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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 61, Lot: 2270. Estimate $2000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 25 September 2002. 
Sold For $2900. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

IRENE. 797-802 AD. AV Solidus (4.36 gm). Constantinople mint. EIRINH bASILISSH, crowned bust of Irene, holding globus cruciger and sceptre / •EIRINH bASILISSH Q, same bust type. DOC III 1a.2; BN 1-5; SB 1599. Nice VF, light scratches, nick on bust. ($2000)

The powerful personality of Irene had always overshadowed that of her son Constantine, and only an army mutiny had prevented her from taking power as senior Augustus in 790. After a short period in exile, she returned to Constantinople, and began working at eliminating her enemies. By 797 she has discredited her son to the point that she could have him deposed, blinded and murdered with little outcry. Irene too, was deposed in 802 after attempting to arrange a marriage between herself and Charlemagne.