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Byzantine Coins of the Heraclean Dynasty

Byzantine Empire, Philippicus Bardanes, 4 November 711 - June 713 A.D.

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Philippicus Bardanes was from a prominent Armenian family in Pergamum and a general of the Opsikion Theme army under Justinian II. While Justinian II ruled in a bloodthirsty frenzy of revenge, the Bulgars ravaged the empire right up to the city walls. Bardanes arrived at Constantinople with the army. But, instead of fighting the Bulgars he seized the throne. An ineffective ruler, Philippicus engaged in destructive internal religious disputes while the external threats grew and Bulgars and Arabs continued to raid Byzantine territory. In less than two years, he was deposed in a coup, blinded and exiled to a monastery.
BZ82676. Bronze follis, Anastasi 374, SBCV 1460A, Hahn MIB 24, DOC II part 2,, -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, Morrisson BnF -, F, ragged flan, weight 3.824 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 4 Nov 711 - Jun 713 A.D.; obverse Philippicus standing facing, wearing helmet and military attire, eagle-tipped scepter in left hand, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse large M flanked by two stars, monogram above, SCL in exergue; very rare; $765.00 (€673.20)


Byzantine Empire, Revolt of the Heraclii, 608 - 5 Oct 610 A.D.

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Heraclius the Elder, possibly of Armenian origin, was a Byzantine general and the father of Byzantine emperor Heraclius. He distinguished himself in the war against the Sassanid Persians in the 580s, was a subordinate general under Philippicus during the Battle of Solachon, and possibly served under Comentiolus during the Battle of Sisarbanon. About 595, Heraclius the Elder is mentioned as a magister militum per Armeniam sent by Emperor Maurice to quell an Armenian rebellion led by Samuel Vahewuni and Atat Khorkhoruni. About 600, he was appointed as the Exarch of Africa and in 608, Heraclius the Elder rebelled with his son against the usurper Phocas. Using North Africa as a base, the younger Heraclius managed to overthrow Phocas, beginning the Heraclian dynasty, which would rule Byzantium for a century. Heraclius the Elder died soon after receiving news of his son's accession to the Byzantine throne.
BZ86357. Bronze follis, DOC II 16, Morrisson BnF 9/Ax/AE/02, Hahn MIBEC 16a, Grierson 164, Tolstoi 279, SBCV 722, Sommer -, Ratto -, aF, uneven strike, a little off center, scratches, overstruck, edge cracks, weight 5.587 g, maximum diameter 29.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Alexandria or Alexandretta mint, Sep - Oct 610 A.D.; obverse dm N ERACLIO CONSULII, facing busts of Heraclius and his father, both bearded, bareheaded and wearing consular robes, cross above center; reverse Large M (40 nummi), cross above, ANNO left, X/IIII (year 14) on right, A (1st officina) below, AΛEZAN∆ in exergue; rare; $320.00 (€281.60)


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

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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.
BZ84239. Bronze half follis, Anastasi 245, DOC II 67, Spahr 186, Hahn MIB III 112, SBCV 1214, Berk -, VF, green patina, rough, weight 2.566 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 679 - 681 A.D.; obverse helmeted and cuirassed bust facing slightly right, holding spear over shoulder; reverse large K, cross above, +AN-NO ∆ (year 4) flanking left and right; very rare; $280.00 (€246.40)


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

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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.
BZ91698. Bronze follis, SBCV 805; DOC II-1 76 - 83; Hahn MIB 160b, Sommer 11.53; undertype: Focas, follis, Constantinople, 604 - 610 A.D., SBCV 640, VF, overstruck with strong undertype effects, holed, weight 10.091 g, maximum diameter 30.9 mm, die axis 0o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 613 - 616 A.D.; obverse [dd NN hERACLIuS Et hER]A CON[St PP A], Heraclius on left, Heraclius Constantine on right, both in chlamys holding globus cruciger in right, cross between heads; undertype: O N FOCA..., crowned facing bust, mappa in right, cross in left; reverse large M (40 nummi), Christogram above, ANNO left, uncertain year right (years 3 - 5, obscured by undertype effects), A (1st officina) below, CON (Constantinople) in exergue; undertype: large XXXX, ANNO above, uncertain year right (years 2 - 8), CON[...] in exergue; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $60.00 (€52.80)


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

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The Arabs also took to the sea, and from the 650's on, 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 (500 ships) off the coast of Alexandria. Arab raids reached a peak in the 9th and early 10th centuries, after the conquests of Crete, Malta and Sicily, with their fleets reaching the coasts of France and Dalmatia and even the suburbs of Constantinople.
BZ92071. Bronze follis, DOC II part 2, 69a; Wroth BMC 126; Sommer 12.50; Tolstoi 157; Ratto 1560; Hahn MIB 170b; SBCV 1006; Morrisson BnF -, gF, attractive highlighting red earthen deposits, overstruck on a cut fraction of an older coin, much of inscriptions and part of figure off flan, weight 1.908 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 651 - 652 A.D.; obverse EN ToυTO NIKA (In this, be victorious), Constans with moustache and long beard, standing facing, wearing crown and chlamys, long cross in right, globus cruciger in left; reverse large M (40 nummi), cross above, A/N/A left, N/E/O/ς right, A (1st officina) below, IA (year 11) in exergue; despite the obvious flaws, this coin is somewhat nice for the type; $40.00 (€35.20)


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.
BZ68100. Bronze follis, DOC II part 1, 243; Anastasi 66; Wroth BMC 398; Tolstoi 315; Ratto 1450; Morrisson BnF 10/Sy/AE/35; SBCV 884; Sommer 11.115, F, overstruck, weight 5.875 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 632 - 11 Jan 641 A.D.; obverse facing busts of long-bearded Heraclius and his son Heraclius Constantine, wearing short beard, cross above, all within large round countermark; traces of undertype; reverse Heraclian monogram and SCs within large round countermark; traces of undertype; $32.00 (€28.16)


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

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In 613, Heraclius married his niece Martina; she becomes empress (Augusta) of the Byzantine Empire. This second marriage is considered to fall within the prohibited degree of kinship, but is approved by the Catholic Church in Constantinople. On 22 January 613, Heraclius Constantine is crowned co-emperor (Caesar) by his father Heraclius and shortly after betrothed to his cousin, Gregoria, daughter of Nicetas. Only 8 months old, Constantine has no real power and his dynastic title is purely ceremonial.
BZ92369. Bronze follis, DOC II part 1, 79a; Morrisson BnF 10/Cp/AE/20; Tolstoi 231; Ratto 1400; Hahn MIB 160b; Sommer 11.53; SBCV 805; Wroth BMC -, F, centered on a broad flan, overstruck with strong undertype effects obscuring some detail, edge splits, weight 10.151 g, maximum diameter 32.4 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 613 - 614 A.D.; obverse JJ NN hERACLIuS Et hERA CON PP AV (or similar), Heraclius on left, Heraclius Constantine on right, both in chlamys holding globus cruciger in right, cross between heads; reverse large M (40 nummi), chi rho Christogram above, ANNO left, II/II (regnal year 2) right, A (1st officina) below, CON (Constantinople) in exergue; from a New England dealer, with previous collector's round tag; $30.00 (€26.40)











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Heraclean Dynasty