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

Byzantine Coins of the Comnen Dynasty
Byzantine Empire, Constantine X Ducas, 25 December 1059 - 21 May 1067 A.D.

|Constantine| |X|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constantine| |X| |Ducas,| |25| |December| |1059| |-| |21| |May| |1067| |A.D.||histamenon| |nomisma|NEW
Constantine X seems to have been a weak, ineffective leader. His wife, Eudocia, had great power within the empire, and was thought by some to be "the power behind the throne." Upon the death of Constantine X, his eldest son, Michael VII was still a child, so Eudocia took over as regent.
SH99078. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III-2 2, Morrisson BnF 51/Cp/AV/10, Wroth BMC 4, Ratto 2011, Sommer 52.2, SBCV 1848, Choice EF, scyphate, flow lines, weight 4.418 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 25 Dec 1059 - 21 May 1067; obverse + IhS XIΓ REX REINANTIhm, Christ seated facing on lyre-backed throne, wears nimbus cruciger, pallium and colobium, raising hand in benediction; reverse + KWN RAC Λ O ∆OVKAC, Constantine (on left) standing facing, wearing crown and loros, globus cruciger in his left hand; the Virgin Mary standing facing, nimbate, crowing Constantine, M - Θ (Greek abbreviation: Mητηρ Θεου - Mother of God) flanking her head; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 104 (4 Jul 2021), lot 1020; $1200.00 SALE PRICE $1080.00


Byzantine Empire, Nicephorus Basilacius, Usurper, Summer 1078 A.D., Anonymous Class N Follis

|Nicephorus| |Basilacius|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Nicephorus| |Basilacius,| |Usurper,| |Summer| |1078| |A.D.,| |Anonymous| |Class| |N| |Follis||follis|NEW
Until 1976 this type was regarded as anonymous (Class N) because neither of the two known specimens had a visible legend. In 1976, Grierson published a new specimen with a legend naming the ruler, Nicephorus (Grierson, P. "Nicephorus Bryennius or Nicephorus Basilacius?" in NumCirc LXXXIV.1 (January 1976), type a). There were two candidates, Nicephorus Bryennius and Nicephorus Basilacius, both usurpers, Bryennius in 1077 - 1078, and Basilacius in Thessalonica for a few months during 1078. In 1992, Roger Bland published an example with the legend on the obverse right side reading POCBAC, which has been accepted as proving this type was struck by Basilacius (Bland, R. "A Follis of Nicephorus Basilacius?" NC 1992, p. 175 ff. and pl. 36, B). Our coin has a different more complete but blundered and obscure inscription on the obverse right side.
BZ99035. Bronze follis, DOC III-2 p. 706, N.1 (anonymous class N follis); Grierson 1976, type a; Bland Basilacius pl. 36, B; SBCV 1903A (Ex. Rare); Sommer 58.1, F, uneven strike, overstruck with strong undertype effects, weight 5.863 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, summer 1078 A.D.; obverse +NIKHΦW-POC BACIΛE (or similar), facing bust of Christ, nimbus cross with plain arms, wearing tunic and himation, right hand raised in blessing, Gospels in left, IC-XC flanking across field; reverse patriarchal cross on base; IC-XC / NI-KA (Jesus Christ conquers) in the quarters; from a Las Vegas dealer; extremely rare; $800.00 SALE PRICE $720.00


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

|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 SALE PRICE $225.00


Byzantine Empire, Nicephorus III Botaniates, 7 January 1078 - 1 April 1081 A.D.

|Nicephorus| |III|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Nicephorus| |III| |Botaniates,| |7| |January| |1078| |-| |1| |April| |1081| |A.D.||histamenon| |nomisma|NEW
The inept rule of Michael VII led to several revolts. Nicephorus seized the capital, was crowned and married Michael's wife, Empress Maria of Alania. To ensure the succession of her son Constantine, Empress Maria conspired with Alexius Comnenus to dispose of Nicephorus. Just as Nicephorus had banished Michael to a monastery, Alexius Comnenus banished Nicephorus to a monastery.
BZ99106. Electrum histamenon nomisma, DOC III-2 3b, Wroth BMC 7, Morrisson BnF 56/Cp/AV/01, Ratto 2051, SBCV 1881, Sommer 56.3, gVF, scyphate, broken, 1/3 missing, weight 2.812 g, maximum diameter 30.23 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1078 - 1081 A.D.; obverse Christ seated facing, throne without back, nimbus cruciger with no pellets in cross, wearing pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking head; reverse +NIKHFP ∆EC TW ROTANIAT, Nicephorus standing facing on footstool, bearded, wearing crown and loros, holding labarum with cross on shaft and globus cruciger, all inside double border; from the Robert Wachter Collection; $220.00 SALE PRICE $198.00


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

|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 SALE PRICE $198.00


Byzantine Empire, Nicephorus III Botaniates, 7 January 1078 - 1 April 1081

|Nicephorus| |III|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Nicephorus| |III| |Botaniates,| |7| |January| |1078| |-| |1| |April| |1081||histamenon| |nomisma|NEW
The inept rule of Michael VII led to several revolts. Nicephorus seized the capital, was crowned and married Michael's wife, Empress Maria of Alania. To ensure the succession of her son Constantine, Empress Maria conspired with Alexius Comnenus to dispose of Nicephorus. Just as Nicephorus had banished Michael to a monastery, Alexius Comnenus banished Nicephorus to a monastery.
BZ99107. Electrum histamenon nomisma, DOC III-2 2; Wroth BMC 5; Ratto 2050; Morrisson BnF p. 660, type 2; SBCV 1882; Sommer 56.2, aVF, scyphate, broken, 1/3 missing, weight 2.982 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 7 Jan 1078 - 1 Apr 1081; obverse Christ seated facing on square back throne, bearded, nimbate with pellet in each cross arm, wears pallium and colobium, raises right hand in benediction, gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Ihsos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking head; reverse NIKHFP ∆EC TW ROTANIAT, Nicephorus standing facing on footstool, bearded, wearing crown and loros, holding labarum with cross on shaft and globus cruciger, all inside double border; from the Robert Wachter Collection; $170.00 SALE PRICE $153.00


