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The Transfer of the Capitol
Ex Hunt Collection


Constans II. 641-668. AV Solidus (17mm, 4.46 g, 6h). Constantinople mint. Struck circa 663-668. DOC 42e; MIB 41; SB 974. Superb EF, minor weakness in obverse legend. Rare, particularly this nice.

Ex William Herbert Hunt Collection (Sotheby’s New York, 21 June 1991), lot 56.

A remarkable coin type in that it lacks explicit reference to the reigning emperor. Constans – tired, bitter, and paranoid after years of intrigue in the court at Constantinople – moved his capital to Syracuse in 663, where he spent the rest of his reign antagonizing the Italians. Although Constantinople remained the principal Byzantine mint, its solidi ceased to bear the name of the unpopular emperor who was no longer in residence.