Byzantine hoard of Lagbe

Author
Newell, Edward Theodore, 1886-1941
Series
Numismatic Notes and Monographs
Publisher
American Numismatic Society
Place
New York
Date
Source
Donum
Source
Worldcat
Source
Worldcat Works

License

CC BY-NC

Acknowledgement

Open access edition funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Humanities Open Book Program.

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BODY

THE BYZANTINE HOARD OF LAGBE

By Edward T. Newell

Some years ago the present writer was fortunate enough to acquire a small hoard of Byzantine gold solidi which had been found in south central Asia Minor, about the time of the Italian occupation of those regions. The hoard, as we shall soon see, belongs to the period of that very interesting episode in Byzantine history known as the age of the Iconoclast emperors, which lasted from the accession of Leo III in 717 to the death of Theophilus in 842 A. D. Curiously enough, few if any hoards have been recorded whose burial can be assigned to this particular time. Only one, that of Reno, 1 found near Bologna, Italy, at all parallels the Lagbe Hoard. Even so, it was apparently buried some thirty years earlier.

THE FIND

The winter and early spring of 1920 appear to have been of as severe a nature in central Asia Minor as they were in the United States. Snow, rains, and ensuing freshets caused frequent washouts and small landslides in the more mountainous portions of the country. March of the year in question witnessed a particularly severe washout, following a heavy rain, close to the little village of 'Ali Fachreddin Koi, province (Nahie) of Istanos, Sandjak of Adalia, Vilayet Konia. This untoward event had as a direct result the discovery by certain peasants of the hoard of Byzantine solidi which forms the subject of the present article.

By a most fortunate chance, the Marchese di Ruffano, deeply interested in the history and archaeology of the land, was at that time in the immediate neighborhood as member of an Italian mission. Hastening to the spot, he was successful in securing from the finders what he states he has every reason to believe constituted the entire hoard. To the Marchese the writer is indeed grateful, not only for all information concerning the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the coins, but also for his willingness to cede the ninety-seven pieces which he still possessed of the find. The remaining five solidi, making a total of one hundred and two coins found, had previously been presented by the Italian Consul, Sig. Ferranti, to the National Museum at Rome.

End Notes

1 S. M. Mosser, A Bibliography of Byzantine Coin Hoards, Numismatic Notes and Monographs, No. 67, p. 71.

ANCIENT LAGBE

Sir William Ramsay in his Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, p. 267 2 , states that the site of Lagbe is known as 'Ali Fachreddin Yaila. He bases his conclusions on certain literary evidences, and also on two inscriptions mentioning the name of Lagbe. One of these inscriptions was found not a mile from Yaila and in the immediate vicinity of the ruins marking the ancient site. In the parlance of the district, Yaila means an upland plain, fertile valley, or grazing place, in German, Bergweide. Here it has evidently taken its name from the little village of 'Ali Fachreddin Koi; koi in Turkish being the ordinary term for a village or hamlet. Kiepert's map, 2nd edition, marks the hamlet of 'Ali Fachreddin Koi, and indicates, hard by, the ruins of an ancient city. The same is true for A. Philippson's Topographische Karte des Westlichen Kleinasien, Justus Perthes, Gotha, 1913.

Sir William Ramsay further identifies Lagbe with the Lagon or Lagoan of Livy 3 and the Λάγηνα or Λάγινα of the Byzantine writers. If these various identifications are correct, then Lagbe must have enjoyed a certain amount of importance in ancient times. According to the Peutinger Tables 4 it represented a stage on the highroad from Laodicea in Phrygia to Perga in Pamphylia, which passed by way of Themisonion, Phylakaion, Kibyra, Lagbe, Isinda and Termessos. Lagbe, situated just to the north of Lake Karalitis (the modern Sögöd Gölu) and near the sources of the river Lysis, was comprised in the district known as Milyas. Milyas was bounded on the south by Lycia and on the east by Pisidia. Ramsay 5 points out that when the Empire was later reorganized by Diocletian this district was incorporated in Pamphylia, 6 among whose bishops δ Λαγίνων (έπίσκοπος) was certainly included. In Byzantine times the bishopric Λαγίνων was of some importance. 7 The names of four of its bishops are known to us: Zacharias in 692 A. D., Constantine in 787 A. D., Elissaeus and Basilius in 879 A. D. When the Byzantine Empire was again reorganized in the seventh century, Lagbe became part of the Anatolic Theme ('Ανατόλικον), of which Amorium in Phrygia was the principal city. This Theme comprised parts of Phrygia, Lycaonia, Isauria, Pamphylia, and Pisidia.

