Featured About the "Diokitirion Square Trachion"

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by seth77, May 3, 2020.

  1. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    This type is rare and still rather controversial. Having been at first assigned to the regency of Anna of Savoy for Ioannes V Palaeologos (1351-1354) in Dochev 1983 and 1992 (apud Georganteli p. 73) and A Palaiologan Trachion from the Dioikitirion Square Excavation by E.S. Georganteli (Numismatika Hronika 20, 2001, p.82), Bendall reconsiders it as a feudal issue of the Asen brothers (Alexios and Ioan) in Thrace. It was minted very likely in small quantity and for a short period, as indicated both by the small number of known specimens and by the many die matches among these specimens (Georganteli remarks the small number of dies used and the consistent die duplication encountered).

    Thus, a preliminary identification of the type should look something like "Despotate of Anaktoropolis, Christopolis and Thassos, under Alexios and Ioannes Asen as Despotes, cca. 1356-1366."

    ioan alexios.jpg
    AE20x18mm, 1.77g, copper trachy/stamenon minted perhaps at a mint on the Thracian coast, cca. 1356.
    Virgin Mary orans, standing between two columns topped by stars.
    The two despotes crowned, holding scepters, standing facing, three stars between them.
    unlisted in regular references. Recorded by Bendall, “The Diokitirion Square Trachion Reconsidered”, in Nομισματικα Ξρονικα 21, pp. 107-110.

    The Asen brothers were part of the Bulgarian royal dynasty and they held the coastal area of Thrace as despotes after the death of Stephan Uros IV Dusan and the fragmentation and uncertainty that followed. Ruling at first as independent despotes, the two brothers recognized in 1357 (S. Dadaki, S. Doukata, I. Elliades, M. Lychounas - "From the shade of Mt. Athos per Levante it takes miles..." Cities-Castles-Ports on the North Aegean Coast" Medieval Ports in the North Aegean and the Black Sea, Links to the Maritime Routes of the East, Thessalonika, 2013, p. 213) the authority of Emperor Ioannes V Palaiologos, and in return they continued to hold their domains as his vassals.

    So the coins could have been, according to Bendall (“The Diokitirion Square Trakion Reconsidered,” NK 21 (2002), p. 107-110; Bendall, “An Enigmatic Fourteenth Century Coin,” NumCirc vol. CIV, (March 1996), p. 39, 4-6), minted for the two despotes during their short period of independence, around 1356, likely on the coast of Thrace, considering that examples of the issue were found both at Thessalonica and Trnovo (according to Bendall). They possibly circulated with the imperial trachea of the period, which is how they got into circulation at Thessalonica, which at the time was still under Anna's rule.

    Besides the 12 specimens recorded by Bendall in 2002 and the one discussed by Georganteli in 2001, there is a specimen sold by CNG here another sold by Savoca here another from G&N here, and another three examples from Dumbarton Oaks here. Other specimens were mentioned and discussed by Dochev 1983, 1992, Bendall 1996 (10 specs), Longuet 1957.

    I know some of our colleagues have specimens of this type, maybe we can use this thread to add to the known specimens and discuss further possibilities about the ID and circumstances of this particularly interesting issue.
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  3. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    A better specimen, one where one can see the very non-Roman headgear of the two figures:

    AE16mm 1.23g trachy/stamenon
    Virgin Mary orans, standing between two columns topped by stars.
    The two despotes crowned, holding scepters, standing facing, three stars between them.
    unlisted in regular references; see Bendall, “The Diokitirion Square Trachion Reconsidered”, in Nομισματικα Ξρονικα 21, pp. 107-110.
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  4. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

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  5. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    Nice write up Seth, I was not familiar. Todays CNG auction went a bit crazy for Byzantine coins but who would not want to put a Simon Bendall coin in the collection. I bid on 6 or 7 lots but only won one.
  6. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    It was rather to be expected I think.
  7. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC Active Member

    There's plenty more to come I think.

    Ross G.
  8. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    I hope there are more Bendall collection offerings to come, I'd like to get one myself if possible.
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  9. VD76

    VD76 Well-Known Member

    Same here. All the lots that I bid on was gone with the price way more than my expectations . But I’ve been lucky to get two unplanned coins . One of these coins was published .

    Won today one in fair condition . Here is the some discussion about those coins (Alexius and John Asen) with few interesting notes from Valentin Marchev and Ross G. http://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=31935.10;wap2
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  10. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    Another spec AE18mm 2g, this time flattened, with a great Virgin orans but almost no reverse:

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  11. VD76

    VD76 Well-Known Member

    My coin :)
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  12. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    You got a good deal on it ;)
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  13. VD76

    VD76 Well-Known Member

    Here are a few more examples I was able to find.

    16mm 2.09 g.

    18mm 1.81g

    19mm 1.54g.

    Quant.Geek coin

    19mm 1.84g.

    19mm 1.24g.

    Size and weight unknown

    21mm, 1.70 g

    Size and weight unknown

    FBD91D44-E453-4993-AF64-5571A5F0030E.jpeg 363E9A9C-E5E5-4AAD-9229-969D02D414B5.jpeg
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2020
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  14. VD76

    VD76 Well-Known Member

    1.48 g.

    BF46D401-2218-4A7B-81B3-F0F4B8A1793D.jpeg 2AC897BB-269A-4817-919E-6A30193CEA4C.jpeg
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2020
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