrations, or for charitable purposes.BZ95153. Lead tetarteron, DOC IV-1 pl. IV, Pb 37; Grierson 1035; CLBC 2.5.1; SBCV -; Hendy -, Sommer -, aF, bumps, encrustations, thick patina, weight 4.375 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, John II coronation issue, autumn 1092; obverse ∆/MI/TP (or similar, Demetrius, columnar on left), IW ∆ECΠT (or similar, John, Despot, clockwise on right), full-length figures St. Demetrius (on left) and John II standing facing, holding labarum between them; Saint nimbate, wears garb, sword in right hand, John wears stemma, divitision, collar-piece and jeweled loros; reverse AΛEZIW ∆- HPHNIV (or similar, Alexius, Despot - Irene), full-length figures of Alexis (on left) and Irene, holding long cross between them, both wear stemma, divitision, collar-piece and jeweled loros, Alexius holds anexikakia in right hand; from the S. Lindner Collection; scarce; $100.00 (€92.00)
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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