Exhibitions/ Art Object
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Solidus of Heraclius, Heraclius Constantine, and Heraclonas

Date:
638–641
Geography:
Made in Constantinople
Culture:
Byzantine
Medium:
Gold
Dimensions:
Overall: 13/16 x 1/16 in. (2 x 0.1 cm)
Classification:
Coins
Credit Line:
Gift of Darius Ogden Mills, 1904
Accession Number:
04.2.822
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 301
Herakleios included his sons' portraits on his coins to ensure that his subjects would expect them to succeed him. Some of the earliest Arab coins minted in Syria in the later 600s mimicked his coins.

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.
Inscription: [in Greek, on reverse:] Victory of the emperors; Constantipole, fine gold
Elbert E. Farman (1831–1911)(Warsaw, NY); Darius Ogden Mills (1831–1910), New York (1904)
Brown, Katharine Reynolds. "Documents in Gold." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 28, no. 6 (February 1970). no. 15, p. 238, fig. 15.

Evans, Helen C., and Brandie Ratliff, ed. Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, 7th–9th century. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. no. 86C, p. 140.



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