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Exhibitions

8 November 2013 Start
30 November 2013 End
Monday to Friday: 10am - 5pm Saturday & Sunday: 11am - 5pm Time
UK Coin Gallery, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TS

Tel.: +44 (0) 121 414 7333
e-mail.: info@barber.org.uk
Visit website

Visualising the divine on Byzantine and Early Islamic Coinage

8 November 2013 - 30 November 2014

Coins have always provided a stage on which the dramas of religion and politics, statehood and rebellion, marriage and succession, and triumph and desperation are played.

In the first quarter of the seventh century, the East Roman Emperor Herakleios requisitioned silver from the churches of Constantinople to pay his army. The coins bore the petition ‘God help the Romans’.

A generation later the leader of the first Muslim Empire, the Umayyad Caliph Abd Al-Malik, created a gold coinage emblazoned with Islamic verse, which transformed the nature of Muslim coinage for centuries.

This fascinating exhibition explores the origins and manufacturing processes of coinage in the neighbouring Byzantine and early Muslim empires. The relationship between these two empires was characterised by a constant dialogue of trade, intellectual exchange and military confrontation. These coins show how currency was used by each to assert cultural difference and promote its own concept of the divine.

Related events

Lunchtime Lecture

The Emperor’s Gold: Coins as Markers of Faith and Power

Dr Rebecca Darley, Lead Curator, Faith and Fortune

Wednesday 13 November, 1.10 pm

Exhibition tours

Sundays 17 November & 15 December, 2.30pm

This fascinating exhibition explores the origins and manufacturing processes of coinage in the neighbouring Byzantine and early Muslim empires. The relationship between these two empires was characterised by a constant dialogue of trade, intellectual exchange and military confrontation. These coins show how currency was used by each to assert cultural difference and promote its own concept of the divine.

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