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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Judean & Biblical Coins ▸ Biblical Coins ▸ In This Sign...View Options:  |  |  |   

In This Sign You Will Be The Victor

The Roman, Byzantine, crusader and other coins below carry the symbols of Christ. In 312 A.D., Constantine dreamed he saw a Chi Rho Christogram in the sky and heard the words IN HOC SIGNO ERIS, meaning "In this sign you will be the victor." He ordered the sign of Christ on his legions' standards and shields. He won a great victory and later became the first Christian Roman Emperor. Click here to read Christian Themes in Byzantine Coinage by Zach Margulies.


Byzantine Empire, Nicephorus Basilacius, Usurper, Summer 1078 A.D. (Anonymous Class N Follis)

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Until 1976 this type was regarded as anonymous (Class N) because neither of the two known specimens had a visible legend. In 1976, Grierson published a new specimen with a legend naming the ruler, Nicephorus (Grierson, P. "Nicephorus Bryennius or Nicephorus Basilacius?" in NumCirc LXXXIV.1 (January 1976), type a). There were two candidates, Nicephorus Bryennius and Nicephorus Basilacius, both usurpers, Bryennius in 1077 - 1078, and Basilacius in Thessalonica for a few months during 1078. In 1992, Roger Bland published an example with the legend on the obverse right side reading POCBAC, which has been accepted as proving this type was struck by Basilacius (Bland, R. "A Follis of Nicephorus Basilacius?" NC 1992, p. 175 ff. and pl. 36, B). Our coin has a nearly complete inscription, among the best of all the specimens known to Forum.
SH87639. Bronze follis, DOC III part 2, p. 706, N.1 (anonymous class N follis); Grierson 1976, type a; Bland Basilacius pl. 36, B; SBCV 1903A; Sommer 58.1, VF, near complete inscription with at least part of each letter visible, crude, overstruck with severe undertype effects, bumps, scratches, corrosion, weight 5.607 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, summer 1078 A.D.; obverse +NIKHΦO-POC BACΛE, facing bust of Christ, nimbus cross with plain arms, wearing tunic and himation, right hand raised in blessing, Gospels in left, IC-XC flanking across field; reverse patriarchal cross on base; barred IC - XC / NI-KA (Jesus Christ conquers) in the quarters; among the best examples known to Forum of this extremely rare and always crude overstruck type!; extremely rare; $1500.00 (1275.00)


Byzantine Empire, Leontius, 695 - 698 A.D.

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Leontius' success as a general forced the Arab Caliph Abd al-Malik to make concessions and pay tribute to Emperor Justinian II; but when war was renewed, Leontius was defeated. Furious over the loss, Justinian imprisoned him for two years. When he was freed, Leontius and his former prison comrades organized a revolt, and he took the throne. Justinian was deposed, his nose and tongue were slit and he was exiled to a monastery. After the Arabs took Carthage, the fleet Leontius sent to retake the city failed. Rather than report defeat to the emperor, the army overthrew their admiral and named Apsimar, a Germanic sailor, as their leader. Apsimar changed his name to Tiberius, returned to Constantinople, seized the thrown, cut off Leontius' nose and ears and exiled him to a monastery. In 705, Justinian II returned to Constantinople with an army of Bulgars and Slavs. Both Leontius and Tiberius were dragged through the streets in chains and beheaded.
SH89538. Gold solidus, DOC II part 2, 1b, Morrisson BnF 16/Cp/AV/02, SBCV 1330, Hahn MIB III 1, Sommer 15.1, Wroth BMC -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, EF, mint luster, flow lines, uneven strike with part of obverse legend and mintmark weak, obverse off center, die wear, tight flan, weight 4.319 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople mint, 695 - 698 A.D.; obverse D LEO-N PE AV, bearded facing bust, wearing loros and crown with cross, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse VICTORIA AVSY S, cross potent set on three step, CONOB in exergue; from the Robert Watcher Collection; rare; $1200.00 (1020.00)


Byzantine Empire, Tiberius III Apsimar, Late 698 - Summer 705 A.D.

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All coins of Tiberius III are scarce or rare.

