1005-1025 Byzantium Basil II Nomisma Histamenon Coin
This coin is a reproduction of a Byzantine Histamenon coin originally minted between 1005 – 1025. Minted by the Byzantine emperor Basil II from the Macedonian Dynasty who reined between 976 to 1025. Byzantine coins continued the Roman style with one side depicting the head of the emperor and the reverse featuring a Christian symbol such as an angel or a cross. This coin face features an image of Basil II and Constantine VIII in the regalia of a loros and chlamys while holding a symbol of the cross. On the reverse is the inscription of IhS XIS REX REGNANTIhM and an image of Christ with an ornate crossed nimbus, holding the book of Gospels with raising hand in benediction.
The nomisma or gold solidus was introduced by the emperor Constantine I in 309 and became a standard of international commerce in Europe and the East until the 11th century. Highly prized in Western Europe because of the high gold purity of 0.955- 0.980 the coin became known as a bezant which was an incorrect pronunciation of the word Byzantium.
An original Basil II Histamenon artefact is currently held by the Harvard Dumbarton Oaks Museum and can be viewed on the following link http://www.doaks.org/museum/online-exhibitions/byzantine-emperors-on-coins/the-macedonians-and-their-immediate-successors-867-1081/nomisma-histamenon-of-basil-ii-976-1025
These coins are hand stamped by a passionate reenactor who performs historical coin minting demonstrations. As each coin is hand stamped small variations may exist adding to the hand made character of the coins.
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