Magnesia ad Sipylum (modern Manisa, Turkey) was located in about 65 km northeast of Smyrna (now ) 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 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 Cornelius Asiaticus. It became a city of importance under Roman rule and, though nearly destroyed by an earthquake in the reign of , was by that emperor and flourished. It was an important regional center through the . 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 of Anatolia which remained prosperous under the Turkish rule.BZ76758.
After Constantinople fell to the 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.
aspron , , 2, 5a; pl. 30, 7; 4; 2061; 69.1; -, aEF, light encrustations, a few bumps and marks, for the , 3.967 g, maximum 29.4 mm, 180o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, c. 1205 - 1212 A.D.; MHP - ΘV, The seated facing, , wearing and , the of infant Christ before her; ΘEO∆ΩPOC ∆ECΠOTHC KOMNHNOC O ΛAXKAPHC, emperor, on left, standing facing, crowned, wearing , in right hand, and St. Theodore, on right, standing facing, in military dress, spear in left hand, both hold a between them; better than any of the examples in Dumbarton Oaks!; ; SOLD
Empire of Nicaea, Theodore I Komnenos Laskaris, c. 1204 - November 1221 A.D.
From the collection of , 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.
aspron , pl. XXVIII, 6.6; 2062, gF, porous, , 3.346 g, maximum 28.1 mm, 180o, Nicaea (Iznik, Turkey) mint, B, 1208 A.D.; , Christ seated facing on backless throne, , wearing tunic and , Gospels in left, left; ΘEO∆ΩPOC ∆ECΠOTHC KOMNHNOC O ΛAXKAPHC, full-length figure of the emperor, wearing , divitsion, , and crown with , cruciger in right, in left; ; SOLD
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