Constans Ii Av Gold Solidus___constantinople Mint___long Beard & Moustache For Sale

3H02

FRASCATIUS ANCIENTS

A BEAUTIFUL GOLD SOLIDUS OF CONSTANS II FROM 641 – 668 AD.

CONSTANTINOPLE MINT

SHARP FEATURES

THE BYZANTINE EMPERORS MAINTAINED CONSISTENT HIGH PURITY IN THEIR GOLD SOLIDII OF 95% TO 98% FINENESS.

THE SIZE IS 19.7 MM AND 4.35 GRAMS.

Sear 956

OBVERSE – DN CONStANtINmS PP AV, facing bust of Constans, with long beard and moustache, wearing crown and chlamys, holding cross on globe

REVERSE – VICTORIA AVGUE, cross potent on three steps; CONOB in exergue

CONOB - Literally translated as, Constantinopoli obryzum. The solidus weighed about 1/72 (4.4g) of the Roman pound. "OB" was used as both an abbreviation for the word obryzum, translated as, 'refined' or 'pure gold' and as the Greek numeral 72. Thus the exergue CONOB coin may be read "Constantinople, 1/72 pound pure gold." -- Byzantine Coinage by Philip Grierson

SOLIDUS

The solidus was reintroduced by Constantine I in 312 AD, permanently replacing the aureus as the gold coin of the Roman Empire. The solidus was struck at a rate of 72 to a Roman pound of pure gold, each coin weighing twenty-four Greco-Roman carats, or about 4.5 grams of gold per coin. By this time, the solidus was worth 275,000 increasingly debased denarii.

The solidus was maintained essentially unaltered in weight and purity until the 10th century.

Whenever the coin was taken in by the treasury, it was melted down and reissued. This maintained the evenness of the weight of the circulating solidi, since the coin did not tend to be in circulation long enough to become worn. Although merchants were forofferden to use solidi outside the Byzantine Empire, there was sufficient trade in these coins outside the empire that they became a desirable circulating currency in Arabian countries.

The word soldier is ultimately derived from solidus, referring to the solidi with which soldiers were paid.

CONSTANS II

Constans II , also called Constantine the Bearded, was Byzantine emperor from 641 to 668. He also was the last emperor to become consul in 642, becoming the last Roman consul in history.

The son of the emperor Constantine III, Constans came to the throne in September 641, at age 11, after his father’s death; during his minority the regency was under the control of the Senate of Constantinople. The Muslim Arabs seized Egypt from Byzantium in the second year of his reign and invaded Armenia in 647. In 655 he fought the naval battle of Phoenix (modern Finike, Turkey) off the coast of Asia Minor; his fleet was routed, and he escaped death only through the heroism of one of his soldiers. The murder of the caliph ʿUthmān ibn ʿAffān in June 656 touched off a civil war among the Arabs that prevented them from attacking Constantinople, and in 659 Constans was able to secure a nonaggression treaty with the Arab governor of Syria. In 658 he successfully attacked the Slavs of Sclavinia and resettled captives in Asia Minor.

Constans’s internal policy was marked by an attempt to force unity on the church, after theological disputes had divided the empire; in 648 he issued an edict, the Typos, forofferding argument about the controversial question of the divine and human natures of Christ. Pope Martin I condemned the Typos, and Constans, holding to the old conception of a single Roman Empire comprising East and West, had the pope arrested and exiled in 653. A similar punishment was meted out to the theologian Maximus the Confessor in 655. (Both men are revered as saints in the Greek calendar.) The following year he made his son Constantine co-emperor, excluding his brother Theodosius from the succession and ordering his murder in 660.

Detested as a fratricide by his subjects in Constantinople, Constans in 663 left the capital and traveled westward, passing through northern Italy to Rome and then settling at Syracuse in Sicily. In 668 he alienated Pope Vitalian by declaring Ravenna independent. His plans to make the city a permanent capital and a strategic centre for the defense of the West against the Arabs were cut short by his assassination.

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