A.D. 820-829 Michael II & Theophilus Copper Follis


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The legendary Byzantine Empire, like the Roman Empire from which it grew, saw frequent and abrupt changes in leadership. This copper Follis, nearly 1,200 years old from the A.D. 820-829 reign of Michael II, tells a most intriguing tale all its own!

Born into a family of soldier peasants, Michael rose through imperial military ranks to become second only to Emperor Leo V in command of the Byzantine army. But on Christmas Eve in A.D. 820, Leo accused Michael of treason, imprisoned him, and sentenced him to execution after the holidays. Quickly, supporters of the popular general Michael freed him and murdered the treacherous Leo. Michael was proclaimed emperor still wearing his prison chains!

An able ruler, Michael II became the first Byzantine emperor in over half a century to die peacefully in possession of his throne – and to leave authority to his son Theophilus – depicted with his father on this copper Follis. A large m on the reverse signifies the reign of Michael II. Get this prominent ancient Byzantine coin today!