BYZANTINE LATINS 1204-1261 AD trachy


BYZANTINE, LATINS, 1204-1261 AD, trachy, no date, Constantinople mint, Obverse: Virgin enthroned, Reverse: 2 male figures standing facing, long cross between, bronze, 23x26mm, 2.85g, SB2050, crude, aG/VF

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Coinage of the Latin Emperors consisted mostly of small imitations of scyphate (cup shaped) coins of the previous few Byzantine Emperors.

There had been turmoil in Byzantium, a war of uruspation. Meanwhile the Fourth Crusade brought tens of thousands of armed westerners into Byzantine territory. The Crusaders wanted to take Jerusalem from the Muslims, but that turned out to be unfeasible. They messed around in the uruspation war instead. After hiring on with one of the contestants and not getting paid, the Crusaders proceeded to sack Constantinople and chose one of their own to be the new Emperor. In the West they thought this was great. The Latins were lousy governors, by and large. There were two Byzantine exile governments, Venice was strong, they had a habit of fighting amongst themselves. All in all they lasted about half a century.

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.