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Sequencing the Thessalonican Trachea

Introduction.

In "A Private Collection of Palaeologan Coins" 1987, (PCPC), Simon Bendall made a first attempt to sequence the Thessalonican trachea of the reigns of Andronicus II and Andronicus III. Since that time much further information has come to light, particularly a number of recent "hoard" finds which have implications for the dating of the various issues, and which also included quite a few significant new overstrikes and mules. On the basis of all the information now available I have developed my own ordering of the trachea, which I offer in the table below.

Principles of the Dating.

In the late 1210's and early 1220's it became the practice of the Nicean and Thessalonican emperors to issue new types on a more or less yearly basis, and this practice seems to have been continued until the 1320's in Constantinople*, and c.1340 in Thessalonica.

Thus there are roughly as many Thessalonican issues of Andronicus II and III as there are years in the two reigns. Actually, there are in fact rather more issues than years, but if we consider only the single emperor types, and leave out some of the rarer types, some of which were perhaps just short lived issues replaced by commoner types, then the equality of types and years is fairly close. As well, the fact that only a few two emperor types were issued during the joint reign of Andronicus II and Michael IX suggests that most of these types were issued in addition to, rather than in lieu of, the single figure types for a given year (the situation under Andronicus II and III is unclear).

We will therefore make the basic assumption here that the commoner single emperor types at least were annual issues. Furthermore, since in Constantinople some types clearly had indictional markings, we will assume that all the major issues of both Constantinople and Thessalonica, except perhaps change of reign issues, also relate to indictional rather than calendar years. Thus in the table below the year "1282", for example, means the indictional year 1282-83, beginning on October 1, 1282.

Given these basic assumptions, we now adopt the following specific rules for dating.

1. The size of the coins.

It is clear that the size of the Thessalonican trachea decreased over time, so we can make use of this fact to make an initial general ordering of the types. Actually, in view of the variability in the sizes of individual coins, it is better to use the length of the reverse legend as a proxy for size. Thus, in the table below we begin by dividing the types into four groups, beginning with those with long, or "full", legends of more than 10 characters, followed by "medium" length legends with 7 to 10 characters, then "short" legends with no more than 6 characters, and finally those with no legend at all. In the table these legends are indicated by "f", "m", "s" and "-". Circular legends are further indicated by a "c" - otherwise they are columnar.

In making this classification, we have to take into account the fact that some designs (such as winged emperors) allow little or no room for a legend - these are indicated in the table by enclosing the legend code in ordinary brackets. In these cases we look to the actual sizes of the coins - thus S.2371 seems to be a larger size coin where the short legend would probably have been longer if it could have been, so we group this type with the long legend types.

Now it is obvious that the dividing lines between the various legend size groups are fairly arbitrary, so, given that there is doubtless some variability in the legends it is likely that some coins initially classified with (say) the early "long legend" types may really belong with the later medium legend types, and vice versa. Hopefully, such errors will be corrected when other criteria are considered.

Finally, we also need to keep in mind that two emperor types might be expected to have longer legends than contemporary single emperor types, at least where space allows.

*  Given the rarity of many of the trachies conventionally assigned to Constantinople, and the fact that the principle coin at that city was the assarion, it is not unlikely that some "Constantinople" types were in fact issues of secondary mints in both Europe and Asia Minor.

2. Overstrikes and Mules.

Next we can use overstrike evidence. This is indicated in the tables by the ">" and "<" symbols - thus 2459 > 2385 means that S.2459 is known overstruck on S.2385, while 2465 > 2377/2379 means that S.2465 is known overstruck on either S.2377 or 2379. In the absence of other indications, we assume provisionally that overstrikes indicate successive issues, although of course this will not always be the case. In the case of S.2383 and 2391, I know of two overstrikes of the former on the latter, so these two types are quite likely - although not definitely* - consecutive issues. Similarly there are two known overstrikes of S.2373 on 2360, and of S.2457 on 2492 - cases were two or more examples of a particular overstrike are known are indicated by the symbol ">>".

Occasionally, mules are known which allow us to link successive types - these are indicated by the "||" symbol. Thus we have mules of S.2454 with 2455 (two examples known), and perhaps also S.2384 with 2457 (or, possibly, 2392) - but see below for this last coin.

Until recently most of the known overstrikes derived from Longuet's "Thessalonika" hoard of mainly Andronicus III types - these can be found listed in Bendall's report on the Longuet hoard in American Numismatic Society Museum Notes 29, 1984, and also in his later PCPC. However, quite a few more overstrikes, and some mules, have turned up in recent finds, and the details of these, and of all the overstrikes and mules noted in the table below, are given in the in the Data section on this site (see Data Page "Overstrikes and Mules").

*  I also know of at least one and possibly two overstrikes of S.2383 on S.2379.

N.B: Large Star/Flower obverse types.

There are a couple of examples of coins which feature a large 6-leaved star, or flower, in place of their normal obverses - namely the S.2384 "mule" just mentioned, and also another coin with the reverse of S.2315. These coins may be genuine mules of two successive types, but if so it is difficult to fit them into the sequencing, and hence I am inclined to think that one or both of these coins may have been struck with an old obverse die, or perhaps that the simple large star obverse was sometimes used as a quick makeshift obverse die, when the diecutters didn't have time to make a new proper obverse die for the types in question.

