Solidus of Verina

The obverse of the gold coin features Aelia Verina, the wife of Emperor Leon I (457–474). She is depicted bust-length, dressed in imperial robes. The hand of God appears above her, placing the diadem on her head. Dotting has been used extensively on the frame, her garments, and the large cross. Arranged circularly, the inscription reads: AELYERINAAYC = Aelia Verina Augusta. The reverse features a winged Nike holding a large cross. On the inscription, we read: VICTORI A AYCCC = Victory of the Augusti, while the mint where it was struck (CON = Constantinople) and its purity in gold (OB = ob[ryzum], i.e. pure gold) are inscribed along the bottom. The solidus, the basic monetary unit of the Byzantine Empire, was introduced by Emperor Constantine the Great. Its purchasing power, which was considerable due to its weight (1/72 of a pound of pure gold), resulted in the solidus gaining the status of an international currency. Coins of this sort have been found in every part of the then known world, from North-West Europe to the Indies.

Skampavias K. 2007. Catalogue no. 24, in Skampavias K.—Chatzidakis N. (eds), Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos Museum. Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Art, Athens, 39.