Obverse description : La Vierge Marie agenouillée à droite vers la main de Dieu tendue, nimbée, vêtu du pallium et du maphorium.
Obverse legend : MR - QU.
Obverse translation : (Mère de Dieu).
Reverse description : Buste couronné de Manuel Ier à mi-corps debout de face, vêtu du loros, tenant une longue croix chrismée de la main droite et l’akakia de la main gauche.
Reverse legend : MAnuHA - DESPOTHS.
Reverse translation : (Manuel despote).
MANUAL I COMNÈNE
The long reign of Manuel I mark the last Byzantine start before the fall of 1204. Steeped in Latin culture, he faced the Second Crusade (1147-1149), led by Louis VII of France who, with the help of the Norman Roger II, attacked Byzantium. The Normans took possession of part of Greece (Corinth and Thebes). Louis VII had to return to France just before divorcing Eleanor of Aquitaine. Manuel was the son of Conrad III and Frederick Barbarossa was his nemesis. The Emperor of Germany gave the Sultan of Iconium to revolt against the Byzantines who were crushed at the Battle of Myrioscéphalon in 1176. After a reign of 37 years, Manuel died in 1180, leaving weakened Byzantium, easy prey for Christians and Muslims.