Seller: highrating_lowprice (20,159) 100%, Location: Rego Park, New York, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 351003575754 Item: i38035 Authentic Ancient Roman Coin of: BYZANTINE - Andronicus I , Comnenus - Emperor: 1183-1185 A.D. Bronze tetarteron 17mm (3.48 grams) Thessalonica mint September 1183- September 12, 1185 A.D. Reference: Sear 1987, B.M.C. 13-16. Facing bust of the Virgin orans, nimbate and wearing pallium and maphorium; on Her breast nimbate head of the infant Christ facing; to left MP; to right, ΘV. ANΔPONIKOC, Half-length figure of Andronicus facing, with forked beard, wearing crown, scaramangion and sagion, and holding labarum and globe cross. You are bidding on the exact item pictured, provided with a Certificate of Authenticity and Lifetime Guarantee of Authenticity. The Icon of Our Lady of the Sign (Greek: Panagia or Παναγία; Old Church Slavonic : Ikona Bozhey Materi "Znamenie"; Polish : Ikona Bogurodzicy "Znak" ') is the term for a particular type of icon of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary), facing the viewer directly, depicted either full length or half, with her hands raised in the orans position, and with the image of the Child Jesus depicted within a round aureole upon her breast. Our Lady of the Sign (18th century, iconostasis of the Transfiguration church, Kizhi monastery, Karelia, Russia). The icon depicts the Theotokos during the Annunciation at the moment of saying, "May it be done to me according to your word."(Luke 1:38). The image of the Christ child represents him at the moment of his conception in the womb of the Virgin. He is depicted not as a fetus, but rather vested in divine robes, and often holding a scroll, symbolic of his role as teacher. Sometimes his robes are gold or white, symbolizing divine glory; sometimes they are blue and red, symbolizing the two natures of Christ (see Christology ). His face is depicted as that of an old man, indicating the Christian teaching that he was at one and the same time both a fully human infant and fully the eternal God, one of the Trinity. His right hand is raised in blessing. The term Virgin of the Sign or Our Lady of the Sign is a reference to the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 : "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel ". Such an image is often placed in the apse of the sanctuary of an Orthodox church above the Holy Table (altar). As with most Orthodox icons of Mary, the letters ΜΡ ΘΥ (short for ΜΗΤΗΡ ΘΕΟΥ, "Mother of God") are usually placed on the upper left and right of the head of the Virgin Mary. This type of icon is also sometimes called the Platytéra (Greek: Πλατυτέρα, literally wider or more spacious); poetically, by containing the Creator of the Universe in her womb , Mary has become Platytera ton ouranon (Πλατυτέρα των Ουρανών): "More spacious than the heavens". The Platytéra is traditionally depicted on the half-dome that stands above the altar . It is visible high above the iconostasis , and facing down the length of the nave of the church. This particular depiction is usually on a dark blue background, often adorned by golden stars. History The depiction of the Virgin Mary with her hands upraised in prayer ("orans") is of very ancient origin in Christian art . In the mausoleum of St Agnes in Rome is a depiction dating to the 4th century which depicts the Theotokos with hands raised in prayer and the infant Jesus sitting upon her knees. There is also an ancient Byzantine icon of the Mother of God "Nikopea" from the 6th century, where the Virgin Mary is depicted seated upon a throne and holding in her hands an oval shield with the image of "Emmanuel". Icons of the Virgin, known as "The Sign", appeared in Russia during the 11th to 12th centuries. The icon became highly venerated in Russia because of what Orthodox Christians believe to be the miraculous deliverance of Novgorod from invasion in the year 1170. Among the more famous variants of this genre are the Icons of the Mother of God of Abalatsk , Kursk-Root , Mirozh , Novgorod , Sankt Petersburg , Tsarskoye Selo and Vologda . The Church of St. Stanislaus Kostka , one of Chicago 's famed Polish Cathedrals , is home to a 9-foot-wide (2.7 m) Iconic Monstrance of Our Lady of the Sign as part of the planned Sanctuary of The Divine Mercy that is being constructed adjacent to the church. The Monstrance will be found within the sanctuary's adoration chapel which will be the focus of 24-hour Eucharistic Adoration and where