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    Constantine V: Zealous Iconoclast

    Constantine V Copronymus (AD 741-775). AV solidus (21mm, 4.44 gm, 6h).  Constantinople, AD 742-751. Б N CO-N-STANTINЧS·, crowned facing bust of Constantine, with short beard, wearing chlamys pinned at right shoulder, holding cross potent in right hand and akakia in left / Б LЄO-N P A MЧL·, crowned facing bust of Leo III, wearing chlamys pinned at right shoulder,  holding cross potent in right hand and akakia in left. Sear 1550. DOC 1d.1. Struck on a broad flan. NGC (photo-certificate) MS 4/5 - 5/5.

    From The Andre Constantine Dimitriadis Collection. Ex Stack's (New York, November 1990), lot 64. 

    Leo III's efforts to impose iconoclasm (the destruction of holy images) on the Empire were even more zealously carried out by his son and successor, Constantine V, whose long reign was marked by further military success abroad and heavy-handed repression within. Constantine's enemies called him Copronymos, i.e. "named in dung," because he had allegedly fouled his baptismal fountain. But his generalship proved outstanding against both the Arabs and the Bulgarians, whom he crushed at the battle of Anchialos in AD 763. Byzantine fortunes in Italy received a blow in 751, however, when the city of Ravenna fell to the Lombards. The iconoclast controversy created discord throughout the Byzantine world for more than a century and counteracted many of the reforms and military victories achieved by father and son. Still, their efforts ensured the empire's survival and paved the way for the great Macedonian Renaissance in the following century. 

    This coin from the Dimitriadis Collection has been issued a photo-certificate by NGC. It may be sent in for encapsulation after the auction at the request of the buyer, free of charge. E-mail SamS@HA.com if you would like to utilize this option.


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    Auction Dates
    September, 2014
    3rd-10th Wednesday-Wednesday
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