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    Romanus IV: Disaster at Manzikert

    Romanus IV Diogenes (1068-1071), with Eudocia, Michael VII, Constantius and Andronicus. AV histamenon nomisma (29mm, 4.41 gm, 6h). KΩN - MX - ANΔ,  three figures of Michael VII (center), Constantius and Andronicus standing facing, feet on circular cushions, each crowned and wearing loros; central figure of Michael holds transverse jeweled vexillum and akakia, the other two each hold globus cruciger in outer hand / + PΩMANS ЄVΔΟKIA around, IC - XC across fields, central figure of nimbate Christ, standing facing on dais, reaching up with both hands to crown Romanus, on left, and Eudocia, each wearing crown and loros and holding globus cruciger. Sear 1859. DO 1. Unusually well struck on a broad flan. NGC (photo-certificate) MS 5/5 - 5/5. 

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex Stack's (New York, December 1991), lot 101. 

    A distinguished general from Cappadocia, Romanus IV was backed by the military caste against the aristocratic civilian faction that had driven the Empire close to ruin. In January 1068 he compelled the Empress Eudocia, widow of Constantine X, to marry him and thus secured the throne. From the beginning he saw his main task as reversing the advance of the Seljuq Turks, who were raiding Asia Minor at will. Over several years, he rebuilt the depleted Byzantine field army with mercenaries and raw recruits. In 1071 he led 40,000 men on a grand campaign into eastern Anatolia, where, almost by accident, he encountered a smaller force led by the brilliant Seljuq Sultan Arp Aslan. In the resulting battle of Manzikert, the polyglot Byzantine army disintegrated and the Seljuqs captured Romanus on the field. Arp Aslan treated him with civility and released him, but the aristocratic faction at Constantinople deposed and brutally blinded him, leading to his death a few months later.

    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
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
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