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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.


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

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This reverse with ANNO above M is unique to Heraclius.
BB11020. Bronze follis, DOC II part 1, 101a; SBCV 808, gVF, weight 5.160 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 225o, 1st officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 626 - 627 A.D.; obverse Heraclius (center), Heraclius Constantine (right), Martina (left), all stand facing wearing crown and chlamys with globus cruciger in right, no legend; reverse large M (40 nummi), monogram left, ANNO over cross above, X/ςI right (regnal year 17), A below (1st officina), CON (Constantinople) in exergue; ex Colosseum Coin Exchange; SOLD


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BZ36630. Bronze follis, SBCV 810, smaller module after year 21, VF, overstruck, weight 4.620 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 45o, 1st officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 630 - 640 A.D.; obverse Heraclius (on left) in military dress holding long cross, Heraclius Constantine (on right) in chlamys holding globus cruciger, monogram above, K right; reverse large M (40 nummi), cross over C above, ANNO left, uncertain year right, ∆ (4th officina) below, CON (Constantinople) in exergue; SOLD


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In 614, a Sassanid Persian and Jewish army (26,000 men) led by by Shahrbaraz captured and sacked Jerusalem after a 20-day siege. Somewhere between 57,000 and 66,500 citizens were slain; another 35,000 were enslaved, including the Patriarch Zacharias. Many churches in the city (including the "Church of the Resurrection" or Holy Sepulchre) were burned, and numerous relics, including the True Cross, the Holy Lance, and the Holy Sponge, were carried off to the Persian capital Ctesiphon.
BZ36635. Bronze follis, Wroth BMC 2401; Morrisson BnF 10/Ni/AE/06; Tolstoi 269; DOC II part 1, 159a (not in collection, refs. BMC & T); Hahn MIB 175a; SBCV 834; Sommer 11.73, aVF, weight 10.089 g, maximum diameter 30.5 mm, die axis 225o, 1st officina, Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey) mint, 613 - 614 A.D.; obverse ddNN...PA, Heraclius (on left), Heraclius Constantine (on right), both stand facing, wearing crown and chlamys, globus cruciger in right, cross between heads; reverse large M (40 nummi) between A/N/N/O and II/II (regnal year 4), cross above, A (first officina) below, NIK (Nicomedia) in exergue; SOLD


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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.
BZ36638. Bronze 12 nummi, SBCV 861; DOC II part 1, 197, F, black and turquoise patina, weight 7.396 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 270o, Egypt, Alexandria mint, 632 - 641 A.D.; obverse Heraclius (in center) and Heraclius Constantine (right) wearing crown with cross, Heraclonas (left) with cross above head, all standing wearing chlamys and holds globus cruciger in right; reverse I-B (12 nummi) divided by cross potent over monogram, AΛEZ (Alexandria) in exergue; scarce; SOLD


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This is the larger module for this issue. At the end of year 21 this type was reduced in size. This coin is overstruck on an earlier follis.
BZ02210. Bronze follis, DOC II part 1, 105c; Morrisson BnF 10/Cp/AE/65; Wroth BMC 149; Tolstoi 244; Ratto 1410; Hahn MIB 164b; Sommer 11.58; SBCV 810, gF, well centered, little wear and attractive desert patina, parts of design obscure due to undertype feature effects, weight 5.91 g, maximum diameter 30.4 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 629 - 630 A.D.; obverse monogram left, Heraclius in military dress holding long cross on left, Heraclius Constantine in chlamys holding globus cruciger on right; reverse large M (40 nummi), cross above, ANNO left, X/X right (regnal year 20), Γ below (3nd officina), CON (Constantinople) in exergue; SOLD


