© The Trustees of the British Museum/Art Resource, NY

CHRISTIANIZING COINAGE. Before the Kingdom of Aksum was Christian, the polytheistic disc and crescent religious symbol was prominent in royal iconography. For example, it appears at the top of the top coin of the Aksumite king Endubis from the late third century C.E. When the Aksumite kingdom converted to Christianity, beginning in the reign of King Ezana in the fourth century C.E., this religious symbol was replaced with the Christian cross. The cross is depicted at the top, bottom and two sides of King Ezana’s coin (bottom).