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    Description

    'Minus A Quarter'

    Michael VII Ducas (1071-1078). AV histamenon nomisma (29mm, 4.40 gm, 6h). Constantinople. Facing half-length bust of Christ Pantocrator, with cruciform nimbus, five pellets within each bar; barred IC - XC in right and left fields / + MIXAHΛ RACIΛO Δ, crowned facing half-length bust of Michael, wearing loros and saccos, holding jeweled vexillum with pellet on shaft in right hand and globus cruciger in left. Sear 1868. DOC 2d. Pleasing Christ portrait. NGC (photo-certificate) Choice AU 4/5 - 4/5, clipped.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection.

    The eldest son of Constantine X, Michael VII was a student of the noted Byzantine scholar Michael Psellus, who tried to instill in him all the virtues of a "philosopher king." Alas, the terrible times called for action, not philosophy, and the two Michaels could do little more than hold up in the palace with their scrolls and codexes while the Empire crumbled around them. The debasement of the histmanenon became so severe that it could no longer buy a full bushel of wheat, as before, but only a bushel minus a quarter, or pinakion. Michael VII thus acquired the unfortunate nickname of Parapinakes -- "minus a quarter." The mounting crises finally forced his abdication in 1078, whereupon he took holy orders as a monk. 

    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: 6
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