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The First Crusader


Al Kowsky
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I copied the title of this thread from BYZANTIUM, The Early Centuries, Chapter 14, by John Julius Norwich. Norwich begins the chapter with an amusing letter written by Chosroes II (usually written Khurso II) to Emperor Heraclius, c. 622.

"Noblest of the Gods, King and Master of the whole Earth, Son of the great Hormisdas, CHOSROES, to Heraclius his vile and insensitive slave: Refusing to submit to our rule, you call yourself lord and sovereign. You seize and distribute our treasure, you deceive our servants. You never cease to annoy us with your bands of brigands. Have I not destroyed you Greeks? You say that you trust in God; why then has he not delivered out of my hand Caesarea, Jerusalem, Alexandria?... Could I not also destroy Constantinople?"

Pictured below is my only coin picturing Chosroes II, a silver drachm, AD 590-628.

937342240_KhusroIIAD590-628ARDrachm(2).jpg.808d3b75c1630efd564f34884fae3bce.jpg

Pictured below are my only 3 coins of Heraclius & his sons together.

466335017_NGC4094371-002AlKowskyCollection(2).jpg.ff10ba792f9375210bb60ec335832dc2.jpg

24390278_NGC2410828-005AlKowskyCollection.jpg.456791205d5db527233e5c6a532c79ce.jpg580512175_4790075-008AKCollection.jpg.4381d1bc246b50441ed3093845e17ecc.jpg

N.F. members are welcome to post their coins of Chosroes II & Heraclius ☺️.

 

 

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Here is my single example of Chosroes II

image.jpeg.84f6be162016e81edbb94a9626a5e956.jpegimage.jpeg.8e68209ce5aa1f430d6962d668f634c9.jpeg

And here is his noble opponent, Heraclius.  image.png.e0cce55c70130b59b17813b767d4143b.pngimage.jpeg.42b1ef71fa0016568184be4df090468c.jpegThe evolution in portraiture is remarkable.   The first coin must have been struck early in the reign about 610-613 AD, after the success of the Heraclid revolt, and the die makers lacked a good model portrait of the new emperor.  The second coin is amazing for a facing portrait of the emperor and his young son Heraclius Constantine, who was made co-Emperor in 613 AD.  Ancient art often depicts children as if they were miniature adults, but the celator captured the appearance of a child here and on @Al Kowsky’s example above.  Heraclius Constantine is clearly a young man by the time the next coin was struck   

image.jpeg.69fab086ac5d16132a0bc3698bbc8573.jpegimage.jpeg.a605de041ae452a027b337dc2ddd16ca.jpeg

The next group is comprised of a solidus from Ravenna, note the thick annular border on the reverse;  two of the 3 kings solidi from Constantinople, and a tremissis from an unknown mint.  Perhaps Constantinople but I am not sure with the impressive annulus on both the obverse and reverse.  

 

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1 hour ago, Prieure de Sion said:

This all - very fine coins... superb. Like it! With a very interesting history...

P.d.Sion, Thanks 😊. Norwich presents a good case that Heraclius initiated the 1st Crusade. Everything that Chosroes boasted about wining from the Byzantines he ended up losing & a lot more 🤣. Many Christian historians believe his greatest achievement was returning the Holy Cross that was looted by Choroes back to Jerusalem.

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6 minutes ago, Hrefn said:

Here is my single example of Chosroes II

image.jpeg.84f6be162016e81edbb94a9626a5e956.jpegimage.jpeg.8e68209ce5aa1f430d6962d668f634c9.jpeg

And here is his noble opponent, Heraclius.  image.png.e0cce55c70130b59b17813b767d4143b.pngimage.jpeg.42b1ef71fa0016568184be4df090468c.jpegThe evolution in portraiture is remarkable.   The first coin must have been struck early in the reign about 610-613 AD, after the success of the Heraclid revolt, and the die makers lacked a good model portrait of the new emperor.  The second coin is amazing for a facing portrait of the emperor and his young son Heraclius Constantine, who was made co-Emperor in 613 AD.  Ancient art often depicts children as if they were miniature adults, but the celator captured the appearance of a child here and on @Al Kowsky’s example above.  Heraclius Constantine is clearly a young man by the time the next coin was struck   

image.jpeg.69fab086ac5d16132a0bc3698bbc8573.jpegimage.jpeg.a605de041ae452a027b337dc2ddd16ca.jpeg

The next group is comprised of a solidus from Ravenna, note the thick annular border on the reverse;  two of the 3 kings solidi from Constantinople, and a tremissis from an unknown mint.  Perhaps Constantinople but I am not sure with the impressive annulus on both the obverse and reverse.  

 

Those are great looking coins 🤩!

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