After the Arabs took Carthage, the disgruntled army declared Tiberius emperor. He mutilated Leontius (the previous emperor), cutting off his nose, just as Leontius had done to Justinian II. After Justinian II attacked and regained his throne, both Leontius and Tiberius were beheaded.
BZ82678. Bronze follis, Anastasi 341; DOC II part 1, 33; Wroth BMC 18; MIB 80; SBCV 1396, aVF, red and green patina, well centered on a ragged flan, weight 2.651 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, late 698 - summer 705 A.D.; obverse Tiberius III standing facing, wearing crown with pendilia, and long tunic, long cross in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand; reverse large M (40 nummi) between two crosses, Tiberius' monogram above, star below, SCL in exergue; rare; $270.00 (229.50)


Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class I, Nicephorus III, 7 January 1078 - 1 April 1081

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BZ86180. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, class I; SBCV 1889, gVF, excellent bust of Christ, weight 3.510 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 7 Jan 1078 - 1 Apr 1081; obverse Christ bust facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, gospels in left, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iisos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse Latin cross with X at center, globule and two pellets at each extremity, floral ornaments in lower fields, crescents in upper fields; $215.00 (182.75)


Byzantine Empire, Basil II Bulgaroktonos and Constantine VIII, 10 January 976 - 15 December 1025 A.D.

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Basil II was called Bulgaroktonos "the Bulgar-Slayer". Eldest son of Romanos II, Basil was born in 958. The first decade of his reign was marked by rivalry with the powerful Basil Lekapenos, an unsuccessful war against Bulgaria, and rebellions by generals in Asia Minor. Basil solidified his position through a marriage alliance with Vladimir I of Kiev, and after suppressing the revolts, he embarked on his conquest of Bulgaria. Bulgaria was finally subdued in 1018 after over 20 years of war, interrupted only by sporadic warfare in Syria against the Fatimids. Basil also expanded Byzantine control over most of Armenia. His reign is widely considered as the apogee of medieval Byzantium.
BZ89543. Silver miliaresion, DOC III, part 2, 17b; SBCV 1810, Wroth BMC 16, Morrisson BnF 42/Cp/Ar/1, Ratto 1950 var. (ornament), Sommer -, VF, clipped (Sear notes this is normal for the type and all DOC III plate coins are clipped), holed, toned, scratches, weight 1.919 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 977 989 A.D.; obverse En TOVTw nICAT' bASILEIC CwhST', cross crosslet, X at intersection, on globus and four steps, between facing busts of Basil (on left) and Constantine, both wear crown with cross and pendilia, Basil bearded wearing loros, Constantine beardless wearing chlamys; reverse BASIL' / C CwnSTAn' / ΠORFVROS' / ΠISTOI bAS' / RwMAIw' in five lines, ornament above and below; from the Robert Watcher Collection; scarce; $200.00 (170.00)


Byzantine Empire, Constantine VII and Romanus II, 6 April 945 - 9 November 959 A.D.

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In the reverse legend, Constantine includes the epithet Porphyrogenitus, meaning "born in the purple," to emphasis the legitimate nature of his rule after the usurpation of the Lecapenus family.
BZ89544. Silver miliaresion, DOC III, part 2, 21, SBCV 1757, Morrisson BnF 37/Cp/Ar/10, Wroth BMC 67, Ratto 1906, Sommer 36.13, VF, well centered, old collection toning, bumps and scratches, holed, weight 2.749 g, maximum diameter 24.2 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 6 Apr 945 - 9 Nov 959 A.D.; obverse IhSuS XRISTuS nICA (Jesus Christ conquers), Cross crosslet set on three steps, saltire cross at center, globus below, triple border of dots with 16 evenly spaced globules; reverse +COhST'T' / ΠORFVROΓ' / CE ROMAhO / Eh X'w EVSEL' / b' RwMEOh in five lines, triple border of dots with 16 evenly spaced globules; from the Robert Watcher Collection; scarce; $200.00 (170.00)


Empire of Trebizond, Manuel I Comnenus, 1238 - 1263 A.D.

