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

Byzantine Alexandria (c. 525 - 646)

The long closed mint at Alexandria reopened during the reign of Justin I. The great metropolis was lost to the Arabs in 646 and was never recovered by the Byzantine Empire.


Byzantine Empire, Justin II, 15 November 565 - 5 October 578 A.D.

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Justin was unable to hold the territory Justinian had restored. Most of Italy and parts of Spain were quickly lost to the Lombards and Visigoths. Refusal to pay tribute to the Sassanids, resulted in protracted war. The burdens of office drove him insane and his successor was regent for the last four years of his reign.
SH90893. Gold solidus, Hahn MIB II 14 (Alexandria), SBCV 347A (Constantinople, but Alexandria noted as a possibility), Berk 63, DOC I -, aEF, small marks and scratches, weight 4.473 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria mint, c. 567 - 578 A.D.; obverse D N I-VSTI-NVS PP AVG, facing helmeted and cuirassed bust, Victory on globe in right, shield on left arm; reverse VICTORI-A AVCCC I, Constantinopolis enthroned facing, head right, long scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, staurogram left, ēCONOBē in exergue; ex Heritage auction 3020 (6 Sep 2012), lot 25312; ex Nudelman Numismatica 10 (13 Jun 2011), lot 53; very rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Justinian I, 4 April 527 - 14 November 565 A.D.

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In 535 - 536 A.D., the world experienced the most severe and protracted short-term cooling episode in the last 2,000 years. The cooling is thought to have been caused by an extensive atmospheric dust veil, possibly resulting from a large volcanic eruption in the tropics, or debris from space impacting the Earth. Its effects were widespread, causing unseasonable weather, crop failures, and famines worldwide. The Byzantine historian Procopius recorded of 536, in his report on the wars with the Vandals, "during this year a most dread portent took place. For the sun gave forth its light without brightness...and it seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear." Crop failures were recorded in some areas until 539.
BZ72158. Bronze six nummi, DOC I 275, Wroth BMC 347 - 348, Morrisson BnF I 20 - 22, Tolstoi 504 - 506, Sommer 4.116, Hahn MIB I 166, Berk 260, SBCV 248, Ratto 694, VF, nice for the type, weight 3.030 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria mint, obverse D N IVSTINI-ANVS PP AVG, diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse large S; first example of this type handled by Forum!; rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Heraclius, 5 October 610 - 11 January 641 A.D.

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Heraclius' cousin and local governor, Nicetas, was unable to effectively resist when the Sassanid Persian shah, Khusro II, invaded Egypt in 617 or 618. He and the Chalcedonian patriarch, John V, fled from Alexandria to Cyprus. After the fall of Alexandria, the Persians extended their rule southwards along the Nile and by 621 the province was securely in Persian hands. After Heraclius decisively defeated Khusro in 627 at the Battle of Nineveh, Shahrbaraz was ordered to evacuate the Egypt, but he refused. Heraclius, trying both to recover Egypt and to sow disunion amongst the Persians, offered to help Shahrbaraz seize the Persian throne for himself. An agreement was reached, and in the summer of 629, the Persian troops began leaving Egypt.
BZ65907. Bronze six nummi, DOC II 198, SBCV 862, Sommer 11.98, Wroth BMC 309, Hahn MIB 210, Morrisson BnF 69, Ratto 1326, Tolstoi 118, VF, weight 2.386 g, maximum diameter 12.4 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 613 - 618 A.D.; obverse dd m hERACLS (or similar, blundered), cross potent on two steps; reverse large S; scarce; SOLD







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Catalog current as of Monday, January 22, 2018.
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Byzantine Alexandria