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Some Aspects of the Monetary Circulation

in the Byzantine Province of Scythia


during the 6th–7th centurIES*

Andrei Gândilă (Bucharest)

Until the last decades, the study of the Byzantine coin circulation during
the 6th–7th centuries AD attracted only a few scholars involved in Ancient
Numismatics. Modern approaches, both in numismatics and historical
research, made possible a few studies aiming to draw some guidelines
on the coin circulation during the early Byzantine period1. The present
study does not intend to offer solutions to all the problems raised by the
circulation of the early Byzantine coins in Scythia, nor does it try to give
a final resolution in terms of statistical figures, being just an overview on
the matter based on the contributions of a number of Balkans researchers
in the past half century.
In chronological terms, the starting point of the discussion is the important
monetary reform carried out in 498 by Emperor Anastasius, which saw the
introduction of new copper denominations used in circulation in Scythia
the whole sixth century and the first decades of the next one. The first
years of the reign of Heraclius mark the downfall of the Danube limes and
therefore the end of the coin circulation in the former Late Roman and
Early Byzantine province of Scythia2. The title announcing a study of the
coin circulation during the sixth and seventh century should be seen as the
period of time of real coin circulation, which, at least at with the current
knowledge, is comprised between the above-mentioned span of time.
The present total number of coins, including the single finds yielded by
the archaeological excavation and the stray finds coming from all over the
province, gathers 2915 specimens from the period Anastasius–Heraclius.
In what concerns the finding places, the map shows an abundance of coin
finds on the coastline of the Black Sea and on the Danube limes, as well
as on the major imperial road crossing through the centre of the province,
linking the major fortresses Zaldapa–Tropaeum Trajani–Ulmetum–Ibida–
Noviodunum. The highest density of finding spots is reached during the
reigns of Justinian I and Justin II, while during the last quarter of the 6th

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and the beginning of the 7th century, coin finds are reported primarily inside
the large fortified places.
In order to reach certain historical and numismatic conclusions, a
comparison will be maintained between the situation in the capital city
of Tomis3, as well as in the other important centres of the province such
as Capidava4, Istrus5, Noviodunum6, Dinogetia7, Halmyris8, Argamum9,
Callatis10, Acres11, Dionyssopolis12, Odartsi13, where significant finds have
been reported. The statistical result given by the „Dobrudja“ lot signifies
an average for the entire province, while the comparative analysis will
try to emphasize the peculiarities of the coin circulation in the main early
Byzantine towns, and on some occasions, in the larger rural settlements.
It is well known that the mere number of coins does not offer an accurate
picture of the circulation during a certain period, due to the variety of
denominations available on the market as fractions of the follis. Therefore
the analysis will be opened with a discussion based on the number of
nummia per year of reign, which brings a few changes compared to the
calculation of the coefficient called „number of coins“. For the sake of
the argument one example is worthy to be mentioned: while Justinian I
stands in the first position by number of coins, he is surpassed by Justin II
in terms of nummia, due to the massive presence of dekanummia issued
by Justinian I, whereas his nephew has less coins found, but of higher
denomination.
Judging by the nummia per year of reign coefficient, Justin II leads with
34.11% followed at a considerable distance by Justin I and Justinian I, the
latter on a somewhat striking 3d position for a period considered as the
peak of the early Byzantine economic and political life. As for the lower
part of the classification, Heraclius comes with a dramatically low figure
of 1.52%. This might be explained by his long reign and the scarcity of
his coins in Dobrudja, especially after his first six years of reign, when
the intensity of coin circulation was comparable to the time of Anastasius.
This is a rather surprising association considering the two periods seen as
totally different historical moments: the reconstruction process undertaken
by Anastasius at the Danube14, versus an epoch until lately considered as
subsequent to the downfall of the limes15.
A more complex picture is drawn by structuring the stray finds according to
monetary reforms16 which affect the ratio between the gold solidus and its
equivalent in bronze lbs. and therefore in folles, based on the legal weight
standard of the follis17.

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ACTA MUSEI VARNAENSIS VІІ–1

E V X IN V S
PONT V S
MOESIA II

1 Acres-Kaliakra; 2 Aegyssus-Tulcea; 3 Agigea; 4 Agighiol; 5 Aphrodision-Topola; 6


Argamum-Jurilovca; 7 Arrubium-Măcin; 8 Arsa; 9 Axiopolis-Cernavoda; 10 Babadag; 11
Băneasa; 12 Bărăganu; 13 Beilic; 14 Beroe-Piatra-Frecăţei; 15 Bizone-Kavarna Harbour;
16 Callatis-Mangalia; 17 Capidava; 18 Capitan Dimitrovo (Hagios Kyrillos?); 19 Carea-
Cape Shabla; 20 Carsium-Hârşova; 21 Cerna; 22 Cetatea; 23 Ciobanu; 24 Ciucurova; 25
Cloşca; 26 Corbu de Sus; 27 Costineşti; 28 Crucea; 29 Cuza-Vodă; 30 Dionyssopolis-Bal-
chik; 31 Debrene; 32 Dinogetia-Garvăn; 33 Dobromir; 34 Eforie; 35 Enisala; 36 Fântâna
Mare; 37 Fântânele; 38 Grădina; 39 Greci; 40 Halmyris-Murighiol; 41 Horia; 42 Hrabro-
vo; 43 Ibida-Slava Rusă; 44 Istrus; 45 Igliţa; 46 Istria; 47 Iulia; 48 Lazu; 49 Limanu; 50
Luncaviţa; 51 Măn. Cocoş; 52 Medgidia; 53 Mihai Viteazul; 54 Mihail Kogălniceanu (CT);
55 Mihail Kogălniceanu (TL); 56 Nalbant; 57 Năvodari; 58 Negru-Voda; 59 Niculiţel; 60
Nisipari; 61 Noviodunum-Isaccea; 62 Nufărul; 63 Obrochishte; 64 Odartsi; 65 Osmancea;
66 Ovidiu; 67 Palazu Mare; 68 Piatra; 69 Pietreni; 70 Poarta-Albă; 71 Popina; 72 Rasova
(Flaviana?); 73 Sacidava-Dunăreni; 74 Salsovia-Mahmudia; 75 Saraiu; 76 Satu Nou; 77
Sălcioara; 78 Schitu; 79 Seimeni; 80 Sf. Gheorghe; 81 Sinoe; 82 Slava Cercheză; 83 Sv. Ni-
cola; 84 Şipotele; 85 Târguşor; 86 Timogittia; 87 Timum-Balgarevo; 88 Tomis-Constanta; 89
Topalu (Gratiana?); 90 Topolog; 91 Topraisar; 92 Tropaeum Trajani-Adamclisi; 93 Tufani;
94 Troesmis-Turcoaia; 95 Tuzla; 96 Ulmeum-Pantelimonu de Sus; 97 Valea Teilor; 98 Valul
lui Traian; 99 Văcăreni; 100 Veteranu; 101 Viile; 102 Vadu; 103 Zaldapa.
Andrei Gândilâ • some aspects of the monetary circulation in...

For the first interval (498–512) after the great reform, the coin circulation
remains at a rather low level, considering that issues from this period of
time are quite scarce in the Empire, except for the Oriental and Danubian
limes18, where the early Anastasian folles and half-folles have been found
in greater number. A significant increase in the number of finds is reported
for the following stage, when both written and archaeological evidence
witness an age of reconstruction at the Lower Danube, especially focused
on the major fortified places. It is the case of Istrus and Dinogetia, where
stamped bricks bearing the emperor’s name have been found, or Capidava
whose walls were rebuild, most likely, during this period. In the capital city
of Tomis, among other finds, a lead seal of Anastasius has been uncovered.
The social and economic life flourished once again proven by the number of
private and public constructions erected inside the walls of the larger towns
of the province19. Despite the achievements in the realms of finance and
the special attention shown to this part of the Empire, the coin circulation
did not reach a spectacular level in the urban centres20 and even less in the
rural21 settlements of the province.
The reign of Justin I saw a major increase of the coefficient of nummia/ year
present on the market, 11.03%, almost double compared to the previous
period and also the highest level reached during the interval 498–538,
when the number of folles exchanged for a solidus remained unchanged22.
His bronze coinage can be divided in two chronological phases – 518–522,
with 86 specimens totalizing 2880 nummia and 522–527, represented by
98 coins, for a total of 2630 nummia23. The first phase is therefore better
placed, showing a coefficient of 720 nummia per year, while the second
gives only a coefficient of 526 nummia per year. In the capital city of
Tomis we notice a totally different standing. Here, the number coins
issued by Justin I is placed on the first position with 14.85%, compared
to the overall province, where it is placed on the 4th position. A possible
explanation could be provided by the repercussions of the invasions led
by the Antes and Slavs24. They might have affected especially the northern
part of Dobrudja, judging by the high currency levels noticed in the finds at
Tomis, Callatis25 and Capidava. Despite the mentioned Barbaric incursions,
the reign of Justin I represents a peaceful decade for the border province,
as proven by archaeological evidence26 testifying the strengthening of the
Danube limes.
The decisive phase of the reconstruction is known from its detailed
description made by Procopius in De Aedificiis, as well as from the
archaeological research at some important early Byzantine centres: Tomis,

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Ulmetum, Aegyssus, Halmyris, Istrus, Dinogetia, Libida, Argamum,


Troesmis, or the fortress Callatis where a very suggestive inscription has
been found – Ιουστινιανοũ τοũ φιλοκτίστου27.
Four currency reforms divide the long reign of Justinian I: 527–538, 538–
542, 542–550 and 550–565. During the first stage, while the value of the
copper issues remains stable, an important decrease can be noticed down
to 7.83%, at the province level, and a sharper one in the northern part
of Scythia, with 6.66% at the major fortress of Noviodunum. Procopius
informs about the military events unfolded in the area: for three years
the Byzantine general Chilbudios achieved major victories against the
Barbarian tribes North of the Danube, but soon after his death, the enemy
took the initiative and „from then on the River was always easy to cross by
the Barbarians and Rome’s wealth easy to reach“28.
We cannot be certain to what extent this Barbarian military success which
took place north of the Danube affected also the territory of Scythia In the
realms of numismatics a more precise chronology divides this period as
follows: 527–532, giving a coefficient nummia per year of 176, while the
second, 532–538, yields 218 nummia per year. Although the difference is
not very striking, one still has to wonder how can the first period of time
generously praised by Procopius for its major military achievements to
present a smaller figure in terms of coin circulation, compared to a second
period when the border was more insecure. It could be possible that Scythia
was not economically influenced on the short term by the events placed
upper on the Danube.
The reform of 538 introduced the regular dating on copper issues, which
permits from this point a closer survey on the yearly volume of coins
entering the provincial market. The short interval (538–542) until the next
currency reform provides a higher coefficient of 10.54%. An interesting
development can be observed in the case of the fortress Noviodunum
indicating a severe downfall to 2.16%, which might be related to the
Coutrigur attack in 54029. The same explanation could be supposed for
the situation at Troesmis, where only one specimen is available for this
interval, dated 539–540, while at Niculiţel in the rural area close to
Noviodunum, two issues dated 541–542 have been found. On the contrary,
the results from the fortresses Halmyris and Dinogetia, also situated in
the northern part of the province, show a significant higher figure up to
20.03% for the latter. In what concerns the average of the currency volume
for the entire province, this time interval marks two peaks, the highest

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of all his reign: 539–540 (1165 nummia) and 541–542 (1000 nummia),
noticing the downfall in-between during the Coutrigur invasion, 540–541
(400 nummia).
The third stage (542–550) points out another reduction in the quantity
of currency entering the provincial market down to 5.54%. Although its
location is not certain, the granting of the fortress Turris to the Antes in
546 for defence purposes30 seems to have had a powerful effect on the coin
circulation.
Table 1. Number of coins, nummia and nummia per year of reign.

