Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Comparisons between the Byzantine Empire’s currency and the Islamic Empire’s currency

I’m contrasting the major points in Byzantine currency and Islamic currency, both of the empires used coins. In my first primary source, which is an Islamic coin, it depicts  Khosrow II. In my second primary source, which is a Byzantine coin, it depicts Basil I.

In the Islamic coins we can see that there are two different materials that they made the coins out of, those two materials were gold and silver. Both types of coinage were based on weight, as most metal coins were back then. The Islamic gold coins cost more, as you would expect, than the silver coins. The gold coins also weighed more. In the next paragraph I’ll elaborate on Byzantine coinage.
The following information was taken from Britannica School High. At first, the conquering Muslims copied the coinage of their predecessors. They issued gold and copper coins that looked like the Byzantine empire’s coinage, in the western regions. The Arab governors in the eastern regions granted silver dirhams that were an imitation of late Sasanian coins.  

In the Byzantine coins we can tell that there are several types of metals that these coins are composed of. Some of these metals include: gold, silver, billon, electrum, and copper. In the Byzantine empire they had a wider variety of coin values, but some of the coins were in effect in different time periods of the empire. In the first and second period of the Byzantine empire (498 - 700 [700 - 1092]) they used gold coins, silver coins, and copper coins. In the third period (1092 - 1300) they used gold, electrum, billon, and copper. In the fourth period (1300 - 1350) they used gold, silver, billon, and copper. In the fifth period (1350 - 1453) they only used silver and copper.
The following information is from Britannica School High. Outliving all other currency in that time period, the currency of the Byzantine Empire was instated the longest. The bezant of 4.5 grams, which was based on the gold solidus, which dominated so much of European trade until the 13th century. Halves and thirds were also used until the 10th century. The purity of the gold was acknowledged until the 10th century as well. The coinage details was reflected by the religiousness of the empire.

The Byzantine coinage and the Islamic coinage are very similar, both of the coins were made out of metal, like most coins are. The western region of the Islamic empire copied some of the coinage from the Byzantine empire. The more expensive coins of both empires were made from gold, so that shows that in both of their empires gold was more rare than other materials. Silver and copper coins were also instated in both of the empires.

Works Sited:
"Britannica School." Britannica School. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2013.

"Islamic Coins: Gold and Silver Coins from Different Islamic Reigns." Islamic Coins: Gold and Silver Coins from Different Islamic Reigns. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2013.

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