Estimate: 500 USD
Price realized: 1100 USD
Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, with Romanus II. 913-959. AV Solidus (19.5mm, 4.37 g, 6h). Constantinople mint. Struck 950-955. Facing bust of Christ Pantokrator, with cruciform nimbus, two pellets in each arm of cross / Crowned facing busts of Constantine VII, wearing loros, and Romanus II, wearing chlamys, holding patriarchal cross between them. DOC 15; Füeg 15.C.4; SB 1751. Scratches. Good VF.
The son of Leo VI the Wise, Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus ("purple-born") reigned for nearly half a century, although he held actual power for the last quarter of that span. As a child he was under the regency of his mother Zoe and the Patriarch Nicholas. A crisis occasioned by war with Bulgaria in AD 920 brought the capable admiral Romanus I to the throne as co-emperor. Romanus proceeded to advance his own sons in the succession, keeping Constantine in the background. But Constantine learned much during his long apprenticeship and, in, AD 944, he cannily managed a palace coup that deposed Romanus and his sons, leaving Constantine as sole ruler. In 950 he raised his son Romanus II to the rank of co-ruler; both are seen on the reverse of this gold solidus. By nature a scholar, Constantine wrote several treatises and guidebooks on government that survive to this day. Learning, art and literature throve, and the Macedonian Renaissance gained strength under his firm and conscientious rule.