The pagan religion of the Romans included many gods and goddesses – most of which they borrowed from the older religions of the Greeks and Egyptians. The Roman goddess of victory, for example, was originally the Greek Nike.
She was an important goddess in both Greece and Gome, and became especially important later in the Roman Empire when Christianity became the state religion and the of the old pagan gods were no longer shown on coinage. Only two pagan gods – Roma and Victory – survived into the era of Christianity. They existed, however, not as gods but as personifications of the Roman state and the victories they either won or hoped to win.
It was late in the 5th century AD, when this magnificent gold coin was struck by the Emperor Rocas (whose portrait appears on the front) that the personification of Victory evolved yet again and was equated with an angel. The Angel of Victory is shown on the back of this coin, holding a jeweled long cross, as a symbol of Roman hopes for immunity from their many foes.