Andronicus II, Palaeologus - Byzantine Emperor: 11 December 1282 - 24 May 1328 A.D.
Bronze Trachy 21mm (1.62 grams) Constantinople mint.
Reference: Sear 2341; DOC 573-4 RARE
Jesus Christ, standing facing; IC - XC across head; B - B across fields.
Andronicus II enthroned facing, holding large patriarchal cross and akakia.
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Jesus (7–2 BC to AD 30–33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, is the central figure of Christianity, whom the teachings of most Christian denominations hold to be the Son of God. Christians believe Jesus is the awaited Messiah (or Christ, the Anointed One) of the Old Testament.
Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed historically, and historians consider the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) to be the best sources for investigating the historical Jesus. Most scholars agree that Jesus was a Galilean, Jewish rabbi who preached his message orally, was baptized by John the Baptist, and was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate. In the current mainstream view, Jesus was an apocalyptic preacher and the founder of a renewal movement within Judaism, although some prominent scholars argue that he was not apocalyptic. After Jesus' death, his followers believed he was resurrected, and the community they formed eventually became the Christian church. The widely used calendar era, abbreviated as "AD" from the Latin "Anno Domini" ("in the year of our Lord") or sometimes as "CE", is based on the birth of Jesus.
Christians believe that Jesus has a "unique significance" in the world. Christian doctrines include the beliefs that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin named Mary, performed miracles, founded the Church, died by crucifixion as a sacrifice to achieve atonement, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven, whence he will return. Most Christians believe Jesus enables humans to be reconciled to God, and will judge the dead either before or after their bodily resurrection, an event tied to the Second Coming of Jesus in Christian eschatology; though some believe Jesus's role as savior has more existential or societal concerns than the afterlife, and a few notable theologians have suggested that Jesus will bring about a universal reconciliation. The great majority of Christians worship Jesus as the incarnation of God the Son, the second of three persons of a Divine Trinity. A few Christian groups reject Trinitarianism, wholly or partly, as non-scriptural.
In Islam, Jesus (commonly transliterated as Isa) is considered one of God's important prophets and the Messiah, second in importance only to Muhammad. To Muslims, Jesus was a bringer of scripture and was born of a virgin, but was not the Son of God. According to the Quran, Jesus was not crucified but was physically raised into Heaven by God. Judaism rejects the belief that Jesus was the awaited Messiah, arguing that he did not fulfill the Messianic prophecies in the Tanakh.
The Christian Cross, seen as a representation of the instrument of the crucifixion of Jesus, is the best-known symbol of Christianity. It is related to the crucifix (a cross that includes a usually three-dimensional representation of Jesus' body) and to the more general family of cross symbols. The basic forms of the cross are the Latin cross (✝) and the Greek cross (✚), with numerous variants used in heraldry and in various confessional contexts.
Further information: Instrument of Jesus' crucifixion, Early Christian symbols, Christogram, and Christian cross variants
The shape of the cross (crux, stauros "stake, gibbet"), as represented by the letter T, came to be used as a "seal" or symbol of Early Christianity by the 2nd century. Clement of Alexandria in the early 3rd century calls it τὸ κυριακὸν σημεῖον ("the Lord's sign") he repeats the idea, current as early as the Epistle of Barnabas, that the number 318 (in Greek numerals, ΤΙΗ) in Genesis 14:14 was a foreshadowing (a "type") of the cross (the letter Tau) and of Jesus (the letters Iota Eta). Clement's contemporary Tertullian rejects the accusation that Christians are crucis religiosi (i.e. "adorers of the gibbet"), and returns the accusation by likening the worship of pagan idols to the worship of poles or stakes. In his book De Corona, written in 204, Tertullian tells how it was already a tradition for Christians to trace repeatedly on their foreheads the sign of the cross.
While early Christians used the T-shape to represent the cross in writing and gesture, the use of the Greek cross and Latin cross, i.e. crosses with intersecting beams, appears in Christian art towards the end of Late Antiquity. An early example of the cruciform halo, used to identify Christ in paintings, is found in the Miracles of the Loaves and Fishes mosaic of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna (6th century). The Patriarchal cross, a Latin cross with an additional horizontal bar, first appears in the 10th century. A wide variation of cross symbols is introduced for the purposes of heraldry beginning in the age of the Crusades.
