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    Iconic Image

    Basil II Bulgaroctonos (AD 976-1025), with Constantine VIII. AV histamenon nomisma (27mm, 4.40 gm, 6h). NGC Gem MS 5/5 - 5/5. Constantinople, 1005-1025. + IhS XIS RЄX RЄΣNANTIhM, bust of Christ Pantocrator facing, wearing cruciform nimbus with annulets in upper quarters, pallium, and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, and holding book of Gospels cradled in left arm / + bASIL Є COhStAhtIh R, crowned facing busts of Basil, bearded, wearing loros of square pattern and being crowned from above by manus Die, and Constantine, beardless, wearing jeweled chlamys pinned at right shoulder, holding long cross between them. Sear 1800. DOC 6a. One of the most beautiful examples of this superb, iconic type we have offered, crisply struck on an immense flan, with a marvelous iconic bust of Christ.

    Ex. Jonathan K. Kern Collection

    The son of Romanus II, Basil II inherited the purple at the age of five in when his father died in AD 963; however he had to fight off several challenges to his rule and was not fully secure until AD 989. The experience made a hard, austere man of him. Monastic in tastes and militant in manners, he never married and devoted his whole reign to administering the state and leading armies into battle. He expended enormous efforts toward destroying the Bulgarian menace once and for all. At the Battle of Kleidion in 1014, he acquired his nickname "Bulgar-slayer" (Bulgaroctonos) when he captured and blinded 15,000 Bulgarians; the Bulgarian Tsar Samuel died of despair when he beheld the fate his men. The Fatamids and Arabs also felt his wrath and he oversaw the annexation of Georgia to the Empire. He kept wealthy aristocrats on a short leash and favored peasants and small farmers, backbone of the army. By Basil's death in 1025, the medieval Byzantine Empire had reached its greatest size, power and prestige.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2017
    7th-12th Thursday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 437

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