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Constantinople, Ca. AD 668-685

Constantine IV Av. solidus, Constantinople. P CONSTAN PS PP A; helmeted, cuirassed bust facing 

three-quarters right, with short beard, holding spear over right shoulder and shield with horseman motif, all of fine style. Rev. VICTORA AVGU and officina letter; cross potent on three steps; mintmark CONOB. DO 12, 14; Sear 1157.

Constantine IV ruled jointly with his father Constans II and later his brothers Heraclius and Tiberius, whom he deposed in Ca. AD 680. This coin type is characteristic of his rule and is derived from much earlier numismatic portraiture of emperors in ¾ profile. The reverse design of a cross potent on three steps is associated with coins of Heracleian dynasty, symbolising their continuity alongside the obvious Christian significance.

Constantine IV was regent during the Great Siege of Constantinople (AD 672-677), successfully repelling the Arab Caliphate and negotiating favourable peace terms. His distinctive coin portrait features a spear and shield rather than the usual religious symbols of the emperor, likely symbolic reminders of his consequential military victories.

For additional information see:
Somogyi P., 2016, “Christian symbols on Byzantine coins from the 5th-7th centuries” in Tóth E., Vida T., Takács I. (Eds.), Saint Martin and Pannonia. Christianity on The Frontiers of The Roman World. Pannonhalma. 145-151.


  • Dimensions 

    D: 21mm ; 4.46g


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