Light Weight Solidi and Byzantine Trade Dring the Sixth and Seventh Centuries

Author
Adelson, Howard L.
Series
Numismatic Notes and Monographs
Publisher
American Numismatic Society
Place
New York
Date
Source
Donum
Source
Worldcat
Source
Worldcat Works
Source
HathiTrust

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CC BY-NC

Acknowledgement

Open access edition funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Humanities Open Book Program.

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Forword

The commercial relations of Byzantium with the West during the early mediaeval period have been the subject of many historical studies such as those of Henri Pirenne and Alfons Dopsch. As the older view of a catastrophic break in the stream of civilization during the period of the barbarian invasions was relegated to the history of historiography, the importance of the economic changes of the early Middle Ages assumed greater and greater significance. It is, of course, true that most of the scholars who have attempted discussions of the history of this period have made some use of the numismatic material available to them, but they have in no sense exhausted the information that may be derived from that source. In the study of the early Middles Ages numismatics has been used largely as illustrative material to support conclusions based primarily upon the literary sources. The archaeological and numismatic studies have therefore not served their true function as ancillary sciences of history. Many reasons for this situation are immediately evident, if a summary perusal is made of the secondary literature in those fields and the training of most mediaevalists is considered.

This book is not designed to cover this tremendous gap in historical scholarship, but it is an attempt to indicate that certain facts which may be derived from the numismatic and archaeological data are vital to a complete synthesis of the historical material. It is no longer possible for a mediaevalist, anymore than for an ancient historian, to relegate the vital ancillary sciences to the field of antiquarianism. From the deductions based on the results of archaeological and numismatic study of the remains of the early mediaeval period a new view of that epoch may be constructed which will encompass the literary evidence as well.

This book itself, however, did not begin as an attempt to correct this woeful lack of utilization of numismatic evidence. While I was working on a much larger study on the subject of Byzantine monetary policy from Diocletian to Heraclius, it soon became evident that the light weight gold currency, which had received passing interest from numismatists but was generally ignored by historians, was really deserving of a much more intensive treatment. No successful attempt had been made to integrate this unique series of gold coins into the economic history of the sixth and seventh centuries. The amount of material at the disposal of a researcher had grown considerably in recent years, and several men of stature in numismatic studies had begun to collect data on these pieces. A fair number of site finds and hoards were known which had a direct bearing on the problem, and the general situation had never been so favorable for an attempt at a solution. In addition the American Numismatic Society was very fortunate in securing the participation of Mr. Philip Grierson of Gonville and Caius College of Cambridge University for the Summer Seminar in Numismatics of the year 1954. The opportunity to discuss the many problems which naturally arose in connection with this study with a man of Mr. Grierson's stature in numismatic studies was most fortunate. Mr. Grierson's help was invaluable for a number o reasons not the least of which was the fact that he placed all of the photographs of the gold coins in his own collection as well as those of the light weight solidi which he had encountered in the course of his own studies at my disposal. Mr. Grierson also analyzed his own coins by the specific gravity technique, and thus he made available data which was previously unknown. For all of these things and most importantly for his willingness to discuss individual problems, I wish to acknowledge a deep sense of gratitude to Mr. Grierson.

Since my own training has been in history, it was, of course, vital that there be some scholar who would aid me in the purely technical aspects of numismatics. In this capacity Mr. Louis C. West of Princeton University and President of the American Numismatic Society has been of invaluable assistance. The most technical aspects of this work have been perused by Mr. West, and many of his suggestions have been incorporated into this book. If there is any merit to be found in that aspect of this work, it is largely the result of the aid and counsel of my teacher, Mr. West, who introduced me to the value of numismatic study while I was a graduate student and has done so very much to encourage my researches.

Sole responsibility for the hypotheses and historical explanations put forward in the course of this book must rest with me, but the debt which is owed to my teachers, Professor Theodor E. Mommsen of Cornell University and Professor Joseph R. Strayer of Princeton University, cannot be calculated. Both of them very kindly consented to read the manuscript, and their suggestions have been incorporated into the finished product. The techniques and methods which were utilized in the work were learned in the seminars conducted by them, and my interest in this field of historical research is the result of many most enjoyable hours spent stuying under their tutelage.

This book, however, would have been impossible without the aid of so many scholars who sent me casts or photographs of coins and notes regarding these pieces. Among these should be numbered Dr. Theodore V. Buttrey, Jr. of the Classics Department of Yale University who secured photographs of the coins in the Hermitage through the help of Dr. L. Belov of the staff of the Hermitage, and who also managed to obtain photographs of the coins in the Poltawa Museum of Regional Studies from the manager of that museum, Dr. V. T. Shevtshenko. Dr. Buttrey's kind efforts, however, extended even further, and with his help and the assistance of Dr. Maria R. Alföldi and Dr. L. Huszár, Keeper of Coins and Medals of the collection in Budapest, casts of all of the light weight pieces in that collection were also secured. In addition the aid and assistance of Mr. R. A. G. Carson of the Department of Medals and Coins of the British Museum, M. Jean Babelon, Conservateur en chef du Cabinet des Médailles of the Bibliothèque Nationale, Dr. E. Erxleben of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Dr. A. N. Zadoks-Jitta of the Royal Cabinet in the Hague, Dr. W. D. Van Wijngaarden of the Rijksmuseum Van Oudheden te Leiden, Dr. K. Kraft, Konservator of the Staatliche Münzsammlung in Munich, Dr. Eduard Holzmair of the Bundessammlung von Medaillen, Münzen und Geldzeichen in Vienna, and Mr. Enrico Leuthold of Milan have been most important. The grateful thanks of the author for all of the specimens, many of them unpublished, furnished by these scholars cannot be expressed in terms forceful enough to convey the full extent of the debt owed to them. My sincere thanks are also due to the authorities of the Museum in Nicosia, Cyprus, for permission to publish Coin no. 79a.


THE STATE AND NATURE OF THE PROBLEM

It is to the unusual specimens in coinage that the historian is most often drawn in his search for new information regarding the past. The continued repetition of older types without any seemingly significant alteration is not likely to catch the eye of the scholar, nor is it probable that it will excite a great deal of discussion or interest. Perhaps this is in part the explanation for the fact that a rather surprising series of solidi which are to be distinguished primarily on the basis of the marks in the exergues have received only passing numismatic comment and have never been adequately studied from the historical point of view.

When it is remembered for how long a period of time the study of coinage has fascinated men of culture it is strange to note that it was only in 1910 that a scholar commented upon the series of light weight solidi with unusual exergual markings. Dr. Arnold Luschin von Ebengreuth, in his study of the denarius of the Salian Law, made use of the fact that such a series of light weight solidi marked BOXX existed.1 He was, however, aware of the existence of only a few of these pieces, and the entire scope of the problem was not evident to him. Only a few emperors, Justinian, Justin II, Phocas, Heraclius during his sole reign, and Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine during their joint reign, were represented on the solidi that he studied.

It is, of course, true that a certain number of these light weight Byzantine gold pieces had been reported in sale catalogues on several occasions prior to the date of Luschin von Ebengreuth's study, and also it is true that Sabatier as well as Wroth had noted the existence of a few specimens of this series, but there was still no body of material collected which warranted any study of the series itself. Luschin von Ebengreuth could use these coins in his study of Frankish coinage and the Salian Law to indicate a Byzantine adumbration of the subsequent decline in the weight of the Frankish solidi and trientes, but he could derive nothing from them regarding the policies of the Byzantine emperors whose names appeared on these strange pieces.

By 1923, however, enough material had been collected to make it possible for Ugo Monneret De Villard to write the first numismatic study devoted solely to the light weight solidi.2 In the intervening period a series of finely written and well illustrated sale catalogues which included a number of such coins had appeared, and the monumental Byzantine coin catalogue of Count Tolstoi had been published. Thus it was possible for Monneret De Villard to discern the true limits of this series of solidi, and though the catalogue which is included with the present study is more than three times as long as that of Monneret De Villard nonetheless the first truly significant collection of the numismatic data was made by him.

From a search of all of the literature available to him and from research in the various major museums of Europe, he discovered that there was not one series of light weight solidi, but rather that there were several series of such coins each bearing a different set of markings in the exergue on the reverse. It was also evident, when the material had been gathered, that these light weight coins were not issued intermittently by several emperors of the sixth and seventh centuries, but rather that they formed a series which extended in unbroken fashion from the reign of Justinian to that of Constantine IV Pogonatus.

As a result of this numismatic inquiry into the nature of these coins Monneret De Villard concluded that there were at least seven different varieties of markings that appeared in the exergue on the reverses of Byzantine solidi which would indicate that the coins in question were light. Unfortunately he did not distinguish between the authentic Byzantine gold pieces and those of barbarian manufacture. His list of markings would therefore be somewhat smaller if it were devoted only to the genuine Byzantine coins. The marks as he listed them, however, were i) OB⁕+⁕, 2) OB XX or OB·XX, 3) OBimage or OB+⁕, 4) BOXX, 5) BOГK, 6) CXNXU, and lastly 7) CX+X÷. The weights of almost all of the coins bearing these marks in the exergue were clearly below the lowest weights which one might reasonably expect from solidi which had originally been struck at full weight. Of all the markings listed, however, Monneret De Villard felt that only two series could be grouped in which he was possessed of a sufficient number of weights to postulate any hypothesis regarding the theoretical weight at which these coins had been struck. The forty-two coins which were contained in groups two and four he considered as one series. This he might logically do because there was nothing more than a transposition or metathesis of the first two letters of the exergual mark involved in distinguishing them from one another. These coins when considered as a single series showed an average weight of 3.657 grammes according to his calculations. A second series of coins, he felt, might be constructed of those coins which had the exergual marks in groups one (OB⁕+⁕) and three (OB+⁕).3 The three coins that were listed with the mark OB⁕+⁕ had a mean weight of 3.866 grammes, while the nine coins with the mark 0B+⁕ had an average weight of 3.96 grammes according to the calculations of Monneret De Villard.4

The three mean weights which had been obtained by this process were all well below what might be expected of solidi which had originally been struck at full weight. Theoretically and actually the solidus had been struck al-pezzo at 1/72nd of a Roman pound. This fact was attested from the legal texts in the Theodosian and Justinian Codes as well as from the marks of value which were found on certain of the earlier solidi. Luschin von Ebengreuth had also demonstrated most scientifically that one could hardly expect a weight of less than 4.35 grammes for any undipped solidus. This is in accord with our knowledge concerning the weight of the Roman pound. It is now generally conceded among numismatists that the solidus must have been struck at a theoretical weight of 4.55 grammes and that the siliqua ami was theoretically 0.1895 grammes.5 Monneret De Villard, however, had adopted the weight of the Roman pound which Naville had calculated6. According to the system set forth by Naville the Roman pound weighed 322.56 grammes, and the siliqua ami, which it is quite certain was 1/1728th of a pound, was 0.1867 grammes. Since there were twenty-four siliquae or four scruples in the normal solidus of 1/72nd of a pound, the theoretical weight of the solidus, according to Naville, would be 4.48 grammes. It can be seen immediately that there is only the slight difference of seven-hundredths of a gramme between the theoretical weight of the solidus as calculated by Naville and that according to the traditional view.

Sixty coins were listed in the article by Monneret De Villard according to the rulers and with notations regarding the peculiar markings in the exergue on the reverses. When, however, the coins were grouped according to the marks in the exergues it was found that only in one instance, those inscribed BOXX and the like, was there really a sufficient number of coins to warrant an attempt at a scientific treatment. In another case, that of the coins marked OB+⁕, only some hypotheses could be put forward.

Unfortunately Monneret De Villard did not make use of the frequency curve method of statistical analysis of the metrological data which he had accumulated, but he resorted to the less scientific, and therefore more uncertain, practice of calculating mean weights. As a result he was only able to discuss with any degree of confidence those coins which he had assembled in his first group, a total of forty-two specimens.

Monneret De Villard concluded that the solidi of this first series, i.e., those with a mean weight of 3.657 grammes were struck at twenty siliquae to the solidus (theoretical weight according to Naville's system of 3.734 grammes). He was aware of the fact that the siliqua was mentioned several times in the Edictum Rothari as well as in the Capitula Extravagantia of the Lombard laws,7 and he found, as Brunner had noted much earlier, that in the Glossarium Matricense 63 it was stated that Siliqua vicesima pars solidi est, while the Glossarium Cávense 104 and 163 asserted Siliquas. Id. vicesima pars solidi and Silicuas, id est vicesima pars solidi, ab arbore, cuius semen est, vocabulum tenens.8 Monneret De Villard held that since the glossators themselves believed this valuation of the solidus at twenty siliquae it indicated quite clearly that they knew that it corresponded to the actual worth of the solidi which circulated during the reign of Rothari (636–652 A.D.). The reign of Rothari, moreover, was roughly contemporary with that of Heraclius, and the greatest number of light weight solidi were struck with the name of Heraclius imprinted on them. From these facts and premises Monneret De Villard concluded that the light weight solidi of twenty siliquae were actually referred to in contemporary texts and probably were a part of the monetary system.

In doing this, however, he erred most seriously, probably because of the fact that his training was that of a numismatist and not ahistorian. His use of the legal texts does not meet the requirements of historical technique. The Edictum Rothari, it is true, was issued in 643 A.D. during the reign of that Lombard king, and the Capitula Extravagantia are attributed to either the reign of Grimoald (662–671 A.D.) or Luitprand in the first half of the eighth century. The word siliqua does occur in both cases, but it is not defined within the text but only in the two glosses that have been quoted. The glosses which are cited by Monneret De Villard in support of his position that these siliquae were the twentieth part of the solidus are more recent than the legal texts themselves. They may safely be put into Carolingian times or later, when the solidus in western Europe was uniformly valued at twenty siliquae. The two manuscripts in which these glosses occur are related in the stemma. They come from a common source.9 That source seems to be a relatively late one, and these texts are more valuable for the later period of Lombard law. The Codex Matritensis regius D 117 was probably written in the region of Beneventum or Salerno in the tenth century.10 While the Codex Cavensis was most likely produced in the region of Beneventum about the year 1005 A.D. 11 It is probable that the glossator himself was a Beneventan of about the same period.12 The actual text of the glosses is apparently derived from Isidore of Seville (ca. 560–636 A.D.), but Isidore retains the older valuation of the solidus at twenty-four siliquae.13 Perhaps, as is most likely, the influence of the Frankish monetary system was the stimulus for the lower valuation of the solidus among the Lombards.14 When this change was accomplished, however, must remain uncertain. It is quite definite that the glossators referred to by Monneret De Villard were not giving us exact information regarding conditions in the time of Rothari and Grimoald, but rather that they were utilizing the valuations known in their own time. The glossators’ knowledge of the monetary system in force during the reign of Rothari was very likely much less than that available to numismatists and historians today. In addition these glosses can hardly be used to prove that the Byzantine government issued such light weight solidi for normal circulation within the Empire during the seventh century, since they are derived from a later period and they comment on a matter of Lombard and not Byzantine law.

In studying the second group of coins, those marked OB⁕+⁕ and OB+⁕, Monneret De Villard found himself seriously hampered by an insufficiency of data. Three coins marked OB⁕+⁕ had an average weight of 3.866 grammes, and the nine pieces marked OB+⁕ had a mean weight of 3.96 grammes. This seemed to indicate a theoretical weight of approximately twenty-one siliquae which should have corresponded to 3.92 grammes according to the system worked out by Naville and accepted by Monneret De Villard. If this were so, then Monneret De Villard suggested that the mark which he transcribed as-⁕ might be explained as — +⁕, and that the two X's would thus be combined into the single sign ⁕. The total would then be twenty-one. Unfortunately such an explanation is hardly satisfactory because, as will be shown, there are no solidi marked -⁕, and, furthermore, the coins marked OB⁕+⁕ and those marked OB+⁕ or OBimage all belong to a single group. The marks OB+⁕ and OBimage are merely abbreviations of OB⁕+⁕. These asterisks cannot therefore be taken as the combination of two X's or the total would be in excess of forty rather than twenty-one.

These solidi, however, were supposedly struck at approximately 3.92 grammes or about 1/84th of a Roman pound.15 Monneret De Villard, following Luschin von Ebengreuth, pointed out that some of the pseudo-imperial solidi struck in Gaul during the early Merovingian period were issued at approximately the same average weight.16 Some of these Frankish gold pieces were issued with imperial portraits and they bore marks of value, XXI in the case of the solidi and VII in the case of the trientes. These Frankish coins will be examined more closely at a later point, but it should suffice for the present merely to indicate that the existence of such coinage from mints in southern Gaul is well attested.17

There was also a certain amount of literary evidence that bore on the question of such light solidi which weighed less than 1/72nd of a pound, and Monneret De Villard dealt with a small portion of that evidence. He cited a Novella of the Emperor Majorian in which that Emperor required that all solidi of full weight be accepted by the tax collector with the one exception of the Gallic solidi, the gold of which was of lesser value.18 This legal text was issued in 458 A.D. and therefore precedes the issuance of the peculiar series of light weight soUdi in which we are interested by at least eighty years and possibly as much as a century. That the Romans had certain problems connected with the unofficial striking of solidi of light weight during the fourth and fifth centuries cannot be doubted in view of the extant laws regarding gold coins, but these laws cannot be used to indicate that an imperial gold coin was struck at a lighter standard. The entire body of literary evidence will be discussed at a later point, but it should suffice for the present merely to point out that the particular Novella just cited cannot refer to the light weight solidi which form the subject of this book.

In addition to that Novella, however, Monneret De Villard refers to several other documents which should be treated in connection with a critique of his work. One of the documents to which reference is made is the so-called Formula Lindenbrogiana LXXXII, but this can easily be shown to be a spurious reference because of the variants.19 Two other instances in which the so-called solidus Gallicus is mentioned are known from the correspondence of Gregory the Great, and Monneret De Villard also makes reference to them. In one letter Gregory speaks of the solidi Galliarum, qui in terra nostra expendi non possunt, apud locum proprium utiliter expendantur.20 In another letter of Gregory to Dynamius, the Patrician of the Gauls, the sum of four hundred Gallicanos solidos is mentioned.21 These references to the solidi Gallici can easily be explained on the basis of the Frankish coinage which was truly light weight in the last decade of the sixth century and could not be used within the confines of the Byzantine Empire.

Monneret De Villard, however, recognized that his case was all too weak when bolstered only by references to the coinage of Gaul which Luschin von Ebengreuth had already proven to be of light weight in the last two decades of the sixth century. This Frankish coinage had been adopted after Justinian had instituted the striking of light weight solidi. As a final bit of literary proof that light weight solidi of approximately 1/84th of a Roman pound were issued by the Byzantine government Monneret De Villard cited a law of Valentinian I of the year 367. This law, he maintained, stated explicitely that a solidus of 1/84th of a Roman pound was known to the Romans. That law may be translated as follows:

On account of the mining tax, for which the custom peculiar to it must be retained, it is determined that fourteen ounces of gold dust be brought for each pound (of metal).22

This law clearly does not mention the striking of solidi at 1/84th of a Roman pound. It simply insists that mine operators in the fulfillment of their leases should continue an older practice of remitting to the Treasury fourteen ounces of gold for each pound. This law was inserted into the chapter because it formed part of a longer law which in another section established the fact that in payments made in gold bullion a pound was to be valued at seventy-two solidi. Since such a regulation would have meant that the treasury would lose money on its gold leases, a specific exception was made in the case of the mine operators. In the fulfilling of mine leases a heavy pound of fourteen ounces was to be used as in the past, but in all other cases seventy-two solidi were to be accepted as equivalent to a full pound of gold.

The acceptance of such a heavy fourteen ounce pound, of course, requires somewhat more proof than has just been set forth, and we must therefore diverge slightly from the central theme of this chapter. A situation in which two pounds of different weights, both recognized legally, existed need excite no surprise, but great care must be taken in citing passages in this connection to distinguish the second variety of pound (i.e. that of fourteen ounces) from the mere use of heavy weights. This latter practice was common in the early mediaeval period, and there was a good deal of legislation against it.23Some passages are capable of an even wider interpretation. On the estates of the Church in 591 A.D., it would appear as if 73 ½ solidi were exacted for a pound, but that Gregory the Great considered this sinful and ordered that the rustics pay only a pound of seventy-two. In doing this, however, he states, "and there ought to be exacted neither any farthings (siliquae) beyond the pound, not a greater pound, nor charges above the greater pound, but each according to your assessment there should be an increase of the rent in proportion as the resources suffice, and so a shameful exaction may never be made."24

It is clear that the pound was not eternally the same weight, and just as we may speak of the pound Troy or the pound avoirdupois but in common parlance understand one pound to be meant, so it must have been among the Romans. A gift of 1,600 pounds of gold for the Decennalia of the emperor was voted by the Senate in 385 A.D., and that it was to be paid in the urban standard, i.e. a different one from the normal one, is carefully stipulated.25

Monneret De Villard, on the basis of the passages which have been discussed, wrongly concluded that he had demonstrated, both from the texts and the coins themselves, that different solidi struck on three different standards were in use in the Byzantine Empire during the sixth and seventh centuries. There was the normal solidus of twenty-four siliquae or 1/72nd of a pound, a lighter solidus of twenty-one siliquae or approximately 1/84th of a pound, and the lightest solidus of twenty siliquae or approximately 1/86th of a pound.26 He even went so far as to suggest that there might be still other solidi of different standards and that the study of Greek papyri from Egypt revealed the existence of a number of different solidi. The very apparent difficulties that would have arisen in the economic life of the empire as a result of such a virtually haphazard system of coinage were ignored by Monneret De Villard. Of course, it is now clear as a result of the work of Johnson and West that the calculations in the Egyptian papyri do not support the existence of solidi struck on different standards, but that they make use of a system of accounting which is now comprehensible.27

In evaluating the work done by Monneret De Villard one might, as a result of the rather loose use of texts, easily overlook the significance of the fact that his was the first attempt at establishing the true limits of the problem and applying historical data to it. A substantial catalogue of the light weight solidi had been prepared, and the problem of explaining and interpreting the significance of their existence was now clear to all. The years immediately following witnessed a growth in interest in these strange coins, and even the famed Professor Regling spoke of doing some work on them.28 Unfortunately Regling never did manage to produce the article or book, but it was a clear sign of growing interest. Hoards of these pieces and individual coins from stray finds began to appear with some frequency. The entire subject of the quantity of gold in circulation and its movements came under scholarly survey in 1933 when Professor Marc Bloch wrote a stimulating article on the problem of gold in the Middle Ages.29

In 1937 another study devoted to these light weight solidi appeared in which the author, Friedrich Stefan, put forth a new interpretation.30 A hoard of coins was found at Hoischhügel (Maglern-Thörl) which contained one solidus of Justin II which weighed only 4.07 grammes, and was therefore apparently only equivalent to twenty-one siliquae instead of the more normal twenty-four. This coin bore in the reverse exergue the mark COX+X which Stefan interpreted as meaning twenty siliquae (XX) plus one siliqua (I). The CO he expanded as Constantinople.31

The existence of this singular piece in a hoard that he was studying led Stefan to survey the entire problem. He proceeded to collect the locations of the known finds of these light weight solidi, and from that data he concluded that all of these solidi fell into two groups. Firstly, there were those coins which had been found, according to Stefan, in southern France and in Italy, and, on the other hand, there were those coins which were found in the Balkan peninsula and southern Russia. Unfortunately Stefan did not publish a list of the find spots upon which this conclusion was based, but he indicated very clearly that he believed that there was such a series of finds in southeastern France.32 Intensive and determined research has failed to yield any of the finds of light weight solidi of clearly imperial origin from southern France. No support can therefore be found for the basis of Stefan's contention.

Nevertheless Stefan believed, on the basis of his examination of the extant material, that all of the coins which might have been included in the western group were imitations of the solidi of Ravenna which had been struck in the reigns of Justinian I, Justin II, Maurice Tiberius, Phocas, and Heraclius. He maintained that they showed the characteristic stylistic marks of Ravenna and that the lightness of the coins was usually indicated by either a sloping cross (X) or a standing cross (+) in the reverse exergue. Many of them he thought could be identified by their thinness or the smaller module or smaller portraiture. The exergual marks on these coins would be COX+X or CONX+X or OBXX or rarely BOXX, and in some cases they were unmarked. The COX+X and CONX+X pieces he thought were of twenty-one siliquae and weighed about 3.78 grammes. He did not distinguish any of the solidi as being barbarian imitations, and it therefore seems likely that he never examined the coins themselves. Many of them, particularly those marked COX+X and CONX+X, are clearly of barbaric origin. Stefan, however, as has been said, merely ignored this feature and pointed out the fact that solidi of twenty siliquae issued in the names of Justinian, Justin II, Maurice Tiberius, etc., were known from Gaul, and that there was even a series of royal Frankish solidi which bore the mark XX to indicate a value of twenty siliquae. The hoard of Wieuwerd, which contained two light weight solidi of imperial origin, he contended showed that such light weight solidi circulated in the lands west of the Rhine while the fact that the use of these coins spread across the Rhine to the other Germanic tribes could be shown from the find of a barbaric imitation of a light weight solidus marked X+X and struck in the name of Justin II which was found in Grave no. 1 at Munningen in Bayrisch-Schwaben.33 He admitted, however, the he could not determine whether or not the southern Gallic mints were the source of all so-called western type solidi of the light weight series.

Turning his attention to the series which he had denominated as eastern in origin, Stefan said that though this latter series showed great similarity to the western coins they were more characteristic of the Constantinopolitan productions. The typical marks of the coinage of the Exarchate of Ravenna were lacking on this eastern series. It was also a more extended series in that it began with Justinian and extended through the reigns of Justin II, Tiberius Constantine, Maurice Tiberius, Phocas, Heraclius as sole ruler as well as in his joint reign with his son Heraclius Constantine, and so on through the reigns of Constans II and Constantine IV Pogonatus. Another point of distinction between the two series lay in the fact that all of the coins of eastern origin bore marks of value in the exergue on the reverse while some of those in the West did not. Those in the East of twenty-one siliquae of the period from Justin II through the reign of Phocas were marked ⁕+⁕ or+⁕ (⁕–⁕ or –⁕).34 The pieces of this eastern series which Stefan thought were of twenty silique occurred only for the reigns from Heraclius through that of Constantine IV Pogonatus and bore marks similar to those found in the West, i.e. OBXX, BOXX, or BOГK. The most numerous group of coins of the light weight type was that composed of those pieces of supposedly Constantinopolitan fabric of twenty siliquae with the marks of value OBXX and BOXX which were struck in the names of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine. Stefan maintained that these coins, since they showed the head of Heraclius Constantine in smaller size than that of Heraclius, could be distinguished from the Ravennese series which showed both heads in approximately the same proportions. Monneret De Villard had listed nineteen such pieces while twenty-seven solidi of the three emperor type of Heraclius had been found in the hoard of Pereschtschepino in 1912, and in that of Novo Sandsherovo or Zatschepilovo, found in 1928, seven more had been recovered. Both places were in the district of Poltawa in southern Russia.

N. Bauer in presenting the material from these finds in 1931 had suggested that perhaps the coins had been struck in a mint in southern Russia on the northern coast of the Black Sea.35 He was, however, very cautious in proposing this and made certain to indicate that it was based solely on the location of these hoards and one other from the Dnieper Delta and not on a stylistic study of coins from other collections. Stefan went somewhat further and contended that since the solidi of the eastern series which he had classified were struck in imitation of coins of Constantinopolitan manufacture, they must have been issued at a site which was clearly under the influence of the capital. Two finds from the Balkan peninsula were used to support his view. The Sadowetz hoard in the district of Plevna had yielded a coin of Justin II of twenty-one siliquae which, in addition to the eastern mark OB⁕+⁕ in the exergue, bore the letters ΘS at the end of the reverse legend while another similar coin which was marked CO⁕+⁕ had appeared in another find from an uncertain location in the Balkans. Tolstoi had described still another solidus of the same variety as the last in his catalogue. Stefan put forth the hypothesis that the S at the end of the reverse legend stood for the sixth officina and that the Θ was the mark of the mint of Thessalonica. This suggestion was not a wholly original one, for it was discussed by several compilers of earlier catalogues.36 Since the theta was seen to occur only on those coins which Stefan recognized as of eastern origin and those same pieces supposedly showed strong signs of Constantinopolitan influence, Stefan felt that his conclusion that Thessalonica was one of the sources of the coins of the so-called eastern series was assured. In the course of a later discussion of these pieces it will be demonstrated that this is in error and that these pieces were actually struck in Antioch.

Just as the coins of the western series were carried through the channels of commerce, those of eastern origin, according to Stefan, found their way into Germany and were used as money or as pieces of jewellery and were even subject to imitation. In support of this he listed evidence from funerary deposits collected by Joachim Werner from Mullingsen in the district of Soest, from Wonsheim in the district of Alzey, from Sinzig in the district of Ahrweiler, and from Pfahlheim near Ellwagen.37 In all of these instances pieces of twenty siliquae marked OBXX or BOXX struck in the names of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine were found. Finally, Stefan viewed a ece of barbarian origin from an Alemannic grave with the mark XVOX in the reverse exergue as an imitation of these light weight solidi of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine.38

As a result of Luschin von Ebengreuth's study of the light weight Frankish solidi it was clear that the Byzantine light weight gold pieces were in circulation in the West by 582 A.D. By referring to two passages from the Anecdota of Procopius in which that author speaks of the lowering of the value of the gold coins by Justinian,39Stefan concluded that the Emperor struck his newer gold pieces appreciably lighter as a measure to bolster his fading finances. These two passages, as well as the coins themselves, sufficed to prove to Stefan's satisfaction that the issuance of light weight solidi went back at least as far as 565 A.D., the date of Justinian's death. In this matter of dating, however, he was not exacting enough. A closer date for the start of this series of light weight solidi can be established, if they are to be connected with the passages from the Anecdota. Certainly the fact that all of the light weight solidi are of the full-face portraiture is a clear indication of a terminus post quern of 539 A.D., the twelfth year of the reign of Justinian, which the dated bronzes indicate as the start of that style of portraiture. But even greater accuracy is possible. Had Stefan been more careful he would have noted that one of the passages from Procopius connects the monetary change with the period during which Peter Barsymes was in office as Comes Sacrarum Largitionum after he had recovered the favor of the Emperor Justinian, and that as a result the first issue must have occurred at some time between 547 A.D. and June 1, 555 A.D. 40

The detailed explanation for the existence of these solidi proposed by Stefan was a simple one. The emperors of the sixth and early seventh centuries paid large sums of money to the Avars to secure peace.41 Stefan believed that the fact that the majority of the light weight solidi found in the Balkans, Hungary and South Russia might be seen to have been struck during the reigns of Heraclius and his successor added strength to his general thesis that this light weight coinage formed a part of the enormous tribute payments to the Avars. The emperors, he contended, had mixed the light weight coins in a given percentage with the solidi of full weight in these payments. He also pointed out as further proof of his hypothesis that the eastern series of coins which he had constructed came to an end during the reign of Constantine IV Pogonatus. Thus they covered almost exactly the period during which large scale tribute payments were made to the Avars. This coincidence of the period of issue of light weight solidi with the time of the tribute payments to the barbarians of the Hungarian plain, he maintained, confirmed his hypothesis that the light weight solidi were mixed with the mass of good coinage which was used for these subsidies, and they were thus passed along to the barbarians with a resultant saving for the Byzantine government. As an instance that the practice of issuing poorer currency with better coinage was not unknown to Roman governments of an even earlier period, he cited the so-called nummi subaerati. These nummi subaerati are sometimes found to be as much as two-thirds of the total content of hoards of an earlier period, and Stefan believed that they were issued by the Roman government in an attempt to avoid the economic consequences which would have resulted from a general depreciation of the currency.42

Stefan concluded his argument by pointing out that the western finds of these light weight solidi were largely resticted to the coins of Heraclius and his son Heraclius Constantine. The hoards of France and Italy supposedly showed only these coins. The reason, according to Stefan, was a simple one. These coins arrived in the West via the commercial transactions of the western peoples with the Avars through the Lombards. It was therefore not surprising to Stefan that the hoard of Hoischhügel showed none of the coins of the eastern series which he had collected but only a single piece of what he had denominated as the western type. The coins of the western type were clearly in circulation among the Lombards prior to the inauguration of their own coinage. The light weight solidi had supposedly travelled through the channels of commerce from southern France into Italy as shown by the Lombard graves at Udine and Cividale. Coin no. 2 of the Catalogue of this monograph was found in a Lombard grave at Udine, and Coin no. 74 was found in still another Lombard grave at Cividale.

The basic argument put forth by Stefan has now been traced in some detail through the chain of reasoning set forth by that author. His was really the first serious attempt at understanding the significance of these solidi in connection with the history of the period during which they were issued. There are, however, several weak spots in the chain, and some serious reservations must be made with regard to this thesis. Several of these weak links have been indicated in the course of the exposition of Stefan's thesis, but a more complete critique is certainly warranted by the fact that Stefan's article is so often cited. The stylistic differences which Stefan speaks about in distinguishing the eastern from the western solidi are by no means as obvious and certain in the case of light weight solidi as he seems to indicate.43 The western series erected by Stefan is largely composed of solidi which can be shown to be of barbaric origin. That some of the light weight solidi were struck in the West and others in the East is clear enough in itself from a stylistic examination of the coins themselves, but unfortunately the division of these coins into these two groups is not exactly that which Stefan proposes. The inclusion of the barbaric pieces in the western series without any clear distinction necessitates a complete restudy of this aspect of the problem. The barbaric quality of most of the pieces in Stefan's classification willbe demonstrated in the next chapter.

It is in connection with the treatment accorded to the hoards and finds, however, that the most serious doubts must be retained, and this is the main prop for Stefan's hypothesis. He speaks of hoards containing such light weight solidi from Hungary, southern France and Italy. Unfortunately he cites no evidence to substantiate this claim for the existence of hoards of authentic light weight Byzantine solidi in those places, nor can they be found listed in the hoard catalogue compiled by Mosser.44 In southern France no trace of them can be found in the secondary literature, while in Italy only the two coins from the Lombard nécropoles of Udine and Cividale are noted. The crux of the situation, however, lies in Hungary, and in this case two recent studies of the finds of that region give a clear account of the picture. L. Huszár has prepared a study of the finds from the middle Danube region, and D. Csallány reviewed the evidence of the coin finds for a survey of the circulation of Byzantine currency among the Avars.45 Only a single light weight solidus of these series noted by Stefan dating from the reigns of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine, that from Szentes, is reported to have been found in the area. The existence of coins of this type in the Budapest Museum cannot be taken as overly significant in view of this fact and the extreme mobility of these little bits of metal in the hands of coin dealers. It is a fact well attested by the number of hoards and finds recorded by Csallány that the great period of influx of Byzantine coins into the Avar kingdom was just the same as the time span covered by the light weight solidi issues, i.e., from the reign of Justinian through that of Constantine IV Pogonatus. In the eighth and ninth centuries Byzantine currency is not found in any appreciable quantity within the borders of the Avar kingdom. The high point of the penetration or introduction of Byzantine coins into that area was attained during the reigns of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine. The defeat of the Avaro-Slavonic army before Constantinople in 626 A.D., however, really weakened the Avar kingdom, and its importance declined steadily until its final extinction by the Carolingians.

That Byzantine coins continued to enter the region in some numbers as late as the reign of Constantine IV Pogonatus (668–685 A.D.) and ceased to do so afterwards is a surprising fact for which no completely satisfactory explanation has yet been proposed. Still this coincidence in time between the introduction of Byzantine coins into the Hungarian plain and the striking of light weight solidi cannot be used to indicate that the light weight solidi were part of the tribute payments. The virtual absence of such light weight solidi from that region militates most strongly against such a hypothesis particularly when one remembers that the concentration of Byzantine coins entering the entire central and western half of the European continent fell off rather sharply at approximately the same time.

Still another point must be made in connection with this basic feature of Stefan's hypothesis. If the premise is accepted that these coins were used as a part of the tribute payments to the Avars, but their absence from sites on the Hungarian plain is to be accounted for by the fact that they circulated freely in trade, then there can be no doubt that numbers of them would be found in the region of Thessa-lonica and other Byzantine emporia which were involved in the Avar and Slavonic trade of the middle Danubian basin. The Avars must have made a great number, if not almost all, of their foreign purchases from Roman traders in exactly the same way that other barbarians did.46 If these things were true, however, the Avars would have very quickly become aware of the fraud that had been practiced upon them. The Roman merchants could only have accepted this clearly marked light weight gold at a discount. There is clear evidence indicating that the use of such light weight solidi was proscribed within the boundaries of the Byzantine Empire, and the passages leading to such a conclusion with respect to the light weight gold coinage of Gaul have already been cited in connection with the work done by Monneret De Villard. The hoards and finds support that conclusion, as will be shown in chapter three. It can hardly be seriously maintained that the Romans issued light weight solidi which were clearly marked and sent them to the Avar khan as part of their subsidy agreement, but that the use of a part of the coinage so dispatched and clearly marked at the mint was proscribed within the borders of the Byzantine Empire. How can one use such a theory to explain the chain of finds extending all along the northern boundary areas of the empire? Any interpretation of these light weight solidi must serve to explain them within the general framework of history. On this last point the theory proposed by Stefan is not satisfying. The first of these light weight solidi were issued in the reign of Justinian, probably within the period 547–555 A.D. A glance at the Catalogue will reveal that a respectable number of such light weight solidi and barbaric imitations of them were struck during the reign of Justinian. The Avars, however, can only be said to have achieved real prominence after the death of Justinian. The most important period of tribute payments to the Avars was the latter half of the sixth century and the first quarter of the seventh century. The initiation of the light weight solidi cannot have been directly connected with the payments to the Slavs and Avars which largely follow the death of Justinian. For all these reasons, which might be expanded to greater length, the hypothesis put forward by Stefan must be categorically rejected.

In 1941, however, still another very ingenious suggestion was put forth by a numismatist of note. Goodacre, on the basis of his study of a unique solidus of this series containing two imperial busts (Coin no. 79), put forth the view that these light weight solidi were issued at the mint of Thessalonica so as to accord with the peculiar bronze monetary system which was used in that city during the reign of Justinian.47 The evidence concerning the meaning of the mint mark 6S, however, will be shown to yield a different conclusion. The unusal bronze denominations found at the mint of Kherson during the reign of Justinian were found to be in conformity with the normal Byzantine monetary system.48 Suggestions have been put forward for integrating the bronze denominations current at Alexandria at the same time into the imperial system.49 The coinage of Thessalonica is another instance where such agreement must exist though the coins are too rare to make this immediately evident.

The works already discussed were not treated critically in the most recent of the large studies devoted to the coinages of this period, and their effect on the historians is therefore excessive. Le Gentilhomme, in his masterful synthesis of the numismatic evidence concerning the barbarian coinages of the West, supported the hypothesis proposed by Stefan and accepted the view that at least some of these solidi were struck at Thessalonica.50 The solidi, according to Le Gentilhomme, were struck for the purpose of using them to pay the tribute money to the barbarian Avars who, when striking their own currency, imitated the light weight solidi of Heraclius and Constantine IV Pogonatus. To prove his point Le Gentilhomme referred to the discussion by Jónás of the supposed Avar currency found in Hungary.51 The supposed Avar coins, however, cannot be shown to be imitations of the light weight solidi even though the weights are far below the Byzantine limits. Where prototypes can be discerned they are clearly not the light weight pieces. In some instances the emperor is dressed in consular garb, but none of the light weight solidi show such portraiture. In the few cases in which the inscription in the reverse exergue can be deciphered it contains the inscription CONOB or a corruption of that Byzantine formula. Even the weights are not uniform, and no determination of the standard is possible. Jónás felt that a weight of approximately twenty siliquae was possible, but the evidence is very weak. It is, however, certain that the Avars, if they ever issued coins, could not have begun striking them before the third decade of the seventh century and that most of their currency is in imitation of pieces struck in the second half of the seventh century.

The excavations in Hungary, however, clearly show a higher degree of civilization among that barbarian people than had previously been assumed. The existence of the balance type of weighing mechanism among them was well attested by the excavations, and since their coins varied widely in weight they probably passed by weight. The expression "sans doute" which Le Gentilhomme used in stating that the light weight solidi were primarily used in the tribute payments is perhaps too strong in view of the evidence. Jónás article does not add materially to the solution of the problem of the light weight solidi even though it is a very significant contribution to any study of the Avars. No authentic Byzantine solidi of the light weight series were reported by Jónás.

