Description:This Byzantine cup shaped gold coin, features Jesus Christ Pantokrator “Christ in Majesty” wearing a cruciform nimbus crown and holding the Book of Gospels. It was hand struck in Constantinople during the reign of Michael VII Doukas. The reverse depicts the Emperor standing and holding a labarum and a globus cruciger, which were Christian symbols of authority during the Medieval Period. Michael VII was the Byzantine Emperor from 1071 until he resigned the throne in 1078. He retired into the Monastery of Stoudios and later became Metropolitan Archbishop of Ephesus.
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the Middle Ages, centered on the capital of Constantinople and ruled by Emperors in direct succession to the ancient Roman Emperors. The Empire became 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. This coin was minted 7 centuries after Constantine I began the transformation of the Roman Empire from a pagan nation to one based on Christianity. As this coin shows, art of the Byzantine Empire was mainly devoted to the Christian faith which flourished for over a thousand years under their protection.