Benefactor Simon Posted December 24, 2022 · Benefactor Benefactor Share Posted December 24, 2022 John II is one of least known Emperors because he was successful in keeping the edge over his enemies and keeping the peace amongst his allies. His sister Anna is one of the main reasons his history is a bit scarce, she loved her father and barely mentioned her brother in her historical writings, she had attempted to have him overthrown upon his succession to the thrown and it was unsuccessful, and he had her live the rest of her life in a convent. I would suspect her final revenge over her brother was to ignore him and his accomplishments during his 25 year rule. It was said if he had lived just a few years longer the empire would have been stronger and would have surpassed the empire of the 11th century but a hunting accident with a poison arrow shortened his rule. His nickname was given to him because of his pious ways, in real life he was considered unattractive. In regard to his coinage, the 25 year rule the coinage was kept simple, he followed his father's coin reform within some notable case increases the purity levels that were originally decided upon. In fact, his coinage creates a bit of a problem with coin collectors because John III thought it would be a good idea to copy the Hyperpyron coinage held in such esteem, he copied legends that John III had no right to. Such as being born in the purple basically , he was born to rule. Elaina Lianta wrote a paper that the conclusion was there is no visual way to tell the difference, only the purity of John II coins were at 20 carats and John III at 17 carats. Here is a near complete collections of his coinage, I chose not to add a few pieces because they were so difficult to determine on the web that they were attributed correctly. The missing are Thessalonica Hyperpyron issues SBCV-1949 and SBCV-1950, the trick to the Thessalonica issues are they are slightly thicker with a slightly smaller die. The two Thessalonica Hyperpyron issues I do have were purchased from reputable auction houses. (CNG and Classica Zurich) The following has every example (With the exception of the two noted above.) Every coin was pictured in scale so you can see how each denomination compared side by side. This picture will give you a better example of each type, Hyperpyon El Aspron trachy, Billion trachy and the city tetarteron, tetarteron and the smallest denomination noted as the half. The rarest of these coins are not the gold but the billion and the copper. The top coin was minted in Constantinople showing you the main difference between it and its Thessalonica counterpart, on the Constantinople issue the Emperor holds a Globus cruciger and in the Thessalonica issue he holds a Anexikakia. The rarity of the Constantinople issue is not noted in Sear but I have never seen one up for auction. Here is another variations of SBCV-1953 , I will call the 2nd coin the Zervos variation, he noted that Christ is no longer a bust but a at waist portrait. None of the catalogs note this but his article was very convincing. As for rairty he notes they are both equally obtainable. Last but not least, I have two examples of a coin only noted in DOC IV by one example noted in a private collection, I have seen maybe a half of dozen in collections and this collection brags of two examples, one beautiful the other well worn. This differs from SBCV-1953 by the attire. I hope you enjoyed this journey to the coinage of John II . please feel free to post any of his coins. I know at least on other board member has one of the two Hyperpyrons I am missing. 16 3 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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