On this day in 1453 ...

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, May 29, 2020.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    On this day, 29 May, 1453, Constantinople fell to the Turks under Muhammad II, ending the Byzantine Empire.

    Post your Byzantine coins from Constantinople!
    Phocas, AD 602-610 and wife Leontia.
    Byzantine Æ Follis,28.4 mm, 13.35 g, 7 h.
    Constantinople, AD 602/603.
    Obv: δmFOCA ЄPPAVG, Phocas and Leontia stg. facing. The Emperor holds globus cruciger, the Empress, nimbate, holds cruciform scepter.
    Rev: Large M, surmounted by cross; ANNO to left, I (regnal year 1) right, CONB in exergue.
    Refs: Sear 639; MIBE 129, 60a; DOC 163, 24b.
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  3. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Two of my favorites :D.

    NGC 4883666-002 insert.jpg Romanus III, Solidus.jpg 4790075-008 Dated Ind. Year 11, AD 637-638.jpg Her. & Sons, Solidus.jpg
  4. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Focas Constantinople overstruck on Maurice Constantinople
    PeteB, robinjojo, Ajax and 10 others like this.
  5. Alegandron

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


    Manuel I Comnenus,
    CE 1143-1180
    Aspron trachy, 35mm, 4.6g, 6h;
    Constantinople mint.
    Obv.: Nimbate Christ, bearded, seated on backless throne facing, wearing pallium and colobium; book of Gospels in his left hand; IC (overlined) and XC (overlined) on either side, no stars in fields.
    Rev.: MANVHL DECPOT; Manuel, standing facing wearing crown, divitision, and loros, holding globus cruciger in his left hand and labarum in his right hand, is crowned by the nimbate Virgin standing facing, wearing pallium and maphorium..
    Reference: SB 1966
    Ex: @John Anthony
    Magnus Maximus, Ajax, BenSi and 10 others like this.
  6. Voulgaroktonou

    Voulgaroktonou Well-Known Member

    We have for years posted a blog on this date on our library web site. But I failed to do so this year! Thanks, RomanCollector, for the reminder!

    There have been numerous studies of the fall of Constantinople, but one of the most convenient for English readers is Sir Steven Runciman's The Fall of Constantinople 1453. The quoted sections that follow are from his wonderful book. On Monday the 28th, realizing the end was near, the emperor encouraged his small force by reminding them what they were fighting for. “To his Greek subjects he said that a man should always be ready to die either for his faith or his country or for his family or for his sovereign. Now his people must be prepared to die for all four causes. He spoke of the glories and high traditions of the great Imperial city. He spoke of the perfidy of the infidel Sultan who had provoked the war in order to destroy the True Faith and to put his false prophet into the seat of Christ. He urged them to remember that they were the descendants of the ancient heroes of Greece and Rome and to be worthy of their ancestors. For his part, he said, he was ready to die for his faith, his city, and his people.”

    That evening the last Christian service was held in the great church of Holy Wisdom, the Hagia Sophia, that for a thousand years had been the heart of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Latin Catholic and Greek Orthodox put aside their bitter doctrinal differences. “Priests who held union with Rome to be a mortal sin now came to the altar to serve their Unionist brothers. The Cardinal was there, and beside him bishops who would never acknowledge his authority; and all the people came to make confession and take communion, not caring whether Orthodox or Catholic administered it. There were Italians and Catalans along with the Greeks. The golden mosaics, studded with the images of Christ and his saints and the emperors and empresses of Byzantium, glimmered in the light of a thousand lamps and candles; and beneath them for the last time the priests in their splendid vestments moved in the solemn rhythm of the Liturgy. At this moment there was union in the Church of Constantinople.”

    Coins of this last Roman emperor are very rare, but a small hoard of them entered the market in 1991. Thanks go to my wife Susan who urged me to purchase one of the eighth stavrata at the time. That coin, the 6th and last coin in the photo below, is no. 129 in Bendall's publication of the hoard in "Revue Numismatique" 1991, p. 134-142 and plates XIII-XVII. A few years ago, a second specimen of this coin came into my collection. It is the 5th coin in the photo, and is no. 110 in Bendall's article.Their obverses depict the image of Christ, while the emperor's portrait appears on the reverse. They are diminutive, modest silver coins, but their history speaks volumes.

    A few silvers of the Palaeologids.

    1. John V. Constantinople. 1379/91. Stavraton. 8.03 gr. 25.5 mm. hr. 6. Sear 2510; DO 1266-67.

    2. Manuel II. Constantinople. 1391/95. Stavraton. 7.94 gr. 25.3 mm. hr. 4. Sear 2548; DO 1308-9.

    3. Manuel II. Constantinople. 1391/95. Half Stavraton. 3.43 gr. 20.5 mm. hr. 7. Sear 2550; DO 1312. LHS Numismatics AG 97 (Despot Sale) May 10, 2006, lot 353.