In 1947 Leo Schindler and Gerhart Kalmann studied the light weight solidi.52 Unfortunately their work did not take into account all of the material available. They maintained that the coins marked OBXX or retrograde BOXX had a theoretical weight of twenty siliquae, those marked OB⁕+⁕ or OB+⁕ a theoretical weight of twenty-two siliquae and those marked BOГK a theoretical weight of twenty-three siliquae because the inscription was retrograde. The coins which did not bear the letters OB or BO they wisely separated from the remainder and excluded as probably barbaric imitations. The conclusion regarding twenty-carat solidi was based on the fact that such coins showed an average weight of 4.069 grammes and the theoretical weight of coins at twenty-two carats was 4.169 grammes.

In their discussion of the bronze coins from Alexandria marked ΛГ (33), however, they reverted to the problem of the light weight solidi. They pointed out that the number of nummi that equalled a follis remained constant and was indicated by a mark of value. Whether 210 folles or 180 folles were equivalent to a solidus would not have changed the relationship of the nummus to the follis. Procopius, however, tells of a change in the valuation of the solidus from 210 folles to 180 folles. Thus the number of folles which could be exchanged for a solidus was subject to an imperial decree. Since this change in the relationship between the follis and the solidus is not reflected on the follis by different marks of value, it would be logical to presume that it indicates a change in the value of the gold coins by one-seventh of their intrinsic value.

Therefore Schindler and Kalmann, on the basis of the two passages in Procopius regarding the exchange value of the solidus, arrived at the conclusion that Justinian had reduced the intrinsic value of the solidus.53 Five hundred of the older solidi would have sufficed for the striking of 583 newer ones, but the newer ones must have been given the same valuation as the older ones or the government would have derived no benefit from the change. Edict XI of the Emperor Justinian was wrongly interpreted by these two scholars as indicating that in the year 559 A.D. the Emperor used all of the means at his disposal to maintain the fiat value of his debased currency. This, of course, does not accord with the latest interpretation of that edict by West and Johnson.54 Schindler and Kalmann viewed this edict as reproaching the Egyptian officials because they evaluated gold, whether in the form of coins or bullion, solely in terms of fineness and weight. Thus the Alexandrian mint masters were diverging from the practice of the Constantinopolitan mint which in accordance with the imperial will had lessened the intrinsic value of the gold currency. The authors therefore assumed that gold was struck in Alexandria, and that the coins which resulted differed from those issued at Constantinople. It was then noted that the light weight solidi were derived from officinae nine and ten which had previously been attributed only to the mint of Constantinople. It was a difficult feat to attribute these two officinae to the Alexandrian mint, but there were no other coins which could have been attributed to that mint, and according to their interpretation of Edict XI there must have been solidi issued there. Even though the numbers of the officinae were such that the mint of Constantinople was indicated still the usual formula CONOB had been replaced by the OBXX exergual mark. It was proposed therefore that what Procopius had reported was an actual debasement of the metal carried out at the capital, but that at Alexandria pure gold coins approximately one-seventh lighter were issued. The debased solidi and the lighter solidi would be equivalent in value. Perhaps the peculiar conditions in Egypt and the fact that foreign trade required pure gold necessitated this peculiarly Egyptian solution of the imperial proposal.

The issuance of f olles marked ΛГ or thirty-three nummi, however, in place of those of M or forty nummi would seem to be an attack on the imperial monetary policy. It would at the same time be a reflection of the peculiar Egyptian solution of the problem.

This hypothesis is very ingenious but far from convincing. There is not the slightest evidence that the light weight solidi were struck in Egypt, and the fact that none of them have ever been found in that province would seem to militate against such a premise. The passages from Procopius on which a debasement of the normal twenty-four siliquae solidi is based cannot be used to support that contention. A careful scrutiny of the passages at a later stage will show that the wording supports a light weight coinage and not a debasement. Studies of the coin alloy are few and in many cases inconclusive, but they all support the belief that the normal solidi were of relatively fine gold whereas in the few instances in which the light weight solidi have been subjected to such analysis it is clear that some debasement had been determined upon. This alone, of course, would demolish the thesis put forward by Schindler and Kalmann, but to proceed a bit further, Edict XI cannot be used in the manner suggested by these two scholars. The work of West and Johnson, which has already been cited several times, seems conclusive. The interpretation supported by Schindler and Kalmann is therefore no longer tenable. Even the view that ΛГ indicated thirty-three nummi on the Alexandrian bronzes is open to suspicion in the light of the new proposed reading of three lita which may have equalled thirty-six nummi.55 The hypothesis suggested by Schindler and Kalmann must be discarded.

In 1948, however, Marcel Jungfleisch wrote an excellent article on the subject of isolated letters found on Byzantine solidi of the seventh century, and his work bears a direct relationship to that of Schindler and Kalmann though it was completely independent.56 Jungfleisch made some interesting observations that are applicable to the problem of the light weight solidi though he did not offer a complete treatment of the question. He interpreted the exergual formula CONOB as meaning "gold of the quality of Constantinople" rather than "struck at Constantinople." Then he noted that many mints of the Byzantine Empire were used for the striking of gold, and that they often did so in the names of other mints. This freed Byzantine numismatics from the rigid bonds which had largely impeded its full development. The isolated letters which are sometimes found in the field of Byzantine solidi were to be interpreted as either dates or indications of mints striking coins for other mints. As just pointed out, this novel thesis required a completely new approach to Byzantine gold currency in particular. The legend in the exergue now became purely an indication of the fineness of the alloy of the gold coins. On that basis Jungfleisch suggested a table of fineness which was based on findings utilizing the touchstone to determine the actual gold content of the solidi. In the next chapter this table of fineness will be discussed in detail, but it can be stated at this point that certain objections might be leveled against the methods used by Jungfleisch. Unfortunately no series of chemical, spectroscopie, or specific gravity analyses was given to support the table, but according to Jungfleisch himself the use of the touchstone indicated that solidi rarely attained what he considered their theoretical fineness but showed perhaps an extra half-carat, and sometimes more, of debasement. The precision of the results seem somewhat excessive in view of the technique employed, but only tests by other methods can resolve any doubts. Perhaps the peculiar code used in the exergual markings of the solidi to indicate the standard of purity was designed so that the baser coins could be used in foreign trade ? Only a long series of analyses or the chance finding of a new text could resolve the problem.

It is hardly possible at this time to evaluate the implications of the thesis propounded by Jungfleisch in all of its aspects, but it should suffice for our purposes to point out that it can hardly be considered a complete solution of the problem of the light weight solidi. It is only for the sake of completeness that the work done by Jungfleisch and Philip Grierson can be included in this chapter. These men in no way attempted a complete study of the problem. They merely sought to indicate some suggestive paths based upon their acute observations, and it will be shown in the course of this study just how astoundingly acute their observations and suggestions were.

In the course of studying the St. Martin's hoard of Frankish and Anglo-Saxon coin-ornaments, Mr. Grierson noted that the light weight system of gold coins in use in Gaul in the late sixth century represented "the victory of a traditional Germanic weight, originally based on the Roman Republican denarius, over the slightly heavier solidus which the invaders had found in use in the imperial provinces which they had occupied—but regarding the circumstances of the change and the methods by which it was carried out we are almost entirely in the dark." He further suggested that the light weight solidi were "apparently for use of the merchants trading with the Germanic world."57 These statements will be expanded upon greatly in later sections of this study because they seem to indicate particularly fruitful channels of investigation. They should, however, also be judged in the light of Mr. Grierson's latest statement regarding the light weight solidi. In the course of studying a hoard of Byzantine solidi from North Africa in which a light weight solidus occurred, Mr. Grierson stated that it was most probably some local demand within the Empire which called for the issuance of these solidi.58 Again there is not very much that can be done to evaluate the validity of such a statement which is in the nature of an obiter dictum, but it can be pointed out that it will not serve to explain the fact that of all of the light weight solidi which have been found throughout the length and breadth of Europe only twice have they been found in clearly Roman sites.

In fine, it may be stated clearly that the situation with regard to these light weight solidi is more fluid than is generally supposed. There has up to the present moment been no explanation put forward which can be shown to have a firm historical background and which can explain both the light weight of the coins and the location of the finds as well as the time period within which they are found. Absolutely no work has been done on the iconography of these coins, which indeed shows some interesting features, as well as upon the alloy of thes pieces, though Jungfleisch does indicate that he believes them to be of worse alloy than the normal Byzantine solidi. It is because of these reasons that the current work has been taken in hand. But to a historian, of course, the coins themselves can only be of interest insofar as they give us some new information concerning the period to which they refer. It may well be impossible to give an explanation of some of the numismatic aspects of the problem. The texts are not sufficiently explicit to yield absolutely certain conclusions. Rather we should attempt to use the coins as documents with which to study the world at the time of their issuance.

End Notes

1
Dr. Arnold Luschin von Ebengreuth, "Der Denar der Lex Salica," Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, Phil.-hist. Klasse, CLXIII (1910), Abh. 4, pp. 34–39. See Karl August Eckhardt, "Zur Entstehungszeit der Lex Salica," Festschrift der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen, 1951, pt. II, pp. 16–31; and Pactus Legis Salicae 7. Einführung und 80 Titel-Text (Göttingen: Musterschmidt, 1954), pp. 186–192, which is volume III in the Westgermanisches Recht series of the neue Folge of the Germanenrechte published by the Historisches Institut des Werralandes. Eckhardt argues very strongly for greater antiquity for the Lex Salica. Unfortunately he is rather cavalier in his treatment of the numismatic evidence. Also see H. Brunner, Deutsche Rechtsgeschichte (2nd edition: Leipzig, 1906), I, pp. 312–313, and Hugo Jaekel, "Die leichten Goldschillinge der mero-wingischen Zeit und das Alter der Lex Salica,’ Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Germ. Abt., XLIII (1922), pp. 103–216. The literature on this subject of the date of the Salic law is very extensive, but it is rather indirectly related to the true Roman light weight solidi. The barbarian coinages are used to date the Germanic law codes, but these coinages are largely imitations of Roman coinage.
2
Ugo Monneret De Villard, "Sui Diversi valori del Soldo Bizantino,’ Rivista Italiana di Numismatica, XXXVI (1923), pp. 33–40. This article must be used with great caution. Several of the coins which appear twice in separate publications are listed as separate and distinct pieces. No account was taken of the condition of the coins in discussing the metrological aspects of the problem, and the techniques used by Monneret De Villard are susceptible to serious errors. He did not distinguish the pieces of barbarian origin.
3
There is some discrepancy between the earlier and the later parts of the article in the reproduction of these marks in the exergues of the coins. His meaning, however, is on all occasions quite clear, and the correct forms have been used in our text.
4
Monneret De Villard omitted one of the coins marked OB+⁕ from his calculations because the weight of the piece was 4.50 grammes, and therefore it was within the range of true full weight solidi. He also omitted the one coin marked OBimage though the weight was 3.75 grammes. See Coin no. 29 of the Catalogue. This is not a good method of procedure because it prejudges the result by excluding unfavorable data.
5
The range of 24–25 carats would therefore have been 4.55–4.74 grammes, and that from 23–24 would have been 4.36–4.55 grammes.
6
A. Naville, "Fragment de métrologie antique," Revue Suisse de Numismatique, XXII (1920), pp. 42–60. It must be stated that there is no unanimity concerning the weight of the Roman pound, but the consensus of scholarly opinion seems to favor the traditional weight of 327.45 grammes. All of the figures quoted in this discussion of Monneret De Villard would therefore have to be adjusted to accord with this, if they were to be used in any further discussion of the problem. Since this is not the case, it seemed best to set forth his ideas as he wrote them and to use Naville's calculations in the description.
7
Monneret De Villard cites the Capitula Extravagantia as the Memoratorium (§ de caminata). It is normally cited as Merced.
8
Ed. Bluhme, MGH., Legum, IV, pp. 651, 655–656. All these are glosses of the same passage, Roth., 346.
9
MGH., Legum, IV, pp. XXIX and XXXIII.
10
MGH., Legum, IV, p. XXVIII.
11
MGH., Legum, IV, p. XXX.
12
MGH., Legum, IV, pp. 651ff. The glosses are reproduced there. Cf. Edicto, Regum Langobardorum, Historia Patria Monumenta (Augusta Taurinorum, 1855), VIII, p. CX, and Bluhme, “Leges Langobardorum," Archiv der Gesellschaft für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde, V, p. 255.
13
Isidore of Seville, Etymologiarum, XVI, 24: "Siliquae id est vicesima quarta pars solidi, ab arbore, cuius semen est, vocabulum tenens."
14
Cf. Brunner, Deutsche Rechtsgeschichte, I, p. 313, note 7.
15
Monneret De Villard, "Sui Diversi valori del Soldo Bizantino,’ Rivista Italiana di Numismatica, XXXVI (1923), p. 38, suggests also that the miliarense or large silver coin prior to the reign of Justinian was struck at 1/84th of a pound. It would thus be a silver counterpart of the light weight solidus. Actually he is in error, for the silver coins were not struck at a standard of 1/84th of a Roman pound at any time during at least a two hundred year period before the reign of Justinian, nor did Justinian himself strike such silver coins. Heavy silver coinage is noticeably absent in the fifth century. When the quantity of silver coins issued began to rise in the first quarter of the sixth century it seems that a heavy coin of 1/72nd of a pound, the counterpart of a full weight solidus, was struck, but none of 1/84th of a pound were issued. A solidus at 1/84th of a pound would actually be equivalent to 20.57 siliquae. Monneret De Villard has apparently rounded this off to twenty-one siliquae. Twenty-one siliquae would weigh 3.9207 grammes according to Naville. A solidus of twenty siliquae would actually be struck at about 1/82nd of a pound while one of twenty-one siliquae would be struck at about 1/86th of a pound. See also Theodor Mommsen, Histoire de la monnaie romaine, trans. Duc de Blacas (Paris, 1873), III, p. 77, note 2.
16
He cites E. Babelon, "La Silique romaine, le sou et le denier de la loi des Francs," La Gazette Numismatique, VI (1902), pp. 72–73, to that effect. The point is most clearly made by Luschin von Ebengreuth, "Der Denar der Lex Salica," Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, Phil.-hist. Klasse, CLXIII (1910), Abh. 4, pp. 1–89, but especially pp. 22–39, which indicates that sometime after 580 A.D. the Merovingians began to strike their solidi on a standard of 22½ siliquae and that this standard rapidly fell to twenty-one siliquae to the solidus. Prior to 580 A.D., he maintained, the Merovingians had struck their gold on the Constantinian standard of twenty-four siliquae to the solidus. A further reduction in the weight of Merovingian gold coins to twenty siliquae probably took place in the first decade of the seventh century, but in any event, it was an accomplished fact during the reign of Chlotar II (613–629 A.D.). The exact date of the decline to twenty siliquae to the solidus, according to Luschin von Ebengreuth, cannot be firmly established. S. E. Rigold, "An Imperial Coinage in Southern Gaul in the Sixth and Seventh Centuries,’ Numismatic Chronicle, Series 6, XIV (1954), pp. 93–133, discusses this pseudo-imperial gold coinage. He suggests that it was begun during the last years of the reign of Justin II, probably about 574 A.D. His work supersedes that of Luschin von Ebengreuth. Cf. Maurice Prou, Catalogue des monnaies françaises de la Bibliothèque Nationale. Les Monnaies mérovingiennes (Paris, 1892), pp. XIV-XXVII, esp. pp. XXIV-XXV. A. Duchalais, "Poids de ľaureus romain dans la Gaule," Revue numismatique, V (1840), pp. 261–265, and Maximin Déloche, "Explication d’une formule inscrite sur plusieurs monnaies mérovingiennes,’ Etudes de numismatiques mérovingiennes (Paris, 1890), pp. 227–235, reprinted from Revue archéologique, 2e série, XL, provided the basic information upon which Luschin von Ebengreuth determined his dating. See note 1.
17
Another series marked VIII in the case of the trientes indicates that the change was clearly understood.
18
Nov. Maioriani, VII, 1, 14 (458 A.D.) (ed. Th. Mommsen and Paul M. Meyer, Codex Theodosianus, II, p. 171). "Praeterea nullus solidům integri ponderis calumniosae improbationis obtentu recuset exactor, excepto eo Gallico, cuius aurum minore aestimatione taxatur) omnia concussionum removeatur occasio" This passage and several other similar ones have formed the subject of a great number of articles. Adrien Blanchet, "Les ((sous Gaulois)) du Ve siècle," Le Moyen Age, 2e série, XIV (1910), pp. 45–48, suggested that the words minore aestimatione indicated gold that was debased and not coins which were not of full weight. He therefore interpreted this passage in terms of the few debased coins found in the Dortmund hoard. Wilhelm Kubitschek, "Zum Goldfund von Dortmund,’ Numismatische Zeitschrift, neue Folge III (1910), pp. 56–61, discusses the view taken by Blanchet, and he goes even further in formulating the theory that barbarous coinages of poor quality were an increasing problem for the Romans during the period of the migrations, but that by the mid–sixth century the Byzantines had conceded defeat in this matter. He probably goes too far. Maurice Prou, Les Monnaies mérovingiennes, p. XVI ; and E. Babelon, "La Silique romain, le sou et le denier de la loi des Francs Saliens," Journal des Savants, Février 1901, p. 120, note 1, state their belief that a lighter weight coinage is meant. See chapter II for a further discussion of this Novella.
19
This reference was first given by C. Du Cange, Glossarium Mediae et Infimae Latinitatis (Paris, 1733–36), s.v. Solidus, and it has been repeated by many authors. E. Babelon, Traité des monnaies grecques et romaines (Paris, 1901), I, pt. I, col. 540, cites it as a formula from the collection of Marculfe. Actually this document is of Salic origin and is given in de Salis’ edition (MGH., Leges, Sectio V, p. 77) as Formula Salica Lindenbrogiana no. 16. This is equivalent to Eugène de Rozière. Receuil des Formules usitées dans l’empire des Francs du Veau Xe siècles (Paris, 1859–71), no. 242 or in the Rockinger edition no. 19. In these later and more scholarly editions the crucial phrase, solidos francos, is given as solidos tantos or valente solidos tante. In the Frankfurt edition of 1631 of the Codex Legum Antiquarum of Lindenbrog and in that of Baluze which is included in ed. J. Mansi, Amplissima Collectio Conciliorum (Paris, 1901–27), XVIIIbis, col. 536, the phrase appears as solidos francos tantos. This is not even given as a variant in the better editions.
20
Gregory I, Registrum, VI, 10 (MGH., Epistolae, I, p. 389). The editors date this letter as of Sept. 595 A.D.
21
Gregory I, Registrum, III, 33 (MGH., Epistolae, I, p. 191). This letter is dated by the editors as having been written in April 593 A.D. Monneret De Villard cites these two letters from the Migne edition in the Patrologia Latina, LXXVII, pp. 799 and 630.
22
C. Th., V, 19, 4 (ed. Mommsen and Meyer, Codex Theodosianus, I, pt. II, p. 558): "Imp. Valentinianus et Valens AA. ad Germanianum Com(item) S(acrarum)L(argitionum). Ob metallicum canonem, in quo proprio consuetudo retinenda est, quattuordecim uncías ballucae pro singulis libris constat inferri. Dat. VI id. Ian. Rom. Lupicinio et Ioviano conss." This is equivalent to C. Just. XI, 7, 2 (ed. Krueger, Corpus Iuris Civilis, II, p. 430). It is a portion of the same law to which C. Th., XII, 6, 13, setting up the standard of seventy-two solidi to the pound for bullion payments to the Treasury, belongs. Because of this A. Soetbeer, "Beiträge zur Geschichte des Geld- und Münzwesens in Deutschland,’ Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte, I (1862), p. 295, said that the propria consuetudo mentioned was the custom of the Fiscus in collections to take eighty-four solidi from the gold mine operators. Mining as an industry in the Roman state, however, was peculiar unto itself. The entire title XIX of Book X of the Theodosian Code is headed De Metallis et Metallariis. A law of 365 (C. Th., X, 19, 3) places a charge of eight scruples on those entering the mining profession voluntarily. A law of 392 (C. Th., X, 19, 12) taxes every goldminer in Pontus and Asia seven scruples per year. Goldmining was a peculiar industry, and it is most likely that the mine operators were using a peculiar pound of eighty-four solidi. E. Babelon, Traité des monnaies grecques et romaines (Paris, 1901), I, pt. I, col. 539, however, maintained that the text in question “renferme aussi implicitement la mention de la taille à 84." The text of a law of 325 A.D. in the Theodosian Code which would indicate light weight solidi has been preserved in two separate fragments which are recorded in both the Theodosian and Justinian Codes, and whose order is indicated in the Theodosian recension. C. Th., XII, 7, 1; XII, 6, 2 (ed. Mommsen and Meyer, Codex Theodosianus, I, pt. II, pp. 722–33; 713) = C. Just., X, 73, 1; X, 72, 1 (ed. Krueger, Corpus Iuris Civilis, II, pp. 427; 426). In the later recension the important statement regarding the weighing of solidi has been omitted. Whether or not anything intervened between the two fragments as received cannot be ascertained, but the text as it stands forms an intelligible whole. It is a law concerning the collection of taxes, and penalties for improper performance in the process of collection are attached to the latter portion of the law. The first part of the law gives the weight of the solidus as four scruples, i.e., the exact theoretical weight of the normal solidus, but it then goes on to say that if anyone, presumably a taxpayer, should wish to weigh out solidi, he should weigh out seven solidi for one ounce and fourteen solidi for two ounces. The latter portion of this first fragment of the law therefore contradicts the given weight of the solidus. Mommsen, Histoire de la monnaie romaine, trans. Duc de Blacas, III, pp. 64–5, says that the law of Valentinian (C. Th., XII, 6, 13) which specified that there were seventy-two solidi to the pound was a restatement of the Constantinian law of 325 A.D. It was therefore necessary to emend the reading of the Constantinian law. Since the law of 325 A.D. occurs in only one manuscript, and that one is of Frankish origin, Mommsen supposed that the VII and XIV were inserted to accord with the Frankish system of coinage in place of VI and XII. The fact that the solidus was still quoted at four scruples, he maintained, was the typical scribal error. Mommsen, "Fränkische Interpolation im Theodosischen Codex," Jahrbuch des gemeinen deutschen Rechts, III (1860), pp. 454–456, reprinted in Gesammelte Schriften, II, pp. 408–409; "Zu Cod. Theod., 12, 7, 1," Jahrbuch des gemeinen deutschen Rechts, V (1862),pp. 129–131, reprinted in GesammelteSchriften, II, pp. 410–411 ; "Das theodosische Gesetzbuch,’ Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, röm. Abt., XII (1900), p. 157, reprinted in Gesammelte Schriften, II, p. 378. Cf. G. Hänel, "Einige Bedenken den Aufsatz (sie): fränkische Interpolation im Theodosischen Codex (Bd. III, Ur. 21 des Jahrh.) betr.," Jahrbuch des gemeinen deutschen Rechts, IV (1861), pp. 309–316. Hänel wrongly thought that solidi of 1/84th of a pound might have been struck in the fourth century. He was also wrong in attributing the manuscript to Italy. See E. A. Lowe, Codices Latini Antiquiores. A Palaeographical Guide to Latin Manuscripts prior to the Ninth Century (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1950), V, p. 21. Pinder and Friedlaender, Beiträge zur älteren Münzkunde (Berlin, 1851), I, p. 15, simply corrected the text without explaining how such an emendation was possible. Also see A. Soetbeer, op. cit., pp. 292–296. O. Seeck, "Die Münzpolitik Diocletians und seiner Nachfolger," Zeitschrift für Numismatik, XVII (1890), pp. 55–56, says that there was a special pound of eighty-four solidi used by the Fiscus in the collection of taxes as shown by C. Th., XII, 7, 1 (325 A.D.) which was suppressed by the edict of Valentinian (C. Th., XII, 6, 13). Also see Josef Wilhelm Kubitschek, "Beiträge zur frühbyzantinischen Numismatik," Numismatische Zeitschrift, XXIX (1897), pp. 177–178.
23
There is no point to be made by citing the mass of these laws. They would of necessity include such texts as Chapter XIX of the Constitutio Pragmatica (XIX. De Mensuris et Ponderibus : Ut autem nulla fraudis vel laesionis provindarum nascatur occasio, iubemus in Ulis mensuris vel ponderibus species vel pecunias dari vel suscipi, quae beatissimo Papae vel amplissimo Senatui nostri Pietas in praesenti contradidit.) That improper weights were common can be shown from still other passages. “Exigentes vero assem publicum per gravamina ponderum premere dicuntur patrimonia possessorum, ut non tam exactio quam praeda esse videatur. Sed ut totius fraudis abrogetur occasio, ad librám cubiculi nostri quae vobis in praesentia data est, universas functiones publicas iubemus inferre." Cassiodorus, Variarum, V, 39 (MGH., A A., XII, p. 156) written in the period 523–526 A.D. Cf. Mommsen, "Ostgothische Studien," Neues Archiv, XIV, p. 464, note 2. Also see Cassiodorus, Variarum, XI, 16 (MGH., A A., XII, p. 344), which is an answer to the Ligurians who have complained concerning unjust weights and measures used by tax collectors. Gregory I, Registrum, I, 42 (MGH., Epistolae, I, p. 64), orders unjust weights to be broken and to be replaced by just weights.
24
The italics are mine. Translated by William E. Lunt, Papal Revenues in the Middle Ages (New York City: Columbia University Press, 1934), II, p. 4. The text of this portion of Gregory I, Registrum, I, 42 (MGH., Epistolae, I, pp. 62–63) is important. "Cognovimus etiam, in aliquibus massis ecclesiae exactionem valde iniustissimam fieri, ita ut librám septuagenum ternům semis quod dici nefas est exigantur et adhuc ncque hoc sufficit, sed insuper aliquid ex usu iam multorum annorum exigi dicuntur. Quam rem omnímodo detestamur et amputari de patrimonio funditus volumus. Sed tua experientia sive in hoc quod per librám amplius, sive in aliis minutis oneribus et quod ultra rationis aequitatem a rusticis accipitur, pensent et omnia in summám pensionis redigat, ut prout vires rusticorum portant pensionem integram et pensantem librám septuagenum vinum (binum corrigit Mommsen, "Décret des Commodus für den Saltus Burunitanus," Hermes, XV (1880), adn. 2) per solvant, et neque siliquas extra libras, ñeque librám maiorem ñeque onera supra librám maiorem exigi debeant, sed per estimationem tuam prout virtus sufficit in summám pensionis crescat et sic turpis exactio nequáquam fiat. ..." Mommsen, loc. cit., views the additional 1½ solidi mentioned as "der Zuschlag der Hebegebühr zum Steuer quantum." The passage, however, speaks of a greater pound (73% solidi?) and additional charges. B. Hilliger, "Die Siebenteilige Unze der Römer,’ Blätter für Münzfreunde, LXII (1937), pp. 129–131, connects this passage with an ounce divided into seven parts because he believed that the 73½ solidi represented a pound of 1764 siliquae which would be evenly divisible by twelve and by seven. He applies this to the light Frankish solidi.
25
Symmachus, Relationes, XIII (MGH., A A., VI, p. 290): "Nunc in amorem tuum studia nostra creverunt. Nam mille sescentes auri libra decennalibus imperii tui festus devotus ordo promisit urbanis ponderibus conferendas, id est trutinae largioris examine." Cf. the Acta of the pseudo-council of Sinuessa which speak of a libra occidua which may be either a “western pound" or a reference to the sign of the zodiac known as libra. The libra occidua, however, is given certain numerical values in the Acta, but unfortunately the values given in different parts of the text do not coincide with one another. At one point the libra occidua seems to be equivalent to eighty-four, and at another to seventy-two, and in the third instance to less than forty-four and so forth. The text is found in ed. Mansi, Amplissima collectio concillorum, I, cols. 1255ff. The notes of Severinus Binius, a sixteenth century editor of the Acta of the Church councils, who agrees with C. Baronius (Annalium ecclesiasticorum (Antwerp, 1670–7), II, pp. 724–5, anno 302, no. 91–95) in connecting the libra occidua with the normal pound of seventy-two solidi and distinguishing it from an eastern pound of eighty-four solidi, are also found in Mansi, ad loc. The Acta of this council were forged in the early sixth century. E. Caspar, Geschichte des Papsttums von den Anfängen bis zur Höhe der Weltherrschaft (Tübingen, 1933), I, p. 98. Also see L. Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis ; Texte, Introduction et Commentaire (Paris, 1886), I, Introd., pp. lxxi ff.
26
Solidi struck at twenty siliquae are actually 1/86.4th of a Roman pound. The eighty-sixth part of a Roman pound equals 20.093 siliquae.
27
Louis C. West and Allen Chester Johnson, Currency in Roman and Byzantine Egypt (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1944).
28
R. Münsterberg, "Spätrömische Inedita,’ Mitteilungen der Numismatischen Gesellschaft in Wien, XV, nos. 57–58 (1923), pp. 227–228.
29
Marc Bloch, "Le Problème de ľor au moyen âge," Annales d’histoire économique et sociale, V (1933), pp. 8–9, deals specifically with this early period. Professor Bloch, however, did not treat this Byzantine series of solidi, but rather he devoted his article to a broad synthesis.
30
Friedrich Stefan, "Der Münzfund von Maglern-Thörl (vergraben um 570/71 bis 584/85) und die Frage der reduzierten Solidi," Numismatische Zeitschrift, LXX (1937), pp. 43–63.
31
This is Coin no. 73 in our catalogue.
32
Friedrich Stefan, "Der Münzfund von Maglern-Thörl (vergraben um 570/71 bis 584/85) und die Frage der reduzierten Solidi," Numismatische Zeitschrift, LXX (1937), pp. 52–53. On page 53 he says, "Luschin selbst aber zitiert bereits zwei solidi zu 20 Siliquen (3.68 g. und 3.64 g.) des Kaisers Justinian I., und aus südostgallischen Funden konnte ich eine Reihe ähnlicher Typen desselben Herrschers feststellen, die alle Nachahmungen seiner Exarchatsprägungen von Ravenna und Rom aus der Zeit 555/563 waren und Gewichte von nur 3.718 g. bis 4.1y g.aufwiesen."
33
These hoards and finds are discussed in detail in Chapter three.
34
This last series of marks, ⁕–⁕ and –⁕, is probably derived from the work of Monneret De Villard. No coins bearing such markings have come to light.
35
N. Bauer, "Zur byzantinischen Münzkunde des VII. Jahrhunderts,’ Frankfurter Münzzeitung, II, no. 15 (March 1931), pp. 227–229.
36
The history of the controversy regarding the significance of the letters ΘS is traced in Chapter three. It now seems certain that it refers to the mint of Antioch.
37
Joachim Werner, Münzdatierte austrasische Grabfunde (Berlin and Leipzig, 1935), passim, in ed. Hans Zeiss, Germanische Denkmäler der Völhkerwanderungszeit, III, issued by the Römisch-Germanische Kommission des Archäologischen Instituts des Deutschen Reiches.
38
Adolph E. Cahn, Versteigerungs-Katalog 75. Antike Münzen. Griechische Münzen aus ausländischem und norddeutschem Besitz. Das fürstlich fürstenbergische Münzkabinett zu Donaueschingen, lot 1847. This sale was held May 30, 1932. Stefan gives the weight of this piece as 4.002 grammes.
39
Procopius, Anecdota, XXII, 38; XXV, 12.
40
Ernest Stein, Histoire du Bas-Empire (Paris-Bruxelles-Amsterdam: Desclée de Brouwer, 1949), II, p. 766. Cf. Ibid., p. 762; Pauly-Wissowa, Real-Encyclopädie derclassischen AltertumswissenschajЧ, XIX, s.v. Petrus 31. Peter Barsymes was Count of the Sacred Largesses for the first time from about 540–543 A.D. By July 16, 543 he had been raised to Praefectus Praetorio per Orientem. Sometime in 546 he was dismissed in disgrace, but he was shortly restored as Count of the Sacred Largesses, and by June 1, 555 A.D. he was again Praetorian Prefect according to Just. Nov., 159. Also see Charles Diehl, Justinten et la civilization byzantin au VIe siècle (Paris, 1901), pp. 109f.
41
Stefan gives a reference to Theophanes, Chronographia (Bonn edition, p. 451), to show that this tribute was customarily 100,000 solidi and that Heraclius doubled that amount. Unfortunately Theophanes nowhere says this. The tribute payments to the Avars, however, were real and were unquestionably very large.
42
Friedrich Stefan, Münzkunde des Altertums (Graz, 1932), pp. 20–21.
43
In describing the solidus of Justin II from the hoard he was discussing he wrote, "Der Maglerner Solidus Justinus II. (565–578) (Abb. 5) gehört, seinem Stil und seinem Charakter nach, zu den untergewichtigen Soliditypen westlicher Fabrik und Mache, wie sie durch die in Südfrankreich und Italien vorkommenden Fundstücke gekennzeichnet sind. Der beiderseitige scharf ausgeprägte Wulstreif, die charakteristische, ziemlich roh stilisierte, durch wenige markante Linien erfolgte Wiedergabe des kaiserlichen Brustbildes auf der Vorderseite und die gleich eigentümliche Darstellung der von vorn sitzenden Constantinopolis mit Kreuzkugel und Speer auf der Rückseite entsprechen vollkommen den ravennatischen Merk malen der gleichzeitigen Exarchatsprägungen Justinus II. (Abb. 21)." Friedrich Stefan, “Der Münzfund von Maglern-Thörl (vergraben um 570/71 bis 584/85 und die Frage der reduzierten Solidi," Numismatische Zeitschrift, LXX (1937), p. 56.
44
Sawyer Mc A. Mosser, A Bibliography of Byzantine Coin Hoards, NNM 67 (New York City: The American Numismatic Society, 1935). The information given in the published accounts cited there does not permit certainty on this matter, but there is less reason to presume the existence of rare pieces in these hoards rather than their absence. Since the article by Stefan was written two years after the publication of this bibliography there is, of course, the possibility that such coins were discovered in the intervening period or were missed by the compilator, but Stefan gives no additional information beyond the bald statement of the existence of such hoards, and research has failed to yield any positive support for his statement.
45
L. Huszár, "Das Münzmaterial in den Funden der Völkerwanderungszeit im mittleren Donaubecken," Acta Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, V (1955), pp. 61–109. D. Csallány, "Byzantine Money in Avar Finds," Acta Arcħaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, II (1952), pp. 235–244 (in Russian). There is a French summary of this work entitles "L’importance de la circulation monétaire byzantine pour les legs archéologique des Avares," published on pages 245–255 of the same journal. On the coin from Szentes, which is cited by both of these authors, see Chapter three of this monograph. Csallány notes that during the fifth to the seventh centuries Byzantine artifacts are found in the same region and that they disappear at the same time as the coins and only reappear, as do the Byzantine coins, during the time of the Magyar conquest. The Byzantines had active commercial relations with the Avars, as shown by the finds, at least as late as the year 668/70, and in the year 676/7 there was still direct contact between these peoples as shown by the Avar embassy which visited Constantinople at that time. Since no coins of Justinian Rhinotmetus were, however, found in the area, the break must have come between 677 and 685. No coins of Constantine IV Pogonatus that can be dated later than 681 have been found either, so that the period in question can be narrowed to the years 678–681. Csallány suggests that the event which caused the sharp break in Byzantine-Avar relations was the Bulgarian invasion of 679 which created a barrier along the lower Danube. An interesting analogy can be made for the belief that the rise of the Avar kingdom itself during the middle years of the sixth century resulted in the sharp break in the Scandinavian trade of the Byzantines at the same time as shown by the hoards from southern Scandinavia. Joachim Werner, "Zu den auf öland und Gotland gefundenen byzantinischen Goldmünzen," Fornvännen, XLIV (1949), pp. 257–286, and esp. pp. 275–283, suggests that the rise of the Avar state cut the Vistula trade route. Dirk Jellema, "Frisian Trade in the Dark Ages," Speculum, XXX (1955), p. 21 recapitulates the various theories regarding these finds in Scandinavia and gives the latest bibliographical information. C. Moisil, "Sur les monnaies byzantines trouvées en Romanie," Bulletin de la Section Historique, Académie Roumaine, XI (1924), pp. 207–211, and esp. pp. 209–210, shows that the coin finds from Roumania also commence in significant quantity with deposits dating from the reign of Justinian and that these finds begin to disappear in the second half of the seventh century.
46
Cf. Cosmas Indicopleustes, II (Migne, Patrologia Graeca, LXXXVIII, col. 116; ed. Winstedt (Cambridge, 1909), p. 81). See the translation by MacCrindle, The Christian Topography of Cosmas, An Egyptian Monk, issued by the Hakluyt Society (London, 1897), XCVIII, p. 73. "There is yet another sign of the power which God has accorded to the Romans. I refer to the fact that it is with their coinage all nations carry on their trade from one extremity of the earth to the other. This money is regarded with admiration by all men to whatever kingdom they belong, since there is no other country in which the like of it exists," Cosmas tells us also that only the best gold coins were used in foreign commerce. It is, of course, well known that Cosmas is most accurate with respect to the eastern trade of the Empire, but merchants are likely to have been equally careful in the western trade. E. A Thompson, A History of Attila and His Huns (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1948), pp. 171 ff., suggested that the Huns secured many of the necessities of life by purchase from the Romans. Also see Archibald R. Lewis, Naval Power and Trade in the Mediterranean, 500–1100 A.D. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1951), pp. 37ff. Lewis expands this thesis into the general proposition that much of the gold paid out in subsidies returned via commercial transactions. A law of 374 (?) A.D. not only prohibits the supplying of gold to the barbarians in the course of trade, but it even states that if any is found among them, subtle skill is to be used to bring it away. Merchants who traffic in gold among the barbarians are to be subject not only to fines but also to capital punushment. C. Just., IV, 63, 2 (ed. Krueger, Corpus Iuris Civilis, II, p. 188). This worry on the part of the Romans regarding the loss of monetary metals is reflected in many passages. Thus Julian the Apostate condemns the men who for private gain have taught the princes to buy peace from the barbarians with gold. Amm. Marc, XXIV, 3, 4–5 (ed. Teubner, II, p. 10). Justinian in the sixth century followed the same policy and refused permission to the grandmother of John the son of Basilius to ransom him from Chosroes for 2,000 pounds of silver because he did not wish Roman wealth to be transferred to the enemy. Procopius, Anecdota, XII, 8 (ed. Teubner, III, pt. I, p. 78). Justinian even negotiated with the various peoples north and south of the Persian Empire to secure routes to the East not only to ensure continued access to eastern luxuries during the period of strife with Persia but also to prevent the Persians from making a profit on Roman trade. J. B. Bury, A History of the Later Roman Empire from the Death of Theodosius I to the Death of Justinian (A.D. 395 to A.D. 565) (London, 1931), I, p. 331; A. D. Vasiliev, History of the Byzantine Empire (Madison, 1928), I, pp. 199–200. These references could be greatly multiplied to deal with the entire problem of the so-called gold shortage within the Roman Empire, but the point has already been made that a large percentage of the gold paid out must have returned to the Empire.
47
Hugh Goodacre, "Justinian and Constantine," Numismatic Chronicle, Series 6, I (1941), pp. 48–53. Also see Charles Oman, "A Gold Solidus of A.D. 578: A Reattribution," Numismatic Chronicle, Series 6, II (1942), pp. 104–105. Oman proves that the coin in question was issued during the short period of the joint reign of Justin II and Tiberius Constantine (Sept. 26, 578-Nov. 14, 578 A.D.). See the Catalogue for a full description of the piece and the pertinent literature.
48
A. de Longpérier, "La Πβντανούμμιον Byzantin," Revue numismatique, nouvelle série, XIV (1869–70), p. 268. Also see E. Babelon, Traité des monnaies grecques et romaines, I, pt. I, cols. 616–617. Cf. Mommsen, Histoire de la monnaie romaine, trans. Duc de Blacas, III, p. 166.
49
West and Johnson, Currency in Roman and Byzantine Egypt, pp. 104–105. Cf. Ibid,, p. 114, and Mommsen, Histoire de la monnaie romaine, trans. Duc de Blacas, III, p. 167.
50
P. Le Gentilhomme, "Le Monnayage et la circulation monétaire dans les royaumes barbares en occident (Ve-VIIIe siècle), "Revue numismatique, 5e série, VIII (1944–45), pp. 21–22, 34–36. P. Le Gentilhomme, "Aperçu sur quelques aspects du monnayage des peuples barbares," Mélanges de numismatique mérovingienne, pp. 137–138.
51
Elemér Jónás, "Monnaies du temps des Avares en Hongrie,’ Demareteion, I (1935), pp. 130–136.
52
Leo Schindler and Gerhart Kalmann, "Byzantinische Münzstudien. I. Goldmünzen unter 24 Carat von Justinian I. bis Constantin IV.," Numismatische Zeitschrift, LXXII (1947), pp. 107–112.
53
Unter der Regierung Justinians I. fand stillschweigend eine Verringerung des inneren Wertes der Goldmünzen statt, weil der Kaiser ihren Feingehalt fast um 1/6 heruntergebracht hatte (Procopii anec. 22. 38 и. 25. 12). Fünfhundert alte Solidi genügten um sechshundert neue daraus zu schlagen, wie man mit Recht annehmen kann. Die neue verschlechterte Münze sollte aber als gleich gut, wie die alte angenommen werden, sonst hatte die nicht offen einbekannte Münzverschlechterung keinen Sinn gehabt." Schindler and Kalmann, "Byzantinische Münzstudien. II. Das 33 Nummistück Justinians L," Numismatische Zeitschrift, LXXII (1947), p. no. Unfortunately the two passages in Procopius do not explicitly support this view of a debasement, but the value of the solidus was lowered by one-seventh. Instead of 600 new coins from the same amount of gold that had previously sufficed for 500, however, only 583 pieces could be struck at a lower weight. The value of the solidus according to Procopius was lowered from 210 folles to 180 which is a reduction of one-seventh and not one-sixth. The statements of Schindler and Kalmann have been corrected in the text.
54
Edict XI (ed. R. Schoell and G. Kroll, Corpus Iuris Civilis, III, p. 777). The text and a Latin translation are given. G. Ostrogorsky, "Löhne und Preise in Byzanz," Byzantinische Zeitschrift, XXXII (1932), p. 296, note 3, interprets this edict to mean that solidi were issued at 1/81st of a pound. Mommsen, Histoire de la monnaie romaine, trans. Duc de Blacas, III, pp. 66–67, says that the mint officials defrauded the public by exchanging only sixty-three new solidi for a pound of gold. The decree is, however, of 559 A.D., and by that time Egypt had a bronze coinage which was peculiar unto itself. The crucial phrase in the edict is άπόλυτων ’Αιγύπτιον Χάραγμα. It occurs only in Edict X† and in Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 144 of 580 A.D. The editors of the papyrus suggest that gold at a different standard is meant, but the proposal of West and Johnson is more probable. Since they have successfully explained the various standards, public, private, Alexandrian, goldsmith's, etc., as accounting devices, they have put forth the view that what was contemplated in this edict was an exchange of the peculiar bronze currency of Egypt for gold. Originally there was a charge known as obryza set for this exchange of base metal Egyptian coins into gold according to those two scholars. Justinian, it would seem from Edict XI, suppressed that charge. For a full discussion of Edict XI see West and Johnson, Currency in Roman and Byzantine Egypt, pp. 189 fr. Cf. Josef Wilhelm Kubitschek, "Beiträge zur frühbyzantinischen Numismatik," Numismatische Zeitschrift, XXXIX (1897), pp. 174–177, who treats Edict XI as evidence that there were solidi of below twenty-four siliquae of value circulating in Egypt. Charles Diehl, "Une crise monétaire au VIe siècle," Revue des études grecques, XXXII (1919), p. 159, identifies the тὸ ἀπόλυτον Χάραγμα as gold of less fineness than normal solidi. He builds his entire case around this interpretation.
55
West and Johnson, Currency in Roman and Byzantine Egypt, pp. 104–105. Cf. Ibid., p. 114, and Mommsen, Histoire de la monnaie romaine, trans. Duc de Blacas, III, p. 67.
56
Marcel Jungfleisch, "Conjectures au sujet de certaines lettres isolées se rencontrent sur les solidi byzantins du VIIe siècle," Bulletin de l’Institut d’Egypte, XXXI (1948–49), pp. 103-120.
57
Philip Grierson, "The Canterbury (St. Martin's) Hoard of Frankish and Anglo-Saxon Coin-Ornaments," British Numismatic Journal, XXVII (1952), p. 50.
58
Philip Grierson, "A Byzantine Hoard from North Africa," Numismatic Chronicle, Series 6, XIII (1953), pp. 147-148.

