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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Byzantine Coins ▸ Empire of Nicaea ▸ Theodore IView Options:  |  |  | 

Empire of Nicaea, Theodore I Komnenos Laskaris, c. 1204 - 1222 A.D.

After Constantinople fell to the crusaders in 1204, the Byzantines fled and organized areas of resistance. Nicaea was ruled by a strong leader, Theodore Laskaris. Crowned Emperor by the patriarch in 1208, Theodore checked both the Latins and the Turks. When he died in 1222, his state was a powerful empire ready to make a bid at taking back Constantinople.


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Magnesia ad Sipylum (modern Manisa, Turkey) was located in Lydia about 65 km northeast of Smyrna (now Izmir) on the river Hermus (now Gediz) at the foot of Mount Sipylus. The city should not be confused with Magnesia on the Maeander, both founded by colonists from the Greek region of Magnesia. The first famous mention of the city is in 190 B.C., when Antiochus the Great was defeated in the battle of Magnesia by the Roman consul Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus. It became a city of importance under Roman rule and, though nearly destroyed by an earthquake in the reign of Tiberius, was restored by that emperor and flourished. It was an important regional center through the Byzantine Empire. During the 13th century interregnum of the Empire of Nicaea, Magnesia housed the Imperial mint, the Imperial treasury, and served as the functional capital of the Empire until the recovery of Constantinople in 1261. Magnesia was one of the few towns in this part of Anatolia which remained prosperous under the Turkish rule.
BZ76758. Billon aspron trachy nomisma, DOC IV, part 2, 8; Lianta 189; SBCV 2068; Hendy pl. 31, 8; Sommer 69.4; Wroth BMC -; Ratto -, aF, weight 2.910 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 180o, Magnesia ad Sipylum (Manisa, Turkey) mint, c. 1204 - Nov 1221 A.D.; obverse EMMA-NYHΛ, nimbate bust of Christ facing, beardless, scroll in left hand, five pellets in each limb of nimbus cross, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation for Jesus Christ) flanking across field; reverse ΘEO∆WPOC - O - ΘEO∆WPOC, Theodore and St. Theodore standing facing, each with outer hand on sheathed sword and inner hand holding patriarchal cross set on three steps between them; Emperor wears stemma, divitsion, and chlamys; Saint wears short military tunic, breastplate and sagion; this is the first example of this type handled by Forum; scarce; $65.00 (€55.25)
 


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After Constantinople fell to the crusaders in 1204, the Byzantines fled and organized areas of resistance. Nicaea was ruled by a strong leader, Theodore Laskaris. Crowned Emperor by the patriarch in 1208, Theodore checked both the Latins and the Turks. When he died in 1222, his state was a powerful empire ready to make a bid at taking back Constantinople.
BZ76979. Billon aspron trachy nomisma, DOC IV, part 2, 5a; Hendy pl. 30, 7; Wroth BMC 4; SBCV 2061; Sommer 69.1; Ratto -, Choice aEF, light encrustations, a few bumps and marks, superb for the type, weight 3.967 g, maximum diameter 29.4 mm, die axis 180o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, c. 1205 - 1212 A.D.; obverse MHP - ΘV, The Virgin Mary seated facing, nimbate, wearing pallium and maphorium, the nimbate head of infant Christ before her; reverse ΘEO∆ΩPOC ∆ECΠOTHC KOMNHNOC O ΛAXKAPHC, emperor, on left, standing facing, crowned, wearing loros, labarum in right hand, and St. Theodore, on right, standing facing, in military dress, spear in left hand, both hold a patriarchal cross between them; better than any of the examples in Dumbarton Oaks!; scarce; SOLD


Empire of Nicaea, Theodore I Komnenos Laskaris, c. 1204 - November 1221 A.D.

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From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer for 40 years and co-author of "Coins of the Crusader States." Ex Abramowitz Family Collection of Judaean & Biblical Related Coinage, Superior Galleries Auction, 8 Dec 93, Lot 540.
BZ31836. Billon aspron trachy nomisma, DOC IV pl. XXVIII, 6.6; SBCV 2062, gF, porous, weak strike, weight 3.346 g, maximum diameter 28.1 mm, die axis 180o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, Type B, 1208 A.D.; obverse IC - XC, Christ seated facing on backless throne, nimbate, wearing tunic and kolobion, Gospels in left, star left; reverse ΘEO∆ΩPOC ∆ECΠOTHC KOMNHNOC O ΛAXKAPHC, full-length figure of the emperor, wearing stemma, divitsion, chlamys, and crown with pendilia, scepter cruciger in right, akakia in left; 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. IV, Part 2: The Emperors of Nicaea and Their Contemporaries (1204 - 1261). (Washington D.C., 1966).
Berk, H. Roman Gold Coins of the Medieval World, 383 - 1453 A.D. (Joliet, IL, 1986).
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins. (London, 1982).
Hendy, M. Coinage and Money in the Byzantine Empire 1081-1261. (Washington D.C., 1969).
Lianta, E. Late Byzantine Coins, 1204 - 1453, in the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. (London, 2009).
Marchev, V. & R. Wachter. Catalogue of the Late Byzantine coins, Vol. I, 1082 - 1261 AD. (Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, 2011).
Morrisson, C. Catalogue des Monnaies Byzantines de la Bibliothèque Nationale. (Paris, 1970).
Sabatier, J. Description générale des monnaies Byzantines. (Paris, 1863).
Sear, D. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sommer, A. Die Münzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Münzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines à l'époque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 14).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).

Catalog current as of Sunday, October 22, 2017.
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Nicaea - Theodore I Komnenos Laskaris