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Kingdom of Aksum
Preceded by
King of Aksum Succeeded by

Aphilas (early 4th century) was a King of the Kingdom of Aksum in East Africa modern day northern Ethiopia and Eritrea . He is known from the coins he minted, which are characterized by a number of experiments in imagery on the obverse, and being issued in fractions of weight that none of his successors copied.[1]

G.W.B. Huntingford suggests that he was the ruler who erected the anonymous inscription at Adulis known as the Monumentum Adulitanum.[2]

His coins[edit]

Aphilas produced the smallest gold coins ever minted in sub-saharan Africa, equivalent to one sixteenth of a Roman aureus. The obverse of this coin features not only his portrait, but the crescent and disc symbolic of the pre-Christian beliefs of Axum. The reverse features his name and title rendered in Greek, the lingua-franca of the civilized world at that time. Note that the "A"s lack a horizontal crossbar but have a dot placed below them instead.

His silver coin features his portrait on both the obverse and reverse with the disc and crescent (at top). The reverse revals a distinguishing festure of Axumite coinage; gilding. The reverse interior portrait is overlaid with gold.


  1. ^ S. C. Munro-Hay, Aksum: An African Civilization of Late Antiquity (Edinburgh: University Press, 1991), p. 188.
  2. ^ G.W.B. Huntingford, The Historical Geography of Ethiopia (London: The British Academy, 1989), pp. 40f.