Denomination: Anonymous Follis
Date: 1028 – 1034 AD
Reign: Romanus III
Description: Romanus III. Class B anonymous follis. Obverse: IC-XC to right and left of bust of Christ facing with nimbate cross behind head. Square in each limb of nimbus cross, holding book of gospels, a dot in center of dotted square on book. The obverse of the very first type, Class A1, depicts a facing haloed bust of Christ, who holds a book of Gospels; there are two pellets in each limb of the halo. An inscription at the top reads + ЄMMANOVH (“God with Us”), while the letters IC XC (“Jesus Christ”) are spread across the field. Reverse: consists of a four-line inscription reading + IҺSЧS XRISTЧS ЬASILЄЧ ЬASILЄ (“Jesus Christ King of Kings”).
History: This coin is part of a grouping of coins called “Anonymous Folles”. These coins are so-called because they do not bear the name or mark of any particular ruler. They were issued during the period between 969 and 1092 and include purely religious images and inscriptions. This particular coin is especially interesting because the obverse bears a portrait of Jesus Christ. The reverse side of most of these coins has the inscription in Latin “Jesus Christ, King of Kings”. According to sources from that period and numismatic data anonymous folles started to be struck during the period of John I. The copper coinage Byzantine Empire, between the accession to the throne of John I in 969 and the great monetary reform of Alexius I in 1092 is distinguished from that of earlier centuries in two respects. First, there is a portrait of Christ on copper coins, although it was an application preferred only on golden coins until that time. Second, they were not struck in the name of any emperor.