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Home>Catalog>ByzantineCoins>HeracleanDynasty>ConstantineIVPAGE 1/2«««12
Constantine IV Pogonatus, 15 July 668 - 10 July 685 A.D.

Joint rule with Constans II (his father), 13 April 654 - 15 July 668 A.D., and Heraclius and Tiberius (his brothers), 2 June 659 - autumn 681 A.D.
Constantine IV Pogonatus should be credited with saving Europe from Muslim conquest. Beginning in 674, the great siege of Constantinople, by the caliph Muawiyah I, lasted four years. The newly invented famous "Greek Fire" made the city impregnable and the Arabs were forced to retreat. In 681 he deposed his two brothers. He was succeeded by his 16 year old son Justinian II.


Byzantine Empire, Constans II and Constantine IV, 13 April 654 - 15 July 668 A.D.

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In 654, Arab invaders crossed the Oxus River into what later will be Uzbekistan. Nomadic Turkic tribes controlled Central Asia.
SH69987. Gold solidus, DOC II part 2, 25c; Wroth BMC 42; Tolstoi 239; Morrisson BnF 47; Hahn MIB 26; Sommer 12.18; SBCV 959, Ratto -, aEF, graffiti in exergue, weight 4.391 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 654 - 659 A.D.; obverse d N CONSTANTINyS C CONSTANT, facing busts of Constans & Constantine IV (beardless) each wearing crown and chlamys, cross between their heads; reverse VICTORIA AVGU Γ, cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $500.00 (€435.00)


Byzantine Empire, Constans II and Constantine IV, 13 April 654 - 15 July 668 A.D.

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Constans II, was baptized Herakleios and reigned officially as Constantine. He was only 10 years old when he was made emperor. Constans was his diminutive nickname, which has become standard in modern historiography. Later in life he was also called Constantine the Bearded (Konstantinos Pogonatos).
SH70002. Gold solidus, DOC II part 2, 25c; Wroth BMC 42; Tolstoi 239; Morrisson BnF 47; Hahn MIB 26; Sommer 12.18; SBCV 959, Ratto -, aEF, graffiti, weight 4.431 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 654 - 659 A.D.; obverse d N CONSTANTINyS C CONSTA, facing busts of Constans & Constantine IV (beardless) each wearing crown and chlamys, cross between their heads; reverse VICTORIA AVGU Γ, cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $500.00 (€435.00)


Byzantine Empire, Constans II and Constantine IV, 13 April 654 - 15 July 668 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
During Constans' reign the Islamic State expanded very quickly, in no small part because Christians and Jews often aided the Islamic take over of their lands. The Byzantine and Persian Empires both had imposed heavy taxes to finance the Byzantine-Sassanid Wars. In new territories, the Islamic State maintained the existing Byzantine or Persian tax collection systems, but the taxes were lowered and free trade encouraged commerce. Jews and the Christians were also allowed to use their own laws and have their own judges.
SH70015. Gold solidus, Wroth BMC 47 - 48, DOC II part 2, 25g (not in the collection, refs BMC); Tolstoi 248; Ratto 1588; Hahn MIB 26; Sommer 12.18; SBCV 959; Morrisson BnF -, EF, graffiti on reverse, weight 4.332 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 225o, 7th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 654 - 659 A.D.; obverse d N CONSTANTINuS C CONSTANTI, facing busts of Constans & Constantine IV (beardless) each wearing crown and chlamys, cross between their heads; reverse VICTORIA AVGy Z (Z reversed), cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $500.00 (€435.00)


Byzantine Empire, Constans II and Constantine IV, 13 April 654 - 15 July 668 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Constans II, was baptized Herakleios and reigned officially as Constantine. He was only 10 years old when he was made emperor. Constans was his diminutive nickname, which has become standard in modern historiography. Later in life he was also called Constantine the Bearded (Konstantinos Pogonatos).
SH70019. Gold solidus, Wroth BMC 46; DOC II part 2, 25f (not in the collection, refs BMC); Tolstoi 246; Sommer 12.18; Hahn MIB 26; SBCV 959; Ratto -; Morrisson BnF -, gVF, graffiti on reverse, weight 4.407 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, 6th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 654 - 659 A.D.; obverse d N CONSTANTINVS C CONSTAI, facing busts of Constans & Constantine IV (beardless) each wearing crown and chlamys, cross between their heads; reverse VICTORIA AVGy S, cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $500.00 (€435.00)


