TheTrachyEnjoyer Posted January 19 · Member Share Posted January 19 (edited) Manuel I Comnenus. Emperor of Trebizond, 1238-1263. AR Asper. St. Eugenius standing facing, holding long cross / Manuel standing facing, holding labarum and akakia. SB 2601. The AR aspers of Manuel, unlike the trachy, are extremely common and perhaps the easiest Byzantine silver piece to acquire…but that doesn’t make them boring! This series of coinage marks the transition of the main currency minted by Trebizond from a traditionally scyphate Byzantine trachy to the flat asper. This transition was likely due to Western economic influence which came to prefer the flat silver coin over the previously accepted Byzantine cup shaped silver and gold. In fact, Trebizond switched from the scyphate to flat shape some 50+ years before Byzantium did. The transition may also be seen as a move designed to garner a more focused Trebizond identity over wider Byzantine influence. The widely accepted Mary on the obverse was replaced with the local Trebizond patron saint of Eugenius. As the series of Aspers progress to the slow decline and fall of Trebizond, these coins begin to shrink in size and purity until they are only used as a local coinage…yet that sad day was far away when Manuel decided to mint these. Trebizond’s cultural and economic influence was at is peak as neighbors all around came to regard the asper a safe means of transaction. All of that history in a very common coin…what pieces do you have that are very common yet full of story while being under appreciated? Edited January 19 by TheTrachyEnjoyer 19 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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