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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Byzantine Coins ▸ Byzantine Mints ▸ ConstantinopleView Options:  |  |  |   

Byzantine Constantinople (326 - 1453)

When Anastasius became emperor the once vast number of Roman mints had been reduced to only two: Constantinople and Thessalonica.


Byzantine Empire, Nicephorus I and Stauracius, December 803 - 25 July 811 A.D.

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Nicephorus, the logothete (lord high treasurer) under Empress Irene, gained rule in a palace coup. At the Battle of Pliska, the Bulgarian Khan, Krum, surprised and slew Nicephorus along with a large portion of the Byzantine army. Krum is said to have made a drinking-cup of Nicephorus' skull. Stauracius escaped the battle to Constantinople but was mortally wounded. He surrendered his throne to his brother-in-law, retired to a monastery, and died soon after.
SH83915. Gold solidus, DOC III, part 1, 2c.2; Wroth BMC 8; Tolstoi 9; Ratto 1786; Berk Gold 238; Sommer 27.1; SBCV 1604, EF, lustrous, well centered on a tight flan, weight 4.349 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 180o, 10th officina, Constantinople mint, 803 - 811 A.D.; obverse hICI-FOROS bASILE', bearded facing bust of Nicephorus, wearing chlamys and cross with crown, cross potent on base in right hand, akakia in left hand, no pellet left; reverse STAVRA-CIS dESPO' X, unbearded facing bust of Stauracius, wearing chlamys and cross with crown, globus cruciger in right hand, akakia in left hand; from the Robert Watcher Collection, ex Heritage CICF auction (Chicago, Apr 2013), lot 3024 ($940 plus fees); scarce; $900.00 (801.00)


Byzantine Empire, Constans II, September 641 - 15 July 668 A.D.

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From the 650's the Muslims took to the sea. The entire Mediterranean Sea became a battleground, with raids and counter-raids being launched against islands and the coastal settlements. In 652, an Arab fleet under Abdullah ibn Sa'ad defeated the Byzantine fleet of 500 ships off the coast of Alexandria. Muslim raids reached a peak in the 9th and early 10th centuries, after their conquest of Crete, Malta and Sicily, with their fleets reaching the coasts of France, Dalmatia and even the suburbs of Constantinople.
SH70023. Gold solidus, DOC II part 2, 19f; Morrisson BnF 38; Tolstoi 51; Hahn MIB 23; Sommer 12.15; SBCV 956; Wroth BMC -; Ratto -, gVF, graffiti, weight 4.330 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, 6th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 651 - 654 A.D.; obverse d N CONSTANTINUS PP AV, crowned bust facing, long beard and mustache, wears chlamys, globus cruciger in right; reverse VICTORIA AVGU S (victory of the Emperor, 6th officina), cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $370.00 (329.30)


Byzantine Empire, Constans II, September 641 - 15 July 668 A.D.

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In 651, the Qur'an was compiled in its present form by Caliph Uthman.
SH70033. Gold solidus, DOC II part 2, 19a; Wroth BMC 27; Tolstoi 43; Hahn MIB 23; Sommer 12.15; SBCV 956; Morrisson BnF -; Ratto -, aEF, small die break in beard, graffiti: Λ obverse left, Eq reverse right, weight 4.394 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 651 - 654 A.D.; obverse d N CONSTANTINUS PP AV, crowned bust facing, long beard and mustache, wears chlamys, globus cruciger in right; reverse VICTORIA AVGY A (victory of the Emperor, 1st officina), cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $370.00 (329.30)


Byzantine Empire, Focas, 23 November 602 - 5 October 610 A.D.

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The Column of Phocas at Rome was erected before the Rostra and dedicated to the Emperor on 1 August 608. It was the last addition made to the Forum Romanum. The Corinthian column has a height of 13.6 m (44 ft). Both the column and the marble socle were recycled from earlier use. It still stands in its original location, but the statue that was once on top was probably taken down soon after Phocus' death. An English translation of the inscription follows: To the best, most clement and pious ruler, our lord Phocas the perpetual emperor, crowned by God, the forever august triumphator, did Smaragdus, former praepositus sacri palatii and patricius and Exarch of Italy, devoted to His Clemency for the innumerable benefactions of His Piousness and for the peace acquired for Italy and its freedom preserved, this statue of His Majesty, blinking from the splendor of gold here on this tallest column for his eternal glory erect and dedicate, on the first day of the month of August, in the eleventh indiction in the fifth year after the consulate of His Piousness.Column of Phocas

SH70044. Gold solidus, DOC II part 1, 10e.1; Morrisson BnF 8/Cp/AV/12; Wroth BMC 10; Tolstoi 8; Ratto 1181; Hahn MIB 9; Sommer 9.8; SBCV 620, aEF, weak legends, light graffiti, weight 4.342 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 225o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 607 - 609 A.D.; obverse d N FOCAS PERP AVC, bust facing, bearded, locks of hair at sides, wearing cuirass, paludamentum, and crown with cross on circlet and no pendilia, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse VICTORIA AVGY E (victory of the Emperor, 5th officina), angel standing facing, staurogram staff in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, CONOB in exergue; $360.00 (320.40)


Byzantine Empire, Focas, 23 November 602 - 5 October 610 A.D.

