Probably the most militant of the Byzantine emperors, Basil never married, devoting his entire reign to conducting campaigns against Bulgarians, Fatimids, Georgians and the western principalites. At the battle of Kleidon in 1014 he acquired his nickname Bulgar-Slayer (Bulgaroktonos) when he captured and blinded 14,000 Bulgarians. The Bulgarian tsar Samuel died of despair when he saw what had been done to his men. Reprinted from the Classical Numismatic Group, Inc.
AU Histamenon Nomisma
SB 1796, DOC III 2, BN 4 AU Histamenon Nomisma Obv: +IhSXISREXREGNANTInM - Nimbate bust of Christ facing, holding Gospels. Rev: +bASIL'CCOnSTAnTIbR' - Crowned busts of Basil II and Constantine VIII, holding patriarchal cross between them. 977-989 (Constantinople).
SB 1797, DOC III 3 AU Histamenon Nomisma Obv: +IhSXISREXREGNANTIhM - Bust of Christ facing, wearing nimbus cross, pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, in left hand, holding book of Gospels. Rev: +bASIL'CCONSTANT'bR - Facing busts of Basil with short beard on left and Constantine beardless on right both crowned; holding between them, patriarchal cross crosslet; Basil wears loros of square pattern, whilst his brother is clad in plain chlamys. SB 1800, DOC III 6 AU Histamenon Nomisma Obv: +IhSXISREXREGNANTInM - Nimbate bust of Christ. Rev: +bASILCCONSTANTbA - Busts of Basil and Constantine, holding cross between them. 1005-1025 (Constantinople).
SB 1806, DOC III 15 AU Tetarteron Obv: +IhSXISREXREGNANTIhM - Bust of Christ facing, nimbate with two pellets in each arm of cross, draped, holding book of Gospels. Rev: +bASILīCCONSTANTībR - Facing crowned busts of Basil, with short beard, on right, wearing loros of square pattern, and Constantine, beardless, wearing jeweled, V-shaped collar, holding between them long patriarchal cross ornamented with X. (Constantinople).
SB 1809, DOC III 19 AR Miliaresion Obv: Nimbate facing bust of the Virgin holding nimbate bust of the infant Christ. Rev: Legend in five lines. [This commemorative issue, with its obverse inscription "O Virgin aid the emperors", dates to the battle of Abydos, where Basil defeated the last of his internal opponents for the throne. The reverse inscription is translated as "Mother of God, full of glory, he who puts his trust in you will never fail in his undertakings"]. 989 (Constantinople). $550 5/21/03.
SB 1810, DOC III 17 AR Miliaresion Obv: Facing busts of Basil and Constantine flanking ornate cross. Rev: +bASIL/CCWNSTAN/PORFVROG/PISTOIbAS/ROMAIW - Legend in five lines across field. (Constantinople).