Heraclius became the first crusader, when he recovered the True Cross from the Persian king Khusru. When his rule began, the empire was threatened from all sides. He rose to become one of the Byzantine Empire's greatest rulers and set up a system of military government that lasted into the Middle Ages. With the rise of Muslim power, much of his hard work was undone in the final years of his reign. This 12 nummi piece was struck in Alexandria during Heraclius' reign.