Coins/ Nummia/
Emperor Coins Nummia % Posi­tion % Posi­tion
year year
Anastasius І 179 8.95 4290 6.33 V 214.5 4.69 VII
Justin I 303 33.66 7970 11.76 III 885.5 19.36 II
Justinian I 947 24.92 19941 29.42 II 524.7 11.47 III
Justin II 867 66.69 20280 29.92 I 1560 34.11 I
Tiberius II 79 19.75 2095 3.09 VIII 523.7 11.45 IV
Maurice 338 16.9 7810 11.52 IV 390.5 8.54 VI
Phocas 130 16.25 3240 4.78 VI 405 8.86 V
Heraclius 72 2.32 2156 3.18 VII 69.5 1.52 VIII
TOTAL 2915 67782 100% 4573.4 100%

Table 2. Yearly coefficients upon monetary reforms.

Coins/ Nummia
Coeff. Posi­­ Coeff. % Coeff. Pos­i­
Emperor Reform Year of /y. of
C/Y tion N/Y N/Y tion
Reform Ref.
Anastasius I 498–512 37/14 2.64 XIV 1080/14 77.14 0.96% XIV
512–518 100/6 16.66 VI 3010/6 501.66 6.24% VI
Justin I 518–527 273/9 30.33 III 7970/9 885.55 11.03% III
Justinian I 527–538 226/11 20.54 V 6915/11 628.63 7.83% V
538–542 108/4 27 IV 3385/4 846.25 10.54% IV
542–550 126/8 15.75 VII 3562/8 445.25 5.54% VII
550–565 221/15 14.73 X 4132/15 275.46 3.43% XII
Justin II 565–570 237/5 47.4 I 6835/5 1367 17.02% II
570–578 359/8 44.87 II 11160/8 1395 17.37% I
Tiberius II 578–580 20/2 10 XI 750/2 375 4.67% X
Constantine 580–582 19/2 9.5 XII 740/2 370 4.61% XI
Maurice 582–602 303/20 15.15 VIII 7810/20 390.5 4.86% IX
Phocas 602–610 119/8 14.87 IX 3240/8 405 5.04% VIII
Heraclius 610–641 60/31 1.93 XV 2156/31 69.54 0.86% XV
(610–616) (48/6) (8) (XIII) (1840/6) (306.66 (3.71%) (XIII)

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5 64 -5 65 23 0
5 63 -5 64 38 0
5 62 -5 63 24 0 C o in vo lu m e / ye a r o f re ig n
5 61 -5 62 27 0 Ju stin ia n I (5 3 8 -5 6 5 )
5 60 -5 61 13 0
5 59 -5 60 2 90
5 58 -5 59 3 40
5 57 -5 58 30 0
5 56 -5 57 46 0
5 55 -5 56 5 80
5 54 -5 55 25 0
5 53 -5 54 60
5 52 -5 53 31 0
5 51 -5 52 14 0
5 50 -5 51 16 0
5 49 -5 50 20 0
5 48 -5 49 4 50
5 47 -5 48 4 40
5 46 -5 47 39 0
5 45 -5 46 5 10
5 44 -5 45 25 5
5 43 -5 44 72 0
5 42 -5 43 5 40
5 41 -5 42 10 0 0
5 40 -5 41 40 0
5 39 -5 40 11 6 5
5 38 -5 39 82 0

0 20 0 40 0 6 00 8 00 10 0 0 12 0 0 1 40 0

Coin volume/year of reign Justinian I (538–565).

The large coin hoard of Anadolchioi, close to Tomis, may have been buried
during the same military events, judging by the last coin in the hoard dated
545/54631. Another coin hoard, in the southern part of the province, at Kavarna,
ends with coins dated 543/544 and might be related to the same context32.
Observing the annual evolution of the coin volume for the entire province, we
notice the peak reached in 543–544 followed by a sudden decrease the next
two years, marked by the emperor’s intention to settle the Antes North of the
Delta (544) and the already mentioned granting of Turris (546).
During the last part of the reign (550–565) the decline is even more severe,
the coefficient dropping to a dramatic 3.43%. The involution is probably
caused by the settlement of the Slavs in the centre of the province, at
Ulmetum33, and their attacks southwards to Thrace, in 550–551. During
this year the coin circulation in Scythia records the lowest value so far
(160 nummia). In the interval prior to the great Coutrigurs offensive in
559, the yearly coin volume improves for the last time during the long
reign of Justinian. The attack initiated by the Coutrigur tribes in 559
seriously affected the territory of Scythia. The hardest blow is received by
the fortresses on the Danube. At Dinogetia the coin finds are missing for a
period of ten years (557/8–566/7)34, while at Capidava we notice several
gapes for the interval 553/4–565/635. In the hoard found at Topalu, near
Capidava, issues from 556/7 to 561/2 are missing as well36.

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57 7 -5 78 22 0

C o in vo lu m e / ye a r o f re ig n
57 6 -5 77 80 0
Ju stin II (5 6 5 -5 7 8 )

57 5 -5 76 9 60

57 4 -5 75 2 18 0

57 3 -5 74 15 2 0

57 2 -5 73 1 18 0

57 1 -5 72 16 0 0

57 0 -5 71 27 4 0

56 9 -5 70 25 5 5

56 8 -5 69 2 40 0

56 7 -5 68 11 6 0

56 6 -5 67 49 0

56 5 -5 66 23 0

0 50 0 1 00 0 15 0 0 20 0 0 2 50 0 3 00 0

Coin volume/year of reign Justinian II (565–578).

In 562 the Huns and Bulgarians invade the Empire, while the Avars led by
Baian threaten to take up Scythia. From the numismatic point of view, the
coin flow drops dramatically in 560/1, only seven coins having been found
until this moment. For the last stage of the reign we notice a considerable
number of dekanummia entering the market, especially during the interval
555–565 (91 sp.), almost half of them being struck at Nicomedia (40 sp.).
The tendency appears very clear in the cases of Tomis37 or Halmyris38.
Justin II accedes to the throne in a difficult moment for the Empire, both
political and economic, after his uncle’s tremendous activity which taxed
the Empire to the very limits of its resources. The new emperor was obliged
to order a debasement of the follis, therefore increasing the inflation process
already mounting during the last years of Justinian.
In terms of monetary reforms the reign of Justin II can be divided in two
stages, 565–570 and 570–578. The first period produces a spectacular
growth up to 17.02%. Judging by the follis/ solidus ratio, it seems to be a
rather inflationist tendency than a real economic boost39. However, for the
first two years the coin volume maintains at a rather low level, possibly due
to the Avar invasion of 56640, for the next years to witness a tremendous
rise up to an absolute peak of 2740 nummia in 570/571. Among the
finds we notice the presence of a large quantity of half-folles issued at

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Thessalonica. They represent almost half of the total number of specimens


during the years 566/7 (11 sp.), 567/8 (19 sp.), 568/9 (37 sp.), 569/70 (33
sp.), 574/5 (37 sp.) Actually, the large scale diffusion of the Thessalonica
issues represents a phenomenon whose origins are to be found during the
last five years of Justinian.
The flow abruptly dropped after 572, as Baian initiated a new offensive
(573)41, only to reach a new and final peak in 574/5 (1460 nummia). This
might be a possible effect of the donativa, a phenomenon that can also be
observed five years before. The reign ends with low values during the years
of Slavic invasions started in 57642. The troubled times in the province are
witnessed by three coin hoards concealed one in Barbaricum at Gropeni43
(577/8) and two in Scythia. The later ones, ending with issues dated 574/5
and 576/7 were found both inside the walls of the fortress Halmyris lying on
a burned layer44. Despite the small chronological gape noticed by the latest
coins of the hoards, they were probably buried with the same occasion. At
the same time, in the fortress Beroe the coin circulation ends with a coin
dated 575/6, found also in a burned level45, while at Capidava the phase N
2 ends during the same events46.

C o in v o lu m e / ye a r o f re ig n
5 8 1 -5 8 2 200 T ib e riu s II C o n s ta n tin e (5 7 8 -5 8 2 )

5 8 0 -5 8 1 540

5 7 9 -5 8 0 120

5 7 8 -5 7 9 630

0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700

Coin volume/year of reign Tiberius II Constantine (578–582).

A new reform is applied to the copper coinage during the first two regnal
years of Tiberius II Constantine as sole ruler. The Emperor attempted to
re-establish the former weight standard introduced by Justinian, as well as
its ratio to the solidus. This measure was not to last throughout his reign,
as the value of the follis soon dropped. In Scythia the two stages (578–580
and 580–582) are equally balanced and both very far from the previous
coefficient from the reign of Justin II. Nevertheless, a peak is noticed in
the first year (630 nummia), which coincides with the attack led by Baian
against the Slavs, as part of the agreement settled by Tiberius while he
was co-emperor47. Interesting enough is the fact that both at Tomis and
Dinogetia coin finds from the first stage are completely missing.

