Нов тип златна перпера на византийсктите императори Андроник ІІІ с Йоан V (1339-1341)

New variant of golden perpera of Andronicus III with Ioannes V Palaiologos (1338-1341)

  • Constantin Dochev National Institute of Archaeology with Museum – Branch Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences


The period of the longest reign of Palaiologan Dynasty (1259-1453) seems to be the most complicated and yet poorly presented in the study of the whole history of the Byzantine numismatics. The release of one or another unknown type of silver and mainly copper coins is far beyond surprising but when it comes to an unknown type of perpera, it is not only a surprising but also a pleasant event.

Recently we received information accompanied by relevant photos about a very interesting mixed hoard found years ago containing 25 – 30 golden perpera of the Palaiologos and also 30 silver coins of Tsar Ivan Alexander with Michael Assen, Second silver coinage, Tarnovo, from the period of 1332 – 1355. The hoard was found during agricultural work about 3 – 4 km south of Dryanovo town, Gabrovo region, Central Northern Bulgaria, in the foothills of the Balkan, close to the left bank of Dryanovska River. The golden and silver coins were scattered within a diameter of 1 – 2 m. According to the photos of 12 coins, the hoard was composed of perpera of Andronicus II with Michael IX (1294- 1320), Andronicus II with Andronicus III (1320-1341), Andronicus III with Anna of Savoy and Ioannes V Palaiologos (1328-1341) and Ioannes V with Ioannes VI Cantacuzenus (1341-1347). Among them appeared a perpera of a coin type unknown so far. According its formal analysis, it is similar to the numerous perpera of the type of Andronicus II with Andronicus III struck also under the reign of the Emperor – grandson (1328-1341) as a coinage of type immobilise – immovable type issued after the death or abdication of a certain monarch. Their obverse (the concave side) represent kneeling front an old-aged bearded emperor (left) and a younger beardless emperor (right), and Christ above crowning them. A round legend is running around the figure of the elder emperor (left) ΑИΔΡ, and around the younger emperor (right) – a vertical legend Ι Ѡ. The reverses bear the traditional scene of Theotokos Orans between the walls of Constantinople. A double sigla of ΚΛ is written to the left of her, and the character of Α – to the right. They appear very often on the perpera of the later emissions of Andronicus II with Andronicus III mainly of type immobilise struck under Andronicus III. Their weight is 3,25 g, and the size – 25/ 26 mm. The initial characters of both homonyms ΑΝΔΡΟΝΙΚ – Ι ѠΑΝ unambiguously show that this unknown coin emission of perpera was minted under Andronicus III probably at the end of his reign, during the period of 1338 – 1341, when his only son Ioannes was 7 years old (born in 1331). The anniversary of the heir to the throne, about which we have not any definite written data, was celebrated with the due acclamation – rank ceremony as well as with the issue of a special although small coin emission of golden perpera bearing the names of Andronicus III and the future Emperor Ioannes Palaiologos. From the same period (1338-1341) we have to date also the golden perpera in the names Andronicus III with Anna of Savoy and Ioannes V as well as their silver and copper coins.

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