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Research Coins: The Coin Shop

 
253360
253360. Sold For $295

KINGS of AXUM. Ezanas. Circa 300-350 AD. AR 14mm (0.75 gm). Struck after his conversion to Christianity in 330 AD. BAX ACA (unknown Greek legend), draped bust right wearing headcloth / +TOV TO APECH TH XWPA (May This [the cross] Please the Country), small voided cross in circle. Munro-Hay 50; BMC Aksum 75. VF.

The coins of Ezanas hold a unique distinction in world numismatics and history. The coins struck after his conversion to Christianity are the earliest to bear Christian symbols as their main type. Christianity found ready acceptance in the area, apparently because there was already a Jewish presence in the kingdom. After being driven into the hinterland by expanding Muslim power the Christian and Jewish communities retained their identities, and when the Abyssinian kingdom was established in the 17th century the royal family bore a traditional line of descent from king Solomon through the queen of Sheba.