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    Description

    Leo III, the Isaurian (AD 717-740). AV solidus (20mm, 4.50 gm, 6h). NGC Choice MS 4/5 - 5/5. Constantinople, 8th officina, AD 717-720. d N D LЄO-N PA MЧL •, crowned facing bust of Leo III, wearing chlamys pinned at right shoulder, globus cruciger in right hand and akakia in left / VICTORIA-AVSЧ H, cross potent set on three steps; CONOB below. Sear 1502. DOC 1a. MIB 1. Rare issue of Leo as sole ruler! Struck on a broad flan and fully lustrous.

    Together reigning nearly 60 years, Leo III and his son Constantine V reshaped Byzantine society and preserved the empire's core against the onslaught of Arab armies and Slavic invaders alike. Born to a peasant family in northern Syria, Leo III rose to become commander of the Anatolikon Theme in Asia Minor. With the Arabs preparing a massive siege of Constantinople, Leo's soldiers proclaimed him emperor in place of the feeble Theodosius III in March of AD 717. Six months later, the long-anticipated siege commenced. Leo proved equal to the task of defending the capital, and with the help of a new secret weapon called Greek fire and a timely counterattack, the Arabs were utterly routed. In 740, Leo cemented his reputation as a peerless soldier by crushing the Arab army at the battle of Akroinon in Phrygia. He also instituted numerous reforms that strengthened the central government and improved fairness in the administration of law. But he is chiefly known for his policy of iconoclasm, or the destruction of sacred images, which he regarded as akin to the graven images condemned in the 10 Commandments.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2018
    6th-11th Thursday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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