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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Comnen Dynasty| ▸ |Manuel I||View Options:  |  |  |   

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. Byzantium Empire 1170 AD


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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."
BZ38048. Electrum aspron trachy, DOC IV-1 2a; Morrisson BnF 61/Cp/El/1; Wroth BMC 17; Ratto 2117; Hendin pl. 13, 1; SBCV 1957; Sommer 61.2, EF, cracked, weight 4.331 g, maximum diameter 33.3 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1st coinage, c. 1143 - 1152 A.D.; obverse IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) OEMMANVOHΛ, facing bust of Christ, bearded, facing, pallium, colobium, Gospels in left; reverse MANOYHΛ ∆ECΠ (or similar), Virgin Mary nimbate standing on right wears pallium and maphorium, crowns emperor with right hand, Manuel standing on left, wears divitision, loros, and chlamys, holds labarum and akakia; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Manuel I Comnenus, 8 April 1143 - 24 September 1180 A.D.

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The cruciform monogram should probably be read, MΛ (Manuel) ∆ (Despotes) K (Komnenos) Π (Porphyrogennetos).

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."
BZ91215. Bronze half tetarteron, DOC IV-1 22; Hendy pl. 18, 1; Morrisson BnF 61/X/AE/1; Wroth BMC 79; Ratto 2159; SBCV 1979; Sommer 61.24.1, gVF, dark near black patina, overstruck on clipped coin, obverse slightly off center, small edge cracks, weight 1.867 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Greek mint, 8 Apr 1143 - 1152 A.D.; obverse cruciform Manuel monogram ; reverse half-length bust of Manuel facing, beardless, wearing stemma, divitision, collar decorated with six jewels, loros and crown with cross and pendilia, labarum in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand; ex Forum (2016); SOLD


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Loros-waist with five pellets, collar-piece has three jewels.
BZ36590. Billon aspron trachy, DOC IV-1 13c; Wroth BMC 40; Morrisson BnF 61/Cp/B/17; Hendy pl. 17,1; Ratto 2127; SBCV 1966; Sommer 61.11, gVF, weight 3.715 g, maximum diameter 30.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1167 - 1183 A.D.; obverse IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ), Christ, bearded, seated facing on throne without back, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, colobium, Gospels in left, no stars; reverse MANYHΛ ∆ECΠ (or similar), Virgin Mary standing, on right, nimbate, wearing pallium and maphorium, crowns emperor with right, Manuel standing, on left, wearing divitision, loros, and chlamys, labarum in right, globus cruciger in left; very nicely struck for the issue; SOLD


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According to the Golden Legend, a plague-bearing dragon lived in a lake near a city called Silene, in Libya. To appease the dragon, the people fed it two sheep every day. When the sheep failed, they fed it their children, chosen by lottery. It happened that the lot fell on the king's daughter, Sabra. Sabra was sent out to the lake, dressed as a bride, to be fed to the dragon. Saint George was ridding past when dragon reared out of the lake. He fortified himself with the Sign of the Cross charged it on horseback with his lance, and gave it a grievous wound. He then called to the princess to throw him her girdle. After he put it around its neck, the dragon followed the girl like a meek beast on a leash. The princess and Saint George led the dragon back to the city of Silene. It terrified the people at its approach, but Saint George called out to them, saying that if they consented to become Christians and be baptized, he would slay the dragon. The king and the people converted to Christianity and George slew the dragon. On the site where the dragon died, the king built a church to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint George, and from its altar a spring arose whose waters cured all disease.
BZ67642. Bronze half tetarteron, DOC IV-1 23; Hendy pl. 18, 3; Morrisson BnF 61/X/AE/05; Wroth BMC 78; Ratto 2158; SBCV 1980; Sommer 61.25, aEF, nice green patina, weight 1.865 g, maximum diameter 16.2 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; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Manuel I Comnenus, 8 April 1143 - 24 September 1180 A.D.

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Saint George (d. April 23, 303) was a Roman soldier from Anatolia, who was venerated as a Christian martyr. Immortalized in the tale of George and the Dragon, he is the |patron| saint of England, Greece, Portugal, Russia, and many other countries, cities and organizations. -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_George
BZ91210. Bronze half tetarteron, DOC IV-1 18, Morrisson BnF 61/Th/AE/05, CLBC I 4.4.5, Grierson 1101, Ratto 2154, Wroth BMC 75, SBCV 1975, Sommer 61.19, EF, well struck, good centering, nearly complete legends, minor encrustations, weight 5.051 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 1152 - c. 1160 A.D.; obverse Θ / Γ/E-wP/ΓI/OC (wP ligate, in two flanking columnar groups), nimbate bust of St. George facing, beardless, wearing tunic, cuirass, and sagion, spear in right hand, shield on left arm; reverse MANUHΛ - ∆ECΠOT, Manuel, bust facing, wearing crown and loros, labarum headed scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand; SOLD