there will be no liturgies or vocal prayers, either by individuals or groups as the space will be strictly meant for private meditation and contemplation. Andronikos I Komnenos (or Andronicus I Comnenus) (Greek: Ανδρόνικος Α’ Κομνηνός, Andronikos I Komninos) (c. 1118 – September 12, 1185) was a Byzantine emperor (r. 1183–1185), son of prince Isaac Komnenos . His paternal grandparents were Emperor Alexios I Komnenos and Eirene Doukaina . Biography Early years Andronikos Komnenos was born early in the twelfth century, around 1118. He was endowed by nature with the most remarkable gifts both of mind and body: he was handsome and eloquent, but licentious; and, at the same time, active, hardy, courageous, a great general and an able politician. Andronikos' early years were spent in alternate pleasure and military service. In 1141 he was taken captive by the Seljuk Turks and remained in their hands for a year. On being ransomed he went to Constantinople, where was held the court of his cousin, the Emperor Manuel I Komnenos , with whom he was a great favourite. Here the charms of his niece, the princess Eudoxia, attracted him and she became his mistress. In 1152, accompanied by Eudoxia, he set out for an important command in Cilicia. Failing in his principal enterprise, an attack upon Mopsuestia, he returned, but was again appointed to the command of a province. This second post he seems also to have left after a short interval, for he appeared again in Constantinople , and narrowly escaped death at the hands of the brothers of Eudoxia. About this time (1153) a conspiracy against the emperor, in which Andronikos participated, was discovered and he was thrown into prison. There he remained for about twelve years, during which time he made repeated but unsuccessful attempts to escape. Exile At last, in 1165, he was successful in escaping. After passing through many dangers, he reached the court of Prince Yaroslav of Galicia (Ruthenia). While under the protection of the prince, Andronikos brought about an alliance between him and the emperor Manuel I, and so restored himself to the emperor's favour. With a Russian army he joined Manuel in the invasion of Hungary and assisted at the siege of Semlin . After a successful campaign Manuel I and Andronikos returned together to Constantinople (1168); but a year later, Andronikos refused to take the oath of allegiance to the future king Béla III of Hungary , whom Manuel desired to become his successor. He was removed from court, but received the province of Cilicia. Being still under the displeasure of the emperor, Andronikos fled to the court of Raymond , prince of Antioch . While residing here he captivated and seduced the beautiful daughter of the prince, Philippa, sister of the empress Maria . The anger of the emperor was again roused by this dishonour, and Andronikos was compelled to flee. He took refuge with King Amalric I of Jerusalem , whose favour he gained, and who invested him with the Lordship of Beirut . In Jerusalem he saw Theodora Komnene , the beautiful widow of the late King Baldwin III and niece of the emperor Manuel. Although Andronikos was at that time fifty-six years old, age had not diminished his charms, and Theodora became the next victim of his artful seduction. To avoid the vengeance of the Emperor, she fled with Andronikos to the court of Nur ad-Din , the Sultan of Damascus ; but not deeming themselves safe there, they continued their perilous journey through the Caucasus and Anatolia. They were well received by the king George III of Georgia , whose anonymous sister had probably been Andronikos’ first wife. Andronikos was granted estates in Kakhetia , in the east of Georgia. In 1073 or 1074, he accompanied the Georgian army on an expedition to Shirvan up to the Caspian shores, where George recaptured the fortress of Sharaban from the invaders from Derbent for his cousin, the shirvanshah Ahsitan I . Finally, Andronikos and Theodora settled in the ancestral lands of the Komnenoi at Oinaion , on the shores of the Black Sea, between Trebizond and Sinope. While Andronikos was on one of his incursions, his castle was surprised by the governor of Trebizond, and Theodora and her two children were captured and sent to Constantinople. To obtain their release Andronikos in early 1180 made abject submission to the Emperor and, appearing in chains before him, besought pardon. This he obtained, and was allowed to retire with Theodora into banishment at Oinaion. Emperor In 1180 the Emperor