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Ruler: John I Tzimisces
Reigned: 11th Dec 969 - 10th Jan 976 A.D.
Denomination: AR Miliaresion
Mint: Constantinople
Obverse: Cross Crosslet on globus above two steps; at centre, circular medallion containing facing bust of John, with short beard, wearing crown and loros and dividing inscription Inscription around.; Triple border ornamented with eight equally spaced globules.
Reverse: in five lines, above and below. Triple border ornamented with eight equally spaced globules.
Reference: BCV 1792
Weight: 2.4 gms
Diameter: 21.3 mm


A general of even greater genius than his predecessor (Nicephorus II, Phocas), John Tzimisces achieved much in his comparatively short tenure of power. The great Russian prince Svjatoslav, who had intruded into Balkan affairs at the behest of Nicephorus II, was now threatening Constantinople itself, but John completely subdued his adversary in a brilliant campaign in 971. Turning his attention to the East he considerably extended his predecessor's conquests and reached as far as Palestine, though he did not take Jerusalem itself. The conquered cities were all garrisoned and Byzantine power in the Near East was greater than it had been at any time since the early part of the seventh century.

Unfortunately the emperor contracted typhoid and died early in 976 following his return to Constantinople. The Empress Theophano had been banished from the court at the beginning of the reign because of her implication in Nicephorus' murder, but her sons retained their imperial status and now, in 976, were old enough to assume the responsibilities of government.

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