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    Alexius I: Imperial Savior

    Alexius I Comnenus (1081-1118). EL histamenon nomisma (29mm, 4.45 gm, 6h).  Constantinople, pre-reform coinage, 1081-1092. Barred IC - XC, Christ Pantocrator seated facing on square-backed throne with nimbus, wearing tunic and colobium, raising right hand in benediction and holding Book of Gospels in left arm / +AΛEXIΩ ΔEC - ΠOT, crowned facing bust of Alexius, wearing divitision and jeweled chlamys, holding scepter surmounted by pelleted star in right hand and globus cruciger in left. Sear 1893. DO 2b.1. Reverse a tad weakly struck. NGC (photo-certificate) Choice AU 4/5 - 5/5.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex William Herbert Hunt Collection (Sotheby's New York, 5-6 December 1990), lot 884 (part of). 

    Alexius Comnenus came from one of the Empire's foremost military families and was the nephew of the short-reigning Isaac I. With the Empire's fortunes in total collapse, he seized power in 1081 and immediately set about fighting the forces of disarray. He first focused on the Normans, who had seized Byzantine southern Italy and launched an invasion of Greece. After numerous setbacks and defeats, he secured victory with the help of Venice, to which he was forced to grant extensive trade privileges. Alexius also crushed the Pechenegs, a longtime menace on the Danube frontier. With much of Asia Minor having fallen to the Seljuq Turks, Alexius sought the support of Western mercenaries to reclaim lost territories. His call sparked the First Crusade, a wholly unintended consequence that only complicated his task of restoring Byzantine greatness. His reforms pervaded all parts of Byzantine society, from the army to the coinage, which saw the introduction of a new gold coin, the hyperpyron, replacing the badly debased nomisma. Largely successful, the long reign of Alexius led to a final century of Byzantine greatness under the Comnenan Dynasty. 

    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
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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