By the early 5th Century, the once dominant Roman Empire was a fragmented collection of on-again, off-again allied or warring regions. Divided roughly between the western and eastern halves of the empire, the glory of Rome was no longer. Out of the ashes of this once great society rose the empire that would dominate European culture, economics and warfare for close to a millennium: The Eastern Roman, or Christian Byzantine Empire.
From its origins to the height of its glory, Byzantine coinage bearing the image of Christ, celebrated the faith of the Christian empire. And most prized among its coinage is the 24K Gold Solidus bearing the Image of Christ - and the message: Jesus Christ, King of Kings. Pure Gold, shinning and heavy, this gleaming Solidus is a testament to the coin maker's art... and Christian faith.
The Byzantine Empire was firmly rooted in its Greek past. Byzantines were mainly Greek-speakers throughout Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Their capital city was Constantinople, which was also known historically as Byzantium. After the 5th century collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire continued to thrive and grow in influence, and while we refer to the “Byzantine Empire” or “Eastern Roman Empire,” they referred to their country as simply the “Roman Empire.”
Byzantine money – the money used in the Eastern Roman Empire after the fall of the West – was made up of two very different types of coins: the gold solidus and a variety of bronze coins with clearly defined values. By the end of the empire, coins were issued in silver and bronze only.Coin Notes: The Golbus Cruciger signifies that Christ is the ruler of the world, and the king or emperor is the ruler of his dominion. Officina letters signify a subdivision of the mint; they were used for quality control purposes by mint officials. The Emperor appears with his sons on this coin to help assure their successful succession.