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

Ancient coins of Emperor Anastasius for sale in the Forum Ancient Coins shop

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.

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 frappes sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 8: Nepotian to Romulus Augustus, plus tesserae & cotorniates. (Paris, 1888).
Depeyrot, G. Les monnaies d'or de Constantin II 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 Bibliothque Nationale. (Paris, 1970).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines l'poque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
Sabatier, J. Description gnrale 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 Mnzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Mnzen 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).

OBVERSE LEGENDS

DNANASTASIVSPFAVG
DNANASTASIVSPPAVG
DNANASTASIVSPERPAV


DICTIONARY OF ROMAN COINS


Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.


ANASTASIUS I, A.D.491 - 518.
Emperor of the East, Anastasius was born c.A.D.430 at Dyrrhachium in Illyria, of obscure parentage. Although only a silentiary (usher) at the Imperial household, on the death of Zeno he was selected by Ariadne, the late emperor 's widow, to succeed to the Byzantine throne and, six weeks after being crowned by the patriarch, he and Ariadne were married (A.D.491).
  During his rule, Anastasius paid particular attention to the Empire 's finances, carrying out, in A.D.498, a monetary reform which saw bronze coins of a respectable size being once again issued in quantity. These coins broke with the traditions of the Roman coinage as each bore its mark of value in Greek on the reverse (e.g. M = 40 nummia, K = 20 nummia, I = 10 nummia etc). 
  His reign was unfortunately marred, due to his unorthodox religious views, by frequent riots which, in A.D.513, culminated in an armed uprising in Thrace.
 Anastasius died in his eighties, three years after Ariadne, on July 9th, A.D.518, some sources have said that he was struck by lightning.
 On his coins, which are generally common in gold and bronze, he is styled D N ANASTASIVS P P AVG. His silver coins are rare, particularly those where he is associated, on the same coin, with the name of Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths or with Baduila, another barbarian king.


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