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Byzantine Empire, Theophilus, 12 May 821 - 20 January 842 A.D.
Theophilus was an accomplished scholar and highly cultured. Although he admired Arab art and civilization, he was obliged to expend much effort defending his eastern frontier against Mutasim, the Caliph of Baghdad. He died of dysentery. BZ76335. Bronze follis, Anastasi 554b; Spahr 413; DOC III part 1, 29a; Morrisson 32/Sy/AE/01; Sommer 31.13; SBCV 1680, Nice VF, broad heavy flan for the type, nice green patina, weight 5.418 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, Sicily, Syracuse mint, 831 - 835 A.D.; obverse ΘEOFIL bAS, crowned bust facing, wearing loros, cross potent in right; reverse MIXHAL S CONST, facing busts of Michael II (left) and Constantine, each wears crown and chlamys, star above center; rare this size; $190.00 (Ä167.20)
Byzantine Empire, Michael II and Theophilus, 12 May 821 - 2 October 829 A.D.
The reverse symbols resemble past issues of 40 Numismatik, an anachronism. However, these are the symbols for Michael and Theophilius, effectively a pun. Michael II started his career as a humble soldier. Leo V's assassination while trying to impose iconoclasm probably taught Michael a lesson, as he chose to remain religiously neutral. With Bulgarian help, he defeated the usurper Thomas, who with his Arab allies even besieged Constantinople for one year. Even after the rebellion was crushed, the Arabs still occupied Crete and initiated an invasion of Sicily.BZ91007. Bronze follis, Anastasi 513; DOC III part 1, 21; Sommer 30.8.3; Wroth BMC 20; Morrisson BnF 31/Sy/AE/01; Tolstoi 27; Ratto 1814; SBCV 1652, aVF, dark patina, some unstruck areas, scratches, weight 3.827 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 12 May 821 - 2 Oct 829; obverse MIXA-HL - S ΘEOF (F upside down), facing crowned busts of Michael, on left with short beard and chlamys, and Theophilus, beardless with loros; reverse large M (40 nummi), cross above, Θ below; scarce; $90.00 (Ä79.20)
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