Gold Nomisma, Eastern Rome/Byzantine,
Emperor: Constantine VIII, c. 1025-1028 AD
Obv: Facing bust of haloed Christ, holding Book of Gospels
Rev: Bust of Constantine facing, with long beard, wearing crown & holding labarum
Sear-B1815, 25mm, 4.39gm
Striking Portrait of Christ ! Attractive coin, well centered on large flan.
In 960, Basil II was associated on the throne by his father, but the latter died in 963, when Basil was only five years old. Because he and his brother, the future Emperor Constantine VIII (co-ruler 976-1025, sole ruler 1025–1028), were too young to reign in their own right, Basil's mother Theophano married one of Romanos' leading generals, who took the throne as the Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas several months later in 963.
Nikephoros was murdered in 969 by his nephew John I Tzimisces, who then became emperor and reigned for seven years. Finally, when John died on 10 January 976, Basil II took the throne as senior emperor. Upon Basil II's death in 1025, and after a very long time serving as co-emperor, Constantine VIII became the sole ruler, dying three years later.
Provenance: midwestern US private collection, ex CNG.