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    Isaac I: Military Reaction

    Isaac I Comnenus (1057-1059). AV histamenon nomisma (26mm, 4.43 gm, 6h).  Constantinople. + IhS XIS RЄX RЄΣNANTIhM, Christ Pantocrator enthroned facing on backless throne, with cruciform nimbus, raising right hand in benediction and holding book of Gospels cradled in left arm / + ICΛΛKIOC RΛ CIΛCVC, Isaac standing facing, wearing scale cuirass, corselet with pteruges, and military cloak, and holding sword in right hand and resting left on sheath. Sear 1843. DOC 2. Scarce. NGC (photo-certificate) Choice AU? 5/5 - 5/5.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex Stack's (Chicago, 4-5 March 1988), lot 1802. 

    Isaac I Comnenus grew up in a powerful military household and became a successful general. He came to resent the weak rule of the civilian aristocracy in Constantinople and seized power in a coup in June, 1057. At first he had the support of the Patriarch Michael I, but his seizure of church property to finance the army soon put him them at odds. Although he did much to strengthen a military that had been badly neglected in the previous reigns, and though he led successful campaigns against the Hungarians and Pechenegs on the Danube frontier, he offended too many powerful interests and was forced to abdicate in December of 1059. He entered a monastery and died in 1061. A later member of the same family, Alexius I Comnenus, sized the throne 20 years later and was far more successful in transforming the Byzantine state. The coins of Isaac I show him in a proudly militant pose, wearing the armor of a general and brandishing a sword. 

    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 Dates
    September, 2014
    3rd-10th Wednesday-Wednesday
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