Nicephorus Basilacius or Basilakes (Usurper), 1078, AE Follis. Thessalonica, 6.59g, 31mm. Extremely rare.
Obv: Facing bust of Christ Pantokrator; IC – XC in fields.
Rev: C – B / N – B, Jeweled patriarchal cross set upon base, X in centre.
SB 1890 (overstruck on SB 1854 of Constantine X).
One of the classic Byzantine rarities. We first hear of Basilacius as a participant in the Manzikert disaster in 1071, when the Seljuq Turks inflicted an era-ending defeat on the Byzantines. In the chaos that erupted when Nicephorus III Botaniates and Bryennius revolted against Michael VII, Basilacius also elected to throw his hat in the ring. After defeating Bryennius, Nicephorus III sent his best general, Alexius Comnenus to take on Basilacius. Alexius evaded an attack on his camp and defeated Basilacius the next day, who barricaded himself in Thessalonica. The city surrendered to Alexius, however, and Basilacius was captured, blinded, and presumably packed off to a monastery. This coin is an extremely rare link between the old, pre-Manzikert Byzantine order, and the renascent state inaugurated by Alexius I Comnenus.
|Price realized||750 CAD (1 bid)|
|Starting price||750 CAD|