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    Rare Early Syracuse Theophilus

    Theophilus (AD 829-842). AV solidus (19mm, 4.51 gm, 6h).  Syracuse, ca. 831-835. ΘЄOFI-LOS bASILЄ, facing bust of Theophilus, with short beard, wearing crown and chlamys, holding patriarchal cross and acacia / + MIXAHL S COhSTAhT,  facing busts of Michael II and Constantine, beardless, each wearing crown and chlamys, cross between. Sear 1669. DO 21. Very rare and seldom offered! NGC (photo-certificate) MS 5/5 - 4/5.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex Dreesmann Collection, Part II (Spink & Sons, London, July 2000), lot 625; Leu 11 (11 March 1987), lot 60.

    Syracuse was reconquered from the Vandals by Belisarius in AD 535 and became the Empire's most important city in the West, except for Ravenna. Constans II made it his capital for five years, from AD 663 until his assassination in 668. Its mint produced both gold and bronze coins in large quantities, acquiring a style and fabric all their own. Despite enduring a major Arab siege in 827-8, the city of Syracuse remained in Byzantine hands thanks to the timely arrival of reinforcements sent by Michael II. Although the Arabs steadily gained control of the rest of Sicily, Syracuse stayed under Byzantine control until it was lost in May of 878. It was briefly recaptured by the Byzantine general George Maniakes in 1038, but fell to the Normans in 1041. 

    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: 7
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