This theory is possibly supported by the fact that one occasionally sees coins with regular reverses but with obverses of a clearly makeshift type, as in the example below, where a worn S.2370/2392 reverse is combined with an obverse of a crude cross with rays.

S.2370/2392 reverse with crude Cross type obverse (1.17g).
Collection of the late Scott Biever.

On the other hand it is possible that coins like this last are unofficial issues of some kind, as they seem to be rather crudely made, possibly using a old reverse dies from the official mint.

S.2389, a very rare type, is possibly S.2377 with a makeshift obverse, although the reverse is not exactly the same.

3. Hoard Evidence.

We can also use hoard evidence to get a better idea of the order of some of the types. In the case of the Thessalonican trachea there are two particularly important hoards - Longuet's "Thessalonika" hoard, mentioned above, of mainly Andronicus III types, and Bendall's reconstructed hoard of 2000, which evidently consists mainly of later Andronicus II types, with some early Andronicus III's. For details of Longuet's hoard see Bendall's re-evaluation of it in ANSMN 29 - for the 2000 hoard see Bendall's report in Num. Chron. 2001. For a full discussion of both these hoards, see the Note "Bendall's Hoard of 2000" on this site.

The numbers of the various types in these two hoards are listed in the table below. However, there is a problem with the reported numbers of the 2000 hoard*. This is because Bendall's numbers for the hoard can't be completely relied on, mainly because of problems with the reported numbers in part of the hoard. The 2000 hoard was sold through dealers in England and Germany and, in the US, through H.J. Berk. In the latter case the coins were sold in a number of sales, beginning with BBS 116, but Bendall's reported numbers for the Berk's material don't tally very well with the numbers actually appearing in the successive Berk's sales, and also there are some misidentifications in the Berk's material. To further confuse matters, we don't know when all the Berk's hoard material was finally sold (or at least offered) - most of it seems to have appeared by BBS126, with some possibly appearing in BBS128 (along with other Palaeologan material possibly not from the hoard), and some again may have been only offered (for the first time) in later sales, or even sold privately.

To arrive at more reliable figures I have therefore added up the actual numbers of the various types offered in Berk's sales 116 through 126 (inclusive), together with material in sale 128 which seems, on the basis of appearance, to have come from the hoard, and then combined these with the English and German figures to give an estimate of the true totals for each type in the hoard. In the "2000 Find" column in the table two numbers are given - the first is the original number for each type as reported by Bendall in Num. Chron, and the second is the "corrected" figure as just explained. Coins appearing in Berk's sales subsequent to BBS128, up to BBS136 (when the Palaeologans seem to finally peter out), plus any of the excluded coins from sale 128, are listed separately in the column headed BBS 129-136. Some of these later coins (such as the S.2492 and 2496's) may have come from the 2000 hoard, but others (such as the S.2497's) probably did not. (Note that even including the later offerings some of the reported Berk's material still seems to be unaccounted for - perhaps this reflects typographical errors, but private sale is also a possibility. Also, some Berk's material didn't sell at first and hence was re-offered in later sales - hopefully I have avoided double counting in these cases).

The "Longuet" column below gives the number for each type appearing in Longuet's hoard, as reported in ANSMN 29 (note that the Longuet figures given in Bendall's Num. Chron. article have been shuffled around at some stage and are hence mostly incorrect).

For comparison I also list the totals for another recent large find (or group of finds) of later Palaeologan coins (The "2004" Finds - comprised of Finds A1-A4 in the Data page "Some Palaeologan Finds", plus Finds B, C1, C2, D and E listed there). These figures, although probably incomplete, have much the same composition as Bendall's 2000 Find, and clearly cover much the same period. Finally, I list the figures for the stray coins of Andronicus II and Andronicus III found during the excavation of Turnovo, the mediaeval capital of Bulgaria (from K. Dochev, "Coins and Coin Usage in Turnovo (XII-XIV C.)" - 1992). These last figures hopefully represent a reasonable statistical sampling of the issues of Thessalonica from the period of the two Andronici, against which the figures from the various finds can be compared.

Generally speaking, we might assume that the numbers of the various types in the hoards will decrease as we go backward in time, so, that, once we finally we have fairly accurate numbers for the hoards, we could then use them as a check on the gross ordering resulting from the application of the rules in the preceding sections, and also as an aid to resolving ambiguities and difficulties. However in the current investigation this criterion must be applied carefully for two reasons - firstly, because it is clear that the production of coinage at Thessalonica was not constant over the period in question, but instead rose sharply some time in the 1290's, apparently shortly after the beginning of the joint reign of Andronicus II and Michael IX, and then dropped again drastically around about the end of that reign, perhaps because of the conflict between Andronicus III and his grandfather, and secondly, because it is possible that both Bendall's 2000 hoard and the "2004" finds are more accumulations than true "snapshot" hoards (see Note "Bendall's Hoard of 2000" for a discussion of this last question).

