Rare Byzantine Coin Depicting Jesus Discovered in Norway

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James Lasher

A remarkable discovery has been made in the mountainous region of Vestre Slidre, Norway. A metal detectorist stumbled upon a very rare gold coin from the Byzantine Empire, featuring an image of Jesus Christ holding the Bible. The coin is believed to be over 1,000 years old and has sparked interest among archaeologists and historians.

The Byzantine Connection

The coin, known as a Byzantine histamenon nomisma, is thought to have originated in Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey), which was the capital of the Byzantine Empire. The coin’s age and location suggest a possible connection to the reign of Basil II and Constantine VIII, who were brothers and co-emperors of the Byzantine Empire from A.D. 962 to 1025.

Inscriptions and Design

The coin’s design includes a dotted, triple border, and it bears two inscriptions: one in Latin, which reads “Jesus Christ, King of those who reign,” and another in Greek, which says “Basil and Constantine, emperors of the Romans.” The inscriptions and images on the coin provide valuable insight into the religious and political climate of the time.

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Speculation on How the Coin Arrived in Norway

There are several theories on how the coin made its way to Norway. One possibility is that it was part of the treasure acquired by Harald Hardråde, who was the emperor’s bodyguard and later became king of Norway. Another theory is that the coin may have arrived through trade routes, such as the salt trade or the old trade routes known as the “Bispevegen.”

Impact and Significance

This rare and valuable artifact offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of the Byzantine Empire and its connection to Norway. It also highlights the importance of preserving and studying historical artifacts, as they provide invaluable information about the past.

Biblical Connections

The discovery of this coin with the image of Jesus Christ holding the Bible can be seen as a tangible connection to the Christian faith. In the Bible, Jesus is referred to as the “King of kings” (1 Tim. 6:15) and “King of the Jews” (Matt. 2:2). The coin’s inscription, “Jesus Christ, King of those who reign,” echoes these biblical references.

The discovery of this rare Byzantine coin in Norway is a remarkable find that provides a fascinating glimpse into the past. It highlights the importance of historical artifacts in understanding our shared history and the connections between different cultures and empires. The coin’s depiction of Jesus and its biblical inscriptions also serve as a reminder of the role of Christianity in shaping our world.

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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.

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