Today’s puzzle shows us how the Roman Empire moved its centre of power around 300: on this solidus, Roma presents the globe to Emperor Constantine the Great. From then on, it was no longer the old lady on the Tiber who played first fiddle but the metropolis on the Bosporus.
Today you will see the Persian King Darius the Great (ca. 522-486 B.C.) in a half-kneeling stance as brave archer on one of his gold coins. For a long time, these darics, which were named after him, were a popular means of payment throughout the Mediterranean world.
The Roman Empire was terrified of this man: Shapur II, King of the Sasanian Empire, is shown on this stater wearing the typical dress of his people. His crown, on the other hand, is quite unique: no other king wore a lion scalp with a globe in the form of an artichoke.
Northern India experienced a period of prosperity around 400 under the Gupta dynasty. King Chandragupta II not only promoted arts and culture, he was also called the “world conqueror”. With bow and arrow, Chandragupta shows his martial side on this golden dinar.
Well-shaved or with beard? It’s always a statement – and it even was in ancient Rome. Hadrian was the first emperor with beard. Why? Scholars are still trying to figure out the answer. The beard certainly added a whole new “touch” to his coins as this aureus shows.