Authentic Byzantine gold coin - AV Solidus - Theodosius II, Eastern Roman Empire - Circa (402-450 AD)

Denomination: AV Solidus                                                          

Date:  402-450 AD

Mint: Constantinople                                                               

Weight: 4.2g

Grade: NGC-63224768-025 - Ch Very Fine, Strike 4/5, Surface 2/5

Mount: 18K Gold

Description: Theodosius II, Eastern Roman Empire. AV solidus (21mm, 4.29 gm, 7h). Obverse: (D N THEODO-SIVS P F AVG), pearl-diademed, helmeted, cuirassed bust of Theodosius II facing, head slightly right, spear in right hand over shoulder, shield decorated with horseman motif in left. Reverse: (VOT XXX-MVLT XXXX H), Constantinopolis enthroned left, left foot on prow, globus cruciger in right hand, scepter in left, shield beside; star in right field, CONOB in exergue.  .

History: Struck during a period when Byzantium was paying enormous tribute to the Huns, this coin very well could have been part of the 700 pounds of gold (50,400 solidi) that Constantinople sent to the Huns every year after AD 433. Following a successful Hunnic invasion of the Balkans in AD 447, the tribute was tripled to an unthinkable sum of 151,200 solidi per year. These truly exorbitant tribute payments lasted only three years, however, as Marcian simply refused to pay them on his ascension to the throne in AD 450.

Theodosius II, Roman Emperor of the East, was born in April of 401 AD. Theodosius’ birth was received with considerable excitement, both by his family and by the broader population of Constantinople. He was baptized and crowned Augustus in January of the following year to enthusiastic crowds. His eldest sister, Pulcheria, oversaw his formal education. in March of 429, Theodosius set up a commission to take all existing laws from the late third century onward and arrange them in such a way as to present a completely new and current code of jurisprudence.

In February of 438, the Codex Theodosius was published and presented to the Senates in Rome and Constantinople, which both received the work with apparent enthusiasm.