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Variety with stars both left and right on the obverse.
BZ36588. Billon aspron trachy, DOC IV-1 13f; Wroth BMC 40; Morrisson BnF 61/Cp/B/17 39; Hendy pl. 17, 1; Ratto 2127; SBCV 1966; Sommer 61.11, gVF, weight 4.394 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ), Christ Pantokrator seated facing on throne without back, bearded, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, colobium, Gospels in left hand, star to left and right; reverse MANYHΛ ∆ECΠ (or similar), Virgin Mary standing, on right, nimbate, wearing pallium and maphorium, crowns emperor with right, Manuel standing, on left, wearing divitision, loros, and chlamys, labarum in right, globus cruciger in left; very nicely struck for the issue, flan crack; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Manuel I Comnenus, 8 April 1143 - 24 September 1180 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
The cruciform monogram should probably be read, MΛ (Manuel) ∆ (Despotes) K (Komnenos) Π (Porphyrogennetos).

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."
BZ89602. Bronze half tetarteron, DOC IV-1 20; Hendy pl. 17, 17; Morrisson BnF 61/Th/AE/21; Wroth BMC 83; Ratto 2160; SBCV 1977; Sommer 61.21, Choice VF, dark patina with coppery high points, tiny edge cracks, weight 2.868 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 8 Apr 1143 - 1152 A.D.; obverse cruciform Manuel monogram ; reverse half-length bust of Manuel facing, beardless, wearing stemma, divitision, collar decorated with six jewels, loros and crown with cross and pendilia, labarum in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand; ex Lanz Numismatik; SOLD


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Pellet within circle on loros-waist.
BZ36591. Billon aspron trachy, DOC IV-1 13i; Wroth BMC 40; Morrisson BnF 61/Cp/B/17; Hendy pl. 16, 14; Ratto 2127; SBCV 1966; Sommer 61.11, gVF, weight 3.391 g, maximum diameter 29.4 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1167 - 1183 A.D.; obverse IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ), Christ, bearded, seated facing on throne without back, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, colobium, Gospels in left, no stars; reverse MANYHΛ ∆ECΠ (or similar), Virgin Mary standing, on right, nimbate, wearing pallium and maphorium, crowns emperor with right, Manuel standing, on left, wearing divitision, loros, and chlamys, labarum in right, globus cruciger in left; very nicely struck for the issue; SOLD


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Loros-waist with five pellets, collar-piece has three jewels.
BZ36589. Billon aspron trachy, DOC IV-1 13c; Wroth BMC 40; Morrisson BnF 61/Cp/B/17; Hendy pl. 17,1; Ratto 2127; SBCV 1966; Sommer 61.11, gVF, weight 3.380 g, maximum diameter 29.1 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1167 - 1183 A.D.; obverse IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ), Christ, bearded, seated facing on throne without back, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, colobium, Gospels in left, no stars; reverse MANYHΛ ∆ECΠ (or similar), Virgin Mary standing, on right, nimbate, wearing pallium and maphorium, crowns emperor with right, Manuel standing, on left, wearing divitision, loros, and chlamys, labarum in right, globus cruciger in left; very nicely struck for the issue; SOLD


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Called ho Megas ("the Great"), Manuel inspired intense loyalty in those who served him. He appears as the hero of a history written by his secretary, John Kinnamos, in which every virtue is attributed to him. Modern historians, however, have been less enthusiastic. Some argue that, since Byzantine imperial power declined catastrophically after Manuel's death, it is necessary to look for the causes of this decline in his reign.
BZ11070. Billon aspron trachy, DOC IV-1 12b; CLBC I 4.3.3.A; Grierson 1089; SBCV 1964; Sommer 61.9, Choice gVF, weight 3.140 g, maximum diameter 32.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse MP - ΘV, the Virgin Mary seated facing on a throne, nimbate and wearing pallium and maphorium, she holds before her the nimbate head of the infant Christ; reverse MANYHΛ ∆ECΠOTHC, Manuel standing facing wearing crown, divitision, and chlamys, and holding labarum and globus cruciger surmounted by patriarchal cross; ex Colosseum Coin Exchange; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Bellinger, A. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection, Vol. IV, Part 1: Alexius I to Alexius V (1081-1204). (Washington D.C., 1966).
Berk, H. Roman Gold Coins of the Medieval World, 383 - 1453 A.D. (Joliet, IL, 1986).
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins. (London, 1982).
Hendy, M. Coinage and Money in the Byzantine Empire 1081-1261. (Washington D.C., 1969).
Marchev, V. & R. Wachter. Catalogue of the Late Byzantine Coins, Vol. I, 1082 - 1261 AD. (Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, 2011).
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. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sommer, A. 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 Thursday, December 5, 2019.
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Byzantine Coins of Manuel I