Numismatic and History Discussions > Byzantine Coins

"True Cross" Pilgrim's Tokens

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Vladislav D:
Got this for Christmas - "True Cross" Pilgrim's Tokens - not a coins , but I think is pretty cool have them in my coin collection . No much information about them . This is from [REMOVED BY ADMIN]


Interesting token

I picked one up, in November last year, fits in nicely with my small Byzantine Collection, the only short article i know about these tokens is in Mitchiner i think? where it states "

"these pieces probably allude to the recovery of the true cross by the emperor Heraclius, these pieces may have been officially produced for distribution to those who attended the true cross on its journey", interesting thought

Mine along with those shown by Mitchiner apparently came from a hoard of these that was found in Turkey. 

Obviously if anyone can shine any more light i would also be interested.



I've wanted to pick one up too, but most are broken in some way.  I have seen complete ones, but the price is as to be expected.

I copied this description from one that I saw for sale:

During the war between the Byzantine and Sassanian Empires during 7th Century AD, Rhsru II captured Jerusalem and took the true cross as spoils of war. Taken back to Persia it was regained by Heraclius and taken to Constantinople and then across Asia minor back to its resting place at Jerusalem. During its return travel legend has it that a piece of the cross was taken and burned , the ashes were then mixed with clay and tokens were made commemorating the return of the true cross to Jerusalem. The tokens show an impression of the true cross with the heads of St Peter and St Paul in the angles of the cross. cf. Pilgrimage: Becket to Elvis, 1995, no. 82

This piece of information, that a piece of the true cross was mixed with clay, I could only find in sales descriptions. These of course aren't the most objective sources of information and I wonder if there is any substance to this element. Could be just a sales pitch.

Agreed.....just passing along something I had read about the tokens.

Here's an image of one of the few complete ones I've seen offered.....


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