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Herakleios, Herakleios Constantine, and Heraklonas (638–41)

Accession Number:
BZS.1958.106.535 (formerly DO 58.106.535)

Previous Editions

DO Seals 6 no. 17.4. For a similar specimen see Likhachev, “Nekotorye,” 512, fig. 35.

Details

Diameter:
30 mm
Weight:
18.99 g
Condition:
Chipped

Obverse

Herakleios, Herakleios Constantine, and Heraklonas (638–41)

The Mother of God standing, wearing a chiton and maphorion, and holding Christ before her. A cross potent at left and right. Wreath border.

Reverse

Herakleios, Herakleios Constantine, and Heraklonas (638–41)

Three emperors standing: in center, Herakleios, bearded; at left, Heraklonas, beardless; and at right, Herakleios Constantine, beardless. Each figure wears a crown with a cross and a chlamys and and holds a globus cruciger in his right hand. Each emperor wears his hair long at the sides. No inscription. Wreath border.

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Commentary

The empress Martina’s eldest surviving son, Heraklonas, who was born in Lazica in 625 or 626, was raised to the rank of caesar on 1 January 632 and became an augustus in July of 638.  Early coins depict a diminutive Heraklonas wearing a cap with a cross above his head.  The transition from cap to crown with cross is generally considered as signalling Heraklonas’s rise to augustus.  The increasing size of Heraklonas relative to Herakleios Constantine marks the passage of years.

The Mother of God’s chiton widens below the waist. It appears that her left hand is held below Christ’s foot. Heraklonas is represented as slightly shorter than Herakleios Constantine. Herakleios’s hair is quite full.

 

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