«The Fascination of Gold»

Byzantine Empire, Anastasius I, Solidus

 back

Byzantine Empire, Anastasius I, Solidus (obverse) Byzantine Empire, Anastasius I, Solidus (reverse)

When Anastasius became emperor of Eastern Rome in 491 (until 518), the solidus had been the standard gold coin of the Roman Empire for almost 200 years. It had been introduced around 310 by Emperor Constantine the Great. Most of Constantine's successors had taken care that their solidi were minted with constant gold contents and stable weights. This is how the solidity of the solidus had become proverbial. Solidi were issued until the decline of Western Rome and many Germanic tribes of the Migration Period copied them. The Byzantine Empire, which evolved from Eastern Rome, adopted the solidus too. In medieval documents, the schilling was often referred to as solidus in Latin. This solidus shows a profile bust of Anastasius on the obverse, while the reverse depicts Victoria, the goddess of victory.

 back