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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |The Restored Empire| ▸ |Michael VIII||View Options:  |  |  | 

Michael VIII Palaeologus, 15 August 1261 - 11 December 1282

Joint rule as Emperor of Nicaea with John IV, August 1258 - 15 August 1261 A.D.
Joint rule as senior emperor with Andronicus II (his son), 1272 - 11 December 1282 A.D.
Michael VIII was regent for and later co-emperor with the Nicaean Emperor John IV. He defeated the Latin emperor Baldwin II, captured Constantinople and restored the empire. His superb diplomatic skills balanced his enemies against each other. He agreed to union with the Church of Rome, gaining the support of the pope and preventing attack by Charles of Anjou. With the passing of the Byzantine throne to his son Andronicus, he founded the last great Byzantine dynasty.
Byzantine Empire 1265 AD


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Michael VIII was regent for and later co-emperor with the Nicaean Emperor John IV. He defeated the Latin emperor Baldwin II, captured Constantinople and restored the empire. His superb diplomatic skills balanced his enemies against each other. He founded the last great Byzantine dynasty.
SH76242. Gold hyperpyron, DOC V 19 (siglon 61), Lianta 499, Bendall PCPC 5 (none with this siglon), Grierson 1289, SBCV 2243, Sommer -, F, weight 4.179 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 15 Aug 1261 - 11 Dec 1282; obverse Nimbate half-length facing figure of the Virgin Mary orans within city walls, six towers on walls, sigla P - P low across field; reverse X/M/∆EC/ΠO/T (or similar) on left, Π/ΛA (or similar) on right, Archangel Michael standing facing, on left, behind Michael VII kneeling facing, presents Michael VIII to Christ, on right, seated left on high throne, Gospels in right hand, IC - CX (sic, blundered Greek abbreviation for Jesus Christ) flanking Christ's head; from the Robert Watcher Collection; very scarce; SOLD


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In Hebrew, Michael means "who is like God." Archangel Michael is mentioned three times in the Book of Daniel, once as a "great prince who stands up for the children of your people." The idea that Michael was the advocate of the Jews became so prevalent that in spite of the rabbinical prohibition against appealing to angels as intermediaries between God and his people, Michael came to occupy a certain place in the Jewish liturgy. In the Book of Revelation, Michael leads God's armies and defeats Satan's forces. Christian sanctuaries to Michael appeared in the 4th century, when he was first seen as a healing angel, and then over time as a protector and the leader of the army of God against the forces of evil. By the 6th century, devotions to Archangel Michael were widespread both in the Eastern and Western Churches.
SH36612. Copper trachy, B-D BTM C.1, Bendall PCPC 20, DOC V 46 - 51, SBCV 2259, Grierson 1339 1340, Sommer 77.3, gVF, green patina, punch in obv. center, weight 2.727 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1261 - 1282 A.D.; obverse nimbate bust of Christ facing, wearing tunic and colobion, right hand raised in benediction, scroll in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) over K - inverted K flanking; reverse X / M / ∆EC/Π/TIC on left, O / ΠAΛE on right, Archangel Michael standing facing, on left, behind Michael VII kneeling facing, presenting Michael VIII to Christ, on right, seated left on high throne holding gospels, M (Michael) top center, IC - XC (Jesus Christ) flanking head of Christ, siglos K - inverted K in center at feet; rare; SOLD


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Michael VIII was regent for and later co-emperor with the Nicaean Emperor John IV. He defeated the Latin emperor Baldwin II, captured Constantinople and restored the empire. His superb diplomatic skills balanced his enemies against each other. He founded the last great Byzantine dynasty.
SH70964. Gold hyperpyron, Bendall PCPC 4.4 (siglon 38), DOC V 14, Lianta 488 ff. var. (siglon), Grierson 1288, Sommer 77.1, SBCV 2242, EF, well struck face of the Virgin, flat areas as usual, weight 4.141 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 15 Aug 1261 - 11 Dec 1282; obverse Nimbate half-length facing figure of the Virgin Mary orans within city walls, six towers on walls; sigla A - K across fields; reverse X MH ∆EΠTI (or similar, MH ligate) downward on left, XC / Π/ΛA (or similar) on right, Archangel Michael standing facing, on left, behind Michael VII kneeling facing, presents Michael VIII to Christ, on right, seated left on high throne, scroll in right, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation for Jesus Christ) flanking Christ's head; ex Baldwin's auction A210 (5 Jun 2010), lot 47; very 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. V: Michael VII to Constantine XI, 1258-1453. (Washington D.C., 1999).
Bendall, S. A Private Collection of Palaeologan Coins. (Wolverhampton, 1988).
Bendall, S. & P. Donald. The Billion Trachea of Michael VIII Palaeologos 1258 - 1282. (London, 1974).
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins. (London, 1982).
Lianta, E. Late Byzantine Coins, 1204 - 1453, in the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. (London, 2009).
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).

Catalog current as of Saturday, December 7, 2019.
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Byzantine coins of Michael VIII Palaeologus