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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Late Empire| ▸ |Anastasius I||View Options:  |  |  | 

Anastasius I, 11 April 491 - 1 July 518 A.D.

After Zeno died without designating a successor, the Empress Ariadne was called upon to select a new emperor. Her choice was an obscure but successful finance civil servant, Anastasius. She made a wise choice. Anastasius ruled successfully for 27 years. His financial expertise resulted in the accumulation of 320,000 pounds of gold! He also restructured the currency system, creating the nummus unit of account and the follis of 40 nummi. Because of the dramatic changes, Anastasius' reform is often seen by numismatists as the end of Roman coinage and the beginning of Byzantine coinage. The people of the empire didn't see it that way and continued to call themselves Romans until the fall of Constantinople on 29 May 1453. Map 500 AD

Byzantine Empire, Anastasius, 11 April 491 - 1 July 518 A.D.

|Anastasius| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Anastasius,| |11| |April| |491| |-| |1| |July| |518| |A.D.||solidus|
The complex monetary system of the late Roman Empire, which suffered a partial collapse in the mid-5th century, was reformed by Anastasius in 498. The new system involved three denominations of gold, the solidus and its half and third; and five of copper, the follis, worth 40 nummi, and its fractions down to a nummus. It would seem that the new currency quickly became an important part of trade with other regions. Four solidi from his reign have been recovered as far from the Roman Empire as China. China might seem an unlikely trading partner, but the Romans and the Chinese were probably able to do business via Central Asian merchants travelling along the Silk Roads. Some Roman trading partners attempted to replicate the coins of Anastasius. The currency created by Anastasius stayed in use and circulated widely for long after his reign.
SL96955. Gold solidus, DOC I 7e, Wroth BMC 4, Tolstoi 5, Ratto 318, Sommer 1.4, Hahn MIB I 7, SBCV 5, Morrisson BnF -, NGC Ch VF, wrinkled, clipped, scratches (4284830-019), 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 507 - 518 A.D.; obverse D N ANASTASIVS P P AVG, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing slightly right, helmet with plume, trefoil ornament and diadem, pellets on cuirass, spear in right hand and behind head, shield on left arm ornamented with mounted cavalryman right attacking prostrate enemy; reverse VICTORIA AVGGG E (victory of the three emperors, 5th officina), Victoria standing half left, head left, long staff topped with an inverted staurogram (P) in right hand, star left, CONOB in exergue; NGC| Lookup; $800.00 (€736.00)
 


The Origins of The Anastasian Currency Reform

|Byzantine| |Books|, |The| |Origins| |of| |The| |Anastasian| |Currency| |Reform|
 
BL20293. Book The Origins of The Anastasian Currency Reform by D. M. Metcalf, hardcover, 105 pages, 12 plates, ex University of Chicago library; $40.00 (€36.80)
 


|Anastasius| |I|, |Anastasius,| |11| |April| |491| |-| |1| |July| |518| |A.D.||solidus|
In 492, the Isaurians begin a revolt in southern Central Anatolia. The rebels were defeated in the Battle of Cotyaeum and retreated to their mountain fortresses They continued guerrilla warfare against the Roman forces until 497.
SH90890. Gold solidus, DOC I 3e, Morrisson BnF I 1/Cp/AE/2, Ratto 310, Hahn MIB I 4, Sommer 1.2, SBCV 3, Tolstoi -, Wroth BMC -, EF, a few small marks, unusually attractive Victory, weight 4.457 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 492 - 498 A.D.; obverse D N ANASTASIVS P P AVC, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing slightly right, helmet with plume, trefoil ornament and diadem, spear in right hand and behind head, shield on left arm ornamented with mounted cavalryman right attacking prostrate enemy; reverse VICTORIA AVCCC E (victory of the three emperors, 5th officina), Victory standing slightly left, head left, long jeweled cross resting on ground in her right, star on right, CONOB in exergue; ex Harlan J. Berk, sale 165 (June 2009), lot 32; SOLD







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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

DNANASTASIVSPFAVG
DNANASTASIVSPPAVG
DNANASTASIVSPERPAV


REFERENCES|

Bellinger, A. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection, Vol. I, Anastasius I to Maurice, 491-602. (Washington D.C., 1966).
Berk, H. Eastern Roman Successors of the Sestertius. (Chicago, 1987).
Berk, H. Roman Gold Coins of the Medieval World, 383 - 1453 A.D. (Joliet, IL, 1986).
Carson, R., P. Hill & J. Kent. Late Roman Bronze Coinage. (London, 1960).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 8: Nepotian to Romulus Augustus, plus tesserae & cotorniates. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Constantin II à Zenon (337-491). Moneta 5. (Wetteren, 1996).
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins. (London, 1982).
Hahn, W. Moneta Imperii Byzantini, Volume 1: Anastasius I - Justinianus I (491 - 565). (Vienna, 1973).
Hahn, W. & M. Metlich. Money of the Insipient Byzantine Empire. (Vienna, 2000).
Hennequin, G. Catalogue des monnaies musulmanes de la Bibliotheque Nationale. (Paris, 1985).
Kent, J. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Volume X, The Divided Empire and the Fall of the Western Parts, AD 395 - 491. (London, 1994).
King, C. & D. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Volume V, Carausius to Romulus Augustus. (London, 1987).
Metlich, M. The Coinage of Ostrogothic Italy. (London, 2004).
Morrisson, C. Catalogue des Monnaies Byzantines de la Bibliothèque Nationale. (Paris, 1970).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines à l'époque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
Sabatier, J. Description générale des monnaies Byzantines. (Paris, 1863).
Sear, D. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, Vol. V: The Christian Empire...Constantine II to Zeno, AD 337 - 491. (London, 2014).
Sommer, A. Die Münzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Münzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 14).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Coins of the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Lombards and of the Empires of Thessalonica, Nicaea, and Trebizond in the British Museum. (London, 1911).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).

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