Isaac II Angelos was the ruler of the Byzantine Empire reigning from 1185 to 1195 AD. He was acclaimed emperor after the downfall and murder of Andronicus I Comnenus.
On 11th September 1185, while Emperor Andronicus I Comnenus was absent from the capital, his most powerful member of the court, Stephen Hagiochristophorites moved to arrest Isaac. Isaac II Angelos killed Hagiochristophorites and then appeals to the people, resulting in the revolt that deposes Andronicus I and places Isaac on the throne of the Byzantine Empire.
Isaac inaugurated his reign with a decisive victory over the Norman King of Sicily, at the battle of Demetritzes in 1185. In 1195, while the campaign against the Serbs, Isaac was arrested and blinded by his brother, Alexios III who seized to the throne. Isaac remained a prisoner until August 1203, after eight years of captivity he was freed by the victorious army of the fourth crusade and restored to the throne with his son, Alexios IV Angelos, as co-emperor.
Depicted here is Aspron Trachy issued under his reign from Constantinople mint. The obverse of a coin depicts the full-length figure of the Virgin Mary seated on a throne wearing pallium and maphorium holding nimbate head of infant Christ on the lap. The reverse of a coin represents the full-length figure of Isaac (on left) wearing the crown with pendilia chlamys, cruciform scepter in the right hand, and akakia in left. The Archangel Michael (on right) wearing nimbus crown and military attire, reaching up with right hand to crown Isaac with the right hand, jeweled scepter in left.
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