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    Description

    One Of Three Known

    Anastasius II Artemius (AD 713-715). AV solidus (20mm, 4.46 gm, 6h).  Constantinople, 1st officina, AD 713. ANASTASI-ЧS MЧLTЧS AN, crowned bust of Antasasius facing, wearing chlamys, holding globus cruciger and acacia / VICTORIA AVGЧ, cross potent on three steps, A//CONOB. Sear 1462. DO --. MIB 1a. An extremely rare variant (most solidi of this ruler have the name Artemius at the start of the legend), with perhaps only three examples known. NGC (photo-certificate) MS 5/5 - 3/5.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex "An Important Private Collection of Byzantine Coins" (Sotheby's, 2 November 1998), lot 375; William Herbert Hunt Collection (Sotheby's New York, 5 December 1990), lot 537; Leu 15 (4 May 1976), lot 475. 

    Although often cited as only a mild civil servant thrust into the role of short-reigning emperor, Anastasius II Artemius was rather a more formidable character than his origins might suggest. An imperial secretary to several emperors, he rose to the purple when soldiers from the volatile Opsikian Theme in Thrace rose up and overthrew the Emperor Philippicus, whose unorthodox religious views had alienated the populace and soldiery. Artemius was chosen for his intimate knowledge of the imperial bureaucracy and orthodox religion. He chose to rule under the name Anastasius in honor of the ruler of two centuries previous who had strengthened the Empire through sound financial measures. One of his first actions was to arrest and execute the conspirators against Philippicus and impose harsh discipline on the army. Understanding that Constantinople would soon be besieged by Arab armies, he repaired the walls and ordered construction of a new fleet, which he sent on a successful preemptive raid of Rhodes. He also placed the army of the Anatolian Theme under the command of the talented general Leo the Isaurian, later emperor, and ordered it to invade Syria. In the meantime, however, the unruly Thracian troops tired of his discipline and revolted a second time; after a two-month siege they took Constantinople and replaced Anastasius with another civil servant, who ascended the throne as Theodosius III. Anastasius fled to Nicea, where he abdicated and entered a monastery. Four years later, he attempted to resume the throne but was captured and executed.  

    Virtually all surviving solidi of Anastasius II's two-year reign have a legend starting with his earlier name, Artemius. This extremely rare variety offers only his adoptive name Anastasius and is one of only three surviving examples. 

    This coin from the Dimitriadis Collection has been issued a photo-certificate by NGC. It may be sent in for encapsulation after the auction at the request of the buyer, free of charge. E-mail SamS@HA.com if you would like to utilize this option.




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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2014
    3rd-10th Wednesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
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