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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 5, Lot: 260. Estimate CHF1250. 
Closing Date: Monday, 24 October 2011. 
Sold For CHF1000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Leo III the "Isaurian", with Constantine V. 717-741. Solidus (Gold, 4.42 g 6), c. 725-732. dND LEON P A MuL Crowned and bearded bust of Leo III facing, holding cross on globe and akakia. Rev. dN CONSTANTINUS M’ Youthful crowned bust of Constantine V facing, holding cross on globe and akakia. DOC 5. Sear 1504. An attractive and clear example. Nearly extremely fine.

Leo III was a particularly important emperor: he ended the period of instability that ensured after the first deposition of Justinian II in 695 and lasted until Leo’s appearance in 717. He beat off the greatest siege of Constantinople and reformed the administration. He is, however, most remembered for the introduction of Iconoclasm: the prohibition of the worship of images, in this case sculptures and pictures. This caused great stress in the empire and beyond (much of Byzantine Italy broke away in protest) and resulted in the destruction of much religious art in the areas under Imperial control (those in the monastery of St. Catherine’s in the Sinai escaped due to their remote location).