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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Byzantine Coins ▸ Heraclean Dynasty ▸ Constans IIView Options:  |  |  |   

Constans II, September 641 - 15 July 668 A.D.

Joint rule with Heraclonas (his uncle), September - October 641 A.D.
Joint rule with Constantine IV (his son), 13 April 654 - 15 July 668 A.D.
Joint rule with Constantine IV, Heraclius and Tiberius (his sons), 2 June 659 - 15 July 668 A.D.

The son of Heraclius Constantine, Constans II was made co-emperor by his uncle, Heraclonas. Shortly after Constans elevation, the unpopular Heraclonas was deposed, mutilated and banished. During the reign of Constans II, Egypt was lost and would never again be part of the empire. Towards the end of his reign, he moved his capital to Syracuse, Sicily. Due to this unpopular move and his tyrannical behavior, he was assassinated in 668 and the capital was returned to Constantinople. He was succeeded by his sons, with Constantine IV assuming the role as senior emperor.
Map of Europe 650 AD


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).
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 (victory of the Emperor, 3rd officina), cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $420.00 (€373.80)
 


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

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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 (the victory of the Emperor, 7th officina) (Z reversed), cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $420.00 (€373.80)
 


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 (the victory of the Emperor, 6th officina), cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $420.00 (€373.80)
 


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 (the victory of the Emperor, 10th officina), cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $420.00 (€373.80)
 


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From the 650's the Muslims took to the sea. The entire Mediterranean Sea became a battleground, with raids and counter-raids being launched against islands and the coastal settlements. In 652, an Arab fleet under Abdullah ibn Sa'ad defeated the Byzantine fleet of 500 ships off the coast of Alexandria. Muslim raids reached a peak in the 9th and early 10th centuries, after their conquest of Crete, Malta and Sicily, with their fleets reaching the coasts of France, Dalmatia and even the suburbs of Constantinople.
SH70023. Gold solidus, DOC II part 2, 19f; Morrisson BnF 38; Tolstoi 51; Hahn MIB 23; Sommer 12.15; SBCV 956; Wroth BMC -; Ratto -, gVF, graffiti, weight 4.330 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 180o, 6th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 651 - 654 A.D.; obverse d N CONSTANTINUS PP AV, crowned bust facing, long beard and mustache, wears chlamys, globus cruciger in right; reverse VICTORIA AVGU S (victory of the Emperor, 6th officina), cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $420.00 (€373.80)
 


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In 651, the Qur'an was compiled in its present form by Caliph Uthman.
SH70033. Gold solidus, DOC II part 2, 19a; Wroth BMC 27; Tolstoi 43; Hahn MIB 23; Sommer 12.15; SBCV 956; Morrisson BnF -; Ratto -, aEF, small die break in beard, graffiti: Λ obverse left, Eq reverse right, weight 4.394 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 651 - 654 A.D.; obverse d N CONSTANTINUS PP AV, crowned bust facing, long beard and mustache, wears chlamys, globus cruciger in right; reverse VICTORIA AVGY A (victory of the Emperor, 1st officina), cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $420.00 (€373.80)
 


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 (the victory of the Emperor, 9th officina), cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $420.00 (€373.80)
 


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 (the victory of the Emperor, 2nd officina), cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $420.00 (€373.80)
 


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 (the victory of the Emperor, 7th officina) (Z reversed), cross potent on three steps, CONOB in exergue; $420.00 (€373.80)
 


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

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This coin is unusual and possibly unique because it was struck with small dies on a larger older coin, resulting in an appearance similar to countermarking. Other coins were struck in Sicily for Heraclius with countermark-like dies, but not with these types. This coin may have been struck under Constans II vice Heraclius.
SH68126. Bronze half follis, for Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine: cf. DOC II, part 1, 124; for Constans II and Constantine IV: cf. DOC II, part 2, 94, F, overstruck, obverse off-center, weight 3.329 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Syracuse (or Constantinopolis?) mint, obverse Heraclius (or Constans II?), on left, wearing military dress, long cross in right and akakia in left; Heraclius Constantine (or Constantine IV), on right (mostly off flan), wearing chlamys, globus cruciger in right; reverse large K (20 nummi), ANNO left, X[?] right, A below; unique(?); $230.00 (€204.70)
 




  



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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Sunday, July 23, 2017.
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Byzantine Coins of Constans II