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The Column of Phocas at Rome was erected before the Rostra and dedicated to the Emperor on 1 August 608. It was the last addition made to the Forum Romanum. The Corinthian column has a height of 13.6 m (44 ft). Both the column and the marble base were recycled from earlier use. The column still stands in its original location, but the gold statue was probably taken down immediately after Phocus' death. Silt and debris completely covered the marble base (socle) when Giuseppe Vasi and Giambattista Piranesi made engravings and etchings of the column in the mid-18th century. The square foundation of brick was probably underground when the column was dedicated. The Forum was excavated down to its earlier Augustan paving in the 19th century.Column of Phocas

SH70055. Gold solidus, DOC II part 1, 10j.1; Morrisson BnF 8/Cp/AV/23; Wroth BMC 23; Tolstoi 19; Ratto 1186; Sommer 9.8; Hahn MIB 9; SBCV 620, gVF, uneven strike, weight 4.425 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 225o, 10th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 607 - 609 A.D.; obverse d N FOCAS PERP AVG, bust facing, bearded, locks of hair at sides, wearing cuirass, paludamentum, and crown with cross on circlet and no pendilia, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse VICTORIA AVGu I (victory of the Emperor, 10th officina), angel standing facing, staurogram staff in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, CONOB in exergue; $360.00 (320.40)


Byzantine Empire, Constans II, September 641 - 15 July 668 A.D., Overstruck on an Arcadius AE2

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Overstruck on an Arcadius AE2! This coin was overstruck on a maiorina of the Roman emperor Arcadius, struck more than 250 years earlier (25 Aug 383 - 28 Aug 388), at Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey).

Only II is visible in the regnal date, which is more common than not for the type. Despite that, references agree this scarce type was only struck in regnal year 3.
BZ85347. Bronze follis, DOC II, part 2, 62; Morrisson BnF 14; Sommer 12.47, SBCV 1002; W -; T -; R -; undertype: RIC X Cyzicus 25(c) (Arcadius, maiorina, 383 - 388 A.D.), Choice gF, well centered, attractive desert patina with red earthen highlighting, extraordinary undertype effects, weight 5.323 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Constantinople mint, 643 - 644 A.D.; obverse EN To?TO NIKA (In this, be victorious), Constans, standing facing, wearing crown and chlamys, long scepter topped with Christogram in right, globus cruciger in left; undertype: legend, VIRTVS EXERCITI, and mintmark, SMKA (Cyzicus mint, 1st officina); reverse large m (40 nummi), ANA above, cross above and below III (regnal year 3) left, NEOς right and curving below, B (2nd officina) below; undertype: legend, D N A[RCADIVS P F AVG] (A with open top resembling H); rare overstrike; $259.00 (230.51) ON RESERVE


Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class A2, Basil II & Constantine VIII, 976 - 1025 A.D.

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The class A2 anonymous follis is identified by Wayne Sayles in "Ancient Coin Collecting V" as one of the masterpieces of Romaion coinage.
BZ83533. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, class A2; SBCV 1813; Grierson ornaments 4, VF, facial features fully struck and present, porous, light marks and corrosion, weight 14.154 g, maximum diameter 31.5 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 10 Jan 976 - 15 Dec 1025 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHL, facing bust of Christ, wears nimbus cruciger ornamented with two pellets in each limb of cross, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands, cover ornamented with a pellet in center and a jeweled border, to left IC, to right XC; reverse + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Jesus Christ King of Kings) in four lines, pellet above, nothing below; $160.00 (142.40)


Byzantine Empire, Romanus IV, 1 January 1068 - 19 August 1071 A.D.

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Based on seal inscriptions, the letters on the reverse have been interpreted to abbreviate, Σταυρε βοηθει Pwmavov ∆εσποτην (O Cross, aid our ruler Romanus).
BZ83532. Bronze follis, DOC III, part 2, 8; Morrisson BnF 1; Wroth BMC 9; Ratto 2030; Sommer 54.4; SBCV 1866, VF, overstruck, light marks, green patina, small edge crack, weight 5.994 g, maximum diameter 29.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1 Jan 1068 - 19 Aug 1071 A.D.; obverse bust of Christ facing, wears pallium and colobium, Gospels in both hands, dotted cross behind head, IC - XC / NI-KA (Jesus Christ Conquers) flanking in two divided lines across the field; reverse cross with X at center and globus and pellets at the end of each arm, pellets and points at base, C - R / P - ∆ in the angles; $140.00 (124.60)


Byzantine Empire, Leo VI the Wise, 6 January 870 - 11 May 912 A.D.

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In 904, the Byzantines under Andronikos Doukas defeated the Arabs near Germanikeia.
BZ84968. Bronze follis, DOC III part 2, 8; Morrisson BnF 35/Cp/AE/14; SBCV 1729; Sommer 34.5; Wroth BMC 8, Ratto 1873, Choice VF, nice green patina, well centered and struck, weight 9.151 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 6 Jan 870 - 11 May 912; obverse + LEOn bASILVS ROm, bust facing, with short beard, wearing crown and chlamys and holding akakia in left hand; reverse + LEON/En ΘEO bA/SILEVS R/OMEOn, inscription in four lines; $140.00 (124.60)


Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class D, Constantine IX, 12 June 1042 - 11 January 1055 A.D.

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The emperor's name and portrait are not part of the design on the Byzantine types referred to as anonymous folles. Instead of the earthly king, these coins depict Jesus Christ, King of Kings.
BZ77168. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, class D; SBCV 1836, VF, very large flan, overstruck with fairly strong undertype effects, weight 17.156 g, maximum diameter 36.7 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 12 Jun 1042 - 11 Jan 1055 A.D.; obverse Christ seated facing on throne with back, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, and holding gospels with both hands, to left IC, to right XC; reverse ISXS/bASILE/bASIL (Jesus Christ King of Kings), lines and cross above, ornamental lines and crescent below; $120.00 (106.80)




  



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Byzantine Constantinople