Romanos I Lekapenos

14 Jun 2019  Fri

Romanos I Lekapenos was an Armenian descent who became a Byzantine naval commander and reigned as Byzantine Emperor from 920 until his deposition in 944.

His father was an Armenian peasant who had once helped rescue Basil I from the Arabs. In return of that, he had given an appointment in the imperial guard. Romanos was born in 870, like his father he enjoyed a career in the Byzantine military. He then progressively made his way up the ranks on merit to become the strategos or military commander of the Samian province of the empire.

Later he usurped the throne to rule as co-emperor with the rightful heir, but still minor, Constantine VII. The above shown gold Solidus was issued in his reign from Constantinople mint. The obverse of a coin portrays the Nimbate Christ enthroned facing, raising a hand in benediction and holding Gospels. The reverse of a coin depicts the Facing busts of Romanus I, on left, and Constantine VII, on right, holding patriarchal cross between them.

Image Source: Heritage Auctions

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