Byzantine Coins

Constantine the Great moved the capital of the Roman Empire to the former Byzantium in Thrace and renamed it Constantinopolis, present day Istanbul, Turkey. Numismatists, for convenience, have arbitrarily categorized coins from Anastasius I and after as Byzantine coins. Numismatists use Anastasius as the beginning of Byzantine because he dramatically reformed the bronze coinage. A significant minority of numismatists pick an earlier time and ruler, often Constantine the Great, as the dividing time between the Roman and Byzantine empires, because most coins were issued from Constantinople, or since it became the seat of government. Although the citizens generally spoke Greek, they considered themselves Roman for the entire Byzantine period, making our division of the empire an entirely modern convention.

The Dictionary of Roman Coins refers to the late empire (Roman) and Byzantine periods as the "Lower Empire," which shows how Victorian numismatists viewed the empire and its coinage.

Also See:
Anonymous Folles
Anonymous Follis
Anonymous Byzantine Class A Folles
Byzantine Denominations
Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Era
Byzantine Iconography
Byzantine Imperial Dress
Byzantine Lead Seals
Byzantine Rulers
Christian Themes in Byzantine Coinage
Syracusian Folles

Byzantine Numismatic References

Primary Byzantine Coin Attribution References Used By |Forum

Anastasi, M. Monete Bizantine di Sicilia. (NP, 2009).
Bateson, J. & I. G. Campbell. Byzantine and Early Medieval Western European Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet. (Glasgow, 1998).
Bellinger, A.R. & P. Grierson, eds. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection. (Washington D.C., 1966 - 1999).
 DOC I: Bellinger, A.R. Anastasius I to Maurice, 491-602. (Washington D.C., 1966).
 DOC II: Grierson, P. Phocas to Theodosius III, 602-717. (Washington D.C., 1968).
 DOC III: Grierson, P. Leo III to Nicephorus III, 717-1081. (Washington D.C., 1973).
 DOC IV: Hendy, M. Alexius I to Michael VIII, 1081-1261. (Washington D.C., 1999).
 DOC V: Grierson, P. Michael VIII to Constantine XI, 1258-1453. (Washington D.C., 1999).
Bendall, S. "A Note on the Hyperpyra of John V and VI (1347 - 1354)" in NumCirc 112 (2004), pp. 297 - 299.
Bendall, S. A Private Collection of Palaeologan Coinage. (Wolverhampton, Privately printed by S. Bendall, 1988).
Bendall, S. & P. Donald. "Additions To 'Later Palaeologan Coinage'" in NumCirc LXXXVIII.2 (Feb. 1980).
Bendall, S. & P. Donald. Later Palaeologan Coinage, 1282-1453. (London, 1979).
Berk, H.J. Eastern Roman Successors of the Sestertius. (Chicago, 1987).
Berk, H.J. Roman Gold Coins of the Medieval World, 383 - 1453 A.D. (Joliet, IL, 1986).
Calciati, R. Monete Bizantine di Bronzo della Sicilia. (Cairo, 2000).
Clark, C.D. Speedy Identification of Early Denominationally Marked Byzantine Bronzes, from Anastasius I (491 - 518 A.D) to Basil I (867 - 886 A.D.). (Tehachapi, CA, 1990).
Dochev, K. Coins and Coin Usage in Turnovo (XII-XIV c.). (Turnovo, 1992).
Foss, C. Arab-Byzantine Coins: An Introduction, with a Catalogue of the Dumbarton Oaks Collection. (Harvard University Press, 2008).
Hahn, W. Moneta Imperii Byzantini. (Vienna, 1973-81).
Hahn, W. & M.A. Metlich. Money of the Incipient Byzantine Empire. (Vienna, 2000).
Hahn, W. & M.A. Metlich. Money of the Incipient Byzantine Empire Continued (Justin II - Revolt of the Heraclii, 565 - 610). (Vienna, 2009).
Hendy, M. Coinage and Money in the Byzantine Empire 1081-1261. (Washington D.C., 1969).
Lacam, G. Civilisation et monnaies byzantines. (Paris, 1974).
Lacam, G. La fin de L'Empire Romain et le monnayage or en Italie. (Lucern, 1983).
Lianta, Eleni.  Late Byzantine Coins, 1204 - 1453, in the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford.  (London, 2009).
Marchev, V. & R. Wachter. Catalogue of the Late Byzantine coins, Vol. I, 1082 - 1261 AD. (Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, 2011).
Metlich, M. A. 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).
Retowski, O. Die Münzen der Komnenen von Trapezunt. (Coins of the Comnenus Family of Trebizond.) (Reprint, Braunschweig, 1974).
Sabatier, J. Description générale des monnaies Byzantines. (Paris, 1863).
Sear, D. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Spahr, R. Le Monete Siciliane, dai Bizantini a Carlo I d' Angio (582 - 1282). (Graz, 1976).
Spahr, R. Le Monete Siciliane dagli Aragonesi ai Borboni (1282 – 1836). IAPN Publication No. 6 (Basel/Graz, 1982).
Sommer, A.U. 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 - 1914).
Trivero, A. La monetazione di rame della Sicilia bizantina (testo e archivio fotografico allegato). (Achao, 2006).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).