THE COINS

Probably the most important of the characteristics of the solidi under discussion is their weight. The treatment accorded these coins in the past has always been something less than scientific with respect to metrology. Pieces of poor condition or of doubtful origin have been confused and grouped with those of a single authentic series, and there has been an almost universal dependence upon the calculated average weights in the determination of the standards and the accuracy of minting.

The brilliant Finnish numismatist and economic historian, Gunnar Mickwitz, before his untimely death, demonstrated conclusively the value of proper statistical technique in the use of the frequency curve for grouping and studying metrological data.1 His description of the technique is sufficiently complete to require little elaboration. Basically the methods of statistical analysis do not differ from one field of learning to another, but the conclusions derived may well be different.2 In numismatics it has been shown that in grouping metrological data according to the tally or frequency table, the step interval must be determined by the weight standard that was in use at the mint. Thus, if the tally were made on the basis of a step interval of three-hundredths of a gramme while the mint could only determine weights to two-tenths of a gramme accuracy, the frequency curve would be lower vertically and would show an unusual degree of multimodalism which might serve to obscure the actual theoretical standard at which the coins were struck as well as the measure of accuracy of the mint. This will be graphically demonstrated at a later point.

The graphic representation of the frequency table is most correctly given in the form of a histogram or skyline type of bar graph in which the frequencies are plotted on the vertical bar and the steps on the horizontal bar. If the laws of probability were the sole operating factors, the curve drawn through the histogram following the frequencies would be bell-shaped and symmetrical. As a result of the fact that coins which are struck al-pezzo are adjusted as to weight and the heavier pieces are returned to the melting pot much more frequently than the lighter pieces, the frequency curve in numismatics commonly shows a higher degree of skewness than would normally be expected. Such skewness is not statistically a serious matter, but it is a graphic representation of the accuracy with which the weight of individual coins was adjusted at the mint. A more serious defect of great significance would be a bimodal curve or one which resembled the Asiatic camel in showing two humps or zeniths. If such a figure should result from the distribution of the metrological data, it would serve as visual evidence that the data was not homogeneous and that more than one standard of weight was involved. It would then be necessary to distinguish and separate the two series or denominations before treating the material further.

The next step, of course, must be to measure in arithmetic terms the central tendency of the weights to gather around a single point with increasing frequency. This figure will give some indication of the theoretical weight at which the coins were struck. Clearly whatever value is determined will be below the theoretical weight by reason of wear and possibly seigniorage. The first of such measures of central tendency is simply the mode (Mo) or point of highest concentration on the frequency table. Manifestly this is a very crude measure because the modal point does not take into account the mass of metrologica! data which deviates from the modal step. Still another measure of central tendency is the mean (M) or average weight which, of course, is simply the result of the division of the sum of all of the weights by the number of instances or coins. This is a much finer measure of central tendency for metrological data, but it has the drawback that it weights the few coins which deviate widely from the central point much more heavily than those which are nearer that point. Thus just a few coins which diverge widely from the central point of concentration can affect the result to a degree far out of proportion to their actual significance. The third measure of central tendency is the median (Mdn) which is nothing more than the mid-point in an array of weights or more exactly that point above which and below which fifty percent of the weights fall. The median value is more representative than the mean in that all weights enter into its calculation with exactly the same stress. It can be used with a greater degree of confidence in those instances in which a few atypical cases would distort the picture of the central tendency as measured by the mean.

If the frequency curve were bell-shaped and perfectly symmetrical as in the case of the normal probability distribution, the mode, mean and median would all fall at the same point. In numismatics, as has been shown, this is not to be expected, particularly in the case of coins struck ai-pezzo, therefore the three values should be calculated, and the conclusions which are drawn from them must take the different values into account in terms of the natural or expected results of the minting process and the state of the coins.

Next, the numismatist must calculate the measure of deviation or variability evident in the series of weights. Arithmetic expressions which will indicate the extent of variability are an absolute necessity for the numismatist. The simplest of all such numerical values, of course, is the range which is nothing more than the difference between the highest and lowest weights. It is without question the crudest of all such measurements because it is calculated solely on the basis of two weights and excludes the vast majority of the weights collected. The mean deviation (MD) is a much more useful measure for the numismatist because every single weight in the frequency table enters into its determination. It may be briefly defined as the mean of ZIDI the sum of all the deviations from the mean. The formula MD = image is used to determine its value where Σ indicates the sum, N the number of weights, and D the deviation from the mean in each individual instance while the plus and minus signs are ignored. It will result in a value expressed in the same metrological units as the frequency table step interval, and that value when added to and subtracted from the mean will cover the majority of the cases involved in the construction of the frequency curve. When calculated for the normal probability curve the value of the mean deviation will indicate a range within which approximately fifty-seven percent of the total area under the frequency curve will be included. If the value of the mean deviation were high, it would serve as a clear indication that either the coins were struck with very little or no adjustment of weight, as in the case of al-marco minting, or else that more than one denomination or series of coins was involved in the collection of the data. Where two theoretical weights that were relatively close were involved there is the possibility that bimodalism would not be immediately evident from the frequency curve by visual inspection, but a high value for the mean deviation would certainly indicate that closer study was advisable.

A further measure of deviation or variability is the so-called standard deviation (σ) which is usually too refined for use in numismatics. In calculating the standard deviation the formula σ = image which may be expressed as the square root of the mean of the squares of all deviations from the mean, is used. When the number of weights is small there is no need for such refined calculations. The value of σ is always larger than the mean deviation, and when measured off above and below the mean delimits the area for approximately the central sixty-eight percent of the cases on a normal probability curve.

These measures of deviation or variability are not directly comparable with other measurements of deviations for other data. There is a definite need for an arithmetical expression to indicate relative variability. Since the means of two different series of coins are likely to be different, and this will often affect variability, the coefficient of variation (V) has been proposed to make allowance for the difference in the means. The formula to calculate the coefficient of variation is a simple one image, and it makes comparisons possible. It is best to compare different series of coins or denominations to determine the accuracy of the minting process in terms of coefficients of variation rather than standard deviations or mean deviations. The coefficient of variation yields a numerical value in terms of a scale beginning with a zero point, and since metrological data is involved in the numismatic use of the frequency table it can be employed with confidence.

The use of the frequency curve is, of course, covered in much greater detail in the work of Gunnar Mickwitz which has already been cited, and many of the examples which are given there for gold coinage can be used for comparison. Mickwitz plotted the frequency curves of gold coins during several periods in most scholarly fashion. The number of coin weights involved can be indicated by the letter N and the step interval by the lower case letter w. It is really unnecessary to construct the histogram to show the numerical values, and therefore only the tally and the results of Mickwitz's calculations will be reproduced. The curves themselves are readily accessible in Mickwitz's work.

The gold issues from the period of Gallienus yielded some interesting results in that it was evident from the calculations that more that one standard of weights was involved.

N = 328 w = 0.3 grammes M = 3.23 grammes σ = 1.324 grammes V = 40.99
STEP NO. OF COINS STEP NO. OF COINS
6.7-7.0 1 3.7-4.0 17
6.4-6.7 3 3.4-3.7 22
6.1-6.4 4 3.1-3.4 32
5.8-6.1 6 2.8-3.1 26
5.5-5.8 5 2.5-2.8 31
5.2-5.5 10 2.2-2.5 29
4.9-5.2 8 1.9-2.2 27
4.6-4.9 16 1.6-1.9 13
4.3-4.6 21 1.3-1.6 15
4.0-4.3 20 1.0-1.3 15
0.7-1.0 73

It is immediately evident that the frequency curve constructed on the basis of the distribution given above would be multimodal and that the average weight of 3.23 grammes would be a meaningless figure. The standard deviation of 1.324 grammes is better than a third of the mean weight of the coins and the coefficient of variation of 40.99 is so high that it cannot possibly be true for a single standard. A frequency curve constructed on the basis of 278 Roman denarii of the period from Nero to Septimius Severus yielded a coefficient of variation of only 6.94 while the silver was probably struck al-marco and the gold must have been struck ai-pezzo.4 The value of the frequency curve for detecting non-homogeneous gold coinage can be clearly seen in this example. Even though the step interval of 0.3 grammes is not very fine and Mickwitz may have used the method for calculations from grouped data, which is not as accurate as for ungrouped data, the character of the material stands out.

Another example of a frequency curve based on gold coins was plotted by Mickwitz with the data published by Cesano from the Via Po hoard of Rome.5 The 373 gold coins in that hoard yielded results showing the accuracy of the minting of gold coins at Rome.

It is immediately apparent that Mickwitz has refined his calculations too much in the light of his data. It is possible that aurei were weighed to an accuracy of 0.1 grammes, but the calculation of the probable error in the case of the standard deviation to a value of ± 0.0057 grammes is quite meaningless when referred to ancient mint practices. Such refined calculations can only give a distorted sense of accuracy, but the results are nevertheless quite revealing.

N = 373 w = 0.1 grammes M = 7.067 grammes Mo = 7.04 grammes σ = 0.16 ± 0.0057 grammes V = 2.26
STEP NO. OF COINS STEP NO. OF COINS
6.05-6.1 1 6.85-6.9 25
6.15-6.2 0 6.95-7.0 108
6.25-6.3 1 7.05-7.1 111
6.35-6.4 3 7.15-7.2 86
6.45-6.5 3 7.25-7.3 19
6.55-6.6 0 7.35-7.4 5
6.65-6.7 2 7.45-7.5 0
6.75-6.8 7 7.55-7.6 2

Even though the coinage involved extends in time from the reign of Nero to the time of Lucius Verus inclusive, and the range from 7.6 grammes to 6.5 grammes as a result of wear, the coefficient of variation is still only 2.26 as compared with 40.99 for the gold coinage of the period of Gallienus and 6.94 for the denarii from the reign of Nero through the reign of Septimius Severus. These coins were clearly struck al-pezzo and were most accurately adjusted at the mint. The curve, however, is unusual in that it shows a remarkable degree of symmetry which Mickwitz quite properly attributes to the fact that the hoard covers a full century of time and the more recent coins in the find were in excellent condition and had not been worn while others were quite worn. The more typical skewness is evident if only the seventy-nine coins which are attributed to the reign of the Emperor Hadrian are plotted on a frequency curve.

N = 79 w = 0.1 grammes M = 7.085 grammes Mo = 7.2 grammes σ = 0.18 ± 0.014 grammes V = 2.5
STEP NO. OF COINS STEP NO. OF COINS
6.25-6.3 1 6.85-6.9 2
6.35-6.4 1 6.95-7.0 15
6.45-6.5 0 7.05-7.1 18
6.55-6.6 0 7.15-7.2 28
6.65-6.7 1 7.25-7.3 9
6.75-6.8 2 7.35-7.4 2

These coins were excellently preserved and in a large degree were fleur de coin. Now the rapid decline of frequency on the positive side of the mode is immediately evident as contrasted with the more gentle decline on the underweight side of the curve. This, of course, is largely the result of the fact that the weight of the coins was carefully adjusted, and the heavier ones were returned to the melting pot with greater frequency than the lighter ones.6 Once again, of course, the accuracy of the gold coinage is most noticeable.

A good comparison for the frequency curves of the light weight solidi is to be found in the curve plotted by Mickwitz on the basis of the solidi from the Dortmund hoard and the Weber Collection. These solidi are all of the period 307-408 A.D., and as a result they are at least 150 years earlier in time than the light weight solidi.

N = 150 w = 0.03 grammes M = 4417 grammes Mo = 4.45 grammes σ = 0.092 grammes V = 2.08
STEP NO. OF COINS STEP NO. OF COINS
3.96 1 4.29 5
3.99 0 4.32 4
4.02 0 4.35 12
4.05 0 4.38 12
4.08 0 4.41 24
4.11 2 4.44 25
4.14 0 4.47 35
4.17 1 4.50 12
4.20 2 4.53 6
4.23 1 4.56 3
4.26 3 4.59 1
4.62 17

If the distribution were made on a sounder basis by using the weight of the half-carat or half-siliqua (0.095 grammes) as the step interval instead of 0.03 grammes the results would be even more striking when plotted though none of the arithmetic values, which are really independent of the histogram, would be affected.

STEP NO. OF COINS STEP NO. OF COINS
3.790-3.885 0 4.265-4.360 24
3.885-3.980 1 4.360-4.455 61
3.980-4.075 0 4.455-4.550 53
4.075-4.170 2 4.550-4.645 5
4.170-4.265 4

All of the characteristics of the curve are accentuated by such a step interval. The very sharp decline in frequency on the positive side is now most evident. If a very large number of coins were involved this could eliminate a seeming bimodalism. Such bimodalism could, of course, be discounted on the basis of the arithmetic or numerical values calculated to measure the deviations, but if it appeared on the tally or frequency table without such calculations it, could be most disturbing.

image

Solidi from Anastasius to Constans II Fig. 1

A frequency curve constructed on the basis of the weights of 459 solidi weights gathered by Luschin von Ebengreuth may be used to demonstrate this (Fig. 1), and at the same time it provides us with the finest basis of comparison for the frequency curves of the light weight solidi.8 These coins cover the period from the reign of Anastasius through that of Constans II and are therefore directly comparable with the solidi studied in this book. Unfortunately each of the three sources involved contained some of the light weight solidi, but since Luschin von Ebengreuth limited the range of the solidi included in his frequency table to those above 4.20 grammes but below 4.55 grammes, this difficulty is largely eliminated. Only in the rarest instances do any of the solidi in the several light weight series rise to weights of 4.20 grammes or better. The same may be said for the number of normal solidi which show weights above 4.55 grammes. Thus of the 150 solidi in the frequency curve from the Weber Collection and the Dortmund hoard only five weighed more than 4.55 grammes, and three of those five weighed 4.56 grammes. The overwhelming bulk of all of the solidi issued in the period 491-668 A.D. certainly must fall into the range of 4.20-4.55 grammes. The few that are excluded could not affect the results appreciably. A number of coins in the group, however, have been pierced, but even in this instance less than five percent of the coins are involved, and since in many instances the weights remained fairly high, it may be that the coins were punched rather than drilled or filed. In any event the exclusion of these pierced coins would only serve to bring the few coins in question into even greater alignment with the measurements of central tendency.

The distribution as given by Luschin von Ebengreuth is multimodal with peaks at 4.47, 4.45, and 4.40 grammes.

N = 459 w = 0.01 grammes M = 4.40 grammes Mo = 4.45 and 4.40 grammes with still another peak at 4.47 grammes Mdn = 4.41 grammes MD = 0.052 grammes σ = 0.249 grammes V = 5.657

Since the coefficient of variation is only 5.657 and the majority of the coins lie within 0.05 grammes of the mean, there is no question of a non-homogeneous group, and the multimodalism is the result of an improper step interval. Changing the step interval to 0.03 grammes will reduce the multimodalism even futher while the numerical values calculated to measure the central tendency and deviation remain constant (Fig. 2). The two histograms show this graphically as do the frequency tabulations.

STEP NO. OF COINS STEP NO. OF COINS
4.20-4.22 9 4.38-4.40 81
4.23-4.25 16 4.41-4.43 65
4.26-4.28 7 4.44-4.46 87
4.29-4.31 20 4.47-4.49 67
4.32-4.34 31 4.50-4.52 14
4.35-4.37 58 4.53-4.55 4

In the period following Constantine the siliqua ami or keration seems to have been the smallest weight used though it is probable that the Romans could detect and adjust weights to within half of a siliqua.9 In view of that fact we may assume that in the minting of gold the coinage was adjusted to the nearest half-siliqua.

image

Since the siliqua auri was valued at 0.1895 grammes of gold, the coinage would then have been adjusted to within 0.095 grammes of the theoretical weight. If that is taken as the step interval, the bimodalism disappears completely and the accuracy of the Roman mint is immediately evident (Fig. 3).

STEP NO. OF COINS
22–22½ carats (4.170–4.264 grammes) 27
22½–23 carats (4.265–4.359 grammes) 96
23–23½ carats (4.360–4.454 grammes) 251
23½–24 carats (4.455–4.549 grammes) 85

If the step interval used in the construction of the histogram is the same as the standard of accuracy at the mint, all of those characteristics which have been noted in the frequency curves studied thus far are accentuated. Thus the modal step of this distribution is that from 23–23½ siliquae (4.36–4.45 grammes). The sharp decline in frequency on the positive side of the curve and the skewness of the curve towards the negative side are most clearly seen. More than fifty percent of the coins fall into the modal step which, however, is slightly larger than the mean deviation while the coefficient of variation (5.657) is low enough to indicate good adjustment of the coinage.

That these coins were meant to circulate at a theoretical weight of twenty-four siliquae cannot be doubted. Solidi were defined in law as coins of four scruples or twenty-four siliquae.10 The deductions for seigniorage and the wear that the coins have undergone account for an actual weight some two percent below the theoretical weight. The gold coins in the collections from which these weights were taken are generally in good condition, they are collectors’ pieces in the fullest sense of the word and have not undergone quite as much wear as might be expected. It may therefore be presumed that the major portion of the two percent weight differential can be accounted for as the charge for seigniorage. Undoubtedly the Byzantines did not calculate this as a percentage of the theoretical weight of the coin but simply issued their gold solidi about one-half of a siliqua light. This observation may be confirmed by reference to the fact that the frequency table for the solidi of the period 307-408 A.D. from the Dortmund hoard and Weber Collection shows approximately the same weight loss. They are also approximately half of a carat lighter than the theoretical weight.

It is now possible, on the basis of the frequency curves that have already been reviewed in some detail, to study the frequency curves for the solidi of the light weight type. The Catalogue at the end of this book contains notes and descriptions concerning 183 coins. Some of these pieces, such as Coins nos. 13, 17, 22, 32, 37, 38, 53, 92, 100, 101, 102, 118, 125, 126, 136, 139, 141, 146, 153, 154, 155, 161, 162, 163, 164, 167, 168, 169, 174, 176, 178, and 179, must be excluded from a frequency table because they are either pierced, mounted, looped, or clipped.11 With the possible exception of Coins nos. 125, 126, and 166 all of these operations affect the weight of the piece appreciably, and as a result these thirty-two solidi must be excluded from the frequency table. In addition Coins nos. 19, 27, 31, 35, 41, 43, 47, 48, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 69, 70, 71, 76, 77, 84, 91, 94, 98, 108, 109, 113, 121, 123, 124, 131, 135, 147, 151, 165, 173, 180, 181, and 182, are of unknown weight. These forty-two pieces must of necessity be excluded from the calculations. Thus the frequency curves can deal with only 109 coins. Certain of these 109 solidi, however, can be identified as barbaric in origin, and this reduces the number even further. Coins nos. 31, 32, 33, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 159, 181, 182, 183, are barbarian or derived from western mints of the Empire and not part of the light weight series under discussion, and of these Coins nos. 32 (clipped), 33, 72, 73, 74, 75, 78, 159, and 183 have known weights. Thus the number of coins for the frequency table is reduced even further to only 101 pieces. The reasons for identifying these fifteen coins as barbaric or as not belonging to the light weight series will be discussed somewhat later. The 101 coins that remain may be divided according to the exergual marks and presented in the form of grouped data for a frequency curve. The weights are calculated to the nearest hundredth of a gramme.

COIN NO. WEIGHT EXERGUE EMPEROR
132 3.85 BOXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
4 3.79 OBXX Justinian
149 3.76 BOXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
150 3.75 BOXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
23 3.75 OBXX Justinian
12 3.74 OBXX Justinian
10 3.74 OBXX Justinian
177 3.73 BOXX Constans II, Constantine IV Pogonatus, Heraclius and Tiberius
160 3.73 OBXX Heraclius, Heraclius Constantine and Heracleonas
138 3.73 BOXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
137 3.73 BOXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
134 3.73 BOXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
119 3.73 BOXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
108 3.73 OBXX Phocas
46 3.73 OBXX Justin II
20 3.73 OBXX Justinian
148 3.72 BOXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
35 3.72 OBXX Justin II
18 3.72 OBXX Justinian
14 3.72 OBXX Justinian
9 3.72 OBXX Justinian
8 3.72 OBXX Justinian
5 3.72 OBXX Justinian
133 3.71 BOXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
128 3.71 OBXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
21 3.71 OBXX Justinian
16 3.71 OBXX Justinian
11 3.71 OBXX Justinian
166 3.70 OBXX Constans II
144 3.70 BOXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
127 3.70 BOXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
122 3.70 BOXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
106 3.70 OBXX Phocas
40 3.70 OB·X·X Justin II
34 3.70 OBXX Justin II
15 3.70 OBXX Justinian
6 3.70 OBXX Justinian
120 3.69 BOXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
117 3.69 OBXX Heraclius
116 3.69 OBXX Heraclius
2 3.69 OBXX Justinian
145 3.68 BOXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
89 3.68 OBXX Maurice Tiberius
88 3.68 OBXX Maurice Tiberius
39 3.68 OB·XX· Justin II
26 3.68 OBXX Justinian
25 3.68 OBXX Justinian
3 3.68 OBXX Justinian
143 3.67 BOXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
140 3.67 BOXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
110 3.67 OBXX Phocas
152 3.66 BOXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
130 3.66 OBXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
7 3.66 OBXX Justinian
156 3.65 BOXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
142 3.65 BOXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
36 3.65 OBXX Justin II
24 3.64 OBXX Justinian
107 3.63 OBXX Phocas
109 3.62 OBXX Phocas
45 3.62 OBXX Justin II
158 3.60 OBXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
157 3.52 BOXX Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
44 3.51 OBXX Justin II
42 3.47 OBXX Justin II

N = 65 w = 0.095 M = 3.69 grammes Mo = 3.70 grammes Mdn = 3.70 grammes MD = 0.0393 grammes σ = 0.1832 grammes V = 4.964

As far as can be determined there is no evident relationship between the so-called officina marks at the end of the reverse inscriptions and the weights except that the mark ΘS does not occur for this series. All of emperors of the period from Justinian through Constantine IV Pogonatus struck coins of this type except Tiberius Constantine. Almost eighty-two percent of the coin weights are within o.o5ths of a gramme of the mean weight, and the coefficient of variation is only 4.978. Only two of the coins equal the weight of twenty siliquae fully, but if the same type of deduction of half a carat is made for seigniorage and wear, then we might assume an actual weight of 19½ siiiquae for these coins when they left the mint. Of course, the theoretical weight of the coins was meant to be twenty siiiquae, and the interpretation of the inscription OBXX is probably OB (ryzum) XX (viginti) (siiiquae).

image

Frequency Table of BOXX and OBXX Solidi

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Frequency Table of OB⁕+⁕, OB⁕+ and OBimage Solidi

The next group of coins are those with the mark in the exergue ВОГК or ВОГК. Only four weights have been reported for specimens of these coins in good condition. The coins were only struck during the reign of Constans II.

COIN NO. MARK WEIGHT
170 ВОГК 4.27
171 ВОГК 4.20
172 ВОГК 4.30
175 ВОГК 4.37

Obviously there are not enough weights for a scientific treatment, but they extend between twenty-two and twenty-three and one half carats. Two of the four recorded weights are between twenty-two and one half and twenty-three carats. The determination of the standard on which these coins were minted, however, rests most decisively on the expansion of the ligature ГК or ГК. One of the letters of that ligature is clearly a kappa, but is the other one to be read as a pi or a gamma? Numismatists have read the inscription in both ways, with a gamma as well as with a pi. It seems fairly certain that the ligature in both forms was intended to stand for a single group of two letters, and from the position of the letters BO in relation to each other the inscription is retrograde. It is also to be noted that the first retrograde exergual markings on the light weight solidi are to be found during the joint reigns of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine and just precede the reign of Constans II. Other light weight solidi from the reign of Constans II (Coins nos. 176 and 177) have clearly discernible retrograde inscriptions, BOXX. If the ligature is read in retrograde fashion as kappa-gamma, it would be in conformity with the few weights that we possess and would indicate coinage issued at twenty-three siliquae. If, on the other hand, the ligature is read as kappa-pi in retrograde fashion the anomalous numerical value is twenty plus eighty or 100, which could only be taken to indicate coinage at 1/100th of a Roman pound. The practice of indicating the relationship of the solidus to the pound by the figure LXXII in the field is known for the Constantinian period, but 1/100th of a Roman pound is 17.28 siliquae, and all of the weights for these coins would then be extremely high. Perhaps even more striking is the fact that since it has been shown that the inscription is retrograde, it should follow the Greek practice of arithmetical notation which kappa-gamma does, but which kappa-pi does not. The Greek letter rho would be used to indicate ioo. In writing Greek numerals the larger number usually precedes the smaller one. The kappa-gamma expansion of the ligature satisfies that requirement, whereas even if we presume that the addition of eighty plus twenty (ПК) was used to indicate 100 (P), which in itself would be a source of surprise, the retrograde character of the inscription would show the unusual form of twenty plus eighty (KΠ).12 Only the reading ВОГК or “twenty-three carats of gold of the Constantinopolitan standard" will satisfy the requirements, if this exergual mark is taken to be a notation of the weight or standard of the coin as seems to be indicated by the letters BO. The only other possibility is that the ligature ГК stands for some phrase which is otherwise unrecognizable in relation to coins. One cannot presume the existence of such a phrase, and as a result "twenty-three carats of gold of the Constantinopolitan standard" seems fairly certain.

The third and last series of coins to be discussed from the metro-logical standpoint are those marked OB⁕+⁕, OB+⁕ or BOimage. The range of these coins is from 4.21 to 3.35 grammes, and the two coins marked OBimage and COimage are at the lower end of the scale, but they appear to be badly worn. It seems certain that the mark COimage is an error for OBimage. The coins marked OB⁕+⁕ are distributed in such fashion that it is possible that Justin II began this series somewhat above the indicated weight for the coins marked OB+⁕, but it hardly seems likely that there are two separate denominations so close to one another that the series of weights for the heavier one merely continues that of the lighter one. In addition, as will be shown, the measurement of deviation in the case of these coins leads to the conclusion that a single series is involved and that the individual exergual marks are simply abbreviations or fuller versions of the same mark.

In this case the coins cover only the reigns from Justinian through the joint reigns of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine. The striking of these coins must have cerne to an end before 630 A.D. when Heracleonas was raised in rank. It should also be noted that the marks in the exergues are found in all forms during the reign of Justinian, but that in the reign of Justin II only OB⁕+⁕ occurs and that afterwards only OB+⁕ was used. Also the mint mark ΘS is strongly associated with these coins and only with these coins. In the reign of Justinian one of these coins is found with the mint mark Θ. After that the mint mark is always given as ΘS save for one instance where as a result of a double striking the mark is ΘSS. Certainly the obverse die of Coin no. 79 which on the reverse bears the mint mark ΘS and the exergual inscription OB⁕+⁕ was used to strike another coin with the mint mark A on the reverse and the normal exergual inscription CCNOB.13 Either one must suppose the unlikely possibility that the obverse die was sent frcm one officina or mint to another or that one mint or officina used used more than one mint mark for the purpose of striking coins in the name of another mint or for seme other purpose. This latter suggestion would be in accord with the Jungfleisch hypothesis which was explained in the previous chapter.

COIN NO. WEIGHT EXERGUE EMPEROR
50 4.21 OB⁕+⁕ Justin II
52 4.14 OB⁕+» Justin II
57 4.12 OB⁕+⁕ Justin II
54 4.11 OB⁕+⁕ Justin II
1 4.11 OB⁕+⁕ Justinian
51 4.10 OB⁕+⁕ Justin II
129 4.09 OB+⁕ Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine
86 4.09 OB+⁕ Tiberius II Constantine
83 4.09 OB+⁕ Tiberius II Constantine
81 4.08 OB+« Tiberius II Constantine
55 4.08 OB⁕+⁕ Justin II
114 4.07 OB+⁕ Phocas
COIN NO. WEIGHT EXERGUE EMPEROR
112 4.07 OB+⁕ Phocas
110 4.07 OB+⁕ Phocas
97 4.07 OB+⁕ Maurice Tiberius
99 4.06 OB+⁕ Maurice Tiberius
93 4.06 OB+⁕ Maurice Tiberius
111 4.05 OB+⁕ Phocas
90 4.05 OB+⁕ Maurice Tiberius
87 4.05 OB+⁕ Tiberius II Constantine
95 4.04 OB+» Maurice Tiberius
85 4.02 OB+⁕ Tiberius II Constantine
82 4.02 OB+⁕ Tiberius II Constantine
115 4.00 OB+⁕ Phocas
80 4.00 OB+⁕ Tiberius II Constantine
96 3.98 OB+⁕ Maurice Tiberius
79 3.95 OB⁕+⁕ Justin II and Tiberius II Constantine
68 3.90 OB⁕+⁕ Justin II
29 3.73 COimage Justinian
30 3.69 OB+⁕ Justinian
56 3.63 OB⁕+» Justin II
28 3.35 OBimage Justinian

N = 32 w = 0.095 M = 4.00 grammes Mo = 4.03 grammes Mdn = 4.06 grammes MD = 0.01 grammes σ = 0.1702 grammes V = 4.255

The measurements of central tendency fall about twenty-one siliquae (mean = 4.00 grammes; mode = 4.03 grammes; and median = 4.06 grammes), but a relatively large number of coins are twenty-one and a half siliquae or more, so the theoretical weight of these coins must be above twenty-one and a half siliquae, or the adjustment of weight for this particular series of gold coins must be assumed to have been very poor. The poor condition of some of these pieces can be seen reflected in the broad range of the weights, but the fact that the coefficient of variation is only 4.255 indicates quite clearly that the frequency table was composed of a homogeneous group of coins in varying states of condition or wear. With this in mind, it may be stated that the coins were actually struck at twenty-one and a half carats, which, when the half carat is added to cover seigniorage and wear, as seems to be normal in the case of solidi, would yield a theoretical weight of twenty-two carats. This is in accordance with the findings of Schindler and Kalmann. Fully twenty-five of the thirty-two coins have weights falling above twenty-one and below twenty-two carats.

The theoretical and actual weights of the ninety-seven Byzantine solidi that could be discussed in terms of a frequency table have now been covered in some detail, but fifteen additional coins were earlier referred to as barbaric or not belonging to the light weight series, and in the case of nine of these coins (one of which was clipped) the weights were known. These coins were excluded because of their barbaric origin which must now be shown to be decisive. This issue is most properly argued on grounds of style, fabric, and numismatic epigraphy. The authentic Byzantine solidus is generally better modelled than the barbarian imitations and the letters of the inscription show a greater degree of care. As an example of a clearly barbarous piece Coin no. 33 may be studied. The bust of Justinian on the obverse is so poorly done and the legend is so garbelled that there can be no doubt of its origin. Close observation will show that the form of the letter image in the exergue on the reverse is western and probably Italic. The С in the reverse legend is sharply angular while true Byzantine solidi show a more rounded variety of С On the reverse the head of the Victory is scarcely more than a slight swelling with no modelling while the wings and drapery of the same figure are scarcely more than lines, and the upper edge of the wings form a continuous arc with the upper edge of the body of the Victory. These qualities stand in sharp contrast the normal Byzantine figure on the solidus. Lastly, but by no means least important, the Victory holds a globe surmounted by a cross whereas only very rarely do the authentic light weight Byzantine solidi display the globus cruciger though the solidi of normal weight always show it. Stefan suggested that this coin might have been struck in Pannonia by the Lombards at some time around 560 A.D., but definitely prior to 584/85. The location of the spot where this solidus was found is unknown.

Coin no. 32 shows many of the same traits with the added feature that the eyes of the Victory are in reality rondules in annulets. For purposes of comparison 126 separate dies for obverses of authentic Byzantine solidi known from actual handling, photographs, casts, or rubbings are gathered in the plates to this volume. A total of 121 reverse dies from the same sources are also gathered there. Unfortunately three sets of die impressions have been badly mutilated and should really be excluded from this study, so that the figures are reduced to 123 and 118 respectively. The line drawings, of course, must be excluded from any such study. The peculiar exergual marks of coins no. 31, 32, 33 in the Catalogue merely confirm the conclusion arrived at from a study of the letter forms and style as compared with the authentic Byzantine pieces. Even though Coin no. 31 is only known from a line drawing and description, it is so similar to Coin no. 32 that it seems obvious that it must be barbaric as well. The exergual marks (OBX+X and OBXT) prove conclusively that they are imitations of the light weight solidi.

The light weight solidi of Justin II were also imitated as shown by six coins of that group (Coins nos. 72-77) which are known from photographs. Still a seventh may be added, if the exergual mark of Coin no. 78 may be taken as any indication. Once again, in the case of the six coins which are known from photographs, the globus cruciger appears on the reverse in the hand of the personified Constantinople wearing the mural crown. The authentic light weight series, it should be remembered, usually lack the cross which, however, is always present on the normal Byzantine solidi. Coin no. 75 (PLATE VI, 75) displays the garbelled inscription as well as the poor modelling which hardly stands comparison with the authentic pieces. The exergual markings (CXNXU, COX+image, COИX+image, CONX+ CONX+image, CONX+x, and CX+X÷) can only be composed of a combination of the normal CONOB and the light solidus markings OBXX or more likely OB⁕+⁕.14 In the matter of the coin weights and the authenticity of the coins Schindler and Kalmann have been proven to be correct as opposed to the other authors who have accepted the views of Monneret De Villard and Friedrich Stefan.

Since the reverses of the solidi of the reign of Tiberius Constantine are distinguished from those of preceding reigns by the fact that the type is simply a cross potent on four steps, the discussion of style, not fabric, of course, largely hinges upon the obverse. Portraiture on most, if not all Byzantine coins, is conventional, and, as a result, opinions can only be expressed with greath reserve. Coins nos. 180, 181, and 182 of the reign of Tiberius Constantine with the exergual mark C+N+B, however, can be connected with Coin no. 183 of the reign of Maurice Tiberius with the same exergual mark and the reverse of the standing Victory facing front which was restored by that ruler. No reproductions of Coins nos. 181 and 182 were available, and only a very poor reproduction in a sale catalogue of 1886 could be secured for the study of the remaining coin of Tiberius Constantine with that exergual mark. Coin no. 183, however, is in the posession of the British Museum which very kindly furnished a cast of the piece and a statement of its weight, the only one available for solidi with that mark. It should be noted that though the mint mark ΘS is very strongly associated with at least one series of light weight solidi, so strongly in fact that all of the solidi of that group struck in the reign of Tiberius Constantine bear it, it is not found on solidi with the exergual mark C+N+B. The only weight available, however, is that of the coin in the British Museum which is in excellent condition but weighs only 4.04 grammes. The four coins in question are clearly of western origin, if any judgement may be made on the basis of the two reproductions available. A sharp almost incised quality of portraiture and lettering with a raised circular border is the most characteristic trait of such pieces, and it is very marked on the coins in question. In addition the letter forms are decisively western, for on the coin of Tiberius Constantine we find Dო and on that of Maurice Tiberius DNო. The reverse of the solidus of Maurice Tiberius also shows the western form of the long cross ending with the letter rho, a form which resembles a bishop's crozier with a cross bar. This piece also displays the Victory holding a globus cruciger which is further reason for eliminating it from the light weight series under discussion despite the fact that it does not approach the normal weight of the solidus. This last fact, of course, is not at all decisive. From the evidence presented it may be concluded that the solidi with C+N+B are of western origin and not part of the light weight series of coins that form the subject of this book.

Before leaving these pieces, however, it should be noted that certain changes in the matter of imperial portraiture were introduced during these two reigns. Tiberius Constantine was the first of the emperors to discard the traditional helmet head-dress found on solidi showing the emperor in armor in favor of a crown surmounted by a cross while retaining the cuirass and horseman device shield. Maurice Tiberius reverted to the helmet with plume but discarded the horseman device shield which only reappeared during the reign of Constantine IV Pogonatus. He also added the imperial fibula with the strands of pearls suspended. This fibula had not been represented on solidi of the full-face front type before, but it had been shown on some of the earlier solidi and on the fractional gold coinage. Solidi of Maurice Tiberius in military dress with cuirass and horseman device shield but wearing a helmet surmounted by a cross and without the fibula are known both in the normal series of solidi and in the light weight group.15 Dated bronzes of the type with the cross instead of the plume occur for several years scattered throughout the reign of Marice Tiberius, and it would therefore be unsound to regard a piece such as Coin no. 99 as an intermediate type before the revival of the helmet with plume type.

