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Solidus (Coin) of Leo V

A work made of gold.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gold.

Date:

813–820

Artist:

Byzantine, minted in Constantinople

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.

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Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium

Culture

Byzantine

Title

Solidus (Coin) of Leo V

Origin

Byzantine Empire

Date

Struck 813 CE–820 CE

Medium

Gold

Inscriptions

Obverse: LE OhbASILEy Reverse: COnSt AntIdESPIE

Dimensions

Diam. 1.8 cm; 4.46 g

Credit Line

Gift of Emily Crane Chadbourne

Reference Number

1940.22

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.

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