Important Early Byzantine Coin References

Ducange, C. De imperatorum constantinopolitanorvm seu inferioris aevi vel imperii uti vocant numismatibus. (Rome, 1755).
Erslev, K. ed. Catalogue de la collection de monnaies de feu Christian Jürgensen Thomsen. Seconde partie: Les monnaies du moyen-age, tome I. (Copenhagen, 1873).
Friedländer, J. and M. Pinder. Die Münzen Justinians. (Berlin, 1843).
Mionnet, T. E. De la rareté et du prix des médailles romaines. Volume II, 2nd ed. (Paris, 1827).
Sabatier, J. Description générale des monniaes Byzantines. (Paris, 1863).
de Saulcy, F. Essai de classification des suites monétaires Byzantines. (Metz, 1836).
Soleirol, M. Catalogue des monnaies byzantines qui composent la collection de M. Soleirol. (Metz: Lamort, 1853).

Major Public and Private Byzantine Coin Collections

Abramishvili, T. Byzantine Coins in the State Georgian Museum. (Tbilisi, 1966).
Althoff, R. Sammlung Köhler-Osbahr. Band V/1–2. Byzantinische Münzen und ihr Umfeld. (Duisburg, 1998-1999).
Arslan, E. A. Catalogo delle monete bizantine del Museo Provinciale di Catanzaro. (Catanzaro, 2000).
Bates, G. E. A Byzantine Coin Collection. (Boston, 1981).
Bateson, J. & I. G. Campbell. Byzantine and Early Medieval Western European Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet. (Glasgow, 1998).
Boutin, S. Monnaies des Empires de Byzance - Collection of N.K. Volumes 1-2. (Maastricht, 1983).
Burmeister, S. Römische und byzantinische Münzen der Universität Rostock. (Rostock, 1999).
Callegher, B. Catalogo delle monete bizantine, vandale, ostrogote e longobarde del Museo Bottacin. Vol. I. (Padova, 2000).
Demo, Z. Ostrogothic coinage from collections in Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. (Ljubljana, 1994).
Ercolani, C.E., M. Gulinelli & A. Morelli. Impero Romano e Bizantino, Regni barbarici in Italia attraverso le monete del Museo Nazionale di Ravenna. (Ravenna, 1983).
Hummel, W. & L. Specker. Historisches Museum St. Gallen: Katalog der byzantinischen Münzen. (St. Gallen, 1982).
Ireland, S. Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins in the museum at Amasya. (London, 2000).
Lianta, E. Late Byzantine Coins, 1204 - 1453, in the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. (London, 2009).
Mansfield, S. J., Early Byzantine Copper Coins; Catalogue of an English Collection, with associated notes, Ex Officio Books, Manchester (2016).
Mirnik, I. & A. Šemrov. 1997–1998. "Byzantine Coins in the Zagreb Archaeological Museum numismatic collection. Anastasius I (A.D. 497–518) - Anastasius II (A.D. 713–715)" in Vjesnik Arheološkog muzeja u Zagrebu 30–31 (1997-1998): 129–258.
Morrisson, C. et al. Les Monnaies byzantines du musée Puig. (Perpignan, 1991).
Poenaru B., G. R. Ocheşeanu, & Al. Popeea. Monnaies Byzantines du Musée de Constanţa (Roumanie). (Wetteren, 2004).
Radić, V., & V. Ivanisevi. Byzantine coins from the National Museum in Belgrade. (Belgrade, 2006).
Raeder, J. Die byzantinischen Münzen im Kestner-Museum Hannover. (Hannover, 1987).
Schultz, S. Byzantinische Münzen in der Frühchristlich- Byzantinischen Sammlung im Bode-Museum (Berlin, 1977).
Sommer, A.U. Katalog der Byzantinischen Münzen. Munzsammlung der Georg-August-Universität Göttingen im Archäologischen Institut. (Göttingen, 2003).

