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Ruler: Heraclius, with Heraclius Constantine
Reigned: 5th October 610 - 11th January 641 A.D.
Denomination: Gold Solidus
Mint: Constantinople 6th Officina
Date of Issue: 629 - 632 A.D.
Obverse: Facing busts of Heraclius (on left) and Heraclius Constantine; each wears chlamys and crown with cross on circlet; Heraclius has long beard and whiskers, whilst his son is shown with light beard and moustache' above cross. "dd NN hERACLIυS. Eτ hERA CONSτ PP. AVG." or similar.
Reverse: Cross potent set on three steps; "VICTORIA AVG υ ζ" In exergue "CONOB"
Reference: BCV 749, MIB 29, DOC 26f var (officina not retrograde)
Weight: 14.2 gms
Diameter: 19.9 mm


Heraclius was the son of the governor of Carthage. He seized the throne by overthrowing the emperor Phocas (reigned 602-610). Early in his reign the empire was invaded by the Mongolian Avars and by the Persians. In 622 he launched a great counterattack against the Persians, driving them from Asia Minor, Egypt, and Syria and pushing into the heart of Persian territory by 628. In 630 he recovered the revered Christian relic of the True Cross, which the Persians had captured, returning it in triumph to Jerusalem. In the west, the Avars were forced back into central Europe. In religious affairs, he tried unsuccessfully to win the Monophysite Christians back to the Byzantine church by offering them a doctrinal compromise known as Monothelitism. Heraclius is often credited with initiating the theme system, in which army commanders were given civil authority over newly organized provinces (themes). His military victories and administrative reforms probably strengthened the empire in the long run, but the constant wars and religious dissension left it unable to resist the new Muslim threat from Arabia. Before the end of Heraclius's reign, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt had fallen to the conquering Arabs.

The son of Heraclius by his first wife, Fabia-Eudocia. Heraclius Constantine was declared Augustus whilst still an infant. On his father's death he shared the throne with his half-brother Heraclonas, but this arrangement did not work very well due to the unpopularity of Heraclonas' mother, the ambitious Empress Martina. Heraclius Constantine was in poor health, however and died after a reign of only 100 days (11 January - 20 April 641). Heraclonas only lasted to October 641 when he was forced to crown Heraclius Constantine's son, Constans II, emperor.

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