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    Rare Solidus of Michael II and Theophilus

    Michael II the Amorian (AD 820-829), with Theophilus. AV solidus (21mm, 4.43 gm, 5h).  Constantinople,  May AD 821-October AD 829. *MIXAHL bASILЄЧS, crowned facing bust of Michael, wearing short beard and chlamys pinned at right shoulder, holding cross potent in right hand and akakia in left / ΘЄOFI-LOC БЄSP' + Є, crowned facing bust of Theophilus, beardless, wearing loros, holding globus cruciger in right hand and cruciform scepter in left. Sear 1640. DOC 5a. Berk 241 (this coin). Very rare! NGC (photo-certificate) Choice AU 5/5 - 4/5.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex "An Important Private Collection of Byzantine Coins" (Sotheby's, New York, 2 November 1998), lot 432.

    Born of humble parentage in central Anatolia, Michael the Amorian entered the army and rose through the ranks to become the right-hand man of Leo V the Armenian; however, in AD 820 Leo accused him of treason and had him arrested. Partisans of Michael assassinated Leo and raised Michael to the purple. He was challenged by a rival general, Thomas the Slav, and the resultant civil war lasted until 823, allowing the Arabs to invade Crete and Sicily. Elsewhere he held the line. Of iconoclastic views, Michael was tolerant as to enforcement, and religious unrest receded. He was the first emperor in decades to die quietly in his bed, leaving the throne to his learned son Theophilus. 

    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: 8
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