In his 1969 book “Coinage and Money in the Byzantine Empire, 1081-1261” Hendy listed 20 “billon” trachea, designated as Latin Types “A” to “T”, which he considered, on the basis of style and provenance, to have been issued by the crusader rulers of Constantinople in the 50 years or so after 1204. (Whether all the various “Latin” types were actually issued by the crusaders is a valid question, but it will not be considered here).

In 1973, in his report on the “Peter and Paul” hoard of Latin period types (Num. Chron. 1973), Metcalf added four new types to this list, and in 1984 Jordanov, in a book paralleling Hendy’s, listed seven “new” (i.e, post Hendy) Latin types – these included three of the four new types listed by Metcalf, plus an additional four rare types not previously reported in the English language literature (I. Jordanov, “Coins and Coin Usage in Medieval Bulgaria, 1081-1261”, Sofia, 1984).

Now the Metcalf types are included, although with some errors, in Sear, but the other Jordanov types are not, and since the relevant sources are not generally available to the average collector I have listed below the details of the above post Hendy types, using Jordanov’s type numbers. (They are all “billon” trachea, of large and/or small module).

I also include two uncertain new trachea listed in DOC IV (p.702) as Uncertain Latin types “X” and “Y”, which may, or may not, be Latin issues, together with another possible Latin type reported by Bendall. .

I also include another type which is possibly a Latin (rather than “Bulgarian”) imitation of the trachy of Alexius III, from Metcalf’s Peter and Paul hoard.

P.S. (July 2010) – Pictures of examples of many of the coins listed here can now be found in Eleni Lianta’s excellent new book “Late Byzantine Coins 1204-1453 in the Ashmolean Museum University of Oxford”, Spink, London, 2009.

PP.S. More pictures and comprehensive line drawings are now also available in Marchev and Wachter’s “Catalogue of the Late Byzantine Coins, 1081-1453, Vol. I”, IVIS Ltd, Veliko Tarnovo, 2011.

Jordanov “New” Types.

Type I.

O: B. Christ, nimbate & brdd. “IC-XC”

R: Emp. stdg in stemma, divitision & loros, hldg short sc. (of some sort) and akakia (scroll?) (Jordanov actually says gl. cr. in the left hand, but this seems to be a mistake – it looks more like an akakia to me, and is described as a scroll by Jordanov in the Dolna Kabda hoard); manus dei abv. r.

Medium-large & small module versions known.

Jord. Pl. XXVI, 1-3.

Type II.

O: Christ nimbate & brdd, seated on backed throne, raising r.h. (not arm) in blessing & hldg gospels in l. hand. “IC-XC”.

R: Emp. stdg in stemma, divitision & (diamond panelled) loros, hldg long cr(?) (r. h. high) and akakia; man. dei abv. r.
Legend “ANΔ PON(?)” to left.

Large (and small module?) versions known.

Jord. Pl. XXVI, 4.

This type is possibly the same as the coin shown in N. Circ. 2007, p.79, Fig. 12, (= DOC IV, Pl. XVIII, B.(4)) which Bendall suggests is an issue of Andonicus I Gidon of Trebizond. The only large module example of the type known to Jordanov was part of a hoard dating from c.1240 found at Nisovo in the lower Danube valley. What appear to be two small module versions were found (as strays) at Sevtopolis, suggesting that this is indeed a Latin type..

Type III.

O: Mil. St nimbate stdg in mil. tun. hldg long or short spear (r. hand down) and shield.
To l, running upwards, “. Λ Λ O C” (for this legend, cf. N. Circ.’78, p.179,9 and Dochev Pl. 5,4).

R: Emp. (w. rounded beard) in stemma divitision & loros, std on backed throne, hldg lab. sc. and gl. cr.
To r. “KoMNHNoC” (or sometimes, “KONTAN..”), or similar.

Large & small module versions known.

Jord. Pl. XXVI, 5-6; Metcalf Pl. 8, 29 (small module version); Hendy (DOC IV) “V”; Dochev (1992) p. 213, 15; S.2042 (misdescribed), S.2053 (misdescribed); Lianta 89-91, 92-3.