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The coin supply during the reign of Maurice Tiberius regresses to a value
(4.86%) lower than the one from the last stage of Anastasius. At Halmyris
we learn of a more dramatic situation (2.64%), marked also by a lack of finds
for a decade 589/90–600/1. Meanwhile, the coin circulation seems more
active on the seaside areas, at Callatis and especially Tomis (10.28%).
The Avar offensive of 585–586 seems to have affected only the southern
part of Scythia, since the campaign followed the route Bononia–Ratiaria–
Durostorum–Tropaeum–Zaldapa–Marcianopolis48 and the coin supply re­
mains at a rather stable level throughout the province49. The town of Tro­
paeum was ravaged. For a long time scholars considered that it was never
to recover after this moment, until coins from the next period were found50.
Meanwhile, Zaldapa managed to survive the attack51. The imperial army
regrouped and the counteroffensive led by Commentiolus during the next
year pushed the Avars as far as the city of Tomis52.
On the Danube, at Capidava, coin finds start from 587/8, while at Axiopolis
the only specimen of Maurice is dated 590/1. Both coins come from the
layer of the reconstruction process initiated after the Avar attack. In this
respect, two last peaks are noticed in 587/8 and 591/2. During 592/3 another
Slavic attack may have occurred in Scythia53, as the coin circulation ends at
Dinogetia54 and Troesmis55, in 591/2, along with the phase IVB at Istrus56
(after 593) and the hoard of Tropaeum (after 590/1)57.
During the year 595 another Slavic invasion is mentioned in the southern part
of Scythia, when Zaldapa was sacked and the capital Tomis besieged58. Here,
as a direct consequence, the coin finds for the year 595/6 are missing. For the
entire province the currency flow drops three times compared to the previous
year, never to recover until the end of Maurice’s reign. Connected to these
events are probably two hoards concealed at Istrus. The so-called „Temple“
and „Thermes“ hoards seem to close with coins dated 593/4 and 594/559.
Another hoard was found on the Danube’s left bank, in Barbaricum, at Unirea,
with a terminus post quem 594/5, possibly related to the same Slavic attack60.
The reign of Phocas brings a considerable number of coin finds in Scythia,
meaning the control was partially restored after the crisis of the year
602. The rebellion led by Phocas in 602 had undergone rather far from
the territory of Scythia, and did not affect the province on the long term,
as it was once believed61. Nevertheless the fortress of Sacidava, close
to the border with Moesia II, was sacked, as the archaeologists found a
burned level that can be dated based on a coin, post 599/60062. A small
hoard from Istrus ends also with a coin dated 600/163. Although found in a

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60 1 -6 02 1 80

60 0 -6 01 60

59 9 -6 00 40 C o in vo lu m e / ye a r o f re ig n
59 8 -5 99 20 M a u rice T ib e riu s (5 8 2 -6 0 2 )

59 7 -5 98 1 00

59 6 -5 97 1 00

59 5 -5 96 16 0

59 4 -5 95 4 60

59 3 -5 94 25 0

59 2 -5 93 2 80

59 1 -5 92 6 60

59 0 -5 91 3 60

58 9 -5 90 5 80

58 8 -5 89 52 0

58 7 -5 88 8 40

58 6 -5 87 64 0

58 5 -5 86 4 90

58 4 -5 85 42 5

58 3 -5 84 5 80

58 2 -5 83 23 0

0 1 00 20 0 3 00 40 0 5 00 60 0 7 00 80 0 9 00

Coin volume/year of reign Maurice Tiberius (582–602).

rather uncertain archaeological context, it could testify that the town was
endangered during the same events.
No more than four specimens dating from 602 were found in Scythia up to
this moment, two of them at Tomis64, but the coin circulation soon recovered
up to 420 nummia in the next year and during the following period, possibly
as a consequence of the peace treaty arranged with the Avars. It is worthy
to mention that no coin hoard is doubtlessly buried in Scythia during the
reign of Phocas and the trend is similar in the whole Danube area65. The
last years of Phocas saw a military breakdown in Asia, where important
towns fell to the Persians and in the Balkans, where the Avars attacked
once again. The coin circulation reaches a dramatic level from 608 and it
will not recover until the first years of Emperor Heraclius.
Until 616, the nummia per year coefficient still indicates a coin circulation
in Scythia, while the next period provides only a few specimens, the last
one being dated 629/3066. The final breakdown of the limes could be placed
around year 615, when the coin circulation ends in the major fortresses
of the province: Capidava 612/367, Ibida 612/368, Istrus 613/469, Halmyris
613/470, Aegyssus 613/471, Argamum 613/472, Tomis 613/473, Acres 613/474,
Axiopolis 614/575, Ulmetum 614/576, Sacidava 615/677. In the rural areas
the most recent coins, dated 613, come from the settlements at Sinoe78
and Topolog79. However the copper issues dated between 616 and 629 are

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6 0 9 -6 1 0 80

C o in vo lu m e / ye a r o f re ig n
6 0 8 -6 0 9 160 P h o ca s (6 0 2 -6 1 0 )

6 0 7 -6 0 8 310

6 0 6 -6 0 7 500

6 0 5 -6 0 6 340

6 0 4 -6 0 5 260

6 0 3 -6 0 4 420

6 0 2 -6 0 3 120

0 100 200 300 400 500 600

Coin volume/year of reign Rhocas (602–610).

generally scarce throughout the empire. To provide only one example, in


Constantinople itself, out of 36 coins covering the entire reign of Heraclius,
only one specimen is dated to this interval80.
Judging by the intensity of the coin circulation, the dismantlement of the
defence system started from the last decades of the sixth century, when

62 9 -6 30 12 0
C o in vo lu m e / ye a r o f re ig n
62 8 -6 29 12
H e ra cliu s (6 1 0 -6 4 1 )
62 7 -6 28 0

62 6 -6 27 0

62 5 -6 26 40

62 4 -6 25 0

62 3 -6 24 0

62 2 -6 23 0

62 1 -6 22 0

62 0 -6 21 0

61 9 -6 20 0

61 8 -6 19 0

61 7 -6 18 0

61 6 -6 17 20

61 5 -6 16 80

61 4 -6 15 16 0

61 3 -6 14 5 60

61 2 -6 13 44 0

61 1 -6 12 20 0

61 0 -6 11 60

0 10 0 20 0 30 0 4 00 50 0 60 0

Coin volume/year of reign Heraclius (610–641).

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ACTA MUSEI VARNAENSIS VІІ–1

some of the Scythian fortifications lost their urban profile, the military and
strategic function maintaining only in a few strongholds along the seaside
during the reign of Heraclius81.
The development in Scythia can be ascribed to the political events of the
period, reflected in the fluctuations of the coin circulation. The downfall of
615 is taking place at a time when the Persians were ravaging Asia Minor
and the important mints of and Cyzicus (614/5) and Nicomedia (617/8)
were temporarily shut-down82. Soon the Slavic tribes launched a powerful
offensive in the Balkans reaching its climax with the siege of Thessalonica,
and Constantinople in 626. A short revival occurred in 629–631, which
coincides with the emperor’s final defeat of the Persians, reflected also in the
few specimens from this period found in Scythia83. Later developments in
coinage during the century did not find any response on the Scythian market,
as the province was mostly out of the empire’s sphere of influence.
Copper coins from the second half of the 7th century are very scarce in
Dobrudja and far from a genuine circulating level84. They witness only the
survival of some strategic but isolated areas still being under the control of
the Byzantine Empire85.
The exchange-rate between copper and gold was mentioned as a more reliable

610–616 3,71
2,18
5,04
602–610 2,91
4,86
582–602 2,81
4,61
580–582 2,73
4,67
578–580 7,82
17,37
570–578 8,73
17,02
565–570 11,82
3,43
550–565 5,63
5,54
542–550 11,09
10.54
538–542 18,18
7,83
527–538 7,82
11,03
518–527 11,09
6,24
512–518 6,18
0,96
498–512 0,91

Solidi/year of reform (Hahn) Nummia/year of reform

Nummia/year of reform vs.solid/year of reform.

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indicator of the coin circulation and the true value of the copper currency
present on the market. Based on the calculations made by Wolfgang Hahn86,
the coin sample from Scythia can be divided according to eight monetary
reforms, with the results expressed in fractions of the solidus.
The new approach brings a few important changes into discussion. For the
interval 498–538 the standing remains fairly balanced. The peak reached
during the reign of Justin I is thus confirmed, surpassing the coefficient from
the first stage of Justinian’s reign. A spectacular overturning occurs after the
reform of the year 538, when Justinian introduced a heavier follis, one of
the few occasions in Byzantine history when the face-value of the copper
coinage began to approach its bullion-value. Therefore it provides higher
figures compared to the nummia per year calculation, bringing this reform
interval (538–542) on the first place of the overall classification. The coin
circulation during Justinian’s reign is far more intense than it was expected
upon the nummia results, which totalized 27.34%, compared to 42.72%.
The reign of Justin II is characterized by an abundance of currency on
the market. The number of folles exchanged for a solidus rises to 525 and
than to 720, meaning inflation and economic crisis explained above by the
precarious political and financial situation of the Empire. Although with
a doubtless progress compared to the disastrous last stage of Justinian’s
reign, the reform performed by Justin II was not meant to last, as the
following period brings gradually lower values.
An ambitious reform is attempted by Tiberius II Constantine who tries
to lift the weight of the follis to a previous value of the period 550–565.
The Empire is economically incapable of sustaining such an effort and
his initiative is brought to a quick end by a new reduction in weight and a
debasement in relation to the solidus. The decline is inevitable and within
two years the exchange rate reaches 600 folles / solidus, maintained for the
following decades.
Another important issue is establishing the presence and proportion of mints
to supply the provincial market, judging by a sample of 2370 specimens
with a clear mint attribution. A comparison with the results provided by the
main fortresses of the province could also prove useful for any fluctuations
that might have occurred at certain moments87.
The metropolitan mint has the most important presence among the coin
finds, followed far behind by the provincial mints of Nicomedia and
Thessalonica, balanced in terms of number of coins. We should take into

