BYZANTINE Manuel I 1143-1180 AD tetarteron


BYZANTINE, Manuel I, 1143-1180 AD, tetarteron, no date, Constantinople mint, Obverse: bust of St. George facing, ΘΓΕ, Sear monogram 35, ΓIOC, Reverse: long bust of Manuel facing in crown & loros holding labarum & globus cruciger, MANUHΛ ΔECPOTH, bronze, 22mm, 4.73g, SB1975, G/F

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The bronze tetarteron was meant to provide the bottom level coin, to accompany the billon aspron trachy.

Manuel I pursued a vigorous expansion policy during his long reign, was popular, seemed to be successful, was generally esteemed by his contemporaries. Things fell apart quickly after his death though, a sign of the personal quality of his rule, which could not continue without him.

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.