Ancient Byzantine Empire - AV Solidus - Constantine V and Leo IV - Circa 750-553 AD

Denomination:  AV Solidus                                                                      

Date: Circa (750-775 AD)

Mint:  Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey mint).                                      

Weight: 3.638 g

Mount: 18K  – Sapphire on bale.

Grade: NGC 6601616-012 – AU details - Strike: 4/5 - Surface: 3/5  

Description: Constantine V & Leo IV BYZANTINE EMPIRE AV Solidus. Obverse: (CONSTANTINOS S LEONONEOS), facing busts of Constantine with short beard (on left) and Leo IV beardless (on right), pellet and cross between them. Reverse: (G LEON P A MYL B), facing bust of Leo III, with short beard, wearing crown and loros, cross potent in right hand.

History: Constantine VI, also known as Constantine "the Blinded”, was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 780 to 797 CE, although for most of his reign his mother, Irene the Athenian, ruled as regent. When Constantine did finally get a go at ruling in his own right, he was anything but successful. Deposed by his own mother, Constantine was infamously blinded by her in the royal palace and, as was the intention, he died from his injuries.  Constantine was the son of Leo IV (r. 775-780 CE) and when, in 780 CE, his father died of fever, Constantine became emperor Constantine VI. However, as the new emperor was still a minor at nine or ten years of age, his mother Empress Irene ruled as his regent, a role she performed until 790 CE. Irene had immediate problems and had to quash a rebellion led by the other sons of Constantine V (r. 741-775 CE) and half-brothers of Leo IV. Once that was dealt with, she ensured the loyalty of the palace entourage by dismissing any ministers and military commanders of questionable affiliation.