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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

143, Lot: 281. Estimate $300.
Sold for $290. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Constantine IX Monomachus. 1042-1055. AR Miliaresion (29mm, 2.76 g, 6h). Constantinople mint. Mary, orans, standing facing on footstool / Constantine standing facing, in military uniform, holding long cross and scabbard. DOC III 7b; SB 1834 var. (small flan). VF, wavy, many small marks.

The military type is unsuited for the unwarlike Constantine, but the legend "O Lady, protect the pious Monomachos" certainly reflects the atmosphere of crisis during his reign, during which Constantine had to face several rebellions. The miliaresion is found in two sizes, of which this is the larger. A hoard found at Oxarve in Sweden consisted of 100 pieces, evenly divided between the two types. Since contemporary hoards of gold show similar divisions between the histamenon and tetartron (implying that payments were acceptable in both types as long as the percentages were equal), there must also have been a recognized difference between the two silver types