General Byzantine Numismatic Works

Goodacre, H. A Handbook of the Coinage of the Byzantine Empire. (London, 1928-1933).
Longuet, H. Introduction a la Numismatique Byzantine. (London, 1961).
Rynearson, P.F. Byzantine Coin Values. (San Clemente, CA, 1971).
Sayles, W. Ancient Coin Collecting V: The Romaion/Byzantine Culture. (Iola, WI, 1998).
Sommer, A.U. Die Münzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Münzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Whitting, P.D. Byzantine Coins. (New York, 1973).
Adelson, H. Light Weight Solidi and Byzantine Trade during the Sixth and Seventh Centuries. ANSNNM 138. (New York, 1957).
Bendall, S. & P.J. Donald. Later Palaeologan Coinage, 1282-1453. (London, 1979).
Bendall, S. & P.J. Donald. The Billon Trachea of Michael VIII Palaeologos, 1258-1282. (London, 1974).
Füeg, F. Corpus of the Nomismata from Anastasius II to John I in Constantinople, 713 - 976. (2007).
Goodwin, Tony. Arab-Byzantine Coinage. Studies in the Khalili Collection. (London, 2005).
Grierson, Philip. Byzantine Coins. (London, 1982).
Grierson, Philip and Mark Blackburn. Medieval European Coinage, Volume 1: The Early Middle Ages (5th - 10th Centuries). (Cambridge, 2007).
Hahn, W. & W.E. Metcalf, eds. Studies of Early Byzantine Gold Coinage. American Numismatic Society, Numismatic Studies 17. (New York, 1988).
Hendy, M. Coinage and Money in the Byzantine Empire 1081-1261. (Washington D.C., 1969).
Hendy, M. F. 1985. Studies in the Byzantine monetary economy c. 300–1450. (London, 1985).
Kraus, F. Die Münzen Odovacars und des Ostgotenreiches in Italien. (Riechmann, 1928)
Lightfoot, C. "Byzantine Anatolia: reassessing the numismatic evidence." Revue Numismatique 158 (2002): 229–239.
Metcalf, D.M. Coinage in the Balkans, 820-1355. (Chicago, 1966)
Metcalf, D.M. The origins of the Anastasian currency reform. (Chicago, 1969).
Metcalf, D.M. The copper coinage of Thessalonica under Justinian I. (Vienna: 1976).
Metlich, M. A. The Coinage of Ostrogothic Italy. (London, 2004).
Morrisson, C. "La monnaie en Syrie Byzantine. In Archéologie et histoire de la Syrie II." In La Syrie de l’époque achéménide à l’avènement de l’Islam, J.-M. Dentzer & W. Orthmann, eds., pp. 187–204. (Saarbrücken, 1989).
Morrisson, C.. "Monnaie et prix a Byzance du Ve au VIIe siècle." In Hommes et richesses dans l’Empire byzantin, tome I, IVe-VIIe siècle, 239–260. (Paris, 1989).
Ranieri, E. La monetazione di Ravenna antica dal V all' VIII secolo: impero romano e bizantino, regno ostrogoto e langobardo. (Bologna, 2006).
Tomasini, W.J. The Barbaric Tremissis in Spain and Southern France - Anastasius to Leovigild. ANSNNM 152 (1964).
Woloszyn, M., ed. Byzantine Coins in Central Europe between the 5th and 10th Centuries. (Krakow, 2009)
Yannopoulos, P.A. L' hexagramme: un monnayage byzantin en argent du VIIe siècle. (Louvain-la-Neuve, 1978).

