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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Byzantine Coins ▸ Comnen DynastyView Options:  |  |  | 

Byzantine Coins of the Comnen Dynasty

Byzantine Empire, Isaac I Comnenus, 1 September 1057 - 22 November 1059

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Isaac I Komnenos was the founder of the Komnenian dynasty. Orphaned at an early age, he was raised under the care of Emperor Basil II. He made his name as a successful military commander. In 1057 he led a conspiracy of dissatisfied generals against the newly crowned Michael VI. He was proclaimed emperor by his followers and defeated the loyalist army in battle. On 1 Sep 1057, Isaac was crowned in the Hagia Sophia. To strengthen the Empire's fiscal condition he reduced salaries, implemented harsh tax measures and confiscated Church properties. This aroused much opposition particularly, from the Patriarch of Constantinople, whom he had arrested and exiled but who died before he was put on trial. The eastern frontier held firm during his reign, Hungarian raids were resolved by a treaty, and the restive Pechenegs were subdued by Isaac in person in summer 1059. Soon after, he fell ill and abdicated his throne in favor of Constantine X Doukas. Isaac retired to a monastery where he died in 1060.
SH87502. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III-2 2; Morrison BnF 50/Cp/AV/01; Wroth BMC p. 512, 3; Ratto 2007; Sommer 51.1; SBCV 1843, gVF/XF, well centered and struck, weight 4.400 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1 Sep 1057 - 22 Nov 1059; obverse +IhS XIS REX REGNANTIhm (Jesus Christ King of Kings), Christ enthroned facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, gospels in left hand, double border; reverse +ICAAKIOC RA CIΛEVC PωM (Isaac King of the Romans), Issac standing facing, bearded; wearing crown with cross and pendilia, and military attire: cuirass, tunic, cloak and high boots; sword over his right shoulder in his right hand, resting left hand on scabbard hung on his side; from the Robert Watcher Collection, ex iNumis auction 6 (11 Oct 2008), lot 426; scarce; $1400.00 (1190.00)


Byzantine Empire, Romanus IV Diogenes, 1 January 1068 - 19 August 1071

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Due to their distinctive iconography, these histamenon types were nicknamed "six-headers" in their day.
SH87499. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III-2 1.1; Morrisson BnF 53/Cp/AV/02; Wroth BMC 1; Sommer 54.1; SBCV 1859; Ratto -, F/VF, some scratches, holes for pendant, weight 3.938 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1 Jan 1068 - 19 Aug 1071; obverse KWN MX AN∆, Michael standing facing on footstool, transverse labarum in right hand, akakia in left hand, flanked by Constantius and Andronicus, each standing facing on an individual footstool, each holding globus cruciger in inner hand and akakia in outer hand; reverse + PWMANS EV∆UKIA, Jesus Christ standing facing on footstool, crowning Romanus and Eudocia, each holds a globus cruciger in inner hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iisos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking Christ's head; from the Robert Watcher Collection; $300.00 (255.00)


Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class I, Nicephorus III, 7 January 1078 - 1 April 1081

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BZ86180. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, class I; SBCV 1889, gVF, excellent bust of Christ, weight 3.510 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 7 Jan 1078 - 1 Apr 1081; obverse Christ bust facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, gospels in left, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iisos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse Latin cross with X at center, globule and two pellets at each extremity, floral ornaments in lower fields, crescents in upper fields; $240.00 (204.00)


Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class G, Romanus IV, 1 January 1068 - 19 August 1071 A.D.

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On "Anonymous Folles" the emperor's name and portrait are not part of the design, hence they are anonymous. Instead of the earthly king, these coins depict Jesus Christ, King of Kings.
BZ86179. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, class G; SBCV 1867, gVF, well centered, attractive style, overstruck, undertype effects on reverse, weight 9.940 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1 Jan 1068 - 19 Aug 1071 A.D.; obverse bust of Christ facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, scroll in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) across field, border of large pellets; reverse facing bust of the Virgin Orans, nimbate and wearing pallium and maphorium, MP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation: Mother of God) across field, border of large pellets; scarce; $225.00 (191.25)


Byzantine Empire, Alexius I, 4 April 1081 - 15 August 1118 A.D.

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On 8 April 1093, construction of Winchester Cathedral in England was completed by Bishop Walkelin.
BZ82688. Bronze tetarteron, DOC IV-1 34; Morrison BnF 59/Cp/AE/04; SBCV 1921; Sommer 59.20; Wroth BMC 33; Ratto 2079; Hendy pl. 8, 1-2, VF, very nice for the type, green patina with buff earthen highlighting, typical tight irregular flan, weight 3.958 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople mint, 1092 - 1093 A.D.; obverse bust of Christ facing, cross behind head, wearing pallium and kolobion, holding book of Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iisos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking across field; reverse + AΛZI ∆ECΠ (or similar), Alexius bust facing, wearing crown and loros, jeweled (5 globules) scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand; the first example of this type handled by Forum, only two on Coin Archives; very rare; $180.00 (153.00)


Crusaders(?), Imitative of Zangids of Syria, c. 1146 - 1200 A.D.,

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This coin is a crude imitative of an Islamic fals of the Zangids of Syria, Nur al-Din Mahmud, struck at Halab (Aleppo, Syria), 1146 - 1173 (Spengler-Sayles 73, Album 1850). That type was itself also imitative, copying a Byzantine follis of Constantine X, struck at Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey), 1059 - 1067 (DOC III 8, SBCV 1853). The quality of the Zangids fals vary greatly and it can be difficult to distinguish between Halab mint issues and imitatives. This example is very crude and if any can be attributed to the crusaders, this is one.
BZ77974. Bronze follis, Malloy Crusaders -; cf. Spengler-Sayles 73 (notes "barbaric" imitations), Album 1850 (notes imitations are perhaps struck by the Crusaders), F, desert patina, tight flan, weight 2.798 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain mint, c. 1150 - 1200 A.D.; obverse two Byzantine style imperial figures (Constantine X and Eudocia) standing facing, supporting between them labarum resting on three steps, EX downward on left, imitation of Kufic legend inner left; reverse Christ standing facing, nimbate, book of Gospels in left hand, right hand on hip, IC - XC flanking head, blundered imitation of legend around; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $80.00 (68.00)











Catalog current as of Sunday, November 18, 2018.
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Comnen Dynasty