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Home > Auctions > 5th March 2024 > Ancient Byzantine Coins - Basil II and Constantine VIII Holding the Cross - AV Gold Histamenon

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LOT 2701

GBP (£) 2,000 - 3,000
EUR (€) 2,340 - 3,510
USD ($) 2,530 - 3,800

Current bid: £1,300 (+bp*)
(1 Bid, Reserve not met)

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(1 Bid, Reserve not met)   |   Current bid: £1,300
958-1025 A.D.
(4.43 grams, 27 mm.).

Obv: + IhS XIS REX REGNANTInm, bust of Christ facing, wearing nimbus cross ornamented with two crescents in the limbs of the cross, holding book of Gospels and raising right hand. Rev: + bASIL C COnStAntI b Rm, crowned facing busts of Basil with short beard on left, wearing loros of square pattern, and Constantine VIII, beardless on right, wearing chlamys, holding plain cross between them. Extremely fine.

Ex Richard Falkiner, 2000s.

This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by search certificate number no 12032-212137.

DOC 6a; SB 1800.

Basil II was the senior emperor with Constantine VII and ruled from 976 -1025 A.D. The early years of his long reign were dominated by civil war against powerful generals from the Anatolian aristocracy. Following their submission, Basil oversaw the stabilisation and expansion of the eastern frontier of the Byzantine Empire, and above all, the final and complete subjugation of Bulgaria, the Empire's foremost European foe, after a prolonged struggle. For this he was nicknamed by later authors as the Bulgar-slayer; (Greek: Boulgaroktonos), by which he is popularly known. At his death, the empire stretched from Southern Italy to the Caucasus and from the Danube to the borders of Palestine, its greatest territorial extent since the Muslim conquests four centuries earlier. Of far-reaching importance was Basil's decision to offer the hand of his sister Anna to Vladimir I of Kiev in exchange for military support, which led to the Christianisation of the Kievan Rus, and the incorporation of later successor nations of Kievan Rus within the Byzantine cultural and religious tradition.