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Nomos AG > Auction 19Auction date: 17 November 2019
Lot number: 460

Lot description:

AXUM. Armah, circa 630-650. (Bronze, 20 mm, 2.36 g, 12 h). ngs 'rmH, in Ge'ez ('King Armah') Armah, wearing turreted crown, robes and holding a long cross scepter, seated tight on high-backed throne. Rev. fsH lykn l'Hzb, in Ge'ez ('Let there be joy to the peoples') Plain cross, with central compartment inlaid with gold, on processional handle, within wreath formed by two wheat stalks . BMC 571 ff. MH/JJ 153. Very well and sharply struck with a dark green patina. A very attractive piece. Extremely fine.

From a Swiss collection, ex Bolaffi 33, 29 November 2018, 622 (part.

Armah was the last Axumite king to have coinage: the Persian reconquest of the Yemen, followed by the rise of the Arabs, the coming of Islam, and environmental changes in the area of Axum itself meant that Ethiopia basically left the international stage for a thousand years. This king's tragic destiny was commemorated in a contemporary epic of poetical form; now lost there are, however, a few fragments translated into Latin by a medieval Italian monk who traveled in the area during the 10th century. The best known of the fragments is, of course, its first sentence "Arma virumque cano.

Estimate: 150 CHF