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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Byzantine Coins ▸ Heraclean Dynasty ▸ HeracliusView Options:  |  |  |     

Heraclius, 5 October 610 - 11 January 641 A.D.

Joint rule with Heraclius Constantine (his son), 23 January 613 - 3 July 638 A.D.
Joint rule with Heraclius Constantine and Heraclonas (his sons), 4 July 638 - 11 January 641 A.D.
Heraclius came to power in 610 following a successful revolt in North Africa against the tyrannical rule of the Emperor Focas. His son Heraclius Constantine was elevated to joint rule in 613 A.D. Heraclius' most spectacular military achievement was the total defeat of Rome's old enemy on the eastern frontier, the Sassanid Persians. Unfortunately, this only facilitated the Arab conquest of Persia and the eastern provinces of the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines lost Syria and Palestine before Heraclius died in early 641 A.D. and Egypt fell to the Arabs soon after.


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Cyzicus was one of the great cities of the ancient world. In 74 B.C. allied with Rome, it withstood a siege by 300,000 men led by King Mithridates VI of Pontus. Rome rewarded this loyalty with territory and with municipal independence which lasted until the reign of Tiberius. When it was incorporated into the Empire, Cyzicus was made the capital of Mysia, and afterward of Hellespontus. Gallienus opened an imperial mint at Cyzicus, which continued to strike coins well into the Byzantine era.
BZ30157. Bronze follis, SBCV 840, DOC II part 1, 175a.4, F, rough, weight 10.924 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 613 A.D.; obverse dD NN hERACLIUS ET hRA CONST PP AV, Heraclius (on right) and Heraclius Constantine standing facing, each wears crown with cross and chlamys, each holds globus cruciger in right, cross between heads; reverse large M (40 nummi) between A/N/N/O and III (regnal year 3), cross above, A below, KYZ (Cyzicus) in exergue; scarce; SOLD


Islamic, Arab Pseudo-Byzantine, Bilad al-Sham (Greater Syria), c. 658 - 680 A.D.

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On the Byzantine original each figure holds a globus cruciger. These coins were struck in the early years of the Islamic caliphate to remedy a shortage of small change after the supply of new Byzantine copper had been cut off and before an organized system of Islamic mints had been fully established.
BZ32725. Bronze follis, Goodwin type B (imitating Heraclius follis), gVF, attractive desert patina, weight 2.952 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 0o, obverse three standing figures, Heraclius largest crowned and bearded in center, Heraclius Constantine on right, Empress Martina on left, cross standing to left of each figure; reverse large M cross above, Heraclean monogram left, uncertain officina letter below, date right (off flan), KVZ in exergue (off flan); overstruck on a halved Byzantine follis (as typical for the type), black with red earthen fill; SOLD


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Dumbarton Oaks notes the obverse legend on this type is never completely legible.
BZ36622. Bronze follis, DOC II, part 1, 79e; SBCV 805, F, overstruck, weight 10.811 g, maximum diameter 30.9 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 613 - 614 A.D.; obverse dd NN hERACLIuS Et hERA CONSt PP A, Heraclius on left, Heraclius Constantine on right, each in chlamys holding globus cruciger in right, cross between heads; reverse large M (40 nummi), chi rho Christogram above, ANNO left, II/II (year 4) right, E (5th officina) below, CON (Constantinople) in exergue; nice black patina; SOLD


Islamic, Arab Pseudo-Byzantine, Bilad al-Sham (Greater Syria), c. 658 - 680 A.D.

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IS36624. Bronze follis, Goodwin Type B (imitating Heraclius, Cyprus mint, SBCV 849; DOC II part 1, 185), F, weight 4.639 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 45o, obverse Heraclius (center), Heraclius Constantine (left) and Heraclonas (right), all standing facing, globus cruciger in right, wearing chlamys crown with cross,; reverse large M (40 nummi), monogram above, ANNO left, X/UI/II (year 18) right, Γ below (3th officina), KVΠP in exergue; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Heraclius & Heraclius Constantine, 23 January 613 - 11 January 641 A.D.

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Heraclius offered peace to Khusro, presumably in 624, threatening otherwise to invade Persia, but Khusro rejected the offer. Heraclius marched into Persia with an army of probably less than 25,000 men, willingly abandoning any attempt to secure his rear or maintain lines of communication. Heraclius fought brilliantly and bravely repeatedly defeated the Persian forces. When the war ended in 628, Khusro had been murdered by his own men, the Byzantines regained all their lost territories, their captured soldiers, a war indemnity, and most importantly for them, the True Cross and other relics that were lost in Jerusalem in 614.
BZ64050. Bronze decanummium, Anastasi 62; DOC II part 1, 257; Wroth BMC 410; SBCV 886; Hahn MIB 241, VF, pit (flan defect?) on reverse, weight 5.067 g, maximum diameter 10.0 mm, die axis 180o, Sicily, Catania mint, 625 - 626 A.D.; obverse facing busts of Heraclius on left, bearded, and Heraclius Constantine on right, beardless; both crowned, draped and cuirassed; cross between their heads; reverse large I (10 nummi), ANNO right, X/ς (year 16) right, CAT in exergue; scarce; SOLD


