About this artwork
The imagery of Byzantine coins, as well as their use—or not—of religious imagery, reflects the different attitudes toward representation of divine figures as a result of the Iconoclastic (from the Greek eikon, or image, and klao, to break) Controversy, a fierce debate among Byzantine theologians over the appropriate role of images in religious worship that raged in Byzantium for over 100 years from about 730 to 843.
On both sides of his coin, Leo V (r. 813–20) holds a small cross. Christian imagery is downplayed, not surprising given the emperor’s stance as a staunch opponent of the use of images in religious worship.
- Currently Off View
- Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium
- Solidus (Coin) of Leo V
- Byzantine Empire
- Struck 813 CE–820 CE
- Obverse: LE OhbASILEy Reverse: COnSt AntIdESPIE
- Diam. 1.8 cm; 4.46 g
- Gift of Emily Crane Chadbourne