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ACTA MUSEI VARNAENSIS VІІ–1

account the fact that Thessalonica struck especially half-folles, while


Nicomedia issued more folles, therefore Nicomedia being higher ranked
in what concerns the number of nummia.
The once extensive system of Roman provincial mints had collapsed by the
time of Anastasius’ accession, when only Constantinople and Thessalonica
remained in business, the latter issuing only gold denominations. The vast
majority of coins found in Scythia dating from this period are issued by
the metropolitan mint (94.37%), assisted by Nicomedia, re-commissioned
after the reform of 498, and to a lesser degree by Antioch, opened in 512.
No coins struck at Thessalonica are present among the coin finds until the
reign of Justinianus, when new copper denominations were created.
The reign of Justin I saw a further extension of the mint system by the re-
opening of Cyzicus destined to supply the Diocese Asiana and only with a
symbolical presence in Scythia at this point. The Nicomedia mint plays a
more important role as shown particularly at Tomis (22.72%), on the Black
Sea coast88.
The highest expansion of the provincial mint system was reached during
Justinian’s long reign when no less than seven mints supplied Scythia,
although Constantinople maintains a very high percentage (65.23%).
Nevertheless, Nicomedia and even Antioch are more present on the market,
while Thessalonica provides only few specimens, usually half-folles dating
from the last years of his reign.
Important changes occurred during the reign of Justin II when the market
was invaded by half-folles issued at Thessalonica (27.61%), a tendency
applied to all the major centres of the province. Later on, the reign of
Tiberius II saw a new overturning, Nicomedia taking Thessalonica’s place
in terms of coin supply, while Antioch became more active. During the
reign of Maurice, Thessalonica and its half-folles partially regain the former
position in a rather balanced classification of the five important mints,
whereas for the reign of Phocas we have to notice the important number of
coins brought from Cyzicus, unparalleled throughout the period.
The troubled times of the first half of the seventh century saw a rapid
reduction in the number of mints, first Antioch, then Nicomedia, Cyzicus
and Thessalonica, all with a constant presence in Scythia throughout the
sixth century. The metropolitan mint regains once more its overwhelming
percentage (69.84%) from the first half of the century.
As a result of the reform of coinage carried out at the end of the fifth century,

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a whole new range of copper denominations was created as multiple of the


basic nummus. Therefore a matter worthy to discuss would be the variety
and proportion of various denominations found in Scythia. The results are
primarily connected with the market demands, but also with some local
peculiarities in the mints’ activity, sometimes specialized in providing
certain denominations as shown above.
In the time of Emperor Anastasius we notice the prevalence of half-folles,
a rather common feature throughout the period, Istrus alone providing a
larger number of folles89. Jumping to the age of Justinian, the most striking
would be the large number of dekanummia (257 sp.), most of them entering
Scythia during the last ten years of the reign. Even more, at Tomis the
number of dekanummia represents almost half of the entire batch from
Justinianus90.
Smaller denominations also maintain a high percentage at Tomis during
the reign of Justin II, when pentanummia enter the town in great numbers
(31.88%) and to a lesser degree in the other fortresses. The reform attempted
by Tiberius II insured the presence of small copper in Scythia and even of
a few scarcer specimens of three-quarter folles. Starting with the reign of
Maurice Tiberius, the number of smaller denominations begins to decrease
in the coin finds and they finally disappear from the market in the time of
Heraclius, when the majority of coins are pieces of forty nummia91.

Table 3. The coin distribution upon mints.

Number Number
Mint % Position % Position
of coins of nummia
Constantinople 1443 60.89% I 41050 63.60% I
Thessalonica 320 13.50% III 6288 9.74% III
Nicomedia 369 15.60% II 10600 16.42% II
Cyzicus 127 5.35% IV 3655 5.66% IV
Antioch 86 3.62% V 2440 3.78% V
Alexandria 5 0.21% VII 81 0.12% VIII
Carthage 10 0.43% VI 215 0.33% VI
Rome 3 0.12% IX 30 0.04% X
Ravenna 1 0.04% XI 40 0.06% IX
Cherson 4 0.16% VIII 105 0.16% VII
Mon. Milit. Imit. 2 0.08% X 30 0.04% X
TOTAL 2370 100% 64534 100%

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ACTA MUSEI VARNAENSIS VІІ–1

Table 4. The coin distribution upon mints and issuers.

Tiberius II
Justinian I
Anastasius

Heraclius
Maurice
Justin II
Justin I

Phocas
Mint

Constantinople 94.37% 84.33% 65.23% 44.52% 50% 53.45% 59.13% 69.84%


Thessalonica – – 4.84% 27.61% 6.95% 24.26% 4.35% 1.59%
Nicomedia 4.22% 10.82% 16.60% 19.82% 31.95% 12.13% 14.78% 17.46%
Cyzicus – 2.61% 5.88% 5.94% 1.38% 6.89% 16.52% 1.59%
Antioch 1.41% 1.87% 5.75% 2.11% 9.72% 2.62% 4.35% –
Carthage – – 1.31% – – – 0.87% –
Ravenna – – – – – – – 1.59%
Rome – – 0.39% – – – – -
Alexandria – – – – – – – 7.93%
Cherson – 0.37% – – – 0.65% – –

The statistical study of the officinae has never been the subject of a major
approach, but the development of the Byzantine studies and the scholarly
attention paid to the Early Byzantine coin circulation may fit a future
article on the distribution of officinae among the finds yielded by the major
cities of the Empire. Table 6 provides the statistics for the province of
Scythia and the first conclusions can be drawn, especially for the central
mint, with the largest number of coin finds. The five officinae are quite
balanced in the overall record of the period, with a small prevalence of the
first officina92. What seems interesting is the fact that, despite the relative
equilibrium of the total figures, inside every reign the results are rather
unbalanced: the time of Anastasius brings especially issues bearing the
mark of the fifth officina, while Justinian, Maurice and Heraclius provide
more specimens issued at the first officina, to mention only the most
striking differences. The mint of Nicomedia shows the same trend, with
a highly balanced overall statistic, but with fluctuations for each reign.
The relatively low number of coins minted in Cyzicus, found in Scythia,
permits only a general conclusion leading to a quite even repartition of the
two officinae. The largest number of coins struck at Antioch bears the mark
of the third officina, a situation similar to Saraçhane, Amaseia and Sardis.
The archaeological excavations at Antioch yielded as well a large number
of coins isued at the third officina, although surpassed in number by the
first officina.

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The present survey and its statistical results will eventually be updated
after new coin finds and possibly after the publication of some important
samples still unpublished after a long time93. Although the main trends
in the coin circulation could still stand in the years to come, further
developments might prove valuable in the debate around the political and
economical events underwent at the Lower Danube during its last century
under Roman rule.
Table 5. The coin distribution upon denominations and issuers.

DENOMINATION/ COINS / %
Emperor
M ΛΓ ΧΧΧ Κ IS IB I E Total
Anastasius I 78/47.86 – – 82/50.31 – – 2/1.22 1/0.61 163
Justin I 146/52.33 – – 111/39.78 – – 6/2.15 16/5.74 279
Justinian I 375/43.06 1/0.11 – 193/22.16 7/0.80 – 257/29.51 38/4.36 871
Justin II 363/42.06 – – 378/43.80 – – 3/0.35 119/13.79 863
Tiberius II 41/51.90 – 3/3.80 24/30.38 – – 5/6.33 6/7.59 79
Maurice 126/34.71 – – 204/56.20 – – 26/7.16 7/1.93 363
Phocas 54/37.76 – 1/0.70 85/59.44 – – 2/1.40 1/0.70 143
Heraclius 58/81.70 – – 12/16.90 – 1/1.40 – – 71
TOTAL 1241/43.82 1/0.03 4/0.14 1089/38.46 7/0.25 1/0.03 301/10.63 188/6.64 2832

Table 6. Officinae. Number of coins and % of the total for each reign per mint.

Constantinople Nicomedia Cyzicus Antioch


Em­peror Total
A B Γ Δ E A B A B A B Γ Δ
13 / 20 / 11 / 16 / 42 / 2/ 1/
Anas­tasius I – – – – – – 105
12.74 19.61 10.78 15.87 41.18 66.67 33.33
29 / 35 / 38 / 26 / 27 / 7 / 11 / 1/ 3/ 1/ 1/
Justin I – – 179
18.71 22.58 24.52 16.77 17.42 38.88 61.12 25 75 50 50
63 / 41 / 46 / 53 / 39 / 21 / 17 / 6 / 10 / 3/ 4/ 8/ 2/
Justinian I 313
26.04 16.95 19 21.9 16.11 55.26 44.74 37.5 62.5 17.65 23.53 47.05 11.77
37 / 55 / 56 / 44 / 37 / 34 / 40 / 12 / 6/ 2/ 5/
Justin II – – 328
16.16 24.02 24.45 19.21 16.16 45.95 54.05 66.67 33.33 28.57 71.43
Tiberius II
2/ 6/ 3/ 4/ 6/ 6 / 10 / 1/
Consta­n­ – – – – – 38
9.52 28.57 14.29 19.05 28.57 37.5 62.5 100
tine
Maurice 43 / 24 / 14 / 21 / 19 / 13 / 12 / 7/ 6 /
– – – – 159
Tiberius 35.54 19.83 11.57 17.36 15.7 52 48 53.85 46.15
6/ 6/ 6/ 12 / 11 / 6/ 5 8/ 4/
Phocas – – – – 64
14.63 14.63 14.63 29.27 26.83 54.54 45.46 66.67 33.33
11 / 8/ 7/ 6/ 4/ 2/ 1/ 1/
Heraclius – – – – – 40
30.56 22.22 19.44 1.67 11.11 66.67 33.33 100
204 / 195 / 181 / 182 / 185 / 91 / 97 / 35 / 29 / 4/ 7 / 14 / 2/
TOTAL 1226
21.54 20.59 19.11 19.22 19.54 48.41 51.59 54.69 45.31 14.81 25.93 51.85 7.41

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ACTA MUSEI VARNAENSIS VІІ–1

APPENDIX
Table 1. Coins with certain date.

