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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Macedonian Dynasty| ▸ |Basil I||View Options:  |  |  |   

Basil I, 26 May 866 - 28 August 886 A.D.

Joint rule as junior emperor with Michael III, 26 May 866 - 23 September 867 A.D.
Joint rule with Constantine (his son), 10 February 866 - 3 September 879 A.D.
Joint rule with Leo VI (his son), 6 January 870 - 28 August 886 A.D.
Joint rule with Alexander (his son), c. September 879 - 28 August 886 A.D.
Basil I, the Macedonian, cunningly befriended the emperor Michael III, "the Drunkard," assassinated the emperor's brother in law, and after convincing Michael to crown him co-emperor, killed Michael. Despite his unseemly start, Basil was an able emperor and founded a dynasty that would maintain a stable empire for almost two centuries.


Byzantine Empire, Basil I the Macedonian & Constantine, 10 February 868 - 3 September 879 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Basil's favorite son, Constantine, depicted on this coin died 3 September 879. His death embittered Basil's last years.
SH52914. Gold solidus, DOC III part 2, 2c; BMC 2-4; Tolstoi pl. 72 nos. 3-4; Ratto 1858; Morrisson BnF 4-7; SBCV 1704, VF, weight 4.380 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 868 - 879 A.D.; obverse IhS XPS REX REGNANTIUM *, Christ seated facing on lyre-backed throne, wearing nimbus cruciger, tunic and himation, right raised in blessing, Gospels in left; reverse bASILIOS ET COnSTAnT AUGG b, facing crowned busts of Basil I, with short beard in loros (on left), and Constantine, beardless in chlamys, both hold a long patriarchal cross between them; very scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Basil I, Alexander & Leo VI, 867 - 886 A.D.

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Leo VI was a scholar who had little time for foreign affairs, as a result the empire declined. The Bulgars and Arabs became problematic. He completed the legal system started by Basil. He married four times in the quest for a male heir, putting him in conflict with the church. He was eventually barred from attending St. Sophia.
SL49973. Silver miliaresion, DOC III part 2, 7; SBCV 1708, ICG AU55, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 868 - 879 A.D.; obverse IhSUS XRISTUS nICA (Jesus Christ Conquers), cross potent on three steps and globe; reverse + bASI/LIOS CE / CONStAN/tIN' PIStV / bASILIS / ROMEO, legend in six lines; ICG certified (slabbed); SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Basil I the Macedonian & Constantine, 10 February 868 - 3 September 879 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Basil's favorite son, Constantine, depicted on this coin died 3 September 879. His death embittered Basil's last years.
SH47405. Gold solidus, SBCV 1704, BnF 4-7, gVF, weight 4.289 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 868 - 879 A.D.; obverse IhS XPS REX REGNANTIUM *, Christ seated facing on lyre-backed throne, wearing nimbus cruciger, tunic and himation, right raised in blessing, Gospels in left; reverse bASILIOS ET COnSTAnT AUGG b, facing crowned busts of Basil I, with short beard in loros (on left), and Constantine, beardless in chlamys, both hold a long patriarchal cross between them; very scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Basil I, Constantine & Leo VI, 6 January 870 - 3 September 879 A.D.

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In 871, Tønsberg, the oldest surviving town in the Nordic countries, was founded.
BZ39634. Bronze follis, DOC III part 2, 11; Wroth BMC 22; Morrisson BnF 34/Cp/AE/12; Ratto 1865; Sommer 33.7; SBCV 1712; Tolstoi -, Choice VF, weight 6.206 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 870 - 879 A.D.; obverse + LEON bASIL' - CONZ AVGG (cross on crown divides inscription), facing half-length figures of Basil (center), Leo (left) and Constantine (right), Basil wears crown with cross and loros and holds akakia in left hand, sons each wear crown with cross and chlamys; reverse + bASIL / CONSZAn/Z S LEOn En / ΘO bASILS / ROmEOn in five lines, star below; scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Basil I the Macedonian & Constantine, 10 February 868 - 3 September 879 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Basil's favorite son, Constantine, depicted on this coin died 3 September 879. His death embittered Basil's last years.
BZ71843. Bronze follis, Morrisson BnF 34/X/AE/1; DOC III part 2, 8a (Constantinople); Wroth BMC 11 (Constantinople); Ratto 1861; SBCV 1721; Sommer 33.15, Tolstoi -, VF, well centered, uneven strike, some inscription weak, weight 7.396 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain provincial mint, 868 - 870 A.D.; obverse + bASILIOS CONST AUGG (or similar), Basil (on left) and Constantine half length busts facing, each wears crown with cross and chlamys, both holding labarum between them; reverse + bASIL/S ET COnSTAn/TINOS ENΘO / bASILEIS R/OMAIOn in five lines; very scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Basil I the Macedonian & Constantine, 10 February 868 - 3 September 879 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Basil's favorite son, Constantine, depicted on this coin died 3 September 879. His death embittered Basil's last years.
BZ80355. Bronze follis, DOC III part 2, 9.d.2; SBCV 1710-1711 var., Choice gVF, weight 5.724 g, maximum diameter 27.3180 mm, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 868 - 870 A.D.; obverse + bAISILIO-S CONST C AUGG T, Basil (on left) and Constantine seated facing on double throne, each wears crown and loros, holding labarum between; reverse + bASILO'/S ET COnSTAn/TINOS ENΘO / bASILEIS R/OMAIOn in five lines; very scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Basil I, Constantine & Leo VI, 6 January 870 - 3 September 879 A.D.