Still another solidus of Maurice Tiberius (Coin no. 90, PLATE VII, 90) must be discussed. This coin shows the authentic exergual mark OB+⁕, but it depicts the Victory on the reverse with a globus cruciger in the left hand and the weight of the solidus is 4.05 grammes. The reverse type would be sufficient for a critical examination of the coin. It is a solidus of western origin as shown by the quality of the sharp relief and the mint mark P at the end of the reverse inscription which is normally, at an earlier date, attributed to Ravenna though this piece does not appear to be of that mint. The obverse of this solidus does not seem to be of the fine caliber which is normally expected of solidi of this period. This is most noticeable in the drapery and on the cuirass, but it can also be seen in the helmet and face. A circular or rather semicircular ornament is found on the front of the other solidi which depict the Emperor wearing a helmet with a plume. It is most noticeably absent on this coin. These features would point towards a barbarian origin for this coin. It is, however, most difficult to decide the origin of a solidus such as this. Certain features of the gold piece are unique, but the general appearance of the coin may well be too fine to accept it as an imitation. It is probably an authentic Byzantine piece, but it certainly has some unusual features. In any event it has been included in the frequency table despite this unique character.

The last of these solidi (Coin no. 159, PLATE XII, 159) omitted from the distribution is a quite obvious barbaric imitation of a piece of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine. In the exergue of the reverse the inscription XVOX can be read. This solidus really requires very little discussion because it is so clearly barbaric in style, inscription and over-all character.

The forms of the frequency tables have therefore been adequately justified, and the results must be considered conclusive. Solidi of twenty carats theoretical weight were issued marked OBXX or BOXX in the exergue of the reverse. Still others of twenty-two carats theoretical weight were issued marked OBimage, OB+⁕, or OB⁕+⁕. The first series was issued in the reigns of Justinian, Justin II, Maurice Tiberius, Phocas, Heraclius sole reign, Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine joint reign, Constans II, and Constantine IV Pogonatus. A gap occurs in this series during the reign of Tiberius Constantine, but this lacuna was then filled with solidi of twenty-two carats theoretical weight which had also been introduced by Justinian (see Coins nos. 1, 28, 29, and 30), but which became prominent during the reign of Justin II and continued to be struck with some frequency through the reign of Phocas. Only a single coin of that type is known for the reigns of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine. Finally coins of approximately twenty-three carats marked BOГK were struck in the reign of Constans II. These last pieces occur only for that reign.

Solidi of reduced weight were not as rare during the sixth and seventh centuries as has usually been assumed. Bauer reports that Zograph had seen a hoard of coins and other utensils from the Dnieper Delta, and that the hoard contained six pieces of Heraclius and one of Constans II. All of the solidi of the three emperor type were marked BOXX.16 He also tells of sixty-one gold coins found together with gold and silver utensils discovered by herdsmen in 1912 not far from Pereschtschepino. Only four of the coins had not been used in the manufacture of ornaments. Thirty-six of the coins were of the three emperor type of Heraclius, and of these only one coin had the usual CONOB marking in the exergue. Twenty-seven of these coins were marked BOXX, and it should be noted that only two obverse dies and four reverse dies were used to strike the entire twenty-seven pieces. Four separate die combinations occur because seventeen of the coins were struck with one set of dies, six with another combination, two with a third, and two with still a fourth. The same hoard from Pereschtschepino yielded eight more solidi of the three emperor type, in addition to the twenty-seven marked BOXX, which were marked BOXX+. All eight were struck from the same pair of dies, but since no examples of this type are known outside of the Soviet Union at least one more reverse die may be added to the list of die impressions studied. The same author reports that the Pereschtschepino hoard contained sixteen coins of Constans II marked BOXX struck from two obverse dies and four reverse dies. Eight were struck with one combination, five with a second pair, two with still a third set of dies, and one with a fourth.17 Some of these dies from the eastern hoards may well be represented in the plates of this monograph, but there is no certainty of this.

A close study of the solidi listed in the catalogue reveals that there are a number of die identities. Of the twenty-five sets of die impressions of Byzantine solidi of the light weight series issued by Justinian only twenty-one obverse dies and twenty reverse dies could be distinguished.18 Twenty-nine obverse and twenty-eight reverse dies of light weight solidi of Justin II are known as well as one set of Justin II and Tiberius II Constantine.19 Of the eight light weight series coins of Tiberius Constantine alone which were studied only two were struck from the same pair of dies.20 Eleven more sets of dies of this series are known for the reign of Maurice Tiberius. During the reign of Phocas seven coins were struck from three sets of dies, and the other seven coins showed no die identities.21 Thus there were ten separate die impressions for the obverse and ten for the reverse for the reign of Phocas. Heraclius sole reign is represented by two more sets of dies. But the joint reign of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine presented only thirty-two authentic solidi that could be studied accurately, and three of these were too multilated for die analysis. Twenty-seven separate obverses were recognizable as were twenty-four reverses.22 There were five specimens of the three emperor type that might be studied, and from these there was one die identity of the reverse.23 Eight sets of dies of Constans II might be distinguished because four of the solidi of that Emperor were evidently struck from two sets of dies.24 Two sets of dies of Constans II, Constantine IV Pogonatus, Heraclius and Tiberius, and two more sets of Constantine IV Pogonatus, Heraclius and Tiberius complete the series. Thus 123 obverse dies and 118 reverse dies, excluding those too mutilated for study, can be set as a minium figure. The obverse dies can be omitted from further calculation because as was shown in the case of Coin no. 79 the same obverse might be used for the normal solidi and for the light weight series. Light weight solidi, however, in the light of the 118 separate reverse dies known, cannot have been too rare. Even if the six reverse BOГK dies are excluded there still remain in dies of authentic light weight solidi which may be studied.

It is also obvious that these light weight solidi must have been well known to the barbarians. Most of the barbaric imitations from the West are imitations of the earlier phase of this coinage while the hoards from the Ukraine are sufficient to demonstrate that in the seventh century at least, light weight solidi were moving up the great eastern European rivers. Two sets of die impressions of the barbarous imitations of light weight solidi of Justinian are known. Six more for the reign of Justin II with still another for the joint reigns of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine prove this beyond question. The meaning of the exergual mark was not clearly understood, but it was associated among the barbarians with light weight currency as shown by the weights of the imitations.25 There can be no doubt of the western origin of these imitations for the characteristic features of such coinage are plainly visible. The authentic Byzantine light weight solidi, however, were struck chiefly in the East. Solidi of such undoubted eastern origin with a flat fabric such as those at the end of the series must be compared with Coin no. 22 which shows western style. This is a point of some importance which will be recalled when a solution to the riddle of these solidi is given in the last chapter.

Still one further factor regarding these coins remains to be treated. The metallic content or alloy of precious metal coinage is of importance at least equal to the weight. There is no question but that changes in the weight of coins of such widespread distribution as the solidus would be detected very rapidly as the coin changed hands. This is not as true of the alloy particularly among the western barbarians. The Byzantine government by use of the formula CONOB on its gold coinage had indicated "gold of the standard or quality of Constantinople." Jungfleisch suggested that the imperial government, however, also issued gold at less than twenty-four carats of purity, and though he gives no series of analyses to support that contention he proposes the following relationship between the exergual marks and the gold content.

EXERGUAL MARK CARATS OF GOLD
CONOB+⁕ 23¾
CONOB+ 23½ CONOBɅ (1/30th of one percent of copper) 23¼
CONOB 23
image 2226

In the time of Valentinian I the letters OB were applied to solidi to indicate that they were made of refined gold. It was also during the reign of Valentinian that the first of a series of laws required that gold payments to the imperial treasury be reduced to bullion and tested for purity as a result of the numerous forgeries of solidi that were of improper alloy.27 There also seems to have been an official known as the Comes auri in the West whose duty it was to certify that the gold was of the proper degree of fineness.28

Thus the literary evidence that the Byzantine government took cognizance of solidi of less than the proper alloy is decisive. But imitations of gold could also be produced that were difficult to detect. Procopius speaks of the bronze (χαλкòς) equestrian statue of Justinian in the Augusteum at Constantinople and says that this brass was softer in color than pure gold and was valued not much below an equivalent weight of silver.29 It was probably bronze of this sort which was used in the production of counterfeits such as those of gilded copper (aereum deauratum) with which Clovis bribed the leudes of Ragnacher.30 The fraud was only discovered sometime later, after the damage had already been done. Nor is this the only example of such a fraud perpetrated upon supposedly intelligent people during the early years of the Byzantine Empire. In a later passage Gregory of Tours tells of the Saxons paying many thousand pieces of gold to King Guntram for the privilege of crossing the Rhone. Having crossed the Rhone, the Saxons came into Auvergne in the springtime, and there they produced, instead of gold, stamped bars of bronze (regulae aeris incisas pro auro). The people who saw these bars did not doubt that they were tested and proven gold because of the fine color that had been given to the metal by some clever process. Many persons were tricked by this device and gave their good money for the bronze and were reduced to poverty.31 This bronze is very reminiscent of the equestrian statue of Justinian.

The fact that the Dortmund hoard contained pale colored coins of what was apparently bad alloy confirms that such poor coinage passed in the West. Plated coins were known to have been struck in the names of several rulers of the later fourth century.32 Such coins were most probably forgeries because the debasement of gold was specifically prohibited by the Emperor Tacitus, and proscriptions against it are contained in the Digest.33 Many decrees refer to the counterfeiting of solidi, and several of these use the phrase adulterina nomismata or the like.34 Clearly it was against the interests of the Byzantine state to have such debased solidi circulate within the empire, but there can be no question but that they did circulate in the West. In 458 A.D. the Emperor Majorian issued a Novella which has already been cited in connection with the work done by Monneret De Villard and Blanchet: Praetera nullus solidum integri ponderis calumniosae improbationes obtentu recuset exactor, excepto eo Gallico, cuius aurum minore aestimatione taxalur; omnia concussionum removeatur occasio.35

This passage can only be taken as referring to Gallic solidi of full weight (integri ponderis) which were of less value because of poor alloy. Solidi which were not of full weight did not fall under the provisions of this law, and the phrase cuius aurum minore aestimatione taxatur must be taken as referring to the alloy.36 Solidi of improper gold alloy were circulating in Gaul in sufficient quantity so that the imperial government took cognizance of the fact in its laws. This is undeniable.

In addition to the passages already cited and the debased solidi which were mentioned, a barbarian law code contains a passage which is most easily interpreted as referring to such debased gold coinage. The Burgundian Code includes such a passage which has excited much comment : De monetis solidorum [iubemus] custodire, ut omne aurum, quodcumque pensaverit, accipiatur praeter quattuor tantum monetas, hoc est: Valentiani [Valentiniani in another MS.) Genavensis prioris et Gotici qui a tempore Aland regis adaerati sunt et Ardaricianos. Quod si quicumque praeter istas quattuor monetas aurum pensantem non acceperit, id quod vendere volebat, non accepto pretto perdat.37

The date of this passage has been a matter of some dispute among the various editors, but it is sufficient for our purposes to point out that it cannot be later than 534 A.D., which year witnessed the extinction of the independent Burgundian kingdom. De Salis has dated it in the first years of Godomarus, the last Burgundian king, who ascended the throne in 524 A.D. 38 This passage, however, says that all solidi regardless of weight are to be accepted except four groups which are specifically excluded. The four groups of solidi excluded are clearly not omitted from the law by reason of weight but for some other cause. This other cause can only be the purity of the metal.

The first class of such solidi barred from usage are those called Valentiani or Valentiniani, depending upon the reading. Here it should be recalled that it was during the reign of Valentinian I, in 366/7 A.D., that it was ordered by imperial decree that all solidi submitted to the Fiscus be melted down so that the metal could be tested for purity. The number of so-called adulterated coins in circulation required drastic measures. At the same time, in the Notitia dignitatum occidentalis, the Comes auri was recorded as an official of the Empire in the West. Imperial solidi began to be marked OB to signify the purity of the metal. Indeed the coins themselves bear out the literary evidence. In the Dortmund hoard certain pale gold imitations of Byzantine solidi occur.39 These coins of pale gold, however, have a weight not below 4.30 grammes and thus fall within the range of the solidus. They occur most numerously struck in the names of Valentinian I and Valens, but are also known bearing the name of Magnentius and Valentinian II. They are clearly barbaric imitations of the coins of those rulers. The mint marks are those of Lyons and Treves. Dortmund, where they were found, is not very far from the Rhine, so that it is likely that these strange pieces could have passed up and down the Rhine Valley and across the Rhine into the fourth century Empire and even into the later Burgundian realm to be memorialized in the manner that has been set forth.

These pieces are clearly not the products of an official mint of the Empire. The style is much inferior to the imperial coinage of the period. In at least one instance the obverse die of a solidus, bearing the name of Valentinian, mint marked Lugdunum was used to strike another imitation with a reverse borrowed from the types struck at Thessalonica. One solidus of Gratian is marked TRPS in the exergue. This mint mark indicates pure silver of the Treveran mint and cannot possible have been an error of an official moneyer.40 Blanchet would attribute these pale gold solidi to the Germanic peoples across the Rhine, most probably the Alemanni. There is no evidence to support this aside from the site of the Dortmund hoard which is not in itself conclusive. It might well be that the coins are the result of native Gallo-Roman forgers.

The coins of Valentinian I (364-375 A.D.) are in no sense underweight as compared with solidi of other regions, and it seems fairly certain that the explanation given above is the correct one. In the Dortmund hoard 112 solidi of this Emperor have a total weight of 494.73 grammes, and, therefore, an average weight of 4.42 grammes. In the Weber Collection five solidi (nos. 2719, 2722, 2724, 2726, and 2729) have weights of 4.47, 4.46, 4.48, 4.40, and 4.41 grammes respectively.41 In the case of Valens (364–378 A.D.) forty-seven solidi in the Dortmund hoard, four of which are barbarian pale gold coins, have a total weight of 207.84 grammes and, therefore, an average weight of 4.42 grammes. The Weber Collection (nos. 2732, 2737,2739, and 2743) solidi have weights of 4.46, 4.48, 4.44, and 4.45 grammes respectively.42 In the case of Valentinian II (375-392 A.D.) forty-four solidi of the Dortmund hoard have a total weight of 195.35 grammes and an average weight of 4.44 grammes. The Weber Collection (nos. 2760, 2761, 2763, and 2767) solidi weigh 4.46, 4.30, 4.50, and 4.53 grammes respectively.43 The Dortmund hoard is of no use for the weights of the solidi of Valentinian III (425–455 A.D.). The Weber Collection solidi (nos. 2823, and 2826) have weights of 4.40 and 4.48 grammes. A hoard of fourth and fifth century solidi found near Rome contained seven coins of Valentinian III of which the maximum weight was 4.51 grammes and the average weight 4.38 grammes.44

Other suggestions have been made in explanation of the passage cited from the Burgundian Code. Thus, for example, Keary would propose that Valentiani is to be taken as indicative of coins struck in the town of Valence.45 This passage does mention those coins known as Genavensis prioris, but this is not indicative of the fact that the other coins mentioned are also described by the mint. Indeed those called Gotici quite obviously are not thus denominated. Furthermore, the Frankish mint of Valence was not opened before the late sixth century, and the mint of that name in Spain was opened by the Visigothic rulers Suinthila (621-631 A.D.), Chintila (636-640 A.D.), and Egica (687-700 A.D.), all of whom lived long after the promulgation of this law.46 Only the explanation suggested above seems to fit the facts.

The second group of solidi, denominated as Genavensis prioris, present a seemingly insoluble problem. None of the variants in the manuscripts are of any aid save for the fact that the word prioris may not have occurred in the original text. This word prioris has been taken by Bluhme to signify a group of coins which were supposedly struck by Godegiselus, the brother of Gundobad.47 But the Burgundian coinage, as far as can be determined, began only during the reign of Gundobad which, for the most part, follows that of Godegiselus. This explanation is clearly unsatisfactory. If the Burgundian coinage is post 500 A.D. in origin, then this passage can hardly refer to native currency, and the word prioris should be part of the text.48 The only explanation which might have some grain of truth in it is that of Keary. That author suggests that in the payment of taxes in the early Middle Ages the specie that was collected was often brought to the local moneyer who minted it with the distinctive mark of the town.49 Possibly the town of Geneva was noted for the poor alloy of the coins struck there. This cannot be proved, and no Visigothic or Roman coins of Geneva are known, but no other explanation will fit. Some Genevan coins are attributed to the Frankish period which is later.50 The meaning in this case still remains uncertain.

The third group of solidi are the Gotici, qui a tempore Alanci regis adaerati sunt. A letter of St. Avitus, of the year 509 A.D., supports the contention that the passage refers to adulterated or debased coinage and specifically mentions the Gothic king, who must be Alaric II, who had very recently adulterated the coinage.51

The last of those solidi which are unacceptable are those called Ardariciani, This single word has excited more comment than any other in the entire decree. Bluhme would suggest that the coins of Aduris or Aturis, the town in which the Breviary of Alaric was issued, are meant.52 A difficulty arises in this connection, however, for no Visigothic mint beginning with the letter A, let alone Aturis or Aduris, which is not listed at all, occurs before the reign of Reccared (586-601).53 A gold triens of the proper weight struck by the Frankish moneyer Bautharius, which cannot be dated, does bear the mint mark ATVRRE. This town of Aturre has been identified with Aire in the Department de Landest This Department is in southwestern France and might well come within the scope of the legislator of this Burgundian constitution because of commercial connections. Still the evidence is insufficient to permit of certainty.

Charles Lenormant has proposed an emendation of the text so that the last group of solidi would be called Armoricani.55 Numismatists have quite properly been wary of accepting such an emendation. The coin on which Lenormant reads the monogram for Armoricani should most likely be expanded as Amalarte, the Visigothic King.56 There is no proof at all for the view that Armorica at this time issued currency in imitation of the imperial gold.57 On the other hand it is perfectly conceivable that if an emendation were made it should be the name of some Germanic king. Valesius has suggested a king of the Gepidae, but this is most unlikely in view of the scant knowledge concerning that relatively minor tribe of which we have no definitely identifiable currency. The suggestion of Alaricanos, i.e., Alaric II, is militated against by the fact that his coins are included in an earlier group.58 Coins of Amalaric, the Visigoth, who was approximately contemporary with this constitution, however, are known, and it would seem possible to emend the text to include his name. There is indeed a letter written by Cassiodorus in which the moneyers of Spain are accused of having made private profits out of the coinage even though they were originally in the service of the state.59 This letter has been dated by the editors to the period 523-526 A.D., and it may be that coins of bad alloy were issued at that time. The difficulty lies in the fact that insufficient evidence regarding the nature of some of the barbaric imitations is available. Valid results cannot be expected until a sufficient quantity of analyses of the barbarian imitative gold coinages is published.

In the light of this situation in the West the conclusion drawn by Jungfleisch and the analyses of the light weight solidi must be judged. Mr. Philip Grierson very kindly has furnished the results of specific gravity analyses of the light weight solidi in his collection:

1. Coin no. 8, in exergue OBXX, struck for Justinian

Weight in Air Weight in Water Density Fineness Carats
3.7184 grammes 3.5020 grammes 17.5 87% 21

2. Coin no. 22, in exergue ODXX, struck for Justinian

Weight in Air Weight in Water Density Fineness Carats
3.5843 grammes 3.3784 grammes 17.4 86% 20.560

3. Coin no. 93, in exergue OB+⁕, struck for Maurice Tiberius

Weight in Air Weight in Water Density Fineness Carats
4.0617 grammes 3.8306 grammes 17.6 88% 21

4. Coin no. 129, in exergue OB+⁕, struck for Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine

Weight in Air Weight in Water Density Fineness Carats
4.0936 grammes 3.8619 grammes 17.7 88.5% 21

5. Coin no. 176, in exergue OBXX, struck for Constans II, Constantine IV Pogonatus, Heraclius and Tiberius

Weight in Air Weight in Water Density Fineness Carats
3.6613 grammes 3.4493 grammes 17.7 88.5% 21

These are the only five coins of the light weight solidi that have been analyzed, but because of the remarkable agreement in the results it would appear to be a safe conclusion that the metallic content of these coins as a whole is only approximately eighty-eight percent fine. This would have the effect of further lowering the intrinsic value of these coins though it is not distinguishable to the naked eye. The debased coins mentioned in the various passages cited may well have been of the same variety in that they were not readily detected by the naked eye and were therefore referred to as entire groups.

Unf ortunately numismatists have not made many analyses of gold imitations of imperial coins. Chemical or spectroscopic analysis would necessitate damage to the coin. The specific gravity technique which is surprisingly accurate for binary alloys of gold requires expertness. It can yield very fine results, but a good deal of patience and experience is a prerequisite. For objects of high gold content it can be considered reliable.61 Newer methods involving the use of X-rays are also available, but, of course, this requires the services of a technician. The published results of analyses of Byzantine gold during the period in question, on the basis of all of the techniques, would seem to indicate fineness generally above ninety-five percent. This makes it quite obvious that the light weight solidi were deliberately debased to a limited degree so that detection was extremely difficult, if not virtually impossible, in the early mediaeval world.

End Notes

1
Gunnar Mickwitz, "Die Systeme des römischen Silbergeldes im IV. Jhdt. n. Chr. Ein Beispiel zur Anwendung der variationsstatistischen Methode in der Numismatik," Societas Scientiarum Fennica. Commentationes Humanarum Litterarum, VI, 2 (1932), pp. 38–67.
2
Mickwitz, made use of three of the standard works on statistical technique. C. V. L. Charlier, Vorlesungen über die Grundzüge der mathematischen Statistik (Lund, 1920; 2nd edition, 1931); W. Johannsen, Elemente der exakten Erblich keitslehre mit Grundzügen der biologischen Variationsstatistik (3rd edition: Jena, 1926); W. Winkler, Grundriss der Statistik (Berlin, 1931). He also used G. F. Hill, "The Frequency Table," Numismatic Chronicle, Series 5, IV (1924), pp. 76–85.
3
These weights were taken from K. Menadier, Die Münzen und das Münzwesen bei den Scriptores Históriáé Augustae (Diss. Berlin, 1913), Pp. 65 ff. The accuracy of σ is carried much too far.
4
Mickwitz, op. cit., p. 43. The weights were collected by Theodor Mommsen, Geschichte des römischen Münzwesens (Berlin, 1860), p. 757, note 60. Mommsen's weights were gathered from J. Y. Akerman, A Descriptive Catalogue of Rare and Unedited Roman Coins from the Earliest Period of the Roman Coinage to the Extinction of the Empire under Constantinus Paleologus (London, 1834), I, pp. XV-XVII.
5
Mickwitz, op. cit., p. 45. See also L. Cesano, "Ripostiglio di aurei imperiali rinvenuto a Roma, "Bullettino archeologico communale di Roma, LVII (1929), pp. 1-120, where the weights of the individual coins are collected. Since the weights were in part calculated only to the tenth of a gramme and in other instances to 0.05ths of a gramme there was some difficulty in preparing the frequency table with a step interval of 0.1 grammes, which accounts for its form. The curve cannot therefore be considered absolutely accurate. Mickwitz calculations again seem somewhat overly refined.
6
Cf. Mickwitz, op. cit., p. 43, for a fuller explanation.
7
Mickwitz, op. cit., p. 44. The weights were gathered by Arnold Luschin von Ebengreuth, "Der Denar der Lex Salica," Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Phil.-hist. Klasse, CLXIII (1910), Abh. 4, pp. 63 ff., on the basis of the weights recorded by K. Regling, Der Dortmunder Fund römischer Goldmünzen (Dortmund, 1908), and Dr. J. Hirsch, Sammlung Consul Eduard Friedrich WeberHamburg. Zweite Abteilung: Römische und byzantinische Münzen. Nachtrag griechische Münzen. Münzgewichte. Numismatische Bibliothek (München, 1909), which is Hirsch Sale XXIV, 10 May 1909.
8
Luschin von Ebengreuth, op. cit., pp. 70-71. The weights are gathered from W. W. Wroth, Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum (London, 1908), 2 vols.; Dr. J. Hirsch, Sammlung Consul Friedrich Weber† (Hirsch Sale XXIV, 10 May 1909) ; and Josef Wilhelm Kubitschek, "Beiträge zur frühbyzantinischen Numismatik,’ Numismatische Zeitschrift, XXIX (1897), pp. 162-192, which on pp. 190-191, gives the weights of the solidi in the Imperial Cabinet in Vienna at that time.
9
Cf. Friedrich Hultsch, Griechische und römische Metrologie (2nd edition: Berlin, 1882), pp. 133 ff., and 149-150. The chalcus was a weight used primarily by physicians in the imperial period. It was certainly the smallest of weights in use as shown by many passages even though there is mention of the quarter of the carat or σιτάριον. (Metrologicorum Scriptorum Reliquiae, ed. F. Hultsch (Lipsiae: B. G. Teubner, 1864-65), I, pp. 89, 222, 231, 245, 248 and 249). In imperial times the Roman and Greek metrological systems were combined. The obol was made equal to one-half of the scruple and the chalcus was equal to one-eighth of an obol. Thus 2⅔rds chalci were equal to one carat. The chalcus was occasionally defined as the weight of two chickpea grains or two grains of pulse. All of the pertinent passages are to be found in Metrologicorum Scriptorurn Reliquiae, ed. F. Hultsch, 2 vols., s.v. κεράτιον, χαλκοṽς, calcus, calculus, chalcus.
10
C. Th., XII, 7, 1 (325 A.D.) (ed. Mommsen and Meyer, I, pt. II, p. 722), describes the solidus as of four scruples. This part of the law is not repeated in the abridgement in C. Just., X, 73, 1 (ed. Krueger, Corpus Iuris Civilis, II, p. 427). The reasons for this have been discussed in Chapter one. There are many literary and legal texts indicating that the solidus which contained twenty-four siliquae was 1/72nd of a Roman pound. These texts, however, define the solidus in terms of its relationship to the Roman pound and not to the siliqua. The texts from the various metrological sources do confirm the relationship between the siliquae and the solidus. They can be easily found by reference to the indices of Metrologicorum Scriptorum Reliquiae, ed. F. Hultsch, s.v. Κεράτιον and siliqua.
11
Coins nos. 13, 22, 32, 53 and 176 are clipped; Coins nos. 124, 131, 153, 154, 155, and 169 are mounted, while Coins nos. 125, 126, and 167 show traces of mounting; Coins nos. 17, 37, 38, 84, 100, 101, 102, 139, 141, 146, 161, 162, 163, 164, 168, 174, 178, and 179 are pierced; and Coins nos. 92, 118, and 136 are looped.
12
Leo Schindler and Gerhart Kalmann, "Byzantinische Münzstudien I. Goldmünzen unter 24 Karat von Justinian I. bis Constantine IV., "Numismatische Zeitschrift, LXXII (1947), pp. 107-112, arrived at the same conclusion because of the retrograde character, but they did not explain why they chose to read the ligature as kappa-gamma rather than kappa-pi.
13
See Coin no. 79a in the Catalogue under note 45.
14
Leo Schindler and Gerhart Kalmann, "Byzantinische Münzstudien I. Goldmünzen unter 24 Karat von Justinian I. bis Constantine IV.," Numismatische Zeitschrift, LXXII (1947), p. 108, arrived at the same conclusion regarding these coins struck in the name of Justin II.
15
Warwick W. Wroth, ‘Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum, I, Pl. XIX, 13. See Coin no. 99 (PLATE VIII, 99) of the Catalogue for one of the light weight solidi of this type.
16
N. Bauer, "Zur byzantinischen Münzkunde des VII. Jahrhunderts," Frankfurter Münzzeitung, II, no. 15 (March 1931), p. 228.
17
Ibid., pp. 227–229. The same author reports that a similar find of light weight solidi of Constans II was made at Novo Sandsherovo (or Zatschepilovo) in the Government of Poltawa in 1928. No account of the dies is given.
18
The die identities were as follows : Coins nos. image
19
The die identity was: Coins nos. image
20
The die identity was: Coins nos. image
21
The die identities were was follows: Coins nos. image
22
The die identities were as follows: Coins nos. image
23
The die identity was: Coins nos. image
24
The die identities were as follows: Coins nos. image
25
Coin no. 32 (O+X) = 3.98 grammes (clipped) ; Coin no. 33 (OimageXT) = 3.95 grammes; Coin no. 72 (CXNXU) = 3.99 grammes; Coin no. 73 (COX+image) = 4.070 grammes; Coin no. 74 (COͶX+image) = 3.992 grammes; Coin no. 75 (CONX+) = 3.885 grammes; Coin no. 78 (CX+X÷) = 4.05 grammes; Coin no. 159 (XVOX) = 4.002 grammes.
26
Marcel Jungfleisch, "Conjectures au subjet de certaines lettres isolées se rencontrent sur les solidi byzantines du VIIe siècle," Bulletin de l’Institut d’Egypte, XXXI (1948-49), pp. 118-119. Jungfleisch adds the perceiving comment, "Dans la pratique, des titres aussi élevés étaient rarements atteints. En generály la pierre de touche indique au moins un demi-carat (et meme davantage) en dessous du chiffre théorique. Les degrés de pureté de l’or n’étant plus strictement observés, l’adoption de cette échelle compliquée aurait abouti en fait à masquer un abaissement du Standard CONOB; les pièces du plus bas titre auraient été destinées à l’exportation ? Les analyses et la rencontre fortuite d’un texte pourraient seules trancher ces questions."
27
C. Th., XII, 6, 12; 6, 13; 7, 3, all of 366/7 A.D. See Chapter I, note 22.
28
Notitia dignitatum occidentalis, X, 6 (ed. Seeck, p. 148). This official is not mentioned in the Notitia dignitatum orientalis, but some gold bars from Sirmium are marked LVCIANVS·OBR·I·SIG. E. Babelon, Traité des monnaies grecques et romaines (Paris, 1901), I, pt. I, col. 883. Some later Roman anno tations to Probus the Grammarian speak of the cornicia obriciaca and comitia obridiaca. Grammatici Latini, ed. G. H. T. Keil (Leipzig, 1857-74), IV, p. 305. Also see H. Willers, "Römische Silberbarren mit Stempeln," Numismatische Zeitschrift, XXX (1898), pp. 228 ff.; and "Nochmals die Silberbarren nebst COMOB," Numismatische Zeitschrift, XXXI (1899), pp. 35 ff.; A. Evans, "Notes on Coinage and Currency in Roman Britain from Valentinian I to Constantine III," Numismatic Chronicle, Series 4, XV (1915), pp. 490ff.; F. Kenner, "Römische Goldbarren mit Stempeln," Numismatische Zeitschrift, XX (1888), pp. 19 ff. The literature on the meaning of OB is quite extensive.
29
Procopius, De Aedificiis, I, ii, 4 (ed. Teubner, III, pt. II, pp. 1718f.). Cf. Mommsen, Histoire de la monnaie romaine, trans. Due. de Blacas (Paris, 1873) III, p. 47, note 1.
30
Gregory of Tours, Historia Francorum, II, 42 (MGH., Scriptor es rerum merowingicarum, I, p. 105). These are quite different from the poor alloy coins of the Dortmund hoard.
31
Ibid., IV, 42 (MGH., Scriptores rerum merowingicarum, I, p. 177). He uses the words aurum probatum in the course of this narrative.
32
Mommsen, Histoire de la monnaie romaine, trans. Duc. de Blacas, III, pp. 67-8, and especially p. 68, notes 2 and 3, points out that such coins are known for Valentinian the Younger, for Gratian (A. von Rauch, “Ueber die römischen Silbermünzen und den innern Werth derselben. Ein Beitrag zu den altern metrologischen Untersuchungen," Mittheilungen der numismatischen Gesellschaft in Berlin, III (1857), p. 288), and for Arcadius. The last coin has a core of silver. The Cleeve's hoard (fourth century), which is now lost, contained some gilded copper coins. Cf. B. H. St. J. O’Neil, "The Cleeve Prior Hoard of 1811," Numismatic Chronicle, Series 5, XVI (1936), pp. 314-316, on this hoard. Many poor alloy coins have been mentioned in the secondary literature, e.g., Warwick W. Wroth, Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum, Justin I, nos. 6 and 10.
33
Vopiscus, Tacitus, IX, in the Scriptor es Historiae Augustae. Digest, 48, 13, 1, which deals with the Lex Iulia Peculatus is the passage referred to above. It is equivalent to Basilika, LX, 45, 2. Cf. Babelon, Traité des monnaies grecques et romaines, I, pt. I, cols. 536-7, where C. Th., XII, 6, 12; 7, 13; and 13, 4, are cited.
34
C. Th., IX, 21, 1 (ed. Mommsen and Meyer, I, pt. II, p. 471). This law is actually dated in 319 A.D., but Mommsen on the basis of the variants in C. Th., II, 19, 1, which is apparently joined to it, dates it as of 323/5 A.D. C. Th., IX, 21, 3 (ed. Mommsen and Meyer, I, pt. II, p. 472), and C. Th., IX, 21, 5 (ed. Mommsen and Meyer, I, pt. II, p. 473), also refer to this. These last two passage must refer to gold because they are included in C. Just., IX, 24, 2, which is dated in 326. These laws set forth the punishments for counterfeiting debased solidi. C. Th., IX, 22, i (ed. Mommsen and Meyer, I, pt. II, pp. 474-5), sets forth the penalty for substituting debased solidi for good ones in commercial transactions. This law is dated in 317 A.D., but this should be corrected to 343 A.D. Mommsen, ad loc; and O. Seeck, "Die Münzpolitik Diocletians und seiner Nachfolger,’ Zeitschrift für Numismatik, XVII (1890), p. 51, note 3. By 367 A.D. C. Th., XII, 6,13, was issued. Cf. Symmachus, Epistolae, X, 2 (MGH., AA., VI, p.278) : "flandae monetas nequitiam decoquit larga pur gatto, nullo iam provinciális auri incremento trutinam spectator inclinet." The late fifth century Syrian Law Book also gives a penalty for imitating gold coined in the emperor's image. Syrisch-römisches Rechtsbuch aus dem fünften Jahrhundert, ed. Bruns and Sachau (Leipzig, 1880), R. II, 147 (Vol. I, p. 129). This is dated 457/74? It is, however, the common law against counterfeiting which is contained in almost all codes.
35
Nov. Maioriani, VII, 1, 14 (ed. Mommsen and Meyer, Codex Theodosianus, III, p. 171). Ewald and Hartmann, MGH., Epistolae, I, p. 191 ; Prou, Catalogue des monnaies françaises de la Bibliothèque Nationale. Les Monnaies méro vingiennes (Paris, 1892), p. XVI; E. Babelon, “La Silique romaine, le sou et le denier de la loi des Francs Saliens," Journal des Savants, Février 1901, p. 120, note 1, as well as Monneret De Villard, as shown in the first chapter, believe that this Novella referred to a lighter weight of coinage. H. Brunner, Deutsche Rechtsgeschichte (2nd edition: Leipzig, 1906), I, p. 312, note 3, says, “Die Vor schrift Majorians von 458 .... bezieht sich nur auf eine einzelne Art gallischer Solidi unbekannter Provenienz und dann kann zur Erklärung der altsalischen Münzreform um so weniger herangezogen werden, als die ältesten Goldmünzen der fränkischen Zeit vollwichtig ausgeprägt sind." This was, of course, written much earlier than the article by Blanchet.
36
Adrien Blanchet, "Les ((sous Gaulois)) du Ve siècle," Le Moyen Age, 2e série, XIV (1910), pp. 45-48, interpreted this Novella as referring to coins such as the pale gold solidi found in the Dortmund hoard. Cf. Wilhelm Kubitschek, "Zum Goldfund von Dortmund,’ Numismatische Zeitschrift, neue Folge III (1910), pp. 56-61. See Chapter I, note 18.
37
Leges Burgundionum, Constitutiones Extravagantes, XXI, 7 (ed. de Salis, MGH., Leges, Sectio I, II, pt. I, pp. 120-1). Bluhme did an earlier edition in the folio section (MGH., Legum, III, p. 576). P. Le Gentilhomme, "Le Monnayage et la circulation monétaire dans les royaumes barbares en occident (Ve-VIIIe siècle)," Revue numismatique, 5e série, VI (1942), p. 107, note 28, says of this passage, "Il n’a jamais été remarqué que ce texte ordonne de recevoir les sous d’or, quel que puisse en être le poids, c’est-à-dire qu’il s’agisse de sous de 24 siliques ou de sous réduits, comme les sous d’Anastase de 3 gr. 80 et de 3 gr. 90 qui figurent dans la trouvaille de Chinon à côté de sous pesant le plus souvent 4 gr. 40."
38
MGH., Leges, Sectio I, II, pt. I, p. 119, note 5. Other authorities, including Bluhme in his edition, date it in the reign of Gundobad. Cf. Richard Schroder, Lehrbuch der deutschen Rechtsgeschichte (6th ed.: rev. by E. Frh. v. Künssberg: Berlin + Leipzig, 1922), pp. 256-257; Brunner, Deutsche Rechtsgeschichte, I. p. 504.
39
K. Regling, Der Dortmunder Fund römischer Goldmünzen (Dortmund, 1908), p. 20, and nos. 30, 134, 135, 188, 193-196, 235, and 272, cited by Blanchet, "Les ((sous Gaulois)) du Ve siècle,’ Le Moyen Age, 2e série, XIV (1910), p. 46, note 3. Blanchet in a rather full discussion of these solidi never mentions this passage in the Burgundian Code. Also see P. Le Gentilhomme, "Le Monnayage et la circulation monétaire dans les royaumes barbares en occident (Ve-VIIIesiècle)," Revue numismatique, 5e série, VII (1943), p. 58. Another pale gold imitation solidus of Valentinian I weighing 4.00 grammes was found in the Ellerbeck hoard, fourteen kilometers east of Osnabrück. K. Kennepohl, "Der EUerbecker Goldfund," Blätter für Münzfreunde, LXVIII, Nr. 6 (June 1933), p. 659, no. 24, Pl. 395, no. 24.
40
This entire description is based on Blanchet, "Les ((sous Gaulois)) du Ve siècle," Le Moyen Age, 2e série, XIV (1910), pp. 46-47. The coin marked TRPS is in Regling, Der Dortmunder Fund römischer Goldmünzen, p. 19, and no. 235.
41
Luschin von Ebengreuth, "Der Denar der Lex Salica,’ Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, Phil.-hist. Klasse, CLXIII (1910), Abh. 4, p. 65. In addition Weber Coll. no. 2725 is a tremissis of 1.65 grammes which corresponds to the normal weight for this period.
42
Luschin von Ebengreuth, op. cit., p. 65. In addition two coins of the Weber Collection (nos. 2735 and 2740) have weights of 1.88 and 1.66 grammes respectively. The first is probably a heavy tremissis while the second has the proper weight for that denomination at that time. The pale gold coins of the Dortmund hoard are numbers 193–196 with weights of 4.55, 4.51, 4.36, and 4.31 grammes respectively.
43
Luschin von Ebengreuth, loc. cit. A tremissis in the Weber Collection (no. 2765) has a weight of 1.48 grammes. This is the correct weight for such a coin. Cf. Luschin von Ebengreuth, op. cit., pp. 72–3.
44
Luschin von Ebengreuth, op. cit., p. 68. Weber Collection fractional gold pieces (nos. 2825 and 2827) weigh 2.06 and 1.43 grammes. These are normal weights for the semissis and tremissis. The hoard from Rome is reported by Giacomo Boni, "Nuove scoperte nella città e nel suburbio,’ Notizie degli scavi di antichità, 1899, pp. 327 ff. and esp. p. 330. This hoard contained 397 coins with a total weight of 1.778 kilograms. The theoretical weight of this number of coins is 1.806 kilograms. The deviation from the legal weight is insufficient to indicate any lightening of the coins. P. Le Gentilhomme, "Le Monnayage et la circulation monétaire dans les royaumes barbares en occident (Ve–VIIIe siècle), "Revue numismatique, 5e série, VI (1942), p. 25, places most of the imitations of solidi of Valentinian III in the second half of the fifth century because they are imitations of a type which Babelon believed commemorated the defeat of Attila at Châlons in 451 and his retreat from Italy in 452.
45
C. F. Keary, The Coinages of Western Europe from the Fall of the Western Empire under Honorius to its Reconstruction under Charles the Great (London, l879), p. 67. Cf. A. Soetbeer, "Beiträge zur Geschichte des Geld- und Münzwesens in Deutschland,’ Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte, I (1862), p. 286. Also see Bluhme's comments in his edition of this code, ad loc. De Salis, in his edition, ad loc, says, "Sunt solidi in Valentia urbe signati. Lectio VALENTINIANI, quam A3 exhibet, recipi non poteste cum non traditum, ab aliquo imperatorum, qui hoc nomine appelati sunt, monetas minoris pretti esse signatas."
46
A. Engel and R. Serrure, Traité de numismatique du moyen âge (Paris, 1891), I, p. 53. The Visigothic mint of Valentia was located in the province of Tarraconensis and is modern Valencia. The attempted identification of a Visigothic mint of Valence in the Dauphine (Dépt. Drome) rests upon forgeries. George C. Miles, The Coinage of the Visigoths of Spain. Leovigild to Achila, Hispanic Numismatic Series II (New York City: The American Numismatic Society, 1952), pp. 89-91, and 455-6. Cf. M. Prou, Les monnaies mérovingiennes, Nos. 1352-1357.
47
Bluhme in MGH., Legum, III, p. 576, ad loc. Cf. Soetbeer, "Beiträge zur Geschichte des Geld- und Münzwesens in Deutschland," Forschungen zur deut schen Geschichte, I (1862), p. 288.
48
Engel and Serrure, Traité de numismatique du moyen âge, I, p. 37, mention no coins of Godegiselus. They maintain that the Burgundian coinage began in 500 A.D., and that was the last year of Godegiselus. Cf. P. Le Gentilhomme, "Le Monnayage et la circulation monétaire dans les royaumes barbares en occident (Ve-VIIIe siècle)," Revue numismatique, 5e série, VII (1943), pp. 92-95.
49
C. F. Keary, The Coinages of Western Europe from the Fall of the Western Empire under Honorius to Its Reconstruction under Charles the Great, pp. 67-8.
50
Engel and Serrure, Traité de numismatique du moyen âge, I, pp. 500 A.D., Prou, Les Monnaies mérovingiennes, nos. 1329 (1.31 grammes); 1330 (1.17 grammes); 1331 (1.34 grammes); 1332 (1.25 grammes); 1333 (1.19 grammes).
51
St. Avitus, Epistolae, LXXXVII (MGH., A A., VI, p. 96). "Nec quidem talis electri, quale nuper, ut egomet haust, in sancto ac sincerissimo impollutae manus nitore sordebat, cui corruptam potius quam confectam auri nondum fornace decocti creder es inesse mixturam:, vel illam certe, quam nuperrime rex Getarum secuturae praesagam ruinae monetis publicis adulterium firmantem mandaverat." A. Blanchet and A. Dieudonné, Manuel de numismatique française (Paris, 1912), I, p. 186, cite Leges Wisigothorum, VII, 6, 5 (MGH., Leges, Sectio I, I, p. 311), as supporting this passage from the letters of St. Avitus. Actually it is merely a requirement that solidi of full weight and good gold be accepted by all. Cf. Leges Wisigothorum, VII, 6, 2, which prohibits adulteration. Alaric II ruled at Toulouse between 484 and 507 A.D. Cf. Wilhelm Reinhart, "Die Münzen des Westgothischen Reiches von Toledo," Deutsches Jahrbuch für Numismatik, III-IV (1940-41), pp. 74-84.
52
Bluhme in MGH., Legum, III, p. 576, ad loc. Cf. de Salis, MGH. Leges, Sectio I, II, pt. I, ad loc., who misinterprets the passage from St. Avitus and says, "Alaricum regem Visigothorum in eo reprehenda [Avitus episcopus], quod monetas inferioris ponderis signandas curassit ....." He suggests that Atalaricianos be used as an emendation. Coins of Athalaric the Ostrogoth would then be involved, but there is no evidence to suggest that Athalaric issued any coins of pale gold.
53
See George C. Miles, The Coinage of the Visigoths of Spain. Leovigild to Achila, p. 72. Cf. Engel and Serrure, Traité de numismatique du moyen âge, I, pp. 50ff.
54
This coin is listed as of a mint of an unidentified location by Prou, Les Mon naies mérovingiennes, no. 2494, and weighs 1.30 grammes. Engel and Serrure, Traité de numismatique du moyen âge, I, p. 121, have identified the town as Aire.
55
Charles Lenormant, "Lettres à M. de Saulcy sur les plus anciens monuments numismatiques de la série mérovingiennes V," Revue numismatique, XIV (1849), pp. 17-39.
56
Keary, The Coinages of Western Europe from the Fall of the Western Empire under Honorius to Its Reconstruction under Charles the Great, p. 67, and J. de Pétigny, "Monnoyage de la Gaule au milieu du VIe siècle de 536 à 560,’ Revue numismatique, XVII (1852), pp. 130-134, argue against Lenormant. Also see Wilhelm Reinhart, "Die Münzen des Westgothischen Reiches von Toledo,’ Deutsches Jahrbuch für Numismatik, III-IV (1940-41), pp. 74-84, who discussed the entire problem of the Visigothic coinage prior to Leovigild. Soetbeer, "Beiträge zur Geschichte des Geld- und Münzwesens in Deutsch land,’ Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte, I, p. 288, accepts Lenorman's view.
57
Blanchet and Dieudonné, Manuel de numismatique française, I, p. 185.
58
Ed. de Salis, Leges Burgundionum (MGH., Leges, Sectio I, II, pt. I), ad loc. lists the various suggestions and authors.
59
Cassiodorus, Variarum, V, 39 (MGH., A A., XII, p. 165) : "Monetarias autem quos specialiter in usum publicum constat inventos, in privatorum didicimus transisse compendium. Qua praesumptione sublata pro virium qualitate functionibus publicis applicentur" This letter is addressed to Ampelius, vir illustris, and Liverio, vir spectabilis.
60
This coin is slightly clipped.
61
See Earl R. Caley, "Validity of the Specific Gravity Method for the Determination of the Fineness of Gold Objects," The Ohio Journal of Science, XLIX, No. 2 (March 1949), pp. 73-82; Earl R. Caley, "Estimation of Composition of Ancient Metal Objects. Utility of Specific Gravity Measurements,’ Analytical Chemistry, XXIV (April 1952), pp. 676-681. Caley gives somewhat different values for the fineness for these densities.