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Manuel I Megas Komnenos (died March 1263) was an Emperor of Trebizond, from 1238 until his death. At the time Manuel reigned, the Empire of Trebizond comprised a band of territory stretching along the southern coast of the Black Sea. Although Michael Panaretos, a 14th-century Greek chronicler, calls Manuel "the greatest general and the most fortunate" and states he ruled "virtuously in the eyes of God", the only event he documents for Manuel's reign is a catastrophic fire striking the city of Trebizond in January 1253. The major events of his reign are known from external sources, most important of which is the recovery of Sinope in 1254, which had been lost to the Sultanate of Rum forty years before.
BZ89549. Silver asper, Sommer T3.13.6 (same obv. die), Sommer T3.13.1 (same rev. die), Retowski 119 - 153 var. (sigla), SBCV 2601, aEF, well centered on a tight flan, some high points not fully struck, small dark spots, weight 2.820 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 180o, Trebizond (Trabzon, Turkey) mint, 1238 - 1263 A.D.; obverse O/A/ΓI/O − Eς/ΓE/NI/O, Saint Eugenius standing facing, nimbate, long cross in right hand, four pellets on cross shaft, flanked by three pellets left and four pellets right, pellet upper right; reverse M/N/Λ − OKMH (MH ligate), Manuel standing facing, labarum in right hand, akakia in left hand, Manus Dei (hand of God) upper right, four pellets on labarum shaft, four pellets inner left; from the Robert Watcher Collection; $180.00 (153.00)


Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D., Issued by Vetranio

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In 312 A.D., Constantine dreamed he saw a Christogram in the sky and heard the words IN HOC SIGNO VICTOR ERIS, meaning in Latin "In this sign, you will be the victor." He ordered the sign of Christ on his legions standards and shields. He won a great victory and later became the first Christian Roman Emperor.
RL90728. Billon maiorina, RIC VIII Siscia 284 (S), LRBC II 1171, Voetter 48, SRCV V 18903, Cohen VII 3, gVF, oval flan, encrustation, flan split, weight 5.040 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Siscia (Sisak, Croatia) mint, issued by Vetranio, 1 Mar - 25 Dec 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, A behind, star in front; reverse CONCORDIA MILITVM (harmony with the soldiers), Constantius standing half-left, in military dress, labarum (Chi-Rho standard) in each hand, A left, star above, ΓSIS in exergue; scarce; $160.00 (136.00)


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill. He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother's city of Helenopolis. There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. He attempted to return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia. He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan, where Christ was written to have been baptized. He requested the baptism right away, promising to live a more Christian life should he live through his illness. The bishops, Eusebius records, "performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom." It has been thought that Constantine put off baptism as long as he did so as to be absolved from as much of his sin as possible. Constantine died soon after at a suburban villa called Achyron, on 22 May 337.
RB88935. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Antioch 39; LRBC I 1374; SRCV V 17488; Voetter 34; Cohen VII 760; Hunter V p. 283, 4 ff. var. (officina), EF, dark patina with earthen highlighting, clear hand of god, weight 2.287 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, posthumous, Sep 337 - 347 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTINVS PT AVGG, veiled bust right; reverse Constantine in quadriga right, veiled, the hand of God reaches down to take him to heaven; star above, SMANΓ in exergue; $140.00 (119.00)


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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Soon after the Feast of Easter 337, Constantine fell seriously ill. He left Constantinople for the hot baths near his mother's city of Helenopolis. There, in a church his mother built in honor of Lucian the Apostle, he prayed, and there he realized that he was dying. He attempted to return to Constantinople, making it only as far as a suburb of Nicomedia. He summoned the bishops, and told them of his hope to be baptized in the River Jordan, where Christ was written to have been baptized. He requested the baptism right away, promising to live a more Christian life should he live through his illness. The bishops, Eusebius records, "performed the sacred ceremonies according to custom." It has been thought that Constantine put off baptism as long as he did so as to be absolved from as much of his sin as possible. Constantine died soon after at a suburban villa called Achyron, on 22 May 337.
RL88038. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Antioch 39; LRBC I 1374; SRCV V 17488; Voetter 34; Cohen VII 760; Hunter V p. 283, 4 ff. var. (officina), EF, attractive highlighting desert patina, light marks, tight flan, weight 1.705 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 0o, 9th officina, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, posthumous, Sep 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse DV CONSTANTINVS PT AVGG, veiled bust right; reverse Constantine in quadriga right, veiled, the hand of God reaches down to take him to heaven, star above, SMANΘ in exergue; $130.00 (110.50)




  



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In This Sign... Biblical Coins