Phocas, AD 602-610
AE Half-Follis. 5.33g, 25 x 20.5mm
MINTED: Constantinople mint, circa AD 602-610
REF: Sear Byzantine 644
OBVERSE: DN FOCA PERP AVG, Crowned facing bust, wearing consular garb, holding mappa and cross; cross in left field.
REVERSE: Large XX, star above; CONB in exergue.
Good/Very Fine. Pretty green patina. Irregular shaped flan typical of these issues which were cut from the flans of old coins.
Phocas was a mere centurion when, in 602, he was declared emperor by mutinying troops who were rebelling against Emperor Maurice. When Maurice was captured and executed together with his 6 sons, the Sassanian king Khosrow II, who was Maurice’s son-in-law and ally, declared war on Phocas. By 607, Phocas had lost Mesopotomia, Syria and a large portion of Asia Minor to the Persians. Phocas was, at the end of the day, an ineffectual ruler, and in 609, Heraclius, the powerful Exarch of Carthage, rebelled against him. Constantinople fell in October 610 and Phocas was executed.
BYZANTINE EMPIRE . Phocas, AD 602-610 . AE Half-Follis
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