Byzantine Emperor John II Comnenus was born today

13 Sep 2019  Fri

John II Comnenus also known as “John the Beautiful” and “John the Good” was the Byzantine Emperor reigning from 1118 to 1143. His reign was characterized by continuous attempts to reconquer all-important Byzantine territory lost to the Arabs, Turks, and Christian Crusaders. He was regarded as a pious and dedicated monarch.

John was born on 13th September 1087 to Alexios Comnenus and Irene Doukaina. He succeeded his father as ruling basileus in 1118. John has been assessed as the greatest of the Komnenian emperors.

He was beloved by the Byzantine population, who called him "John the Good." By the end of his reign, much of Anatolia had also been recovered. But in April 1143 he was severely injured in a hunting accident and died after naming his fourth son, Manuel Comnenus, as his successor.

The above shown gold hyperpyron was issued under his reign from Constantinople mint. The obverse of a coin depicted the Christ Pantocrator seated facing on backless throne, with cruciform nimbus, wearing pallium and colobium, raising a right hand in benediction, holding a book of Gospels cradled in the left arm. The reverse of a coin engraved the figures of John, on left, wearing crown and loros, holding akakia in the right hand, and the Virgin Mary, nimbate, wearing pallium and maphorium, each gripping patriarchal cross between them with inner hand.

Image Source: Heritage Auctions

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