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In 870, Malta was conquered by Arabs from Sicily.
BZ63735. Bronze follis, DOC III part 2, 10d; Wroth BMC 26; Morrisson BnF 34/Cp/AE/23; Sommer 33.8.1; SRCV 1713; Tolstoi -; Ratto -, VF, green patina, overstruck, weight 6.593 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 6 Jan 870 - 3 Sep 879; obverse + LEON bASIL' CONZ AVGG (unbroken), facing half-length figures of Basil (center), Leo (left) and Constantine (right), Basil wears crown with cross and loros, his hands are not visible, sons each wear crown with cross and chlamys; reverse + bASIL / CONSZAn/Z S LEOn En / ΘO bASILS / ROmEOn in five lines, star below; scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Basil I the Macedonian & Constantine, 10 February 868 - 3 September 879 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Basil's favorite son, Constantine, depicted on this coin died 3 September 879. His death embittered Basil's last years.
BZ36720. Bronze follis, Morrisson BnF 34/X/AE/4; DOC III part 2, 8a (Constantinople); Wroth BMC 11 (Constantinople); Ratto 1861; SBCV 1721; Sommer 33.15, Tolstoi -, aVF, weight 5.101 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain provincial mint, 868 - 870 A.D.; obverse + bASILIOS S CONST AUGG (or similar), Basil (on left) and Constantine half length busts facing, each wears crown with cross and chlamys, both holding labarum between them; reverse + bASIL/S ET COnSTAn/TINOS ENΘO / bASILEIS R/OMAIOn in five lines; very scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Basil I, Constantine & Leo VI, 6 January 870 - 3 September 879 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
In 870, Malta was conquered by Arabs from Sicily.
BZ84990. Bronze follis, DOC III part 2, 11; Wroth BMC 22; Morrisson BnF 34/Cp/AE/12; Ratto 1865; Sommer 33.7; SBCV 1712; Tolstoi -, Choice VF, well centered, dark sea-green patina, slightly uneven strike with some inscription weak, light corrosion, weight 6.373 g, maximum diameter 25.4 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 6 Jan 870 - 3 Sep 879; obverse + LEON bASIL' - CONZ AVGG (cross on crown divides inscription), facing half-length figures of Basil (center), Leo (left) and Constantine (right), Basil wears crown with cross and loros and holds akakia in left hand, sons each wear crown with cross and chlamys; reverse + bASIL / CONSZAn/Z S LEOn En / ΘO bASILS / ROmEOn in five lines, star below; scarce; SOLD


Click for a larger photo
Basil's favorite son, Constantine, depicted on this coin died 3 September 879. His death embittered Basil's last years.
BZ63698. Bronze follis, DOC III part 2, 9a; Wroth BMC 19; Ratto 1862; SBCV 1710; Tolstoi -, gVF, cleaning scratches, nice green patina, weight 7.846 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 868 - 870 A.D.; obverse + bASILIO S CONSTAn bASILIS (or similar), crowned figures of Basil (on left) and Constantine enthroned facing, each wearing loros, holding labarum between them; reverse + bASILO / S COnSTAn / TInOS En QO / bASILEIS R/OmAIOn, in five lines; rare; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

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Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins. (London, 1982).
Grierson, P. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection, Vol III, Part 2: Basil I to Nicephorus III, 867-1081. (Washington D.C., 1973).
Morrisson, C. Catalogue des Monnaies Byzantines de la Bibliothèque Nationale II, 711 - 1204. (Paris, 1970).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines à l'époque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
Sabatier, J. Description générale des monnaies Byzantines. (Paris, 1863).
Sear, D.R. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sommer, A.U. Die Münzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Münzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 14).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, October 23, 2019.
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Byzantine Coins of Basil I