Andronikos II Palaiologos (25 March 1259, Nicaea – February 13, 1332, Constantinople) — also Andronicus II Palaeologus — reigned as Byzantine emperor from 1282 to 1328. He was the eldest surviving son of Michael VIII Palaiologos and Theodora Doukaina Vatatzina, grandniece of John III Doukas Vatatzes.
Andronikos II Palaiologos was acclaimed co-emperor in 1261, after his father Michael VIII recovered Constantinople from the Latin Empire, but he was crowned only in 1272. Sole emperor from 1282, Andronikos II immediately repudiated his father's unpopular Church union with the Papacy (which he had been forced to support while his father was still alive), but was unable to resolve the related schism within the Orthodox clergy until 1310. Andronikos II was also plagued by economic difficulties and during his reign the value of the Byzantine hyperpyron depreciated precipitously while the state treasury accumulated less than one seventh the revenue (in nominal coins) that it had done previously. Seeking to increase revenue and reduce expenses, Andronikos II raised taxes and reduced tax exemptions, and dismantled the Byzantine fleet (80 ships) in 1285, thereby making the Empire increasingly dependent on the rival republics of Venice and Genoa. In 1291, he hired 50-60 Genoese ships. Later, in 1320, he tried to resurrect the navy by constructing 20 galleys, but unfortunately he failed.
Andronikos II Palaiologos sought to resolve some of the problems facing the Byzantine Empire through diplomacy. After the death of his first wife, he married Yolanda (renamed Eirene) of Montferrat, putting an end to the Montferrat claim to the Kingdom of Thessalonica. Andronikos II also attempted to marry off his son and co-emperor Michael IX Palaiologos to the Latin Empress Catherine I of Courtenay, thus seeking to eliminate Western agitation for a restoration of the Latin Empire. Another marriage alliance attempted to resolve the potential conflict with Serbia in Macedonia, as Andronikos II married off his five-year old daughter Simonis to King Stefan Milutin in 1298.
In spite of the resolution of problems in Europe, Andronikos II was faced with the collapse of the Byzantine frontier in Asia Minor. After the failure of the co-emperor Michael IX to stem the Turkish advance in Asia Minor in 1300, the Byzantine government hired the Catalan Company of Almogavars (adventurers from Aragon and Catalonia) led by Roger de Flor to clear Byzantine Asia Minor of the enemy. In spite of some successes, the Catalans were unable to secure lasting gains. They quarreled with Michael IX, and eventually turned on their Byzantine employers after the murder of Roger de Flor in 1305, devastating Thrace, Macedonia, and Thessaly on their road to Latin Greece. There they conquered the Duchy of Athens and Thebes. The Turks continued to penetrate the Byzantine possessions, and Prusa fell in 1326. By the end of Andronikos II's reign, much of Bithynia was in the hands of the Ottoman Turks of Osman I and his son and heir Orhan. Also, Karesi conquered Mysia region with Paleokastron after 1296, Germiyan conquered Simav in 1328, Saruhan captured Magnesia in 1313 and Aydınoğlu captured Symirna in 1310.
The Empire's problems were exploited by Theodore Svetoslav of Bulgaria, who defeated Michael IX and conquered much of northeastern Thrace in c. 1305-1307. The conflict ended with yet another dynastic marriage, between Michael IX's daughter Theodora and the Bulgarian emperor. The dissolute behavior of Michael IX's son Andronikos III Palaiologos led to a rift in the family, and after Michael IX's death in 1320, Andronikos II disowned his grandson, prompting a civil war that raged, with interruptions, until 1328. The conflict precipitated Bulgarian involvement, and Michael Asen III of Bulgaria attempted to capture Andronikos II under the guise of sending him military support. In 1328 Andronikos III entered Constantinople in triumph and Andronikos II was forced to abdicate. He died as a monk in 1332.