Nonetheless, providing we keep these factors in mind, the various find statistics can be quite useful, particularly in those cases where we have few specific dating clues. For example, in the table below I have used them to tentatively assign S.2388 and 2390 to the early.1300's (rather than, e.g, the early 1290's) .

* This hoard is now referred to in the literature as Thessalonica (VII) 2001.

4. Design Elements.

Finally, we could attempt a further refinement by grouping types on the basis of similarity of design elements. This is of course highly conjectural, so I haven't actually done it here - instead, within the broad groupings derived as above I have generally listed the various types in Sear number order (you may arrange them yourself as you think fit). However it is noticeable that in some cases, notably the "star" types of the 1310's, the methodology used here has in fact produced groupings with some broad common design characteristics.

(Note that the designation "Bold type" with the early types indicates noticeably overlarge design elements, reminiscent - to some extent - of some of the Thessalonican issues of Michael VIII).

Results.

Historically, we can conveniently divide the reigns of Andronicus II and Andronicus III into three main periods an Early Period, corresponding to the first sole reign of Andronicus II, a Middle Period, covering the joint reign with Michael IX, and a Late Period from 1320 to the death of Andronicus III (with perhaps a transitional period covering the joint reign of 1322-28).

Sequencing on the principles stated above also produces three main groups of types - firstly, early types with full legends, then mid-period types with legends declining in length (to zero in some cases), and finally the smaller and scarcer types with no legend, mainly from Longuet's hoard.

The single ruler types with full length legends hardly appear in Bendall's hoard, or in the other recent finds, and hence are assigned here to the Early Period, along with the scarcer single ruler types with mid length legends. Given the lack of relevant data, no real attempt is made to order the types within the Early Period, and they are therefore listed there in basically Sear number order. (The assignment of types below to the late Early and the early Mid period is rather arbitrary - it is made largely on the basis of frequency in the finds, and could be quite wrong in some cases).

The Middle Period includes both single ruler and two ruler types. It is not clear from exactly when in the period the various two ruler types date, but the hoard statistics suggest that the signed types probably belong to the earlier years of the joint reign, and they are provisionally assigned to that period here, in a separate grouping. On the other hand the anonymous types S.2457 and 2458 seem to date from rather different periods - in Bendall's hoard and the other recent finds these two types are much commoner than the signed issues, and hence they are listed later in the table, with the single figure types. 

The commoner middle to short legend single emperor types are mostly assigned to the Middle Period, together with the commoner no legend issues. As suggested above, it is assumed that these types were issued in parallel with the (earlier) two-emperor types. Within the Middle Period, types related by overstrikes are usually grouped together, which seems reasonable, although I have had to guess to some extent the order of the groups themselves.

The Late Period includes mostly the Longuet types, plus a few of the other scarce single ruler types. For more details of the dating of the later types see the Article "The Thessalonican Trachea of Andronicus III". As is explained there, the commoner Longuet types are mostly assigned to the 1330's, and the rarer types to the 1320's.

The early 1320's.

It has generally been assumed that no coins were issued in the period between the death of Michael IX in 1320 and the crowning of Andronicus III in Constantinople in 1325, but there is no essential reason for this to be so, and in the table below it is assumed that coin production continued more or less uninterrupted at Thessalonica (or perhaps in Thrace) in the early 1320's, although at a much reduced rate.

Andronicus III was made co-emperor by Michael IX in Thessalonica in 1316, and after the death of his father he revolted against his grandfather, resulting in the splitting of the empire, in June 1321, between Andronicus II in Constantinople and Andronicus III in Adrianopolis. Twelve months later the empire was reunited, formally at least, under the combined rule of the two emperors, three years before Andronicus III was formally crowned in Constantinople.

Given his ambitious nature, Andronicus III therefore might well have issued coins in his own name in 1321-22, and he certainly could have issued coins in the joint names of the two emperors from 1322. There are plenty of candidates for issues of Thessalonica in the 1320's, including some of the scarcer Longuet types (see the Article "The Thessalonican trachea of Andronicus III") , and some of these could well have been issued before 1325. Most of these issues are of course single figure types, so that from 1322 to 1328 the figure shown was presumably meant to be Andronicus II, as with the similar issues of the joint reign of Andronicus II and Michael IX.

Most likely any such issues would have been minted in Thessalonica, but since Andronicus III was based in Adrianopolis and then Didymoteichon from 1321 to 1325, it is also possible that he may may have moved the mint  from Thessalonica to Thrace in this period. Alternatively, the main mint may have remained in Thessalonica, but there may also have been a secondary mint in Thrace, and in fact it is not impossible, as Bendall has suggested, that the odd type S.2494 was struck in such a mint in Adrianopolis or Didymoteichon, some time in the early 1320's. (If this were the case, then the figure shown was presumably meant to be Andronicus III, as is possibly indicated by the rounded beard anyway).

Two key assumptions the dating of S.2457 and S.2465.