End Notes

2 See also, American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. IV, 1888, p. 16.
3 XXXVIII, 15.
4 Corrected by Ramsay, loc. cit., p. 327, note 1.
5 Loc. cit., p. 268.
6 Loc. cit., p. 317.

THE COINS

As stated above, the hoard originally consisted of one hundred and two gold solidi, of which ninety-seven reached the writer, while the remaining five are now in the Museo Nazionale delle Terme Diocleziane, Rome. The majority of the coins were in an excellent state of preservation, a large proportion being actually as brilliant as on the day they left the mint. Fortunately no attempt had been made by the finders to clean the coins. They therefore retained on their surfaces abundant traces of the soil in which they had for so long been buried. These traces consisted of clay or chalk-like deposits, very hard in texture and of a grayish-white color. In addition, over a third of the pieces were also spotted with incrustations of corroded copper, i. e. verdegris. They may all originally have been con- tained in some bronze receptacle, which in time had corroded away leaving only traces on many of the coins. The coins themselves have now been carefully cleaned, as was necessary to learn details of their inscriptions and to determine their correct weights.

In the following catalogue, references are to Wroth's Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum, Vol. II (here abbreviated B. M. C.) and to Comte Jean Tolstoi, Monnaies Byzantines, Livraison VIII, Petrograd, 1914 (abbreviated T.). As already stated, the coins are gold solidi, known to the Byzantines as nomismata. Our particular pieces are all of the Constantinople mint. Throughout, the reverse die is in the inverted position with respect to the obverse die.

End Notes

7 According to the Notitiae it was eighth in order of precedence of all in Pamphylia.

LEO III, the Isaurian 25 March 717-18 June 741.

Type III Struck after March 720.

*1 DNOLEO NPAMUL. Bust of Leo III, bearded, facing; in r., globe with cross; in 1., mappa. Border of rings. DNCONS TANTINUS. Bust of Constantine V, beardless, facing; wears crown surmounted by cross; in r., globe with cross; in 1., mappa. Border of rings. Slightly worn. Gr. 4.28. Var. T. No. 66.
*2 Similar, but with an S at the end of the inscription. Similar but with a Θ at the end of the inscription. Fine. Gr. 4.41. Var. B. M. C. No. 9; var. T. No. 65.
*3 Similar, but inscription reads DNLEO NPAMU Δ Similar, but with I at end of inscription. Very good. Gr. 4.23. B. M. C. No. 8; T. No. 62.

CONSTANTINE V, Copronymus. 18 June 741-14 September 775

Type I 741-751 A.D.

*4 D LE ONPAMUL. Bust of Leo III, bearded, facing; wears crown surmounted by cross; in r., cross potent; in 1., mappa. Border of rings. BC ON STANTINNC. Bust of Constantine V, bearded, facing; wears crown surmounted by cross; in r., cross potent; in 1., mappa. Border of rings. Fine. Gr. 4.41. B. M. C. No. 3.
*5 Similar. NC ON STANTINU. Similar. Slightly worn. Gr. 4.33. T. var. of No. 2.
*6 Similar. Similar, but with pellet at end of the inscription. Slightly worn. Gr. 4.40. T. No. 3.
*7 Similar. Similar, but with S at end of the inscription. Very good. Gr. 4.39. T. No. 2.
*8 D LEO NPAMUL. Similar. DNCO N STANTINUS. Similar. Fine. Gr. 4.44. T. No. 1.
*9 D LE ONPAMULΘ. Similar. DNC ON STANTINUNC. Similar. Fine. Gr. 4.41. B. M. C. No. 2; T. No. 8.
*10 Similar. DNCO NS TANTINUNC. Similar. Fine. Gr. 4.43. T. var. No. 8.
*11 D LEO NPAMUL-. Similar. DNCO N STANTINUS. Similar. Fine. Gr. 4.49. T. var. No. 1.
*12 Similar. DN CON STANTINU⊙. Similar. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.44. T. var. No. 1.
*13 D LEO NPAMULT. Similar. From the same die as No. 11. Good. Gr. 4.41. T. var. No. 5.

