Byzantine Empire, Phocas, Semissis


Byzantine Empire, Phocas, Semissis (obverse) Byzantine Empire, Phocas, Semissis (reverse)

In the perception of the early middle Ages, the Roman Empire had in no way perished. Indeed it persisted, though on a smaller geographical scale, within the Byzantine Empire. The same naturally applied to the Byzantine coinage system. The founder of Constantinople, Emperor Constantine, had introduced the golden solidus, the silver miliarensis and the bronze follis around 310 AD. These coins replaced the traditional Roman coins aureus, denarius and sesterce. As half solidus, Constantine had the semissis struck. Semisses mostly bore the emperor's busts on the obverse – on this coin it is Phocas (602-610) –, while the reverse typically illustrated a winged Victoria.


Signet Sunflower Foundation