Description:This 11th century Byzantine gold histamenon nomisma coin features Jesus Christ Pantokrator “Christ in Majesty” wearing a nimbus crown and holding the Book of Gospels. The Latin inscription IҺS XIS RЄX RЄGNANTINM translates to "Jesus Christ King of Kings." The reverse depicts the Emperor Constantine IX, standing and holding a cruciform scepter and a globus cruciger, which were Christian symbols of authority during the Medieval Period.
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the Middle Ages, centered on the capital of Constantinople, "New Rome." Although Greek was the main language spoken here, the Byzantine citizens still referred to themselves as Romans. With the eventual decline of the Western Roman Empire, Constantinople became the richest and most influential center of the Christian world. The Empire was a major trade center and provided a stable gold currency for the region, while helping to shield Europe from Muslim expansion. As this coin shows, art here was mainly devoted to the Christian faith.
This gold 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 four centuries and Christianity flourished under their protection.