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    Michael IV: From Lover to Emperor

    Michael IV the Paphlagonian (1034-1041). AV histamenon nomisma (26mm, 4.15 gm, 6h). Constantinople. + IhS XIS RЄX RЄΣNANTIhM, facing bust of Christ Pantocrator, with cruciform nimbus, holding book of gospels in left arm, raising right hand in benediction / + mIX AH L bASILЄЧS Rm, crowned facing bust of Michael, wearing loros, holding labarum and globus cruciger; manus dei above. Sear 1824. DOC 1d. Rare. Slightly clipped, light deposits on obverse. NGC (photo-certificate) Choice AU 5/5 - 3/5, clipped.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection.

    A commoner from the Black Sea coast of Anatolia, Michael IV was the brother of John the Orphanotrophos (keeper of the state orphanage), a crafty eunuch who had gained a dominant position in the Byzantine court. Through John's influence, the handsome Michael was introduced to the Empress Zoe and became her lover. Upon the suspicious death of Zoe's husband, the elderly Emperor Romanus III, Michael married Zoe and was himself acclaimed as Emperor. Although an epileptic, he soon proved a strong ruler and a brave soldier, leading Byzantine armies to victory against the Arabs, Fatamids and Bulgarians. Sicily was partially reconquered and a favorable treaty signed with Fatamid Egypt. But the stress of office and military campaigns took a toll on his fragile health and Michael died after a too-brief reign of seven years in December 1041. In the realm of coinage, it was under Michael IV that the now familiar scyphate, or "cup-shaped" fabric was first employed for the gold histamenon nomisma. The reasons for its adoption are not well understood, but it became the standard model for Byzantine coinage for the next three and a half centuries. 

    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 if you would like to utilize this option.

    View all of [The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2014
    3rd-10th Wednesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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