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St. Helena, Augusta, 8 November 324 - c. 330 A.D., Mother of Constantine the Great
In the 12th century, Henry of Huntingdon included a passage in his Historia Anglorum that Constantine's mother Helena was a Briton, the daughter of King Cole of Colchester. Geoffrey of Monmouth expanded this story in his highly fictionalized Historia Regum Britanniae, an account of the supposed Kings of Britain from their Trojan origins to the Anglo-Saxon invasion. According to Geoffrey, Cole was King of the Britons when Constantius, here a senator, came to Britain. Afraid of the Romans, Cole submitted to Roman law so long as he retained his kingship. However, he died only a month later, and Constantius took the throne himself, marrying Cole's daughter Helena. They had their son Constantine, who succeeded his father as King of Britain before becoming Roman Emperor. Historically, this series of events is extremely improbable. Constantius had already left Helena by the time he left for Britain. Additionally, no earlier source mentions that Helena was born in Britain, let alone that she was a princess.RL79452. Billon reduced centenionalis, SRCV V 17500 ff. (various mintmarks), EF, nice sharp portrait, attractive glossy green patina, tight flan, edge cracks, areas of slight porosity, weight 1.271 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 180o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL HELENAAVGVSTA, diademed and mantled bust right wearing necklace; reversePAX PVBLICA, Pax standing left, olive branch pointed down in right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand, [...]TR[...] in exergue; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00
Empire of Nicaea, Theodore I Komnenos Laskaris, c. 1204 - November 1221 A.D.
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 trachynomisma, 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, nimbatebust of Christ facing, beardless, scroll in left hand, five pellets in each limb of nimbuscross, 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; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00
Byzantine Empire, Manuel I Comnenus, 8 April 1143 - 24 September 1180 A.D.
St. George is the Patron Saint of England. Traditionally, the sword with which St. George slew the dragon was called Ascalon, a name recalling the city of Ashkelon, Israel. During World War II, Winston Churchill named his personal aircraft Ascalon, after St. George's sword. BZ45637. Bronze half tetarteron, DOC IV, part 1, 23; Hendy pl. 18, 3; Morrisson BnF 61/X/AE/05; Wroth BMC 78; Ratto 2158; SBCV 1980; Sommer 61.25, VF, nice green patina, flan cracks, weight 1.565 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Greek mint, 1152 - c. 1160 A.D.; obverse Θ / Γ/ε−ωP/ΓI/OC (or similar), bust of St. George facing, beardless, wearing nimbus, tunic, cuirass, and sagion, spear in right, shield in left; reverse MANYH ∆εCΠOT, Manuel, bust facing, wearing crown and loros, labarum in right, globus cruciger in left; $45.00 SALE PRICE $40.50