Gold Solidus of Justinian I (527–65)
Made in Constantinople
Overall: 3/4 x 1/16 in. (1.9 x 0.1 cm)
Bequest of Joseph H. Durkee, 1898
Justinian in 539 was the first Byzantine emperor to adopt a completely frontal portrait, the imperial standard pose for the rest of Byzantine history.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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