Gold Solidus of Constans II (641–68)
Made in Constantinople
Overall: 13/16 x 1/16 in. (2 x 0.1 cm)
Gift of Darius Ogden Mills, 1904
A cross on steps is thought to represent the great cross that the emperor Theodosius II (r. 408–50) erected on Golgotha, the site of Christ's crucifixion.
Coins connected an emperor to his subjects. He paid the army in coins, received taxes in coins, and was responsible for maintaining their weight and purity. These coins of early Byzantine emperors conveyed imperial ideals through inscriptions and images.
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