Skip to Content

The museum is closed today. View our hours.

Solidus (Coin) of Heraclius

A work made of gold.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of gold.

Date:

638-641

Artist:

Byzantine; minted in Constantinople (now Istanbul)

About this artwork

On the front (obverse) of this coin Emperor Heraclius is flanked by his two sons, Heraclius Constantine and Heraclonas. All are facing front and holding globes. On the back (reverse) is a Greek cross on 3 steps, with the monogram of Heraclius to the left of the cross.

Coins were an ideal way for Byzantine emperors to circulate their images throughout the empire and beyond, since they were used to pay for imported merchandise and to pay foreign mercenaries. They could also be employed as powerful vehicles for propaganda, promoting dynastic succession and emphasizing the earthly emperor’s god-given right to rule.

This coin is a gold solidi weighing 4.5 grams. From the fourth century on, the solidus was the preferred gold coin issued by Byzantine emperors. The solidus remained essentially unaltered in weight and purity until the tenth century.

On View

Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium, Gallery 153

Culture

Byzantine

Title

Solidus (Coin) of Heraclius

Origin

Byzantine Empire

Date

Struck 638 CE–641 CE

Medium

Gold

Inscriptions

Reverse: CONOB VICTORIA AVCVS

Dimensions

Diam. 2 cm; 4.49 g

Credit Line

Gift of Emily Crane Chadbourne

Reference Number

1940.14

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share