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about ancient nomos

Ancient Nomos Art is a museum of galleries exhibiting ancient coins and ancient mint maps. The coin gallery displays the diverse art and history of hand-crafted ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Persian and Medieval coinage. The ancient mints mapping gallery features Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Asia Minor and Medieval mint city regions and territories. Visitor's are welcome to explore, study and enjoy Ancient Nomos Art.

 

Byzantine, Roman – 476 AD

Zeno

From Ancient Galleries

Obverse: Pearl-diademed, helmeted, draped and cuirased three-quarter bust of Zeno facing slightly right, holding decorated shield with spear over right shoulder.
Reverse: Winged Goddess Victory standing slightly left, holding long jeweled cross.

LEGEND
Obv. D N ZENO PERP AVG, Pearl-diademed, helmeted, draped, and cuirassed three-quarter bust of Zeno (2nd reign) facing slightly right, holding spear in right hand, on left arm a shield decorated with horseman motif spearing an enemy below. Rev. VICTORI-A AVGGG, Winged Victory standing slightly left, holding long jeweled cross in right hand; star in right field; CONOB below, ς to right.

Emperor Flavius Zeno, originally named Trascalissaeus, was a prominent leader from 474 to 491 AD. He has been commended for his ability to govern, stabilize the Eastern Empire, resolve civil revolts, religious dissentions and usurpation plots against his rule. He is credited for resolving the Monophysite controversy in a first Henoticon Union that was later signed by all Eastern Bishops. Zeno is also widely considered the first ruler of a fully independent Byzantine Empire, being the first to rule the east without a western Roman counterpart. Zeno is also surreptitiously known as the Emperor who presided over the official end of Rome’s Western Empire under Julius Nepos and Romulus Augustus. His coin portraiture is the last to depict the Emperor without Christian symbols, contrasting the Justinian portrait icons appearing just a few years later (See Justinian I). The gold coin obverse above depicts Zeno in full western military regalia, virtually unchanged from the style started by Constantius II 100 years earlier (See Constantius II). The bust of Zeno is rendered in a three-quarter facing portrait pose. He is seen wearing the Emperor’s decorative military helmet, cuirass garments, while raising his right hand to hold a long spear across his right shoulder. His left arm is holding a decorated warrior’s shield emblazoned with a Roman soldier riding a galloping horse to the right. The reverse image cleverly mixes a Pagan Latin legend, VICTORI-A AVGGG, for Victory, and the Christian cross iconography. The winged goddess Victory is seen standing slightly forward with her head turned left. She is now seen holding a long jeweled Christian cross, indicating a new and clear transformation from sacred Pagan goddess to a Christian symbol of worship.

DOCUMENTATION
Value: Solidus. Metal: AV Gold. Weight: 4.47 grams. Mint: Constantinople. Date: 476-491 AD.
Attribution: Roman Imperial Coinage X 910-929, 6th officina; Depeyrot 108/1.

Legend, Documentation and Attribution

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