Manuel died and was succeeded by his 10 year old son Alexios II , who was under the guardianship of his mother, Empress Maria. Her Latin origins and culture however led to creeping resentment from her Greek subjects (who felt insulted enough by the late Manuel's Western tastes, let alone being ruled by his Western wife), building up to an explosion of rioting that almost became a full civil war. This gave Andronikos the opportunity to seize the crown for himself, leaving his retirement in 1182 and marching to Constantinople with an army that (according to non-Byzantine sources) included Muslim contingents. The defection of the commander of the Byzantine navy, megas doux Andronikos Kontostephanos , and the general Andronikos Angelos, played a key role in allowing the rebellious forces to enter Constantinople. Andronikos Komnenos' arrival was soon followed by a massacre of the Latin inhabitants of the city, who virtually controlled the economy of the city. The massacre resulted in the deaths of 80,000 "Latins". He was believed to have arranged the poisoning of Alexios II's elder sister Maria the Porphyrogenita and her husband Renier of Montferrat , although Maria herself had encouraged him to intervene. The poisoner was said to be the eunuch Pterygeonites. Soon afterwards he had the empress Maria imprisoned and then killed (forcing a signature from the child Emperor Alexius to put his mother to death), by Pterygeonites and the hetaireiarches Constantine Tripsychos. Alexios II was compelled to acknowledge Andronikos as colleague in the empire and was then quickly put to death in turn; the killing was carried out by Tripsychos, Theodore Dadibrenos and Stephen Hagiochristophorites . Andronikos, now (1183) sole emperor, married Agnes of France , a child twelve years of age, formerly betrothed to Alexios II. Agnes was a daughter of King Louis VII of France and his third wife Adèle of Champagne. By November 1183, Andronikos associated his younger legitimate son John Komnenos on the throne. A Venetian embassy visited Constantinople in 1184 and an agreement was reached that compensation of 1,500 gold pieces would be paid for the losses incurred in 1171. His short reign was characterized by strong and harsh measures. He resolved to suppress many abuses, but above all things, to check feudalism and limit the power of the nobles, who were rivals for his throne. The people, who felt the severity of his laws, at the same time acknowledged their justice and found themselves protected from the rapacity of their superiors who had grown corrupt under the safety and opulence of Manuel I rule. However, as Andronikos' rule went on, the Emperor became increasingly paranoid and violent – in September 1185, Andronikos ordered the execution of all prisoners, exiles and their families for collusion with the invaders – and the Byzantine Empire descended into a terror state. The aristocrats in turn were infuriated against him. There were several revolts, the stories of chaos leading to an invasion by King William of the Norman Sicilians. William (with a fleet of 200 ships) landed in Epirus with a strong force (80,000 men including 5,000 knights), and marched as far as Thessalonica , which he took and pillaged ruthlessly (7,000 Greeks died). Andronikos hastily assembled five different armies to stop the Sicilian army from reaching Constantinople, but none of these five smaller armies would stand against the Sicilian forces and retreated to the outlying hills. Andronikos also assembled a fleet of 100 ships to stop the Norman fleet from entering the Sea of Marmara. The invaders were finally driven out in 1186 by his successor, Isaac Angelos . Death Andronikos seems then to have resolved to exterminate the aristocracy, and his plans were nearly successful. But on September 11, 1185, during his absence from the capital, Stephen Hagiochristophorites moved to arrest Isaac Angelos , whose loyalty was suspect. Isaac killed Hagiochristophorites and took refuge in the church of Hagia Sophia. He appealed to the populace, and a tumult arose which spread rapidly over the whole city. When Andronikos arrived he found that his authority was overthrown: Isaac had been proclaimed Emperor. The deposed Emperor attempted to escape in a boat with his wife Agnes and his mistress, but was captured (note that by some, Andronikos not only survived, but also managed to escape to the then self-proclaimed Kingdom of Cyprus). Isaac handed him over to the city mob and for three days he was