«Money in the Roman Republic»

Byzantine Empire, Basil II and Constantine VIII, Histamenon

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Byzantine Empire, Basil II and Constantine VIII, Histamenon (obverse) Byzantine Empire, Basil II and Constantine VIII, Histamenon (reverse)

The histamenon, also called stamenon nomisma (literally: standard coin), replaced the solidus as standard gold coin of the Byzantine Empire in the 960s AD. This histamenon dates back to the reign of Basil II (976-1025), who officially reigned jointly with his younger brother Constantine. However, Constantine was more interested in amenities than in politics, so that Basil was de facto the sole ruler of Byzantium. Accordingly he holds the place of higher rank on this coin, being depicted on the right, and his hand grasping the cross-staff higher up than Constantine's. The obverse depicts Christ holding the Bible.

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