Some coppers from Antioch from the early 1100s

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by seth77, Apr 7, 2020.

  1. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    In 1100 Tancred d'Hauteville (Tancredi d'Altavilla) was Prince of Galilee, his rule as vassal to the King of Jerusalem extending from Cayphas to the Kinneret and up to the Golan Heights. That was also the year he became Regent for his uncle Bohemond in Antioch and in 1104 the County of Edessa entered his stewardship.

    As one of the original leaders of the First Crusade, he wielded a lot of influence both in the Latin Kingdom and in the Syrian domains of Antioch and Edessa up to at least 1109 in Edessa and until his death in 1112 in Antioch, reuniting Galilee and Antioch under his rule (1109-1112).

    At the height of his power, from around 1101 to 1109/12, Tancred minted a series of Byzantine-style coppers, some more common others less so, but all of them following the wisdom that proved to be effective in Southern Italy as it was conquered and settled by Norman knights. The coinage types changes every couple of years from around 1101 (or 1104) to 1112, when Tancred died, oftentimes being over-struck one upon the other, which is quite fortunate because it gives us a relative chronology of the types.

    AE20mm, 2.57g, copper follis, minted in the City of Antioch, cca. 1101-1103(?) or 1104.
    O ΠE - TPOC; Bust of Saint Peter facing, holding cross left hand.
    + / KE BOI / ΘH TOΔV / ΛO COVT / ANKPI legend in 4 lines: "Lord, help Your servant Tancred."
    Malloy 3a, Schlumberger II, 6.

    The quality control on these coppers was usually lacking, which means that as numerous as they are even today, most of them are in bad condition - badly struck, bad flans, etc so these here are the lucky specimens that are good enough to be read.

    AE22mm, 3.37g,

    As they have no marking of minting place, these copper folles were at first assigned to Tancred's rule in Galilee, but as the absolute majority of them come from Syria and virtually none are to be found in the territory of the Principality of Galilee, they were reassigned to Antioch.

    AE21mm, 3.10g, copper follis, minted in the City of Antioch, cca. 1108/1109-1110(?).
    IC - XC; bust of Christ nimbate, wearing tunic and cloack, holding Gospels.
    TA - NK - P - H; Cross pommetee, fleuronnee at base.
    Malloy 5, Schlumberger II, 8.

    The final type of copper coinage minted during Tancred's regency, dates possibly after the Treaty of Devol and Bohemond's retreat to Apulia. Also of interest is the Latin abbreviated legend, unlike the previous types which employed Greek legend. This might point out to a period in which Tancred felt his position as ruler of Antioch was fortified, around and after the passing of Bohemond I in 1111 (or 1109 according to Albert d'Aix II.XI, p. 177).
    AE20mm, 4.05g, copper follis, minted in the City of Antioch, cca. up to 1112.
    S PETRVS; Saint Peter standing, wearing tunic and cloak, blessing with right hand, holding cross in left hand.
    Đ S F T (for Domine salvum fac Tancredum) in each quarter of a slender long cross.
    Malloy 6, Schlumberger V, 1.

    The first coin comes from Lanz the following come from a British collection offered in 2018 by TimeLine Auctions.
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  3. FitzNigel

    FitzNigel Medievalist Supporter

    Interesting write-up Seth! The coins of Tancred are interesting, and I have been tempted to pick up more. As of now this is my only specimen:

    Med-16-CrAnt-1101-Tancred-Fol-2-4079.jpg Crusader - Antioch
    Tancred, Regent, r. 1101-1103, 1104-1112
    AE Type 2 Follis, 20.3 mm x 3.3 grams
    Obv.: Bust of Tancred facing, wearing turban, holding sword
    Rev.: Cross pommetée, fleuronnée at base; IC XC NI KA in quarters
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  4. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Where does this common type (similar to Fitz's) fit in the sequence?

    Screen Shot 2020-04-07 at 7.53.34 PM.jpg
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  5. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    This type is the second coinage for Tancred and is right there in the middle between the type with Saint Peter and legend in 4 lines and the type with Jesus and cross with TA - NK - P - H in its quarters. I did not add it because it is the most famous and specific type issued by Tancred.

    The first type with Peter and the 4 lines legend comes also in a smaller module, here is a really bad one 18x17mm:

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  6. VD76

    VD76 Well-Known Member

    First coin minted in the Principality of Antioch by the son of Robert Guiscard .
    Follis of Bohemond of Taranto . There is a two types of this follis. Both my examples is "Hobo" beard type :) .
    BFA52500-B230-436F-9245-6F38C9727C07.jpeg 39293B9E-85B1-4585-AE45-6F7AEC99BE9E.jpeg C4223B7E-1861-4379-9EF8-74F5622418C5.jpeg
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  7. TheRed

    TheRed Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you for sharing the coins @seth77 I have always wanted to add a coin of his to my collection. I think the d'Hauteville family is one of the most interesting ones in the Medieval period. A collection of their coinage would be fun to put together.
  8. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    Here is a horrible Tancred with turban and sword from TimeLine Auctions:


    And some good news, after many years of dropping sea levels, Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) is finally overflowing this Pesah.
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