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    Rare Consular Issue of Maurice

    Maurice Tiberius (AD 582-602). AV solidus (21mm, 4.51 gm, 6h).  Constantinople, inaugural consular issue of AD 602. DN MAVRC TIb PP AVG, Maurice enthroned facing, crowned and wearing consular garb, holding aloft mappa and cross / VICTORI A AVCC, Angel standing facing, holding staurogram and globus cruciger; I//CONOB. Sear 474. DOC 2f. MIB II 2. Rare. NGC (photo-certificate) MS 4/5 - 4/5, edge bend.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex Dreesmann Collection, Part II (Spink & Sons, London, July 2000), lot 434; Leu 15 (4 May 1976), lot 450.

    The most capable of Justinian's immediate successors, Maurice Tiberius commanded armies during the Persian wars of Tiberius II and was raised to the rank of co-emperor shortly before the latter's death in AD 582. Maurice vigorously pursued the Persian war and was able to take advantage of their internal disputes by restoring the exiled Great King Khusro II to the Sasanian throne in AD 591, resulting in a favorable peace treaty. This freed up soldiers for the Balkan campaign against the invading Avars and Slavs, who proved difficult to dislodge. Maurice reorganized the Empire's western possessions by appointing viceroys called Exarchs in Italy and Carthage, enabling them to hold out for another century or more. The cost of continuing war had to be met by harsh taxation, making his regime unpopular, and the severe weather of the "little ice age" in the AD 600s-700s made for miserable fighting conditions on the northern front. In AD 602 the Balkans army mutinied and proclaimed a half-barbarian junior officer, Phocas, as emperor. Despite reigning with competence and integrity for 20 years, Maurice was overthrown and executed along with his entire family. His downfall opened the floodgates to a deluge that soon swept away the East Roman state entirely, replacing it with a diminished and very different entity we now call Byzantium. 

    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: 3
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