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Constans II and Constantine IV (654–59)

Accession number BZS.1958.106.547 (formerly DO 58.106.547)
Diameter 29 mm
Condition Chipped. Corroded on the reverse. Cast with a small hook.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 20.5.


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


Half-length bust of Constans II at left, and a bust of Constantine IV at right. Facial details indistinct. Each wears a crown with a cross and a chlamys. No visible epigraphy or border.


Constans II took his son Constantine IV as a colleague on 13 April 654. Consequently seals and coins (for example, DOC 2.2:25h [pl. 24]; MIB 3: Prägetabelle 5, nos. 26–28) bearing depictions of the two rulers are assigned from that date until June of 659, when Constans associated with himself two more sons, Herakleios and Tiberios. As with coins, Constans during this second period of his reign is depicted with a longer beard and mustache.

It is not impossible that the specimen belongs to the joint reign of Herakleios and Herakleios Constantine. Certain stylistic differences, however, argue in favor of the attribution listed here.  First, the Mother of God is flanked by two long, thin crosses. Similar crosses are found on specimens with legible epigraphy that may confidently be assigned to Constans II and Constantine IV (see Zacos–Veglery, no. 18). The crosses of Herakleios and Herakleios Constantine (for example, BZS.1958.106.528) have vertical and transverse bars that are thicker by comparison with this example. Second, on the present specimen the Mother of God’s chiton falls straight, unlike Herakleian seals, on which it flares below the waist.