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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     253360
Type:     Ancient Africa
Issuer:     Ezanas
Date Ruled:     ca. 300-350 AD
Metal:     Silver
Date Struck:     AD after his conversion to Christianity in 330
Diameter:     14 mm
Weight:     0.75 g
Obverse Description:     BAX ACA (unknown Greek legend), draped bust right wearing headcloth
Reverse Description:     +TOV TO APECH TH XWPA (May This [the cross] Please the Country), small voided cross in circle
Primary Reference:     Munro-Hay 50
Reference2:     BMC Aksum 75
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     VF.
Notes:     The coins of Ezanas hold a unique distinction in world numismatics and history. The coins struck after his conversion to Christianity are the earliest to bear Christian symbols as their main type. Christianity found ready acceptance in the area, apparently because there was already a Jewish presence in the kingdom. After being driven into the hinterland by expanding Muslim power the Christian and Jewish communities retained their identities, and when the Abyssinian kingdom was established in the 17th century the royal family bore a traditional line of descent from king Solomon through the queen of Sheba.