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Ancient Coin - Aelia Verina - Solidus

Ancient Coin - Aelia Verina - Solidus Draped bust right / Victory Standing
Subject Aelia Verina
Reverse Type Victory
Denomination Solidus
Primary ID Type RIC
Primary ID 607
InscriptionObv AEL VERI NA AVG
InscriptionRev VICTOR IA AVGGGB CONOB
Material Gold
Earliest 462
Latest Possible Year 466
Mint Constantinople
Size (mm) 22
Weight (gr) 4.470
Period Imperial
Culture Rome


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Additional References: Depeyrot 93/2, Vagi 3795, LRC 593

Notes: Pearl-diademed and draped bust right, wearing necklace and earrings, crowned by the Hand of God / Victory standing left, supporting long jewelled cross; in field right, star. In exergue, CONOB.

The date of the present solidus is not certainly known. Kent, Grierson and Mays all describe it as an issue under her husband’s successor Zeno, with Kent suggesting it may have been struck in 462 or 466, two of the five occasions on which Leo I held the consulship.

Reverse: Victoria, in ancient Roman religion, was the personified goddess of victory. She is the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Nike, and was associated with Bellona. She was adapted from the Sabine agricultural goddess Vacuna and had a temple on the Palatine Hill. The goddess Vica Pota was also sometimes identified with Victoria. Victoria is often described as a daughter of Pallas and Styx, and as a sister of Zelus, Kratos, and Bia.

Unlike the Greek Nike, the goddess Victoria (Latin for "victory") was a major part of Roman society. Multiple temples were erected in her honor. When her statue was removed in 382 CE by Emperor Gratianus there was much anger in Rome. She was normally worshiped by triumphant generals returning from war.

Also unlike the Greek Nike, who was known for success in athletic games such as chariot races, Victoria was a symbol of victory over death and determined who would be successful during war.

Victoria appears widely on Roman coins, jewelry, architecture, and other arts. She is often seen with or in a chariot, as in the late 18th-century sculpture representing Victory in a quadriga on the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany; "Il Vittoriano" in Rome has two. Nike or Victoria was the charioteer for Zeus in his battle to over take Mount Olympus

Denomination: The solidus (Latin for "solid"; pl. solidi), nomisma, or bezant was originally a relatively pure gold coin issued in the Late Roman Empire. Under Constantine, who introduced it on a wide scale, it had a weight of about 4.5 grams. It was largely replaced in Western Europe by Pepin the Short's currency reform, which introduced the silver-based pound/shilling/penny system, under which the shilling (Latin: solidus) functioned as a unit of account equivalent to 12 pence, eventually developing into the French sou. In Eastern Europe, the nomisma was gradually debased by the Byzantine emperors until it was abolished by Alexius I in 1092, who replaced it with the hyperpyron, which also came to be known as a "bezant". The Byzantine solidus also inspired the originally slightly less pure Arabian dinar.

Mint: Constantinople (Latin: Constantinopolis) was the capital city of the Roman/Byzantine Empire (330 - 1204 and 1261 - 1453), and also of the brief Latin (1204 - 1261), and the later Ottoman (1453 - 1924) empires. It was reinaugurated in 324 AD at ancient Byzantium, as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine the Great, after whom it was named, and dedicated on 11 May 330.

Period: Imperial Rome. As the Roman Republic began to implode because of corruption and infighting among powerful members of the Roman Senate, a new type of Roman Republican coinage emerges, that of the military strongmen who dominated and fought among each other before the final fall of the Republic. The drama surrounding the fall of the Roman Republic is a story full of political intrigue, military action, betrayal, murder and sex scandals. Different parts of this story have been told and retold by ancient historians, modern day scholars, dozens of Hollywood movies and even an HBO miniseries. All of the actors in this great drama, Crassus, Pompey, Julius Caesar, Brutus and Cassius, Mark Antony and Cleopatra and the last man standing at the end of it all, Octavian (later known as the first emperor of Rome, Emperor Augustus) all minted coins during this time bearing their names and propaganda images supporting their factions and political ideals.

Culture: Ancient Rome. A famous catch phrase "Rome was not built in a day" definitely applies to the Roman civilization. Rome stated as a series of small villages among the famous seven hills of Rome along the river Tiber. Eventually through conquest, diplomacy, wise policies of indirect rule and assimilation, the Romans were able to not only unify the Italian peninsula, but though a series of brutal wars against regional powers established a great Empire that spanned Europe, Asia and Africa, making the Mediterrean Sea and "Roman Lake."

All Roman coinage can generally be divided into eight time periods as described below. An interesting thing about Roman coins minted during these eight time periods is that you can literally see the "Rise and Fall" of the Roman Empire on its coinage as the sharp imagery and pure silver and gold coins of the Roman Republic and Early Imperial Period gradually devolves into crude, illegible and heavily debased coins of the "Barracks Emperors" and "Barbarian" Period.


Item created by: gdm on 2016-08-14 13:58:08. Last edited by gdm on 2016-08-14 14:00:27

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