Byzantine Empire, Heraclius, Solidus


Byzantine Empire, Heraclius, Solidus (obverse) Byzantine Empire, Heraclius, Solidus (reverse)

Heraclius was the last ruler of Late Antiquity and the first emperor of the Middle Byzantine Empire (610-641). Under his rule, Greek replaced Latin as official language in Byzantium. From now on, the Byzantine emperors did not bear the title Imperator any more, but were called Basileus. Heraclius' coins show the emperor alone or with different members of his family. When depicted with other persons, the hierarchy is strictly observed with two figures, the one on the left is always the emperor himself; with three figures, the highest ranking person is depicted in the middle, while the one on the left is of the lowest status. On the solidus shown here, Heraclius is represented together with his eldest son Heraclius Constantine; the emperor, on the left, is wearing a beard, whereas his son is beardless.


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