LEVON (LEO) I of CILICIA, 1198-1218, SILVER TRAM | Coin Talk


Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Joseph Sarkissian, May 6, 2016.

  1. Joseph Sarkissian

    Joseph Sarkissian Active Member

    My latest acquisition, I just love these.
    King Leo seated on a throne of two lions, holding the round sceptre of Christendom and a lily, reverse two lions back to back facing each other, between them Armenian cross Pattee on spear.
    LEVON I was the first king of Armenian Cilicia, of the Rubenid dynasty.
    As the third Crusader army led by Frederick Barbarossa arrived in Anatolia, the Seljuks offered to let him pass in return for 300 pounds of gold and "the land of the Armenians". (apparently it had been tough to conquer that mountainous region ruled by the Armenian princes). Frederick declined and fought his way through Anatolia, settling his score at the battle of Iconium, where he routed the Seljuks armies. In 1190 he arrived quite depleted in Cilicia, (the "land of the Armenians" which he did not betray), where his armies were re-supplied and aided by the then Prince Levon. (He died on June 10, 1190, in the river Saleph in Cilicia).
    For his deeds, Leo won the favor of Pope Celestine III, who approved of his coronation. He was crowned in 1198 in Tarsus, by the Pope's representative, the Archbishop Conrad of Mainz. Crowns were offered also by King Henry VI and Alexis III of Byzantium, all vying for influence over this new kingdom. Image-1 (3).jpg
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
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  3. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    The date is 1190 not ..
  4. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    I have a coin of Levon I and others. I'll post it when I come back from work. Have a nice day.
    Joseph Sarkissian likes this.
  5. Joseph Sarkissian

    Joseph Sarkissian Active Member

    Thanks for the correction, after the new millenium I mix up the centuries more frequently.
  6. stevex6

    stevex6 Random Mayhem

    Wow, Joseph ... congrats on your sweet new coin-addition

    => it almost looks like it's made out of gold!! (I love it!!)

    I have an example as well ... wanna see it?

    ARMENIA, Cilician Armenia. Royal. Levon I.
    AR Tram (Coronation issue)

    1198-1219 AD
    Diameter: 22 mm
    Weight: 2.75 grams
    Obverse: Levon seated facing on throne decorated with lions, holding cross and lis-tipped scepter
    Reverse: Two lions rampant back-to-back, each with head reverted; between, cross pattée set on spear
    Reference: AC 289

    Armenia Cilician.jpg

    => "4" lions on one coin => cha-ching!! (awesome coin-type) ... congrats again!!
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
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  7. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    That image looked very deceiving! At first, I thought it was a gold coin, but after doing a double and a triple take, it was indeed silver :rolleyes:. It hit me really hard as for Cilician gold coins, we don't yet know if they are authentic or modern forgeries. See the following one that was auctioned off:


    Anyway, Cilicia is one of my favorite areas of collecting. You can check out my gallery at FORVM for several coins throughout Cilicia's history here, but I need to upload several more coins from my collection that I recently added:


    Cilician Armenia: Levon II (1270-1289) AR Tram (Nercessian-376v; CCA-1429)

    Obv: King on horseback to right, holding reins with left hand, and a cross in right hand with two bars extending over his right shoulder. Clockwise legend, ԼԵՒՈՆ ԹԱԳԱՒՈՐ ԱՄԵՆԱՅՆ ՀԱՅՈՑ (Lewon Tagawor Amenayn Hayo; Levon, King of all Armenians)
    Rev: Crowned lion walking left, with left paw raised. Behind him a cross with two bars. Clockwise legend, ՇԻՆԵԱԼ Ի ՔԱՂԱՔՆ Ի ՍԻՍ ԻՍ (Shineal i kaghakn i Sis; Struck in the city of Sis)

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  8. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    Here's a bronze one of Levon I . Arm O.jpg Arm R.jpg
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  9. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    Here is one from Hetoum II...