Arguably the key to the sequencing the commoner types is deciding which coins to assign to the period from the early 1310's to the mid 1320's. As stated above, the anonymous two emperor types S.2457 and 2458 are very common in recent finds, and hence it seems likely that they are relatively late issues. At first sight it might therefore seem reasonable to assume that these types are issues of the joint reign of Andronicus II and III, particularly as this assignment would fit quite well with the sequencing of types simply on the basis of legend length. However, this idea has serious problems, since these types, and the other common types to which they are (separately) linked by overstrikes, generally don't appear in Longuet's hoard, and hence it is difficult to see them as issues of the 1320's, although at a pinch one might perhaps assign S.2457 to mid 1222 (actual year), when Andronicus II finally accepted his grandson as co-emperor.

But S.2465 is perhaps a better candidate for that date (although it has its own problems, and is subject, to a somewhat lesser degree, to the same difficulties as S.2457), so where else might we assign S.2457?

One obvious possibility is that this type dates from (actual year), when Michael IX made his son Andronicus III co-emperor in Thessalonica. However such a dating produces other problems since it presumably requires assigning the group of types from S.2384 to S.2393 to the late 1310's, separating them from S.2315, with which they are associated through various known overstrikes, particularly the overstrike of S.2387 on S.2315 and the apparent overstrikes of S.2384 on S.2315. Another possibility, more consistent with these last two overstrikes, is that the group ending in S .2457 belongs to the late 1310's, after the S.2393 group. In this case the S.2457 group would represent the last issues of Thessalonica before the outbreak of hostilities between Andronicus III and his grandfather, consistent with the fact that there appear to be no common issues from Thessalonica after S.2457, except perhaps for S.2465. This dating is itself not entirely without problems, but it is now (March 2007) adopted here. Note that wherever we place S.2457 we probably still have to assume that it represents Michael IX endorsing his son Andronicus III (since Andronicus II would hardly have done so), in which case the lack of legend on this type may have been deliberately ambiguous. (As noted below, this type may even be posthumous to Michael's death, issued by Andronicus III as a propaganda piece).

The assignment of S.2465 presents a number of problems. This type is conventionally assumed to be a commemorative type from the joint reign of Andronicus II and III, but it seems out of place in the 1320's - like S.2457 it seems to be rather too common, it is often rather heavy, and unlike other types from the period it has a legend; even more confusingly, it seems to be linked to a variety of apparently unrelated types from the 1310's and 1320's.  However, I have now (Oct. '09) bitten the bullet and assigned this type to the 1210's in the table below. (Note that Bendall reads the right hand legend for S.2465 as "And...", but the fullest readable legends that I know of clearly read "Andronikoc-Decpotic", and I know of no example where the right hand figure is clearly named as Andronicus. In DO 854 the right hand figure is senior and is possibly St Demetrius).

In particular, if we assume that S.2457 was issued by Andronicus III as a propaganda type immediately after his father's death in late 1320 (as is done below, on a purely provisional basis) , then we see that we can make S.2465 the commemorative issue marking the raising of Andronicus III to the purple in 1316. This would all fit rather neatly, but there is still the problem that the group terminating in S.2457 consists mostly of very common types, very few examples of which appear in Longuet's hoard. In the end it may be therefore be necessary to push the 2457 group and its predecessors somewhat further back into the 1310's, and possibly to move some less common types (like S.2388 and 2390 perhaps) into the late 1310's. In that case we would either have to leave S.2465 at 1321-22, or move it back before 1315, or perhaps even group it with S.2377 some time before 1310.

In the end perhaps S.2465 was simply based on the similar assarion S.2435 of Constantinople, and hence has no particular commemorative significance, in which case it could date from almost any time. But if we want to date it before 1320 we still need to know why Michael isn't mentioned in the legend.

Conclusion.

Overall, provided that we accept parallel issues of the single and most of the two emperor types, I think the assignment of types in the table below to the three periods is reasonably justifiable. However, as I have said, given the state of current knowledge, I have felt justified in attempting a detailed sequencing only for the later types, and even that is incomplete and uncertain. I have made no real attempt to sequence the Early period, and have suggested only some ideas for the grouping of types in the Middle period (and for the ordering of the groups), and many of these ideas could turn out to be quite wrong. (An interesting question for the Early period is what was the first issue of Andronicus II at Thessalonica? - there is no really obvious candidate, as opposed to Constantinople, which has a surfeit of crowning or blessing types).

Obviously there is much more to be learnt. It would be nice to know, for instance, whether the various Andronicus II and Michael IX types were actually issued in parallel with the single figure types, or in lieu of them. But clearly, a key problem is to determine which groups of types should be assigned to the later 1310's and to the early to middle 1320's, which really means correctly assigning the later two emperor types, particularly S.2457 and S.2465. (The dating of the other late two-emperor type S.2458 is possibly also important - the fact that both it and the associated type S.2482 are quite common presumably has some significance).

Once these problems are solved, we would have a sound framework for the sequencing (at least for the later types), and hence we might finally get closer to deciding the ultimate question, namely, just where do the pesky "crouching emperor" types (Longuet 1 and 2) really belong?

Addendum - Other types

Note that the following types were not included in the table:

    1) S.2494 and 2495. These were omitted here because there is little hard data on which to base their possible dating. As noted above, S.2494 is possibly an early 1320's issue of Andronicus III at a mint in Adrianopolis or Didymoteichon. If S.2495 is a real type, it probably post-dates 1330 and could even be John V.

