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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Comnen Dynasty| ▸ |John II||View Options:  |  |  | 

John II Comnenus, 15 August 1118 - 8 April 1143 A.D.

John II was the oldest son of Alexius I and succeeded to the throne in 1118. He was a good and capable ruler and did much to further the Byzantine Empire. He recaptured lost territory and added territory to the Empire. He attempted to curtail the trading privileges given to the Venetians but was forced to give up this idea. His reign was brought to an early end when he died in a hunting accident. His youngest son, Manuel I, succeeded him.Europe 1135 AD

|John| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |John| |II| |Comnenus,| |15| |August| |1118| |-| |8| |April| |1143| |A.D.||aspron| |trachy|NEW
According to the Golden Legend, a plague-bearing dragon lived in a lake near a city called Silene, in Libya. To appease the dragon, the people fed it two sheep every day. When the sheep failed, they fed it their children, chosen by lottery. It happened that the lot fell on the king's daughter, Sabra. Sabra was sent out to the lake, dressed as a bride, to be fed to the dragon. Saint George was ridding past when dragon reared out of the lake. He fortified himself with the Sign of the Cross charged it on horseback with his lance, and gave it a grievous wound. He then called to the princess to throw him her girdle. After he put it around its neck, the dragon followed the girl like a meek beast on a leash. The princess and Saint George led the dragon back to the city of Silene. It terrified the people at its approach, but Saint George called out to them, saying that if they consented to become Christians and be baptized, he would slay the dragon. The king and the people converted to Christianity and George slew the dragon. On the site where the dragon died, the king built a church to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint George, and from its altar a spring arose whose waters cured all disease.
SH99294. Electrum aspron trachy, DOC IV-1 8b; Hendy pl. 10, 2; Morrisson BnF 60/Cp/El/02; Wroth BMC 49; CLBC I 3.2.1; Grierson 1067; SBCV 1941; Sommer 60.4; Ratto -, aEF, scyphate, edge split, edge chip, light marks, excellent reverse!, weight 3.949 g, maximum diameter 31.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 15 Aug 1118 - 1122 A.D.; obverse Christ seated facing on throne without back, bearded, wearing tunic and kolobion, raising right in benediction, gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbr.: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking nimbus, pellet (control) at each side of throne; reverse + Iw / ∆ECΠO/TH in column of four rows on left - Θ / ΓE/PW/ΓI in column of four rows on right, John (on left) and St. George standing facing, together holding patriarchal cross on a small globe between them, John wearing crown, divitision, and chlamys with dot (control symbol) below the tablion, St. George nimbate, in military dress, left hand on sword at side; from the S. Lindner Collection; ex Savoca auction 26 (14 Oct 2018), lot 541; scarce; $250.00 (237.50)


|John| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |John| |II| |Comnenus,| |15| |August| |1118| |-| |8| |April| |1143| |A.D.||aspron| |trachy|NEW
John II was the oldest son of Alexius I and succeeded to the throne in 1118. He was a good and capable ruler, and did much to further the Byzantine Empire. He recaptured lost territory and added territory to the Empire. He attempted to curtail the trading privileges given to the Venetians but was forced to give up this idea. His reign was brought to an early end when he died in a hunting accident. His youngest son, Manuel I, succeeded him.
BZ99293. Electrum aspron trachy, DOC-1 IV 8d; Morrisson BnF 60/Cp/El/3; Wroth BMC 46; Ratto 2098; Grierson 1068; CLBC I 3.2.2; Sommer 60.5; SBCV 1942, VF, scyphate, obv. double struck, graffiti/scratches, weight 3.662 g, maximum diameter 32.2 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1122 - 8 Apr 1143 A.D.; obverse Christ seated facing on throne without back, bearded, wearing tunic and kolobion, raising right in benediction, gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking nimbus, three pellets at each side of throne; reverse + Iw / ∆ECΠO/TH in column of four rows on left, Θ / ΓE/PW/ΓI in column of four rows on right, John (on left) and St. George standing facing, together holding patriarchal cross on a small globe between them, John wearing crown, divitision, and chlamys with dot (control symbol) below the tablion, St. George nimbate, in military dress, left hand on sword at side; from the S. Lindner Collection; ex Numismatic Naumann auction 71 (4 Nov 2018), lot 680; $220.00 (209.00)


