BYZANTINE, Leo V, 813-820 AD, follis, Syracuse mint


BYZANTINE, Leo V, 813-820 AD, follis, no date, Syracuse mint, Obverse: facing bust of Emperor, Reverse: facing bust of Constantine, bronze, 18mm, 3.62g, SB1636, VF

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Leo V was militarily adequate, but he was a fanatical iconoclast who liked to vigorously persecute iconodules. About half of the population was against him. He ended up assassinated.

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.