The currencies of the Barbarian kingdoms


One of the main causes of the ruin of the Roman world was the pressure of the Barbarians. In the course of centuries 111 and IV, germanic towns coming from the north and the center of Europe penetrated rare times in Roman territory, and they did it with the only purposeto sack the population centers that found in their way. They were, then, very far from the idea to make conquests and to settle downin ground of the Empire. Towards the century I, the social, political and religious transformations that characterized the historical trajectory ofthese towns caused that the contact between Barbarians and Romans had important consequences more and more. First of all, these peoplenomads became sedentary, and they settled down with preference in the borders of the Empire, reason why its contact was daily withperipheral local elements, already of in case barely tie to the Roman civilization. These relations nourished civilizations eachtime more organized outposts and, able to carry out invasions whose purpose was the conquest and integration in the Empire, which alreadysome did not oppose obstacle, because it lacked a military organization and a political center of real influence and prestige, the sacking ofRome, perpetrated in year 41 0 by the visigodos of Alarico, struck the blow of grace to the secular myth of the invincible and unconquerable large city. As of this moment, the invasions of vandals, hérulos, godos and lombardos followed one another. Some of these towns were inconditions for imposing its authority on the others, sometimes looking for a commitment and a positive assimilation of the old culture, tothat, generally, they recognized his high civilizadora function. Almost all those towns, once had penetrated in the Empire, began ato imitate its currency, first of all to replace the lack of numerario to which the Roman world, already in ruins, did not know to do in front, the push ofBarbarians not only came from outer, but also of inner where, to a series of emperors who followed one another in the performance of positionmaximum (not less than nine in 21 years), but without having real authority some, opposed many generals of Barbarian origin with amplepolitical and military powers. Among them it appeared Odoacro (years 434-493), that, proclaimed king in year 476, it immediately commanded to demoteto emperor Rómulo Augústulo, placed as well in the throne by its Orestes father, another Barbarian general, after demolishing the prevailing sovereign.

Godos and bizantinos

After the brief reign of Odoacro, Italy was occupied by the ostrogodos (godos Eastern), that had been impelled to invade Italy byZenón, emperor of East. This one thought that instigando to Barbarians against Barbarians, it would preserve East and Constantinopla of invasions. Ineffect, the relations between the godos and the bizantino power were narrow, as it is also noticed in his monetary production. The piecescoined during the reign of the godos they testify his legal independence of Constantinopla: the active mints in itálico territorythey continued producing numerario by delegation of emperor of East, and for that reason quite often the identical currencies were formally athe emitted ones by Constantinopla. One of the problems relative to the numismatic production of the godos, mainly the one of gold, consists ofthe difficulty to distinguish it of the bizantina. Sometimes they can be of aid the abbreviations of the city, monograma of king and the indication ofthe mint, but often these indications are contradictory and they do not allow to determine with certainty the origin of the currency. Betterdefined it is, however, the production of silver and bronze, in which most frequently and clarity it appears the name of king of the godos. The fact that this town adopted with as much facility the currency in course agrees with the policy of Teodorico (years 493-526), thatit proposed the pacific coexistence of both component of the population: ostrogodo and the Latin, maintaining the elements ofRoman organization more accepted and consolidated, among them the monetary circulation. The gothic currencies give testimony of a stepimportant from the economic point of view: the money circulated less and less because the interchanges were also much more little. Thus, the solid becomes and rarer more, in as much is made tremis, its 1. 5 more frequent submultiple of g. Very interesting it is the trajectory of the currency of silver, that becomes extremely light, for the transactions of small volume, whereas the minimum acquisitions took place by exchange. The bronze, very important the economy of the time, becamematerial of the heavy currencies, destined to interchanges of certain reach. In any case, in the times of maximum splendor ofhegemony goda, under Teodorico, the economic situation was relatively favorable. The contemporary historian Procopio explains howeconomy came characterized by the abundance from merchandize and relatively stable prices and contents.

the godos acrecentan their power

As always, to observe the evolution of the currency through the successive historical situations of a town constitutes an elementclarificador of great interest. The bizantinos, in time of Justiniano (years 527-565), wanted to recover their possessions in Italy, and thusgodos were indeed in war with those who had made their control possible of the Peninsula. The currencies (until that momentcomplacientes, even in the form, with the authority recognized in the figure of emperor orients) presents/displays the picture now of king godo, wanting with it to distinguish themselves and to vindicate the autonomy and independence. In the currencies coined in Rome, it appears the figure of the Anastasio deceased (years 491-518), the emperor who had granted to the godosright to coin currency. The mints from which goda comes the production are Rome, Ravena (the currencies spectivamente take to the inscription invicta Rome and FelixRavenna, , Mediolanum (Milan) and Sirmium, locality this one of the present Serb. After the conquest by the bizantinos of Rome and Ravena, alsoit coined Pavía currency, then call Ticinum.