NUMBER OF COINS/ NUMMIA/ MINT

MOMIL

TOTAL
YEAR

ROM
CON

CAR
ANT
THE

CYZ

ALE

RAV
NIC

?
498–507 13/370 – 1/20 – – – – – – – – 14/390
507–512 23/690 – – – – – – – – – – 23/690
512–518 95/2880 – 3/70 – 2/60 – – – – – – 100/3010
518–522 80/2660 – 3/120 2/60 – – – – – – 1/40 86/2880
522–527 86/2220 – 9/290 3/120 – – – – – – – 98/2630
518–527 53/1750 – 15/360 – 5/100 – – – – – 15/230 88/2440
527–532 19/780 – – – 3/60 – – – – – 1/40 23/880
532–538 29/1140 – – – 5/130 – 1/40 – – – – 35/1310
527–538 140/3840 – 15/445 – 8/240 – 1/40 – – – 4/160 168/4725
538–539 18/560 – 6/200 1/20 1/40 – – – – – 26/820
539–540 20/660 – 7/220 – 5/180 – 6/105 – – – – 38/1165
540–541 10/330 – 1/40 – – – 1/10 – – 1/20 – 13/400
541–542 22/730 – 6/200 1/20 – – – – – – 2/50 31/1000
542–547 – 4/64 – – – – – – – – – 4/64
542–543 15/380 – 2/80 2/80 – – – – – – – 19/540
543–544 14/470 – 5/180 2/60 – – – – – – 1/10 22/720
544–545 8/155 – 3/100 – – – – – – – – 11/255
545–546 6/210 – 5/180 3/80 1/40 – – – – – – 15/510
546–547 11/280 – 1/40 – – – – – – – 3/70 15/390
547–548 8/200 – 2/60 4/140 1/20 – – 2/20 – – – 17/440
548–549 9/230 – – 4/160 2/60 – – – – – – 15/450
549–550 4/80 – 2/40 2/80 – – – – – – – 8/200
550–551 3/60 – – 1/40 1/20 – – – – – 1/40 6/160
551–552 1/20 – – 2/80 2/40 – – – – – – 5/140
547–552 – 1/16 – – – – – – – – – 1/16
552–557 – 1/16 – – – – – – – – – 1/16
552–553 5/100 – 2/40 1/40 4/120 – – – – 1/10 – 13/310
553–554 3/60 – – – – – – – – – – 3/60
554–555 5/160 – 2/50 – 1/40 – – – – – – 8/250
555–556 15/420 – 4/100 2/60 – – – – – – – 21/580
556–557 12/240 – 9/90 1/40 1/20 – – – – – 3/30 26/420
557–558 8/220 – – 1/40 1/40 – – – – – – 10/300
558–559 9/150 – 9/130 2/20 1/20 – – – – – 2/20 23/340
559–560 9/120 – 3/40 1/10 3/120 – – – – – – 16/290
560–561 2/20 – 3/30 – 2/80 – – – – – – 7/130
561–562 8/110 1/20 9/90 3/30 – – – 1/10 – 1/10 23/270

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NUMBER OF COINS/ NUMMIA/ MINT

MOMIL

TOTAL
YEAR

ROM
CON

CAR
ANT
THE

CYZ

ALE

RAV
NIC

?
562–563 5/80 6/120 3/30 – – – – – – – 1/10 15/240
563–564 7/70 11/220 3/30 3/30 – – – – – – 3/30 27/380
564–565 5/50 6/120 2/20 – 1/20 – – – – – 2/20 16/230
565–566 3/120 1/20 1/40 1/10 1/40 – – – – – – 7/230
566–567 5/200 11/210 2/80 – – – – – – – – 18/490
567–568 14/420 19/380 5/180 4/140 – – – – – – 1/40 43/1160
568–569 32/1200 37/740 10/380 – – – – – – – 2/80 81/2400
569–570 28/980 33/660 21/800 1/40 4/55 – – – – – 1/20 88/2555
570–571 44/1560 11/220 23/780 6/140 1/40 – – – – – – 85/2740
571–572 25/820 7/140 15/520 – 3/120 – – – – – – 50/1600
572–573 17/580 6/120 10/340 3/100 1/20 – – – – – 1/20 38/1180
573–574 23/900 1/20 10/380 4/120 2/80 – – – – – 1/20 41/1520
574–575 19/680 37/740 12/400 10/360 – – – – – – – 78/2180
575–576 11/420 11/220 8/240 2/80 – – – – – – – 32/960
576–577 11/440 1/20 6/140 6/140 1/20 – – – – – – 25/760
577–578 1/40 6/120 2/40 – – – – – – – 1/20 10/220
578–579 9/350 2/40 3/120 – 3/120 – – – – – – 17/630
579–580 1/40 – – – 2/80 – – – – – – 3/120
580–581 8/320 1/20 5/200 – – – – – – – – 14/540
581–582 2/80 – – 1/40 2/80 – – – – – – 5/200
582–583 10/130 3/60 1/40 – – – – – – – – 14/230
583–584 12/320 7/140 2/80 1/40 – – – – – – – 22/580
584–585 7/185 5/100 2/60 1/40 1/40 – – – – – – 16/425
585–586 11/360 5/90 – 1/40 – – – – – – – 17/490
586–587 13/360 10/200 2/40 – 1/20 – – – – – 1/20 27/640
587–588 6/160 6/120 12/400 5/160 – – – – – – – 29/840
588-589 12/360 1/20 3/100 1/40 – – – – – – – 17/520
589-590 14/360 2/40 2/60 3/120 – – – – – – – 21/580
590–591 10/340 – – 1/20 – – – – – – – 11/360
591–592 11/300 8/160 4/160 – 2/40 – – – – – – 25/660
592–593 6/140 3/60 1/20 2/60 – – – – – – – 12/280
593–594 5/140 3/50 – – 3/60 – – – – – – 11/250
594–595 7/240 4/80 2/80 1/40 1/20 – – – – – – 15/460
595–596 3/120 – 1/40 – – – – – – – – 4/160
596–597 1/20 2/40 1/40 – – – – – – – – 4/100
597–598 3/100 – – – – – – – – – – 3/100
598–599 – – – – – – – – – – 1/20 1/20
599–600 2/40 – – – – – – – – – – 2/40
600–601 1/20 2/40 – – – – – – – – – 3/60

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NUMBER OF COINS/ NUMMIA/ MINT

MOMIL

TOTAL
YEAR

ROM
CON

CAR
ANT
THE

CYZ

ALE

RAV
NIC

?
601–602 2/80 3/60 – 1/40 – – – – – – – 6/180
602–603 3/80 – – 1/40 – – – – – – – 4/120
603–604 7/280 – 1/20 4/80 1/40 – – – – – – 13/420
604–605 4/160 – 2/40 2/40 1/20 – – – – – – 9/260
605–606 2/80 – 2/60 4/140 2/60 – – – – – – 10/340
606–607 6/240 – 5/180 1/20 – – 1/20 – – – 1/40 14/500
607–608 4/160 – 3/110 1/40 – – – – – – – 8/310
608–609 3/120 – 1/20 – 1/20 – – – – – – 5/160
609–610 – – 1/40 1/40 – – – – – – – 2/80
610–611 2/60 – – – – – – – – – – 2/60
611–612 3/100 – 2/60 1/40 – – – – – – – 6/200
612–613 8/320 – 3/120 – – – – – – – – 11/440
613–614 11/440 – 2/80 – – – – – – – 1/40 14/560
614–615 4/160 – – – – – – – – – – 4/160
615–616 2/80 – – – – – – – – – – 2/80
616–617 – 1/20 – – – – – – – – – 1/20
617–618 – – – – – – – – – – – –
618–619 – – – – – – – – – – – –
619–620 – – – – – – – – – – – –
620–621 – – – – – – – – – – – –
621–622 – – – – – – – – – – – –
622–623 – – – – – – – – – – – –
623–624 – – – – – – – – – – – –
624–625 – – – – – – – – – – – –
625–626 – – – – – – – – 1/40 – – 1/40
626–627 – – – – – – – – – – – –
627–628 – – – – – – – – – – – –
628–629 – – – – – 1/12 – – – – – 1/12
629–630 4/120 – – – – – – – – – – 4/120
TOTAL 1232/ 281/ 321/ 111/ 83/ 1/ 10/ 3/ 1/ 2/ 51/ 2096/
37820 5526 9785 3420 2425 12 215 30 40 30 1080 60383

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Table 2. Coins with uncertain date.

NUMBER OF COINS/ NUMMIA/ MINT


EMPEROR
CON THE NIC CYZ ANT ALE CHE ? TOTAL
Anastasius I 1/20 – – – – – – 10/180 11/200
Justin I – – – – – – 1/20 – 1/20
Justinian I 38/630 5/82 12/200 4/70 – 1/33 1/5 56/920 117/1940
Justin II 84/745 18/360 16/110 7/65 3/15 – – 52/990 180/2285
Tiberius II 15/215 1/20 14/330 – – – – 3/40 33/605
Maurice 14/185 7/140 2/15 2/20 – – 2/80 16/395 43/835
Phocas 37/645 4/80 1/40 3/80 – – – 9/205 54/1050
Heraclius 8/300 – 1/40 – – 2/24 – 3/100 14/464
6th c. 14/490 4/80 2/80 – – 1/12 – 53/660 74/1322
TOTAL 211/ 39/ 48/ 16/ 3/ 4/ 4/ 202/ 527/
3230 762 815 235 15 69 105 3490 8721

Table 3. A comparative survey upon nummia per year of reign.


% OF THE COEFFICIENTS NUMMIA/ YEAR OF REIGN
Novio­dunum
EMPEROR

Argamum
Dinogetia

Capidava
Halmyris

Callatis

Odartsi
Tomis

Istrus

Acres

Anastasius 2.75 4.38 5.09 6.43 7.49 5.19 2.37 5.00 7.08 3.64
Justin I 21.40 12.87 20.61 17.68 21.21 32.52 10.85 13.55 20.00 23.87
Justinian I 9.55 11.29 10.04 13.50 12.35 15.92 13.21 4.22 14.01 10.44
Justin II 24.81 31.35 32.78 41.80 40.04 16.61 40.63 26.44 39.52 45.94
Tiberius II 6.80 20.39 11.16 3.85 9.14 14.88 7.89 13.88 9.76 4.55
Maurice 14.82 11.41 9.72 16.72 5.48 8.65 15.19 11.88 1.57 7.46
Phocas 19.87 8.30 10.56 – 3.29 6.23 9.86 25.00 0.15 4.10

Table 4. A comparative survey upon reigns and monetary reforms.

