Did a farmer ever see a copper coin in Byzantine Empire?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Herberto, Apr 17, 2021.

  1. Herberto

    Herberto Well-Known Member

    Byzantine coin, "Follis", around 600:
    1.jpg


    Byzantine coin, "billon trachea", around 1150:
    2.jpg


    Those two coins above were very common when they circulated, and there have been minted numerous of them and that is the reason why those two coins are SO common today.

    Until the modern era during the Industrial Revolution (around 1800) most people were farmers and lived OUTSIDE cities. 90% of people were farmers and 10% of people lived in cities. That was the case until the Industrial Revolution initiated the modern world where more and more people gradually moved into cities.

    I am just wondering: Giving that 90% of the population lived outside cities, did they ever see or used copper-coins like follis or billon trachea? Or did such copper coins only circulate in cities like Constantinople, Antiochea or Thessaloniki?

    Thanks
     
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  3. BenSi

    BenSi Supporter! Supporter


    I cannot speak for pre 12th century but yes coinage made it in to the hands of the common man, the economy had changed in the 12the century and so did the amount of coinage produced. If you look at any of the major archeological excavations the 12th century coinage prevails as loss coin finds, by far.
     
  4. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    That ratio has been applied to England and Europe, which really had no cities remotely comparable in size to those further East. The closest was probably Paris. I very much doubt that that ratio held true anywhere near Constantinople or in Islamic countries with large cities like Baghdad.
     
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