Aphilas (c. 290- early 4th c. ACE).* AR unit, with gilding on the reverse. Obv. Aphilas r., wearing headcloth and earring (most of which is very worn). (From 8 o'clock: ) AφIλA [crescent with star] βαςιλI ("Aphila Bacili;" King Aphilas.) Rev. Profile (Possibly of a son and heir of Aphilas, or even of Ousanas, his successor, as a co-issue; see Munro-Hay's note). Thank you, with gilding. (From 6 o'clock: ) IAφιλAς β [crescent with star] Aςιλεγς ("Iaphilas Basileus.") (Munro-Hay /Juel/jensen Type 10. Cf. Phillipson, Foundations of an African Civilization, 184-5; Munro-Hay, Aksum, 186-8; "Aksumite Coinage" (In African Zion: The Sacred Art of Ethiopia), p. 105, no. 18.) Ezana (c. 330-360 CE --again from Phillipson). AR unit, pre-Christian phase of his reign. Obv. Ezana rt., wearing headcloth and earring (more visible than for Aphilas). (From 8 o'clock: ) HζA [crescent with star] Νλς ("Ezana Basileus;" King Ezana.) Rev. Small profile, again with a headcloth (tied in back, like a 4th-c. Roman diadem). (From 1 o'clock: ) βαςιλεγς. I have to wonder about the religious significance of the crescent and star. There's the obvious Sasanian precedent, with Zoroastrian connotations, but what was happening in this part of the world, in real time? Fleetingly, I thought the motif showed up in Himyarite issues, c. 2nd c. CE, but have never found any confirmation of that. *The regnal chronology is from Philipson, Foundations of an African Civilization: Aksum and the Northern Horn 1000 BC - AD 1300 (2012 /2014), p. 82. Munro-Hay (Aksum: An African Civilization of Late Antiquity, 1991, p. vii) puts Aphilas more vaguely at the beginning of the 4th century. ...And it's like this. Think of the sheer amount of documentation that was permanently desroyed in central and western Europe, over the course of the last couple of 'world wars.' Heck, you could start from the Thirty Years War, 1618-1648. Or even the Hundred Years War, 14th-15th centuries, in which, regarding the scale of destruction, whatever was lacking in military technology was more than compensated by sheer industry. This is why it's so much easier, for instance, to do genealogy from the UK than from the Continent. There's just not enough there to start with. This is effectively what happened to the Aksumites. From the 7th century (CE / AD? depends on who you were talking to), as the Sasanian empire, then the Rashidin Caliphate, conquered Alexandria. As succeding Caliphates inexorably occupied or destroyed Aksum's own coastal ports on the Red Sea, the country's entire political infrastructure was forced to migrate farther inland, eventuating in the modern kingdom of Ethiopia. It's a safe guess that vast amounts of primary-source documentation, in MS, whether in Koine Greek or Ge'ez, was lost.