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    Heraclius Defends Jerusalem

    Jerusalem. Heraclius (610 - 641 AD). AE follis (32mm, 16.91 gm, 6h). DN HERAC PP AVG; crowned bust facing, with pointed beard, wearing consular robes, holding mappa and scepter with eagle / Large M, cross above, between ANNO and IIII, in exergue XC NIKA. Sear 852c. MIB pl. 14,X28. Very Rare. Dark green patina, earthen highlights. Very Fine, surely among the finest known specimens.

    This remarkable follis was likely struck while Persian forces were laying siege to Jerusalem during the Byzantine-Sassanid War of AD 602-628. At some point, the East Romans changed the mint mark on copper folles struck in the city from a straightforward "Jerusalem" (IEPOCO) to "Christ Conquers" (X C NIKA), likely an attempt to rally a dispirited populace. If the reading of "Year Four" is a regnal date, it places the issue in AD 614, during the siege. An alternative theory holds that the date is an Indictional year, which would oplace the issue in AD 630/1, after the Byzantines recovered Jerusalem. The mint mark would thus mark celebration rather than defiance.


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    Auction Dates
    March, 2012
    8th-9th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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