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Manuel I Comnenus, 8 April 1143 - 24 September 1180 A.D.
Manuel's reign was a period in which the Byzantine Empire flourished. He was quick to become personally involved in military campaigns. Gibbons' "Decline & Fall" notes, "The first in the charge, the last in the retreat, [Manuel I's] friends and his enemies alike trembled, the former for his safety, and the latter for their own." Unfortunately his over ambitious policies created enemies and expended the strength of the state. He was severely defeated by the Turks and died a broken man, ruler of a broken empire.
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
Gibbons Decline & Fall says of Manuel I, "The first in the charge, the last in the retreat, his friends and his enemies alike trembled, the former for his safety, and the latter for their own."BZ79671. Bronze tetarteron, SBCV 1968; DOC IV, part 1, 15; Hendy pl. 17, 7; Wroth BMC 59; Morrison BnF 61/X/AE/11; Ratto 2148; Sommer 61.13, aF, well centered, weight 4.521 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Greek mint, c. 1152 - 1160 A.D.; obverse the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) standing right, raising both hands, being blessed by manus Dei (hand of god) to upper right, MHP (ligate) - ΘV (Greek abbrebiation: Mother of God) across field; reverse MANVHΛ ∆ECΠOTHC, emperor standing facing, wearing crown, divitision and chlamys, long cross in right hand, akakia in left hand.; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $45.00 SALE PRICE $40.50
Cupped coins required at least two blows to strike and the obverse die was rocked from one side to the other between blows. Since Christ's face is in the center of many designs, such as on this coin, it is often distorted or even missing due to the overlapping of the strikes in the center. On this coin the two halves of the nimbus cruciger (halo) are offset due to variation in alignment between the two strikes. Christ's face is, however, nicely struck. The result is somewhat exotic.SH08813. Gold hyperpyron, cf. DOC IV, part 1, 1; Morrisson BnF 61/Cp/AV/13; CLBC I 4.1.1; Grierson 1079; SBCV 1956; Sommer 61.1, gVF, weight 4.27 g, maximum diameter 29.4 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse + KE RO-[HΘEI], IC - XC, bust of Christ facing, beardless, wearing numbus cr., pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, scroll in left hand; reverse MA/NY/HΛ / ∆EC/ΠO/T/H on left, Tω/ΠOP/ΦY/POΓ/NH/T (or similar) on right, Manuel standing facing wearing crown, divitision and chlamys, labarum in left, patriarchal globus cruciger in right, hand of God (manus Dei) upper right crowns him; wavy flan as typical for the type (even the Sear plate coin is wavy); SOLD
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