Isaac II Comnenus

1185-1195

Isaac, a cousin of Andronicus, survived an attempted execution by the emperor and went on to form a successful revolt against Andronicus. Byzantines had had enough of the witch hunts and the excessive cruelty of the emperor as well as the approaching foreign menace of the Normans. But Isaac, too, would disappoint them. For his credit Isaac was able to decisively beat the Normans and push them back to their strongholds in Sicily. But in domestic matters he turned out to be just another rotten tyrant who sold out all the key administrative positions to the wealthy. This created an alarming vacuum in the treasury as they proceeded to drain public monies for their own interests. To recover capital the emperor turned out to be hardly any less cruel than his predecessor. Oppressive taxation, extortion, arbitrary confiscations of property and so on would be his tools of choice to remedy the situation. The consequent loss of popularity bred the discontent which, finally, resulted in the expected conspiracy against him. This time it was another family member, his brother Alexius, who pulled off the coup and had him blinded (that quintessentially Byzantine form of punishment).

AU Hyperpyron


SB 2001, DOC IV 1 AU Hyperpyron Obv: The Virgin enthroned; MHPQV to left and right.
Rev: ICAAKIOCDE - Isaac and Archangel Michael standing, Isaac holding cruciform scepter and being crowned by hand of God, both holding sheathed sword between them; O between their heads, X M by Michael. $395 8/29/03.


AU Aspron Trachy


SB 2002, DOC IV 2 AU (Electrum) Aspron Trachy Obv: MHP QV, Mary enthroned facing, holding the nimbate head of the infant Christ .
Rev: ICAAKIOΔEC - Isaac standing facing, holding cruciform scepter and akakia, being crowned by Archangel Michael; X/M by Michael. (Constantine).


AE Trachy


SB 2003 AE Trachy Obv: MHP QV, Mary enthroned facing, holding the nimbate head of the infant Christ .
Rev: ICAAKIOΔEC - Isaac standing facing, holding cruciform scepter and akakia, being crowned by Archangel Michael; X/M by Michael. (Constantine).