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.
Currently Off View
- Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium
- Solidus (Coin) of Leontius
- Byzantine Empire
- Struck 695 CE–698 CE
- Obverse: D LEO (NPEAV) Reverse: VICTORIA AVS"h"B (looks like upside down "h") CONOB
- Diam. 2 cm; 4.46 g
- Gift of Emily Crane Chadbourne