Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Mkm5, Feb 18, 2021.
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Chinese and other Eastern cash are basically unchanged from 2nd c BC to late 19th/early 20th c AD. It makes little sense to break them up based on some arbitrary date.
Personally, instead of ancient and medieval I like to think of pre-modern - in other words before machine striking.
I consider ancient coins to end in the west in 476 with the fall of "Rome" but continue through Constantinople in the east up until 1453. There is no breaking point in the east between ancient and medieval, and I don't personally think Byzantium ever really crossed that line considering the traditions, society, and institutions remained the same from ancient Greece and "imperial" Rome (In this case up until 476 but which only really ended in 1453)
I do believe it depends on the area of the world. What I always used, (with an exception for Byzantines who spanned the eras), was fall of Rome in West, Rise of Islam in middle east, and Tang dynasty in China. Similar timeframes where something major changed in the world.
Goes back to lack of education poor word choices. The one I hate is the misuse of decimated, "oh bruh, it was completely wiped out, it was decimated". Decimated means 1/10th, (think decimal), what they probably mean if they were better educated is obliterated.
Looks like I have a lot of learning to do as I venture out beyond collecting US coins!
This is what I use as well. Of course, it leaves the coins of non-Islamic states in India unaccounted for, but I try not to worry too much over whether a coin is "Ancient" or "Medieval" (or even "Modern")- if I like a coin, I like it.
However, due to my collecting interests, anything after BCE (BC) or during CE (AD) period is MODERN to my tastes.
I agree with that. If I buy a Vandal Nummus minted in the late 5th century, I would consider it medieval as the coins were issued by a post-roman state with new institutions and culture. However, even with a Byzantine coin minted in 1453, there was never a break in terms of culture or society.
If a people called the Romans, who identified themselves as the romans, lived in the empire of the Romans, operated under a Roman monarch, operated under Roman institutions, took part in Roman culture and minted coins under the authority of the Roman state, who are we to say those coins are not Roman and by extension, ancient.
Huh, very interesting outlook, Victor.
I always consider "Ancient" as pre- 476ad, with a exception for Byzantium until about 750, but using Constantinople as a defining point of the middle ages wraps up alot of stuff very nicely.
Also, P.S., I bought a denarius (Antonius Pius with Marcus Aurelius as Caesar.) from your store on V-Coins and I love it, thank you.
What @Parthicus and I use is similar. However we adjust for culture, since its an extremely Eurocentric view that something major changed around 500ad. Persians were fine, in fact seldom better. So to avoid the Eurocentric bias, we simply acknowledge slightly different events around the world as the break. They are all within a couple of hundred years apart. The world of 450 ad was dramatically different about everywhere by 700ad.
Constantinople was in every way in a Roman city. A key distinction that I might agree to is that although Byzantium was Roman, it was the Medieval chapter of that civilization.
Yes, our conception of "Medieval" and Roman don't tend to mix, but there is absolutely overlap, the term "Byzantine" for the later eastern roman empire is a modern invention after all.
Numismatically speaking, it resulted in no change in coinage. The true change in coinage came only in 498 AD, mid-way through Anastasius's reign, with his introduction of the follis-family (M, K, I and E) replacing the sole AE domination, the tiny nummus. This is generally accepted as the Roman - Byzantine dividing line, at least numismatically.
Historically, 476 was earth-shattering according to some - the end of the Roman Empire et al - but was only a lesser symbolic change according to others - when an ethnically Germanic generalissimo, and true power-behind-the-throne, finally dispensed with the fiction of maintaining a puppet-Emperor in the West and sent the Imperial regalia back to Constantinople with a "no thank you, applicants need not apply" note.
Looking forward to engaging in more conversation!
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