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    The Irrepressible Irene

    Irene, joint reign with Constantine VI (AD 780-797). AV solidus (19mm, 4.38 gm, 7h). NGC MS 4/5 - 4/5. Constantinople, AD 792-797. IRIhH [AΓOЧSTI], crowned facing bust of Irene, wearing loros, holding globus cruciger and cross-tipped scepter / COhSTAh-[TIhOS bAS' Θ], crowned and draped facing bust of Constantine, holding globus cruciger and acacia. Sear 1594. DOC 3a. Rare. Flan a bit short, but possessing a marvelous mid-Byzantine portrait of the irrepressible Irene. A little weakly struck to right, otherwise nicely detailed and lustrous.

    When Leo IV died in 780, his wife Irene ruled as regent for their adolescent son Constantine VI. Though the Isaurian dynasty had initiated iconoclasm and vigorously attacked the use of sacred images, Irene was a fervent iconodule and sought to reverse the divisive policy. In AD 790, she was temporarily ousted in a coup led by her now 20-year-old son. But he showed no talent for ruling and recalled her two years later. This solidus belongs to Irene's second ascendency, AD 792-797, before she took the audacious step of seizing sole power for herself. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2017
    7th-12th Thursday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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