Description:This 11th century Byzantine gold coin, features Jesus Christ Pantokrator “Christ in Majesty”, wearing a cruciform nimbus crown while holding the Book of Gospels and raising his right hand in benediction. The Latin inscription IҺS XRS RЄX RЄGNANTIM translates to “Jesus Christ King of Kings”. The reverse depicts the crowned Emperor Constantine IX wearing a jeweled chlamys, while holding a labarum and a globus cruciger, which were Christian symbols of authority during the Medieval Period.
The Byzantine Empire, centered on the capital of Constantinople, was still called the Roman Empire by its inhabitants and neighbors. Greek was the main language spoken here and the Empire was a cradle of Christianity and a major trade center. It helped to shield Europe from Muslim expansion and provided a stable gold currency for the region. The Empire also preserved much of the literary works and scientific knowledge of ancient Greece, Rome and many other cultures.
This coin was minted during the rule of Constantine IX, who was emperor from 1042-1055. It was during the rule of Constantine in 1054, that the centuries old disagreements finally separated the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. The Byzantines however, endured for another 4 centuries and the Christian faith flourished under their protection.