Coin Tours 〉 Early Middle Ages 〉 The Solidus – the Dollar of the Middle Ages 〉 Visigoth Empire, Imitative Solidus in the Name of Valentinian III (425-455 AD)
Visigoth Empire, Imitative Solidus in the Name of Valentinian III (425-455 AD)
|Mint:||Undefined in Gaul|
|Year of Issue:||425|
Though influenced to a large extent by the late Roman Empire, Visigoth coinage developed its own characteristics. True to Roman archetypes, the obverse of this solidus depicts the bust of Valentinian III, one of the last Western Roman Emperors. The reverse shows Valentinian again, holding a statue of Victory in his left and a patriarchal cross in his right hand – a double cross whose shorter upper crossbar represents the plaque bearing the inscription INRI for "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" on Jesus' cross (a Latin Cross).
Typically Visigothic is the little circle above the emperor's head on the obverse, illustrating a laurel wreath with a small hand in the middle (the Manus Dei), which is unfortunately hard to recognize on this coin. It stands for the elective monarchy of the Visigoths: Unlike the late Roman emperors, who declared their heirs co-emperors to ensure dynastic continuity, the Visigoth kings were elected.