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601-602 AD Byzantine Carthage Gold Maurice Tiberius Solidus NGC MS
An Extremely Rare Byzantine Gold Solidus Minted Under an Actual Saint!
- Minted -- Carthage, 601/2 AD
- Grade -- NGC Mint State (MS), Strike 4/5, Surface 4/5
- Obverse -- Helmeted, draped and cuirassed facing bust of the emperor, holding globus cruciger AN E (= year 5 of the Second Indictional cycle)
- Reverse -- Angel standing, facing, holding chi-rho cross and globus cruciger, E (year 5) at end of legend; mintmark below: CONOB
- Legend -- VICTORIA AVςЧ
- Diameter -- 18 mm
From the desk of GovMint.com's resident ancient coin expert, David Levine:
- This is an extremely rare coin -- less than five are known to currently exist.
- In a search of all of the over 1,660 major ancient coin auctions of the past 16 years, there have been only two other coins of this type sold.
- Despite the mintmark of CONOB, which represents Constantinople, this coin was produced at the much rarer mint of Carthage. The coins of Carthage are very different from those minted in Constantinople. Coins from the mint of Carthage have a much smaller diameter and are much thicker while still possessing the same correct official weight. These coins are also marked with a year on both the obverse and reverse.
- This is a very high grade coin minted by the emperor whose attempt to make a lasting peace with the Persians began the story of the "True Cross."
- Emperor Maurice Tiberius was known for his expertise as a military strategist. But, as Emperor and head of the church, as well as a future Saint of the Orthodox Christian Church, he also strove for peace -- especially with the mighty Persian Empire. Therefore, he made peace with King Khosrau II and strengthened the agreement by marrying his daughter off to the king.
- Unfortunately, the peace did not hold and 12 years after the reign of Maurice Tiberius, Khosrau II again invaded the lands of Byzantium and captured Anatolia, Syria and Palestine. When the Persians captured Jerusalem in 614 AD they sacked the city and took the True Cross and sent it back to the Christian Queen Mary, daughter of Maurice Tiberius.
- It took the then-current Emperor Heraclius another 13 years to defeat Khosrau II and take the True Cross back to Constantinople. Two years later, Heraclius journeyed to Jerusalem, bringing the Cross back to its home on March 21, 630 AD.
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