Byzantine coin references

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Valentinian, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Collecting is a hobby of the mind. Ancient coins are just artistic pieces of metal if you know nothing about them. However, they are fascinating if you know enough to appreciate them. To help you appreciate Byzantine coins, I have published a web page with Byzantine coin references. It has an extensive list of web sites, followed by an annotated list of books, followed by a list of sale catalogs that emphasize Byzantine coins.

    CoinTalk is a great educational resource. Almost every thread has information that makes coins of its topic more interesting. My web page does not link to CT discussions; you can look for them by searching this forum.

    Many of us are old and began collecting in the age of books and paper sale catalogs. Now we are in the web-site age of reference works. I'll bet many CT members have few books and know what they know because of the web. My site will help.

    If you are an advanced collector of Byzantine coins, I call your attention to the relatively new series (2015 and later) of massive books on "Byzantine Coinage in Italy" in three volumes and "Byzantine Coinage in Africa in Spain," bilingual in Italian and English, which I write about on that page.


    Pile on with comments about Byzantine-coin references!
    TTerrier, zumbly, Orfew and 9 others like this.
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  3. Jims Coins

    Jims Coins Supporter! Supporter

    Whatever happened to nomisma, the Byzantine coin software.
  4. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    This year I set a goal to collect more Byzantine coins and am very thankful you put together a page of references.
  5. Suarez

    Suarez Well-Known Member

    I feel a little dirty self-promoting but what the hey :- )
    Johndakerftw, Orfew, Bing and 3 others like this.
  6. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter

    Right now the main way collectors communicate with one and another is through Sear numbers, the work was fantastic for its time but now we have added so many more issues it needs to be updated. The values need to be changed as well.
    The Roman coin issues were updated but the Byzantine book was just reprinted.

    @Valentinian , you mention many of these references on your page ( it is excellent BTW) but I feel for a real need to have a change, Sear's book is used to communicate but it is 40 years old now. It needs to be updated or replaced with another work.

    The most effective way to update is an online catalog but the problem with that is they seem only to follow Sear numbers, again not leaving room for additions. Eg. Labrum and wildwinds. They are picture sources for SBCV.

    DOC Volumes I-V are now available free on line and they are the most complete of any catalogs but I think it will take a while for collectors to start using those numbers on a regular basis.

    Sadly, the DOC catalogs do not give value or rarity.

    Griersons book on byzantine coins is a great reference for collectors but the DOC volumes are far more complete and again collectors rarely reference a Grierson number for a coin type.

    We also have Sommers work printed in German with values but it seems incomplete leaving out many issues, I am not certain but I get the feeling these coins are in his collection, I have looked up coins in his catalog but I do not read German to understand what was included in the catalog and what wasn't. again it is rare to see his numbers used for a coin type.

    The most up to date information on any time period of coins is on articles on but again not organized, not edited. Just a jumble of papers of new ideas and new information.

    Their are also many new catalogs dealing with time periods of the Byzantine coinage.

    CLBC for 12th century ( great line drawings and fairly complete but poor science I have made my issues with this book known before.)
    The two Byzantine in Italy but they cut off at 900ad ( Of course because they lost that territory.)

    The Palaeologus time period seems very much in vogue with academics but not enough collectors for the time period they are dealing with.

    Whatever happens the dealers are the one who set reference books to use, the collectors will follow after that. DOC volumes are the most complete but they lack pricing so many coin dealers wont go that way. I have a feeling David Sears book will remain the main reference for many collectors for a long time.
  7. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    I revised my OP page on Byzantine coin reference works. @Suarez gave a good suggestion which I included and I thought of a few more books to review including the recent Prue Morgan Fitts book for beginners (See my review before you buy it) and a web page of our own @dougsmit . So, the page (URL repeated from the OP)

    has been (somewhat) revised. If you want to discuss reference works, feel free to private-message me. I have spent a long time working with them in an attempt to understand Byzantine coins and I think I know the strengths, weaknesses, and value of each and I would love to share what I know if I can help. My page is an attempt.
    Clavdivs likes this.
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