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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Heraclean Dynasty| ▸ |Constans II||View 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. He officialy ruled as Constantine. Constans was a nickname first used in Byzantine texts. Later in life, he was called Constans II Pogonatos, "the Bearded." Shortly after his 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. Unpopular in Constantinople, near 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

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

|Constans| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constans| |II| |and| |Constantine| |IV,| |13| |April| |654| |-| |15| |July| |668| |A.D.||follis|
In 663, Constans II invaded southern Italy.
BZ98061. Bronze follis, Anastasi 204, DOC II-2 181, SBCV 1110, Hahn MIB 210, Morrisson BnF 13/Sy/AE/09, Sommer 12.92, Wroth BMC 362, Tolstoi 374, Ratto 1638, gVF, well centered and struck, mottled green and red patina, weight 3.494 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, Sicily, Syracuse mint, 659 - 663; obverse Constans (left) in military attire with long cross in right, and Constantine in chlamys with globus cruciger in right, both crowned and stand facing; reverse large M flanked by Heraclius (left) and Tiberius, both stand facing in crown and chlamys, each holds globus cruciger in right, monogram (Kwt = Kwnstantine) above, SCL in exergue; $130.00 SALE PRICE $117.00


|Constans| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constans| |II,| |September| |641| |-| |15| |July| |668| |A.D.||12| |nummi|
On 8 November 641, after a fourteen month siege, Alexandria capitulated to the Arab Muslims. In late 645 the Byzantines recaptured Alexandria but lost it again in May 646. This coin may have been struck either during the siege or during the short lived recovery. The last Byzantine attempt to recover Alexandria failed in 654.
BZ94898. Bronze 12 nummi, DOC II-2 105; Morrisson BnF p. 350, 13/Al/AE/01; Hahn MIB 189; Ratto 1321 (Heraclius); SBCV 1027; Sommer 12.63; Wroth BMC -; Tolstoi -, gF, earthen deposits, overstruck, weight 7.571 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria mint, Sep - Nov 641 and/or late 645 - May 646; obverse Constans II standing facing, beardless, wearing crown and chlamys, long cross in left hand, globus cruciger in right hand, no legend; reverse large I-B (12 nummi), divided by cross potent on globe, pellet outer right and outer left, AΛEZ (Alexandria) in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; rare; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


|Constans| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constans| |II,| |September| |641| |-| |15| |July| |668| |A.D.||12| |nummi|
On 8 November 641, after a fourteen month siege, Alexandria capitulated to the Arab Muslims. In late 645 the Byzantines recaptured Alexandria but lost it again in May 646. This coin may have been struck either during the siege or during the short lived recovery. The last Byzantine attempt to recover Alexandria failed in 654.
BZ94899. Bronze 12 nummi, DOC II-2 105; Morrisson BnF p. 350, 13/Al/AE/01; Hahn MIB 189; Ratto 1321 (Heraclius); SBCV 1027; Sommer 12.63; Wroth BMC -; Tolstoi -, F, thick earthen deposits, weight 7.962 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria mint, Sep - Nov 641 and/or late 645 - May 646; obverse Constans II standing facing, beardless, wearing crown and chlamys, long cross in left hand, globus cruciger in right hand, no legend; reverse large I-B (12 nummi), divided by cross potent on globe, pellet outer right and outer left, AΛEZ (Alexandria) in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; rare; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


|Constans| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constans| |II,| |September| |641| |-| |15| |July| |668| |A.D.||half| |follis|NEW
In 647, the first Muslim invasion of the Exarchate of Carthage was led by Abdallah ibn Sa'ad of the Rashidun Caliphate. Muslims defeated and killed the local Byzantine governor Gregory the Patrician at the Battle of Sufetula. The city, however, remained secure - for a while.
BZ99097. Bronze half follis, DOC II-2 135, Morrisson BnF 13/Ct/AE/01, Hahn MIB III 195, Wroth BMC 349 (Heraclius), Ratto 1332 (same), Tolstoi 79 (same), SBCV 1056, Sommer 12.75, gF, green patina, weight 4.976 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 120o, Carthage (near Tunis, Tunisia) mint, 641 - 643 A.D.; obverse EN TYOT ONIKA (YO ligate), Constans II standing facing, with short beard, wearing consular robes and crown with trefoil ornament, long cross in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand; reverse large K (20 nummi), cross above, flanked by a cross on each side above, CRTς (Carthage); from the Robert Wachter Collection; scarce; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


