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Denomination: Anonymous Folles, Class I Date: 969-1092 AD
Description: Class I, attributed to Nicephorus III.
Obverse: IC-XC to left and right of bust of Christ, nimbate, facing, right hand raised, book of gospels in left
Reverse: Latin cross with X at centre, globe and two dots at the ends of each arm, crescent at top left and right, floral ornaments at lower left and right
Nikephoros Botaneiates had served as general from the reign of Constantine IX. Drawn to politics, he had been an active participant in the uprising that brought Isaac I to the throne in 1057,including a prominent role in the Battle of Petroe. Although considered a competent general, he had suffered a number of humiliating setbacks throughout his career. In 1064, he, together with Basil defended the Balkan frontiers against the invading Oghuz Turks, but was defeated and suffered the humiliation of being taken captive. However, the outbreak of an epidemic soon began decimating the Turks and the prisoners were recovered, while the survivors were quickly recruited in the Byzantine army.
This coin is part of a grouping of coins called “Anonymous Folles”. These coins are so-called because they do not bear the name or mark of any particular ruler. They were issued during the period between 969 and 1092 and include purely religious images and inscriptions.
According to sources from that period and numismatic data anonymous folles started to be struck during the period of John I. The copper coinage Byzantine Empire, between the accession to the throne of John I in 969 and the great monetary reform of Alexius I in 1092 is distinguished from that of earlier centuries in two respects. First, there is a portrait of Christ on copper coins, although it was an application preferred only on golden coins until that time. Second, they were not struck in the name of any emperor.