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Heraclius Constantine - Senior Augustus


Heraclius Constantine (Constantine III). 641. AV Solidus (20mm, 4.51 g, 6h). Constantinople mint, 10th officina. Struck March-July. Heraclonas, Heraclius, and Heraclius Constantine standing facing, each crowned and holding globus cruciger / VICTORIA AVςЧ, cross potent set on three steps; Heraclius monogram to left, K to right; I//CONOB. DOC 45 (Heraclius) var. (officina); MIB 52; SB 771 (Heraclius). Superb EF. Rare in this condition. Virtually as struck.

Ex “An Important Collection of Byzantine Coins” (Sincona 3, 25 October 2011), lot 3268; UBS 63 (6 September 2005), lot 498; Hess-Divo 283 (10 May 2000), lot 187.

Although this issue is often assigned to late in the reign of Heraclius, Hahn has convincingly argued that such solidi with a “K” in the reverse field belong to the 100 day-long rule of Heraclius Constantine as Senior Augustus. Hahn proposes that both Heraclius Constantine and, later, Heraclonas continued to strike the “three-emperor” types of Heraclius, which would be entirely appropriate as both Heraclius Constantine and Heraclonas led a college of three Augusti during their brief reigns. On Heraclius’ lifetime “three-emperor” solidi, he was not explicitly identified on the obverse but by the “Heraclius” monogram in the reverse field. The solidi of Heraclius Constantine logically maintained the monogram of the earlier issues as it constituted part of his throne name, but added the “K” for Kωνσταντινος in the opposite field. Thus, taken together, the monogram and K would identify the ruler as Heraclius Konstantinos, or Heraclius Constantine.