Solidus (Coin) of Heraclius

A work made of gold.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gold.

Date:

638/641

Artist:

Byzantine; minted in Constantinople (now Istanbul)

About this artwork

Obverse: Heraclius flanked by two sons Heraclius Constantine and Heraclonas, all front, holding globes
Reverse: Greek cross on 3 steps, monogram of Heraclius to left of 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

Ancient and Byzantine Art, Gallery 153

Artist

Byzantine

Title

Solidus (Coin) of Heraclius

Origin

Byzantine Empire

Date

638 AD–641 AD

Medium

Gold

Inscriptions

REV: 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 .

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