Visigoth Empire, Imitative Solidus in the Name of Valentinian III

Though influenced to a large extent by the late Roman Empire, Visigoth coinage developed its own characteristics. True to Roman archetypes, the obverse of this solidus depicts the bust of Valentinian III (425-455 AD), one of the last Western Roman Emperors. The reverse shows Valentinian again, holding a statue of Victory in his left and a ferula in his right hand. One foot is standing on the head of a snake with a human head.

Typically Visigothic is the little circle above the emperor's head on the obverse, illustrating a laurel wreath with a small hand in the middle (the Manus Dei), which is unfortunately hard to recognize on this coin. It stands for the elective monarchy of the Visigoths: Unlike the late Roman emperors, who declared their heirs co-emperors to ensure dynastic continuity, the Visigoth kings were elected.