Type II After 751

*14 D LE ONPAMUL. Bust of Leo III, bearded, facing; wears crown adorned with cross, and robe of lozenge pattern; in r., cross potent. Border of beads. CONSTANTINOS∫LEONONEOS. On 1., bust of Constantine V, bearded, facing; on r., bust of his son Leo IV, beardless, facing; each wears crown adorned with cross. Between them, cross above, and pellet below. Border of rings. Good. Gr. 4.42. T. No. 1.
15 í Similar. Similar. Good. Gr. 4.39. T. No. 1.
16 Similar. Similar. Good. Gr. 4.42. T. No. 1.
*17 Similar. Similar, but with small busts. Fine. Gr. 4.38. T. No. 1.
18 Similar. Similar. Very good. Gr. 4.49. T. No. 1.
*19 Similar. Similar to No. 14, but a – replaces the final 'S'. Fine. Gr. 4.42. T. No. 1.
20 Similar. Similar. Fine. Gr. 4.39. T. No. 1.
21 Similar. Similar. Slightly worn. Gr. 4.39. T. No. 1.
*22 Similar, but at end of inscription, A. Similar to Nos. 17-18. [Fine. Gr. 4.39.]
*23 Similar, but at end of inscription, B. Similar to Nos. 19-21. Fine. Gr. 4.35. T. No. 36.
24 Similar. Similar. Fine. Gr. 4.38. T. No. 36.
*25 Similar, but at end of inscription, Θ. Similar to Nos. 17-18. Fine. Gr. 4.41. B. M. C. No. 8;T. No. 37.
26 Similar. Similar. Very good. Gr. 4.43. B. M. C. No. 8; T. No. 37.
27 Similar, but at end of inscription, ϕ Similar to Nos. 14-16. Slightly worn. Gr. 4.34. B. M. C. No. 10; T. No. 40.
*28 Similar. Similar to Nos. 17-18. Very good. Gr. 4.33. B. M. C. No. 10; T. No. 40.
*29 1 Similar to preceding. Similar to Nos. 19-21. Fine. Gr. 4.46.

ARTAVASDES 742 Not represented in find

LEO IV, the Khazar 14 September 775-8 September 780

Type I
*30 LEONVSSESSONCONSTANTINOSONEOSO. On I., bust of Leo IV, bearded, facing; on r., bust of Constantine VI, beardless, facing. Each wears crown with cross. Between, cross above, pellet below. Border of beads. LEONPAP/CONSTANT ...... THR. On 1., bust of Leo III, bearded, facing; on r., bust of Constantine V, bearded, facing. Each wears crown with cross and robe of lozenge pattern. Between them, cross above, pellet below. Border of rings. Very fine. Gr. 4.41. B. M. C. No. 1: T.No. 1.
Type II
*31 LEONVSSESON-CONSTANTINOS ONEOS. Leo IV and Constantine VI, seated facing, on double throne; former is bearded, latter is beardless. Each wears crown with cross, mantle and robe. Between them, cross. LEONPAPCONSTANTINOSPATHR. On 1., bust of Leo III, bearded, facing; on r., bust of Constantine V, bearded, facing. Each wears crown with cross and robe of lozenge pattern. Between them, cross above, pellet below. Very good. Gr. 4.37. T. No. 5.
32 Similar. Similar. Very good. Gr. 4.40. T. No. 5.
33 Similar. Similar. [Rome]

CONSTANTINE VI and his mother IRENE. 5 September 780-15 August 797.