% OF THE COEFFICIENTS NUMMIA/ YEAR OF REFORM


Novio­
Emperor Reform Tomis Istrus Dinogetia Halmyris Odartsi Capidava
dunum
Anastasius I 498–512 1.29 0.56 0.25 1.60 0.26 1.13 0.97
512–518 3.27 6.06 6.48 6.57 6.61 9.41 4.53
Justin I 518–527 14.85 7.06 10.30 8.81 10.23 10.30 13.79
Justinian I 527–538 7.24 10.07 6.66 7.37 6.79 11.76 8.50
538–542 7.62 9.31 2.16 20.03 17.65 8.35 13.43
542–550 4.87 4.74 9.77 4.96 6 4.86 7.65
550–565 5.41 2.18 3.11 2.08 2.91 4.70 1.81
Justin II 565–570 13.33 11.27 17.30 19.23 15 13.99 17.67
570–578 14.24 18 18.85 20.99 20.91 24.42 22.09

322
ACTA MUSEI VARNAENSIS VІІ–1

% OF THE COEFFICIENTS NUMMIA/ YEAR OF REFORM

Novio­
Emperor Reform Tomis Istrus Dinogetia Halmyris Odartsi Capidava
dunum
Tiberius II 578–580 – 9.94 4.32 – 8.82 4.05 2.55
Constantine 580–582 3.81 9.94 8.65 – – 6.08 –
Maurice 582–602 10.28 6.26 4.32 8.33 2.64 0.81 5.10
Phocas 602–610 13.79 4.24 8.04 – 1.58 0.08 1. 91

Table 5. A comparative survey upon mints.

MINT Tomis Istrus Novio­dunum Dinogetia Halmyris Odartsi Capidava


Constantinople 58.50 63.26 55.22 57.53 60.74 64.08 56
Thessalonica 17.42 13.60 22.38 17.80 14.95 9.86 16.67
Nicomedia 13.27 13.26 14.17 17.80 15.88 16.20 17.33
Cyzicus 7.05 4.42 3.73 2.73 4.67 5.63 5.33
Antioch 2.90 4.42 2.23 2.73 3.73 2.82 4.67
Alexandria 0.41 – – – – – –
Carthage 0.41 1.02 – 1.36 – 1.41 –
Rome – – 0.72 – – – –
MOMILIM – – 1.49 – – – –

_______________________

* An early version of this paper has been published in CN, 9–11, 2005, pp. 109–166.
1
G. Custurea. Date noi privind circulaţia monedei bizantine în Dobrogea (sec.
V–VII). – Pontica, 37–38, 2004–2005, pp. 491–535; E. Oberländer-Târnoveanu.
Aux origines économiques du Moyen Age au Bas-Danube: Notes sur l’ évolution
des échanges monétaires dans la zone rurale de Dobrudja et au nord-est de la
Bulgarie aux VIe–Xe siècles. – In: Studia Historica et Theologica. Omagiu prof.
Emilian Popescu, 2003, pp. 211–226; E. Oberländer-Târnoveanu. La monnaie
dans l’espace rural byzantin des Balkans Orientaux – Un essai de synthèse au
commencement du XXIe siècle. – Peuce, 14, 2003, pp. 341–379; Fl. Curta. Invasion
or Inflation? Sixth-to Seventh-Century Byzantine Coin Hoards in Eastern and
Southeastern Europe. – AnnIIN, 43, 1996, pp. 65–124; C. Preda. Scurtă privire
asupra descoperirilor monetare bizantine din Dobrogea. – BSNR, 90–91, 1996–1997,
144–145, pp. 97–126; Gh. Poenaru Bordea, E. Nicolae, A. Popescu. Contributions
numismatiques à l’histoire de Noviodunum aux VIe–VIIe siècles. – SCN, 11,
1995, pp. 135–161; I. Jordanov. Dobrudza (491–1092) – selon les données de la
numismatique et de la sphragistique, in Dobrudza. – In: Etudes ethno-culturelles.
Sofia, 1987, pp. 182–207; Gh. Poenaru Bordea, R. Ocheşeanu. Probleme istorice
dobrogene (secolele VI–VII) în lumina monedelor bizantine din colecţia Muzeului
de Istorie Naţională şi Arheologie din Constantza. – SCIVA, 3, 1980, pp. 377–396;
V. Popovic. La descente des Koutrigours, des Slaves et des Avars vers la Mer Egée:

323
Andrei Gândilâ • some aspects of the monetary circulation in...

Le témoinage de l’archéologie. – CRAI, 1978, pp. 596–648; Gh. Poenaru Bordea.


Monnaies byzantines des VIe–VIIe siècles en Dobroudja. – In: Actes de XIVe Congrès
International des études Byzantines. Bucharest, III, 1976, pp. 203–214; Gh. Poenaru
Bordea. Monede bizantine de bronz din secolele V–VII în Dobrogea. – BMI, 1971,
pp. 51–57; J. Juroukova. Les invasions slaves au sud du Danube d’après les trésors
monétaires en Bulgarie. – Byzantinobulgarica, III, 1969, pp. 255–263; J. Juroukova.
Particularités dans la circulation des monnaies byzantines du VIe–VIIe s. sur le littoral
occidental de la Mer Noire. – Byzantinobulgarica, II, 1966, pp. 223–227.
2
At this point the latest coin issued by Heraclius to be found in Dobrudja are two
folles struck in Constantinople, and 629/630 (both found at Mangalia in the ancient
Callatis area); see: R. Ocheşeanu. Câteva monede bizantine din secolele VII–XI. –
Pontica, 14, 1981, p. 312; O. Iliescu. Însemnări privitoare la descoperiri monetare. –
SCN, 2, 1958, p. 453; Gh. Poenaru Bordea, R. Ocheşeanu. Probleme istorice
dobrogene (secolele VI–VII)..., p. 390, fn. 37 and two half-folles dated to the same
year, one of them found in the ancient Carsium area. See: G. Custurea. Unele aspecte
privind penetraţia monedei bizantine în Dobrogea în secolele VII–X. – Pontica, 19,
1986; Gh. Poenaru Bordea, R. Ocheşeanu, Al. Popeea. Monnaies Byzantines du
Musée de Constanta (Roumanie). Wetteren, 2004, p. 126.
3
Th. Isvoranu, Gh. Poenaru Bordea. Monede bizantine de la Tomis şi
împrejurimi în colecţia Institutului de Arheologie „Vasile Pârvan“. – In: Simpozion
de numismatică. Bucureşti, 2003, pp. 137–161.
4
A. Gândilă. The Last Stage of Early Byzantine Capidava and the Numismatic
Evidence. – CN, 12, under print.
5
H. Nubar in: C. Preda, H. Nubar. Histria III. Descoperirile monetare, 1914–
1970. Bucharest, 1973, pp. 198–233; Gh. Poenaru Bordea in: Al. Suceveanu. Histria
VI. Les thermes romains. Bucharest, 1982, pp. 154–158; Gh. Poenaru Bordea,
E. Nicolae, A. Popescu. Contributions numismatiques à l’histoire de Noviodunum
aux VIe–VIIe siècles, pp. 135–161.
6
Gh. Poenaru Bordea, E. Nicolae, A. Popescu. Op. cit., pp. 135–161.
7
B. Mitrea. Monedele şi prăbuşirea Dinogeţiei la sfârşitul secolului VI. – Pontica,
7, 1974, pp. 49–72.
8
Gh. Poenaru Bordea in Al. Suceveanu, M. Zahariade, Fl. Topoleanu and Gh.
Poenaru Bordea. Halmyris I. Cluj Napoca, 2003, pp. 142–189.
9
M. Iacob, Gh. Poenaru Bordea. Les monnaies des IVe–VIIe siècles découvertes
à Argamum (Scythie Mineure). – In: XII. Internationaler Numismatischer Kongress
Berlin 1997, Akten-Proceedings-Actes, II, Berlin, 2000, p. 780–792.
10
Gh. Poenaru Bordea, R. Ocheşeanu, A. Popescu. Monede greceşti, romane şi
bizantine din Dobrogea în colecţia muzeului din Brăila. – SCN, 12, 1998, p. 83–117.
11
В. Парушев. Античните монети от Калиакра. – Известия на Народния
музей–Варна, 27, 1991, с. 26–31.
12
И. Йорданов. Нумизматичната колекция на археологическия музей Бал­
чик – исторически извор за историята на града и околностите му. – In: Балчик –
древност и съвремие. Балчик, 1990, с. 55.
13
S. Torbatov. Coin Circulation in the Hill-top Settlement near Odartsi (310–610
AD) (in Bulgarian with summary in English). Велико Търново, 2003.
14
I. Barnea. Contributions to Dobrudja History under Anastasius I. – Dacia, N. S.,
4, 1960, pp. 363–374; Gh. Poenaru Bordea. Monede bizantine de bronz din secolele
V–VII în Dobrogea, p. 53; Al. Barnea. La Dobroudja aux IVe–VIIe siècles n. è. – In:

324
ACTA MUSEI VARNAENSIS VІІ–1

Al. Suceveanu, Al. Barnea. La Dobroudja romaine. Bucharest, 1991, p. 171.


