Heritage World Coin Auctions > ANA Signature Sale 3101Auction date: 25 August 2022
Lot number: 35274

Price realized: 1,900 USD   (Approx. 1,904 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Lot description:

Andronicus I Comnenus (AD 1183-1185). EL aspron trachy (30mm, 4.04 gm, 5h). NGC Choice MS★ 5/5 - 5/5. Constantinople. + ΘΚ-Є RO-HΘЄI, The Virgin standing facing on dias, nimbate and wearing pallium and maphorium, both hands raised, nimbate head of the infant Christ facing in bosom; MHP-ΘV across fields / ANΔPONIKΩ-ΔECΠOTH, Christ standing facing (on right), bearded, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium and colobium, book of Gospels in left hand, right hand crowning Andronicus I (on left), wearing crown with divitision and chlamys, labarum with pellet on shaft in right hand, akakia in left; IC-XC in fields around head of Christ, cross in inner left field. Sear 1984. Struck with unusually visible letters and excellent portraits on the reverse. Wonderful eye appeal.

Andronicus I was the final emperor of the House of Comnenus, the dynasty that had ruled the empire since 1081. Licentious and ambitious, his ascension to the throne was due in large part to the xenophobic anti-Latin sentiment in Constantinople that had been growing since the First Crusade. In 1182, Andronicus's entrance into the capital was quickly followed by the so-called Massacre of the Latins (which he sanctioned), in which the ruthless slaughter of the city's Western European population (even pets were not spared) was accompanied by the destruction of the Latin Quarter. Upon officially becoming emperor a year later, Andronicus attempted to control the now nearly unchecked powers of the aristocracy - a critical but ultimately unsuccessful endeavor. In September 1185, with a large Norman army invading the Balkans, Andronicus was brutally overthrown and subjected to unimaginable suffering, as the Constantinople mob savagely beat him, cut off his limbs, and poured boiling water in his face, eventually completely dismembering his body, which was not given a proper burial for many years. Despite his horrific death, Andronicus' reign saw the last real attempt to check the power of the nominally loyal "feudal" lords that by 1185 were the real authority in much of Byzantine territory.



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