Type I
*34 ∫IRI NIAVΓSM . . . . . . . On 1., bust of Constantine, beardless, facing. On r., bust of Irene, facing. Constantine wears crown with cross, mantle and robe, and holds orb in r. Irene wears crown adorned with cross and four projecting ornaments, and robe of lozenge pattern; in r. she holds orb, in 1. cruciform sceptre. Between the busts, cross above, two pellets below. The whole in circle of dots. CONST ATINOS CVB∫B∫. Three figures seated, facing, namely, Leo III, Constantine V, and Leo IV. Each is bearded and wears crown with cross, mantle, and robe. The whole in circle of dots. Good. Gr. 4.43. T. No. 5.
Type II Not represented in find IRENE Sole Reign. 15 August 797-31 October 802 Not represented in find NICEPHORUS I 31 October 802-December 803
*35 NICI FOROSBASILE∫. Bust of Nicephorus, bearded, facing; wears crown surmounted by cross, mantle, and robe; in r., cross potent; in 1., mappa. Border of dots. IHSUSXRIS TUSNICA⊕. Cross potent on three steps. The whole in border of dots. Fine. Gr. 4.39. T. No. 1.
With his son STAURACIUS December 803-26 July 811
*36 NICI FOROSBASILE∫. Bust of Nicephorus I, bearded, facing; wears crown surmounted by cross, mantle and robe; in r., cross potent; in 1., mappa. The whole is surrounded by a circle of dots. STAVRA CIS DESPO∫Θ. Bust of Stauracius, beardless, facing; wears crown with cross, mantle and robe; in r., orb; in 1., mappa. The whole in circle of dots. Fine. Gr. 4.39. T. No. 8.
37 Similar. Similar. Fine. Gr. 4.30. T. No. 8.
38 Similar. Similar. Fine. Gr. 4.31. T. No. 8.
39 Similar. Similar. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.43. T. No. 8.
*40 Similar Similar, but inscription ends with X. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.39. T. No. 9.
41 Similar. Similar. Very fine. Gr. 4.39. T. No 9.
42 Similar. Similar. Very fine. Gr. 4.43. T. No. 9.
43 Similar. Same die as No. 40. Fine. Gr. 4.40. T. No. 9.
44 Similar. Same die as No. 40. Fine. Gr. 4.36. T. No. 9.
*45 Similar, but with large pellet to 1. of cross. Similar, but inscription ends with an E. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.42. T. No. 7.
46 Similar. Similar. Very fine. Gr. 4.39. T. No. 7.
47 Similar. Similar. Very fine. Gr. 4.43. T. No. 7.
48 Similar. Similar. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.45. T. No. 7.
49. Similar. Similar. [Rome]
MICHAEL I, Rhangabe . 2 October 811-11 July 813. With his son THEOPHYLACTUS.
*50 MIXA HLBASILE∫ Bust of Michael I, bearded, facing; wears crown with cross, mantle and robe; in r., cross potent; in 1., mappa. Circle of dots. ΘEOFVLA CTOSDESP∫E. Bust of Theophylactus, beardless, facing; wears crown with cross and dress of lozenge pattern; in r., orb; in 1., cruciform sceptre. Around, circle of dots. [Uncirculated. Gr. 4.47. B. M. C. No. 1 T. var. No. 1.]
51 Similar. Similar.
LEO V, the Armenian. 11 July 813-25 December 820. With LEO IV.
*52 LEON BASILEUS. Bust of Leo IV (?) facing; wears mantle and robe; with cross potent and mappa. LEON DESPOTISimage×. Bust of Leo V, facing, wears mantle and robe with globe surmounted by cross. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.40. [Rome] [cf. Tolstoi pl. 69. No. 1.]
With his son CONSTANTINE. 25 December 813-25 December 820
*53 LE ONBASILEUS. Bust of Leo V, bearded, facing; wears crown with cross, mantle and robe; in r., cross potent; in 1., mappa. Large pellet to 1. of cross. The whole in circle of dots. CONST ANT ∫ DESP ∫E. Bust of Constantine, beardless, facing; wears crown with cross and mantle; in r., orb; in 1., mappa. The whole in circle of dots. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.36. T. No. 2.
54 Similar. Similar. Very fine. Gr. 4.44. T. No. 2.
55 Similar. Similar. Very fine. Gr. 4.42. T. No. 2.
56 Similar. Similar. Very fine. Gr. 4.43. T. No. 2.
*57 Similar. Similar, but inscription ends with X. Very fine. Gr. 4.43. T. No. 3.
58 Similar. Similar. Very fine. Gr. 4.37. T. No. 3.
59 Similar. Similar. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.42. T. No. 3.
*60 Similar, but inscription reads LE ONBA SILE∫. Similar. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.36. T. var. No. 3.
*61 Similar, but same inscription as No. 53. Similar, but inscription ends with a Λ. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.48. Not in T.
MICHAEL II, the Amorian. 25 December 820-3 October 829. With his son THEOPHILUS.
*62 imageMIXAHL BASILEUS. Bust of Michael II, bearded, facing; wears crown with cross, mantle and robe; in r., cross potent; in 1., mappa. The whole in circle of dots. ΘEOFI LODESP∫+E. Bust of Theophilus, beardless, facing; wears crown with cross and robe of lozenge pattern; in r., orb; in 1., cruciform sceptre. The whole in circle of dots. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.39. [T. No. 6.]
63 Similar. Similar. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.38.
64 Similar. Similar. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.46.
*65 Similar. Similar, but X after the +. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.44. [B. M. C. No. 3.]
*66 Same obv. die as No. 65. Similar, but the legend commences with a +. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.45. [T. —; B. M. C. —].
