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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.
SH86353. Gold hyperpyron, Bendall PCPC 4.4 (siglon 38), DOC V 14, Lianta 488 - 493 var. (siglon), Grierson 1288, Sommer 77.1, SBCV 2242, VF, not fully struck and double as typical for the type, marks and scratches, weight 4.207 g, maximum diameter 28.7 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, M - Θ(?) flanking nimbus, six towers on walls; sigla A - K across fields; reverse ...X/M...on left, OΠ/A... on right (abbreviated and blundered Greek for Michael Despot), 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, HT ligature (siglon?) above center, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation for Jesus Christ) flanking Christ's head; very scarce; SOLD


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SH12282. Gold hyperpyron, DOC V 13, Bendall PCPC 4, (siglon 40), cf. Sommer 77.1, Grierson 1288, Lianta 488 ff., SBCV 2242, aEF, graffiti, weight 4.185 g, maximum diameter 25.9 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 castles forming walls; sigla A - K (K retrograde) across fields; reverse X/M/∆EC/ΠO/T (or similar) 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 holding scroll, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation for Jesus Christ) flanking Christ's head; very scarce; SOLD


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SH81199. Gold hyperpyron, Bendall PCPC 5, DOC V 17 ff., SBCV 2243, Lianta 495, Grierson 1289, Sommer -, VF, weight 4.161 g, maximum diameter 26.0 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 castles on walls; reverse Archangel Michael standing facing, on left, behind Michael VII kneeling facing, presents Michael VIII to Christ, on right, seated left on high throne holding gospels; very scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Michael VIII Palaeologus, 15 August 1261 - 11 December 1282

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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.
SH86354. Gold hyperpyron, DOC V 25 (siglon 70), Bendall PCPC 5 (siglon not listed), Lianta 494 - 504 var. (siglon), Grierson 1289, SBCV 2243, Sommer -, VF, obverse double struck, flan cracks, weight 4.221 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 0o, 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 K - M low across fields; reverse inscription on left off flan, IΠ/A/T... on right (abbreviated and blundered Greek for Michael Despot), 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 left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation for Jesus Christ) flanking Christ's head; very scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Michael VIII Palaeologus, 15 August 1261 - 11 December 1282

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The Panagia Agiosoritissa or Hagiosoritissa is the name for a type of Marian icon, showing Mary without child, slightly from the side with both hands raised in prayer.
BZ89849. Copper trachy, B-D BTM C.7; Bendall PCPC 25; Grierson 1343; DOC V type 8, 64 - 65; SBCV 2264; Sommer 77.8, VF, crowded flan, nicer than the two Dumbarton Oaks plate coins, face of Mary weak, reverse typical double strike, weight 2.237 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1261 - 1282 A.D.; obverse the Virgin Hagiosoritissa, standing orans half-left, wearing tunic and maphorion, MP - ΘV (Mother of God) flanking nimbus; reverse X / M / ∆/EC/ΠO/T on left, O / Γ on right, Michael, on left, with St. George, on right, both standing facing holding a labarum between them, emperor wearing stemma, divitision, color piece and loros and holds scepter cruciger in right hand, St. George nimbate and wearing tunic, breastplate and sagion; very rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Michael VIII Palaeologus, 15 August 1261 - 11 December 1282

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St. Demetrius, the son of a Roman proconsul in Thessalonica, was captured preaching and imprisoned. His fellow Christian prisoner, Nestoras, a small man condemned to die in the arena, killed the emperor's favored gladiator. Nestoras was beheaded on the spot. Learning that Nestoras had been inspired by Demetrius' blessing, Maximian had Demetrius executed by spears on 26 Oct 306 A.D. After the growth of his veneration as saint, Thessalonica suffered repeated attacks and sieges from the Slavic peoples who moved into the Balkans. Demetrius was credited with many miraculous interventions to defend the city. Hence later traditions Demetrius regard him as a soldier in the Roman army, and he came to be regarded as an important military martyr. Unsurprisingly, he was extremely popular in the Middle Ages, and along with Saint George, was the patron of the Crusades.
BZ91213. Bronze trachy, B-D BTM C.8, DOC V 66-69, Bellinger PCPC 26, Grierson 1344, SBCV 2265, Sommer 77.9, VF, well centered and struck for the type, green patina with copper high points, weight 1.419 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1261 - 1282 A.D.; obverse O / A/Γ/S - ∆H/MH/TP/S (The Saint Demetrius, in flanking columnar groups, MH and TP ligate), St. Demetrius standing facing, beardless and nimbate, wearing short military tunic, breastplate and sagion, spear vertical in right hand, shield on left arm; reverse X / M / ∆E - O ΠAΛEO/Γ (or similar, in flanking columnar groups), Emperor, on left, and The Virgin, on right, both standing facing; emperor wears stemma, divitision and loros, labarum in right hand, anexikakia in left hand; The Virgin, nimbate, wears tunic and maphorion, crowns emperor, M - ΘV (Greek abbreviation: Mother of God) flanking nimbus; scarce; SOLD


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Santa Claus!
BZ10820. Copper trachy, B-D BTM C.25; Bendall PCPC 48; DOC V type 29, 126; Grierson 1360; Ratto 2221; SBCV 2285; Sommer 77.24, aVF, green patina, some corrosion and encrustation on obverse, usual tight flan and obscure legends, small die split, weight .96 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse A within circle upper left, AΓ/I left, NI/KO/ΛA right, nimbate bust of St. Nicholas facing, wearing episcopal vestments, holding Gospels; reverse X /M / DE/PO/TI on left, O - Π/Λ/Γ on right, Michael standing facing, scepter cruciger in left hand, anexikakia in right hand, wearing stemma, divitision, loros, and sagion, Manus Dei (hand of God) appearing from cloud upper right; very 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.
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 Wednesday, January 22, 2020.
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Byzantine coins of Michael VIII Palaeologus