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Leo VI Follis...


ewomack
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Leo VI, the Byzantine emperor known as "The Wise" or "The Philosopher." He apparently possessed plenty of book smarts, but his reign doesn't appear particularly notable otherwise. His codification of law in Greek does seem to have laid the basis for legal theory in medieval Europe, so he did influence later thinkers. Some also refer to him as the "Henry VIII of Byzantium," since it took four wives to produce an heir. All of this alienated him from the ecclesiastical authorities and they banned him from St. Sofia. At least he didn't experience a violent death like so many other Byzantine emperors. I really like the detail on this particular coin, especially on the chlamys. About the type itself, Sear says: "[t]his appears to have been issued in greater quantities than almost any other individual type in the Byzantine series." Given that, please post your Leo VI coins!

886_to_912_LeoVI_AE_Follis_01.png.0c7f6822c86bad90033b5c03c6fb61f7.png886_to_912_LeoVI_AE_Follis_02.png.5daaa16a9da71c2b9c11722c7de147cd.png

Leo VI (AD 886-912); Constantinople; Follis; 7.67g. Obv: +LEOn bAS - ILEVS ROM' Bust facing wearing crown and chlamys, holding akakia in l. hand. Rev: Inscription in four lines: +LEOn / Eh ΘEO bA / SILEVS R / OmEOh, Berk-918, Sear 1729.

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Rats, @ewomack, I don't have pics of mine (that's true of the first several years of collecting), but your example is really exceptional.  It's my single favorite follis type from before the anonymous ones.

And, Yeah, it's always cool when a monarch (even a Byzantine one, where you might expect them) is as literarily accomplished, never mind literate, as Leo was.  Another example from the same century is Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus.  Always wanted a follis of his, for that reason.

Edited by JeandAcre
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A very nice follis! I have several of these as it was one of the first types I collected and a bunch of them came in a large lot:

Byzantine Empire: Leo VI the Wise (886-912) Æ Follis, Constantinople (Sear 1729; DOC 8)

Obv: +LЄOҺ ЬAS-ILЄVS ROM'; Bust of Leo VI with short beard, facing, wearing chlamys and crown with cross; on right shoulder, roundel with central pellet; holding akakia in left hand
Rev: +LЄOҺ / ЄҺ ΘЄO ЬA / SILЄVS R / OMЄOҺ

normal_Sear-1729(1).jpg

 

Byzantine Empire: Leo VI the Wise (886-912) Æ Follis, Cherson (Sear-1731; DOC 9)

Obv: Large ΛЄ
Rev: Cross crosslet set on two steps; • to either side

normal_Sear-1731.jpg

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On 10/19/2022 at 2:42 PM, JeandAcre said:

And, Yeah, it's always cool when a monarch (even a Byzantine one, where you might expect them) is as literarily accomplished, never mind literate, as Leo was.  Another example from the same century is Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus.  Always wanted a follis of his, for that reason.

Thank you for mentioning Constantine VII's literary bent, I did not know that about him. A particularly pleasing follis of his features him and Zoe flanking a long cross. I found an amazing example of one online, though it had already sold for an equally amazing price. Nice examples seem difficult to find, from what I can tell. I'll have to have my antennae lengthened.

For the same literary reasons, I also have coins of Marcus Aurelius and Julian II (which I've shared here numerous times now). I've read works by both of them.

161_to_162_MarcusAurelius_Denarius_01.png.f0e381528f47f0a7d78d7757d27ef970.png161_to_162_MarcusAurelius_Denarius_02.png.e8365734f2ba995b6964836da632c57b.png

Marcus Aurelius. AR Denarius. Struck 161/2 AD. M ANTONINVS AVG, bare head right / CONCORD AVG TR P XVII, COS III in exergue, Concordia seated left, holding patera, resting left elbow on statuette of Spes set on base. 18mm 3.4gm

360_to_363_JulianII_AE1_BIMalorina_01.png.04e2e426eb6614d5cdba8a3eb39304af.png360_to_363_JulianII_AE1_BIMalorina_02.png.5366d619d407b3b22f13d8f4d4126039.png

Julian II (360 - 363) AE1 (BI Maiorina); Thessalonika Mint; Obv: DN FL CL IVLIANUS PF AUG; Diademed, draped and cuirassed bust right; Rev: SECVRITAS REIPVB; Bull standing right, two stars above;*TESΓ in exergue; Ref: RIC 226

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On 10/22/2022 at 5:17 AM, GordianAppreciator101 said:

pwLwBcZ.png

My Leo VI, with an extra Alexander for good measure. 

Like Marcus Aurelius and Commodus, Leo VI's successor was... less than adequate, dying less than a year after beginning his sole reign apparently after a life full of vices.

That's a very nice example of that particular type! I really like the obverse. I haven't seen one as nice as that out in the wild yet, particularly for Leo's portrait. But I've been looking for Byzantine coins for only a few months now. Maybe I'll get as lucky as you did. Thanks for posting it!

Edited by ewomack
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