    Cilician Armenia: Hetoum II (1289-1293,1295-1296,1301-1305) BI Denier (Nercessian-394, Bedoukian-1575aV)

    Obv: King's head facing. Clockwise legend - ՀԵԹՈՒՄ ԹԱԳԱՒՈՐ (Hetowm Tagawor; "Hetoum the King") legend continued on reverse
    Rev: Potent cross without field marks. Clockwise legend - ԱՄԵՆԱՅՆ ՀԱՅՈՑ (Amenayn Hayots; "of all Armenians")

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  10. Mikey Zee

    Mikey Zee Delenda Est Carthago

    Lovely and interesting posts everyone!! Congrats all!!
  11. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Don't know about gold but if its real, looks nice. I just have silver too.

    LEVON I (1198-1219 A.D.)
    O: +ԼԵՒՈՆ ԹԱԳԱԵՈՐ ՀԱՅՈ: King enthroned, right foot turned sideways, holding globus cruciger in right hand and lys in left.
    R: +ԿԱՐՈՂՈՒԹՆ ԱՍՏՈՒԾՈՅ: 0L long cross, dot in an angle at centre, three dots at base, rampant lions either side, head reverted.
    Mint: uncertain, 1198-1219 AD
    21 mm
    2.9 gm
    Bedoukian 498
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  12. Joseph Sarkissian

    Joseph Sarkissian Active Member

    This is a beautiful one. Interesting how the lower letters are worn down but details such as the reign are still vivid. The cross with two bars is described as the "Nahabedagan" or "Patriarchal" characteristic Armenian cross, and is seen depicted in images of St Gregory the Illuminator. I will have to find more references to that.
  13. Joseph Sarkissian

    Joseph Sarkissian Active Member

    Wonderful. I wish mine were gold, but alas it was the lighting. I believe the coronation issue has a dove and another type of figure on the obverse, I will have to look it up in my references.
  14. Joseph Sarkissian

    Joseph Sarkissian Active Member

    Hi all, this is apparently an image of the coronation issue of Levon I, I found online, and its value is up in the thousands apparently. The regular silver trams on the other hand range between $20-500. Obverse is virgin Mary with Levon kneeling. (Dove above?)
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  15. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    I don't know whom this medal could represent. I wish I could read Armenian.

    Attached Files:

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  16. Joseph Sarkissian

    Joseph Sarkissian Active Member

    It is a medal commemorating the Battle of Avarayr in 451 AD of the Armenians. This is the most important battle in Armenian history, and is a national Holiday. Armenia then was split between Byzantium and Sassanid Persian influences, and was run by Barons. King Yazdegerd (Hazgerd) of Persia decided to forcibly convert Armenia into Zoroastrianism, but Vartan Mamikonian, the commander of the army, summoned an army and battled a Persian army four times its size. The Armenians were defeated and Vartan was killed in battle. However, the battle is considered a moral victory to Armenians, as the insurgency continued, and resulted in 481, at the Treaty of Nvarsak, Persia revising its policy, and allowing Armenia to retain its statehood and religion. (very brief).
    If I have a better focus of the medal, I can read the rest. Do you know when and where this medal was originated?
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  17. stevex6

    stevex6 Random Mayhem

    Joseph => thanks for the coin correction (I merely went with the CNG seller's notes) ... I guess he must have made a mistake


    Hmmm, apparently I only paid a $70 hammer for my baby (it's always nice to score coins under their initial estimate, eh?)

    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  18. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure about the origin of this historical medal. I think it might have been struck earlier last century in Lebanon. There's an important Armenian community in Beirut, Meten and Majdal AAnjar.
  19. Joseph Sarkissian

    Joseph Sarkissian Active Member

    Nice pricing you got. Anything under $100 for this quality is a good deal.
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  20. arnoldoe

    arnoldoe Well-Known Member


    Nice, I have one of those too, very shinyo_O
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  21. mata94

    mata94 New Member

    Hello everone, I have the coronation issue and I am fairly certain it is gold. Might any one have some idea of how rare it is and its potential value and how I can go about selling it? I am a complete newbie. I'll post pictures if any one in this thread is still active. Thanks
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