About this artwork
On the front (obverse) of this coin Emperor Heraclius is flanked by his two sons, Heraclius Constantine and Heraclonas. All are facing front and holding globes. On the back (reverse) is a Greek cross on 3 steps, with the monogram of Heraclius to the left of the 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.
- Solidus (Coin) of Heraclius
- Byzantine Empire
- Struck 638 CE–641 CE
- Reverse: CONOB VICTORIA AVCVS
- Diam. 2 cm; 4.49 g
- Gift of Emily Crane Chadbourne