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HOME : Byzantine Coins : Archive : Byzantine Gold Histamenon of Emperor Romanus III
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Byzantine Gold Histamenon of Emperor Romanus III - C.6427
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 1028 AD to 1034 AD

Collection: Numismatics
Medium: Gold

Additional Information: SOLD

Location: United States
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Romanus III was the great-grandson of Byzantine Emperor Romanus I. After serving as a judge and later as the urban prefect of Constantinople, he attracted the attention of Emperor Constantine VIII. Romanus was forced to divorce his wife and marry the Emperor’s daughter Zoe. Three day after their wedding, Constantine VIII passed away, leaving his new son-in-law to inherit the throne. Despite noble ambitions, Romanus III struggled as a ruler. He modeled himself after Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and sought to become a new “philosopher king.” The military might of Emperor Trajan also served as a model, although Romanus’ retaliations against Muslim incursions on the eastern borders were largely unsuccessful. These military defeats dramatically reduced his popularity at home. After surviving multiple failed attempts on the throne, Romanus III eventually died in 1034, although the circumstances of the death remain unknown, some sources allege he was poisoned by his wife, others claim he was drown in the bath on his wife’s orders. Either way, both these theories reveal a strained domestic relationship that surely contributed to his demise.

How many hands have touched a coin in your pocket or purse? What eras and lands have the coin traversed on its journey into our possession? As we reach into our pockets to pull out some change, we rarely hesitate to think of who might have touched the coin before us, or where the coin will venture to after it leaves our hands. More than money, coins are a symbol of the state that struck them, of a specific time and location, whether contemporary currencies or artifacts of a long forgotten empire. This stunning hand-struck coin reveals an expertise of craftsmanship and intricate sculptural detail that is often lacking in contemporary machine- made currencies. This magnificent coin is a memorial to the ancient glories of the Byzantine Empire passed down from the hands of civilization to civilization, from generation to generation. - (C.6427)


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