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Roman Empire, Theodosius II, Solidus

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Roman Empire, Theodosius II, Solidus (obverse) Roman Empire, Theodosius II, Solidus (reverse)

At the age of only seven, Theodosius followed his father Arcadius on the Roman throne (408-450). East Rome's main problem at that time was the Huns. Their hordes regularly attacked the empire. The military leaders were upgrading the army for defense, strengthening the fleet on the Danube River and fortifying Constantinople the city had hitherto been practically unprotected.

Despite the armament, Constantinople had to pay large sums of money to Attila, the king of the Huns, in order to prevent East Rome from further attacks. In 448, Constantinople had to pay 6000 pounds of gold. It might be that our solidus was one of the coins that helped to pay these tributes. The obverse shows Theodosius wearing a helmet, a shield and a lance, on the reverse sits Constantinopolis, the personification of Constantinople.

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