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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Judean & Biblical Coins ▸ Biblical CoinsView Options:  |  |  |   

Coins from the Bible

Theodora, 21 April 1042 - 12 June 1042 and 11 January 1055 - 21 August 1056

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Zoe and Theodora, the two elderly daughters of Constantine VIII ruled jointly for 7 1/2 weeks (21 Apr - 12 Jun 1042) following the deposition of Michael V. They were unfit for rule and did not get along. The senator Constantine Monomachus was selected as a husband for Zoe ascended the throne as Constantine IX. Theodora held sole rule for a year and a half after the death of Constantine IX until her death (11 Jan 1055 - 21 Aug 1056). She nominated Michael Stratioticus, a civil servant, as her successor.
BZ89542. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III, part 2, 1c; SBCV 1837, Wroth BMC 4 var. (pellets in nimbus); Morrison BnF 1 var. (same); Ratto -, Sommer -, VF, broad flan, bumps and scratches, die wear, weight 4.186 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, sole reign, 11 Jan 1055 - 21 Aug 1056; obverse + IhS XIS REX REGNANITInm (Jesus Christ, King of Kings), Christ Pantokrator standing facing on dais, wearing nimbus cruciger with no pellets, pallium and colobium, right hand raised in benediction, book of Gospels cradled in left arm, double border; reverse + ΘEO∆wPA AVΓOVCTA (Theodora, Empress), Theodora (on left) and the Virgin (on left) standing facing, jointly holding labarum between them with pellet on shaft, Theodora with right hand on breast, wearing crown with pendilia, saccos with cross and loros; the Virgin nimbate, wearing pallium and maphorium, M - Θ (mother of god) flanking her head; from the Robert Watcher Collection; rare; $1600.00 (1360.00)


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

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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 nearly complete inscription, among the best of all the specimens known to Forum.
SH87639. Bronze follis, DOC III part 2, p. 706, N.1 (anonymous class N follis); Grierson 1976, type a; Bland Basilacius pl. 36, B; SBCV 1903A; Sommer 58.1, VF, near complete inscription with at least part of each letter visible, crude, overstruck with severe undertype effects, bumps, scratches, corrosion, weight 5.607 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, summer 1078 A.D.; obverse +NIKHΦO-POC BACΛE, 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; barred IC - XC / NI-KA (Jesus Christ conquers) in the quarters; among the best examples known to Forum of this extremely rare and always crude overstruck type!; extremely rare; $1500.00 (1275.00)


Byzantine Empire, Leontius, 695 - 698 A.D.

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Leontius' success as a general forced the Arab Caliph Abd al-Malik to make concessions and pay tribute to Emperor Justinian II; but when war was renewed, Leontius was defeated. Furious over the loss, Justinian imprisoned him for two years. When he was freed, Leontius and his former prison comrades organized a revolt, and he took the throne. Justinian was deposed, his nose and tongue were slit and he was exiled to a monastery. After the Arabs took Carthage, the fleet Leontius sent to retake the city failed. Rather than report defeat to the emperor, the army overthrew their admiral and named Apsimar, a Germanic sailor, as their leader. Apsimar changed his name to Tiberius, returned to Constantinople, seized the thrown, cut off Leontius' nose and ears and exiled him to a monastery. In 705, Justinian II returned to Constantinople with an army of Bulgars and Slavs. Both Leontius and Tiberius were dragged through the streets in chains and beheaded.
SH89538. Gold solidus, DOC II part 2, 1b, Morrisson BnF 16/Cp/AV/02, SBCV 1330, Hahn MIB III 1, Sommer 15.1, Wroth BMC -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, EF, mint luster, flow lines, uneven strike with part of obverse legend and mintmark weak, obverse off center, die wear, tight flan, weight 4.319 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople mint, 695 - 698 A.D.; obverse D LEO-N PE AV, bearded facing bust, wearing loros and crown with cross, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse VICTORIA AVSY S, cross potent set on three step, CONOB in exergue; from the Robert Watcher Collection; rare; $1200.00 (1020.00)


Marcian, 24 August 450 - 31 January 457 A.D.