Byzantine Empire, Constans II and Constantine IV, 13 April 654 - 15 July 668 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
In 655, Arab armies conquered Khurasan (Iran) and the Silk Road along Transoxiana (Central Asia).
SH70020. Gold solidus, Wroth BMC 51 - 52, DOC II part 2, 25j (not in the collection, refs BMC); Tolstoi 253; Hahn MIB 26; Sommer 12.18; SBCV 959, EF, attractive portraits, graffiti: ΠZ reverse left, y reverse right, weight 4.358 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, 10th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 654 - 659 A.D.; obverse d N CONSTANTINuS C CONSTANT, facing busts of Constans & Constantine IV (beardless) each wearing crown and chlamys, cross between their heads; reverse VICTORIA AVGy I, cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $500.00 (€435.00)


Byzantine Empire, Constans II and Constantine IV, 13 April 654 - 15 July 668 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Grierson notes, in the Dumbarton Oaks catalog, "the inscriptions [on this type] are very variable, since it was difficult to get so much on the coin."
SH70048. Gold solidus, DOC II part 2, 25i; Wroth BMC 50; Tolstoi 251; Morrisson BnF 50; Sommer 12.18; Hahn MIB 26; SBCV 959; Ratto -, aEF, light graffiti (Π?)on reverse, weight 4.402 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, 9th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 654 - 659 A.D.; obverse d N CONSTANTINVS C CONSTAN, facing busts of Constans & Constantine IV (beardless) each wearing crown and chlamys, cross between their heads; reverse VICTORIA AVGy Θ, cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $500.00 (€435.00)


Byzantine Empire, Constans II and Constantine IV, 13 April 654 - 15 July 668 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Grierson notes, in the Dumbarton Oaks catalog, "the inscriptions [on this type] are very variable, since it was difficult to get so much on the coin."
SH70059. Gold solidus, Wroth BMC 40 - 41, DOC II part 2, 25b (not in the collection, refs BMC); Hahn MIB 26; Tolstoi 236; SBCV 959, EF, weight 4.293 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 654 - 659 A.D.; obverse d N CONSTANTINuS C CONSTANT, facing busts of Constans & Constantine IV (beardless) each wearing crown and chlamys, cross between their heads; reverse VICTORIA AVGy B, cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $500.00 (€435.00)


Byzantine Empire, Constans II and Constantine IV, 13 April 654 - 15 July 668 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
During Constans' reign the Islamic State expanded very quickly, in no small part because Christians and Jews often aided the Islamic take over of their lands. The Byzantine and Persian Empires both had imposed heavy taxes to finance the Byzantine-Sassanid Wars. In new territories, the Islamic State maintained the existing Byzantine or Persian tax collection systems, but the taxes were lowered and free trade encouraged commerce. Jews and the Christians were also allowed to use their own laws and have their own judges.
SH70076. Gold solidus, Wroth BMC 47 - 48, DOC II part 2, 25g (not in the collection, refs BMC); Tolstoi 248; Ratto 1588; Hahn MIB 26; Sommer 12.18; SBCV 959; Morrisson BnF -, aEF, some legend weak, graffiti on reverse, weight 4.287 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 180o, 7th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 654 - 659 A.D.; obverse d N CONSTANTINVS C CONSTAI, facing busts of Constans & Constantine IV (beardless) each wearing crown and chlamys, cross between their heads; reverse VICTORIA AVGy Z (Z reversed), cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $500.00 (€435.00)


Byzantine Empire, Constantine IV Pogonatus, 15 July 668 - 10 July 685 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
The first Arab siege of Constantinople began in 674. In 678, the Byzantines finally broke the Siege when they destroyed the Arab fleet using a new incendiary liquid known as Greek fire, and then defeated the Arab army on land. Constantinople would not fall to the Muslims until 29 May 1453.
BZ71697. Bronze follis, DOC II 91 (also with obscure date), Sommer 13.37 (same), SBCV 1239 (years 22 - 28), MIB III 117 (same), Wroth BMC 97 (year 27), Tolstoi 84 (same), F, pea green patina, weight 3.885 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Ravenna mint, 675 - 682 A.D.; obverse diademed, helmeted, and cuirassed bust facing, beardless, spear diagonal behind head in right hand, shield on left; reverse large M (40 nummi), between figures of Heraclius and Tiberius, each holding globus cruciger; ANNO over Roman numeral regnal year date (obscure) above, Θ below, RAV in exergue; scarce; $125.00 (€108.75)


Byzantine Empire, Constans II and Constantine IV, 13 April 654 - 15 July 668 A.D.