    4. John VIII. Constantinople. 1425/48. Stavraton. 7.09 gr. 25 mm. hr. 12. Sear 2564; DO 1636-8 var. NFA Feb. 1955. It was expensive - $10!

    5. Constantine XI. Constantinople. 1449/53. Eighth Stavraton. 0.63 gr. 12.7 mm. hr. 11. Sear -; DO 1789. Bendall, “The coinage of Constantine XI” (Revue Numismatique 1991, pp. 134-142), #110 (this coin).

    6. Constantine XI. Constantinople. 1449/53. Eighth Stavraton. 0.63 gr. 13 mm. hr. 12. Sear -;DO 1789. Bendall, “The coinage of Constantine XI” (Revue Numismatique 1991, pp. 134-142), #129 (this coin).

  7. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Khnum-Hotep

    I have a new Phocas that I will share again. The article I wrote is here.

    Attribution: Sear Byzantine 665 KYZB (Cyzicus) mint

    Date: 608 AD

    Obverse: DN FOCAS PERP AVG, crowned, mantled bust facing, holding mappa and cross, cross in left field

    Reverse: Large XXXX, ANNO to left, regnal year to right, mintmark KYZB

    Size: 30.16 mm

    Weight: 11.4 grams


  8. Only a Poor Old Man

    Only a Poor Old Man Well-Known Member

    It is a sad day indeed... The west would be very different if this hadn't happened. It is worth noting though that the empire was reduced to just the city of Constantinople by that time. The real downfall started when it was sacked in 1204 by the crusaders.

    Here is my example... Funny thing is that I don't know if it was minted in Constantinople specifically or not. Anyone knows?

  9. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Khnum-Hotep

    Stephen Runciman also has an excellent history of the 1204 sack of Constantinople by the Crusaders. A very sad event.
    Only a Poor Old Man likes this.
  10. Alegandron

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

    Awesome coin, @Voulgaroktonou !
    Voulgaroktonou likes this.
  11. willieboyd2

    willieboyd2 First Class Poster

    Two coins from Constantinople:

    Justinian AE Follis
    Bronze, 30 mm, 17.98 gm, Struck: AD 527-538, Sear 158
    Obverse: Justinian facing right, D N IVSTINI-ANVS PP AVG
    Reverse: Large letter 'M', star left, cross top, cross right, G under 'M', CON below (Constantinople mint)

    Philip Grierson's book Catalogue of late Roman coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection (Dumbarton Oaks, 1992) places the Constantinople mint for bronze coins near the "Golden Gate". Gold coins were minted at the "Great Palace".

    The Golden Gate, Castle of the Seven Towers, Yedikule, Istanbul

    Justinian Solidus Victory
    Gold, 21 mm, 4.43 gm
    Struck: AD 527-537 Constantinople
    Obverse: Justinian facing 1/4 right, holding spear over shoulder
    Reverse: Victory standing facing holding cross and globe

    There was some discussion on another forum about whether the spear the emperor is holding is an ordinary spear or the Christian holy relic, the "Holy Lance of Longinus" or "Spear of Destiny", which was the lance that a Roman soldier pierced the side of Jesus as he hung on the cross. The Spear was supposed carried into battle by the Emperor Constantine, among others.

  12. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

  13. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Khnum-Hotep

    Yes, Helena was given the freedom by Constantine to go to Palestine and recover the spear, amongst other items like a piece of the true cross. For the construction of the Holy Sepulchre and the chapel at Mt. Sinai, he allowed free to access to the Imperial coffers for construction expenses.
    Voulgaroktonou likes this.
  14. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    @Voulgaroktonou wins the thread for maximally relevant & amazing coins (as he is wont to do in Byzantine threads!) but here's a highly relevant coin that hasn't yet appeared:

    Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 1.14.57 PM.jpg
    It's the very first issue from the Constantinople (Konstantiniyye) mint post-conquest, issued under Mehmet II 'The Conqueror' in 1460-61 (865 AH). If you collect Byzantine and get only one Islamic coin, make it this one! :)
  15. Neal

    Neal Well-Known Member

    Severous Alexander, you beat me to it only because my phone rang first.
    Mehmet II. IMG_7601.JPG IMG_7613.JPG
    PeteB, cmezner, BenSi and 6 others like this.
  16. Alegandron

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

    Ok, I thought it was to be from the Romanoi / Byzantines. But, yeah, I have one of those NEW EMPIRE type coins:

    Ottoman Turks Sultan Mahmed II 1451-1481 took Constantinople in 1453 Serez mint AR 1.2g
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  17. Black Friar

    Black Friar Well-Known Member

    They needed all the help they could get on the walls.

    Attached Files:

  18. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Khnum-Hotep

    They could only muster 6,000 men to defend the walls, and many were Genoese mercenaries.
  19. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

  20. Black Friar

    Black Friar Well-Known Member

    Realy nice coin BenSi; the moneyer got about 80% of the coin struck up. Solid.
    BenSi likes this.
  21. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Khnum-Hotep

    I like that coin @BenSi ! One of the better examples I have seen.
    BenSi likes this.
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