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This unique gold coin from the Late Roman Empire was discovered in 2004, during archeological excavations of the Cueva de las Güixas, a cave in Villanúa, Huesca. It is a solidus of Arcadius, who was Augustus (or Roman emperor) between 383 and 395 CE, and Eastern Roman Emperor from 395 through 408 CE. The coin was produced by a mint in Mediolanum, which is now Milan. The obverse shows a bust of the emperor, and the reverse shows the emperor standing on a captive and carrying the standard of the goddess Victoria. In the year 310, under Constantine the Great, the solidus replaced the traditional Roman aureus (or denarius aureus) coin. This new coin, which weighed almost half as much as the Augustus aureus, would determine the Byzantine and, later, Arabic monetary systems. The solidus, and the smaller denominations semissis and tremissis, were created in 384 CE. A large number of them were issued, particularly in border areas where the currency was more in demand, and they became the preferred form of payment for taxes and fines.

Details

  • Title: Solidus
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: 383 - 408
  • Physical Dimensions: 2,1 cm
  • Type: Numismatics
  • Rights: Gobierno de Aragón
  • External Link: CERES MCU
  • Medium: Gold minting
  • Photograph: Fernando Alvira Lizano
  • Cultural Context: Late Antiquity

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