The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, the Lapworth Museum of Geology and the University of Birmingham Collections - Objects
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ID number: BIRBI-LR337
Institution: The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Named collection: P.D. Whitting Collection
Artist / Maker: Arcadius (383-408)
Title / Object name / Definition: Follis
Object type: Coin
Place made: Mint of Constantinople
Culture: Late Roman
Date made: After 386
Collector: P.D. Whitting
Measurements: 5.45 g
Description: Obverse: Bust of Emperor Arcadius wearing a pearl diadem.
Reverse: Standing figure of Emperor Arcadius in military attire. Arcadius is holding the labarum (imperial standard) in his right hand and a globus cruciger in his left. The left foot of Arcadius rests on a kneeling captive. Cross in the field. This coin shows Arcadius in the traditional role of the emperor as defender of the empire, and victor over barbarians. This imagery had particular significance during this period of Roman history as for the first eighteen years of his reign the Visigoths (a German tribe) settled on imperial soil firstly in the Danube plain (382-395), and then pillaging their way across the Balkans eventually being bought off with lands in Epirus (398-401). Only in 406 did the Visigoths finally leave the Eastern Roman Empire, attacking the Western Roman Empire, where their king Alaric would sack Rome in 410.
Inscriptions / Translations: Obverse: DNARCADIUSPFAVCVSTVS (Our Lord Arcadius Dutiful Happy Augustus)
Reverse: VIRTVSE XERCITI (Courage of the army) CONST (Mint mark of Constantinople) in the exergue.
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