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BZ27205. Bronze decanummium, DOC II part 1, 249; SBCV 885; Berk 605; Hahn 240, F, weight 4.365 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 180o, Sicily, Catania mint, 617 - 618 A.D.; obverse D N HERACLIVS PP AVG, crowned, draped, and cuirassed bust facing with short beard holding globus cruciger in right; reverse large I (10 nummi), ANNO right, ςII (year 8) right, CAT in exergue; SOLD


Islamic, Arab Pseudo-Byzantine, Bilad al-Sham (Greater Syria), c. 658 - 680 A.D.

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Overstruck on an older clipped follis (typical for the type). It appears the engraver was undecided between a cursive "m" or a capital "M." Goodwin type E has a cursive "m" reverse and is imitative of Constans II. Goodwin type F has a capital "M" reverse and is imitative of Constans II or Heraclius.
BZ32727. Bronze follis, Goodwin type E - F (imitating Constans II or Heraclean follis), aVF, weight 3.412 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 180o, obverse emperor standing facing, wearing crown and chlamys, long cross in left, globus cruciger in right; reverse large M (with features of "m" and "M") uncertain letters and symbols around; nice "desert" black patina with red earthen fill; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Heraclius & Heraclius Constantine, 23 January 613 - 11 January 641 A.D.

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Year one of the Islamic calendar, the year during which the Hijra occurred, began on 16 July 622. Muhammad and his followers emigrated from Mecca to Medina in September.
BB54952. Bronze follis, DOC II, part 1, 94 var. (1st officina, not held in the collection); SBCV 806, F, flan crack, ragged flan, weight 6.141 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 622 - 623 A.D.; obverse Heraclius (center), Heraclius Constantine, and Empress Martina, all stand facing wearing crown and chlamys with globus cruciger in right, no legend; reverse large M (40 nummi), cross above, ANNO left, X/II/I right (regnal year 13), ∆ below (4th officina), CON (Constantinople) in exergue; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Heraclius & Heraclius Constantine, 23 January 613 - 11 January 641 A.D.

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The Byzantine-Sassanid War ended with a Byzantine victory in 628, but the war, after a century of nearly continuous conflict, left both empires crippled. The Persians suffering economic decline, heavy taxation, religious unrest, dynastic turmoil and other social problems, plunged into civil war. The Byzantines had exhausted their treasure, the Balkans had been largely lost to the Slavs, and Anatolia was devastated. Neither empire was given any chance to recover, as within a few years they were struck by the onslaught of the Arabs, newly united by Islam. The Sassanid Empire would soon be completely destroyed. The Muslim conquest of Syria, Egypt and North Africa, would reduce the Byzantine Empire to a territorial rump consisting of Anatolia and a scatter of islands and footholds in the Balkans and Italy.
BZ55575. Bronze 12 nummi, Morrisson BnF p. 293 and pl. XLVI, 10/A1/AE/04 corr. (same dies, legend corr); DOC II, part 1, 189 var. (legend); Wroth 289 ff. var. (same); SBCV 853, VF, full legend, flat strike, weight 5.801 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 180o, Egypt, Alexandria mint, 613 - 618 A.D.; obverse dom hERACLS, facing busts of Heraclius (on left, bearded) and his son Heraclius Constantine, each wears a crown with cross and chlamys; reverse large IB (12 nummi) divided by cross potent on two steps, AΛEZ (Alexandria) in exergue; ex Amphora Coins (David Hendin); SOLD


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On 13 August 612, Empress Eudokia, wife of Heraclius, died of epilepsy. She left two children, and was buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople.
BZ77430. Bronze follis, DOC II, part 1, 154a; SBCV 833; Wroth BMC 231; Tolstoi 63; Ratto 1306; Hahn MIB 174; Sommer 11.72, VF, dark patina, weak blundered legend, weight 12.885 g, maximum diameter 31.9 mm, die axis 195o, 1st officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 611 - 612 A.D.; obverse d N hRACLYS PERP AV (or similar), bust facing, bearded, wearing trefoil crown and paludamentum, globus cruciger in right, cross above; reverse large M (40 nummi), cross above, A/N/N/O left, II (year 2) right, A (1st officina) below, NIKO (Nikomedia) in exergue; SOLD




    




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REFERENCES

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Schulze, W., I. Schulze, & W. Leimenstoll. "Heraclian countermarks on Byzantine copper coins in seventh century Syria" in Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, Vol. 30, No. 1 (2006), pp. 1-27.
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Catalog current as of Thursday, June 21, 2018.
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Byzantine Coins of Heraclius