    2) The seated emperor types with large Lis and patriarchal globus GM104-1456 and  BBS116-687 (same type?). These appear to be mid to later issues of Andronicus II.

    3) The "B-B"/standing ruler coin from Berk's part of the 2000 hoard (referred to on p.266 of Bendall's report on the hoard), with a large "B-B" on the obverse and a standing emperor holding a patriarchal cross and labarum on the reverse. (This coin did not appear in any of Berk's sales but it was not a mistake - two further examples have since appeared on the market). For details of this and the previous type, see the Note "Some Unlisted Palaeologan Types".

    4) S.2362.  I am assuming that this is an issue of John V (as in Sear and PCPC). An example of this type appeared in the Serres hoard of John V and Anna types from the 1350's and 60's. For unexplained reasons, Protonotarios concluded that this meant that the type predates 1342 (perhaps because there was only one example?). This seems a very doubtful conclusion to me, considering the excessive rareness of this type, and also the late iconography. On the other hand, given the seeming shortage of types in the late 1330's, it is possible that 2362 is a late issue of Andronicus III afterall, notwithstanding its non-appearance in the Longuet hoard.

    5) S.2363.  I have never seen an example of this type as described, and it does not appear in the Dumbarton Oaks collection or in PCPC, and did not show up at Turnovo. I suspect that the coin listed in LPC is actually a misdescribed example of the coin listed here as S.2363v (see Coin 5 in the Note "Some Unlisted Palaeologan Types").

    6) S.2378.  A very rare type - possibly a variant of S.2370, although there are some differences (e.g, there appears to be no legend on 2378, so perhaps it is a late period type, or an early issue of Andronicus III).

    7) S.2381.  I am assuming for the moment that this is an issue of Constantinople (as in LPC). It did not appear in any of the recent finds of Thessalonican types, but it is rare to begin with.

    8) S.2525.  Again, there is little hard evidence with which to date this interesting type - the flat fabric suggests that it is probably later Andronicus III, or perhaps very early John V.

    9) S.2561.  Ditto, although stylistically this type perhaps fits better with S.2499 than 2497, and hence may be later than 1342.

 

Ind'l Year

Sear No.

Leg- end

Over- strikes*

Tur- novo

2004 Finds

2000 Find

BBS 129- 136

Lon- guet

Notes**

1282- 93

Early Period

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full length legends

1282-

S.2366

fc

 

2

 

-

 

 

Bold type - St. Dem. r.

 

S.2369

(m)

 

 

 

1?/0

 

 

Bold type - seated Emp.a

 

S.2371

(s)

 

1

 

-

 

 

Large type - winged Emp.

 

S.2375

fc

 

1

 

 

 

 

Bold type

 

S.2376

f

 

5

3

-

 

 

Bold type

 

S.2380

f

 

2

1

1/1

 

 

Bold type

 

S.2382

f

 

 

 

-

 

 

Smallish type? - date uncertain. Or issue of Const'ple? (cf. S.2451)b

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Single emperor - Legends declining in length

c.1289

S.2361

(sc)

 

 

 

-

 

 

St Dem. r; Smallish type? - date uncertain

 

S.2363v

mc?

 

 

2

-

 

 

"Shield" typec - smallish? type w. St. Dem. r.

 

S.2386

m

 

 

1

-

 

 

Emp. half-length

 

S.2389

(s?)

 

 

 

-

 

 

Odd & rare type, with makeshift obverse? - cf. S.2377 - date uncertain

 

S.2394

(s)

 

 

1(2?)

-

 

 

Emp. winged r

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1294- c.1300

Early Mid Period

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Order in earlier 1290's uncertain)

c.1294

S.2365

(m)

 

 

3

-

 

 

St. Dem. r.

 

S.2374

(s)

 

 

1

3/2

(1)

 

 

 

LPC 210:9v

(s)

 

1?

1

0/1

 

 

St. Dem. l;  (as BBS117-499) - the real LPC 210:9?d

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(LPC 80:23)

fc

<2385

9

11

4/5

 

 

(Two emp. type - see below)

c.1297

S.2385

(-)

>LPC 80:23, <2459e

6

10

5/6

(1)

 

 

 

(S.2459)

fc

>2385

12

11

4/4

 

 

(Two emp. type - see below)

 

Gr.1473

mc

cf .2459

7

13

2/3

 

 

DO936-40g; St Dem. l; (v. similar to S.2459).

 

S.2367

mc

 

5

4

0/1

(1)

 

St Dem. l. (but not nimbate)h

c.1300

S.2368

mc

<1190

5

17

5/4

(1)

 

St. Dem. l. - probably later

1294- 13??

Early Mid Period

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early Two emperor types - full length legends

??

S.2453

-?

<2490?

 

 

-

 

 

Rare and crude type - little or no legend? possibly an unofficial issue, perhaps of Asia Minori

1294-

S.2454

fc

||2455

1

4

2/2

(1)

 

Known muled with 2455  (CNG67-1911 & other ex's)

 

S.2455

fc

||2454

 

1

0/1(2?)

