User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.


Start collecting

Circular medal of Heraclius (Byzantine Emperor AD 610-41). Obverse: Profile bust of Heraclius looking to proper left and set into a crescent shape below, wearing a crown; rays of light above; inscribed at edge in Greek across field "[first word in Greek]·LLVMINA·VVL·TVM·TVVM·DEV", and on...

Show Full Description


Obverse: Inscribed at edge in Greek ["Heraclius, faithful in Christ our Lord, king and emperor of the Romans, victorious and triumphant, forever exalted"], across field, first word in Greek and then "·LLVMINA·VVL·TVM·TVVM·DEV" ["Cause thy face to Shine, O Lord"], and on crescent shape "·SVPER·TENEBAS·NOSTRAS·MILLITABOR·IN·GENTIBVS·" ["Upon our darkness; I will make war upon the heathen"]. Reverse: Inscribed at edge "+SUPER+ASPIdEM+ET+BAXILISCVM+AMBVLAVIT+ET+CONCVLCAVIT+LEONEM+ET+dRACONEM+" ["He has trodden on the asp and basilisk and trampled on the lion and the dragon" from Psalm 90:13] and across field in Greek ["Glory in the heaves to Christ the Lord, for Emperor Heraclius has broken through iron gates and set free the Holy Cross"].


Made for Jean, Duc de Berry (1340-1416). Possibly from "the Neuburg Collection, Leitmeritz," Czechoslovakia [see note 1]. By 1967, with Blumka Gallery, New York, NY; 1967, sold by Blumka Gallery to the MFA. (Accession date: March 8, 1967) NOTES: [1] According to a handwritten notation by Hanns Swarzenski, Curator, in MFA curatorial file.

Credit Line

Theodora Wilbour Fund in memory of Zoë Wilbour

French (Burgundy), Medieval, about 1400

Object Place

Burgundy, France

Catalogue Raisonné

Kress 525.


Diameter: 9.5 cm (3 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Metal; bronze (88% copper, 9.5% zinc with small amounts of lead and tin)




Numismatics, Medals