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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Isaurian Dynasty| ▸ |Constantine VI||View Options:  |  |  | 

Constantine VI, 24 April 776 - 19 August 797 A.D.

Joint rule as junior emperor with Leo IV (his father), 24 April 776 - 8 September 780 A.D.
Joint rule with Irene (his mother and regent), 8 September 780 - 19 August 797 A.D.
Constantine VI was still a child when his father died, so his mother served as regent. In 790 he took control and sent her into exile, but within a year she was back as co-ruler. Constantine was cruel, weak and unpopular. His mother was also cruel, but not weak. In 797, she deposed and blinded her own son and took sole rule of the empire.

|Constantine| |VI|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constantine| |VI| |and| |Irene,| |8| |September| |780| |-| |19| |August| |797| |A.D.||solidus|
In 790, Constantine VI took control and forced his mother, who had been his regent, into exile. A little more than a year later Irene was back as co-ruler. In 797, Irene had her son deposed and blinded and assumed sole rule.

Füeg has the obverse and reverse opposite. Other than Füeg 4.7, the referenced examples all have either incomplete or illegible inscriptions, or have variations from this coin.
SH12347. Gold solidus, Füeg 4.7 (C.4.6/Ir.4.1); cf. Wroth BMC 1; DOC III part 1, 2; Morrisson BnF 2, Tolstoi 1; SBCV 1591; Sommer -; Ratto -, VF, remarkable for complete inscriptions, light marks, weight 4.413 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople mint, 15 Jan 792 - 793; obverse COnSTAnTInOS CA - SIR, crowned facing busts of Constantine IV, wearing chlamys and holding globus cruciger in left hand; and Irene, wearing loros, cruciform scepter in her right hand; cross above center; reverse SVn IrInI AVΓ mITHRΛ, Constantine V, Leo III, and Leo IV (the boy emperor's deceased father, grand-father and great grandfather) seated facing, each bearded and wearing crown and chlamys; ex Forum 2014; ex Numismatik Lanz (eBay auction, 4 Feb 2011, sold for €3027); rare; SOLD

Byzantine Empire, Constantine VI and Irene, 8 September 780 - 19 August 797 A.D.

|Constantine| |VI|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Constantine| |VI| |and| |Irene,| |8| |September| |780| |-| |19| |August| |797| |A.D.||miliaresion|
Heavy flan for the type - probably overstruck on an Arabic dirhem. Dumbarton Oaks identifies the side with the cross as the reverse.
SH36685. Silver miliaresion, DOC III part 1, 5; SBCV 1595, VF, weight 2.217 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 751 - 775 A.D.; obverse IhSUS XRIS-TUS nICA, cross potent on three steps, triple border; reverse CONS/TANTINO/S S IRINI E / C QEU bA/SILIS +, inscription in five lines, triple border; scarce; SOLD

Byzantine Empire, Irene, 8 September 780 - 31 October 802 A.D.

|Irene|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Irene,| |8| |September| |780| |-| |31| |October| |802| |A.D.||follis|
Irene served as regent for her young son Constantine VI, but in 790 he took control and sent her into exile. Constantine was cruel, weak and unpopular. Within a year Irene was back, but with more power as co-ruler. Irene was also cruel, but not weak. In 797, she deposed and blinded her own son and took sole rule of the empire. Irene was the first woman to rule the Empire (at least officially). In 802, she was ousted in a coup, and exiled to Lesbos where she died soon after.
BZ71729. Bronze follis, DOC III, p. 345, 7, Morrisson BnF 26/Cp/AE/3, Wroth BMC 10, Tolstoi 17, Ratto 1779, SBCV 1598, Sommer 25.6, aF, green patina, tight flan, scratches, weight 2.019 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, Jan 792 - 19 Aug 797 A.D.; obverse facing crowned bust of Irene, wearing loros and crown with cross and pendilia, globus cruciger in right hand, cruciform scepter in left hand; reverse facing crowned bust of Constantine VI, beardless, wearing chlamys, globus cruciger in right hand, pellet on left, cross over pellet on right, all above horizontal bar; below bar a large M, flanked by smaller X left and N right, A below; rare; SOLD



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