Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Feature Coin - A Solidus of Theodosius II

This coin is a gold Solidus weighing 4.37 grams of the Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius II.

on the Obverse of the coin, a Helmeted and cuirassed bust of the Emperor is facing front, holding spear and shield.

On the Reverse: VIRTEXERCRO, Emperor stands facing, head left, holding Barbarian. Struck in Constantinople in 441 AD. The reverse alludes to the Emperor's military virtues, an important propaganda device for retaining the loyalty of the army and to keep the citizens assured that the Emperor would keep the barbarian hordes in check.

The coin is in Extremely Fine condition.

Theodosius II is mostly known today as being the issuer of the Theodosian Code -- the Codex Theodosianus in 438 CE. After being issued in the East it was adopted by the Emperor of the West, Valentinian III. The Codex codified the Roman Law from Constantine forward and is still a strong influence on modern Civil Law that is practiced in much of Europe, Quebec and Louisiana (as opposed to common law) even today. A copy of the Theodosian Code can be found in the original Latin online. Unfortunately, I've been unable to find an available a full English translation on the web. The code provides a wealth of information for the social and legal historian for the development of laws and the society in which the code was formed. The code was later superceded by the Justinian Code.

This impressive solidus is for sale at Amphora Coins for $750.00.

A Shekel Trifecta - Coins, Law and Commentary all in one post!

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