Coinage and Money in the Byzantine Empire, 1081-1261 by Michael F. Hendy

By Michael F. Hendy

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Robert Guiscard, at the head of a considerable army, laid siege to Dyrrhachium in June Io8I,16 after seizing Avlona and the island of Corfu. Alexius, according to Anna Comnena, left Constantinople for Thessalonica in August. 17 After a short stay in the latter city he proceeded to the scene of the campaign, PIs. I-7. Chap. 8, pp. 90-95. , x, pp. 187-88. I? , x, p. Ig8. 18 He returned to Thessalonica to reorganize his army. At this point Anna enters into a rather lengthy and embarrassed account of events in Constantinople which, to put it briefly, seem to have occurred as follows :19 Alexius needed money more than ever, but there was none to be had from the imperial treasury, thoroughly depleted by Nicephorus HI.

The presence of St. Demetrius on both the traditional miliaresion and the scyphates is of crucial importance in dealing with this group. The earliest representation of the Saint, on coins other than these, occurs on the copper half-tetartera of John II (PI. II. IS-I7); his first appearance on coins of precious metal dates from the reign of John'S successor Manuel I, when he is found on the electrum coinage (PI. I4· 7-9). An ideal solution to the problem of the identification of this mint, between the two termini of Io8I and I09z, in harmony with both the historical and numismatic factors, at once emerges.

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