|Constans| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constans| |II,| |September| |641| |-| |15| |July| |668| |A.D.||follis|
Sear notes this type is often overstruck on an early follis of Constans II, SBCV 1103.
BZ93533. Bronze follis, Anastasi 113; Tolstoi 187; Morrison BnF 13/Sy/AE/04; SBCV 1106; DOC II-2 177; Wroth BMC 349; Hahn MIB -; Sommer -; Ratto -, VF, overstruck on an earlier follis clipped to reduce the weight, green patina, bold strike but with strong undertype effects, ragged edge, weight 3.650 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 180o, Sicily, Syracuse mint, 648 - 650 A.D.; obverse no legend, bust of Constans facing, short beard, wearing crown and chlamys, globus cruciger in right; reverse large M (40 nummi), Kwnstans monogram above; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


|Constans| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constans| |II,| |September| |641| |-| |15| |July| |668| |A.D.||follis|
Grierson notes, "These coins are struck on irregular flans and often badly worn and corroded. Usually only a few letters of the reverse inscription are legible..."
BZ97798. Bronze follis, Anastasi 75; Wroth BMC 345; Hahn MIB 204b; Sommer 12.86; SBCV 1103; Tolstoi 137; DOC II-1 p. 399, 9d (Heraclonas); Morrison BnF -, VF, nice green patina, overstruck on a clipped fraction of an older coin, undertype effects, ragged edge with splits, weight 5.455 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 210o, Syracuse mint, 641 - 644 A.D.; obverse IMPER CONST (or similar), bust of Constans II facing, beardless, wearing crown and chlamys, globus cruciger in right; reverse large M (40 nummi) above exergue line, small cross (no officina letter) before large S C (senatus consulto) below exergue line, A/N/A downward on left, N/E/O/ς downward on right; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Byzantine Empire, Constans II with Constantine IV, Heraclius and Tiberius (his sons), 2 June 659 - 15 July 668 A.D.

|Constans| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constans| |II| |with| |Constantine| |IV,| |Heraclius| |and| |Tiberius| |(his| |sons),| |2| |June| |659| |-| |15| |July| |668| |A.D.||follis|
In 660, Constans II, paranoid about the ambitions of his younger brother, Theodosius, had him murdered. Hated by the citizens of Constantinople, Constans decided to move the capital to Syracuse, Sicily. Although the date is mostly off the flan, the I left can only be year 19 (IT). Curiously, this type sometimes includes the officina number on both the obverse and reverse and the numbers do not always match.
BZ93531. Bronze follis, DOC II-2 86d, Morrisson BnF 13/Cp/AE/29, Wroth BMC 199, Tolstoi 349, Hahn MIB III 175, Sommer 12.55, SBCV 1011, Ratto -, aVF/F, ragged tight flan, weak reverse strike, marks, light deposits, weight 4.432 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 659 - 665 A.D.; obverse Constans standing facing, with long beard, wearing helmet, long cross in right, left hand on hip, I/Θ (year 19) in left field, cross above M (40 nummi) over officina letter (off flan) in right field; reverse Constantine IV, Heraclius and Tiberius standing facing, each wearing crown with cross and chlamys, each holding globus cruciger in right hand; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $65.00 SALE PRICE $58.50


|Constans| |II|, |Constans,| |9| |September| |337| |-| |19| |January| |350| |A.D.||reduced| |centenionalis|NEW
The reverse legend dedicates this coin to "the glory of the Army."
BB99584. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VII Thessalonica 201, LRBC I 837, F, dark blue-green patina, scratches, slightly irregular tight flan, weight 2.830 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, as caesar, 335 - 336 A.D.; obverse CONSTANS NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA EXERCITVS (glory of the army), two soldiers standing facing, heads turned inward confronted, two standards in center between them, each holds a spear in outer hand and rests inner hand on grounded shield, SMTS[...] in exergue; from the Ed Strivelli Collection, ex FORVM (2019); $26.00 SALE PRICE $23.40 ON RESERVE







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REFERENCES

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Hahn, W. Moneta Imperii Byzantini, Volume 3: Heraclius - Leo III (610 - 720). (Vienna, 1981).
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Ranieri, E. La monetazione di Ravenna antica dal V all' VIII secolo: impero romano e bizantino, regno ostrogoto e langobardo. (Bologna, 2006).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines l'poque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
Ricotti-Prina, D. "La monetazione siciliana nell'epoca bizantina" in Numismatica 16 (1950), pp. 26 - 60.
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Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 14).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).
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