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Manuel I Comnenus, 8 April 1143 - 24 September 1180 A.D.
Manuel's reign was a period in which the Byzantine Empire flourished. He was quick to become personally involved in military campaigns. Gibbons' "Decline & Fall" notes, "The first in the charge, the last in the retreat, [Manuel I's] friends and his enemies alike trembled, the former for his safety, and the latter for their own." Unfortunately his over ambitious policies created enemies and expended the strength of the state. He was severely defeated by the Turks and died a broken man, ruler of a broken empire.
Cupped coins required at least two blows to strike and the obverse die was rocked from one side to the other between blows. Since Christ's face is in the center of many designs, such as on this coin, it is often distorted or even missing due to the overlapping of the strikes in the center. On this coin the two halves of the nimbus cruciger (halo) are offset due to variation in alignment between the two strikes. Christ's face is, however, nicely struck. The result is somewhat exotic.SH08813. Gold hyperpyron, cf. DOC IV-1 1; Morrisson BnF 61/Cp/AV/13; CLBC I 4.1.1; Grierson 1079; SBCV 1956; Sommer 61.1, gVF, scyphate, weight 4.27 g, maximum diameter 29.4 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse + KE RO-HΘEI, bust of Christ facing, beardless, wearing numbus cr., pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, scroll in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) flanking above shoulders; reverse MA/NY/HΛ / ∆EC/ΠO/T/H on left, Tω/ΠOP/ΦY/POΓ/NH/T (or similar) on right, Manuel standing facing wearing crown, divitision and chlamys, labarum in left, patriarchal globus cruciger in right, hand of God (manus Dei) upper right crowns him; wavy flan as typical for the type (even the Sear plate coin is wavy); SOLD
Byzantine Empire, Manuel I Comnenus, 8 April 1143 - 24 September 1180 A.D.
On the reverse of this type, Manuel I usually holds a scepter cruciger, but on this specimen he holds a labarum. This variation is published in Wroth BMC but missing from the other references. We know of only a few other specimens.BZ91211. Bronze tetarteron, Wroth BMC 61; DOC IV-1 15 var.; Hendy pl. 17, 7 var.; Morrisson BnF 61/X/AE/11 var.; Ratto 2148 var.; Sommer 61.13 var.; SBCV 1968 var., gF, obverse a little off center, irregular flan typical of the type (a cut fragment of an older coin), weight 2.609 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Greek mint, c. 1152 - 1160 A.D.; obverse the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) standing right, raising both hands, being blessed by manus Dei (hand of god) to upper right, MP - ΘV flanking across field; reverse MANVHΛ ∆ECΠOT, emperor standing facing, wearing crown, divitision and chlamys, labarum in right hand, akakia in left hand; from the S. Lindner Collection; extremely rare variety; SOLD
Gibbons Decline & Fall says of Manuel I, "The first in the charge, the last in the retreat, his friends and his enemies alike trembled, the former for his safety, and the latter for their own."BZ38048. Electrum aspron trachy, DOC IV-1 2a; Morrisson BnF 61/Cp/El/1; Wroth BMC 17; Ratto 2117; Hendin pl. 13, 1; SBCV 1957; Sommer 61.2, EF, cracked, weight 4.331 g, maximum diameter 33.3 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1st coinage, c. 1143 - 1152 A.D.; obverse IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) OEMMANVOHΛ, facing bust of Christ, bearded, facing, pallium, colobium, Gospels in left; reverse MANOYHΛ ∆ECΠ (or similar), Virgin Mary nimbate standing on right wears pallium and maphorium, crowns emperor with right hand, Manuel standing on left, wears divitision, loros, and chlamys, holds labarum and akakia; SOLD
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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).
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 Bibliothèque Nationale II, 711 - 1204. (Paris, 1970).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines à l'époque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
Sabatier, J. Description générale des monnaies Byzantines. (Paris, 1863).
Sear, D. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sommer, A. Die Münzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Münzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 14).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).
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