15
I. Barnea. Perioada Dominatului (sec. IV–VII). – In: R. Vulpe, I. Barnea. Din
istoria Dobrogei, II. Romanii la Dunărea de Jos. Bucharest, 1968, p. 438; M. Sâmpetru.
Situaţia imperiului romano-bizantin la Dunărea de Jos la sfârşitul secolului al VI-
lea şi începutul celui de al VII-lea. – SCIV, 22, 1971, 2, pp. 228–229. See also the
recent studies dealing with the dissolution of the Roman limes during Heraclius: Al.
Barnea, in Al. Suceveanu, Al. Barnea. Op. cit., pp. 176–177; Al. Madgearu. The
Province of Scythia and The Avaro-Slavic Invasions (576–626). – BS, 37, 1, 1996, pp.
52–55; Al. Madgearu. The Downfall of the Lower Danubian Late Roman Frontier. –
RRH, 36, 1997, 3–4, pp. 315–336; Fl. Curta. The Making of the Slavs: History and
Archaeology of the Lower Danube Region. Cambridge, 2001, p. 189.
16
Due to the necessity of using only the coin finds that can be dated very precisely,
an important number of coins was withdrawn from this particular statistical table, as
their state of preservation did not permit an accurate dating or simply because the
coin types do not give enough information for a very precise dating. One of the best
examples are the smaller denominations issued in the name of Tiberius II Constantine,
whose short reign, even more, has two stages according to the monetary reforms
carried out; therefore no less than 33 coins were excluded from the table, almost half
of the entire batch. Table 2 from the appendix shows also important number of coins
from the reigns of Justinian and Justin II that could not be dated. On the counterpart,
all the coin finds from the reigns of Maurice, Phocas or Justin I are present in the table,
as no monetary reforms were performed throughout their reigns, meaning that in the
case of an ideal situation where all coin finds can be dated with maximum accuracy,
these last mentioned reigns would provide even lesser figures in the statistics.
17
W. Hahn. Moneta Imperii Byzantini, I. Wien, 1973, p. 27, II, 1975, pp. 14–17
and III, 1981, p. 16; See also: J-P. Callu. Le tarif d’Abydos et la reforme monétaire
d’Anastase. – In: The IXth Numismatic Congres, Berna 10–15 september 1979, pp.
731–740; M. F. Hendy. Studies in the Byzantine Monetary Economy c. 300–1450.
Cambridge, 1985, p. 478.
18
D. M. Metcalf. The Origin of the Anastasian Currency Reform. Amsterdam,
1969, pp. 94–99. The hoard of Cudalbi, Galatz County, in „Barbaricum“, contains
small module folles dating from this early period. First published by I. Dimian –
I. Dimian. Câteva descoperiri monetare bizantine pe teritoriul RPR. – SCN, 1, 1957,
pp. 190–191 and later republished by O. Iliescu. Tezaurul de monede bizantine de la
Cudalbi. – In: Creşterea Colecţiilor, 43–44, 1973, pp. 9–14, ns. 12–39; See also the
updated table in Fl. Curta. Invasion or Inflation?..., p. 118.
19
I. Barnea. Contributions to Dobrudja History under Anastasius I, pp. 363–373;
Al. Barnea. La Dobroudja aux IVe–VIIe siècles n. è., p. 171; Fl. Curta. The Making…,
pp. 124–126.
20
Appendix, table 3 and 4. Also see the statistical results for the fortresses at
Dionyssopolis, Acres, Bizone and Odartsi: S. Torbatov. Op. cit., p. 198, pp. 207–209.
21
E. Oberländer-Târnoveanu. La monnaie dans l’espace rural byzantin des
Balkans Orientaux ..., p. 348.
22
W. Hahn. Op. cit., I, pp. 19–27 (360 folles/solidus).
23
This figures should be taken with the reserve that an important number of
nummia (2440), could not be dated precisely due to the state of preservation. The
same advice is to be taken for the first stage of Justinianus, when 4725 nummia could
be only dated roughly 527–538.

325
Andrei Gândilâ • some aspects of the monetary circulation in...

24
Al. Barnea. La Dobroudja aux IVe–VIIe siècles n. è., p. 172.
25
Gh. Poenaru Bordea, R. Ocheşeanu, A. Popescu. Monede greceşti, romane şi
bizantine din Dobrogea..., p. 100–101. In connexion with the same events could be
put the the hoard from Cudalbi ended with issues dated 522–527 (see fn. 18).
26
Al. Barnea. La Dobroudja aux IVe–VIIe siècles n. è., p. 172.
27
I. Barnea. Perioada Dominatului (sec. IV–VII), p. 424.
28
Procopius. De bello Gothico, III, 14, 6.
29
I. Barnea. Perioada Dominatului (sec. IV–VII), p. 417; Gh. Poenaru Bordea,
E. Nicolae, A. Popescu. Contributions numismatiques à l’histoire de Noviodunum
aux VIe–VIIe siècles, p. 151.
30
Procopius. De bello Gothico, III, 14, 32–33; I. Barnea. Perioada Dominatului
(sec. IV–VII), p. 418; Gh. Poenaru Bordea, E. Nicolae, A. Popescu. Contributions
numismatiques à l’histoire de Noviodunum aux VIe–VIIe siècles, p. 152. For the
location of Turris at Barboşi (Galatz County) stands the offer made by Justinian to
the Antes two years earlier, to settle as foederates on the territory between the Danube
Delta and the river Dnister; See: Al. Madgearu. The Placement of the Fortress
Turris. – BS, 33, 2, 1992, pp. 203–208. Another hypothesis tries to place Turris at
Tyras (Cetatea Albă), see: D. Gh. Teodor. Romanitatea carpato-dunăreană şi Bizanţul
în veacurile V–XI e. n. Iaşi, 1981, p. 18.
31
B. Mitrea. Un tezaur de monede bizantine descoperit la Constanta. – Pontica,
16, 1983, pp. 239–262; Gh. Poenaru Bordea, E. Nicolae, A. Popescu. Contributions
numismatiques à l’histoire de Noviodunum aux VIe–VIIe siècles, p. 152 and fn. 36.
32
В. Иванов. Няколко монетни находки от Южна Добруджа. – In: Добруджа,
12, 1995, с. 311.
33
Al. Barnea. La Dobroudja aux IVe–VIIe siècles n. è...., p. 173.
34
B. Mitrea. Monedele şi prăbuşirea Dinogeţiei la sfârşitul secolului VI, p. 65, nr.
21 and p. 66, nr. 33; I. Barnea. L’incendie de la cité de Dinogetia au VIe s. – Dacia N.
S., 10, 1966, pp. 237–259.
35
An. Vertan, G. Custurea, G. Talmaţchi. Descoperiri monetare în Dobrogea
(XIII). – Pontica, 32, 1999, p. 351.
36
I. Dimian. Câteva descoperiri monetare bizantine pe teritoriul RPR, pp. 191–
192; V. Popović. Une invasion slave sous Justin II inconnue des sources éctrites. –
Numizmatičar, 4, 1981, p. 113.
37
Th. Isvoranu, Gh. Poenaru Bordea. Monede bizantine de la Tomis…, pp.
156–157.
38
Gh. Poenaru Bordea in Al. Suceveanu et al. Halmyris I, p. 182.
39
Gh. Poenaru Bordea. Monnaies byzantines des VIe–VIIe siècles en Dobroudja
..., p. 207.
40
Al. Barnea. La Dobroudja aux IVe–VIIe siècles n. è., p. 175.
41
I. Barnea. Perioada Dominatului (sec. IV–VII), p. 431.
42
Al. Madgearu. The Province of Scythia and The Avaro-Slavic Invasions (576–
626), pp. 37–38.
43
I. Dimian. Câteva descoperiri monetare bizantine pe teritoriul RPR, pp. 193–
194; C. Chiriac. Câteva consideraţii asupra tezaurului de monede bizantine de la
Gropeni (jud. Brăila). – In: Istros, 1, 1980, pp. 257–262.
44
Cr. Opaiţ. Descoperiri monetare în fortificaţia de la Independenţa, judeţul
Tulcea. – Peuce, 10, 1991, pp. 477–481; Gh. Poenaru Bordea in Al. Suceveanu et
al. Halmyris I, pp. 163–170.

326
ACTA MUSEI VARNAENSIS VІІ–1

45
D. Vâlceanu, Al. Barnea. Ceramica lucrată cu mâna la Piatra-Frecăţei, in
SCIVA, 26, 1975, 1, p. 215.
46
I. Opriş. Ceramica romană târzie şi paleobizantină de la Capidava în contextul
descoperirilor de la Dunărea de Jos (sec. IV–VI p. Chr). Bucharest, 2003, p. 33; Z. Covacef.
Cercetările din sectorul V al cetăţii Capidava. – MCA, Braşov, 1983, p. 361.
47
Al. Madgearu. The Province of Scythia and The Avaro-Slavic Invasions (576–
626), p. 42; C. Chiriac. Expediţia avară din 578–579 şi evidenţa numismatică. –
Arheologia Moldovei, 16, 1993, pp. 191–203.
48
Al. Madgearu. The Province of Scythia and The Avaro-Slavic Invasions (576–
626), pp. 43–45.
49
Gh. Poenaru Bordea, E. Nicolae, A. Popescu. Contributions numismatiques à
l’histoire de Noviodunum aux VIe–VIIe siècles, p. 152.
50
V. Parvan. Cetatea Tropaeum. Consideraţii istorice. Bucharest, 1912, pp.
190–191; I. Barnea. Perioada Dominatului (sec. IV–VII), p. 433. A specimen dating
from 590/1 was reported by Gh. Poenaru Bordea. Quelques monnaies trouvées à
Adamclisi et la fin de Civitas Tropaensium. – Dacia, N. S., 12, 1968, pp. 410–411;
Another confirmation comes from the small hoard found in 1993 (see below fn. 57).
51
V. Velkov. Cities in Thrace and Dacia in Late Antiquity (Studies and Materials).
Amsterdam, 1977, p. 54; Al. Barnea. La Dobroudja aux IVe–VIIe siècles n. è., p. 199;
S. Torbatov. Zaldapa (in Bulgarian with summary in English). – In: Roman and Early
Byzantine Settlements in Bulgaria. Sofia, 2003, p. 107.
52
I. Barnea. Perioada Dominatului (sec. IV–VII), pp. 433–434.
53
Al. Madgearu. The Province of Scythia and The Avaro-Slavic Invasions (576–
626), p. 49.
54
B. Mitrea. Monedele şi prăbuşirea Dinogeţiei la sfârşitul secolului VI, p. 69 (no.
64).
55
E. Oberländer-Târnoveanu. Monede antice şi bizantine descoperite la
Troesmis. – Peuce, 8, 1980, p. 274 (no. 177).
56
Al. Suceveanu, C. Scorpan. Stratigrafia Histriei romane târzii în lumina
săpăturilor din 1969 şi 1970. – Pontica, 4, 1971, pp. 159–162.
57
I. Bogdan Cătăniciu, Gh. Poenaru Bordea. Un mic tezaur de monede bizantine
descoperit la Tropaeum Traiani. – BSNR, 90–91, 1996–1997, pp. 85–95. A second
hoard found at Tropaeum in 1908 could be related to these events. Unfortunatelly, it is
only partially preserved and its last available coin is dated 584/5; see R. Ocheşeanu.
Tezaurul de monede bizantine descoperit la Tropaeum Traiani în campania arheologică
din anul 1908. – SCN, 11, 1995, pp. 163–182.
58
Al. Madgearu. The Province of Scythia and The Avaro-Slavic Invasions (576–
626), p. 50, fn. 84 with the bibliography.
59
H. Nubar in: C. Preda, H. Nubar. Histria III. Descoperirile monetare, 1914–
1970, pp. 229–233; Gh. Poenaru Bordea in Al. Suceveanu et al. Halmyris I, pр.
157–158.
60
I. Dimian. Câteva descoperiri monetare bizantine pe teritoriul RPR, pp. 413–
416; V. Butnariu. Răspândirea monedelor bizantine din secolele VI–VII în teritoriile
carpato-dunărene. – BSNR, 77–79, 1983–1985, 131–133, p. 228; Connected to the
Slavic attack are a number of coin hoards in the Danube area: Fl. Curta. Invasion or
Inflation?…, pp. 156–161 (nos. 163–170).
61
For a detailed discussion on the subject see: Al. Madgearu. The Province of
Scythia and The Avaro-Slavic Invasions (576–626), p. 49.