 

 

(GM104-1460, & BBS126-485? - the latter listed as "S.2420")

 

S.2456

fc

 

 

1

2/2

 

 

 

 

LPC 80:23j

fc

<2385

9

10

4/5

 

 

Gr.1465, PCPC 234; Presumably Thessalonican

 

LPC 80:23vj

fc

 

 

 

0/1

(1)

 

Variant with patriarchal cross (BBS116-706, 134-577)

 

S.2459

fc

>2385g

12

11

4/4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

c.1300-1320

Later Mid Period

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Single emperor (& later two emperor) types - Short legends from about here

c.1301

S.2388

(-)

 

10

2

2/2

 

 

Stars around - date uncertain

 

S.2390

(s)

 

3

6

6/6

 

 

Emp. half-length - date uncertain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Last two perhaps late 1310's)

c.1303

S.2372

s

 

8

21

4/5

(1)

 

Often scyphate

 

S.2395

(-)

>2372

5

16

4/3

(1)

 

Emp. winged; often scyphate

 

S.2458l

-,s

>2395?, >2372?

17

31

18/15

(1)

 

Two emp. type; some w. remnant legend; scyphate type

-1306

S.2482l

s

>2458, >2395?, >2376?B, >2385B

19

39

17/13

 

 

V. short remnant legend - scyphate type. "B" overstrikes provisional*.

 

S.2377

s

>2482, <2465?

15

24

11/7

(1)

 

Star type

 

S.2392

(s?)

>2372?

 

3

2/2

(1)

 

Short term type? - date uncertain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

c.1310

S.2486v/ S.2315m

(-)

>2392/ 2393/ 2457?, >2385B, >2482B >2458B

8

19

9/3

 

 

Star type? - often scyphate. The overstrikes marked "B" are provisional only.*

 

S.2384

s

||2457/ 2392?, >2315?

19

28

8/5

(1)

 

Star type; muled w./overstruck on S.2392/2393/2457n

 

S.2387

m/s

>2384?, >2315

26

34

20/18

(2)

1

Two possible overstrikes on 2384 knowno

 

S.2370

(s)

>>2387, ||2387

12

24

11/11

(5)

-

Emp. winged r; known muled with 2387p

 

S.2393

(-)

>2387?

7

21

13/11

(1)

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Last group perhaps later)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1315?

S.2465

sc- fc

>2377/ 2379?, <2490?

4

18

7/4

 

-

Two emp. type; varying legends - dating uncertainv.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legends often missing from here on

1315

S.2360

-

<<2373

22

40

21/20

(1)

-

Star type

 

S.2373

-

>>2360

28

48

8/8

(2)

3

Star type - often clipped flans

 

S.2391

-

>2373

6

19

14/9

(1)

-

Star type - often clipped flans

 

S.2379

(-)

>2391? <2383

2

7

9/8

 

-

Star type? - Emp. winged r. - often clipped flans

 

S.2383r

sc

>>2391, >2373B, >2379

10

53

31/20

(2)

-

Star type - often clipped flans

-1320

S.2492s

-,s

>2391 >2360

3

10

3/2

(1)

-

V. short remnant legend sometimes - short term issue?

1320?

S.2457t

-

>>2492, >>2391? >2393 >2383?gg

16

45

17/12

 

1

Two emp. type; Star type replacing 2492?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Last group(s) perhaps somewhat earlier)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1321- 1340

Late Period

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mostly no legends - later types flattish to flat

1321

?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Possible issue of Andronicus III alone?u

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Order of 1320's issues uncertain.

1322-

S.2490

-

>2453/ 2465?

6

9

8/7

 

2

Star type - scyphate flansv - date uncertain - perhaps earlier

 

S.2496

-

 

 

3

1/0

(1)

1

Star type? - scyphate flans

 

S.2485b (Gr. 1468w)

-

 

2

1

0/1

(1)

-

 Seated Emp. type (BBS116-717, 136-360) - scyphate flans - perhaps earlier

 

DO 1190x

 

>2368 >2485b?

 

2

1?/1

 

1

Longuet 22; (BBS117-524) - Scyphate flans - perhaps earlier

-1326?

 S.2489/ S.2493

-

>2368

 

 

-

 

1

Scyphate flansy.

 

S.2488

 

 

 

 

1/0?

 

1

Scyphate flans

1327?

S.2359x

f

 

?aa

2

1/1

 

1

Slightly scyphate - date uncertain

 

S.2491b

-

>2490??

 

 

 

 

1

Longuet 17w - Scyphate? flans

 

S.2485a

-

>2485b?

 

 

2/0

 

4

Stdg Emp. Type (Longuet 15w); Scyphate to flattish flans

1330?

S.2483

-

>2459

7

 

0/2bb

(1)

3

>John Orsini?; Flattish, some w. scyphate flans, some heavy; possibly earlier.

1331

S.2484

 

>2367

1

 

 

 

6

Flat

 

S.2497

 

>2484?cc

2

 

 

(2)dd

10

Flat

?

