Grasping history Mar / Apr 2015

Silver-drachma of Bagrat IV. (1027 – 1072)

Without year (ca. 1060 – 1072)
Bust of Virgin Mother praying
Georgian inscription with title

Bagrat IV. (1027 – 1072), a Georgian King from the Dynasty of the Bagratids, had coins struck after a Byzantine pattern, which contrasted with the coins of Arabian type having been produced in this region since centuries.


Already in classical antiquity the kingdoms of Caucasia struggled hard to maintain their sovereignty in an area of conflict between the interests of the great powers of West and East. This was also the case with the Georgian kingdom Kartli, which was in the focus of the interests of the Roman as well as the Parthian or later Sasanian Empire and obtained important cultural influences from both sides. After the Arabian Conquest of Tiflis in the year 655 the coinage of the region remained Islamic for a long time.

During his long-lasting reign Bagrat IV. attempted to strengthen the central power against local princes and to protect the sovereignty of Georgia against the Eastern Roman Empire and the ambitious turkish Seljuks. Finally he searched again the collaboration with Byzantium, in order to be able to cope with the massive policy of expansion by the Seljuk ruler Alp Arslan. The alliance of monarchs representing Eastern Christianity is documented by this coin with the Byzantine title “Sebastos”.

Lot 382 from Solidus online auction 5.

1,95 g / diameter 26,5 mm