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    Description

    Extremely Rare Michael VI Gold Histamenon

    Michael VI Stratioticus (AD 1056-1057). AV histamenon nomisma (25mm, 4.42 gm, 6h). NGC Choice AU 5/5 - 2/5, wavy flan, edge filing. Constantinople. + IhS XIS RЄX RЄΣNANTIhm, bust of Christ facing, wearing nimbus cruciger with single pellet in each arm, pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, book of Gospels in left / + MIXA-HL AЧ-TOCRAT, Michael standing facing, wearing crown with pendilia and jeweled chlamys, globus cruciger in left hand, and being crowned by the nimbate Virgin standing facing, wearing pallium and maphorium; barred MΘ between. Sear 1840. DOC 1a. Berk 310. Clean, sharp strike with full details on both sides and matte surfaces. The wavy flan and edge filing are minor and inconsequential, but noted for accuracy.

    A courtly patrician who served as military finance minister (or Stratioticus) in the reigns of Constantine IX and Theodora, Michael Bringas was chosen by the latter as her successor shortly before her death in August 1056. He duly ascended the throne as Michael VI, but with no great dynastic name behind him, his position was precarious. He restored to favor the great general Nicephorus Bryennius, but perversely declined to restore the lands and titles that had been stripped from him by Theodora. His frugality in financing the army also earned him the enmity of the entire military class, which he compounded by giving the soldiers all manner of degrading and onerous duties. In doing so he seems to have been trying to enforce civilian control over the military, but a junta of disaffected generals soon rose in revolt and proclaimed one of their number, Isaac I Comnenus, as emperor. Michael's attempts at negotiation failed and he was forced to abdicate on August 31, 1057, taking holy orders in order to spare his life. Only a relative handful of coins were seemingly struck during his one-year reign and his gold pieces are some of the rarest of the Byzantine series, with fewer than 15 recorded specimens. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2018
    17th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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