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    Constantine IX: Luxury and Learning

    Constantine IX Monomachus (AD 1042-1055). AV histamenon nomisma (28mm, 4.38 gm, 7h).  Constantinople. + IhS XIS RЄX RЄGNANTIhM, Christ enthroned facing on lyre-backed throne, wearing nimbus, pallium, and colobium, raising hand in benediction and holding book of Gospels / + CΩhST-ANTh bASILЄЧ RM, half-length bust of Constantine facing, wearing crown and loros, holding labarum in right hand and globe surmounted by patriarchal cross in left. Sear 1828. DOC 1a. NGC (photo-certificate) MS? 5/5 - 5/5.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex Stack's (New York, March 1988), lot 67.  

    An amiable aristocrat with a taste for luxury, Constantine IX Monomachus married the Empress Zoë in 1042 and thus became the third of her husbands to ascend the throne. He and his equally decadent wife enjoyed the extravagant life of the palace (along with his mistress, to whom he gave a special state title) and paid scant attention to affairs of state. Instead of strengthening the Empire's defenses against the emerging Seljuq and Norman threats, he drastically cut military spending and reduced the size of the army. He was twice challenged for the throne by far more capable military men, but won both brief civil wars by happenstance. An attempt to enlist the Pope's aid against the Normans backfired and resulted in a final schism between the Roman and Orthodox Churches in 1054. His one positive accomplishment was promoting higher learning by endowing chairs of philosophy and law at the university in Constantinople. 

    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: 5
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