Since the condition of the coins is not uniform, only the latest being uncirculated, the group is not a gradual collection, put by during the century and more represented by its members, but a treasure formed in its last years from contemporary coins fresh from the mint and older pieces that had seen some circulation.

A remarkable feature of the hoard is its doctrinal character, for it contains pieces of the Iconoclastic Emperors and of them only. It begins with the second type of Leo III,1 the author of the attack on picture- worship which rent the Empire and the Christian world. Thereafter every known type of solidus (some of which are extremely rare) down to Theophilus appears in the hoard with the following exceptions.

Artavasdos (742?-744?), a general who revolted at the beginning of the reign of Constantine V. "The basis on which the usurper proposed to establish his power and secure popularity was the revival of picture-worship."2The hoard has none of his coins. They are rare (1 in the Bibliothèque Nationale, 3 in Tolstoi) but not rarer than some other types which are included.

Constantine VI and Irene (780-797), Type II. Wroth's Type I, which shows, the Emperor and his mother on the obverse, his father, grandfather and great-grandfather on the reverse, is represented by our No. 34. Here the iconoclastic ancestors of the reverse may be thought to affect the appearance of Irene herself with her young son. But with Wroth's Type II the past is obliterated and the two sides of the coin show only the Emperor and his mother. This is probably to be dated in 792 when Irene was restored to favor.

Irene alone (797-902). Irene's hostility to the iconoclastic policy of the imperial house had been evident for some time. As early as 787 the Seventh Oecumenical Council at Nicaea had pronounced images lawful, and- when she had blinded and deposed her son she was free to pursue an ecclesiastical course which brought her the praise and gratitude of Rome and a large section of the Orthodox Church.

That these should be the only omissions from the hoard can hardly be chance. As has been said, comparative rarity could not account for it and we may fairly assume that the worshipers of images were excluded of set purpose. Whether this was the choice of the man who made the collection or whether it was that of the community, so that he found only iconoclastic coins in circulation, we cannot tell.

The individual types call for no comment until we come to those of Theophilus, where the evidence presented allows us to amend the arrangements of Wroth and of Bury.

Wroth3 dates the coins of Theophilus alone "from circ. Oct. 829-832?" This is because he follows E. W. Brooks4 in placing the birth of the Emperor's son Constantine in or about 832. Our other type, bearing the portraits of Theophilus and Constantine, and a third type not represented in the hoard, with Theophilus, Constantine and Michael II, the Emperor's father, he dates from 832 to 839, that is, before the birth of the young Michael,

1. For the convincing reattribution of Wroth's Type I to Leontius (695-698) see L. Laffranchi, "La Numismatica di Leonzio II," Numismatica, IV 1938), pp. 73 f.; V (1939), pp. 7-15, 91     2. J.B. Bury, History of the later Roman Empire (1st ed.), vol. 1, p. 451.
3. BMC pp. xlii f.
4. Byzantinische Zeitschrift, X (1901), p. 544.


Created by the Digital Documentation Center at AUB in collaboration with Al Mashriq of Høgskolen i Østfold, Norway.

990216 PN - Email: hseeden@aub.edu.lb