FINDS, HOARDS AND MINTS

Coins are essentially articles of commerce, and the area within which they circulate is vital information to any understanding of their significance for historical research. This area can be delineated in the case of ancient coins on the basis of the locations of stray finds and hoards as well as imitative copies. The area within which imitations of a specific series are known to have been manufactured must have been in commercial contact with the locality which produced the original pieces. The light weight solidi provide a case in point of particular importance.

A table of finds of light weight solidi and imitations of that series presents some rather startling features. The imitative pieces can be considered together with the authentic coins for the moment. (See pages 80—81.)

Actually the hoards from the Dnieper Delta and Pereschtschepino contained coins of both Constans II and the three emperor type of Heraclius. Thus only twenty-three separate localities are known where light weight solidi or imitations of those solidi occur. In the overwhelming majority of the cases the find spot was clearly in an area removed from effective Roman control.

The coins from Udine and Cividale were from funerary deposits found in Lombard graves in those areas which antedate the inauguration of the national coinage of the Lombards in 584/85 A.D. 1 They may, however, be treated together with the hoards from Hoischhügel and Munningen. The hoard found at Hoischhügel on the southern border of Carinthia in the neighborhood of the railroad station of Thörl-Maglern is probably roughly contemporary with the two Lombard graves. A barbarian imitation of a solidus of Justin II, which is the latest coin in the hoard, and the absence of any coins of later Byzantine emperors or Lombard coins of the national variety aids in the dating of the find. The most probable date is sometime between 570/71 and 584/85.2 None of the coins had been used in the manufacture of jewellery, and it seems fairly obvious that it was simply a hoard of circulating medium.3

At Munningen, near Nördlingen, Bayrisch-Schwaben, a necropolis of about forty graves was discovered, and in the first of the graves a hoard of gold coins associated with a relatively long lance head, a small knife and a simple oval buckle was recovered.4 These latter objects are of little aid in dating the funerary deposit, and, as a result, the coins are used for that purpose. Nine gold coins, eight of which are of clearly barbaric origin, were recovered. A solidus of Tiberius II Constantine was the only authentic Byzantine piece in the hoard. Thus the hoard cannot have been buried prior to 578 A.D. Numismatists have maintained that some of the barbarian imitations are even slightly later in date, so that the burial must be placed in the late sixth or very early seventh century, but the imitation of a solidus of Justin II marked CONX+ is probably somewhat earlier in date of manufacture. The composition of the deposit is such that it, as well as that of Hoischhiigel, probably represents the currency that was in use in that area during the late sixth and early seventh centuries.

These four finds can serve as direct proof that the light weight solidi were in circulation and were well enough known among the barbarians at that early date to give rise to a series of imitations. At

RULER LOCATION EXERGUAL MARK COIN NOS.
Justinian Udine in northern Italy OBXX 2
Justin II Hoischhügel in Carinthia COX+image 73
Justin II Cividale in northern Italy COиX+image 74
Justin II Munningen near Nordlingen CONX+ 75
Justin II Hama in Syria OBXX: 43
Hama in Syria OBXX 47 and 49
Hama in Syria OB⁕+⁕ 58-65
Justin II Balkans (unknown location) OB⁕+⁕ 51
Justin II Sadowetz in northern Bulgaria OB⁕+⁕ 52
Heraclius Müllingsen near Soest OBXX 117
Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine Wieuwerd in Frisia BOXX 118 and 136
Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine Kent in England BOXX 124
Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine Cornwerd in Frisia BOXX 125
Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine North Africa BOXX 129
Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine Wilton in Norfolk BOXX 131
Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine Szentes in Hungary BOXX 132
Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine Mons in Belgium BOXX 135(?)
Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine Nietap in Frisia BOXX 150
Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine Sinzig near Ahrweiler [BOX]X 153
Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine Wonsheim near Alzey OBXX 154
Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine Pfahlheim near Ellwangen BOXX 155
Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine Southern Germany XVOX 159
Heraclius, Heraclius Constantine and Heracleonas Dnieper Delta in the Ukraine BOXX
Heraclius, Heraclius Constantine and Heracleonas Pereschtschepino near Poltawa BOXX
Pereschtschepino near Poltawa BOXX+
Constans II Dnieper Delta in the Ukraine BOXX
Constans II Pereschtschepino near Poltawa BOXX
Constans II Zatschepilovo near Poltawa OBXX
least in the instances of the imitations from Cividale, Hoischhügel, and Munningen the barbarian imitations cannot be much later than their prototypes. This is probably true of the remaining imitations of light weight solidi of Justinian and Justin II. The surprising number of examples of the authentic light weight solidi and the number of different dies of these coins from those two reigns show quite conclusively that the issues of these solidi were not as small as had previously been supposed. The relative speed with which they were imitated serves to strengthen the conclusion that these unusual exergual marks were well known in the West even if they were not completely understood.

The next group of coins stems from a single large hoard which was recently found in the neighborhood of Hama in Syria. Unfortunately the hoard fell into the hands of a dealer before it was scientifically studied with the result that much of it was dispersed. When rubbings were taken of the coins approximately 326 of them remained in the possession of the dealer while about 150 pieces had been sold. The original number of coins in the hoard therefore must have been in excess of 450 pieces and was probably about 475, but the fact that so little is known about the find because it is unpublished makes it difficult to assess its full significance. Until the hoard is studied and the material made available only some few observations can be made regarding mint attributions, but it is perhaps best to delay any such discussion until a later point in this chapter when the entire problem can be treated.

The last two light weight solidi of Justin II which were found in situ were discovered in Balkan sites. The first of these pieces was in the collection of Friedrich Stefan, who merely describes the circumstances under which it was unearthed as "Balkanfund unbekannten Ortes."5 Neither the contents of the hoard nor its exact location can be discovered. The last piece was supposedly found at Sadowetz, in the district of Plevna, in northern Bulgaria, and is presently in the National Museum in Sofia.6 This is probably the very same hoard as the one described by Mosser as being discovered in 1934 at Sadowetz.7If so, it has not been published in final fashion, and all judgement must rest upon the information furnished by Mosser. It was a rather large composite hoard containing fifty-four gold pieces and fifty bronzes extending from the reign of Justinian I through that of Maurice Tiberius. Since there were fifty bronzes present it would have been interesting to note which mints were represented in the hoard, but under the circumstances that is impossible. It is, however, certain that a terminus post quem for the burial of this hoard is fixed in 582 A.D. by the presence of five solidi, one tremissis and some bronzes of Maurice Tiberius. Since the site of the find lay within the ancient province of Moesia, a province which was within the boundaries of the Byzantine Empire until 679 A.D. when the Emperor Constantine IV after an unsuccessful campaign was forced to cede it to the Bulgars, it seems most probable the the terminus ante quem for the burial of the hoard must be set in 602 A.D., the last year of the reign of Maurice Tiberius. Roman bronzes and solidi of the reigns of Phocas and Heraclius could logically be expected in a hoard of later date. If the bronzes were published it is more than likely that we should be able to date this burial with greater accuracy during the twenty year interval. One need not look far afield, however, for the probable circumstances which necessitated the deposit of this currency. Moesia, that area between the Danube and the Balkan Mountains, was in the late sixth century the scene of almost constant Avaro-Slavic pressure which was sometimes felt as far south as Thessalonica. The Byzantine forces which were at that time divided as a result of the Persian wars were unable to cope with this menace. The argument concerning the degree of Slavic settlement in Greece proper as an index of ethnographic changes in the area need not be discussed because all scholars are agreed that even the tremendous Avaro-Slavic attack which carried these barbarians to the very walls of Constantinople at the beginning of the last decade of the sixth century did not result in the complete elimination of the romanized population. In a word, Moesia was a frontier region where the barbarians and Byzantines clashed repeatedly and where representation of each group were to be found.8 Hoards and stray finds of Byzantine coins of the period from this area are not uncommon. Perhaps the other solidus from an unknown Balkan site is merely another instance of this situation. In any event, when considered in conjunction with the single coin of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine found at Szentes in the Middle Danube region, it is obvious that these few pieces from the Balkans as compared with the more numerous finds from elsewhere cannot be used to confirm the hypothesis proposed by Stefan. The coin from Szentes was simply a stray find.9 How these coins arrived in the region cannot be determined, but the possibilities are innumerable in view of the constant military activity.

Most of the remaining finds of light weight solidi were made at sites located in western Europe or in Britain. Within this geographical grouping the coins from Müllingsen, Wieuwerd, Kent, Cornwerd, Wilton, Mons, Nietap, Sinzig, Wonsheim, and Pfahlheim as well as the imitation from southern Germany must be treated. The first of this category of western finds from the post-Justinian period is a solidus of the sole reign of Heraclius which was found at Müllingsen, in the district of Soest, in Westphalia. It is described by Bolin as a Merovingian imitation, but close examination of the photograph of the piece leaves no doubt of its Byzantine origin.10 It is strikingly similar to a coin in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection though the two pieces are from different sets of dies.

In the case of the light weight solidi found in hoards of coins in the West we are on much firmer ground. The hoard from Wieuwerd, which contained two light weight solidi of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine, has been published in detail and is consequently better known than any which have already been discussed.11 At Wieuwerd there were found three finger rings, the ornament of a buckle of a girdle, and thirty-five ornamental pendants which for the most part consisted of gold coins provided with loops for suspension. A total of twenty-nine coins were included in this hoard. The date of the hoard, of course, must be arrived at on purely numismatic grounds. Mosser gives a date of ca. 612 A.D. on the basis of the works on that hoard which had appeared by the time he published his bibliography. The older authorities generally date the actual deposit in the first half of the seventh century, but the later scholars have lowered the age of the hoard considerably. Werner, on the basis of the first edition of Boeles work on Frisia, gave the date as ca. 675 A.D.,12 but in the last edition of his work Boeles again discussed this hoard. Since many of the coins had been used in the manufacture of jewellery, he held that they must have remained in circulation for some time. The latest of the coins in the find were two tremisses of Maastricht, one of which was struck by Ansoaldus of Maastricht. These coins could not have been struck before the middle of the seventh century because an older Ansoaldus type is known which was clearly issued as late as the third quarter of the century. On the basis of these facts and comparisons with other hoards, Boeles dated it merely in the second half of the seventh century.13

Very little can be said regarding the finds from Kent and Cornwerd. Both, of course, were of coins of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine. In both instances it would seem as though stray finds from the seventh century were recovered. The solidus from Kent was originally part of the Rolfe-Mayer Collection (No. 7383) and is presently in the Liverpool Museum. The solidus from Cornwerd which is presently in the Friesch Museum in Leeuwarden (Inv. No. 355) may have been recovered in 1887, but it doesn’t seem to have been noted until 1935, when Werner cited it simply as a solidus from Frisia because there was insufficient information regarding its provenance.14 Boeles has identified the actual locale of the find as Cornwerd, but nothing substantial concerning the circumstances of the find is known.15

With regard to the Wilton Cross, which has been the subject of much comment, the circumstances of the find are known in more detail. The cross, which holds a coin of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine, was found as a stray object in a chalk pit at Wilton in Norfolk.16 Kendrick felt that the Wilton pendant was a Merovingian work of the middle of the sixth century, and that the coin which is presently framed in the pendant and which dated from the seventh century was a later addition. It was his view that the cross originally enclosed a jewel which was lost in the course of time, and the aperture was then filled by the solidus. This is supported by the fact that such mountings are normally made to fit the object to be framed, but in the case of the Wilton Cross the coin is fully half a centimeter too small to fit the aperture and is therefore held in place by a double beaded band of 0.25 cm. in width. Bruce-Mitford, on the basis of a careful study of the Sutton Hoo find, claims that the entire Wilton pendant was a local East-Anglian product of the second quarter of the seventh century.17 In either event the coin must have been placed in the cross during the seventh century and probably during the actual reign of Heraclius. Like the coins from Kent and Wieuwerd it was used in the manufacture of jewellery or ornaments.

The evidence regarding the find at Mons is not completely satisfactory because of the nature of the published sources. Mr. Philip Grierson has informed me of his belief that a solidus of this type was found at Mons in a hoard which was discovered about 1820, but he quite properly indicated that he had not been able to check this data completely. Mr. Grierson believed, on the basis of the data available to him that this solidus was sold in the Leclerqz Sale at Brussels on April 2, 1839.18 The mark in the exergue was misread on that occasion as SOXX. A pencil note in the copy of the Leclerqz Sale Catalogue in the possession of the Société Belge de Numismatique in Brussels, however, indicates that the coin was purchased by M. Lacour, and in the catalogue of the Lacour Sale which was held in Namur on July 24, 1848, several gold coins of Heraclius are listed but not specifically described.19 Since J. P. Meynaerts was a purchaser at the sale of the collection of Frederic Lacour, and since such a light weight solidus was found in the Meynaerts Collection, it was more than possible that Meynaerts had purchased the piece in question. In his description of his own collection and in the sale catalogue of that collection such a solidus is listed.20 In the Berlin Collection there is a cast of the coin from the Meynaerts Collection (Coin no. 134) which, if this reasoning were correct would be identifiable as the coin of the Mons hoard. Such, however, is not the case for while the Lacour Sale did not take place until 1848, Meynaerts had reported such a coin in his collection some six years earlier.21 Only two possibilities remain, if the pencil notation in the Brussels’ copy of the Leclerqz Sale Catalogue is accepted as accurate. Either the coin from Mons is not to be identified with the piece formerly in the Meynaerts Collection or Lacour must have disposed of it to Meynaerts at some time between 1839 and 1842. This latter possibility must be taken into account because the gold coins of Heraclius are not specifically described in the Lacour Sale Catalogue.

It seems fairly certain that the coin in the original Leclerqz Collection was derived from the Mons hoard. Unfortunately this hoard was neither adequately described nor scientifically treated, but two short notes by Lelewel do give us some idea of the contents. In addition to jewellery, some of which contained coins, there were some Merovingian tremisses, several of which were from the same dies, as well as some gold coins of Heraclius and two pieces of Suinthila, the Visigothic king. Lelewel, in his short notes concerning this hoard, adds that several of the coins as well as a ring were acquired by M. Leclerqz and passed from him to the Royal Collection in Brussels.22 The coins, however, do not actually seem to have accompanied the ring on that transfer, for Mr. Grierson, who has a most complete knowledge of the collection in Brussels, informs me that only the ring is now in the Bibliothèque Royale.

In the light of these facts it seems justifiable to suggest that the Meynaerts solidus, a cast of which is in the Berlin Collection is not identical with the coin found at Mons. The piece found at Mons was probable acquired by Leclerqz, and it passed from his collection to that of Frederic Lacour, since there is no reason to doubt the correctness of the pencil note in the Brussels’ copy of the Leclerqz Sale Catalogue. From that point on its history is unknown.

The hoard from Nietap naturally provides a compliment for those of Wieuwerd and Mons. At Nietap, a town situated about two kilometers from Groningen, a hoard of seventeen coins was recovered in 1901, and it is denominated as Nietap II to distinguish it from an earlier hoard found at the same site. The hoard contained a Frankish imitation of a gold piece of Maurice Tiberius, a solidus of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine marked BOXX in the reverse exergue (Coin no. 150), a Merovingian coin of Chalons-sur-Saône (Civitas Cdbilonensium), another Merovingian coin of Mainz, a Frankish coin of an unidentified mint, three coins of Maastricht or imitations of that type, one piece of the Dronrijp type C, two of the Dronrijp type D, three unidentified light weight tremisses, one Frisian coin, and two other pieces which are simply listed as missing.23 According to Boeles this Nietap hoard was buried a little later than those of Dronrijp. It should most probably be dated in the third quarter of the seventh century. Since it is most clearly a hoard of circulating medium and does not include jewellery, it forms a part of the general picture of the trade relationships in that corner of Europe which will be discussed later.

At Sinzig, in the district of Ahrweiler, in the Rheinprovinz, the double grave of a man and a woman was discovered, and in the funerary deposit there was a ring which enclosed a coin of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine. The coin showed absolutely clear indications of the fact that it had been fastened into another ring prior to being placed in its present setting.24 Werner, on the basis of this fact and the worn condition of the coin, considered this as the most recent grave of his Group V. He felt that the coin could only have been put into the grave after a long period of exposure to the circumstances making for wear. As a result he dated this grave towards the end of the seventh century.

The finds from Wonsheim and Pfahlheim are logically connected with that of Sinzig. At Wonsheim, in the district of Alzey, Rheinhessen, another solidus of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine was found in a woman's grave, and once again it was set in a ring. It was accompanied by a triens from the region of Mainz which was struck in the period between ca. 650 and several other objects which cannot be dated accurately.25 Since the solidus is quite worn and the other objects as well as the triens seem to indicate a date rather well along in the second half of the seventh century, this deposit may be a slightly earlier contemporary of that of Sinzig.26

At Pfahlheim, in the district of Ellwangen, in Württemberg, in Grave 4 of the necropolis, this time the burial of a man, another solidus of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine fastened into a ring was found associated with some other objects. These remains cannot be accurately dated. The coin is relatively unworn though it has been clipped. At least one other object in this funerary deposit aside from the solidus was an Italian import. The date of the burial, as determined by Werner, is in the second half of the seventh century, but somewhat earlier than those of Wonsheim and Sinzig.27

A barbaric imitation of this type was also found in an Alemannic grave in southern Germany. The exact location of the site is not given, but the coin does seem to be Alemannic in origin.28 Even though the exergual inscription in this instance is not exactly the same as the authentic Byzantine one, it is clear that the Alemanni did know these light weight solidi. Unfortunately it is impossible to date the deposit without further information.

A most obvious omission in the discussion of these finds from the West up to this point has been the coin from North Africa. This coin was part of a hoard which came to the attention of Mr. Grierson while he was in Paris. It was already incomplete at that time, and only fifteen of the coins were published by Grierson 29. These fifteen pieces covered the period from the reign of Justin II through the joint reigns of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine. The light weight solidus included in the hoard is clearly not a product of North African manufacture. In fact it is the only such coin found in that area, so it must be considered apart from the others. The hoard is evidently of the seventh century, but how it came to include the only light weight solidus from the region remains an unsolved puzzle. It would seem very improper to place too much weight on the existence of a single piece from a North African hoard in view of the fact that the other finds fall into recognizable groups. Extreme mobility is one of the most evident features in the study of coins, and innumerable explanations could be proposed to give significance to the sole example of a light weight solidus from North Africa, but they would all be hypothetical. Under the circumstances it would certainly seem best not to speculate too much concerning the exact significance of the single coin which found its way into the North African hoard.

The remainder of the light weight solidi come from the region to the north of the Black Sea and may well be considered apart from the other finds. Unfortunately these hoards have not been adequately described or treated and no photographs of their contents were available. Bauer, however, reported that in 1912 some herdsmen had discovered sixty-one gold coins which had been buried in a deposit containing gold and silver utensils as well not far from Pereschtsche-pino in the Government of Poltawa.30 Only four of these coins retained their original appearance as coins while the remainder had been used in the manufacture of ornaments. This hoard contained one piece of Maurice Tiberius, two coins of Phocas, six of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine, thirty-six solidi of the joint reigns of Heraclius, Heraclius Constantine and Heracleonas, and finally sixteen gold coins of Constans II. Interestingly enough, of the thirty-six coins of the three-emperor type from the reign of Heraclius only one had the normal exergual mark CONOB; of the remaining thirty-five solidi twenty-seven were marked BOXX and eight bore the exergual inscription BOXX+. All sixteen of the coins of Constans II were marked OBXX. The fact that all of the twenty-seven coins bearing the mark BOXX were struck from two obverse dies and four reverse dies while all of the eight coins inscribed BOXX+ were derived from the same pair of dies, and all of the sixteen BOXX pieces were produced with two obverse and four reverse dies is not without significance. Obviously these coins were collected and used in the manufacture of jewellery at some spot not too far removed from the place of issue, possibly at the mint itself, and at a period not too distant from the time they were struck. If these coins had been chosen by a random selection from those in circulation about 650 A.D., even if it occurred in an area which utilized coinage from a single mint to a far greater degree than coinage from other mints, it is hardly to be expected that the same restricted number of dies would occur. Even in an area which issues coins in quantity and subsists by importing other goods in return for its coins, the replacement of worn out dies would be rapid enough at the mint so that many more dies might logically be expected. These pieces must therefore have been used in the production of ornaments within the Byzantine Empire, possibly at official mints, and the finished articles must have been shipped into southern Russia. Since no coins of Constantine IV Pogonatus were found with this hoard though he struck light weight solidi, it seems completely logical to suppose that the articles included in the Pereschtschepino find were exported from the Empire prior to 668 A.D. That the hoard was necessarily buried as early as 668 A.D., however, does not necessarily follow. It is certainly highly probable, but since the hoard was not actually composed of currency media, that is not a necessary conclusion.

Bauer further reports that his colleague Zograph, while spending the summer in southern Russia in 1927, was shown seven Byzantine solidi that were ostensibly found associated with other valuable utensils in the Dnieper Delta. There were six coins of Heraclius and one piece of Constans II. All of the coins of the three-emperor type, and Bauer unfortunately does not record how many there were included in this hoard, were marked BOXX. There is hardly enough information published concerning this hoard to make possible any very significant inferences or conclusions, but it is certainly most probable that the contents of this hoard were also exported to Russia between 641 and 668 A.D. Since there is no mention of these coins being used in the manufacture of jewellery, we may presume that they were intended for commercial purposes, and perhaps the hoard was buried relatively quickly after it left the Empire.

In 1928 a find of still another seven Byzantine solidi associated with costly utensils was made at Novo-Sandsherovo or Zatschepilovo in the Government of Poltawa. These seven solidi were contemporary with those of the Pereschtschepino hoard, and the gold coins of Constans II, which again are not described, had the inscription OBXX in the reverse exergue.31 It would seem most probable that this hoard also dates from the second half of the seventh century.

These three eastern hoards may be discussed apart from the other finds. Perhaps the deposit of these treasures is to be connected with the movements of the Bulgars in the seventh century. It should be remembered that it was during the reign of Constans II that pressure from the Khazars forced the Bulgars to move westwards from their settlements in Old Great Bulgaria on the steppes bordering the Sea of Azov. Under their leader or king, Asparuch, the Bulgars moved slowly westwards across the Ukraine and settled at the mouth of the Danube. In 679 A.D., after the defeat of Constantine IV Pogonatus, the Bulgar realm, which already included the Dobrudja, was expanded by the absorption of the territories between the Danube and the Balkan Mountains. The actual movement of the Bulgars across southern Russia must have taken place at some time in the period between 650 and 668 A.D., if the view of some recent scholars that they were settled in the Dobrudja prior to the death of Constans II is correct.32 Obviously the movement of this barbarian horde across the plains of southern Russia must have caused major dislocations which resulted in a temporary cessation of peaceful commerce to a great degree and the burial of treasure. The three hoards containing light weight solidi are more than likely the natural result of that migration.

The finds of light weight solidi, insofar as they can be dated with any degree of accuracy, fall into the period from 570/71 to ca. 700 A.D. These are the extreme limits. No light weight solidi have been found which because of associated finds must be recognized as coming from sites which are to be dated after the reign of Constantine IV Pogonatus. Apparently the light weight solidi passed out of circulation very rapidly after the last ones were struck. Certainly the character of the finds is such that they would seem to be primarily designed for use in border regions and foreign lands. Only the two finds, from North Africa and Hama respectively, are found in areas removed from the northern frontiers but still within the Empire. Therefore, since many Syrians were engaged in commerce, only the coin from North Africa would require a deeper explanation.

As to the dating of the actual finds it must be remembered that the mere fact that a coin was not placed in a deposit before the latter part of the seventh century is not to be considered as indicating that the coin was not in the region of its final deposit at a much earlier period. Indeed the worn condition of the coins from the finds is the only reason for dating their deposit so late. The light weight solidi must have been designed for a specific purpose and were probably put to use fulfilling that purpose as soon as possible after they were issued. Thus, if they were designed for use in a specific locale, they must have reached their destination fairly quickly even though the stresses and strains making for the deposit or burial of treasure did not affect them until they had circulated for some years. This is not an abnormal condition to be encountered in the study of hoards.

Briefly put the hoards and finds of light weight solidi and their imitations fall into certain natural geographical groups. There is the western class which includes the hoards from northern Italy, Carinthia, southern and western Germany, Belgium, Frisia and England which is by far the largest. In this category, therefore, would be found the coins from Udine, Cividale, Hoischhiigel, Muningen, southern Germany, Pfahlheim, Wonsheim, Sinzig, Müllingsen, Mons, Cornwerd, Nietap, Wieuwerd, Kent, and Wilton. These sites form a chain with only minor deviations extending from northern Italy to England. In the Balkans there were three finds, that of Szentes, that of Sadowetz, and one from an unknown site. In southern Russia there were the finds from the Dnieper Delta, Pereschtschepino, and Zatschepilovo. In addition there was the unique find from North Africa and the great hoard from Hama which must be considered separately.

The sites of the hoards pertinent to the study of light weight solidi may be compared with the other contemporary gold hoards as listed by Mosser. Admittedly Mosser's list of hoards is not complete and does not contain any finds later than 1935 nor the stray finds of individual pieces, but it does provide a representative selection of those known. Only the gold hoards buried in the period from the reign of Justinian to that of Constantine IV Pogonatus have been listed.

Justinian El Djem, Tunis, Africa
Benevento, Italy
Cotrone, Italy
Finero, Domodossola, Italy
Sessa Arunca, Italy
Zeccone, Lombardia, Italy
Alise-Saint-Reine, Cote D’Or, France
Hyères, France
Viviers, Ardèche, France
Frickingen (?), Württemberg, Germany
Biesenbrow, Brandenburg, Germany
Deerlyk, Belgium
Velsen, Netherlands
Akebäck, Gotland, Sweden
Rovalds, Vänge, Gotland, Sweden
Hadji Sinanlar, Varna, Bulgaria
Tchenghe, Bulgaria
Kapril di Sebenico, Yugoslavia
Zaschowitz, Moravia
Batum, Georgia, Transcaucasia
Smekalovka, Batum, Transcaucasia
Bieloiarovka, Taganrog, Russia
Justin II No gold hoards buried during this reign are mentioned by Mosser.
Tiberius II Constantine Ortacesos, Sardinia
Ghertche-Cunar, Bulgaria
Narona, Dalmatia, Yugoslavia
Maurice Tiberius Escharen, Netherlands
Nokalakewi, Georgia, Transcaucasia
Unknown locality, Egypt
Selinti, Adana Vilayet, Asia Minor
Cyprus
Phocas Unknown locality, Asia Minor
Osetia, Terek, Transcaucasia
Heraclius Beth Shan, Palestine
Aydin Vilayet, Asia Minor
Madjid Eüsü, Adana Vilayet, Asia Minor
Chatalja, Constantinople Vilayet
Rhodes, Isle of Rhodes
Alexandria, Egypt
Thuburbo Majus, Tunis, Africa
Goulette, Tunis, Africa
Henchir-Sidi Amor-Bou-Hadjela, Tunis,
Africa
Rome, Italy
Campobello, Trapani, Italy
Akalan, Bulgaria
Szengedin, Hungary
Sarre, Kent, England
Constans II Tschausch, Asia Minor
Athens, Greece
Settimo, Sardinia
Constantine IV Pogonatus Arkesine, Amorgos
Unknown locality, Africa
Carthage, Africa
Pantalica, Sicily
Lacco Ameno, Ischia, Italy
Torontal, Hungary

The hoards which contained both light weight solidi as well as the normal variety have, of course, been excluded from this list, but the concentration of the finds within the area under effective Byzantine control and the rather sharp break in the number of Byzantine coins found in the West after the reign of Heraclius is immediately noticeable A survey of the hoards listed by Mosser reveals that after the reign of Constantine IV Pogonatus there are no Byzantine gold hoards found in the successor states in the West for a considerable period of time. This can be further supported by the list of finds given by Sture Bolin,33and the same situation was found to exist in the Danubian region when the finds of that area were studied by Huszár, Csallány, and Moisil.34 The historical significance of these facts cannot be minimized. Certainly it must play an important part in the formulation of any general historical theory regarding the Pirenne thesis and the general decline in the West. This aspect of its significance, however, must be treated in a wider context in the final chapter of this monograph.

Nevertheless some observations of a more specific nature with regard to the finds of light weight solidi are also possible. All of the finds from the West can be traced to the period during which Byzantine gold coinage was introduced into the barbarian successor states in a meaningful quantity. The finds of these light weight coins are, however, largely limited to the general area of one specific trade route, i.e., that from northern Italy over the Alps, down the Rhine and across the English Channel though, of course, they occur elsewhere as well. Several of the coins have been mounted in loops after a fashion which is most closely associated with Frisian finds. This, of course, strengthens the association of the light weight solidi with the particular route to Frisia and the general area of northwestern Europe. This route must have been at the height of its importance during the reign of Heraclius. That is to say that during the period when the Empire was faced with the Persian menace in its most acute form the efforts of Byzantine traders in the West must have reached the zenith. After the death of Heraclius, Byzantine interest shifted somewhat to southern Russia, but the movements of the Bulgars put a sudden, though temporary, check to this effort. The three finds from the Balkans are undoubtedly simply a part of the general trade effort of the Byzantines in that area which is merely one aspect of the general interest in the West manifested by the Byzantines in the sixth and seventh centuries.

It is evident from the style of the light weight coins themselves that only two could have been minted in the West where most of the finds were located, and it is therefore a matter of some importance to discover which mints issued these solidi. These mints must have been the sources of the Byzantine coins used in the western trade. In this connection the Hama hoard provides some vital evidence. In that hoard there were three light weight solidi marked OBXX: and eight more which were marked OB⁕+⁕ with ΘS at the end of the reverse legend. Although in only one instance was there a die identity of the reverses it seems fairly obvious that the mint issuing these pieces must have been in the general vicinity of the find spot. Only one place in Syria will answer as the source of these coins, Antioch, which was destroyed by an earthquake on Nov. 29, 528 A.D. and was renamed Theoupolis after its restoration. That Antioch possessed a mint is certain from the existence of bronze currency of this period with mintmarks such as THЄϤimage, ΘHϤimage, τHϤimage, image, and image or similar ones as well as earlier coins bearing the older name of the city.

The suggestion that Theoupolis-Antioch was the mint issuing these gold coins marked ΘS and OB⁕+⁕ was first made in the catalogue prepared by Sabatier, but this hypothesis has a history of its own and new evidence such as that from the Hama hoard can now be presented in support of it.35 Tolstoi in his catalogue of Byzantine coinage rejected Sabatier's proposal because the only gold coins of which he had cognizance from that mint were those which he attributed to the usurper Leontius.36 As an alternative suggestion Tolstoi mentioned the possibility that a barbaric error had been made in the course of cutting the die, but he indicated quite correctly and clearly, that even this latter explanation did not satisfy him. It was even less probable than the hypothesis proposed by Sabatier because there were a number of coins of Justin II, Tiberius II Constantine, and Maurice Tiberius with those very letters at the end of the reverse inscription, and those pieces were not barbaric in any way. Tolstoi, however, went even further in his discussion of this problem in connection with still another coin which showed a reverse legend ending in ΘSS.37 This coin was quite certainly the result of a double striking, but since Tolstoi refused to accept that fact, he reasoned from the existence of the double sigma that the final sigma in all of the other cases could not be the mark of an officina but was part of the name of the mint. He noted that the style and composition of the piece seemed to him to indicate an eastern origin, perhaps Constantinople. At the same time he once again rejected Sabatier's view that the letters ΘS might contain the abbreviation of the name of the city of Theoupolis-Antioch because he could not find any contemporary examples of the name of a mint city occurring at the end of the reverse inscription.

This was the status of the problem until 1937 when Friedrich Stefan, as has been pointed out in Chapter one, argued on the basis of the finds in the Balkans and southern Russia that the ΘS was to be identified with the mint of Thessalonica.38 Byzantine mints, he maintained, were at this time designated by not more than a single letter at the end of the reverse legend. This contention itself is invalid, but on the basis of it Stefan proposed the view that the S at the end of the legend stood for the sixth officina and that the Θ was the mark of the mint of Thessalonica. By a quite independent route Hugh Goodacre arrived at the same conclusion five years later.39 In 1941 Goodacre noted in connection with the British Museum solidus of Justin II and Tiberius II Constantine that this light weight coin bore the unusual mark ΘS. Since he was well aware that the bronze currency of Thessalonica during the reign of Justinian presented some unusual denominations, he argued that it was based on a different weight for the solidus and that the gold pieces marked ΘS were the solidi of Thessalonica. Thus the view that this mark stood for the Balkan mint gained currency, and it was repeated in much of the secondary literature.

