Constans II, Byzantine Emperor 641-668
S.1079, Superb Mint State
Mint of Syracuse. Facing busts of Constans (on l.), with long beard, and Constantine IV (on r.), beardless, each wearing crown and chlamys; between their heads, cross. Rev. Cross potent on four steps; Theta in r. field.
Also known as Constantine the Bearded, as well illustrated by this coin, Constans is a nickname given to the emperor, who had been baptized Herakleios and reigned officially as Constantine. He owed his rise to the throne to a popular reaction against his uncle and to the protection of the soldiers led by the general Valentinus. Despised in Constantinople, he decided to leave the capital and moved to Syracuse. Constantly threatened from without once there, he visited Rome in 663 but left quickly when he was accused of stealing bronze and ornaments from the Pantheon. He was assassinated in 668.