Theodore Mangaphas
Usurper in Philadelphia,  1189 - 1190,   & 1204 - 1205
Theodore Mangaphas, Usurper in Philadelphia
Located in Lydia in Asia Minor.
Æ trachy of Philadelphia, 1188-1189, officina , 3.52g, 30mm.
Obv.  Christ standing.
Rev.  +ΘΔO to left, (BM shaped monogram) to right;  both sides of the inscription run vertically; Emperor standing holding sceptre surmounted by patriarchal cross, wearing stemma (flat crown), divitision and loros.
DOC 2, Grierson 1127, Takov  ()
Extremely rare (Takov says only about forty so far identified with certainty, Sayles puts the number closer to a hundred), very little is known about these coins. Since virtually all the known examples have been uncovered in what was Bulgarian territory at the time, the Bulgarian Jordanov has assigned them to the Bulgarian Tzar Theodore-Peter - Theodore being his baptismal name. First Hendy, and then Bendall and Morrisson, along with Takov and others, have, however, proved fairly conclusively that these pieces are the output of the usurper Mangaphas. "The coinage of Theodore Mancaphas was first published in 1967 - although unattributed - and has been assigned to various rulers since (see DOC pp. 393-395 for alternative attributions and Philip Grierson’s sound rejection of them). Indeed, we are explicitly told by the contemporary historian Nicetas Choniates that Mancaphas struck coinage with his name and image (although he states, surely incorrectly, in silver - with only electrum and highly debased billon issues surviving today). The reverse legend, particularly clear on the current specimen, can be expanded to Θεόδωρος Βασιλευς Μαγκαφας. The use of basileus in place of despotes is remarkable for the time. Mancaphas (from the Turkish mankafa [“crazed”] was the (unflattering) family name of the usurper, one that his opponents must have found to be entirely fitting!" - CNG 275 catalogue
Last modified on 05 Jan 2017