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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     253375
Type:     Ancient Africa
Issuer:     Ezanas
Date Ruled:     ca. 300-350 AD
Metal:     Bronze
Date Struck:     AD after his conversion to Christianity in 330
Diameter:     15 mm
Weight:     1.08 g
Obverse Description:     BACI LEYC, draped bust right wearing headcloth
Reverse Description:     +TOV TO APECH TH XWPA (May This [the cross] Please the Country), small cross in circle
Primary Reference:     Munro-Hay 52
Reference2:     BMC Aksum 90
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     VF, dark green patina.
Notes:     The establishment of Christianity in Axum saw the beginning of an active pilgrimage traffic between Ethiopia and the Holy Land. Pilgrims traveled down the Nile valley and then across to Palestine and Jerusalem. The pilgrims of course brought their coins with them, and the overt Christian symbolism appealed to the local communities through which they passed. As a result, Axumite bronze coins and local imitations of them saw considerable circulation in Egypt and Palestine. They have been found at numerous 4th to 6th century sites, circulating alongside the regular Roman and Byzantine nummi.