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Constantine VII, AE Follis. 913-959 AD. Constantinople mint Sear 1761


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Constantine VII, AE Follis. 913-959 AD. Constantinople mint.

OBVERSE: CONST BASIL ROM, crowned bust of Constantine facing, with short beard and wearing vertical loros, holding akakia and cross on globe


REVERSE: CONST / EN QEO BA / SILEVS R / OMEON, legend in four lines. SB 1761


Constantine VII as "The Scholar Emperor"

He was a passionate collector, not only of books and manuscripts but works of art of every kind. More remarkable still for a man of his class, he seems to have been an excellent painter. 
He was the most generous of patrons—to writers and scholars, artists and craftsmen. Finally, he was an excellent Emperor: a competent, conscientious and hard-working administrator and an inspired picker of men, whose appointments to military, naval, ecclesiastical, civil and academic posts were both imaginative and successful. 
He did much to develop higher education and took a special interest in the administration of justice.
Having never exercised executive authority, Constantine remained primarily devoted to his scholarly pursuits and delegated his authority to bureaucrats and generals, as well as to his energetic wife Helena Lekapene.


I felt I had to find a half decent example of this because I have another coin in my collection that this particular issue was used and struck over. That coin is the Anonymous follis, Class A1, John I, 969-976 Sear 1793.

It makes for a nice pair which belong together from now on.


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I'm a big fan of Byzantine history of that period. I wrote a web page with some of the story of Constantine VII:


Here is the first coin on that page. 
This type is almost always poorly overstruck, usually on coins of Romanus I which were removed from circulation. This coin is clearer than usual.  


Constantine VII, 913-959
Struck 945-950
26 mm. 6.77 grams.

Facing bust of Constantine VII, holding globus cruciger in left hand
CONST bA - SIL ROM around ["N" looks like "h" on these coins]
"Constantine, emperor of the Romans"
Four line reverse legend:
"Constantine, in God (by the grace of God), ruler of the Romans"
Sear 1761.

Here is the web page, again:  http://augustuscoins.com/ed/Byz/ConVII.html

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