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Marcian indirectly saved Rome from Attila the Hun. In 452, Attila captured and ransacked Aquileia, Milan, and other cities in Northern Italy. It seemed Attila would soon attack Rome itself, whose walls were weaker than some cities Attila had already captured. Meanwhile, however, Marcian's Eastern Roman forces had taken the offensive across the Danube, attacking the breadbasket of the Hunnic Empire. The loss of food supply from Attila's own land, and a famine and plague in Italy, depleted Attila's forces, allowing the Western Roman Empire to bribe him into returning to his homeland. Back home, Attila threatened to invade the Eastern Empire and enslave the entirety of it. Marcian and Aspar ignored his threats. The Eastern Empire had already paid Attila about six tons of gold, yet he still threatened them. They reasoned that gold would be better spent building up armies. Attila's attack never came, as he died unexpectedly in 453, either from hemorrhaging or alcoholic suffocation, after celebrating a marriage to one of his many wives. Attila's tribal confederation empire fell apart within a year after his death. Marcian settled numerous tribes, formerly under Attila, within Eastern Roman lands as foederati (subject tribes which gave military service in exchange for various benefits). Map 450 A.D.

SH91162. Gold solidus, DOCLR 481 (also 7th officina), Ratto 217, RIC X Marcian 510, Hahn MIB 5, SRCV V 21379, Choice EF, well centered and struck with attractive dies, light marks, weight 4.445 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 180o, 7th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 450 A.D.; obverse D N MARCIA-NVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, diadem with jewel and trefoil ornament, spear in right hand over right shoulder, shield on left arm decorated with horseman spearing a fallen enemy; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG Z (Z reversed, victory of the three emperors, 7th officina), Victory standing left holding a long jeweled cross, star in right field, CONOB in exergue; ex Neptune Numismatics; scarce; $850.00 (722.50)


Byzantine Empire, Constantine VIII, 15 December 1025 - 11 November 1028 A.D.

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Constantine VIII was crowned emperor when he was an infant; however, for his first 63 years of "rule" he was a junior emperor and rarely played even a minor role in state affairs. He spent his life in search of pleasure and entertainment, including spectator sports at the Hippodrome, feasting, riding and hunting. After his brother Basil II died, Constantine was sole emperor for nearly the last three years of his life. He carried on as he always had, enjoying life and avoiding state business as much as possible. Ineffective and cruel, he allegedly ordered the execution or mutilation of hundreds of innocent men.
BZ89541. Gold histamenon nomisma, DOC III part 2, 1.1; Wroth BMC 3, Morrisson BnF 3; Ratto 1969; SBCV 1815; Sommer 42.1, gVF, well centered and struck on a broad flan, attractive style, some bumps and marks, some die wear, holed, weight 4.370 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 15 Dec 1025 - 11 Nov 1028; obverse + IhS XIS REX REGNANTIhM (Jesus Christ, King of Kings), bearded bust of Christ facing wearing nimbus cruciger with straight arms and crescents in upper quarters, pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left, triple border; reverse +CWnSTAnTIn bASILEhS ROM (Constantine, King of the Romans), bust facing, with long beard, wearing crown and loros, labarum (no pellet on shaft) in left, akakia in right, triple border; from the Robert Watcher Collection; scarce; $700.00 (595.00)


Tiberius, 19 August 14 - 16 March 37 A.D., Tribute Penny of Matthew 22:20-21

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Jesus, referring to a "penny" asked, "Whose is this image and superscription?" When told it was Caesar, He said, ''Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:20-21). Since Tiberius was Caesar at the time, this denarius type is attributed by scholars as the "penny" referred to in the Bible.
SH89761. Silver denarius, Giard Lyon, group 4, 150; RIC I 30 (C); BMCRE I 48; RSC II 16a; SRCV I 1763, gVF, toned, highest points struck a bit flat, slightly off center, minor edge flaw at 8:00 on reverse, weight 3.701 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 18 - 35 A.D.; obverse TI CAESAR DIVI AVG F AVGVSTVS, laureate head right; reverse PONTIF MAXIM (high priest), Pax (or Livia as Pax) seated right on chair with decorated legs, a single line below, long scepter vertical behind in her right hand, branch in left hand, feet on footstool; $700.00 (595.00)


Byzantine Empire, Nicephorus II Phocas, 16 August 963 - 10 December 969 A.D., with Basil II

