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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 61, Lot: 2178. Estimate $500. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 25 September 2002. 
Sold For $500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

CONSTANTINE V. 741-775. Æ Solidus (3.00 gm). Struck 751-775. Rome mint. DNO CONS-TANTI, crowned facing bust of Constantine V, holding globus gruciger and akakia / DNO LE [O PPA MUL], crowned facing bust of Leo III, holding globus cruciger and akakia; in field, I and d. DOC III 33; cf. SB 1570. Good VF. ($500)

It is difficult to see how these official but totally debased solidi served an economic purpose in nominally imperial Rome. Constantine V inherited some considerable qualities of leadership from his father Leo III, but his persecution of iconophiles in the bureaucracy, army and church made him most unpopular in Italy. The transference of Sicily, Calabria and Illyria from papal to Byzantine ecclesiastical jurisdiction, followed by neglecting northern Italy and the seizure of Ravenna in 751 by the Lombard king Aistulf, drove the papacy ever closer to the Franks.