THEOPHILUS Sole Reign 3 October 829-ca. 832 or later.
*67 imageΘEOFI LOSBASILE. Bust of Theophilus, bearded, facing; wears crown with cross and robe of lozenge pattern; in r., orb; in 1., cruciform sceptre. The whole in circle of dots. CVRIEBOHΘHTOSOD OVLOimageX. Patriarchal cross on three steps. The whole in circle of dots. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.49. [T. No. 3.]
*68 Similar, but inscription ends with a ∫. Similar, but imageX. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.42.
*69 Similar. Similar, but an E follows image. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.41. B.M.C. No. 3.
*70 Same obverse die as No. 69. Similar, but image. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.49. B. M. C. No. 2.
*71 Same obverse die as No. 69. Similar [to No. 70]. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.39. B. M. C. No. 2.
*72 Same obverse die as No. 69. Similar, but image. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.44. B. M. C. No. 3.
73 Same obverse die as No. 69. Same reverse die as No. 72. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.41. B. M. C. No. 3.
74 Same obverse die as No. 69. Same reverse die as No. 72. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.40. B. M. C. No. 3.
*75 Similar. Similar [to No. 72]. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.43. B. M. C. No. 3.
*76 Same obverse die as No. 75. Similar [to No. 72]. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.48.
77 Same obverse die as No. 75. Same reverse die as No. 76. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.40.
78 Same obverse die as No. 75. Similar, but image. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.48.
*79 Same obverse die as No. 75. Same reverse die as No. 78. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.45.
80 Same obverse die as No. 75. Same reverse die as No. 78. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.44.
81 Same obverse die as No. 75. Same reverse die as No. 78. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.41.
82 Same obverse die as No. 75. Similar [to No. 78]. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.49.
*83 Same obverse die as No. 75. Same reverse die as No. 82. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.47.
84 Sameo bverse die as No. 75. Same reverse die as No. 82. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.47.
85 Same obverse die as No. 75. Same reverse die as No. 82. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.45.
86 Same obverse die as No. 75. Same reverse die as No. 82. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.44.
87 Same obverse die as No. 75. Same reverse die as No. 82. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.40.
88 Same obverse die as No. 75. Same reverse die as No. 82. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.39.
89 Similar. Similar, but image. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.41.
90 Same obverse die as No. 89. Similar, but image. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.47.
91 Same obverse die as No. 89. Same reverse die as No. 90. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.46.
92 Same obverse die as No. 89. Same reverse die as No. 90. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.45.
93 Same obverse die as No. 89. Same reverse die as No. 90. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.45.
*94 Same obverse die as No. 89. Same reverse die as No. 90. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.44.
95 Same obverse die as No. 89. Same reverse die as No. 90. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.43.
96 Same obverse die as No. 89. Same reverse die as No. 90. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.43.
97 Same obverse die as No. 89. Same reverse die as No. 90. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.43
98 Same obverse die as No. 89. Same reverse die as No. 90. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.41.
99 Same obverse die as No. 89. Same reverse die as No. 90. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.41.
100 Similar. Similar. [Rome]
101 Similar. Similar. [Rome]
With his son ΘCONSTANTINE Before circa 839.
*102 imageΘEOFI LOSBASILEX. Bust of Theophilus, bearded, facing; wears crown with cross, mantle, and robe; in r., patriarchal cross; in 1., mappa. The whole in dotted circle. +MIXAH L∫CONSTANTIN∫. On 1., bust of Michael II, bearded, facing; on r., shorter bust of Constantine, beardless, facing. Each wears crown with cross, mantle and robe; above, cross; between busts, pellet. Uncirculated. Gr. 4.46. [B. M. C. No. 10.]
End Notes
Of the flat, spread fabric (see B. M. C. II, p. 402, no. 6).

BACK

PLATES

LAGBE HOARD

PLATE I

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PLATE II

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PLATE III

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PLATE IV

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PLATE V

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PLATE VI

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PLATE VII

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