The first real attack against this proposal was made by Leo Schindler and Gerhart Kalmann who pointed out that as early as the reign of Justinian a theta was known to have appeared at the end of the reverse inscription on some solidi.40 According to these two numismatists the explanation connecting the ΘS with Thessalonica was untenable because all of the bronzes struck at Thessalonica during the period in question bore the Latin inscription TЄS as a mintmark. The Greek form ΘЄS first appeared during the reign of Heraclius. They therefore took the position that the theta was an officina mark and that the S or SS had to await further clarification. The evidence of the Hama hoard seems to be conclusively in favor of the original suggestion made by Sabatier, but there is still more evidence to corroborate that from the find. If a close study of Coin no. 79 is made, the same coin which started Goodacre's study of the 0S ending of the reverse inscription, several interesting bits of information come to light. A coin from the Kyrenia hoard on Cyprus, this time a solidus of the full weight type (see note 45 of the Catalogue), shows a die identity of the obverse with Coin no. 79. These two coins were therefore issued by the same mint. The Kyrenia coin, as has been said, comes from Cyprus, a locality not to distant from Antioch, and Coin no. 79 was purchased in 1938 by the British Museum from a Syrian coin dealer in Syria itself. Furthermore, Antioch, apart from Carthage, was the only place during the period which issued coins with two busts as opposed to the type with two seated figures which is quite common.41 Only Antioch, however, issued coins with the busts of the emperor and his heir apparent or co-ruler. Those of Carthage are of the Emperor Justin II and the Empress Sophia. In addition the style of the solidi in question obviates the possibility of Carthage as a source. Thus the location and design of these two pieces can be used to strengthen the conclusions arrived at by Sabatier and confirmed by the Hama hoard. The fact that Greek letters were used to indicate bronze coins of Theoupolis-Antioch at all times and certainly after its restoration during the reign of Justinian removes one of the principal objections raised in connection with the identification of Thessalonica as the issuing locality.42

If the ΘS is understood as indicating Theoupolis then all of the coins of Justin II marked 0B⁕+⁕ (Coins nos. 50-71) as well as the two solidi of Justin II and Tiberius II Constantine (Coin no. 79 and the Kyrenia piece), and those solidi of Tiberius Constantine as sole ruler marked OB+⁕ (Coins nos. 80-87), and those of Maurice Tiberius marked the same way with ΘS at the end of the reverse inscription (Coins nos. 94-99) were necessarily struck in Antioch. The remaining coins marked OB⁕+⁕, OB+⁕, or OBimage show somewhat different characteristics and must therefore have been struck elsewhere. Where these other pieces were struck depends largely upon a very close stylistic study.

The three coins from the Hama hoard marked OBXX, however, also present a recognizable characteristic that is of some importance. At the end of the reverse legend or following the exergual mark there are a series of dots. These dots are also present on one of the light weight solidi of Justin II in Vienna as well as on one which appeared in the Brüder Egger Sale of Nov. 28, 1904.43 The provenance of the coins from Hama again seems decisive in supporting Antioch as the source of these coins. Mr. Grierson has suggested to me the possibility that at about this time the unity of the mint of Antioch showed the first signs of disintegrating, and that as a result it may well be that this particular series of solidi was not struck in Antioch itself but in one of the surrounding towns which assumed part of the duties of that mint. It seems fairly certain that a significant number of the authentic light weight solidi were derived from the great Syrian emporium or its environs. The merchants of the Syrian metropolis must have brought these coins to the West because similar dots are found on the barbarian imitations that were recovered at Hoischhügel and Cividale as well as on some of the imitations that have appeared in the sale catalogues.

Only Coin no. 22 (Justinian) and Coin no. 90 (Maurice Tiberius) of the authentic light weight pieces were almost certainly struck in the West though it would be rash to attempt to identify the particular mints. All of the remaining coins of the light weight variety were apparently struck in the East, probably at Constantinople, a city which was also a center of Byzantine external trade. Other mints may have participated in the production of these coins, but it is impossible to identify them with certainty.

The study of the finds and the issuing mints of the light weight solidi has revealed a startling connection between the external trade of the Byzantine Empire and this series of coins. The coins appear most obviously along a specific trade route leading from northern Italy to Frisia and England, but they also occur in the border regions of the Balkans as well as in southern Russia. It may be easily seen that they were not widely used in internal Byzantine trade by simple comparison of the find spots of normal solidi with those of the light weight variety. It is equally true that they were not used in the foreign trade to the exclusion of full weight solidi because examples of both varieties are found together in many hoards. Since the light weight solidi were struck during the period of greatest Byzantine effort in Europe and cease at just the moment when finds of imperial coins are no longer evident in the areas outside the European limits of Byzantine control, this connection with foreign trade is further strengthened. Indeed the very mints which issued these pieces were the emporia of Byzantine long distance western trade.

The final explanation for the existence of this rather unusual series of coins must take into account these facts as well as the evidence that the coins were issued in greater quantity during the reigns of Justinian, Justin II, and Heraclius than at any other time. The number of dies clearly indicates a rather large issue, and the imitations of the Theoupolis-Antioch type of Justin II which appeared so quickly show that the barbarians were very rapidly made aware of these coins. It is immediately evident that the solution encompasses a very large field of general economic history and is of some importance in the evaluation of the Pirenne thesis in its more recent restatements. The general problem of Byzantine trade in Europe and particularly in the Rhine Valley must be dealt with in the light of this new evidence furnished by numismatics.

End Notes

1
Friedrich Stefan, "Der Münzfund von Maglern-Thörl (vergraben um 570/71 bis 584/85) und die Frage der reduzierten Solidi,’’ Numismatische Zeitschrift, LXX (1937), Pp. 56-58. Cf. Joachim Werner, Münzdatierte austrasische Grabfunde (Berlin and Leipzig: Walter de Gruyter & Co., 1935), p. 41 in ed. Hans Zeiss, Germanische Denkmäler der Völkerwanderungszeit, III, issued by the Römisch-Germanische Kommission des Archäologischen Instituts des Deutschen Reiches, where further references to publications concerning these sites are given.
2
On this hoard see Friedrich Stefan, "Der Münzfund von Maglern-Thörl (vergraben um 570/71 bis 584/85) und die Frage der reduzierten Solidi," Numismatische Zeitschrift, LXX (1937), pp. 43-63.
3
Ibid, p. 47. Stefan goes so far as to suggest that the presence of what he describes as Lombard imitations of the Exarchate of Ravenna coinages of Justinian and Justin II as the latest coins in the hoard indicates that the hoard was not buried as a result of war. This conclusion does not seem to be a necessary one.
4
Werner, Münzdatierte austrasische Grabfunde, p. 89, lists the contents of this hoard and gives the references to the literature regarding it. To his bibliography should be added the article of Dr. Julius Cahn, "Ein Goldmünzenfund des frühen 7. Jahrhunderts aus dem Grabfeld von Munningen,’ Frankfurter Münzzeitung, neue Folge II, N0. 22 (Oct. 1931), pp. 325-328.
5
Stefan, “Der Münzfund von Maglern-Thörl (vergraben um 570/71 bis 584/85) und die Frage der reduzierten Solidi," Numismatische Zeitschrift, LXX (1937), p. 63, No. 17.
6
Ibid., p. 62, No. 16.
7
Sawyer McA. Mosser, A Bibliography of Byzantine Coin Hoards, NNM, 67 (New York City: The American Numismatic Society, 1935), pp. 74-75.
8
An excellent account of the history of the barbarian incursions into the Balkans at this period has been written by Kenneth M. Setton, "The Bulgars in the Balkans and the Occupation of Corinth in the Seventh Century," Speculum, XXV (1950), pp. 502-543. He cites the older literature. In this work Professor Setton includes the incursions of other peoples as well as the Bulgars. See note 32.
9
L. Huszár, "Das Münzmaterial in den Funden der Völkerwanderungszeit im mittleren Donaubecken," Acta Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, V (1955), p. 97, No. CCIV. The coin was identified on the basis of an accurate description in the original notes of Csallány. Cf. D. Csallány, "Byzan tine Money in Avar Finds,’ Acta Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae II (1952), p. 239. It was found in 1934.
10
Sture Bolin, Fynden av Romer ska mynt i det f ria Germanien (Lund, 1926), O, No. 79 (Bilagor, p. 42). This coin is also treated by Joachim Werner, Münzdatierte austrasische Grabfunde, p. 118, No. 75.
11
On this hoard see J. Dirks, "Trésor de Wieuwerd. Ornaments et monnaies mérovingiennes et byzantines en or," Revue de la numismatique belge, XXII (1867), pp. 149-163, and Dr. S. Janssen, "Der merovingische Goldschmuck aus Wieuwerd," Jahrbücher des Vereins von A Iterthumsfreunden im Rheinlande (Bonner Jahrbücher), XLIII (1867), pp. 57-91, as well as P. C. J. A. Boeles, Friesland tot de elfde eeuw. Zijn vóór-en vroege gescheidnis (2nd ed. : ‘s-Gravenhage: Martinus Nijhoff, 1951), pp. 312-313. For further bibliographica notices of this hoard see Sawyer McA. Mosser, A Bibliography of Byzantine Coin Hoards, NNM, 67, p. 98.
12
Joachim Werner, Münzdatierte austrasische Grabfunde, p. 13, note 3. Ibid., p. 71, merely places it in the second half of the seventh century because all of the coins were badly worn. Cf. Dr. S. Janssen, "Der merovingische Gold schmuck aus Wieuwerd," Jahrbücher des Vereins von A Iterthums freunden im Rheinlande (Bonner Jahrbücher), XLIII (1867), p. 62, who merely dates it in the first half of the seventh century.
13
P. C. J. A. Boeles, Friesland tot de elfde eeuw, pp. 312-313. Boeles felt that Werner had made incorrect use of his first edition in dating it as precisely as he did to ca. 675 A.D.
14
Joachim Werner, Münzdatierte austrasische Grabfunde, p. 15, note 1.
15
P. C. J. A. Boeles, Friesland tot de elfde eeuw, Bijlage VIII, p. 510, No. 80.
16
T. D. Kendrick, "St. Cuthberťs Pectoral Cross, and the Wilton and Ixworth Crosses,’ The Antiquaries Journal, XVII (1937), pp. 283-293, esp. pp. 289-290. Earlier writers have mistakenly derived it from a gravel-pit at Lakenheath, near Brandon, in Suffolk. See Charles Roach Smith, "Saxon Remains, Found near Ixworth, in Suffolk,’ Collectanea Antiqua, Etchings and Notices of Ancient Remains, IV, p. 164, as well as The Journal of the Archaeological Association (British), VIII (1852), p. 139.
17
R. L. S. Bruce-Mitford, "The Sutton Hoo Ship Burial. Recent Theories and Some Comments on General Interpretation,’ Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and Natural History, XXV, pt. I (1950), pp. 36-37.
18
p. 11, lot 124, of that sale catalogue. The sale catalogue is recorded by Frits Lugt, Répertoire des catalogues de ventes publiques intéressant l’art ou la curiosité’, deuxième période, 1826-1860 (La Haye: Martinus Nijhoff, 1953), No. 15360. The sale catalogue itself is apparently unobtainable in the United States.
19
This sale catalogue is also unobtainable in the United States, but it is cited by Frits Lugt, op. cit., No. 19110. Lot 156 is simply described as "3 or" of Heraclius. Mr. Grierson presumed that this contained the Leclerqz coin.
20
P. Meynaerts, Description de la collection des médailles antiques en or, grecques, romaines, byzantines et visigothes, recueillies par J. P. Meynaerts de Louvain (Gand, 1852), p. 97, lot 22, and Delbergue-Cormont Sale, 17-18 April 1857 (ed. M. de Coster, Catalogue des médailles en or, grecques, romaines byzantines provenant du Cabinet de feu M. Meynaerts de Louvain), p. 21, lot 146.
21
There is a note to this effect by Meynaerts in Revue de la numismatique belge, I (1842), p. 240.
22
Joachim Lelewel, "Anciennes plaques décoratoires, sépulcrales, de distinction et marques honorifiques," Revue de la numismatique belge, I (1842), pp. 115-116. A few years earlier Lelewel had described this hoard as containing coins of Phocas, Heraclius, Suinthila, and several of the Frankish moneyers, among them Elalius of Soisson and Venenius of Trêves. Joachim Lelewel, "Vingttrois pièces des monétaires mérovingiens et une du roi visigoth Swintilla,’ Revue numismatique, I (1836), pp. 324-325.
23
On this hoard see P. C. J. A. Boeles, "Merovingische Munten van het Type Dronrijp en de Vondst van Nietap," reprinted from Gedenkboek A. E. Van Geffen een kwart eeuw Oudheidkundig Bodermonderzoek in Nederland (Meppel: J. A. Boom & Zoon, 1947), l6 Pp. Also see P. C. J. A. Boeles, Friesland tot de elfde eeuw, pp. 309-317, esp. pp. 311-312.
24
Joachim Werner, Münzdatierte austrasische Grabfunde, p. 105. The necropolis was actually at Helenenberg near Sinzig.
25
Ibid., pp. 102-103. A full account of the bibliographical material about this find is given there.
26
Ibid., pp. 60-62.
27
Ibid., pp. 100-101, gives a complete description of the find and the bibliographical references. Ibid., p. 59, dates the deposit and mentions the Italian character of the bronze vessel from this grave.
28
Cahn Sale 75 (30 May 1932). Antike Münzen, Griechische Münzen aus ausländischem und norddeutschem Besitz. Das fürstlich fürstenbergische Münz kabinett zu Donaueschingen. Teil I. Die Serien der Römer, der Byzantiner y der Münzen der Völkerwanderungszeit und der Kreuzfahrer. Die Münzen der römi schen Kaiser zeit aus der Sammlung des Justizrats Dr. E. J. Haeberlin (Frankfurt a. M.: Adolph E. Cahn, 1932), N0. 1847. This coin is listed as probably Alemannic. Friedrich Stefan, "Der Münzfund von Maglern-Thörl (vergraben um 570/71 bis 584/85) und die Frage der reduzierten Solidi," Numismatische Zeitschrift, LXX (1937), pp. 55-56, mentions this piece as a find from an Alemannic grave in southern Germany.
29
Philip Grierson, "A Byzantine Hoard from North Africa,’ Numismatic Chronicie, Series 6, XIII (1953), Pp. 146-148.
30
The information regarding this hoard is derived from N. Bauer, "Zur byzantinischen Münzkunde des VII. Jahrhunderts," Frankfurter Münzzeitung, II, N0. 15 (March 1931), pp. 227-229.
31
Idem.
32
An excellent short account of the history of the Bulgar invasions of the Balkans has been written by Kenneth M. Setton, "The Bulgars in the Balkans and the Occupation of Corinth in the Seventh Century," Speculum, XXV (1950), pp. 502-543. He cites most of the important older literature, but particular attention should be given to W. N. Slatarski, Geschichte der Bulgaren. I. Teil, Von der Gründung des bulgarischen Reiches bis zur Türkenzeit (679-1396) (Leipzig, 1918), pp. 10-15, in ed. Gustave Weigand, Bulgarische Bibliothek, V, and J. Moravcsik, "Zur Geschichte der Onoguren," Ungarische Jahrbücher, X (1930), pp. 52-90. Cf. Peter Charanis, ‘On the Capture of Corinth by the Onogurs and Its Recapture by the Byzantines,’ Speculum, XXVII (1952), pp. 343-350, opposing Setton's view and Kenneth M. Setton, "The Emperor Constans II and the Capture of Corinth by the Onogur Bulgars," Speculum, XXVII (1952), pp. 351-362, answering Charanis. This subject was treated once more by Charanis. See Peter Charanis, "The Significance of Coins as Evidence for the History of Athens and Corinth in the Seventh and Eighth Centuries,’ Historia, IV (1955), pp. 163-172.
33
Sture Bolin, Fynden av Romerska mynt i det fria Germanien, Bilagor.
34
L. Huszár, "Das Münzmaterial in den Funden der Völkerwanderungszeit im mittleren Donaubecken,’ Acta Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, V (1955), pp. 61-109; D. Csallány, "Byzantine Money in Avar Finds,’ Acta Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, II (1952), pp. 235-244 (in Russian). There is a French summary of this work published in the same issue of this journal. C. Moisil, "Sur les monnaies byzantines trouvées en Roumanie,’ Bulletin de la Section Historique, Académie Roumaine, XI (1924), pp. 207-211. Moisil notes that the finds in Roumania assume significant numbers in the reign of Justinian and fall off sharply during the second half of the seventh century. See Chapter I, note 45.
35
J. Sabatier, Description générale des monnaies byzantines frappées sous les empereurs d’orient depuis Arcadius jusqu’à la prise de Constantinople par Mahomet II (Paris and London, 1862), I, p. 224. Philip Grierson, "The Kyrenia Girdle of Byzantine Medallions and Solidi," Numismatic Chronicle, Series 6, XV (1955), p. 65, note 38, supports the view that this hoard from Hama is evidence for the Antiochene origin of these coins.
36
J. Tolstoi, Monnaies byzantines (St. Petersburg, 1913-14), p. 418. Cf. Ibid., p. 874, and Warwick W. Wroth, Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum (London, 1908), II, p. 346, where it is clearly stated that no coins of the usurper Leontius (695-698 A.D.) are extant. In more recent days some coinage has been attributed to Leontius the Usurper. Ludovico Laffranchi, La Numismatica di Leonzio II. Studi su un periodo della monetazione Italo-Bizantina (Perugia, 1940), 47 pp. This is reprinted from a series of articles which appeared in Numismatica e Scienze Affini, IV (1938), pp. 73-74; V (1939), pp. 7-15, 91-92; VI (1940), pp. 20-22. Also See J. P. C. Kent, "The Mystery of Leontius II," Numismatic Chronicle, Series 6, XIV (1954), Pp. 217-218.
37
J. Tolstoi, Monnaies byzantines, p. 469. See Coin no. 79 of the Catalogue.
38
Friedrich Stefan, "Der Münzfund von Maglern-Thörl (vergraben um 570/71 bis 584/85) und die Frage der reduzierten Solidi," Numismatische Zeitschrift, LXX (1937), p. 55.
39
Hugh Goodacre, "Justinian and Constantine,’ Numismatic Chronicle, Series 6, 1 (1941), pp. 48-53.
40
Leo Schindler and Gerhart Kalmann, "Byzantinische Münzstudien. II. Das 33 Nummistück Justinians I.," Numismatische Zeitschrift, LXXII (1947), p. 109.
41
Justin I and Justinian from Antioch, B.M.C., Byz., plate IV, nos. 7 and 8. Justin II and Sophia from Carthage, B.M.C., Byz., I, plate XIII, nos. 6, 7, 9, and 10.
42
B.M.C., Byz., I, plate VIII, nos. 4 and 5.
43
Coins nos. 43, 47, and 49 are from the Hama hoard. Coin no. 46 is from Vienna, and Coin no. 48 is from Brüder Egger Sale XL, 28 Nov. 1904, lot 2918. Cf. Coins nos. 44 and 45.

THE BYZANTINE TRADE WITH THE WEST

The civilization of Byzantium, marked as it was by interest in Christianity and in matters of theological import, was not likely to be conducive to treatises on such matters as political economy and monetary policy. Byzantine authors, perhaps even more so than those of classical antiquity, refrained from writing about the mundane affairs of commerce and money. Only occasionally, in a work devoted to what was the larger topic of a chronicle or in a sermon or in one of the saints’ lives, do we find chance bits of information which can aid in the reconstruction of the economic history of the Byzantine Empire. As a result of this reticence on the part of the Byzantine authors, archaeology and numismatics, as ancillary sciences of history, must provide the necessary data for a comprehensive approach to the problem. The remarks of the contemporary authors cannot form the framework whereby one can interpret the archaeological and numismatic evidence, but rather the reverse is true, and the literary remains, insofar as they pertain to economic history, must be understood in terms of the physical legacy of the Empire.

Three statements from contemporary authors furnish information regarding the monetary policies of the Emperor Justinian. The first of these is contained in the Chronographia of the Syrian monk John Malalas. What Malalas tells us is the testimony of a contemporary, and it must therefore be given great weight. Since he was particularly cognizant of the state of affairs at Antioch, a town which was in commercial contact with the West, his remarks assume even greater significance. Malalas says that in the month of March in the first year of the indiction, there was a disturbance among the lower classes or poor because of the changing of the value of the kermata or copper coinage used as small change, and that when the news of this was brought to the Emperor Justinian, he ordered that the coins be restored to their former value.1 This event can easily be dated in the year 554 A.D. by virtue of the fact that the preceding section which speaks of the death of Totila is dated in the fifteenth year of the indiction. What actually happened, however, is a somewhat more critical matter. Firstly, it may be pointed out that the statement does not refer to an alteration in the gold coinage, but it must indicate a change in the values of the subsidiary coinage. The use of the word kermata is decisive in that respect, but this is also supported by the fact that the disturbance was created by the lower classes whose contact with currency must have been largely limited to the use of the subsidiary coins. It is also evident that the change was only temporary in nature and was not in itself a fundamental aspect of imperial monetary policy.

Since this temporary change in the value of the subsidiary currency which was so disadvantageous to the poorer classes could be remedied easily by a decree of the Emperor Justinian, it is apparent that the change in value was accomplished by administrative action and was not the result of economic pressures. The value of all of the subsidiary coins in relation to the standard unit, the gold solidus, was regulated by the imperial government. Bronze coins were purely fiduciary in the Byzantine Empire, and their size and weight were determined by other factors than the intrinsic value of the metal. Changing the fiat value of the bronze coins, as was done in this instance, would not necessarily be reflected on the actual coinage itself in any way save possibly by a change in the mark of value, if that mark of value expressed the worth of the coin in terms of gold. In fact, however, the marks of value on Byzantine bronze coins expressed the worth of the piece in terms of a still smaller bronze unit, the nummus. A change in the number of bronze units equal to a solidus would affect the fiat value and the purchasing power of all of the bronze coins, but it would not be reflected in the marks of value on the coins. Thus, if the bronze follis was marked M and was worth forty nummi, and the solidus was said to contain 7,000 nummi, each follis would be equal to 1/175th of a solidus. If, however, the imperial government were to order by decree that 7,200 nummi were now to equal one solidus of the same weight and fineness as before, the value of the follis would still be forty nummi, and the mark of value of the follis would still be M, but the follis would only be equal to 1/180th of the gold solidus. The bronze fiduciary coin would have lost some of its value, but this fact would not be reflected in any way on the coinage itself. This is a hypothetical case,2 but it does explain what Malalas was describing in his short statement. The evidence to support such an interpretation of Byzantine monetary practice is derived from early Byzantine sources though it should be noted that these sources are not coeval with the quotation from the Syrian monk.3

It is impossible to judge exactly what was the nature of the change in the valuation of the small change to which John Malalas refers, but it does not seem as though it can justifiably be related to an incident recounted by Procopius. Procopius in the course of detailing the various devious methods used by Justinian to increase the profits from the customs and trade says, "Such is the way things were going as regards the administration of affairs. But I think that I should not omit to mention also what was done by the imperial pair with reference to the small change. For while the money-changers formerly were accustomed to give to those who bargained with them in exchange for one gold stater two hundred and ten obols, which they call pholleis, these persons, contriving private gain for themselves, had it arranged that only one hundred and eighty obols should be given for the stater. In this way they cut off the seventh part of the value of every gold coin of all men."4

This passage would, at first glance, seem to indicate that gold coins which had previously been issued to sell at two hundred and ten bronze folles were now intended to be evaluated at only one hundred and eighty folles. This would mean that the value of the follis was raised by one-seventh, but it is clear from the concluding sentence that what actually happened was that the value of the bronze pieces was not changed, and instead the value of the gold piece was lowered by one-seventh. It is, of course, obvious from this passage that Procopius did not fully comprehend the mechanics whereby the value of the fiduciary currency was determined. He simply did not understand that lowering the value of the gold piece as expressed in terms of folles did not affect the value of the subsidiary bronze coins as well, if the actual intrinsic value of the gold coin was lowered proportionately.

That this is what happened is clear from the third passage, which again is from the pen of Procopius. In the course of describing the horrid crimes perpetrated during the tenure of John Barsymes as treasurer for the second time, during the period from 547 to some time after 555 A.D., Procopius says, "And those who had been stripped of their money sat about in great sorrow, since he saw fit also to issue the gold coinage, not at its usual value, but reducing its value materially, a thing which had never been done before."5 This passage is probably to be connected with the same event as the preceding one, and it is obvious that it is a lowering of the value of the gold coins and not a change in the fiduciary subsidiary bronze coinage which is involved. This result could be achieved by the issuance of gold currency of lighter weight.

That the event recorded by Procopius is not the same as that preserved by Malalas can be shown by a comparison of the dates in each case. Malalas, it will be remembered, was describing something which transpired in 554 A.D. The date of the composition of the Anecdota is indicated four times in the course of the work as the thirty-second year of the reign of Justinian.6 Since Justinian counted his regnal years on all documents from 527 A.D., when Justin I died, this would place the date of the composition in 559 A.D., and it would seem possible that the events of 554 A.D. might be included. Justinian's active administration, however, began in 518 A.D., and if that were to be taken as the date from which Procopius began his counting of the regnal years it would follow that the Anecdota was composed in 550 A.D. Thus the events of 554 A.D. could not have been recorded in that work. It seems more likely, however, that the first view is correct, and that the date of composition was 559 rather than earlier, and there is therefore no inherent reason in that regard why the two authors could not have referred to the same incident. But in the first passage which was cited from the Anecdota, Procopius speaks of the imperial "pair" in the plural and thus indicates that Theodora was still alive at the time. Theodora's death in 548, therefore, must be a terminus ante quern for the event. Since the same event is connected with the second tenure of John Barsymes as treasurer, it must be dated in 547/8. Only by presuming that Procopius erred in using the plural can it be assumed that both authors are discussing a single event of a temporary nature. This involves an unnecessary emendation of the text which would be unjustified.

It is more than mere coincidence that Procopius refers to a lowering of the value of the solidus by one-seventh and that that is approximately the amount by which at least some of the solidi that form the subject of this monograph were lightened. It seems obvious that Procopius is describing in somewhat colored terms the issuance of these solidi. Malalas apparently described a temporary administrative attempt to apply this new monetary system to the whole Empire though this is much more uncertain.

That Justinian as a result of his efforts to reconstruct the Roman Empire was consistently in financial difficulties is not in doubt. The expenditures of the government were enormous, and many attempts were made to increase the revenue of the Empire and to stretch the available amount of good currency as far as possible. Justinian's efforts in this regard with respect to the silk trade as well as his other sources of income have been adequately treated in a great number of secondary works. That the western trade of the Empire underwent a transformation at the same time is a matter that has not been discussed quite as completely. War with Persia had been an acute problem during the third and fourth centuries, but the situation on the eastern frontier seems to have been stabilized to a considerable degree after the death of Julian, and the fifth century was a period of relative quiet in that area. In the opening years of the sixth century, however, the problem reappeared in an aggravated form and remained an everpresent danger until the final victory of Heraclius in the seventh century. Of course the Persian difficulties in which the Empire was embroiled must have made the eastern trade more hazardous and difficult. The Persians were the intermediaries who transmitted the goods of the Far East to the Roman merchants. Negotiations such as were carried on with the peoples to the north as well as with the Himyarites and Abyssinians to the south of the Persian Empire in order to secure alternative trade routes to the Far East cannot be interpreted purely in terms of Justinian's desire to insure that the Persians would be prevented from making a profit on all of the Byzantine eastern trade. Continued access to eastern sources of trade during the periods of Persian difficulties must have played a part in the calculations of the Emperor.

All historians are agreed that the financial difficulties of the emperors of the sixth and seventh centuries were very real. The sources are replete with tales which serve to illustrate this. Massive military endeavors, however, accentuated the declining financial structure of the Empire, but the difficulties facing the imperial government in the sixth century have their roots in a much earlier period. The Roman Empire was clearly in decline in the second half of the third century, and nowhere is this more lucidly shown than in the papyri from Egypt. The inflationary spiral of the late third century was not local is any sense, but it seems to have encompassed the entire Mediterranean world. The literature on this decline is so extensive and detailed that it would be a patent waste of space to retrace the ground that has been covered by others. What is important, however, is that the succeeding early fourth century was clearly a period of economic growth and recovery. The decline was largely arrested, and the evidence from Egypt is overwhelmingly in favor of a general revival at least during the first half of the century.7 Some of the towns which bordered the Fayum were revived and showed signs of renewed vigor. The documents from the valley of the Nile itself show, if anything, an even healthier picture than in the Fayum.8 A stable currency of both gold and silver was inaugurated, and the security of the frontiers was established by the armies which had been reorganized. But the recovery was only temporary, and the second half of the century as well as the dark fifth century show all of the signs of increasing dislocation. Many of the towns of Egypt which had recovered temporarily disappeared from the scene. But this time even the frontiers of the Empire could not be adequately defended, and the Germanic tribes poured into the Roman world.

The appearance of the Germanic tribes on the Roman side of the limes was not without its effect even though there was a cultural continuum. Merchants of western origin had declined in importance during the period of the Roman Empire, and their position had been taken by easterners, Syrians, Jews, and Greeks.9 This process, which began quite early, however, was greatly accelerated by the Germanic invasions.10 The importance of merchants of eastern origin during the Merovingian period in Gaul is certainly more marked than during the preceding Roman epoch or the following Carolingian period.11 This is not merely a quantitative but a qualitative point as well. The numbers of orientals cannot be estimated other than by making note of the fact that on certain occasions, such as the entrance of Gontran into Orleans, the three separate communities, Syrians, Jews, and Latins, are mentioned individually as though they were all of some size. A list of cities in which the orientals resided would not in itself be of any importance, but their growing influence is a matter that can easily be traced not only by their frequent assumption of the ecclesiastical posts of the West, such as the See of St. Peter, but even in the constant stream of art motifs and works which are oriental in origin.12

The natural concomitant of this growing importance of a non-native element in the life of western Europe, of course, was the gradual decline of the Gallo-Roman element to a point where it lost its identity in the mélange of the rising Germanic barbarians, or more properly it may be said the the Germans and the natives fairly rapidly approximated one another culturally and in other ways. The granting of the right of conubium among the Visigoths in the sixth century is simply a proof of the rapid romanization of the Germanic peoples throughout western Europe. Not only did the Germans adopt Roman culture and forms, but the native element in the population declined in self-consciousness at the same time, and the common ground was reached very quickly after the influx of barbarians ceased. This decline, however, did not cause a break in the unity of the Roman Mediterranean, and contacts with the seat of Byzantine culture were many. Internal decline was evident in the late fourth century, and the Germanic invasions hastened the process, so that the supremacy of the economic order of the East became more and more manifest. This internal decline is made somewhat more evident by the fact that in the areas which were conquered by the barbarians it was not the solidus which was the principal coin issued but the triens, which was only one-third of the Byzantine piece. The eventual cessation of coinage in gold in meaningful quantities for exchange is in great measure a result of this continuous decline which accompanied the fragmentation of the political structure, so that no state in western Europe was strong enough to guarantee currency for its coinage as Rome had done.13

The most outstanding feature of the early Middle Ages is this cultural and economic decline and the fusion of the Germanic and Roman peoples. Of course this aspect of life in the early mediaeval period did not proceed at a constant rate nor was it uniform throughout the West. Conditions north of the Loire reached a much lower point than those found in southern Gaul where the Germanic penetration was much less real. The Gaul described by Ammianus Marcellinus, however, was quite different from that described by Gregory of Tours. Roman civilization, it has beeen shown by Pirenne and Dopsch, did not disappear in one fell stroke, but certainly the decadence of ancient culture was accelerated during the bleaker periods.14 The Vandal conquest of North Africa must have been one of the events which accelerated this process of decline,15 and during the reign of Genseric Vandal fleets undoubtedly ravaged the shipping of the Mediterranean with impunity, but this was not a condition of any permanence. After the death of Genseric in 477 A.D. this momentary threat passed.16 The economic and basic cultural unity of the Mediterranean remained, but the supremacy of the East became ever more marked. Feuding and warfare punctuated the lives of the western Europeans, but the ubiquitous class of merchants continued to ply their trade so successfully that during the early fifth century the gold solidus seems to have become the standard coin in use in southern Scandinavia. The great period of this Scandinavian trade, however, lies in the years following 476 A.D. and before the accession of Justin II.17 These solidi probably came to Frisia by a route down the Rhine Valley and from Frisia were sent by sea to Scandinavia. Why the importation of solidi into Scandinavia ceased after the reign of Justinian has been the subject of much investigation and many hypotheses. Its importance for the theme of this monograph, however, lies in the fact that the actual distribution of solidi in Europe seems to show that in the period before Justinian the route was open to trade from Italy northwards through Mainz and down the Rhine Valley to the Frisian coast. This is the same route which was so closely related to the finds of light weight solidi.

In addition the coin finds may be said to reflect the intensity of the trade more clearly than anything else. Coin hoarding, of course, has been shown to mirror accurately the lack of political and economic stability. During periods of trouble the number of hoards buried rises as the inhabitants of the region affected attempt to preservetheir wealth from marauders.18 Such a peak period of hoarding occurred in western Europe in the second half of the third century. In France, the period from 253-282 A.D., a space of only twenty-nine years, resulted in approximately forty-four percent of all of the hoards in that region listed by Bolin. In England and in Germany as well as in Austria the same phenomenon is evident.19 The stabilizing effect of the strong hand of Constantine is immediately evident in a sharp decline in the number of hoards buried during that reign. In Germany, the peak of activity in burying treasure occurred about the middle of the third century, and from that point on there was a sharp decline in the practice until the last years of the reign of Constantine. A rise during the reigns of Constantius II and Julian the Apostate is particularly marked in Germany and is also evident in England though the situation seems to have been stabilized in France so that a low point in hoarding was reached some time after 363 A.D. At the end of the century, however, there was a distinct rise in the number of hoards buried in England, Germany and France.

The pressure of the Germanic tribes increased sharply during the last years of the fourth century and the early years of the fifth century, and the economic conditions within the Empire declined. These were factors which made for greater dependence upon the use of gold rather than fiduciary money. At the same time there was a growing awareness on the part of the Germanic peoples of the monetary value of gold which led to a steady increase in its use among them. Silver coinage had fluctuated too much in value as a result of the financial difficulties of the emperors of earlier periods. As a result the marked preference for silver currency among the Germanic tribes, which had been noted by Tacitus, died away.20 Thus it happened that the usefulness of gold currency was fully realized by the Germanic peoples during their invasions of the Empire. Long contact with the Romans had resulted in this. When they entered the Empire, of course, there was the steady process of romanization to give further impetus to the use of gold, if that were necessary. Pirenne clearly noted this romanization. Payments in terms of gold are common in the writings of Gregory of Tours, and the tomb of Childeric at Tournai revealed that this early Frankish king had hoarded a respectable number of gold coins.21

A recovery from the effects of the invasions and the economic decline, however, was imminent, and the first signs of this restoration appeared during the reign of Anastasius. His coinage was imitated in some quantity in the West, and it occurs in the hoard of Bresin in Germany and in a number of Scandinavian hoards. His coinage and the imitations of it also form an important segment of the hoards of Gourdon and Chinon which were actually buried during the reign of Justin I.22 But the largest increase in the number of Byzantine coins and imitations of them found in the West occurs for the period from Justinian through Heraclius. Boeles lists 208 coins, mostly of gold, found in Frisia. Ninety-five of these coins are clearly imperial gold or imitations, and better than half of these, or forty-six of them to be more exact, are of the period from Justinian through Heraclius. After that the Frankish currency seems to have held sway in Frisia.23 Since many of the early imitations which are found probably come from Italy, it is clear that a route existed in the early years of the sixth century which brought a steady stream of coinage over the Alps northwards. The same situation is noted from a survey of the coins listed by Werner. In that instance 210 coins seen by Werner are listed from grave finds in Austrasia of the period from Valentinian I to Constans II. Of these by far the greatest number are from the period from the reign of Anastasius through that of Heraclius.24

It is vital to note that the gradual intrusion of Frankish currency during the seventh century into Frisia shows that the cities of the Middle Rhine, the Meuse, and the Moselle regions were in contact with the Frisian coast. The mints from those regions, which are, of course, closely associated with the trade route from Italy northwards are particularly well represented among the finds.25 All of the numismatic and archaeological evidence seems to point to Frisia as a great point of diffusion for trade to the north and to the east as well as to England. The fact that something over 200 gold coins have been found within Frisia as compared with about 265 from the grave finds for all of Austrasia confirms this view.26

This rather startling growth in Byzantine interest in the West is naturally to be associated with the Persian difficulties which became acute during the reign of Anastasius and continued to afflict the Romans until 639 A.D. During that period war between these two peoples was as much the order of the day as peace. Justinian must have fully comprehended the immense task which faced him, and he set up a military policy which involved taking the defensive role in one region and balancing it against an offensive drive in another. His attempt to reconstruct the Roman Empire around the Mediterranean necessitated that a defensive attitude be adopted towards the Persians. Justinian used the title Imperator Caesar Flavius Iustinianus Alemannicus Gothicus Francicus Germanicus Anticus Alanicus Vanda-licus Africanus Pius Felix Inclitus Victor ac Triumphator Semper Augustus. The omission of the honorific Persicus is most noticeable. His claim to some of the other titles was hardly any more merited than would have been that of Persicus. The interest of the Emperor, however, had turned towards the western portions of the old Roman Empire, and his conquests must have stimulated the activities of the oriental merchants in that region. These merchants, however, had begun to play a more vital role in the economic life of western Europe as early as the reign of Anastasius and the beginning of the Persian troubles. The Byzantine fleet, which had been rebuilt, certainly controlled the entire Mediterranean in the period preceding the death of Heraclius, and as a direct result trade in the West became safer than it had been at any time since the Vandals reached Carthage.27

Because of the importance of the western trade at a period when emphasis is most likely to be placed upon the Byzantine trade with the further orient it is necessary to point out that in the Pragmatic Sanction which Justinian addressed to the "Illustrious Grand Chamberlain Narses and to the Magnificent Antiochus, Prefect of Italy," specific provisions were promulgated to integrate the currency which had circulated there into that of the rest of the Empire. Section 20 of that document is very specific in that regard. Again it should be noted that in Procopius’ description of the actions of the Emperor with regard to the two customs houses on the straits on either side of Constantinople he specifically speaks of merchants travelling between the capital and Italy or Libya.28 Even the trade of the greatest of all the Mediterranean ports, Alexandria, with western Europe and particularly Italy seems to have been more active after the reconquest of the West by the Byzantines.29 The fact that the communities of merchants in western Europe were composed primarily of Syrians, Jews, and Greeks, however, must have given Antioch and Constantinople a predominance which Alexandria could not challenge successfully even during the late sixth and early seventh centuries when trade relations between the Patriarch and the Pope seem to have reached a peak.