exposed to their fury and resentment, remaining for that period tied to a post and beaten. His right hand was cut off, his teeth and hair were pulled out, one of his eyes was gouged out, and, among many other sufferings, boiling water was thrown in his face, punishment probably associated with his handsomeness and life of licentiousness. At last, led to the Hippodrome of Constantinople , he was hung up by the feet between two pillars, and two Latin soldiers competed as to whose sword would penetrate his body more deeply, and finally his body, according to the representation of his death, was torn apart. He died on September 12, 1185. At the news of the emperor's death, his son and co-emperor John was murdered by his own troops in Thrace . Andronikos I was the last of the Komnenoi to rule Constantinople, although his grandsons Alexios and David founded the Empire of Trebizond in 1204. Their branch of the dynasty was known as the "Great Komnenoi" (Megaskomnenoi). Family Andronikos I Komnenos was married twice and had numerous mistresses. By his first wife, whose name is not known, he had three children: Manuel Komnenos (born 1145) , who married Rusudan of Georgia and was the father of Emperor Alexios I and David Komnenos, the founders of the Empire of Trebizond John Komnenos (apparently born 1159 or 1160), who was co-emperor with his father from 1183 to 1185 and was killed in that year Maria Komnene By his mistress Theodora Komnene , Andronikos I had the following issue: Alexios Komnenos (c. 1170–1199), an alleged forefather of the Georgian noble family of Andronikashvili . Eirene Komnene (born c. 1169), who was briefly married to Alexios Komnenos, a son of Emperor Manuel I Komnenos by Theodora Batatzina. Labarum of Constantine I, displaying the "Chi-Rho" symbol above. The labarum was a vexillum (military standard) that displayed the "Chi-Rho" symbol ☧ , formed from the first two Greek letters of the word "Christ" — Chi and Rho . It was first used by the Roman emperor Constantine I . Since the vexillum consisted of a flag suspended from the crossbar of a cross, it was ideally suited to symbolize the crucifixion of Christ . Later usage has sometimes regarded the terms "labarum" and "Chi-Rho" as synonyms. Ancient sources, however, draw an unambiguous distinction between the two. Vision of Constantine A coin of Constantine (c.337) showing a depiction of his labarum spearing a serpent. On the evening of October 27, 312, with his army preparing for the Battle of the Milvian Bridge , the emperor Constantine I claimed to have had a vision which led him to believe he was fighting under the protection of the Christian God . Lactantius states that, in the night before the battle, Constantine was commanded in a dream to "delineate the heavenly sign on the shields of his soldiers". He obeyed and marked the shields with a sign "denoting Christ". Lactantius describes that sign as a "staurogram", or a Latin cross with its upper end rounded in a P-like fashion, rather than the better known Chi-Rho sign described by Eusebius of Caesarea . Thus, it had both the form of a cross and the monogram of Christ's name from the formed letters "X" and "P", the first letters of Christ's name in Greek. From Eusebius, two accounts of a battle survive. The first, shorter one in the Ecclesiastical History leaves no doubt that God helped Constantine but doesn't mention any vision. In his later Life of Constantine, Eusebius gives a detailed account of a vision and stresses that he had heard the story from the emperor himself. According to this version, Constantine with his army was marching somewhere (Eusebius doesn't specify the actual location of the event, but it clearly isn't in the camp at Rome) when he looked up to the sun and saw a cross of light above it, and with it the Greek words Ἐν Τούτῳ Νίκα . The traditionally employed Latin translation of the Greek is in hoc signo vinces — literally "In this sign, you will conquer." However, a direct translation from the original Greek text of Eusebius into English gives the phrase "By this, conquer!" At first he was unsure of the meaning of the apparition, but the following night he had a dream in which Christ explained to him that he should use the sign against his enemies. Eusebius then continues to describe the labarum, the military standard used by Constantine in his later wars against Licinius , showing the Chi-Rho sign. Those two accounts can hardly be reconciled with each other, though they have been merged in popular