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313, Lot: 447. Estimate $500.
Sold for $650. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Basil II Bulgaroktonos, with Constantine VIII. 976-1025. AV Histamenon Nomisma (27mm, 4.40 g, 7h). Constantinople mint. Struck 1005-1025. Facing bust of Christ Pantokrator; annulets in upper quarters / Crowned facing busts of Basil, wearing loros, and Constantine, wearing chlamys, holding long cross between them. DOC 6a; SB 1800. VF.

Probably the most militant of the Byzantine emperors, Basil never married, devoting his entire reign to conducting campaigns against Bulgarians, Fatimids, Georgians and the western principalites. At the Battle of Kleidion in 1014, he acquired his nickname Bulgar–Slayer (Bulgaroktonos) when he captured and blinded somewhere between 8,000 and 15,000 Bulgarians (sparing one out of every one–hundred to lead the other ninety–nine home). The Bulgarian tsar Samuel is said to have died of despair when he saw what had been done to his men.