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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Byzantine Coins ▸ Comnen Dynasty ▸ John IIView 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


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

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In 1122, John II Komnenos defeated the Pechenegs in the Battle of Beroia (in modern Bulgaria). The Pechenegs later fought as mercenaries for the Manuel I Komnenos in southern Italy against the Norman king of Sicily, William the Bad. A group was also present at the battle of Andria in 1155. For some time, significant communities of Pechenegs still remained in the Kingdom of Hungary. With time the Balkan Pechenegs lost their national identity and were fully assimilated, mostly with Magyars and Bulgarians.
BZ83484. Bronze half tetarteron, DOC IV-1 16b; Hendin pl 11, 13; Morrisson BnF 60/Th/AE/08; Wroth BMC 67; Ratto 2108; SBCV 1954, VF, green patina, obverse slightly off center, weight 1.986 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, c. 1137 - 1143 A.D.; obverse Christ standing facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, holding Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iisos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse + Iω ∆ECΠOT, bust of John facing, wearing crown and jeweled chlamys, labarum in right, globus cruciger in left; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Alexius I and John II, Autumn 1092 - 15 August 1118 A.D., John II Coronation Issue

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Issued for celebrations throughout the Empire to honor the coronation of John II as co-emperor in 1092. This scarce type and two rare types 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.
BZ53323. Lead tetarteron, DOC IV part 1, 42.2 ff.; Grierson 1046 (Constantinople, half tetarteron), SBCV -, aF, weight 3.474 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain mint, c. 1092 - 1093 A.D.; obverse IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ), bust of Christ facing, nimbate, bearded, wearing tunic and colobium, open Gospels in left; reverse AΛCE ∆EC, bust of Alexius facing, wearing stemma, divitision, and jeweled loros, cruciform scepter in right, globus cruciger in left; scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Alexius I, Irene and John II, Autumn 1092 - 15 August 1118 A.D., John II Coronation Issue

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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.
BZ53331. Lead tetarteron, DOC IV-1 32; Grierson 1033; SBCV -, aF, weight 3.799 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, John II coronation issue, autumn 1092; obverse IΩ∆ECΠOT, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) in fields above, half-length figures of Christ (on left) and John II holding labarum between them, Christ is bearded and wears tunic and kolobion, John wears stemma, divitision, collar-piece and jeweled loros; reverse ΛΛEZIΩ EIPHNH, half-length figures of Alexis (on left) and Irene, holding long cross between them, both wear stemma, divitision, collar-piece and jeweled loros; very rare; SOLD


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This coin has a scarcer reverse legend variation ending in ΠOPΦYPOΓENIT, vice the normal ΠOPΦYPOΓNT. It also appears to be restruck on a reverse brockage of the same type. An incuse of part of the reverse legend is visible on the left side of the obverse.
BZ67761. Bronze tetarteron, Wroth BMC 64 (this reverse legend var); Morrisson BnF 10 (same var); DOC IV-1 12 var. (rev legend var. not listed); SBCV 1945, VF, restruck on a reverse brokage, full reverse legend, weight 2.792 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 1122 - c. 1137 A.D.; obverse Christ standing facing on footstool, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in left, to left IC, to right XC; reverse IΩ ∆ECΠOT TΩ ΠOPΦYPOΓENIT (sic), John standing facing, wearing crown and jeweled chlamys, cruciform scepter in right, globus cruciger in left; rare; SOLD


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Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki was a young man of senatorial family who was run through with spears in around 306 A.D. during the Christian persecutions of the emperor Diocletian or Galerius. After the growth of his veneration as saint, Thessalonica suffered repeated attacks and sieges from the Slavic peoples who moved into the Balkans. Demetrius was credited with many miraculous interventions to defend the city. Hence later traditions Demetrius regard him as a soldier in the Roman army, and he came to be regarded as an important military martyr. Unsurprisingly, he was extremely popular in the Middle Ages, and along with Saint George, was the patron of the Crusades.
BZ62305. Bronze half tetarteron, SBCV 1955; DOC IV-1 17; Morrisson BnF 10 - 14; Ratto -; Wroth BMC -, aVF, uneven strike, weight 2.028 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, c. 1118 - 1122; obverse Θ / ∆I/MI−T/PI, facing bust of St. nimbate bust of St. Demetrius facing in military attire, sword in right, shield in left; reverse IW - ∆CC, facing bust of John II, wearing crown and loros, labarum in right, globus cruciger in left; rare; SOLD