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In 654, Constans II appointed his two-year old son Constantine IV as co-emperor (Augustus). In 659. Constans II also elevated Constantine IV's younger brothers, Heraclius and Tiberius, as co-emperors.
SH69722. Bronze follis, Anastasi 157; DOC II, part 2, 180; Wroth BMC 358; Morrisson BnF 6; Tolstoi 278; Ratto 1604; Hahn MIB 209; Berk 696; Sommer 12.91; SBCV 1109, F+, overstruck, ragged flan, weight 5.629 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 135o, Syracuse mint, 654 - 659; obverse Constans (left) in military attire with long staff in right, and Constantine in chlamys with globus cruciger in right, both crowned and stand facing; reverse large M (40 nummi), monogram above, SCL (Sicily) in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $90.00 (€78.30)


Click for a larger photo
The first Arab siege of Constantinople began in 674. In 678, the Byzantines finally broke the Siege when they destroyed the Arab fleet using a new incendiary liquid known as Greek fire, and then defeated the Arab army on land. Constantinople would not fall to the Muslims until 29 May 1453.
BZ68156. Bronze follis, Anastasi 249; DOC II part 2, Class IV, 63; SBCV 1210, F, weight 3.647 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 225o, Syracuse mint, 668 - 681 A.D.; obverse diademed, helmeted, and cuirassed bust facing, beardless, spear in right, shield on left ornamented with horseman; reverse large M (40 nummi), monogram above, SCL in exergue; scarce; $80.00 (€69.60)


Byzantine Empire, Constans II and Constantine IV, 13 April 654 - 15 July 668 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
In 665 the Arabs began a new invasion of North Africa. Resupplied by sea, the Byzantine were able to hold the coast and well-fortified Carthage for decades. In the spring of 698, however, the Arabs launched an assault by sea and land, forcing the Byzantines and their allies to evacuate Carthage. The Arabs burned the city to the ground, leaving the area desolate for the next two centuries. The Arab conquest of North Africa was then nearly complete.
BZ58714. Bronze follis, DOC II part 2, 147; Sommer 12.74; Wroth BMC 302; Tolstoi 372; Ratto 1632; Morrisson BnF 53; SBCV 1055, VF, overstruck, weight 4.025 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 0o, Carthage mint, 662 - 667 A.D.; obverse Constans (left) with long cross in right, and Constantine (right), both crowned and stand facing, cross between; reverse large M flanked by Heraclius (left) and Tiberius, both stand facing in crown and chlamys, monogram above, KTG below; scarce; $45.00 (€39.15)


Click for a larger photo
In 680, the Bulgars under Asparukh subjugated the area of current-day Bulgaria. In 681, after the Bulgars defeated the Byzantine Empire, a peace treaty with Constantinople and the establishment of a permanent capital at Pliska south of the Danube marked the beginning of the First Bulgarian Empire. The Bulgars gradually mixed up with the local population, adopting a common Slavonic based language.
BZ65926. Bronze follis, Anastasi 244, DOC II 61, Berk 741, Hahn 106, SBCV 1208, F, weight 5.346 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 90o, Syracuse mint, 679 - 681 A.D.; obverse diademed, helmeted, and cuirassed bust facing, beardless, spear in right, shield on left ornamented with horseman; reverse M between Heraclius (on left) and Tiberius, each stands wearing a crown with cross and chlamys, each holds globus cruciger, monogram above, SCL in exergue; scarce; $32.00 (€27.84)




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REFERENCES

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Morrisson, C. Catalogue des Monnaies Byzantines de la Bibliothèque Nationale. (Paris, 1970).
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Sear, D.R. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
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Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, May 27, 2015.
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Byzantine Coins of Constantine IV Pogonatus