Latin Type "V" (1.30g - clipped to 19 x 18 mm).
Latin Type “V” (1.30g – clipped to 19 x 18 mm).

In Sear the emperor is incorrectly described as standing (as on the next type). Described correctly (as small module version) in Malloy et al, “Coins of the Crusades States” (1st edn), p.328, 21.

This type is clearly based on the Magnesian trachy S.2099 of John III (where the emp. has a forked beard, holds a sc. cr, and of course the legends are different).

Type IV.

O: Mil. St stdg, hldg spear over right shoulder (hand down) & shield.
To l, “O/A/Γ/I”, to r, “O/C”.

R: Emp. stdg in loros & sagion(?), hldg trilobate sc. & gl cr.

Jordanov has the emperor seated on a backless throne, but in fact he is standing.

Rare type known in large, smallish and small module form.

Jord. Pl. XXVI, 7; Metcalf Pl. 9,30 (smallish module type); Malloy et al. (1st edn), p.328, 22; Lianta 103-4, 105-6. Not in DOC IV. As types described in Sear as S.2042 and 2053 (with emp. “standing”).

(N.B: To reduce confusion it might be a good idea to denote the seated ruler Type III coins above as S.2042a & 2053a, and the Type IV coins here with the standing ruler as S.2042b & 2053b).

Lot 3325 in Gorny and Mosch Sale 134 shows what seems to be a medium weight (2.09 gm) example of this type with, on the obverse, a Military St standing holding a spear over his right shoulder and on the reverse an Emperor standing in a Nicean style loros and waistband, holding a sceptre of some sort and a gl. cr.. Coin 540 of the Petrich hoard, with the emp. holding a trilobate sc. and gl. cr, is possibly a small module version. The smallish module example below is from the same dies as the two smaller Ashmolean coins.

Lianta 105-6. As Sear 2042 (but smallish module, as Metcalf Pl. 9,30). (1.00g - Figs 15-16 mm).
Lianta 105-6. As Sear 2042 (but smallish module, as Metcalf Pl. 9,30).
(1.00g – Figs 15-16 mm).

Type V.

O: Large Cross, “X-C/N-K”.

R: Emp. stdg in mil. tun. and sagion hldg long spear (r.h. high) & gl. cr.
To l, ?; to r, “A N O ..” (i.e, partial “Manovhl?”).

Large & small module versions known.

Jord. Pl. XXVI, 8-9: Metcalf Pl. 9, 36-40; Grierson “V”; Hendy (DOC IV) “W”; Dochev (1992) p. 213, 9; S.2043, 2054; Lianta 94-7, 98-102.

Whatever the reverse legend actually means, it obviously contrasts with the columnar “Iw/Dec/p” etc. on the similar reverse of the Type O.

Type VI.

O: Saint Nicholas nimbate, or (quite often, on SM types) the Virgin(?), h/l, in jewelled tunic & colobium, orans.
To l, on some examples, “O/A Γ/IO/…”; to r, “N./K/ΛΛ/OC”.

R: John the Baptist nimbate w. long hair (to shoulders) and beard stdg in mantle, hldg long pat. cr. (r. hand high) & nothing? in l. hand.
To l, “O/AΓ/ .o.”; to r, “IW/OΠ/POΔ/P/O/M/o/C” or sim.

Large, medium & small module versions known.

Jord. Pl. XXVI, 10-12; Metcalf “U”, Pl. 9, 55-60; Grierson “U”; Hendy (DOC IV) “U”; Dochev (1992) p. 213, 14; S.2041 (misdescribed), 2052; Lianta 84-88 (smaller modules).

Sear gives the obverse figure as the Virgin, but on better examples the figure is clearly bearded, and was meant to be St Nicholas; however, the die cutters have often rendered it as something closer to the more familiar Virgin orans, at least on SM versions (but note the jewelled robes).

Metcalf originally gave the reverse figure as St Paul, and this is followed in Sear, but it is clearly the Baptist (“O Prodromos” = The Forerunner).