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This coin has been clipped to less than half its original weight. Most likely it was clipped for mounting in jewelry. It is an excellent size for mounting in a ring.
BZ89540. Gold tetarteron nomisma, DOC III part 2, 5.1 (same dies); Morrisson BnF 39/Cp/AV/11; Sommer 38.4; SBCV 1780; Wroth BMC -; Ratto - (none clipped to tremissis), VF, clipped to tremissis weight, light earthen deposits, weight 1.617 g, maximum diameter 11.7 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 16 Aug 963 - 10 Dec 969 A.D.; obverse +Ihs XΓS REX REGNANTInm (Jesus Christ King of Kings), bust of Christ Pantokrator facing wearing nimbus cruciger with two pellets in each limb of the cross, pallium, and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left hand; reverse +ΘEOTOC' bHΘ' hIEHF dESP' (God-bearer help ruler Nicephorus), facing busts of the Virgin, on left, and Nicephorus, on right, they hold a long patriarchal cross between them, she is nimbate, wears a stola and maphorium and divides M - Θ (mother of God), he has a short beard and wears a crown and loros; from the Robert Watcher Collection; $500.00 (425.00)


Empire of Trebizond, Manuel I Comnenus, 1238 - 1263 A.D.

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Manuel I Megas Komnenos (died March 1263) was an Emperor of Trebizond, from 1238 until his death. At the time Manuel reigned, the Empire of Trebizond comprised a band of territory stretching along the southern coast of the Black Sea. Although Michael Panaretos, a 14th-century Greek chronicler, calls Manuel "the greatest general and the most fortunate" and states he ruled "virtuously in the eyes of God", the only event he documents for Manuel's reign is a catastrophic fire striking the city of Trebizond in January 1253. The major events of his reign are known from external sources, most important of which is the recovery of Sinope in 1254, which had been lost to the Sultanate of Rum forty years before.
BZ89548. Silver asper, Sommer T3.20 (same dies), Retowski 217 (same dies), SBCV 2601, aEF, crude style usual for the type, toned, uneven strike, die wear, weight 2.807 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 180o, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, 1238 - 1263 A.D.; obverse A (with circle) /EV/Γ - O / TPA/ΠC/TI/d (C blundered), Saint Eugenius standing facing, long cross in right hand; reverse MH/N/HΛ/o - K/MH/N (MH's ligate), Manuel standing facing, labarum in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, Manus Dei (hand of God) upper right; nicer than the referenced two plate coins, which are from the same dies, nicer than the only two specimens auctioned in the last two decades as recorded on Coin Archives; very rare; $500.00 (425.00)


Byzantine Empire, Manuel II Palaeologus, 25 September 1373 - 1423 A.D.

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Manuel's half stavrata with this reverse legend (which translates: "Manuel who is faithful to Christ the Lord") comprise the "Pistos" (Faithful) series. The "Pistos" series, numbers about half the quantity of half stavrata of the "Imperial" series, with the normal basileus legend (which translates: "King Manuel Palaeologus"). In A Private Collection of Palaeologan Coins, Simon Bendall asserts, "Evidence suggests there were two mints in Constantinople -- the imperial mint producing coinage for the emperor's needs and a public mint where the members of the public could bring in bullion or plate to be turned into money. The "Pistos" coins were probably the production of this public mint at Constantinople."
BZ89546. Silver half stavraton (Pistos series), quarter hyperpyron, sigla 71; DOC V 1480 (same dies); Bendall PCPC 343.5 (same dies); Bendall LPC p. 160, 2; Grierson 1518; Sommer 88.3; SBCV 2552, gVF, toned, uneven strike, typical tight flan, weight 3.427 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 180o, Public Mint, Constantinople mint, c. 1405 - 1415; obverse bust of Christ facing, cross nimbus, tunic and himation, right raised in benediction, Gospels in left, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) divided across field, no sigla, double border with pellets between; reverse I MAVOHΛ E XO TO ΘEV ΠHCTOC BA (Manuel who is faithful to Christ the Lord, blundered, incomplete cross at start), bust of John VII facing, bearded, nimbate, crown with pendilia, pellet in both left and right fields (sigla); from the Robert Wachter Collection; rare; $450.00 (382.50)


Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class A3, Basil II & Constantine VIII, c. 1023 - 11 November 1028 A.D.

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This is a new ornaments variety, unlisted by Bellinger and Grierson, with one pellet in each limb of the nimbus cross, two pellets vertically arranged within a jeweled border on the Gospels and the ornamentation shown below both above and under the reverse inscription. We have designated this new variety Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments F1d.

SH82730. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, class A3; SBCV 1818; Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments F1d, aEF, well centered on a tight flan, porosity, edge crack, weight 9.903 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 150o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 1023 - 11 Nov 1028 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (Latinized Hebrew: Emmanuel - "God with us"), facing nimbate bust of Christ, two pellets in each arm of the cross, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iisos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings), ornaments above and below inscription; unpublished variety; $400.00 (340.00)




  







Catalog current as of Wednesday, May 22, 2019.
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Biblical Coins