Byzantine Countermarks

Bendall S. "An 'Eagle' Countermark on Sixth-century Byzantine Coins" in NC 136 (1976), p. 230.
Evans, Jane D. "Heraclian Countermarks on Coins Found in Caesarea" in AJN 5 (1993), pp. 97–104, and AJN 6 (1994), pp. 102–104.
Goehring, J.E. "Two New Examples of the Byzantine 'Eagle' Countermark" in NC 143 (1983), pp. 218–220.
Lampinen P. "Countermarked Byzantine Folles and the Identification of a New Imperial Family Member" in Caesarea Papers 2. (Portsmouth, 1999), pp. 399-404.
Lowick, N.M., S. Bendall, & P.D. Whitting. The Mardin Hoard. (London, 1977).
Schulze|, W. "The Byzantine 'Eagle' Countermark - Re-attributed from Egypt to Palestine" in INR volume 4 (2009), pp. 113 - 120.
Schulze|, W. & T. Goodwin|. Countermarking in Seventh Century Syria. (Supplement to ONS Newsletter, 183). (2005).
Schulze|, W., I. Schulze|, & W. Leimenstoll. "Heraclian countermarks on Byzantine| copper coins in seventh century Syria" in Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, Vol. 30, No. 1 (2006), pp. 1-27.
Woods, David. "The Byzantine Eagle Countermark: Creating a Pseudo-Consular Coinage under the Heraclii?" in Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 55 (2015), pp. 927 - 945.

Byzantine Lead Seals

Jordanov, I. Corpus of Byzantine Seals from Bulgaria. (Sofia, 2003).
Jordanov, I & Z. Zhekova. Catalogue of Medieval Seals at the Regional Historical Museum of Shumen. (Sofia, 2007).
Metcalf, D.M. Byzantine Lead Seals from Cyprus. (Nicosia, 2004).
Morrisson, C. "Monnaies en plomb byzantines" in RIN LXXXIII (1981).
Nesbitt, J. et al., eds. Catalogue of Byzantine Seals at Dumbarton Oaks and the Fogg Museum of Art. (Washington, DC. 1991-2005).
Spink. Byzantine Seals from the Collection of George Zacos, Part I. Auction 127 (7 October 1998). London.
Spink. Byzantine Seals from the Collection of George Zacos, Part II. Auction 132 (25 May 1999). London.
Spink. Byzantine Seals from the Collection of George Zacos, Part III. Auction 135 (6 October 1999). London.
Youroukova P. & V. Penchev. Bulgarian Medieval Coins and Seals. (Sofia, 1990).
Zacos, G. Byzantine Lead Seals. (Berne, 1972-84).

Byzantine Numismatic Bibliographies

Malter, J. L. Byzantine Numismatic Bibliography, 1950-1965 (Chicago, 1968).
Malter, J. L. Byzantine Numismatic Bibliography, 1966-1994. (Encino, CA: Malter Galleries, 1995).

Note: Scholarly bibliographies for the field of Byzantine numismatics can be found in the Byzantine section of Numismatic Literature issued periodically by the American Numismatic Society and in the Byzantine section of the Survey of Numismatic Research issued by the International Numismatic Commission.

Major Byzantine Coin Auction Sale Catalogs

Berk, H. & V. England. Byzantine Coins, Public Auction, December 7, 1989, New York City.
Bonham's. A catalogue of standard Byzantine and Dark Age gold coins, December 3. 1980 London.
Christie’s. The Goodacre collection of Byzantine coins, April 22, 1986. London.
Classical Numismatic Group, Auction 19, February 1992, London.
Donald, P. Baldwin's Auction 5, Byzantine Gold Coins from the P.J. Donald Collection. (London, 11 Oct 1995).
Goldberg, I. Pre-Long Beach Sale, May 26 and Oct. 28-29, 2009, Beverly Hills.
LHS. Auction 97, May 10, 2006. Roman and Byzantine coins.
Sotheby's. The William Herbert Hunt collection. Highly important Byzantine coins, I, December 5–6, 1990, New York.
Sotheby's. The William Herbert Hunt collection. Highly important Byzantine coins, II, June 21, 1991, New York.
Spink. The Dr. Anton C. R. Dreesmann collection of ancient coins, Part II: Byzantine and early European gold coins, July 13, 2000, London.
Stack's. Moneta Imperii Romani Byzantini, Jan 12, 2009, New York.

