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    Description

    Nicephorus I and Stauracius (AD 802-811). AV solidus (20mm, 4.41 gm, 6h).  Constantinople, AD 803-811. nICI-FOROS ЬASILЄ', crowned facing bust of Nicephorus, wearing chlamys, holding cross potent and akakia / STAVRA-CIS dЄSPO' X, crowned facing bust of Stauracius, wearing chlamys, holding globus cruciger and acacia. DOC 2c. SB 1604. Well struck overall and fully lustrous, a choice example. Choice Mint State.

    The former imperial treasurer, Nicephorus I came to power in the coup that toppled the controversial Empress Irene. Nicephorus was a strict conservative with considerable military and administrative experience, and soon repaired much of the damage caused by Irene's mismanagement. He revoked many of her tax reductions and found new sources of revenue that put the state on a sounder footing. His achievements in foreign affairs were more of a mixed bag. His refusal to pay tribute to the Arabs aroused their anger and invited attacks, but he reconquered central Greece from the Slavs, who had overrun it two centuries before, and created several new Themes, or military districts, by which the army could be replenished. In AD 811 Nicephorus and his son and co-ruler Stauracius invaded Bulgaria, which had become a major threat under the ferocious warlord Krum. The invasion at first met with great success, taking and sacking the Bulgarian capital city of Pliska. But Nicephorus unwisely pursued Krum into the mountains, where he and his army were ambushed and slaughtered. Though grievously wounded, Stauracius managed to escape and made it back to Constantinople before expiring. Krum had Nicephorus' skull made into a drinking cup, which became part of the Bulgarian royal regalia. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Sep-Oct, 2013
    25th-1st Wednesday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
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