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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |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 in 498 A.D. 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

|Anastasius| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Anastasius,| |11| |April| |491| |-| |1| |July| |518| |A.D.||solidus|
After Zeno died, Empress Ariadne selected an obscure successful finance civil servant, Anastasius to be her husband and emperor. He ruled for 27 years, restructured the currency system and accumulated of 320,000 pounds of gold! His dramatic change in coinage was the beginning of a uniquely Byzantine coinage.
SH95294. Gold solidus, DOC I 7j, Tolstoi 9, Ratto 321, Morrisson BnF 1/Cp/AV/14, Hahn MIBE 7, Sommer 1.4, SBCV 5, Wroth BMC -, EF, broad flan, mint luster, double-struck, weight 4.401 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 180o, 10th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 507 - 518 A.D.; obverse D N ANASTA-SIVS P P AVC, 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 VICTORI-A AVCCC I, Victoria standing half left, head left, long staff topped with an inverted staurogram (P) in right hand, star left, CONOB in exergue; ex Savoca Numismatik auction 42 (29 Mar 2020), lot 408; SOLD


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; SOLD


|Anastasius| |I|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Anastasius,| |11| |April| |491| |-| |1| |July| |518| |A.D.||solidus|
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 MIBE 7, Sommer 1.4, SBCV 5, Morrisson BnF -, aEF, weak centers, weight 4.468 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, 5th officina, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 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; SOLD







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REFERENCES|

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