It is pointless to repeat all of the evidence collected by Pirenne and others for the existence of very significant sea trade between the two halves of the Mediterranean. The case is very clear cut for a great expansion of that trade during the sixth and seventh centuries after a period of decline during the preceding epoch. It is, however, necessary to return to the subject of the trade route from Italy by land to the Frisian coast. This route actually never seems to have been closed entirely, and the light weight solidi are intimately associated with it. Mediaevalists who have restricted themselves largely to the literary sources have continually pointed to the paucity of pre-Carolingian documentation for the use of this route over the Alps.30 A number of pilgrims, however, seem to have journeyed via this route to Rome, and the evidence is largely in favor of the view that as early as the second half of the seventh century pilgrimages were made between England and Rome which crossed the Frisian coast and occasionally followed the course of the Rhine.31 Use of a route over the Alps and down the Rhine for trade, however, is quite another thing than the occasional passage of a pilgrim or even a marauding army. In 539, Theudebert, the King of the Franks, entered Italy over the western Alps with an army of Franks, Burgundians and Alemanni. In 553 still another army of Alemanni and Franks crossed the Alps. In 568 the Lombards passed over the Alps, and the series of Lombard raids against Frankish territory carried parties over the Alps in the opposite direction and resulted in Frankish countermeasures. Such attacks over the Alpine passes were made throughout the last quarter of the sixth century. They must have interferred with trade to a considerable extent, and in this connection it should be noted that this appears to have been the period during which the Byzantines struck the fewest light weight solidi. The seventh century was a relatively quiet period along this mountain range. An agreement between the Franks and the Lombards left the southern passes in the hands of the latter while the more northerly ones were controlled by the Franks. Fortresses which had been a part of the old Roman system of military works guarding Italy and had been used for the same purpose by the Ostrogoths were now strongly held by either the Lombards or the Franks.82

Archaeology provides a more certain basis for the use of this trade route in pre-Carolingian times. The Germanic invasions did not result in a cessation of trans-Alpine trade. Theodoric's conquest of Italy and his preeminence among the Germanic kings provided a long period of peaceful relations with the more northerly peoples. The concentration of finds of Ostrogothic silver coins and those of the Exarchate of Ravenna in the middle Rhine region seems to be conclusive proof of a continuous use of that trade route during the pre-Carolingian era.33

The route followed must have been one which crossed the Alps in the neighborhood of Lake Constance. Archaeological evidence gathered by Werner on the basis of finds of specific articles such as "Coptic" bronze vessels, ornamental gold crosses, and fibulae of a close-cell type shows a concentration in the region north of Lake Constance along the headwaters of the Danube.34 The coins seem to have followed a more westerly route. Within the limits of southern and western Germany nineteen siliquae of Justinian struck in Ravenna as well as forty Ostrogothic siliquae have been found. The evidence provided by these finds as well as the coins struck in the area suggests that the route in question along the Rhine was of greater importance for the area to the east of the river than for the lands to the west of it. The amount of coinage struck in southern and western Germany during the sixth century must have been very small, if the number of pieces recovered that may possibly have been issued there can be used as indicative of the whole. Only a very few coins can be attributed to Rhenish mints, and even these are from sites such as Trier which are located on the Gallic side of the river. In the seventh century Frankish mints seem to have been in operation at Windisch, Basel, Strassburg, Speyer, Worms, Alsheim, Mainz, Boppard, Andernach, Bonn, Cologne, Zülpich, Julich(?), Trier, and Pfalzel near Trier, all sites ön the left bank of the Rhine. Basel, Strassburg, Mainz, and Trier were the outstanding mints while the others only struck coins intermittently. Only occasionally are coins from these Rhenish mints found on the right bank of the river.35

In the sixth century the mass of the currency in southern and western Germany on the right bank of the Rhine must have been composed principally of Italic coinage such as the Ostrogothic silver and the later silver currency of Justinian. In addition Ostrogothic and Byzantine gold, which must have crossed the Alps in the same body of commercial transactions which brought the silver, played a significant role. The coinages of the Rhenish and more distant Gallic mints did not occupy a significant position in the sites on the right bank. It can only be concluded that the commercial ties in this area on the right bank were much stronger with Italy than with the Gallic lands.36

If anything, the seventh century shows an even more perceptible distinction between the regions to the right and to the left of the Rhine. It is true that since the importation of silver coinage had come to an end, the total number of coins found is much smaller, but the same phenomenon of a commercial connection with Italy rather than the Frankish realm on the left bank is noticeable. The occurrence of Anglo-Saxon sceattas and Frisian trient es in the middle Rhine region, however, marks even further the unity of the valley of that river in an economic sense at the later period. Merovingian coins at the same time are only occasionally found among the Alemanni, Franks, and Thuringians on the right bank and are totally lacking among the Bavarians.37

Perhaps Werner has gone too far in explaining this division between Austrasia and Neustria in terms of the greater simplicity of economic life in Austrasia and the existence of an economy which made extensive use of barter rather than currency while in Neustria the Roman forms of commerce persisted with the monetary system.38 The evidence presented by Dopsch in favor of a money economy on the right bank of the Rhine cannot be ignored.89 His interpretation of the Germanic codes cannot be eliminated by citing the secondary literature. Certainly the right bank of the Rhine enjoyed a more primitive economy than Gaul proper, but it must not be forgotten that it too had been in close contact with the Roman world during the great days of the Empire. It is, however, more logical to note that the Rhine provides a significant barrier to lateral East-West trade while it is a highway for trade running North-South. This factor means, of course, that it was not in the main stream of Byzantine trade with Gaul, and that it occupied the position of a subsidiary artery of commerce. During the early mediaeval period traders from the East landing at Marseille would have utilized the Rhone, Garonne, Loire, and Seine much more frequently than the Rhine as a route for carrying on their transactions. The concentration of Merovingian mints and the activities of eastern merchants in western, central, and southern Gaul are much more heavily documented than along the distant Rhine. The connection of the Rhine with Italy, however, through the Alpine passes in the region of Lake Constance is clearly demonstrated from the archaeological and numismatic finds.

At the extreme continental end of this trade, of course, lay Frisia which, as has been pointed out, was the area from which the trade about the North Sea radiated. Boeles lists only twenty-six gold coins from Frisia which were struck before the reign of Anastasius. After that date the expansion in the use of gold in the area is easily traced by the great increase in the number of coins of the later period that have been found there. The evidence in favor of the importance of the light weight solidi is probably best shown by the fact that of the four coins of Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine listed by Boeles three are of the light weight series.

During the period of Germanic expansion covering the fifth and sixth centuries the Frisians, like the Germans of the right bank of the Rhine, struck only conscious imitations of Byzantine coin types and never types of their own. During the later part of this period two new series of coins were issued which may be attributed to the Frisians. The first was a group which is identified by a symbol known as the “boucle perdue" which is frequently added to the legend. Originally this sign was a part of the fastening at the back of the imperial diadem or was visible as part of the offering in the hand of the Victory on the reverse of imperial trientes, but the Frisians seem to have developed their use of it from the pseudo-imperial Frankish trientes and the Ostrogothic imitations of Roman currency. About the year 600 A.D. the Victory on the reverse was replaced by a cross on Byzantine and imitative coinages. The second group of Frisian coins was recently discovered by Boeles. It was lacking the so-called “boucle perdue" and showed a greater stylistic affinity for the Frankish coins than for the Ostrogothic ones. Both groups of purely Frisian coins were issued very commonly in pale gold, and in one case the coin is of silver.40

The commercial bond between Frisia and the Rhenish regions is easily established by the finds that have been made within Frisia of twenty-seven coins from Cologne, Mainz, Alsheim, and Worms as well as related currencies. In addition there were five coins from the mints on the Moselle and ten from those on the Meuse, including imitations.41 Thus of the 208 coins listed by Boeles, forty-two pieces come from the trade area formed by these river basins. At the same time it is to be noted that a few Frisian and Anglo-Saxon sceattas, probably of later date, are also found in the Rhineland.42 It is, however, to be expected that the direction of the flow of currency would be northward in this region. Frisia must be considered one of the more primitive areas in the West in Merovingian times, and it would therefore import rather than export currency. Boeles has presented an admirable case throughout his book on Frisia for the view that the Frisians were not at this time the great trading people and entrepreneurs of the North Sea littoral. That honor he would bestow upon the Anglo-Saxons.43

It is important to remember that during the period covered by this study Frisia enjoyed independence, and that the expansion of the Frankish realm to include all of Frisia was not accomplished until Charlemagne's Saxon campaigns. Probably as early as 600 A.D., Maastricht on the Meuse became a Frankish town and the seat of a Merovingian bishop as well as a site for a Frankish mint. By the middle of the seventh century Dorestad was also the site of a Frankish mint, but in the early years of the last quarter of the seventh century the Frisians successfully expanded their realm to include both Utrecht and Dorestad. In 687, however, Pepin defeated the Frisian ruler Redbad and siezed Dorestad again, and between 691 and 695 A.D. Utrecht and the mouth of the Rhine were conquered by the Merovingians. There was a short rebirth of Frisian power after the death of Pepin, and Redbad reached Cologne with a Frisian fleet and defeated Charles Martel, but after the passing of Redbad the Franks returned to the offensive and again possessed themselves of the mouth of the Rhine.44

The expansion of Frankish power during the seventh century was, of course, accompanied by the establishment of Frankish mints. That at Maastricht began to issue gold coinage about the year 600 and continued to do so until about the last quarter of the seventh century. A mint was established at Dorestad about the middle of the seventh century by the Maastricht mint-master Rimoaldus. It was a short lived mint, however, because of the conquests of Redbad, and it was only after 689 A.D. that it could be reestablished once again by drawing upon the resources of the mint at Maastricht. By 716 the town was once again in Redbad's hands and the mint-master Madelinus II had passed away. The last issues of the series struck by him at Maastricht, however, were degenerate and were done in silver. During the first quarter of the eighth century gold was withdrawn from circulation as currency in all of Frisia, and it was replaced by silver.45

Frisia was a vital link in the chain of find spots for the light weight solidi, and the finds are more closely concentrated there than anywhere else. Through the region along the right bank of the Rhine and particularly in Frisia it was a common practice to loop or pierce gold coins and to use them for ornaments. This practice is present in a significant number of instances among the light weight solidi. Perhaps this practice is in some measure connected with the fact that since the economy of the area was certainly below that established in Gaul proper, the true value of gold as a monetary metal was not as securely established. Using the coins for the manufacture of ornaments involves a change in the value of the coins. The people residing in this area were not as accustomed to the use of gold as those who lived on lands that had formerly been Roman. In Frisia at least thirty-one of the coins listed by Boeles from the reign of Anastasius and later were of poor alloy, and in additon there was one of that unusual series of early bracteates. A survey of the coinage from the Austrasian graves listed by Werner shows exactly the same phenomenon. The percentages of coins of poor alloy are too high to be meaningless. The Germanic peoples who inhabited the region were apparently quite unskilled in determining which were the coins of poor gold, for many of the pieces were merely plated copper, and in one instance there was even a core of lead.46

The light weight solidi, however, are found at the furthest extremity of this trade route, in England. Of course, the commercial connections between England and the continent were quite strong during this period. A type of fibula which may be distinguished from others is found in England and Frisia as well as near Cologne and Worms. The so-called "Coptic" bronzes extend over the entire route from Italy down the Rhine. Other objects such as a clamped saucer from the lower Rhine are also found in Kent, and Anglo-Saxon type belt plates occur along the Rhine. Pottery and glassware as well as cruciform brooches serve to indicate the strength of this trade.47 The bond between the continent and Britain actually appears to have been strengthened during the period of the Anglo-Saxon invasions, and a common cultural pattern is easily seen in Frisia and England.48 The British contacts with the continent in the early Middle Ages have been covered in sufficient detail by many authors, and it is pointless to repeat such well-known material.49

Much time has been spent establishing on a sure footing the continuous existence of a subsidiary trade route from Italy over the Alps and down the Rhine Valley to Frisia and England. The character of trade along this route was influenced by the more primitive condition of the peoples on the right bank of the Rhine through whose territory this trade passed. These people used gold and engaged in monetary transactions, but the coins were also utilized as ornaments to a greater degree here than elsewhere. The inhabitants of the region retained the use of silver currency in an active sense while it was lost throughout most of the Roman world. This is shown by the finds of Ostrogothic and Byzantine silver coins. Their knowledge of gold as a currency medium was limited, and a great many pieces of poor quality, plated, or heavily alloyed, were in circulation.

Into this trade the Byzantine light weight solidi were introduced. Originally they seem to have been struck in Constantinople and sent to Italy from whence they passed over the Alps and down the Rhine. This move was part of the Byzantine design to increase the profits from the western trade. The Persian difficulties which began in the early sixth century turned the traders of Constantinople in increasing numbers westwards. As early as the reign of Anastasius a marked growth is clearly seen in the activity of the oriental traders in the West. The colonies of eastern merchants who were resident in western Europe and who preserved their identity jealously after the settlement of the German barbarians made this expansion easier in the more romanized parts of Europe. During Justinian's reign this activity increased even more sharply since it was aided and abetted by the victories of Byzantine arms. Negotiations with the Himyarites to the south of the Persian Empire and the Turkic peoples to the north during the reign of Justinian could not have compensated for the severe setback received by the eastern trade of the Byzantines as a result of the Persian wars. The importance of trade as a factor in Justinian's defensive wars against the Sassanians can be noted by simply reading Procopius’ account of the events. Under these stresses the imperial government sought to cultivate trade in the West through all of the available channels. Procopius who served in Italy on the staff of Belisarius must have been aware of what was transpiring there even after he left as a direct result of his connections with the military men. Therefore it is in his writings that the striking of light weight solidi is mentioned.

It was probably in 547/8 that Justinian introduced these coins for use along this specific trade route. Perhaps the coins were shipped into northern Italy directly from the mint; certainly they were not used throughout the Empire. A purely local situation was answered by the striking of this series of coins. It may be, however, that an attempt was made to introduce their use into Antioch, an emporium of western trade, during the reign of Justinian, and that John Malalas has recorded the convulsions of the populace which greeted the proposal. If that is so, and it is purely hypothetical, the attempt was not successful, and Justinian quickly reversed himself. It may well be that the few light weight solidi marked OB*+*, OB+*, and OBimage issued by Justinian represent a part of that move to introduce this currency into the western trade at Antioch because these marks are clearly associated very strongly with Antioch in the late sixth century.

Failure to introduce light weight coinage into the main body of western trade that originated in Antioch in the reign of Justinian, if the attempt to do so was made, was not permanent. During the reign of Justin II, Antioch and its environs included at least one source of these light weight solidi. The Hama hoard shows conclusively that in the reign of Justin II the mint of Antioch issued light weight solidi. These new light weight solidi were apparently used in the extensive trade with the cities of southern France, and some of them found their way into the Balkan peninsula. That they are found in the Balkans is not in the least surprising, if the original purpose of their manufacture was trade with essentially underdeveloped peoples in the West. It is certainly not wise to place too much weight upon three individual coins found in the Balkans, but it would be equally foolish to maintain that their existence there was inexplicable in terms of the proposed thesis of this monograph. Aside from the mere fact that coins are extremely mobile and are constantly being transported from one locale to another, it must be noted that the numismatic evidence is quite conclusively in favor of a great expansion of trade between the Byzantines and the more primitive Balkan peoples during the sixth and seventh centuries.50 The Slavic tribes and their Avar allies who were engaged in raiding the Balkan provinces of the Empire were in an even lower stage of development than the Germanic tribes of southern and western Germany. Trade in the Balkans was certainly not as significant as trade in western Europe, but the expansion of that Balkan trade was greatest during the period when light weight solidi were being issued. It is conceivable that a few of the light weight solidi were introduced into the Balkans for that trade, but this is by no means a necessary conclusion.

On the other hand the evidence that light weight gold was introduced into the main body of western trade along the valley of the Rhone in the reign of Justin II is well attested.51 It is quite true that there have been no finds of authentic Byzantine light weight solidi made within the area of Gaul about the Rhone, but a series of so-called pseudo-imperial gold coins of western manufacture which utilized approximately the same weight standard is known.52 It is quite correct that typologically these pseudo-imperial gold coins are not imitations of contemporary Byzantine pieces, and it is also true that the trientes of the pseudo-imperial series are much more common than the solidi whereas in the authentic Byzantine series only solidi are known. There is, however, a satisfactory explanation of this phenomenon. By the mid-sixth century the triens had become the standard coin throughout the West. Nothing would be more logical for the moneyers of southern Gaul than to apply the new standard in terms of the coins in common use as well as in the series of solidi. The question of types is also susceptible of similar explanation. Justinian had abandoned the three-quarter face portraiture with the spear lying transversely on the shoulder about 539 A.D., and this type did not reappear on the regular Byzantine issues until the reign of Constantine IV Pogonatus. The three-quarter face bust, however, was the type utilized for the pseudo-imperial pieces. Since the type itself was quite commonly used throughout the length and breadth of the civilized world from the reign of Constantius II there can be no doubt that it was better known in the West than the new portraiture introduced by Justinian.53 Thus the inhabitants of Gaul were given a coinage with types that were not remarkably different from those to which they had become accustomed, but these new coins bore marks of value which indicated that they were clearly derived from the authentic Byzantine light weight series insofar as the weight standard was concerned. The solidi were worth twenty-one siliquae and the trientes were valued at seven siliquae. That, of course, is the most essential feature of the relationship between these new Gallic pieces and the light weight Byzantine solidi.

Other aspects of the history of the pseudo-imperial coins point to the same close relationship with the Byzantine solidi. The pseudo-imperial coins reflect the same tendency to move northwards that was so noticeable in the case of the Byzantine solidi from the region of the Rhine. The North was less highly developed than the South. A goodly number of the hundred or so specimens of the pseudo-imperial coins have been found in Britain and other northern areas. Thus some of the pseudo-imperial pieces have been recovered in the hoard from Sarre, near Reculver, in Kent and in the hoard from Nietap. They also occurred in the Sutton-Hoo ship burial and in the Wieuwerd hoard as well as in the Bilgaard and Hichtum terps in Frisia. This would seem to be another instance of the attraction of the more Germanic, and consequently less highly developed areas, for light weight gold currency.

Pseudo-imperial gold was issued regularly at Marseille, Aries, Uzès, and Viviers and intermittently at Venasque, Die, Valence, Vienne, and possibly Grap as well. All of these cities, of course, are located in the Rhone Valley, and this valley was a major artery of trade from the Mediterranean littoral into the interior. From the sea ports along the coast goods were moved up the Rhone into the heart of Gaul, and the network of other rivers throughout the country made for relatively easy communications with the other parts of the land.

It seems most likely that this pseudo-imperial currency of Gaul was first issued during the last years of the reign of Justin II. Rigold suggests that it was begun about the year 574 A.D. Five trientes are known which were struck in the name of Justin II, and since they reveal a similarity to the earliest pseudo-imperial issues in the name of Maurice, they may confidently be placed quite late in the reign. The reign of Tiberius Constantine is represented by a single solidus struck at Aries and recovered with the hoard of Wieuwerd, and a single triens which may have been struck at Uzès. Since the mints of Marseille, Aries, and Viviers were represented on the five trientes of Justin II, it can be seen that the coinage of this variety was known over half the distance between Marseille and Lyons, but it was not quantitatively very important as yet. The great period for the striking of these Gallic coins was the reign of Maurice Tiberius. Since on these pseudo-imperial pieces the Emperor's name is given as MAVRICIVS Tib or just MAVRICIVS rather than always Tib MAVRICIVS, they, as well as the authentic Byzantine light weight issues in his name, must have been struck in 583 A.D. or later. Pseudo-imperial coinage in the name of Maurice Tiberius is particularly plentiful, and it is clear than even during the reign of Phocas and the early years of the reign of Heraclius only a very few gold pieces of this series were issued in the names of these rulers. Instead the name of Maurice was revived, and two groups of coins which were issued posthumously in his name can be distinguished. By 616, however, the last traces of the independence of the cities in southern Gaul had been eradicated, and the pseudo-imperial series was replaced by one of royal origin which bore the royal effigy but emanated from the samec area.

Historically the series of pseudo-imperial coins reflects the political influence of the Byzantines in the cities of the Rhone Valley. The relationship between the various Frankish rulers such as Sigibert, Childebert, and Chilperic and the Byzantine emperors were never as close as during the years from about 584 to 594. Subsidy payments for Frankish aid against the Lombards were regularly made, and as late as 601 A.D., when the third Exarch of Ravenna, Callinicus, renewed the struggle against the Lombards, contacts with the Franks were necessary. In 606, however, a truce with the Lombards marked the final end of the effort by the Byzantine to carry offensive action against the Germanic barbarians. The decline of Byzantine influence was a concomitant of the enlargement of the realm of Chlotar II, the successor of Chilperic in Neustria, as an independent sovereign. In 613 Chlotar had seized all of Gaul as his own, and it was not long before he imposed his savage rule in the Rhone Valley as surely as elsewhere in Gaul.54 There is thus a connection in time between the decline of the efforts of the Byzantine rulers against the Lombards, the striking of the pseudo-imperial series in southern Gaul, and the rise of the realm of Chlotar II.

The success of the Frankish king in establishing his authority in southern Gaul is accurately reflected in the replacement of the imperial effigy and name by that of the king. A new weight standard had been introduced in the south, and gradually, but surely, it spread northward. Typologically, as well as in the matter of weight, the pseudo-imperial coins were the prototypes of most of the later Merovingian pieces. The "anonymous" local coinages which are so plentiful were largely produced in imitation of the light weight pseudo-imperial currency.

It can be said without fear of dispute that the Roman experiment with the use of light weight gold currency was a complete success in the field of external trade. The secondary trade artery along which most of these coins are found remained somewhat backward as compared with the more romanized sections of Europe for a considerable period of time as shown by its attraction of the pseudo-imperial pieces. This, however, is only a subsidiary aspect. Gold coinage of lighter weight made it possible to use less of the precious metal which the Byzantines treasured so closely to carry on their western trade. The tendency in western Europe in the early mediaeval period was consistently towards lighter and smaller gold coins as shown by the adoption of the triens as the common gold piece rather than the much more precious solidus. Economic decline gave gold coins a much greater purchasing power, and as a result the lighter coins could perform the economic functions which had required solidi of full weight during earlier periods. Even after the peoples of the West were fully cognizant of the change which the Byzantines had introduced into the gold coinage used in external trade these advantages still remained. It must not be forgotten that the lighter weight gold standard was quickly adopted by the cities of the southern Gallic region, and from there it spread throughout the Frankish realm and the rest of the European successor states. As long as the Byzantines had an active interest in the western trade the adoption of this lighter standard made it possible for them to use a smaller amount of gold for their transactions, and at the same time it brought the gold coinage which they were using in this trade into direct alignment with the prevailing trend of monetary policy among the peoples of the West including the Franks, Suevi and Visigoths, who adopted the lighter standard.

But the very success of this Roman innovation created a gap between the currency of Gaul, which rapidly influenced the coinage of the remaining peoples of western Europe, and that of the Byzantine Empire in its entirety. Even in Italy, the Pragmatic Sanction issued by Justinian had created a common currency acceptable for the entire realm and therefore different in standard from the more recent Merovingian pieces. Recently conquered provinces were rapidly integrated into the economic life of the Byzantine Empire, and the commercial activities of the merchants engaged in purely internal trade were geared to the use of a solidus of twenty-four carats. There is literary proof that the light Frankish gold was not permitted to circulate within the Byzantine Empire. St. Gregory, in a letter to Dynamius, the Patrician of the Gauls, mentions a sum of four hundred Gallicanos solidos which are obviously different from the imperial variety.65 St. Gregory was merely recognizing the distinction between imperial and Gallic solidi in the last decade of the sixth century. In a second letter written about two years later the same Pope speaks of the “solidi Galliarum, qui in terra nostra expendi non possunt, apud locum proprium utiliter expendantur."56 This can only refer to the pseudo-imperial coinage issued in the Rhone Valley. Since this coinage was on approximately the same weight standard as the authentic Byzantine light weight gold currency, it is obvious from the literary evidence as well as from the list of sites where light weight solidi have been found that they were not intended for general use within the Empire. Gold, on the other hand, would never have been used for a currency which might be limited to a particular market place such as Antioch. Only foreign trade with western Europe, a trade in which Antioch played such an important part, provides the explanation for the nature and the locations of the finds of this light weight coinage and its imitations.

The coinage of pseudo-imperial gold in southern Gaul ceased during the reign of Heraclius, and the influence of the imperial government in Gaul declined sharply at the same time. It was at precisely the same instant that the pressure of the Persians reached the zenith. Coinage of light weight solidi at Antioch had come to an end before the reign of Phocas. During the reign of Heraclius, Antioch was actually seized for a short time by the Persians. Antioch, Damascus, Jerusalem, and even Egypt were temporarily held by the Persians. Coevally the Avars launched an attack against the city of Constantinople, and Heraclius pondered the wisdom of flight to Africa. Fortunately the Avar attacks were a purely temporary phenomenon, and the trade in the Balkans was not seriously hampered. The hoards and finds from the Balkans show that the Byzantine emphasis on trade there continued through the reign of Constantine IV Pogonatus. Trade with the East, however, must have been seriously affected by the Persian wars which punctuated the reigns of Phocas and Heraclius during the first quarter of the seventh century. The Byzantine victory at the Battle of Nineveh which was followed by the death of Chosroes and a series of dynastic convulsions within Persia exhausted the Persians and made it possible for the Byzantines to conclude a very favorable peace.

During the reigns of Phocas and Heraclius, as the Frankish realm was expanding under Chlotar II and Byzantine influence waned in Gaul, the number of light weight solidi issued by the Byzantine government appears to have increased. The subsidiary trade route along the Rhine was probably used to a greater degree than in the reigns just preceding that of Phocas. Certainly the majority of the Byzantine coins found in the sites along this route were struck in the reign of Heraclius. Thus it seems obvious that while Byzantine influence in southern Gaul was paramount there was no need to exert great efforts along this subsidiary route, but when the Frankish kings had complete control and the Persian difficulties were pressing, the imperial government attempted to extend its activities along the Rhine.

It is possible that the same forces which necessitated the increased activity of the Byzantines in the West along a subsidiary trade route also created the need for an expansion of trade in southern Russia. Russian museums contain a startling number of light weight solidi. Gold coins, however, are marked by extreme mobility in the hands of collectors, and it is unsafe to make any deductions on the basis of specimens in museums. Certainly the reigns of Constans II and Constantine IV Pogonatus witnessed the use of these coins in the Ukraine as shown by the hoards. The movements of the Bulgars were probably the factor that made for an end of Byzantine efforts at the use of light weight solidi in southern Russia. A new power in the form of the Khazar state was being erected in southern Russia, and the Byzantines dealt with the Khazars on different terms.

Whatever the basic causes, the Islamic conquests, the decline of stability in Gaul and the later growth of the power of the Mayors of the Palace, the Bulgar pressure in the Balkans, and a succession of Byzantine emperors of limited ability about the end of the seventh and the beginning of the eighth century, there can be no doubt that the concerted effort at building up the trade of Byzantium with the West was over by the reign of Constantine IV Pogonatus. It was indeed declining sharply as early as the reign of Heraclius. Of course it did not cease abruptly and completely, and some articles which were necessary for maintaining the prestige of the chancelleries of the western monarchs or the church continued to be imported, but the fact that Byzantine hoards and coins no longer occur with any frequency cannot be denied. Byzantine policy, as has been recognized by all Byzantine historians, was different in the eighth and ninth century from that of the period from Justinian through Constantine IV Pogonatus.

The Pirenne thesis has been commented upon by a host of historians and mediaevalists of such stature as Lopez, Dennet, Baynes and many others, who have modified it in many respects. Many authors, of course, have gone so far as to reject that thesis completely. The subject of this monograph, however, is much less extensive than the external trade of Gaul during the Middle Ages. Most of the products in question in any discussion of the Pirenne thesis were controlled by the Islamic successors of Byzantium in the near East after the reign of Heraclius. Discussion of many other factors than the finds of Byzantine coins in the West must enter into a complete analysis of the Pirenne thesis. The hypothesis propounded in connection with the light weight solidi, it is true, is of some importance with regard to that thesis, but it is in no sense a broad commentary. Carolingian economic conditions are not pertinent to a discussion of the solution of the problem of the light weight solidi, but a complete agreement on the nature of the Carolingian world is vital to any discussion of Pirenne's views. It is precisely in that connection that Pirenne and Dopsch are most clearly in disagreement. The numismatic and archaeological evidence presented here adds a new feature to any discussion, however, by showing that for a period of time which coincides with the growth of the Persian menace in the sixth and seventh centuries the Byzantines assiduously attempted to build up their external trade with peoples at a lower stage of development. That effort ended with the reign of Constantine IV Pogonatus, and the nature of international trade necessarily changed.

End Notes

1
Ioannis Malalas, Chronographia, XVIII, O, 231 C. (ed. Bonn, p. 486): Μμνί μαρτίω ίνδικτιῶνος ά έγένετο διαστροφή τοῦ κέρματος· Καί έκ τῶν πτωχῶν στάσεως γενομένης καί θορύβου άνηνέχθη τῷ άυτῷ βασΐλεϊ· Καί έκέλευσε τήν κατάστασιν τοῦ κέρματος κρατήσαι κατά τό άρχαϊον ἔθος.
2
In Nov. Valent., XVI (ed. Mommsen and Meyer, Codex Theodosianus, II, p. 101) of 445 A.D., it is stated that money-changers may buy the solidus for 7,000 nummi and may sell it for 7,200 nummi. The law codes specifically require that all obryza solidi be exchanged at the same price. C. Just., XI, 11, 3, and C. Th., IX, 22, 1, are only two of the many examples of this. A change in the demand for the exchange of gold into other currency might make it necessary to alter the margin of profit of the money-changers. One of the letters of Symmachus of 384/5 A.D. tells us of just such a change. "Vendendis solidis, quos plerumque publicus usus exposcit, collectariorum corpus obnoxium est, quibus arca vinaria statutum pretium subministrat. Huic hominum generi taxationis exiguae nutanti divus frater numinis vestri tantum pro singulis solidis statuit conferendem, quantum sequitas illius temporis postulabat, ddd. imppp. sed paulatim auri enormitate crescente vis remedii divalis infracta est, et cum in foro venalium rerum maiore summa solidus censeatur, nummulariis pretia minora penduntur. Petunt igitur de aeternitate vestra pro ratione praesenti iusta definitionis augmenta, qui iam tanto oneri sustinendo pares esse non possunt. Haec est causa quaerimoniae, quam divinis sensibus vestris fides gestorum plenius intimabit; si petitionis genus probabile iudicatis, quaeso ut huic quoque parti praecepto mansuetudinis vestrae salubre remedium deferatur." M.G.H., A.A., VI, pp. 303–4. On the identification of the nummularii and collectarii see von Premerstein in ed. Pauly-Wissowa, Real-Encyclop¿die der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, IV, pt. I, cols. 376–7, s.v. collectarii. Cf. Theodor Mommsen, Histoire de la monnaie romaine, trans. Duc de Blacas (Paris, 1873), III, p. 173. Also see Cassiodorus, Variarum, I, 10 (M.G.H., A.A., XII, p. 19) dated 507/511 A.D., in which Cassiodorus speaks of the solidus which the ancients valued at 6,000 denarii, so that like the sun it might represent the age of the world. Even though it is clear that this was not the value of the solidus in the sixth century, it does indicate that Cassiodorus understood that the ratio of the solidus to the denarius could be fixed by law and maintained at a given level.
3
Many earlier writers have assumed a variety of parallel standards to have been used by the Byzantine government. See Harold Mattingly, "The Monetary Systems of the Roman Empire from Diocletian to Theodosius I," Numismatic Chronicle, Series 6, VI (1946), p. III, and A. Segrè, “Some Traits of Monetary Inflation in Antiquity and the Middle Ages," Seminar, I (1943), pp. 22–23. Heichelheim has assumed a system of parallel standards in all of his works.
4
Procopius, Anecdota, XXV, 11-12. Άλλά ταῦτα μέν τῇδε κατά τήν πολιτείαν έφέρετο, ά δέ καί ές τά κέρματα τοΐς βασιλεϋσιν έίργασται όύ μοι παριτέον οΐόμαι εΐναι. των γàρ άργυραμοΐβών πρότερον δέκα καί διακοσίους όβολούς, ούς φόλλεις καλοϋσιν, νπέρ ένός στατήρος χρυσοϋ προίεσθαι τοϊς ξυμβάλλονσιν εΐωθότων, άυτοί έπιτεχνώμενοι κέρδη οΐκεΐα ογδοήκοντα καΐ έκατόν μόνους ύπέρ τού στατήροç δίδοσθαι τούς oßoAous διετάξαντο ταύτη δέ νομίσματος έκάστου χρυσοΰ έβδόμην άπέτεμον μοϊραν .... πάντων άνθρώπων. The translation is that given by H. B. Dewing in the Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1925), VI, pp. 295-297.
5
Procopius, Anecdota, XXII, 38. Оί δέ τά χρήματα περιηρημένοι έν πένθει μεγάλῳ περιεκάθηντο έπεΐ καΐ τό χρυσουν νόμισμα ούχ ήπερ εΐώθεΐ έκφέρεΐν ήξίου άλλ’ Ελλασσον αύτο καταστησάμενος, πραγμα ούδεπώποτε γεγονος πρότερον. The translation is that given by H. B. Dewing in the Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1925), VI, p. 267.
6
Procopius, Anecdota, XVIII, 33; XXIII, 1; XXIV, 29; 33.
7
A. E. R. Boak, "Irrigation and Population in the Fayûm, The Garden of Egypt," The Geographical Review, XVI (1926), pp. 353–364.
8
A. C. Johnson and L. C. West, Byzantine Egypt: Economic Studies (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949), p. 3.
9
M. Rostovtzeff, The Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1926), pp. 1580.
10
P. Lambrechts, "Le Commerce des ((Syriens)) en Gaule du Haut-Empire à l’époque mérovingienne," L’Antiquité classique, VI (1937), pp. 35–61, probably goes too far in maintaining that prior to the Germanic invasions the Gauls themselves carried on the trade in the western Mediterranean, but that in Merovingian times the orientals came into Gaul in numbers and replaced the western merchants who had been ruined by the economic difficulties of the third and fourth centuries as well as by the Germanic invaders. Cf. V. Pârvan, Die Nationalität der Kaufleute im römischen Kaiserreiche (Diss.: Breslau, 1909). G. I. Brâtianu, "Une nouvelle histoire de ľEurope au moyen âge: La fin du monde antique et le triomphe de l’orient," Revue belge de philologie et d’histoire, XVIII (1939), pp. 252–266, maintains that the troubles of the third century caused a decline in the population particularly in the West and a consequent shift in the equilibrium of the Empire eastwards even more marked than before. The conquests of Islam, in his view, completed the process of the shift of the center of economic importance eastwards, while the antisemitism of the Byzantines resulted in a westward migration of the Jewish merchants which made possible the Carolingian economic stabilization at a lower peak than during the period of the Roman Empire.
11
Paul Scheffer-Boichorst, "Kleinere Forschungen zur Geschichte des Mittel alters IV. Zur Geschichte der Syrer im Abendlande," Mitteilungen des Instituts für österreichische Geschichtsforschung, IV (1885), pp. 520–550; Louis Bréhier, "Les Colonies d’Orientaux en Occident au commencement du moyen-âge," Byzantinische Zeitschrift, XII (1903), pp. 1–39. Bréhier points out the increasing importance of the oriental communities of the West during the period of the Empire, and it is his contention that the Byzantine conquests in the West merely accentuated the growing importance of the orientals. Before the period of the Germanic invasions the orientals tended to assimilate into the commu nities within which they lived, but after that period they were continually noted as a separate entity. Also see C. Piton, Les Lombards en France et à Paris (Paris, 1892), pp. 4–6.
12
Bréhier, loc. cit. Also see O. M. Dalton, Byzantine Art and Archaeology (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1911), pp. 87-88 and Henri Pirenne, Mohammed and Charlemagne, trans. Bernard Miall (New York City: W. W. Norton & Company, 1939), pp. 129-139.
13
Cf. Marc Bloch, "Le Problème de l’or au moyen-âge," Annales d’histoire économique et sociale, V (1933), pp. 18-24. Also see G. I. Brâtianu, "La Distribution de l’or et les raisons économiques de la division de l’Empire Romain," Etudes byzantines d’histoire économique et sociale (Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1938), p. 75.
14
Henri Pirenne, Mohammed and Charlemagne, p. 119; O. M. Dalton, Byzantine Art and Archaeology, pp. 87–88.
15
Henri Pirenne, Mohammed and Charlemagne, pp. 28–29.
16
Archibald R. Lewis, Naval Power and Trade in the Mediterranean A.D. 500–1100 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1951), pp. 18-20. Cf. Norman H. Baynes, "The Decline of Roman Power in Western Europe. Some Modern Explanations," Journal of Roman Studies, XXXIII (1943), pp. 29–35, and a review of books by Ferdinand Lot, Henri Pirenne and M. Rostovtzeff in Journal of Roman Studies, XIX (1929), pp. 224-235. Baynes contends quite wrongly that the Vandal fleet broke the unity of the Mediterranean world.
17
B. Nerman, Die Völkerwanderungszeit Gotlands (Stockholm, 1936), p. 59, and O. Janse, Le Travail de Vor en Suède â l’époque mérovingienne (Orleans, 1922), pp. 14 ff. give lists of finds of solidi from Scandinavia. Dirk Jellema, "Frisian Trade in the Dark Ages," Speculum, XXX (1955), pp. 20-22, gives a good short account of the problem and a summary of the literature concerning it.
18
Adrien Blanchet, Les Trésors de monnaies romaines et les invasions germani ques en Gaul (Paris, 1900), has shown this most conclusively.
19
Sture Bolin, Fynden av romer ska mynt i det fria Germanien. Studier i romersk och äldre germansk historia (Lund, 1926), pp. 203-207. Alfons Dopsch, Wirt schaftliche und soziale Grundlagen der europäischen Kulturentwicklung aus der Zeit von Caesar bis auf Karl den Grossen (2nd ed.: Vienna, 1920-23), I, pp. 142–144, speaks of a distinct gap in the series of coins found in excavations near Roman forts after the middle of the third century. With the reign of Constantine, however, the series begins again. He uses this evidence to support the view that in the frontier lands there was a continuation of Roman settlement even during the period of the Völkerwanderung. Cf. Ibid., pp. 296–297, where numismatic evidence of the same type is used to establish a greater age for seme of the noble estates in Old Saxony.
20
Sture Bolin, Fynden av romerska mynt i det fria Germanien, pp. 286–298, traces this. Arnold Luschin von Ebengreuth, "Der Denar der Lex Salica," Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, Phil.-hist. Klasse, CLXIII (1910), Abh. 4, pp. 8–9, pointed out that gold flowed from the Roman Empire into Free Germany in considerable quantities during the third and fourth centuries.
21
J. J. Chiflet, Anastasis Childerici I Francorum regis, sive Thesaurus sepulchralis Tornaci Nerviorum effosus et commentario illustratus (Anvers, 1655), p. 252, claims that the tomb of Childeric, the father of Clovis, contained ninety solidi at the time of its discovery in 1653. Only three of these were supposedly of the Western Empire, and four-sixths of the total could be dated with certainty after 457 A.D. C. F. Keary, The Coinages of Western Europe from the Fall of the Western Empire under Honorius to Its Reconstruction under Charles the Great (London, 1879), p. 21, utilized this fact to point out that the Franks, even while confined to the region about the Scheldt, Oise, and Maus, were using the coinage of the Eastern Empire "whereas that of Southern Gaul, Spain and Africa copied types of Aries, Milan, Rome, and Ravenna."
22
These hoards and the pertinent literature are cited in Sawyer McA. Mosser, A Bibliography of Byzantine Coin Hoards, NNM, 67 (New York City: The American Numismatic Society, 1935).
23
P. C. J. A. Boeles, Friesland tot de elfde eeuw. Zijn vóór- en vroege gescheidnis (2nd ed.: ‘s-Gravenhage, Martinus Nijhoff, 1951), Bijlage VIII. It is interesting to note that in addition to one genuine solidus of Anastasius nine imitations of his coinage, three of which are probably from Italy, are also known to have been found in Frisia.
24
Joachim Werner, Münzdatierte austrasische Grabfunde (Berlin and Leipzig, 1935), pp. 107-133, in ed. Hans Zeiss, Germanische Denkmäler der Völker-wanderungszeit, III, issued by the Römisch-Germanische Kommission des Archäologischen Instituts des Deutschen Reiches. This predominance of coins of the sixth and early seventh centuries is further strengthened by adding those which Werner knew of only from secondary literature and which are not included in the 210 mentioned above. The total number of coins found would be about 266. Ibid., pp. 135–136. Cf. Dirk Jellema, "Frisian Trade in the Dark Ages’ Speculum, XXX (1955), p. 22.
25
Dirk Jellema, "Frisian Trade in the Dark Ages," Speculum, XXX (1955), p. 22.
26
Ibid., pp. 15-24. This very excellent article provides more than enough proof for this statement.
27
Archibald R. Lewis, Naval Power and Trade in the Mediterranean A.D. 500–1100, pp. 21 ff. This is, of course, a vital point in the Pirenne thesis.
28
Procopius, Anecdota, XXV, 8.
29
George R. Monks, "The Church of Alexandria and the City's Economic Life in the Sixth Century,’ Speculum, XXVIII (1953), pp. 349–362. The trade of this city was intimately associated with the Patriarchate of Alexandria.
30
A. Schulte, Geschichte des mittelalterlichen Handels und Verkehrs zwischen Westdeutschland und Italien mit Ausschluss von Venedig (Leipzig, 1900), I, pp. 54–55.
31
Paul Kletler, Nordwesteuropas Verkehr, Handel und Gewerbe im frühen Mittelalter (Wien, 1924), pp. 26–28, cites quite a few such journeys which were made prior to the eastward expansion of the Carolingians.
32
Joachim Werner, Münzdatierte austrasische Grabfunde, pp. 24–27, traces the history of the Alpine region during this period in some detail.
33
Ibid., pp. 27-29, and plate 36, map 1. Werner contends that the terminus ante quem for the Ostrogothic silver coins to have been transferred northwards is 563 A.D., the year in which Narses siezed the passes over the Alps. The truce between the Franks and Byzantines of 560 A.D. must have made it just as easy for the coinage of Byzantine Italy to cross the Alps. Cf. Ibid., pp. 12-13, where Werner points out that these coins of the Ostrogoths are found in the north of France, Belgium and Lotharingia as well.
34
Ibid., pp. 14, 27–29, 41–43, and plates 37 and 38. Also see Dirk Jellema, "Frisian Trade in the Dark Ages," Speculum, XXX (1955), p. 18.
35
The detailed evidence to support these conclusions is given in Joachim Werner, Münzdatierte austrasische Grabfunde, pp. 17–19.
36
Ibid. pp. 19–20.
37
Idem.
38
Ibid., pp. 20–22.
39
Alfons Dopsch, Wirtschaftliche und soziale Grundlagen der europäischen Kulturentwicklung aus der Zeit von Caesar bis auf Karl den Grossen, II, pp. 526 ff.
40
P. C. J. A. Boeles, Friesland tot de elfde eeuw, pp. 258–268, also Bijlage VIII, Nos. 96–105.
41
Ibid., Bijlage VIII, Nos. 145–186.
42
Joachim Werner, Münzdatierte austrasische Grabfunde, p. 17. Cf. P. C. J. A. Boeles, Friesland tot de elfde eeuw, pp. 359-381, and esp. pp. 374-375, for the view that the sceattas were created in the last quarter of the seventh century and are therefore evidence for this trade in the eighth century rather than the seventh.
43
P. C. J. A. Boeles, Friesland tot de elfde eeuw, pp. 359ff. Cf. Dirk Jellema, "Frisian Trade in the Dark Ages," Speculum, XXX (1955), p. 24, who seeks to divide the laurels between the Frisians and the Anglo-Saxons. Earlier writers cited by Boeles and Jellema have stressed the role of the Frisians.
44
P. C. J. A. Boeles, Friesland tot de elfde eeuw, pp. 329 ff., and Dirk Jellema, "Frisian Trade in the Dark Ages," Speculum, XXX (1955), Pp. 15-17, trace the history of Frisia briefly during this period.
45
P. C. J. A. Boeles, op. cit., pp. 287–308.
46
It is interesting to note that Clovis bribed the leudes of Ragnachar with counterfeits of gilded copper (aereum deauratum). The fraud was only dis covered sometime later, after the damage had been done. Gregory of Tours, Historia Francorum, II, 42 (M.G.H., Scriptores rerum merowingicarum, I, p. 105). In a later passage we are also told that the Saxons paid many thousand pieces of gold to King Guntram for the privilege of crossing the Rhone. Having crossed the river, the Saxons came into Auvergne in the springtime, and there they produced, instead of gold, stamped bars of bronze (regulas aer is incisas pro auro). The people who saw these bars did not doubt that they were tested and proven gold because of the fine color that had been given to the metal by some clever process. Many persons were tricked by this device and gave their good money for the bronze and were reduced to poverty. Ibid., IV, 42 (M.G.H., Scriptores rerum merowingicarum, I, p. 177). Cf. Procopius, De Aedificiis, I, 11, 4 (ed. Teubner, III, pt. II, pp. 1718f.). Procopius speaks of a bronze equestrian statue of Justinian in the Augusteum at Constantinople and says that this metal was in color softer than pure gold and in value not much less than an equivalent weight of silver. See Theodor Mommsen, Histoire de la monnaie romaine, trans. Duc. de Blacas, III, p. 47, note 1, for another interpretation of the passage from Procopius. A number of hoards also, such as that of Dortmund, which was discussed in the first chapter, indicate that the Germans were not too wise in distinguishing good gold from bad.
47
Dirk Jellema, "Frisian Trade in the Dark Ages," Speculum, XXX (1955), pp. 15-17, has gathered the evidence to indicate these trade connections.
48
P. C. J. A. Boeles, Friesland tot de elfde eeuw, pp. 207 ff.
49
C. H. V. Sutherland, Anglo-Saxon Gold Coinage in the Light of the Crondali Hoard (London: Oxford University Press, 1948), pp. 22-30, gives an account of the numismatic and archaeological evidence to substantiate the resumption of the flow of gold into Britain after the establishment of the Anglo-Saxons. Paul Kletler, Nordwesteuropas Verkehr, Handel und Gewerbe im frühen Mittel alter, pp. 15-19, cites a good deal of evidence from the literary sources indicating the close connections between England and the Continent.
50
C. Moisil, "Sur les monnaies byzantines trouvées en Romanie" Bulletin de la Section Historique, Académie Roumaine, XI (1924), pp. 207–211; D. Csallány, "Byzantine Money in Avar Finds," Acta Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, II (1952), pp. 235-255 (in Russian with a French summary); L. Huszár, "Das Münzmaterial in den Funden der Völkerwanderungszeit im mittleren Donaubecken," ‘Acta A rckaeologica A cademiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, V (1955), pp. 61–109. In this same connection the rather acute observations of Peter Charanis based upon the excavation coins found at Corinth and at Athens seem to support increased economic activity at those two cities during the period from Justinian to Constans II. Peter Charanis, "The Significance of Coins as Evidence for the History of Athens and Corinth in the Seventh and Eighth Centuries," Historia, IV (1955), pp. 163-172.
51
It should be remembered that Gregory of Tours, Historia Francorum, IV, 40 (M.G.H., Scriptores rerum merowingicarum, I, p. 173) accuses Justin II of cupidity. The mere fact that a Byzantine emperor collected taxes by a more efficient system than was current within the Frankish state would be enough to gain him such a description in the West. Still it is interesting that light weight solidi were introduced into Gaul during the reign of the very man who was so marked by Gregory of Tours. John, Bishop of Ephesus, in the reigns of Justin II and Tiberius II Constantine, also has some very unpleasant things to say about Justin II and Sophia. The distinct impression is given that Justin II was miserly and accumulated a hoard of precious metals while Tiberius II Constantine was by nature very generous. Ed. E. W. Brooks, Iohannis Ephesini Historiae Ecclesiastici Pars Tertia, bk. III, c. 2 ff., in the series Scriptores Syri (vol. 55) in the Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium (vol. 106) (Louvain: Imprimerie Orientaliste L. Durbecq, 1952), pp. 88ff. 62 The latest work on these pseudo-imperial coins from Gaul is S. E. Rigold, "An Imperial Coinage in Southern Gaul in the Sixth and Seventh Centuries," Numismatic Chronicle, Series 6, XIV (1954), pp. 93-133. See also Maurice Prou, Catalogue des monnaies françaises de la Bibliothèque Nationale. Les Monnaies mérovingiennes (Paris, 1892), pp. xxix-xxviii; and Arnold Luschin von Ebengreuth, "Der Denar der Lex Salica," Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, Phil.-hist. Klasse, CLXIII (1910), Abh. 4, pp. 22-39.
53
The reverse type of the pseudo-imperial coins is a cross surmounting a small globe. There is no true prototype for this in Byzantine coinage.
54
The connection between the historical situation and the pseudo-imperial coinage is adequately established in greater detail by S. E. Rigold, "An Imperial Coinage in Southern Gaul in the Sixth and Seventh Centuries," Numismatic Chronicle, Series 6, XIV (1954), pp. 93-133. Further discussion of incidental features regarding the pseudo-imperial coins, such as the meaning of these coins in connection with the expedition of Gondovald, is not pertinent to the main thread of the argument. The earlier view of Luschin von Ebengreuth, "Der Denar der Lex Salica," Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, Phil.-hist. Klasse, CLXIII (1910)» Abh. 4, pp. 28 and 38, was that the trientes in Gaul were first lightened to seven and one-half siliquae, and that only after 582 A.D. were they lowered still further to seven siliquae. The evidence cited to support this is very weak. Luschin von Ebengreuth, op. cit., p. 39, also held that during the reign of Chlotar II the standard was lowered to twenty siliquae per solidus, but his argument is not completely convincing. The fact that most Merovingian trientes cannot be dated as accurately as other coins increases the difficulty inherent in the subject.
55
Gregory I, Registrum, III, 33 (M.G.H., Epistolae, I, p. 191). The letter is dated by the editors as having been written in April 593.
56
Gregory I, Registrum, VI, 10 (M.G.H., Epistolae, I, p. 389). The editors date this letter as having been written in Sept. 595.

ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THE CATALOGUE

Akerman J. Y. Akermann, A Descriptive Catalogue of Rare and Unedited Roman Coins from the Earliest Period of the Roman Coinage to the Extinction of the Empire under Constantine Paleologus (London, 1834), II.
Baueri N. Bauer, "Zur byzantinischen Münzkunde des VII. Jahrhunderts," Frankfurter Münzzeitung, II, No.15 (March 1931), pp.227–229.
Belfort A. de Belfort, Description générale des monnaies mérovingiennes par ordre alphabétique des ateliers (Paris, 1894), IV.
BMC, Byz. Warwick W. Wroth, Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum (London, 1908), 2 vols.
Boeles P. C. J. A. Boeles, Friesland tot de elfde eeuw. Zijn vóór- en vroege Gescheidnis (2nd ed.:'s Gravenhage: Martinus Nijhoff, 1951), Bijlage VIII.
Brüder Egger Sale, 21 Nov. 1898 Auctions-Catalogue der von dem verstorbenen Herrn Karl Latour v. Thurmberg k. k. Hofrath und Direktor der k. k. Lotto-Direction i. P. in Wien hinterlassenen Münzen- und Medaillen-Sammlung (Wien: Brüder Egger, 1898), pt. I.
Brüder Egger Sale XL, 28 Nov. 1904 Auctions-Catalogue der Sammlung griechischer, römischer und byzantinischer Münzen des Herrn Theodor Prowe in Moskau (Wien: Brüder Egger, 1904).
Cahn Sale 75, 30 May 1932 Adolph E. Cahn Versteigerungs-Katalog 75. Antike Münzen, griechische Münzen aus ausländischem und norddeutschem Besitz. Das fürstlich fürstenbergische Münzkabinett zu Donaueschingen. Die Münzen der römischen Kaiserzeit aus der Sammlung des Justizrats Dr. E. J. Haeberlin (Frankfurt a. M., 1932).
Canessa Sale, 28 June 1923 Collezione del fu Comm. Enrico Caruso. Monete e Medaglie in Oro, Greche, Romane, Bizantine, Medioevale e Moderne, Italiane estere Medaglie Papali, Italiane e Estere (Paris, Naples, New York: C. & E. Cannessa, 1923).
Coin Galleries Sale, 17 Aug. 1956 Coin Galleries Mail Bid Sale. United States, Foreign, Ancient Coins. Numismatic Library. Closing Date August 17, 1956.
Glendining Sale, 8 Dec. 1922 Catalogue of a Very Valuable Collection of Byzantine Coins Formed in the XVIIth Century – The Property of a Foreign Prince.
Goodacre Hugh Goodacre, A Handbook of the Coinage of the Byzantine Empire (London: Spink and Sons, Ltd., 1928).
L. & L. Hamburger Sale, 24 Oct. 1898 Catalogue der antiken Münzen, der Münzen von Baden, Braunschweig, Hanau, Lippe, Nassau, Sachsen, Schwarzburg, Württemberg, Italien, Spanien etc. aus dem Selten-heitscabinet eines berühmten Sammlers (Frankfurt a. M.: Buchdruckerei Louis Golde, 1898).
Hess Sale, 24 May 1886 Sammlung Theodor Rohde: Römische Münzen, byzantinische Münzen, Ostgothen, Westgothen, Vandalen, Venetianer, Ungarn, Siebenbürger und Aurelian Doubletten Sammlung (Frankfurt a. M. : Adolph Hess, 1886).
Hess Sale, 30 April 1917 Sammlung des Herrn Johann Horsky k. k. Baurat, Ritter P. P. in Wien. Antike Münzen, Griechen – Römer – Byzantiner. Numismatische Bibliothek (Frankfurt a. M., 1917).
Hess Sale 194, 25 March 1929 Sammlung Vogel, Griechen, Römer, Byzantiner, Brakteaten, Medaillen (Frankfurt a. M., 1929).
Hess Sale, 24 Nov. 1937 Sammlungvon Goldmünzen (Lucerne, 1937).
Hirsch Sale XVIII, 27 May 1907 Auctions-Catalog der bedeutenden Sammlung römischer und byzantinischer Münzen des Herrn Dr. Friedrich Imhoof-Blumer in Winterthur sowie einer ausgewählten Sammlung griechischer Münzen aus dem Besitze eines auswärtigen Diplomaten u. A, (Munich, 1907).
Hirsch Sale XXIV, 10 May 1909 Sammlung Consul Eduard Friedrich Weber † Hamburg. Zweite Abteilung: Römische und byzantinische Münzen. Nachtrag griechische Münzen. Münzgewichte. Numismatische Bibliothek (Munich, 1909).
Hirsch Sale XXXI, 6 May 1912 Griechische, römische und byzantinische Münzen aus dem Besitze von Commerzienrat H. G. Gutekunst in Stuttgart, Albert Niess in Braunschweig, T. W. Barron, Yew Tree Hall, Forest Gate (Essex), und aus hohem englischen Adelsbesitz (Munich and Paris, 1912).
Kunz Sale II (1885) Secondo Catalogo de oggetti di Numismatica vendibili presso Carlo Kunz. Monete Bizantine, monete de principi occidentali in Oriente ec. (Venezia, 1885).
Luschin von Ebengreuth Dr. Arnold Luschin von Ebengreuth, "Der Denar der Lex Salica," Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, Phil.-hist. Klasse, CLXIII (1910), Abh. 4.
Mionnet T. E. Mionnet, De la rareté et du prix des médailles romaines ou recueil contenant les types rares et inédites des médailles d’or, d’argent et de bronze frappées pendant la durée de la république et de Vempire romaine (2nd ed.: Paris, 1827), II.
Monnaies et Médailles Sale XI, 23/24 Jan. 1953 Monnaies et Médailles, S. A., Bâle, Vente Publique XI, 23/24 Jan. 1953.
Monnaies et Médailles Sale XIII, 17-19 June 1954 Monnaies et Médailles, S. A., Bâle, Vente aux Enchères XIII, 17–19 June 1954.
Monneret De Villard Ugo Monneret De Villard, "Sui Diversi valori del Soldo Bizantino," Rivista Italiana di Numismatica, XXXVI (1923), pp• 33-40.
Münsterberg R. Münsterberg, "Spätrömische Inedita," Mitteilungen der Numismatischen Gesellschaft in Wien, XV (1923), pp. 227-229.
Naville Sale III, 16 June 1922 Monnaies d’or romaines et byzantines, collection de Sir Arthur J. Evans (Genèvre: Agence des Journaux, 1922).
Ratto Sale, 9 Dec. 1930 R. Ratto, Monnaies byzantines et d’autres pays contemporaines à l’époque byzantine (Lugano, 1930).
Ratto Sale, 1-2 Dec. 1932 Collection E. H. Schwing, D. C, F. A. C., Séries important d’aes graves, Monnaies consulaires, Monnaies romaines.
Ratto Sale, 26-29 Jan. 1955 Collezione del Prof. Dott. Giorgio Giorgi. Monete Romane. Aes Grave – Repubblica – Impero. Monete Bizantina D’Oro. In Vendita All’ Asta Pubblica I Giorni 26–27–28– 29 Gennaio 1955 (Milan: Mario Ratto, 1955).
Rollin et Feuardent Sale, 24-30 Aprii 1887 Collection de M. le Vicomte de Ponton d’Amécourt, Monnaies d’or romaines et byzantines (Paris: Rollin et Feuardent, 1887).
Sabatier J. Sabatier, Description générale des monnaies byzantines frappées sous les empereurs d’orient depuis Arcadius jusqu’ à la prise de Constantinople par Mahomet II (Paris and London, 1862), 2 vols.
Stack's Sale, 20-22 Jan. 1938 Auction Sale Catalogue of the Rheinhold Faelten Collection of Ancient Coins to be Sold January 20, 21, 22, 1938 (New York City, 1938).
Stack's Sale, 28 June 1948 The Charles Raphael Collection of South American and Foreign Silver and Gold Coins to be Sold at Public Auction Sale Saturday, June 28, 1952.
Stefan Friedrich Stefan, "Der Münzfund von Maglern-Thörl (vergraben um 570/71 bis 584/85) und die Frage der reduzierten Solidi," Numismatische Zeitschrift, LXX (1937), pp. 43–63.
Tolstoi Comte Jean Tolstoi, Monnaies byzantines (St. Petersburg, 1913-14), 8 fasc.
Werner Joachim Werner, Münzdatierte austrasische Grabfunde (Berlin and Leipzig, 1935), in ed. Hans Zeiss, Germanische Denkmäler der Völkerwanderungszeit, III, issued by the Römisch-Germanische Kommission des Archäologischen Instituts des Deutschen Reiches.

Justinian

1. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVI

Bust of Justinian, helmeted (with plume) and cuirassed, facing front. An orb surmounted by a cross in the right hand; a shield bearing the horseman device in the left hand.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCɵ

Victory standing facing front wearing chiton and peplos. A globe in the left hand; a long cross in the right hand. A star in the field below the left hand.

In the exergue OB*+*

Weight: 4.11 grammes ↑↓

Hermitage1

2. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.690 grammes

Stefan 132

3. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.68 grammes ↑↘

Hermitage3

4. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.79 grammes ↑↓

Hermitage4

5. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.72 grammes ↑↓

Ratto Sale, 26–29 Jan. 1955, 12085

6. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.70 grammes ↑↙

Coll. Leuthold6

7. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VIC[TORI] AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.66 grammes ↑↓

Coll. Leuthold7

8. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.7184 grammes

Coll. Grierson8

9. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.72 grammes

Cahn (1951)9

10. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.74 grammes ↑↓

Hermitage

II. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.71 grammes ↑↙

Hermitage10

12. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVI

Bust of Justinian, helmeted (with plume) and cuirassed, facing front. An orb surmounted by a cross in the right hand; shield bearing the horseman device in the left hand.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Victory standing facing front wearing chiton and peplos. A globe in the left hand; a long cross potent in the right hand. A star in the field below the left hand.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.74 grammes ↑↓

Hermitage

13. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 2.20 grammes

Bibliothèque Nationale11

14. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.72 grammes ↑↓

Hermitage

15. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.70 grammes ↑↙

Hermitage

16. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI [AAVC]CCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.71 grammes ↑↓

Hermitage

17. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.71 grammes ↑↙

Hermitage12

18. Obv. DNIVSTINI VNVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.72 grammes

Ratto Sale, 9 Dec. 1930, 45013

19. Obv. Inscription probably similar to the preceding coin.

Similar to the preceding coin but not fully described or illustrated.

Rev. Inscription probably similar to the preceding coin.

Similar to the preceding coin but not fully described or illustrated.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: not given

Brüder Egger Sale XL, 28 Nov. 1904, 2910

20. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVI

Bust of Justinian, helmeted (with plume) and cuirassed, facing front. An orb surmounted by a cross in the right hand; shield bearing the horseman device in the left hand.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Victory standing facing front wearing chiton and peplos. A globe in the left hand; a long cross ending in the letter P (the Christogram) in the right hand. A star in the field below the left hand. In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.73 grammes

British Museum14

21. Obv. ǝNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.71 grammes

Monnaies et Médailles Sale XI, 23/24 Jan. 1953, 22115

22. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue ODXX

Weight: 3.5843

Coll. Grierson16

23. Obv. D[NIVS]TINI ANVSPPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.75 grammes

Cahn (1951)17

24. Obv. Inscription not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. Inscription not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.64 grammes

Hirsch Sale XXIV, 10 May 1909, 3016

25. Obv. Inscription not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. Inscription not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.68 grammes

Hirsch Sale XXXI, 6 May 1912, 2099

26. Obv. Inscription not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Description not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. Inscription not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Description not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.68 grammes

Luschin von Ebengreuth, p. 3618

27. Obv. Inscription not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. Inscription not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: not given

L. & L. Hamburger Sale, 24 Oct. 1898, 91

28. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVC

Bust of Justinian, helmeted (with plume) and cuirassed, facing front. An orb surmounted by a cross in the right hand; shield bearing the horseman device in the left hand.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Victory standing facing front wearing chiton and peplos. A globe in the left hand; a long cross in the right hand. A star in the field below the left hand.

In the exergue OB image

Weight: 3.35 grammes ↑↓

Coll. Kapamadji

29. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue COimage

Weight: 3.73 grammes ↑↓

Hermitage19

30. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: 3.69 grammes

Dumbarton Oaks20

Barbarian Imitations of Justinian

31. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPAVC

Bust of Justinian, helmeted (with plume) and cuirassed, facing front. An orb surmounted by a cross in the right hand; a shield bearing the horseman device in the left hand.

Rev. VICTOͰI AAVCCͰ

Victory standing facing front wearing chiton and peplos. A globe surmounted by a cross in the left hand; a long cross ending in the letter P (the Christogram) in the right hand. A star in the field below the left hand.

In the exergue OBX+X

Weight: not given

Belfort 523821

32. Obv. DNIVSTINI ANVSPPϚϚϚ

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAV≺≺≺Γ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OPX∀+X

Weight: 3.98 grammes

Bibliothèque Nationale22

33. Obv. NVSTIᴎI·/ TVᴦPPᴎ

Similar to the preceding coin but of much cruder workmanship and style.

Rev. VICTOV AVT<T.

Similar to the preceding coin but of much cruder workmanship and style.

In the exergue ODXT

Weight: 3.95 grammes

Stefan 1423

Justin II

34. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Bust of Justin, helmeted (with plume) and cuirassed, facing front. In his right hand an orb surmounted by a small Victory standing facing the Emperor and holding a crown in its extended hand. The horseman device shield in the left hand of the Emperor.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Constantinople seated, head right, holding a staff in the right hand and a globe in the left hand.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.7 grammes

Tolstoi 1624

35. Ovb. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.72 grammes ↑↗

Budapest25

36. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Hermitage

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.65 grammes ↑↓

Hermitage

37. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.55 grammes ↑↓

Hermitage26

38. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.58 grammes ↑↓

Hermitage27

39. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB·XX·

Weight: 3.68 grammes

Hirsch Sale XXXI, 6 May 1912, 2121

40. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB·XX·

Weight: 3.70 grammes

Hirsch Sale XXIV, 10 May 1909, 3076

41. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB.XX.

Weight: not given

Rollin et Feuardent Sale, 24–30 April 1887, 879

42. Obv. Inscription not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Description not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. Inscription not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Description not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.47 grammes

Luschin von Ebengreuth, p. 3628

Mint of Antioch

43. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Bust of Justin, helmet ed (with plume) and cuirassed, facing front. In his right hand an orb surmounted by a small Victory standing facing the Emperor and holding a crown in its extended hand. The horseman device shield in the left hand of the Emperor.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI

Constantinople seated, head right, holding a staff in the right hand and a globe in the left hand. A small cross potent in the left field.

In the exergue OBXX:

Weight: not given ↑↓

In trade29

44. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Bust of Justin, helmeted (with plume) and cuirassed, facingfront. In his right hand an orb surmounted by a small Victory standing facing the Emperor and holding a crown in its extended hand. The horseman device shield in the left hand of the Emperor.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI·

Constantinople seated, head right, holding a staff in the right hand and a globe in the left hand.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.51 grammes ↑↘

Budapest30

45. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI·

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.62 grammes ↑↓

Hermitage

46. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI:

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.73 grammes

Vienna31

47. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI:

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: not given ↑↓

In trade

48. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCI:

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: not given

Brüder Egger Sale XL, 28 Nov. 1904, 2918

49. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCC::

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: not given ↑↙

In trade

50. Obv. ϽNI VSTI NVSPPAVC

Bust of Justin, helmeted (with plume) and cuirassed, facing front.

In his right hand an orb surmounted by a small Victory standing facing the Emperor and holding a crown in its extended hand.

The horseman device shield in the left hand of the Emperor.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCѲCS

Constantinople seated, head right, holding a staff in the right hand and a globe in the left hand.

In the exergue OB*+*

Weight: 4.21 grammes

British Museum

51. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCѲS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB*+*

Weight: 4.095 grammes

Stefan 1732

52. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCѲS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB*+*

Weight: 4.140 grammes

Stefan 1633

53. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCѲS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB*+*

Weight: 3.54 grammes ↑↙

Coll. Leuthold34

54. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCѲS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB*+*

Weight: 4.11 grammes ↑↓

Coll. Leuthold

55. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCѲS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB*+*

Weight: 4.08 grammes

Ratto Sale, 9 Dec. 1930, 76035

56. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCѲS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB*+*

Weight: 3.63 grammes ↑↓

Hermitage36

57. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICT[ORI] AAVCCCѲS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB*+*

Weight: 4.12 grammes

Vienna

58. Obv. ONI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCѲS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB*+*

Weight: not given ↑↓

In trade37

59. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCѲS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB*+*

Weight: not given ↑↘

In trade38

60. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAV[I]

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI [AA]VCCCѲS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB*+*

In trade

61. Obv. ONI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCѲS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB*+*

Weight: not given ↑↙

In trade

62. Obv. ONI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCѲS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB*+*

Weight: not given ↑↓

In trade

63. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCѲS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB*+*

Weight: not given ↑↙

In trade

64. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCѲS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB*+*

Weight: not given ↑←

In trade

65. Obv. ONI VS[TI] NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VI[CTO]RI AAVCCCѲS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB*+*

Weight: not given ↑↓

In trade

66. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCѲS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB*+*

Weight: not given

Hess Sale 194, 25 March 1929, 1016

67. Obv. Inscription not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Description not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCœS

Description not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB*+*

Weight: not given

Brüder Egger Sale, 21 Nov. 1898, 933

68. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCѲS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB*+*

Weight: 3.90 grammes

Hirsch Sale XXXI, 6 May 1912, 2120

69. Obv. Inscription not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Description not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTOR[I] AAVCCC0S

Description not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB*-f* Weight: not given Hess Sale, 24 May 1886, 655

70. Obv. ONI VSTI NVSPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCѲS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB*+*

Weight: not given

Coin Galleries Sale, 17 Aug. 1956, 900

71. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVC

Bust of Justin, helmeted (with plume) and cuirassed, facing front. In his right hand an orb surmounted by a small Victory standing facing the Emperor and holding a crown in its extended hand. The horseman device shield in the left hand of the Emperor.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCѲS

Constantinople seated, head right, holding a staff in the right hand and a globe in the left hand. In the field to the left the letter I. In the exergue OB*+*

Weight : not given

Sabatier 2

Barbarian Imitations of Justin II

72. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVC

Bust of Justin, helmeted (with plume) and cuirassed, facing front. In his right hand an orb surmounted by a small Victory standing facing the Emperor and holding a crown in its extended hand. The horseman device shield in the left hand of the Emperor.

Rev. VICTORI AAVC<<P

Constantinople seated, head right, holding a staff in the right hand and a globe surmounted by a cross in the left hand. In the exergue CXNXU

Weight: 3.99 grammes

Hermitage39

73. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCimage

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue COX+X··

Weight: 4.070 grammes

Stefan 540

74. Obv. DNI VSII NVSPPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCimage

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue COᴎX+X:·

Weight: 3.992 grammes

Stefan 1540

75. Obv. VSTI INVSPPᴧ∀

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICONΛI ΛAVCCCᴧ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue CONX+

Weight: 3.885 grammes

Werner 6142

76. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCΣ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue CONX+X͘͘

Weight: not given

Basel Münzhandlung, Fixed Price List XIII (Nov. 1938), 12343

77. Obv. DNI VSTI NVSPPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCZ:

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue CONX-x

Weight: not given

Cahn Sale 75, 30 May 1932, 1580

78. Obv. Inscription not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Description not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. Inscription not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Description not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue CX+X÷

Weight: 4.05 grammes

Castello Sforzesco44

Justin II and Tiberius II Constantine

79. Obv. DNIVSTINIϵTCONSTAN

Busts of Justin and Tiberius Constantine wearing crowns and paludamento, facing front. A small cross above the heads.

In the exergue PPAVC

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCCѲS

Victory standing facing front wearing chiton and peplos. A globe surmounted by a small cross in the left hand; a long cross ending in the letter P (the Christogram) in the right hand. In the exergue OB*+*

Weight: 3.95 grammes

British Museum45

Tiberius II Constantine Mint of Antioch

80. Obv. ƏMTIbCONS TANTPPAVI

Bust of Tiberius Constantine facing front wearing a cuirass and a crown surmounted by a cross. An orb surmounted by a cross in the right hand; shield bearing the horseman device in the left hand.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCϴS

Cross potent on four steps.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: 4.00 grammes ↑↓

Coll. Kapamadji

81. Obv. ƏMTIbCONS TANTPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCϴS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: 4.08 grammes

British Museum46

82. Obv. DMTIbCONS TANTPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCϴS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: 4.02 grammes ↑↓

Hermitage47

83. Obv. DMTIbCONS TANTPPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCϴS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: 4.09 grammes ↑↓

Hermitage48

84. Obv. DmTlbCONS TANTPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCϴS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: not given

Hess Sale, 24 May 1886, 68149

85. Obv. ƏmTlbCONS TANTPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AA‘CCϴSS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: 4.02 grammes ↑↓

Hermitage50

86. Obv. dMTlbCONS TANTPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCϴS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: 4.09 grammes

Vienna51

87. Obv. dmTlbCONS TANTPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCϴS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: 4.05 grammes ↑↓

Coll. Leuthold

Maurice Tiberius

88. Obv. DNMAVRC TlbPPAVC

Bust of Maurice Tiberius facing front, helmeted (with circular ornament in front and plume) and wearing a cuirass with paludamentum clasped by fibula on the right shoulder. An orb surmounted by a cross in the right hand.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCI

Victory standing facing front wearing chiton and peplos. A globe in the left hand; a long cross ending in the letter P (the Christogram) in the right hand.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight : 3.68 grammes ↑↙

Budapest52

89. Obv. DNMAVRC TlbPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICT[ORI] AAVCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.68 grammes ↑↘

Budapest63

90. Obv. DNMAVRC TlbPPAVC

Bust of Maurice Tiberius facing front, helmeted (with plume) and wearing a cuirass with paludamentum clasped by a fibula on the right shoulder. An orb surmounted by a cross in the right hand.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCP

Victory standing facing front wearing chiton and peplos. A globe surmounted by a cross in the left hand; a long cross ending in the letter P (the Christogram) in the right hand.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: 4.05 grammes ↑↓

Coll. Leuthold54

91. Obv. oNⅿAVRC TlbPPAVI

Bust of Maurice Tiberius facing front, helmeted (with circular ornament in front and plume) and wearing a cuirass with paludamentum clasped by fibula on the right shoulder. An orb surmounted by a cross in the right hand.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCB

Victory standing facing front wearing chiton and peplos. A globe in the left hand; a long cross ending in the letter P (the Christogram) in the right hand. In the exergue OB+*

Weight: not given

Hess Sale, 24 May 1886, 704

92. Obv. oNⅿHAVR· TlbPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCB

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: 7.30 grammes ↑↓

Bibliothèque Nationale56

93. Obv. oNMAVR· TlbPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: 4.0617 grammes

Coll. Grierson66

Mint of Antioch

94. Obv. DNmAVRC TlbPPAVI

Bust of Maurice Tiberius facing front, helmeted (with circular ornament in front and plume) and wearing a cuirass with paludamentum clasped by fibula on the right shoulder. An orb surmounted by a cross in the right hand.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCϴS

Victory standing facing front wearing chiton and peplos. A globe in the left hand; a long cross ending in the letter P (the Christogram) in the right hand.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: not given

Ratto Sale, 1–2 Dec. 1932, 741

95. Obv. ϽNMAVRC TlbPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCϴS

Similar to he preceding coin.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: 4.04 grammes

Coll. Leuthold

96. Obv. DNMAVRC TlbPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCϴS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: 3.98 grammes

Hermitage57

97. Obv. ƏNMAVRC TlbPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCϴS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: 4.065 grammes

Vienna

98. Obv. Inscription not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCϴS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: not given

Kunz Sale II (1855), 14258

99. Obv. oNMAVRIC TlbPPAVI

Bust of Maurice Tiberius facing front wearing a cuirass and a helmet surmounted by a cross. An orb surmounted by a cross in the right hand; shield bearing the horseman device in the left hand.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCϴS

Victory standing facing front wearing chiton and peplos. A globe in the left hand; a long cross ending in the letter P (the Christogram) in the right hand. In the exergue OB+*

Weight: 4.06 grammes

British Museum59

Phocas

100. Obv. oNFOCAS PϵRPAVC

Bust of Phocas with pointed beard facing front wearing a crown with a circular ornament in front and surmounted by a cross. The Emperor wears a cuirass and a paludamentum clasped by a fibula on the right shoulder. An orb surmounted by a cross in the right hand.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCA

Victory standing facing front wearing chiton and peplos.

A globe in the left hand; a long cross in the right hand.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.67 grammes ↑↙

Budapest60

101. Obv. ƏNFOCAS PϵRPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI[A] AVϚμϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight : 3.74 grammes ↑↙

Hermitage61

102. Obv. DNFOCAS PϵRPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚμϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.60 grammes ↑↓

Hermitage62

103. Obv. DNFOCAS PϵRPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCC)

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: not given

Hess Sale, 30 April 1917, 475463

104. Obv. ...FOCAS PϵRPAVC

Bust of Phocas with pointed beard facing front wearing a crown with a circular ornament in front and surmounted by a cross.

The Emperor wears a cuirass and a paludamentum clasped by a fibula on the right shoulder. An orb surmounted by a cross in the right hand.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCϵ

Victory standing facing front wearing chiton and peplos. A globe in the left hand; a long cross ending in the letter P (the Christogram) in the right hand.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: not given

Turin, Academy of Sciences64

105. Obv. ƏNFOCAS PϵRPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚμϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: 4.07 grammes

Vienna65

106. Obv. ƏNFOCAS PϵRPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚμϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.70 grammes

107. Obv. ƏNFOCAS PϵRPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚμϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.63 grammes ↑↓

Budapest67

108. Obv. ƏNFOCAS PϵRPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.73 grammes ↑↓

Hermitage68

109. Obv. ƏNFOCAS PϵRPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.62 grammes ↑↙

Budapest69

110. Obv. ƏNFOCAS PϵRPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.67 grammes ↑↙

Budapest70

111. Obv. oNFOCAS PϵRPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCμ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: 4.05 grammes

Vienna71

112. Obv. oNFOCAS PϵRPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚμϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: 4.07 grammes

British Museum72

113. Obv. oNFOCAS PϵRPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA A...1

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: not given

Goodacre, p. 90

114. Obv. Inscription not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: 4.07 grammes

Münsterberg, p. 22873

115. Obv. oNFOCAS PϵRPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AAVCCI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OB+*

Weight: 4.00 grammes

Ratto Sale, 9 Dec. 1930, 1199

Heraclius

116. Obv. dNhϵRACLI μSPPAVC

Bust of Heraclius with short beard facing front wearing a crown with a circular ornament in front and surmounted by a cross which is within a plume. The Emperor wears a cuirass and a paludamentum clasped by a fibula on the right shoulder. An orb surmounted by a cross in the right hand.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚμϵ

Cross potent on three steps.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.69 grammes

Dumbarton Oaks74

117. Obv. dNhϵRACLI μSPPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚμϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.69 grammes

Werner 7575

Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine

118. Obv. ddNNhϵRACLIμSϵTh[ϵRACONSTPPA]

Bust of Heraclius (on left) with short beard and smaller bust of youthful Heraclius Constantine (on right) facing front; each wears a crown with a circular ornament in front surmounted by a cross; each also wears the paludamentum clasped by a fibula on the right shoulder. A small cross above and between the heads.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚμϵ

Cross potent on three steps.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: 3.89 grammes

Leiden76

119. Obv. Ə018F;NNhϵRACLIμSϵThϵRACONSTPPA

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚμϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: 3.73 grammes

British Museum77

120. Obv. ddNNhϵRACLIμSϵThϵRACONSTPPA

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚμϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: 3.69 grammes

Luschin von Ebengreuth, p. 3578

121. Obv. ƏƏNNhϵRACLIμSϵThϵRACONSTPPA

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚμϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: not given

Goodacre, p. 9779

122. Obv. ddNNhϵRACLIμSϵThϵRACONSTPP

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚμϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: 3.70 grammes ↑↙

Budapest80

123. Obv. Inscription not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Description not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚμϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: not given

Hess Sale, 24 May 1886, 772

124. Obv. [ddNNhϵRACLIμSϵThϵRACONSTPPA]

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚμϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue [BO]XX

Weight: not given

Liverpool Museum81

125. Obv. [d]dNNhϵRACLIμS[ϵThϵRACO]NSTPP[A]

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VIC[TO]RIA AVϚμϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: 3.065 grammes

Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, Inv. No. 35582

126. Obv. ddNNhϵRACLIμSϵThϵRACONSTPPA

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚμϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: 3.67 grammes

Naville Sale III, 16 June 1922, 30583

127. Obv. ddNNhϵRACLI[μSϵThϵ]RACONSTPPA

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚμϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: 3.70 grammes ↑↙

Budapest84

128. Obv. ddNNhϵRACLIμSϵ[T]hϵRACONSTPPA

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚμϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.71 grammes ↑↙

Budapest85

129. Obv. ddNNhϵRACLIμSϵThϵRACONSTPPA

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚϥϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.690 grammes

coll. Grierson 86

130. Obv. ddNNhϵRACLIϥSϵThϵRACONSTPPAV

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚϥϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue OBXX

Weight: 3.66 grammes ↑↙

Budapest 87

131. Obv. ddN.........ϥSϵThϵRACONSTPPA

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚϥϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: not given

British Museum88

132. Obv. Inscription not given but probably similar to the preceding coin,

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚϥϵ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: 3.85 grammes

Szentes Museum89

133. Obv. əəNNhϵRACLIϥSϵThϵRACONSTPPA

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORI AVϚϥS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: 3.71 grammes

British Museum90

134. Obv. əəNNhϵRACLIϥSϵThϵRACONSTPPA

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚϥS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: 3.73 grammes

Berlin 91

135. Obv. əəNNhϵRACLIϥSϵThϵRACONSTPPA

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚϥS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: not given

Lacour Sale92

136. Obv. TƆIV..........ϵThϵRACONS.PPA

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICT[OR]IA AVϚϥS

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight : 3.88 grammes

Leiden 98

137. Obv. ddNNhϵRACLIϥSϵThϵRACONSTPP

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚϥZ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: 3.725 grammes ↑↓

Munich 94

138. Obv. ddNNhϵRACLIϥSϵThϵRACONSTPP

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚϥZ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: 3.73 grammes

Vienna

139. Obv. ddNNhϵRACLIϥSϵThϵRACONS[TPP]

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚϥZ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: 3.63 grammes ↑↙

Budapest 95

140. Obv. ddNNhϵRACLIϥSϵThϵRACONSTPPA

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚϥZ

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight : 3.67 grammes ↑↓

Hermitage

141. Obv. [ddNNhϵRACLIϥSϵThϵ]RACONSTPPAV

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚϥH

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue [BO]XX

Weight: 3.69 grammes ↑↓

Budapest 96

142. Obv. ddNNhϵRACLIϥSϵThϵRACONSTPPAVI

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚϥH

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight : 3.65 grammes ↑↙

Budapest

143. Obv. ƏƏNNhϵRACLIϥSϵThϵRAONSTPPAV

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚϥH

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: 3.67 grammes

Vienna

144. Obv. ƏƏNN..........ThϵRACONSTPPAV

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚϥH

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: 3.700 grammes ↑↓

Munich

145. Obv. ddNNhϵRACLIϥSϵThϵRACONSTPPAV

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVCϥI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: 3.68 grammes

Canessa Sale, 28 June 1923, 675

146. Obv. ddNNhϵRACLIϥSϵThϵRACONSTPP

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚϥI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: 3.68 grammes

Copenhagen97

147. Obv. ddNNhϵRACLIϥSϵThϵRACONSTPPAV

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚϥI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: not given

Hess Sale, 24 Nov. 1937, 229

148. Obv. ddNNhϵRACLIϥS.........PPAV

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚϥI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: 3.72 grammes ↑↓

Hermitage 98

149. Obv. ddNNhϵRACLIϥSϵThϵRACONSTPPA

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚϥI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight: 3.76 grammes ↑↙

Hermitage 99

150. Obv......ƏRACLIϥS...ϵRA.........

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚϥI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight : 3.75 grammes

The Hague 100

151. Obv. ddNNhϵRACLIϥSϵThϵRACONSTPPAVC

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev. VICTORIA AVϚϥI

Similar to the preceding coin.

In the exergue BOXX

Weight : not given

Sabatier 48101

152. Obv. Inscription not given but probably similar to the preceding coin.

Similar to the preceding coin.

Rev.