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This white metal coin is very unusual for the billon of the period. Dumbarton Oaks notes John's billon was about 10% silver at the beginning of his reign and was reduced to around 6%.
BZ10984. Billon aspron trachy, SBCV 1952, VF, clipped, weight 2.524 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, obverse MP - ΘV, the Virgin Mary enthroned facing, nimbate, wearing tunic and maphorium, holding before her the nimbate head of the infant Christ; reverse emperor stands facing wearing crown, divitision and loros, labarum in right, akakia in left; white metal; very scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Alexius I and John II, Autumn 1092 - 15 August 1118 A.D., John II Coronation Issue

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Issued for celebrations throughout the Empire to honor the coronation of John II as co-emperor in 1092. This scarce type and two rare types 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.
BZ53332. Lead tetarteron, DOC IV-1 42.2 ff.; Grierson 1046 (Constantinople, half tetarteron), SBCV -, aF, weight 4.317 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain mint, c. 1092 - 1093 A.D.; obverse IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ), bust of Christ facing, nimbate, bearded, wearing tunic and colobium, open Gospels in left; reverse AΛCE ∆EC, bust of Alexius facing, wearing stemma, divitision, and jeweled loros, cruciform scepter in right, globus cruciger in left; ex Alex G. Malloy; scarce; SOLD


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BZ09111. Bronze tetarteron, DOC IV-1 14a; Ratto 2109; Wroth BMC 67; Morrisson BnF 60/Th/AE/01; Hendy pl.11, 11; SBCV 1953; Sommer 60.14, aVF, weight 4.06 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, obverse bust of Christ facing wears nimbus cruciger, pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand, IC - XC; reverse + Iω ∆ECΠOT, bust of John II facing, wears crown and jeweled chlamys, jeweled scepter in right, globus cruciger in l.; face of Christ unstruck, nice patina; SOLD


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In 1122, John II Komnenos defeated the Pechenegs in the Battle of Beroia (in modern Bulgaria). The Pechenegs later fought as mercenaries for the Manuel I Komnenos in southern Italy against the Norman king of Sicily, William the Bad. A group was also present at the battle of Andria in 1155. For some time, significant communities of Pechenegs still remained in the Kingdom of Hungary. With time the Balkan Pechenegs lost their national identity and were fully assimilated, mostly with Magyars and Bulgarians.
BZ45638. Bronze half tetarteron, DOC IV-1 16a; Hendin pl 11, 13; Morrisson BnF 60/Th/AE/06; Wroth BMC 67; Ratto 2108; SBCV 1954, VF, obverse off-center, weight 2.313 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 1122 - c. 1137 A.D.; obverse Christ standing facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, holding Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iisos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse + Iω ∆εCΠOT, bust of John facing, wearing crown and jeweled chlamys, labarum in right, globus cruciger in left; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Alexius I and John II, Autumn 1092 - 15 August 1118 A.D., John II Coronation Issue

Click for a larger photo
Issued for celebrations throughout the Empire to honor the coronation of John II as co-emperor in 1092. This scarce type and two rare types 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.
BZ53326. Lead tetarteron, DOC IV-1 42.2 ff.; Grierson 1046 (Constantinople, half tetarteron), SBCV -, Fair, weight 2.817 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain mint, c. 1092 - 1093 A.D.; obverse IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ), bust of Christ facing, nimbate, bearded, wearing tunic and colobium, open Gospels in left; reverse AΛCE ∆EC, bust of Alexius facing, wearing stemma, divitision, and jeweled loros, cruciform scepter in right, globus cruciger in left; ex Alex G. Malloy; scarce; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES

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).
Berk, H. Roman Gold Coins of the Medieval World, 383 - 1453 A.D. (Joliet, IL, 1986).
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins. (London, 1982).
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).

Catalog current as of Friday, April 19, 2019.
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Byzantine Coins of John II