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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     74000899
Type:     Ancient Africa
Issuer:     Anonymous
Date Ruled:     AXUM
Metal:     Gold
Diameter:     17 mm
Weight:     1.53 g
Die Axis:     12 h
Obverse Description:     + CIN + CLX + LCL + CLC, crowned and draped bust right, holding branch, framed by grain ears
Reverse Description:     + CVN + CLX + LCL + CLC, draped bust right, wearing headcloth, holding branch, framed by two grain ears
Primary Reference:     Munro-Hay Type 81
Reference2:     BMC Aksum -
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     Good VF.
Notes:     Sale: Triton X, Lot: 899 The Axumite kings and their successors down to the modern emperors of Ethiopia have traced their lineage to David, Solomon, and the Queen of Sheba. The Axumite people, with their powerful navy and far-flung trading interests, held an empire that at its greatest extent took in portions of present-day Eritrea, Ethiopia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Djibouti, and Sudan. They invented their own alphabet, constructed monumental architecture and obelisks still to be seen, and were the only ancient sub-Saharan state to issue coins, beginning circa AD 270 under King Endubis.In circa AD 325 King Ezana made Christianity the official religion, and the Axumites issued the first coins to employ the cross as a Christian symbol. The Ethiopian (or Abyssinian) Church has continued to exist until the present day, following the schism with Rome at the Council of Chalcedon in 451. The scriptures and liturgy are still in the Axumite language Ge’ez.Coins continued to be issued until the 7th century, when decline set in and many of the Axumites escaped invaders by moving into the highlands. The people resisted the advance of Islam through the following centuries and have maintained their distinctive traditions and religion. They are thought to have been one of the lost tribes of Israel and later to have served as the foundation of the legend of Prester John.