John II hyperpyron

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Magnus Maximus, Nov 30, 2020.

  1. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

    I’ve been turtling through the Alexiad by Anna Komnena and wanted to get a coin from the times. Surprisingly I managed to get this coin for under $500 USD. Many early hyperpyron cost a decent bit of money, so I am more than pleased with this coin.


    Obv: Christ seated facing on backless throne, right hand raised and holding book of gospels with IC-XC to left and right

    Rev: Facing half-length figures of Mary, nimbate, on right, and John, holding patriarchal cross between them, hand of god above John's head with the legend +IW ΔECΠOTH and ΘV-MR in fields

    Constantinople Mint (now Istanbul, Turkey)
    Sear 1938 / DOC 1a.2
    Gold, 4.32 grams, 29.3 mm
    ANAAB certification AB0841

    And the coin in hand.....

    Let’s see some late Byzantine gold!
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  3. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member my land that IS a decent bid o money!..
    ...its illegal to show what you don't have...:D....thats a very nice gold piece of history Magnus! :)..congrats!..
  4. Only a Poor Old Man

    Only a Poor Old Man Well-Known Member

    Lovely coin, and it looks even better in the 'in hand' photos. The latest Byzantine gold I have was featured in my top coins of the year thread and it is a histamenon by Michael VII:


    I always wanted to read the Alexiad by the way. Is it an easy read? Are there many translations to choose from?
  5. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    M.M., Nice score :D! I agree with Poor Old Man, the photos in hand are superior to the 1st photos :happy:. I sold my last scyphate some time ago, but the coin pictured below is my latest Byzantine gold coin, slightly older than your coin.
    4883666-002 AK Collection.jpg
  6. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

    I'm only about five chapters in so take my opinion with a block of salt, but it is an enjoyable read that does have a lot of "filler" material. Anna goes into details about things that do not interest me sometimes, i.e. genealogies of certain individuals or the titles they have accumulated. That said, she does an excellent job with a narrative history and keeps it interesting and simple. I particular like her call backs to ancient persons(she mentions Scipio Africanus and Hannibal in chapter 1) or to long dead poets(Homer being the only one I can remember now). Anna also purposely uses anachronistic names for ethnic groups; in one chapter she calls a Norman rebel a Celt, while in another she calls the Pechenegs the name of the long extinct Dacians.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2020
  7. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    I read the book in a Byzantine history class taught by the leading scholar Warren Treadgold at Berkeley. Quite a good read and a bit anachronistic as you say. Great coin in hand by the way. Here are some books by Dr. Treadgold that I recommend:

    • The Middle Byzantine Historians (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013);
    • The Early Byzantine Historians (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007);
    • A Concise History of Byzantium (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001);
    • A History of the Byzantine State and Society. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
    • Byzantium and Its Army, 284-1081 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995);
    • The Byzantine Revival, 780-842 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988);
    • The Byzantine State Finances in the Eighth and Ninth Centuries (New York: East European Monographs, 1982); and
    • The Nature of the Bibliotheca of Photius (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 1980).
  8. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    @Magnus Maximus beautiful example. Congratulations. Puts mine to shame.
    JOHN II HYPERPYRON NOMISMA IV DOC 1 Constantinople First Coinage SBCV-1938
    OBV Christ Bearded and Nimbate , wearing tunic and kolobion, seated upon a throne without back: r. hand raised in benediction , holds gospels in l.

    REV Half length figure of emperor on l. and of Virgin , holding between them Patriarchal cross on long shaft. Emperor wears stemma, divitision, collar piece, and paneled loros of simplified type; holds anexikakia in r. hand. Virgin wears tunic and maphorion. Manus Dei in upper left field.

    Size 30mm

    Weight 4.0gm
    DOC lists 17 examples with weights from 4.04gm to 4.40gm and sizes ranging from 30mm to 36mm

    If you are interested here is a complete collection of John II Comnenus, one missing I have I have I just have not included it in collection.

    Classical Numismatics Discussion - Members' Coin Gallery - John II Comnenus II (1118-1143) (

    I also have started a tremissis collection this weekend. I acquired several for around $250 each . This little fellow is Anastasius.
  9. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    I am glad there are more Byzantine collectors! It really does rub on you as you start expanding. Here is mine that I bought a while ago. Funny thing, is that I don't have many Byzantine gold coins and thus I mostly concentrated on Bronze and Silver...