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

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In September 629, Jerusalem was reconquered by the Byzantines from the Persian Empire. On 21 March 630, Heraclius returned the True Cross, one of the holiest Christian relics, to Jerusalem. Heraclius issued a decree that all Jews must become Christian; a massacre followed around Jerusalem and in Galilee, some survivors fled to the Daraa area.
BZ02213. Bronze follis, DOC II part 1, 106a; Wroth BMC 153; Tolstoi 246; Ratto 1413; Hahn MIB 164b; Sommer 11.58; SBCV 810; Morrisson BnF -, F, well centered, green patina with brassy high points, overstruck with strong undertype effects, weight 10.88 g, maximum diameter 33.0 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 630 - 631 A.D.; obverse Heraclius in military dress holding long cross on left, Heraclius Constantine in chlamys holding globus cruciger on right; reverse large M (40 nummi), cross over C above, ANNO left, X/X/I right (regnal year 21), A below (1st officina), CON (Constantinople) in exergue; SOLD


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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.
BZ12724. Bronze follis, SBCV 839, F, weight 12.171 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, 611 - 612 A.D.; obverse O N hRACLI PERP AVG (or similar), helmeted and cuirassed bust facing, cross in right, shield in left; reverse large M (40 nummi) between A/N/N/O and II (regnal year 2), cross above, retrograde B below, KYZ (Cyzicus) in ex; uncleaned; SOLD


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

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Heraclius came to power through revolt against the tyrannical Focas. He defeated the Sassanid Persians, but this only facilitated Arab conquest of Persia and the eastern Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines lost Syria and Palestine before Heraclius died and Egypt fell soon after.
BZ38936. Bronze half follis, SBCV 814 (overstruck an older Constantinople mint half follis), aVF, weight 7.119 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 613 - 637 A.D.; obverse No legend, Heraclius, on left, and Heraclius Constantine stand facing, each wears crown and chlamys, each holds globus cruciger in left, cross between heads, X and CON form undertype; reverse large K (20 nummi), ANNO left, regnal year (off flan) right, cross above, officina letter below (obscured by overstrike effects); SOLD


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

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BZ13450. Bronze follis, SBCV 805, F, weight 10.676 g, maximum diameter 29.9 mm, die axis 45o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse dd NN hERACLIuS Et hERA CONSt PP A, Heraclius on left, Heraclius Constantine on right, both in chlamys holding globus cruciger in right, cross between heads, STN visible from undertype; reverse large M (40 nummi), chi rho Christogram above, ANNO left, III right, E below, CON (Constantinople) in exergue; overstruck on an older follis; SOLD


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

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Heraclius' second wife, Martina, was also his niece, his sister's daughter. They had at least ten children, most of whom were sickly and least two suffered birth defects, which was seen at the time as punishment for the illegality of the incestuous marriage. On his deathbed in 641, Heraclius left the empire to both his son from the first marriage, Heraclius Constantine (as Constantine III) and Heraklonas (as Heraclius II), granting them equal rank. Martina was to be honored as empress and mother of both of them. Three days later Martina announced the contents of Heraclius' will in a public ceremony in the Hippodrome of Constantinople before the Byzantine Senate and the crowds of Constantinople. This ceremony typically belonged to the succeeding Emperor, not to the Empress, but Heraclius Constantine and Heraklonas were both absent. Martina read the contents of the will and claimed the senior authority for herself. The crowd, however, instead acclaimed the names of the two Emperors and not her own. She was forced to return to the palace in defeat. When Heraclius Constantine died suddenly of tuberculosis only four months later, the common belief was that the Empress poisoned her stepson to leave Heraklonas as sole ruler. Facing rebellion, Heraklonas named Constans II, son of the late Heraclius Constantine, a co-emperor. This, however, failed to ease the discontent and by the end of the month the Byzantine Senate deposed him. His nose was slit, Martina's tongue cut out and they were exiled to Rhodes. Constans II became sole emperor.
BZ43733. Bronze follis, DOC II part 1, 99 var. (1st officina not listed for year 15), SBCV 808, VF, weight 5.625 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 624 - 625 A.D.; obverse Heraclius (center), Heraclius Constantine (right), Martina (left), all stand facing wearing crown and chlamys with globus cruciger in right, no legend; reverse large M (40 nummi), monogram left, ANNO over cross above, X/Y right (regnal year 15), A below (1st officina); SOLD




    




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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Monday, September 26, 2016.
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Byzantine Coins of Heraclius