Constantine V Copronymus, with Leo IV and Leo III. 741-775 AD. Constantinople

Constantine V Copronymus, with Leo IV and Leo III. 741-775 AD. Constantinople

975.00

AV Solidus, 4.38g (21mm, 6h). COҺSTAҺTIҺOS S LЄOҺ O ҺЄOS, crowned facing busts of Constantine V and Leo IV, each wearing chlamys; cross above, pellet between / C LЄON P A MЧL, crowned facing bust of Leo III wearing loros, holding cross potent in right hand.

Pedigree: Acquired from Monete Franchino, Milan, Italy (comes with original ticket)

References: DOC 2g; Sear 1551

Grade: Slightly rough surfaces with tight flan. Good strike. aEF . (bz1024)

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Constantine V was referred to as Copronymus (dung-named) by his enemies. He was disliked by ancient writers mainly because of his opposition to icons and monasticism. His reign started off rocky. He was set to become emperor upon the death of his father Leo III but instead Artavasdus, his brother in law, and an old ally of his father, strode in and took over. After taking possession of Constantinople, Artavasdus immediately restored the use of icons in which Leo III forbid. During this period of less than one year, Constantine V strengthened his forces in Asia Minor and ultimately fought Artavasdus in Sardes victoriously. He retook the throne and had Artavasdus blinded for his actions. 

Constantine V was a good military leader and in this respect he helped the Empire in keeping invaders at bay, particularly the Bulgarians in which he was victorious in battle in 763 and triumphantly returned to Constantinople. Despite the successes he was generally ill remembered by most due to his persecution of iconodules.