Note that in the 1st edition of “Coins of the Crusader States” two versions of this type are described; the first as Coin 23, with the Virgin on the obverse and St Paul on the reverse, and the second as Coin 24, with St Nicholas on the obverse and the Baptist on the reverse. While both obverses do occur (at least on smaller versions of the type), the reverse in both cases should be the Baptist.

Type VII.

O: Unclear figure (Virgin enthr?)

R: Beardless nimbate fig. w. curly hair stdg in chl. hldg ? on long shaft (r. hand high) & akakia(?).

Jord. Pl. XXVI, 13.

V. rare (unique?) anonymous type, small module version only known(?). Of uncertain origin – possibly Bulgarian version of Latin SM Type A, with nimbate ruler.

DOC IV New Types.

Note that the following two types were not, as far as I know, associated with Latin period finds (unlike all the Jordanov types above, except perhaps for Type VII), and I am unaware of any small module versions. Thus there are no specific reasons other than style for assuming that they are in fact Latin issues. However, these types certainly seem to be imitative, and at least one of them (Type X) apparently comes from Asia Minor, so that it is not impossible that these are Asian issues of the Latin rulers (note that the known examples of both types are unclipped). Also note particularly the emperor’s short beard in both types.

Type “X”.

O: Christ nimbate & bearded, seated on backless throne, right hand raised in blessing, holding gospels in l. hand. “IC-XC”.

R: Emp. stdg in chlamys, hldg lab. sc. and gl. cr; manus dei(?) abv. r. (this last not noted in DOC IV).
To l, ?; to r, something like “T/K/m/N” (possibly, To Komnenoc? – again, not in DOC IV).

Large module only known.

Bell at Sardis Pl. II, 953; DOC IV Uncertain Type 6 (same coin).

This reverse of this type is very similar to the Latin Thessalonican Type “B”, supporting its identification as a Latin type.

The DOC IV example of this type is Bell’s coin from Sardis. I have in my files a photo, shown above, of another example of the type (also unclipped, and from different dies). This last coin was probably also found in western Asian Minor, so it is very likely that this type comes from that region, which might suggest it is a Nicean issue, except that the emperor clearly has a rounded beard, making this possibly a Latin issue from the territory controlled by the crusaders in Asia until the middle 1220’s. Such a provenance could explain, incidentally, the lack of small module versions of the type, its non-appearance in Balkan finds, and the fact that the known examples are unclipped. (Wherever this type comes from, if it is a Latin type, it presumably dates from the mid to later 1210’s, given that it seems to copy Type B of Thessalonica).

Alternatively, the provenance and legend might suggest that this type is possibly an issue of the early rulers of the Empire of Trebizond, either Alexius I Comnenus (1204-22), or Andronicus I Gidon, aka. “Comnenus” (1222-35).

Type “Y”.

O: As last.

R: Emp. stdg l. in loros and Virg. stdg r. hldg long pat. cr. between; Emp. also holds akakia in r. hand.

Large module only known.

DOC IV Uncertain Type 7.

This generic nature of this type, lack of clear legend, and the emperor’s short beard suggest that it is imitative, probably based on the common hyperpyron of John II (where the figures are half-length).

Bendall Type.

O: Virgin stdg, orans, with medallion of Christ on breast.

R: Emp. stdg l. in loros holding labarum headed sc. and akakia, blessed by Archangel r. holding trefoil sc.

Large module only known?

N. Circ. 2002, p.194, 1, N. Circ. 2004, p.236, 7.

Bendall assessed this type as a Latin issue on the basis of the style of the obverse. However, this isn’t much to go on, and also there appear to be traces of a regular circular legend on the reverse, suggesting that this type may be a Greek issue of Nicea or Thessalonica (possibly of Theodore or Manuel Comnenus-Ducas, given the emperor’s short(?) beard). We note that the known examples are unclipped, and one was found at Corinth, so this is unlikely to be an issue of Constantinople or Thessalonica.

Another Metcalf Type?

O: B. Christ, beardless; “IC-XC”.

R: Emp. stdg l. in chlamys & St Const? (apparently nimbate) stdg r. in loros, both w. short beards & hldg gl. cr. btwn; each also holds sc. cr.

Medium and large module versions only known.