Duchy of Durazzo (Republic of Venice), 1205 - 1213, Imitative of Byzantine, Alexius I Tetarteron, 1093 - 1118

|Greece|, |Duchy| |of| |Durazzo| |(Republic| |of| |Venice),| |1205| |-| |1213,| |Imitative| |of| |Byzantine,| |Alexius| |I| |Tetarteron,| |1093| |-| |1118||tetarteron|NEW
The Duchy of Durazzo was a short-lived overseas colony of the Republic of Venice, encompassing the port city of Durazzo (modern Durrs in Albania) and its environs. It was established in 1205, following the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade, and lasted until it was reclaimed by the Byzantine Despotate of Epirus in 1213.

The Durrs Hoard discovered in 1967, near the apse of the chapel of the amphitheater of Dyrrachion, included 862 ornamented cross-type copper coins imitative of tetartera of the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus. Similar types to our imitative coin. Pagona Papadopoulou studied the hoard and concluded the coins were hidden in the chapel when the forces of Michael I Comnenus Ducas, the Despot of Epirus (1204-1215) attacked and put an end to the Venetian Duchy in 1214. She also studied many other finds of the type and concluded the coins were struck by the Venetians beginning shortly before or after 1204 A.D., probably at Corinth.
Durazzo
BZ99037. Bronze tetarteron, cf. Papadopoulou type IIa, Sommer 59.26.2; Hendy pl. 8, 11; for the prototype see DOC IV-1 40 (Byzantine, Alexius I, Thessalonica, 1093 - 1118 A.D.), aEF, green patina, crude, porous, weight 1.130 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Corinth (Greece) or Durazzo (Durrs, Albania) mint, 1203 - 1213 A.D.; obverse crude Maltese cross fourche with arms of equal length, no base, no X at center, globus and two pellets at the end of each arm, Φ - C / X - [?] in the angles; reverse no legend, barbarous half-length bust facing, bearded, wearing crown with pendilia and jeweled chlamys, cruciform scepter in right hand, globus cruciger with four-pellet cross in left hand, pellets left and right; from a Las Vegas dealer; rare; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00


Byzantine Empire, Andronicus I, September 1183 - 12 September 1185 A.D.

|Andronicus| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Andronicus| |I,| |September| |1183| |-| |12| |September| |1185| |A.D.||half| |tetarteron|
Marchev and Watcher suggest the scarcity of this type my be due to limited or no minting during the Norman siege of Thessalonica.
BZ95147. Bronze half tetarteron, CLBC 5.4.4; DOC IV-1 8; SBCV 1989; Hendy pl. 19, 4; Morrisson BnF - (p. 731); Wroth BMC 17-18; Ratto 2172; Sommer 62.6; Grierson 1115, aVF, weak strike, ragged flan with edge splits typical of type, weight 1.781 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, Sep 1183 - 12 Sep 1185 A.D.; obverse facing bust of the Virgin Orans, nimbate, wearing pallium and maphorium, the nimbate head of the infant Christ on her chest, MP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation: Mητηρ Θεου - Mother of God) across field; reverse AN∆PO, half-length figure of Andronicus facing with forked beard, wearing crown, scaramangion and sagion, labarum in left hand, globus cruciger in right hand; from the S. Lindner Collection; rare; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


Byzantine Empire, Nicephorus III Botaniates, 7 January 1078 - 1 April 1081

|Nicephorus| |III|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Nicephorus| |III| |Botaniates,| |7| |January| |1078| |-| |1| |April| |1081||follis|NEW
After the inept rule of Michael VII led to several revolts, Nicephorus seized the capitol and was crowned emperor. His wife died shortly after. To gain the aura of royalty and the support of the powerful Ducas family, he married Michael's wife, Empress Maria of Alania (despite that her husband was still alive). Instead of strengthening his position, the marriage would lead to his downfall. In order to ensure the succession of her son Constantine, Empress Maria conspired with Alexius Comnenus to dispose of Nicephorus. Just as Nicephorus had banished Michael to a monastery, Alexius Comnenus banished Nicephorus to a monastery. He died soon after.
BZ99036. Bronze follis, DOC III-2 9, Morrisson BnF 56/Cp/AE/02, Wroth BMC 12, Ratto 2053, Sommer 56.5, SBCV 1888, VF, dark green patina, scratches, light deposits, overstruck (on anonymous follis class H?), weight 6.954 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 7 Jan 1078 - 1 Apr 1081; obverse 3/4 length figure of Christ standing facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iησοúς Xριστος - Jesus Christ) above stars left and right; reverse cross with pellet at each end, eight ray star in circle at center, C - Φ / N − ∆ (Greek abbreviation: Σταυρε Φυλαττε Nικηφοπον ∆εσποτη - May the cross protect Despot Nicephorus) in the quarters of cross; from a Las Vegas dealer; rare; $140.00 SALE PRICE $126.00


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

|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 SALE PRICE $126.00




  







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