notion into Constantine seeing the Chi-Rho sign on the evening before the battle. Both authors agree that the sign was not readily understandable as denoting Christ, which corresponds with the fact that there is no certain evidence of the use of the letters chi and rho as a Christian sign before Constantine. Its first appearance is on a Constantinian silver coin from c. 317, which proves that Constantine did use the sign at that time, though not very prominently. He made extensive use of the Chi-Rho and the labarum only later in the conflict with Licinius. The vision has been interpreted in a solar context (e.g. as a solar halo phenomenon), which would have been reshaped to fit with the Christian beliefs of the later Constantine. An alternate explanation of the intersecting celestial symbol has been advanced by George Latura, which claims that Plato's visible god in Timaeus is in fact the intersection of the Milky Way and the Zodiacal Light, a rare apparition important to pagan beliefs that Christian bishops reinvented as a Christian symbol. Iconographic career under Constantine Coin of Vetranio , a soldier is holding two labara. Interestingly they differ from the labarum of Constantine in having the Chi-Rho depicted on the cloth rather than above it, and in having their staves decorated with phalerae as were earlier Roman military unit standards. The emperor Honorius holding a variant of the labarum - the Latin phrase on the cloth means "In the name of Christ [rendered by the Greek letters XPI] be ever victorious." Among a number of standards depicted on the Arch of Constantine , which was erected, largely with fragments from older monuments, just three years after the battle, the labarum does not appear. A grand opportunity for just the kind of political propaganda that the Arch otherwise was expressly built to present was missed. That is if Eusebius' oath-confirmed account of Constantine's sudden, vision-induced, conversion can be trusted. Many historians have argued that in the early years after the battle the emperor had not yet decided to give clear public support to Christianity, whether from a lack of personal faith or because of fear of religious friction. The arch's inscription does say that the Emperor had saved the res publica INSTINCTV DIVINITATIS MENTIS MAGNITVDINE ("by greatness of mind and by instinct [or impulse] of divinity"). As with his predecessors, sun symbolism – interpreted as representing Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun) or Helios , Apollo or Mithras – is inscribed on his coinage, but in 325 and thereafter the coinage ceases to be explicitly pagan, and Sol Invictus disappears. In his Historia Ecclesiae Eusebius further reports that, after his victorious entry into Rome, Constantine had a statue of himself erected, "holding the sign of the Savior [the cross] in his right hand." There are no other reports to confirm such a monument. Whether Constantine was the first Christian emperor supporting a peaceful transition to Christianity during his rule, or an undecided pagan believer until middle age, strongly influenced in his political-religious decisions by his Christian mother St. Helena , is still in dispute among historians. As for the labarum itself, there is little evidence for its use before 317.In the course of Constantine's second war against Licinius in 324, the latter developed a superstitious dread of Constantine's standard. During the attack of Constantine's troops at the Battle of Adrianople the guard of the labarum standard were directed to move it to any part of the field where his soldiers seemed to be faltering. The appearance of this talismanic object appeared to embolden Constantine's troops and dismay those of Licinius.At the final battle of the war, the Battle of Chrysopolis , Licinius, though prominently displaying the images of Rome's pagan pantheon on his own battle line, forbade his troops from actively attacking the labarum, or even looking at it directly. Constantine felt that both Licinius and Arius were agents of Satan, and associated them with the serpent described in the Book of Revelation (12:9). Constantine represented Licinius as a snake on his coins. Eusebius stated that in addition to the singular labarum of Constantine, other similar standards (labara) were issued to the Roman army. This is confirmed by the two labara depicted being held by a soldier on a coin of Vetranio (illustrated) dating from 350. 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