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.
Berk notes, "Thus far, no specimens noted better than Fine." Only officina E is noted for this type with the M flanked on the left and right by a star with pellet above and below.
BZ57477. Bronze follis, DOC I 23l, Hahn MIB 28b, Morrisson BN 83, SBCV 21, Ratto 348, Wroth BMC -, Tolstoi -, F, weight 19.124 g, maximum diameter 34.4 mm, die axis 225o, 5th officina, Constantinople mint, 498 - 518 A.D.; obverse D N ANASTASIVS PP AVG, diademed, draped and cuirassedbust right; reverse large M, cross above, flanked on left and right by a star with pellet above and below, E below, CON in ex; scarce; $250.00 (€192.50)
In 498, Anastasius abolished the tax known as the chrysargyron. The tax applied to all merchants, money-lenders, craftsmen, and others who received fees for their work, including prostitutes. The only exemptions were physicians, teachers, and farmers selling their own produce. Because it was collected in one lump sum only once every four years, the tax caused great hardships. Parents were sometimes forced to sell their children into slavery or prostitution to meet the levy. The city of Edessa, which was relieved of a tax of 140 pounds of gold every four years (2,520 solidi annually), celebrated with a week of festivities.
SH62360. Gold solidus, DOC I 7e, Wroth BMC 4, Tolstoi 5, Ratto 316, Hahn MIB 7, SBCV 5, aEF, weak centers, weight 4.468 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Constantinople mint, 498 - 518 A.D.; obverse D N ANASTASIVS P P AVG, helmeted and cuirassed facing bust, holding spear and shield decorated with horseman; reverseVICTORIA AVGGG Ε, Victory standing left holding cross topped with inverted P, star left, CONOB in exergue; SOLD
SH19013. Gold solidus, SBCV 3, DOC I 3c, aEF, weight 4.408 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople mint, c. 491 - 498 A.D.; obverse D N ANASTA-SIVS P P AVC, helmeted and cuirassedbust facing, spear in right over shoulder, shield on left arm decorated with a horseman; reverse VICTORI-A AVCCC Γ CONOB, Victory standing half left, head left, long jeweled cross in right, star right; SOLD