Major Byzantine |Coin |Hoards and Site Finds

Bates, G. E. Sardis. Byzantine coins. (Cambridge MA, 1971).
Bendall, S. Byzantine Weights, An Introduction. (London, 1996).
Edwards, K. M. Corinth VI: Coins, 1896–1929. Cambridge, MA, 1933.
Evans, DeRose J. The joint expedition to Caesarea Maritima. Excavation Reports Vol. VI. The coins and the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine economy of Palestine. (Boston, 2006).
Hendy, M. The coins. In Excavations at Saraçhane in Istanbul, R.M Harrison, M. V. Gill, M. Hendy, S. J. Hill and D. Brothwell, vol. I, pp. 278–313. (Princeton, 1986).
Hendy, M. Roman, Byzantine and Latin Coins, in Kalenderhane in Istanbul. The excavations, edited by Cecil L. Striker and Y. Doğan Kuban, pp. 175–276. (Mainz, 2007).
Jordanov, I. Coins and Coin Usage in Medieval Bulgaria, 1081-1261. (Sofia, 1984). Includes c. 200 Bulgarian hoards and major stray finds of the 12th and 13th centuries.
Lafaurie & J. Pilet-Lemière. Monnaies du Haut Moyen Âge découvertes en France (Ve-VIIIesiècle) (Paris, 2003).
Laser, R. Die romischen und fruhbyzantinischen Fundmünzen auf dem Gebiet der DDR (Berlin, 1980).
Lowick, N.M., Bendall, S and Whitting, P.D. The Mardin Hoard: Islamic Countermarks on Byzantine Folles London, A.H. Baldwin & Sons, 1977.
Metcalf, D.M. "Some Byzantine and Arab-Byzantine coins from Palaestina Prima." Israel Numismatic Journal 2, n. 3–4 (1964): 32–47.
Metcalf, D.M. "The Peter and Paul Hoard: Bulgarian and Latin Imitative Trachea in the Time of Ivan Asen II." in Numismatic Chronicle, 1973, pp. 144 - 172, pl. 8 - 11.
Marot, T. 1998. Las monedas del Macellum de Gerasa (Yaras, Jordania): aproximación a la circulación monetaria en la provincia de Arabia. (Madrid, 1998).
Morrisson, C., V. Popović, & V. Ivanišević, eds. Les Trésors monétaires byzantins des Balkans et d’Asie Mineure (491–713). (Paris, 2006).
Mosser, S. McA. A bibliography of Byzantine coin hoards. Numismatic Notes and Monographs 67. New York: American Numismatic Society, 1935.
Musheghian, K. et al. History and coin finds in Armenia: coins from Duin, capital of Armenia, 6-7th c.: inventory of Byzantine and Sasanian coins in Armenia, 6-7th c. (Wetteren, 2000).
Noeske, H.-C. Münzfunde aus Ägypten I. Die Münzfunde des ägyptischen Pilgerzentrums Abu Mina und die Vergleichsfunde aus den Diocesen Aegyptus und Oriens vom 4.-8. Jh. n.Chr. (Berlin, 2000).
Pottier, H. Analyse d’un trésor de monnaies en bronze enfoui au VIe siècle en Syrie byzantine: contribution à la méthodologie numismatique. (Wetteren, 1983).
Thompson, M. The Athenian agora, v. 2, coins from the Roman through the Venetian period. (Princeton, 1954).
Tsukhishvili, I. & G. Depeyrot. History and Coin Finds in Georgia: Late Roman and Byzantine Hoards (4th-13th c.). (Wetteren, 2003).
Waage, D. Antioch-on-the-Orontes, vol. IV, part 2: Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Crusaders’ coins. (Princeton, 1952).
Waner, M, & Z. Safrai. 2001. "A catalogue of coin hoards and the shelf life of coins in Palestine hoards during the Roman and Byzantine periods." Liber Annuus 5.1: 305–336.
Wolkow, C. Un Trésor Balkanique de Monnaies Byzantines Et Latines Du XIIIème Siècle. (Bruxelles, 2016).

Byzantine Weights

Bendall, Simon. Byzantine Weights, An Introduction. (London, 1996).