BYZANTINE, Anonymous, bronze follis, attributed to Michael IV, 1034-1041 AD


BYZANTINE, Anonymous, follis, attributed to Michael IV, 1034-1041 AD, Obverse: 3/4 length Christ facing, +EMMANOVNA+. IC XC, Reverse: IC-XC-NI-KA around cross, bronze, 24x28mm, 5.97g, SB1825, crude, aG/aVF

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The anonymous Jesus coins of 11th century Byzantium were in the way of a coinage reform. They replaced small, inflated coins with larger ones, apparently all struck at the Constantinople mint. This centralization of the copper was unusual at that time, ignoble copper was usually left to local governments to handle.

We call them Byzantines, but they thought of themselves as Romans. It is not incorrect to think of the Roman Empire persisting until 1453, when the Ottomans conquered Constantinople. The main reference we are using for the Byzantine series is “Byzantine Coins and their Values,” by David Sear.

“Ancient Coins” includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.