S.2498

-

 

 

 

-

 

1

Flat (DNE? - Mule/overstrike of 2497 rev. with St Dem. type?)

1333

S.2364

 

>?

1

 

 

 

1

Flat - short term type?

1333

S.2486

-

>2364?

3

1?ee1

12/6ff

(1)

10

>John Orsini; Flattish to flat, (some w. scyphate flans)

1334

S.2487

-

>2483B >2497B

7

1ee2

5/3ff

(1)

8

>John Orsini; Flat

?

S.2491a

-

 

 

 

-

 

1

Long. 16x; Flat, >John Orsini? (DNE? - Mule/overstrike?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1335-

S.2359a (PCPC 284)x

 

>2486? >2487B

5aa

 

1?/0

(1)

1

LPC 260:3 (Longuet 2); (slightly scyphate to flat)

 

S.2500

mc

>2359aB

 

 

-

 

2

Slightly scyphate date uncertain

 

S.2501

-

>2500

2

 

-

 

5

Flat

?

S.2499

-

 

 

 

-

 

-

Flat (date uncertain - in Pella & Serres hoards, possibly John V)

Ind'l Date

Sear No.

Leg- end

Over- strikes

Tur- novo

2004 Finds

2000 Find

129- 136

Lon- guet

Notes

Notes to Table:

*  The overstrikes marked with a superscript B are from Bendall's 2007 article in Num. Circ, p. 202-5 - some of these at least are hearsay only and hence all should be regarded as provisional for the moment.

**   "Bold type" here indicates noticeably overlarge design elements, reminiscent (to some degree) of the Thessalonican issues of Michael VIII. "Scyphate"or "scyphate type" means that both the flans and dies are often noticeably scyphate (as opposed to "scyphate flans", where the dies are flatter than the flans).

a:   S.2369 is a problem - according to Bendall (Num. Chr. '01, p.274) there was an example of it in the English section of the 2000 hoard, but it is not listed in his catalog. On the other hand there was a similar coin in Berk's section of the hoard (BBS116-687), but there the emperor holds the Lis sceptre in his right hand and the large patriarchal globus in his left. There were three other examples of this last type in another recent " 2004" hoard of Andronicus II types (see Data Page "Some Palaeologan Hoards"). Given their small size and short legends these new coins appear to post-date S.2369 by some time. GM104-1470, also from the 2000 hoard, appears to be similar to BBS116-687 but the emperor's dress is different - it may simply be a variant of the BBS type, but note that in none of these coins is the obverse known. For an example see Coin 2 in the Note "Some Unlisted Palaeologan Types".

b:   This type is a bit of a problem. It appeared in none of the recent finds of Thessalonican types, and this, combined with the long legend, suggests that if this type really is an issue of Thessalonica, it must early. However, the only examples known to me (e.g, Gr.1457) weigh only around 1.3 gms, rather light for that period. On the other hand, the similarity of the type to the assarion S.2451 suggests that it might be an issue of Constantinople, but again the weight is rather light for that mint.

c:   For a full discussion of this type see Note "Some Unlisted Palaeologan Types" (Coin 5).

d:   LPC210:9 is possibly misdescribed in LPC (which quotes only from a description by Gerasimov). The only similar coins known to me are BBS117-499 (listed here as LPC210:9v), and a coin in my possession, both of which show the saint on the left, as on S.2367 and 2368, and a garbled legend above centre, rather than a star. (BBS107-429 is another(?) example with the saint on the left, although my notes don't say anything about the star).

On the other hand Dochev lists a single example of this type from the excavations at Turnovo, drawn with the reverse as per Gerasimov and LPC, and with a starred monogram obverse as per S.2395. However, he doesn't show a photograph of the actual coin, so for the moment my guess is that this coin is actually a misdescribed mule. Or of course maybe there are two versions of this type.

e:   CNG67 Lot 1912.

f:   Reserved.

g:   The B on the obverse of this type may indicate an indictional date (of 1304-5?), although it seems more likely that it is simply the usual Palaeologan symbol, as on the similar type S.2367. In any case, this type is clearly a mid-period issue of Andronicus II.

h:   It is tempting to assume that S.2367 and Gr.1437 are related in time, as the designs have several common elements, but it should be noted the obverse monograms appear to be somewhat different, and the saint on 2367 usually (always?) has no halo.

i:   S.2453 is a rare type with little apparent legend, unlike all the earlier two emperor types attributed to Andronicus II & Michael IX at Thessalonica, and hence might be an issue of the 1320's. On the other hand it hasn't appeared in any of the numerous recent finds of later period types, and it appears to be a relatively heavy type in a fairly crude style, so perhaps it is an unofficial issue, possibly of the late period of Byzantine rule in Asia Minor.

j:   There were at least 5 examples of the two emperor type LPC80:23 in the 2000 hoard so it is clearly a Thessalonican issue (although who the emperors are is not so clear). The variant type has a patriarchal cross on the obverse with B-B below and no stars above.

k:   Reserved.

l:   S.2482 and 2458 are clearly related - the dies (not just the flan) of both types are for the most part clearly scyphate, and the best dies are stylistically very similar. Also, S.2482 is known overstruck on S.2458.

