Artavasdus, 742-743. Miliaresion (Silver, 23 mm, 2.00 g, 6 h), with Nicephorus I, Constantinopolis. IҺSЧS XRISTЧS nICA Cross potent on three steps. Rev. ART/AЧASDO/S S ҺICҺF/OROS ЄC / ΘЄЧ baS/ILIS in six lines. DOC 6. SB 1545. Very rare. A few marks and somewhat rough, otherwise, very fine.
Artavasdus was an Armenian general who supported Leo III in his bid for power in 717. The new emperor rewarded Artavasdus with his daughter's hand after his accession to the throne, but this attempt to secure the loyalty of the powerful general backfired when Leo died and was succeeded by his son Constantine V in 742. Artavasdus rebelled and captured Constantinople, where he appointed his son Nicephorus to co-regent. However, Constantine V, who had fled to Amorium, returned in 743 with the Asian units of the Byzantine army and successfully claimed back his throne. Artavasdus and his sons Nicephorus and Nicetas were captured and publicly blinded in the Hippodrom before being cloistered for the rest of their lives.