327
Andrei Gândilâ • some aspects of the monetary circulation in...

62
C. Scorpan. Date arheologice referitoare la sec. VI–VII pe teritoriul Dobrogei. –
Pontica, 5, 1972, p. 358. The stratigraphy drawn by C, Scorpan was disputed by P. Diaconu –
P. Diaconu. Despre Sacidava şi „stratigrafia“ ei – SCIVA, 31, 1980, 1, pр. 123–130.
63
H. Nubar in: C. Preda, H. Nubar. Histria III. Descoperirile monetare, 1914–
1970, p. 231.
64
Th. Isvoranu, Gh. Poenaru Bordea. Monede bizantine de la Tomis…, pp.
157–158.
65
Fl. Curta. Invasion or Inflation?…, p. 164, with just four hoards reported of
which three comprise only gold coins. Otherwise, on the territory of Romania only
one hoard includes coins from Phocas, found in „Barbaricum“ at Obârşeni, Vaslui
County; See: I. Dimian. Câteva descoperiri monetare bizantine pe teritoriul RPR, p.
196; V. Butnariu. Răspândirea monedelor bizantine din secolele VI–VII în teritoriile
carpato-dunărene, p. 230; Fl. Curta. Invasion or Inflation?…, p. 168.
66
See fn. 2.
67
A. Gândilă. Early Byzantine Capidava: the Numismatic Evidence. – CN, 12–13,
2006–2007, p. 120.
68
An. Vertan, G. Custurea. Descoperiri monetare în Dobrogea (X). – Pontica,
28–29, 1995–1996, p. 318.
69
H. Nubar. Monede bizantine de la începutul secolului VII şi sfârşitul cetăţii
Histria. – SCN, 3, 1960, p. 189.
70
Gh. Poenaru Bordea in Al. Suceveanu et al. Halmyris I, p. 186.
71
E. Oberländer-Târnoveanu. Monede bizantine din secolele VII–X descoperite
în nordul Dobrogei. – SCN, 7, 1980, p. 163.
72
M. Iacob, Gh. Poenaru Bordea. Les monnaies des IVe–VIIe siècles découvertes
à Argamum (Scythie Mineure), pp. 780–792.
73
Th. Isvoranu, Gh. Poenaru Bordea. Monede bizantine de la Tomis…, p. 154,
table 6.
74
В. Парушев. Античните монети от Калиакра, c. 31.
75
Gh. Poenaru Bordea, R. Ocheşeanu. Tezaurul de monede bizantine de aur
descoperit în săpăturile din anul 1899 de la Axiopolis. – BSNR, 78–79, 1983–1985,
131–133, p. 191.
76
B. Mitrea. Découvertes de monnaies antiques et byzantines en Roumanie. –
Dacia N. S., 1966, p. 413.
77
An. Vertan, G. Custurea, G. Talmaţchi. Descoperiri monetare în Dobrogea
(XIII), p. 355.
78
I. Dimian. Câteva descoperiri monetare bizantine pe teritoriul RPR, p. 200.
79
E. Oberländer-Târnoveanu. La monnaie dans l’espace rural byzantin des
Balkans Orientaux..., p. 376, fn. 119.
80
R.M. Harrison, M. V. Gill, M. F. Hendy, S. J. Hill, D. Brothwell. Excavations at
Saraçhane in Istanbul. Vol. I, Chapter 12: The Coins. Princeton, 1986, pp. 309–313.
81
Al. Madgearu. Continuitate şi discontinuitate culturală la Dunărea de Jos în secolele
VII–VIII. Bucharest, 1997, pp. 104–107 and fig. 53; Al. Barnea. Einige Bemerkungen
zur Chronologie des Limes an der unteren Donau in spätrömischer Zeit. – Dacia, N. S.,
34, 1990, pp. 283–290; S. Torbatov. The Defence System of the Late Roman Province of
Scythia (the End of the 3rd–the 7th Century AD) (in Bulgarian with summary in English).
Велико Търново, 2002, passim. Coin finds from the sea coast fortresses as Tomis, Callatis
or Acres provide a fairly larger number of specimens from both Phocas and Heraclius,
proving that the strategic imperial coastline road was still under the Empire’s control.

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ACTA MUSEI VARNAENSIS VІІ–1

82
M. F. Hendy. Studies in the Byzantine Monetary Economy c. 300–1450, p. 498.
83
E. Oberländer-Târnoveanu. Monnaies byzantines des VIIe–Xe siècles découvertes
à Silistra dans la collection de l’académicien Péricle Papahagi, conservées au Cabinet
des Médailles du Musée National d’Histoire de Roumanieл – CN, 7, 1996, p. 104.
84
For a full record of the 7th century coin finds in Dobrudja see: E. Oberländer-
Târnoveanu. Monnaies byzantines des VIIe–Xe siècles découvertes à Silistra…,
p. 104, fn. 34, pp. 105–106, fns. 41, 43 and 44. Added are three folles from the recently
published collection of the museum in Constanta.
85
O. Damian. Despre prezenţa politică bizantină la Dunărea de jos în secolele
VII–X, in Prinos lui Petre Diaconu la 80 de ani. Brăila, 2004, p. 284sq.
86
See fn. 17. Such an approach was undertaken more than two decades ago
concerning the important collection at the Museum in Constanta: Gh. Poenaru
Bordea, R. Ocheşeanu. Probleme istorice dobrogene (secolele VI–VII), pp. 377–396;
Gh. Poenaru Bordea, R. Ocheşeanu, Al. Popeea. Monnaies Byzantines du Musée de
Constanta (Roumanie), pp. 5–16.
87
See appendix, table 5.
88
Th. Isvoranu, Gh. Poenaru Bordea. Monede bizantine de la Tomis…, p. 154,
table 5.
89
Gh. Poenaru Bordea, E. Nicolae, A. Popescu. Contributions numismatiques à
l’histoire de Noviodunum aux VIe–VIIe siècles, p. 143, table 10.
90
Th. Isvoranu, Gh. Poenaru Bordea. Monede bizantine de la Tomis…, p. 152,
table 2. The presence of lower denominations in high numbers is a good indicator of a
healthy monetary economy. Tomis is one of the few towns at the Lower Danube where
the ratio between folles and lower denominations is balanced and can be compared
with Greek or Middle Eastern urban centres where this situation is more common.
See for instance Corinth, K. M. Edwards. Corinth VI. Coins, 1896–1929, Cambridge
MA, 1933, and the subsequent reports in Hesperia; Berytus: K. Butcher. Archaeology
of the Beirut Souks 1. Small Change in Ancient Beirut: the coin finds from BEY 006
and BEY 045: Iron Age, Hellenistic Roman and Byzantine periods, Berytus, 45–46,
2001–2002; Antioch: D. B. Waage. Antioch-on-the-Orontes. Vol. IV, Part 2: Greek,
Roman, Byzantine and Crusaders’ Coins. Princeton–London–The Hague, 1952.
91
F. Curta. Byzantium in Dark-Age Greece (the Numismatic Evidence in its
Balkan Context). – Іn: Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, 29, 2, 2005, p. 124.
See also the coin finds from the shipwreck at Yassi Ada: J. M. Fagerlie, in G. F. Bass,
F.H van Doornick Jr. et alii. Yassi Ada. Vol. I: A Seventh-Century Byzantine
Shipwreck. Chapter VII: The Coins. Texas, 1982, pp. 145–154, where no half-folles
were reported among the 47 coins dated to the reign of Heraclius.
92
As a comparison, the statistics I have made for the published coins of: Sarachane
(M. F. Hendy. Excavations at Saraçhane in Istanbul, pp. 278–313) show the prevalence
of the second officina, while at Amaseia (S. Ireland. Greek, Roman and Byzantine
Coins in the Museum at Amasya. London, 2000, pp. 101–109) the fifth officina is
more present and so is at Antioch (D. B. Waage. Antioch-on-the-Orontes, pp. 148–
164), but not at Sardis (G. E. Bates. Byzantine Coins. Cambridge, 1971, pp. 19–112;
H. W. Bell. Sardis. Vol. XI, Part I, 1910–1914: Coins. Leiden, 1916, pp. 76–95), where
the second officina and the first, to some extent, are found in greater numbers.
93
R. Ocheşeanu. Monede antice şi bizantine descoperite la Tropaeum Traiani,
mss, 1976; Gh. Poenaru Bordea, E. Nicolae. Catalogul monedelor bizantine din
colecţia Institutului de Arheologie „Vasile Pârvan“, mss, 1987.

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Andrei Gândilâ • some aspects of the monetary circulation in...

Някои аспекти на
монетното обращение във византийската
провинция Скития през VI и VII в.

Андрей Гандила (Букурещ)

В проучването е разгледано подробно обращението на византийски


бронзови монети във византийската провинция Скития през VI и
VII в. За статистическия анализ е използвана информацията от близо
3000 монети, които са намерени на територията на провинцията.
Най-голям брой монети са били в обращение през първата половина
на VI в. След средата на века политическото и икономическото поло­
жение в империята се променя. Многобройните варварски нашест­вия
в балканските провинции водят до инфлация и намаляване на обема
използвани монети, а реалната стойност на медните фолиси спря­мо
златния солид намалява. През последната четвърт на VI в. запад­ните
сектори на дунавската граница падат в ръцете на аварите, но Империята
запазва прекия контрол върху Скития до първите десетилетия на VII в.
По това време се наблюдава прекъсване на монетооборота в повечето
крепости по границата и във вътрешността на провинцията.
Над 60% от монетите, намерени в Скития, са били отсечени в Кон­
стантинопол, а повечето от останалите – в Тесалоника, Никомедия и
Кизик. Броят на монетите, които са отсечени в Антиохия или в запад­
ните монетарници, е незначителен.
Най-често срещаните медни монети са фолиси, следвани от поло­
вин фолиси. Монетите от по-малък номинал са само 15%, което показ­
ва, че пазарът е бил недостатъчно развит и са се извършвали само
малки, ежедневни сделки.

Превод от английски език на Людмила Ковачева

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