Solidus (Coin) of Leontius

A work made of gold.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gold.

Date:

AD 695–698

Artist:

Byzantine, minted in Constantinople

About this artwork

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. Following Tiberius’s example, Leontius (r. 695–98) had an image of a monumental cross in Jerusalem placed on the back of his coin.

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.

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Ancient and Byzantine Art

Artist

Byzantine

Title

Solidus (Coin) of Leontius

Origin

Byzantine Empire

Date

695 AD–698 AD

Medium

Gold

Inscriptions

OB: D LEO (NPEAV) REV: VICTORIA AVS"h"B (looks like upside down "h") CONOB

Dimensions

Diam. 2 cm; 4.46 g

Credit Line

Gift of Emily Crane Chadbourne

Reference Number

1940.19

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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