N. Chron. 1973, 1047-9, Pl. 11, 99-101. Also N. Circ. 1978, p.178,1 (where the rulers are described (incorrectly?) as having forked beards).

This type, from the Peter and Paul hoard, appears to be based on the trachy of Alexius III with some deliberate minor changes, and hence could well be a Latin imitative type, although other identifications are possible. Metcalf actually assigned this type to Theodore II, but as noted by Bendall in N. Chron. 1978, p.108, n.9, this seems unlikely (particularly given the short beards).

Other possible types.

For two other possible Latin types see the apparently unique anonymous type described by Bendall in Num. Circ. 2002, p.104, 2, and also Uncertain Type 8 in DOC IV (cf. the Article “The Coins of Michael II of Epirus” for details of these types).

Dating the Types.

If we examine the hoards listed in Jordanov and elsewhere, we see that for the most part the new (Jordanov) types above are found only in late hoards, which might suggest at first sight that they are themselves late issues in the Latin series. However, we must be careful here – all the good sized hoards of the Latin period are clearly either pre c.1220 or post 1241. There are only a few hoards that can be dated with even a moderate level of confidence to the period between the early 1220’s and the early 1240’s, and none of them are very large, so that the absence of the scarcer “new” types from these hoards does not necessarily mean that these particular types were not circulating in this period.

Nonetheless, most of the new types can hardly be earlier than the early 1220’s, since for the most part they don’t appear in the numerous early hoards.

There are however two exceptions – firstly, single examples of Jordanov Types I and VI (Hendy Type U) were found in the Korten II hoard (Hoard No. 96 in Jordanov), which otherwise included no types dating from after c.1220. This hoard is large and quite typical of its period, and there seems little possibility of misidentification, as the hoard was published by Jordanov himself. (Unfortunately, Jordanov doesn’t state whether the “New Type” coins in the hoard were large or small module, or whether they were clipped, which could have given us a clue as to their dating. Clipping began some time in the early 1220’s, and in the later hoards the large module types are almost always clipped; however for some reason in Jordanov the “New Types” are often not reported as having been clipped, even when most or all of the commoner LM types in the same hoard are).

Also, the early Asenovtsi hoard (No. 6 in Jordanov) reportedly included an example of Type VI, but again we no indication as to the size of this coin, or whether or not it had been clipped. The only other Latin types in this fairly small (but apparently regular) hoard were some small module Type A’s of Constantinople, suggesting a date c.1210 for the hoard, although considering the relatively small number of coins involved (158), it is possible that it could be somewhat later.

Evidently, these presence of these two types in these hoards presents us with a problem, as not only did they did not show up in any of the other numerous similar hoards from the earlier Latin period (e.g, the very large Muglizh II hoard of c.1220), but both are otherwise only known from late hoards (and, particularly, from post 1241 hoards)

The significance of this is unclear. Perhaps the Type I and Type VI’s are intruders in the two early hoards? – this is not impossible, and in fact the Jordanov entry for the Asenovtsi hoard suggests just that, although no separate evidence is adduced to support the idea. But there is a basic problem with the intruder theory here – if for some reason there are going to be intruders in early hoards, aren’t they more likely to be some of the more common later types, such as Type N or T, rather than scarce issues like Type VI, or rare ones like Type I? – but in fact not only are there no N’s or T’s in the Korten II or Asenovtsi hoards, but these types have not appeared in any of the numerous other early hoards either.

For the moment then, the presence of these two types (I and VI) in the early hoards remains unexplained.

Ross Glanfield

15 Nov. 2005


8 Jan. ’08 “Metcalf type” from Peter and Paul hoard added.
22 June ’08 Type V reverse legend added.
16 Jan. ’09 Discussion of Type Y revised (again).
25 July ’09 Type II is coin of Andronicus I Gidon?
28 Mar.’10 Type IV discussion revised (yet again).
5 July ’10 Ashmolean references added. Type IIIA reallocated to Type IV.
5 Aug.’10 Bendall type at Corinth noted.
16 Jan.’11 Small module version of Type II noted.
26 July ’16 Example of Latin Type X added.