    I did pick up this Anastasius Tremissis too:

  10. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @Only a Poor Old Man, you're (hopefully) in luck! None other than Penguin Classics published a couple of editions. The later and better one, with extensive annotation and a good index, is ISBN 978-0-140-45527-4.
    Anna Komnene, The Alexiad. Tr. E. R. A. Sewter, rev., with Introduction and Notes by Peter Frankopan. (1969.) London: Penguin, 2003.
    The translation itself is about 473 pages, but it's very well done, and reads very smoothly. ...And you get to see what Anna Komnene thought of Bohemond of Taranto and his Norman friends!
  11. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Since we are on the topic of Byzantine related literature I suggest this as a counterpoint, an opinion of the Bishop of Cremona, Liutprand, on the emperor Nicephorus, the "Pale Death of the Saracens" in the 10th century. Liutprand was an emissary sent by the Holy Roman emperor to cut a deal with the Byzantines. The Byzantines considered the "Franks" as uncouth barbarians.
  12. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    ...Well, just that, I think they had a point.
  13. DiomedesofArgos

    DiomedesofArgos Active Member

    Congrats. I've got an Alexios Hyperpyron on the way and was recently gifted a Trebizond Asper. I've been making my way through the History of Byzantium podcast which IMO makes collecting a lot more fun to listen to the stories behind the people pictured.
  14. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    My newest in hand EL. Aspron Trachy, mixed metal coin, three of these equaled one hyperpyron.

    Isaac II 29mm 4.54gm SBCV-2002 extremely fine, sharply struck; flan break.
  15. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Sweet example! Yeah, looks like the flan kind of gave its life for the strike.
    Never mind how good that looks for electrum!
    ...And, Yes, Isaak II. You got some Stuff up in here!
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2020
  16. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Great Hypo, @Magnus Maximus ! Great job. Gold is always good.

    Unfortunately, I have no Byz gold. I seem to be on the other side of the time spectrum with gold.
    ominus1 and +VGO.DVCKS like this.
  17. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    May the assembled House of Commons second your vote?
  18. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member, hear! :D
    +VGO.DVCKS and Alegandron like this.
  19. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Beautifull John II Hyp. Magnus Maximus!
    Here are a few of mine... 27e98002af7c34fa205886d2ecccf193 (1).jpg 9003.164.26_1.jpg 89968a225ab72e5cc99a4f00b91fe3c7.jpg ec475ae1e5b0fe716168d837b6f42dea (1).jpg 1170311_1588857243.l.jpg
  20. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    Beautiful collection @panzerman !

    This coin is not showing in my collection gallery because I want to get it tested for purity. The reason is you cannot visually tell the difference between the Thessalonica issues of John II with a later ruler John III Emperor of Nicaea. It seemed when John III issued his coins, legend and all to match John II coinage.
    The only way to tell the difference is John II coinage are 19 carats and John III are 17 carats. Many coins have been misattributed by museums and dealers.

    So if you bought a John III it could very well be a John II Thessalonica issue. The Constantinople are easy to distinguish from Thessalonica issues , bigger flans but thinner.

    This coin has a John III pedigree but I wont accept it until it is tested.

    If you are looking for a good read, try John II Komnenos, Emperor of Byzantium: In the shadow of his father and his son, Good read , the last chapter is about his gold coinage.
  21. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    All, amazing Byzantine gold coins! Also, great addition @Magnus Maximus!

    I received this hyperpyron last week:

    It is not entirely my Byzantine focus, I mainly want to collect from the Komnenoi, but I really liked the reverse with the emperor kneeling to Christ and the obverse is quite fine as well for this issue.
    Andronicus II Palaeologus, 1282-1328. AV Hyperpyron Nomisma. Constantinople mint, 1282-1294.
    Obverse: Bust of the Virgin orans within the city walls furnished with six groups of towers; in lower field, CZ-ZC sigla.
    Reverse: ANΔPO/NIKOC E/ XΩ T C/IΛIΠ/TICO IC/XC Andronicus on left, nimbate and kneeling right blessed by Christ standing facing on right, with decorated nimbus, holding Book of Gospels; between them fleur-de-lis; to right, C/N.
    Reference: DOC 225 var (sigla). PCPC 91B Sigla 77 var. SB 2326.
    25mm, 4.28g
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