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Lot 4670

Constantine IV, Pogonatus, 668-685. Gold Solidus (4.3g) minted at Carthage, 675/676. Helmeted, draped and cuirassed facing bust of Constantine IV, holding spear across his shoulder and shield. Reverse: Cross potent on three steps flanked by standing figures of Heraclius and Tiberius; OBN below steps. D.O. 43a.1 var. As usually for these Carthaginian issues, struck partially off-center. Nearly Mint State. Very scarce.

Constantine IV (668-685) may be regarded as the savior of European civilization by virtue of his defense of Constantinople against the seemingly relentless tide of Muslim expansion. The Arabs, under the leadership of the powerful Umayyad Caliph Muawija I, besieged the Byzantine capital over a period of four years (674-678) until they were eventually repulsed with heavy losses. In the earlier part of his reign, Constantine IV shared the throne with his younger brothers Heraclius and Tiberius, but in 681 he deposed them and ruled alone until his death four years later.

This rare solidus, issued ca. 675/676, exhibits the characteristics of the north African mint of Carthage, which was destined to be lost to the Arabs before the end of the century. The two co-emperors appear on the reverse and, as is frequently the case with the later products of this mint, the Latin inscriptions are hopelessly blundered.
Estimated Value $700 - 800.
The Hunter Collection.

Realized $949

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