m:   These types were combined with S.2486 in Bendall's totals, but are clearly earlier. (See Note "S.2315 of Michael VIII and S.2486 of Andronicus III"). It is not impossible that this type (rather than S.2486) is the undertype of the Longuet 2 coin (PCPC 284 here), although this seems most unlikely. It is also known overstruck on, or possibly muled with, a type with a large six-leaved star on the obverse, presumably S.2392, 2393 or 2457 (but see note in Introduction above on the Large Star/Flower obverse types). Examples of "S.2486" with both scyphate flans and dies are possibly S.2315's with the reverse stars omitted, rather than issues of Andronicus III (See Note "Bendall's Hoard of 2000").

n:   An S.2384 reverse is apparently muled with a 6-leaved star obverse on #145 in Bendall's 2000 hoard (N. Chron. 2001). (See Data Page "Overstrikes and Mules"). But note that this may be an overstrike, or perhaps not a real mule - see Introduction.

o:   At least one and possibly two examples of this type are known overstruck on S.2384 see Data Page "Overstrikes and Mules". The overstrike on 2315 seems reasonably secure.

p: S. Bendall, N. Chron. 2001, #147. Cf. also "Overstrikes and Mules".

q:   Reserved. 

r:   Two overstrikes on 2391 known. The "31" examples listed in the 2000 hoard is possibly a misprint (for 21?).

s:   For the dating of this and the other "Andronicus III" types see article "The Thessalonican trachea of Andronicus III". S.2492 was possibly a short-lived type replaced by S.2457.

t:   This type possibly shows Michael IX endorsing Andronicus III, perhaps posthumously as a propaganda piece. Two overstrikes on S.2492 are known, and I am aware of two possible overstrikes on S.2391.

u.   Michael IX died in October 1320, after which Andronicus III in Thessalonica soon revolted against his grandfather, so the indictional year 1320-21 presumably included the last regular issue of Andronicus II & Michael IX, and possibly a propaganda issue by Andronicus III (S.2457?) in late 1320. The year 1321-22 possibly included a first issue of the new joint reign of the reunited empire (June/July 1322), and there might have also been an earlier issue in Thessalonica (or perhaps Adrianople) in the name of Andronicus III alone (rather than Andronicus II).

v:   Bendall has S.2490 overstruck on the rare type S.2453 in the Thessalonika hoard, but statistically the much commoner S.2465 would seem a more likely undertype. However, it is possible that S.2465 is actually pre 1320 (perhaps as a coronation issue of Michael IX), and only the presence of this type in Longuet's hoard keeps it in the 1320's here. If this is the case, then perhaps S.2453 is indeed the undertype, although it hasn't appeared in any of the recent hoards of Andronicus II types, and may well not be an issue of Thessalonica at all. See Article "The Thessalonican Trachea of Andronicus III" for the dating of these various types.

w:   For details of these types see article "The Thessalonican trachea of Andronicus III".

x:   For the dating of these types see article "The Thessalonican trachea of Andronicus III". Note that the full legend on S.2359 is an integral part of the design, and hence of no significance to the dating of this type.

y:   S.2493 seems to be a copy of S.2489 with the reverse image mirrored. It is also apparently known overstruck on S.2368.

z:   Reserved.

aa:  The Dochev totals for Longuet 2 at Turnovo (p. 260,1) possibly include some Longuet 1's (S.2359), which are not otherwise listed.

bb:  This type is possibly part of 2000 hoard (although not noted as such by Bendall). The overstrike of S.2383 on John Orsini is possible but not completely certain - see "Overstrikes and Mules".

cc:  S.2484 and S.2497 are known coupled by an overstrike, apparently of 2497 on 2484.

dd:  This type possibly part of 2000 hoard (although not noted as such by Bendall).

ee1: Possibly S.2315 (See "Some Palaeologan Finds")

ee2: This coin is from the motley Find D component of the "2004" finds, which may or may not not be part of the main finds (See "Some Palaeologan Finds").

ff:  The numbers of both of these types in the 2000 find are uncertain - Bendall considers them all to be intrusive (and most of the S.2486's are probably S.2315 anyway). See Note "Bendall's Hoard of 2000" for a detailed discussion.

gg:  CNGe313-512 - half struck on offset brockage undertype?

Ross Glanfield

January 2006

 

Latest revisions:

    21 July '09:   Overstrikes from Bendall Num. Circ. 2007 added.
     2 Aug. '09:   Dating of S.2486-7 finessed. 
    10 Oct. '09: Ordering in 1320's and 1330's revised.
    28 Nov. '09: Totals updated. 
    28 Oct. '10: S.2377 overstrike on 2482 noted.
     8 Dec. '10: S.2370 mule? with 2387 noted. 
    19 July '11:   Some late overstrikes corrected. 
    17 Feb. '13: Some new overstrikes added (no changes to ordering).
    20 Oct. '13: S.2457 overstrike on 2383(?) noted.
    19 Mar. '15: Possible overstrike of S.2485a on S.2485b noted.
    29 Dec. '15: Link between S.2493 and S.2489 noted. 
    11 Mar. '16: S.2379 moved
     

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