Culture: Early Byzantine
Dimensions: Overall: 13/16 x 1/16 in. (2.1 x 0.1 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Darius Ogden Mills, 1904
Accession Number: 04.35.3356
Coins are important to historians because they generally provide valuable information about the date of their issue, place where they were struck, and details about the political structure. This solidus, or gold coin, was made in Constantinople during the reign of the controversial Byzantine emperor Phocas (602–10). The obverse (or front) features a representation of the bearded emperor holding a cross and wearing a crown, while the reverse includes a depiction of an angel holding symbols associated with Christ.