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HOME : Roman Coins : Archive : Roman Gold Solidus Depicting Emperor Theodosius II
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Roman Gold Solidus Depicting Emperor Theodosius II - C.2209
Origin: City of Thessalonica
Circa: 424 AD to 425 AD

Collection: Numismatics
Medium: Gold

Additional Information: SOLD

Location: United States
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Obverse: Bust of the Emperor Crowned with a Diadem and a Helmet

Reverse: The Emperor Standing Holding a Standard and a Cross on a Globe

Theodosius II was the son of the Eastern Roman emperor Arcadius. He was proclaimed Augustus in A. D. 402 but began to rule in his own right after the death of Arcadius in 408. Though only seven years old, he was in good hands. His sister, Pulcheria acted as regent for him and he had a competent praetorian prefect in Anthemius. Several important events occurred during the long forty-eight year reign of Theodosius II. Constantinople's triple defense wall was built to protect the city from attack from the landward side. All the Roman laws from the time of Constantine I up until about mid way through the reign of Theodosius II were reviewed and published in one manuscript, called the Codex Theodosianus. A university was founded at Constantinople to teach philosophy, law, and theology from a Christian perspective. This would be the third university in existence at that time, joining two that had been established several centuries earlier at Athens and Alexandria. During the reign of Theodosius II, the Eastern Roman Empire experienced a period of peace and prosperity even as the West was fighting for its very existence against barbarian chieftains. There was some trouble with Persia early on, but a treaty was signed in the first decade of the century between Constantinople and the Sassanid Persian Empire. Theodosius II fell from his horse while out riding one day in A. D. 450. The fall broke his back and the emperor later died from his injuries. Theodosius II was the last surviving emperor of the family of his grandfather Theodosius I to reign in the East.

How many hands have touched a coin in your pocket or purse? What eras and lands have the coin traversed on its journey into our possession? As we reach into our pockets to pull out some change, we rarely hesitate to think of who might have touched the coin before us, or where the coin will venture to after it leaves our hands. More than money, coins are a symbol of the state that struck them, of a specific time and location, whether contemporary currencies or artifacts of a long forgotten empire. This magnificent coin is a memorial to an ancient king passed down from the hands of civilization to civilization, from generation to generation.
- (C.2209)


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