Home Ancient Byzantine Heraklian Dynasty 610- 711 AD BC001300
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Constantine IV, Pogonatos "the Bearded" 668-685 AD.
Solidus c 674-680, introduction of Greek Fire (ὑγρὸν πῦρ) and sponsor of the sixth Ecumenical Council.
Constantine IV (Κωνσταντίνος Δ') Pogonatos, "the Bearded" (c. 652 – September 685) was Byzantine Emperor from 668 to 685. His reign saw the first serious check to nearly 50 years of uninterrupted Islamic expansion, while his calling of the Sixth Ecumenical Council saw the end of the monothelitism controversy in the Byzantine Empire. The eldest son of Constans II, Constantine IV was the eldest son of Emperor Constans II and was made junior co-emperor with his father in 654. His brothers Heraklios and Tiberios were eleveted as well to the rank of Augusti. While Constans was in Italy Constantine managed Constantinople. When Constas was assassinated in 668 during the Mezezius Sicily Revolt Constantine became Emperor and crushed Mezezius with the aid of Pope Vitalian. Now Constantine had to address the attempt to overthrow him by the Armenian commander Saborios who asked the help of Caliph Muawiyah I in 668. Advancing up the coastal line the Arabs commenced a siege against Constantinople in 674. Constantine was well provisioned and constructed special fireships with tubes or siphons for squirting Greek fire, an incendiary derivative of potassium nitrate (KNO3) also referred to as saltpeter.. This is the first known use of Greek fire in combat which tipped the power scale towards the Byzantines. For the next five winters the Arabs withdrew to their winter camp in Kyzikos resuming unsuccessful spring sieges until they called this effort off in 678. The raising of the Constantinople siege allowed Constantine to go to the relief of Thessalonika that was under siege from the Slavs. Constantine then defeated the land forces in Anatolia and a truce was negotiated involving liberation of the seized island and an annual tribute to the Emperor consisting of fifty slaves, fifty horses, and 3,000 pounds of gold. In November 680 Constantine convened the Sixth Ecumenical Council officiating many of the proceedings. He took no active role in the theological discussions. The Council reaffirmed the Orthodox doctrines of the Council of Chalcedon in 451 solving the Monothelite controversy. When the Emperors Conatans II was alive he had elevated Constantine IV to the rank of junior co-emperor and his brothers Heraclios and Tiberios were crowned with him as August. This rank affirmation was accepted by popular demand. Threatened by his brothers he decided to make them ineligible for imperial rule. In 681 Constantine had them mutilated knowing an emperor could not serve in such a physical state. Eventually he made his son Justinian II co-emperor before he died of dysentery in September 685Eventually he made his son Justinian II co-emperor before he died of dysentery in September 685. Obverse helmeted and cuirassed Constantine IV holding a spear and shield DNCONStANy SPPA. Reverse a Cross set on three steps Heraclios and Tiberios each holding globus cruciger VICTO AV CONOB
Mint: Constantinople
Provenance: Private acqusition*

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