Heraclius, with Heraclius Constantine. 610-641 AD. Constantinople, c. 613-616 AD

Heraclius, with Heraclius Constantine. 610-641 AD. Constantinople, c. 613-616 AD

1,000.00

AV Solidus, 4.34g (23mm, 7h). ∂∂ NN ҺЄRACLIЧS ЄƮ ҺЄRA CONST PP AVI, facing bust of Heraclius with short beard, and smaller facing bust of Heraclius Constantine, both wearing chlamys and elaborate crown with cross; cross above / VICTORIA AVςЧ I, cross potent on three steps; CONOB in exergue.

References: Sear 734; DOC 8a

Grade: Nice large flan with sharp strike. Some minor flan defects evident on reverse. Near Mint State . (bz1025)

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Heraclius is considered one of the greatest of all the Byzantine rulers. When he first came into power the Empire was falling apart and invaders at all sides were embarking on the territory. The Holy Cross was taken by the Persians to Ctesiphon. This proved to be one of the biggest blows to the Christian empire. Heraclius took time necessary to form a proper military of which there was not previously a strong one. He created “themes” in which soldiers were promised land in exchange for hereditary military service. This proved successful and in 622 he began to take back what was previously lost. Within 6 years he was able to regain territory and even return the Holy Cross to Jerusalem. 

Unfortunately Heraclius did not die with his empire intact. The last years of his reign saw the first major expansion of the Muslim power and his former enemies suffered similar blows. Nevertheless Heraclius created a strong backbone for the Byzantine Empire that later served good purposes.