|John| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |John| |II| |Comnenus,| |15| |August| |1118| |-| |8| |April| |1143| |A.D.||tetarteron|NEW
John II was a capable ruler. He recaptured lost territory and added territory to the Empire. He attempted to curtail the trading privileges given to the Venetians but was forced to give up this idea. His reign was brought to an early end when he died in a hunting accident.
BZ99283. Bronze tetarteron, DOC IV-1 14b; Morrisson BnF 60/Th/AE/02; Wroth BMC 70; Hendy pl. 11, 12; SBCV 1953; Sommer 60.14, Choice aVF, broad flan, dark uneven patina, areas of slightest porosity, weight 3.762 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 1137 - 8 Apr 1143 A.D.; obverse bust of Christ facing wears nimbus cruciger, pallium and colobium, pellet in each limb of nimbus, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbr.: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking shoulders; reverse Iw ∆ECΠTH (John, Despotes), bust of John II facing, wearing crown with cross and pendilia, and jeweled chlamys, jeweled scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand; from the S. Lindner Collection; $140.00 (133.00)


|John| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |John| |II| |Comnenus,| |15| |August| |1118| |-| |8| |April| |1143| |A.D.||tetarteron|NEW
John II was the oldest son of Alexius I and succeeded to the throne in 1118. He was a good and capable ruler and did much to further the Byzantine Empire. He recaptured lost territory and added territory to the Empire. He attempted to curtail the trading privileges given to the Venetians but was forced to give up this idea. His reign was brought to an early end when he died in a hunting accident. His youngest son, Manuel I, succeeded him
BZ99285. Bronze tetarteron, DOC IV-1 12b; Hendy pl. 11, 5; Wroth BMC 63; Morrisson BnF 60/Cp/AE/11; SBCV 1945; Sommer 60.8, VF, flan crack, areas of corrosion, weight 2.236 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 1137 - 8 Apr 1143 A.D.; obverse Christ standing facing on dais, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbr.: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ); reverse + IW ∆ECΠOTH - TW ΠORΦYPOΓNT (or similar, John, despostes, born to the purple ), John standing facing, wearing crown and jeweled chlamys, cruciform scepter in right, globus cruciger in left; from the S. Lindner Collection; $140.00 (133.00)


|John| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |John| |II| |Comnenus,| |15| |August| |1118| |-| |8| |April| |1143| |A.D.||tetarteron|NEW
The maphorium (maphorion) was a loose sleeveless hooded outerwear mantel, cloak or shawl, worn by medieval women outdoors in public. The Virgin Mary is most often depicted wearing a maphorium, as seen in the icon below. It is a cloth which usually covers the head and is worn around the neck and chin. At many stages of medieval culture it was unseemly for a married woman to show her hair. A maphorium might be elaborately starched, and creased and folded in prescribed ways, even supported on wire or wicker framing.
BZ99284. Bronze tetarteron, DOC IV-1 13; Wroth BMC 72; Morrison BnF 60/Cp/AE/13; Ratto 2110; Grierson 1072; CLBC 3.4.2; Hendy pl. 11, 8; SBCV 1946; Sommer 60.9, aF, centered on a tight flan, a bit rough, weight 3.590 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 15 Aug 1118 - 1122 A.D.; obverse facing bust of the Virgin Orans, nimbate, wearing pallium and maphorium, MP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation: Mητηρ Θεου - Mother of God) across field; reverse John standing facing, wearing crown, divitision and chlamys, jeweled scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, Iw / ∆CC/ΠOT / TW/ΠOP (in column of 5 lines) on left, ΦV/PO/ΓC/NH/T (in column of 5 lines) on right; from the S. Lindner Collection; scarce; $90.00 (85.50)







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REFERENCES

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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).
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).

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