Moneta e scambi nell’Adriatico altomedievale
La costa dalmata nell’area monetaria bizantina
Numismatic data, evidence to the long-term use of the Byzantine monetary system from the 6th to 12th Centuries in Dalmatia. During the 6th Century, Salona emissions efficiently contributed to maintaining the request for smaller currency units notably in the Northern and Central Adriatic. In the 7th to 8th centuries, following the fall of Salona, and due to the pressure of Transdanubian peoples, the presence of currency was mostly ensured by emissions from Constantinople along with those from Sicily, especially after Ravenna’s mint was closed. However, this became gradually less conspicuous and concentrated primarily in the ports and their immediate surrounds with significant evidence in at least twenty sites in the areas of Split, Šibenik, Knin and Zadar of Syracuse currency from Constantine V. Nearly all records originate from graves, a fact that seems to indicate that in the course of the ‘grande brèche’ special attention was paid to gold coins in their functions of measurement, stock value and, perhaps, as a sign of class distinction. Between the end of the 8th and the middle of the 9th Century the reappearance of silver coin such as the Miliarense, Abbasid Dirhams and Carolingian Dinars and of copper mint as were Theophilus and Basil I Folles saw the end of a long period of economic depression. In fact, subsequent Folles of the 10th Century, in the period from Leo VI to Constantine VII, and anonymous Folles of the 11th Century, particularly those of type A2, were widespread not only in Dalmatia (Šibenik, Split, Dubrovnik) but also along the length of the Adriatic coastline. They are evidenced from the Venetian lagoon to the Theme of Longobardia, as in the treasures of Canne, Colletorto and Taranto, and in the cities of Durrës and Buthrotum in Illyria. This coinage, was recovered as an “isolated find” and is to be connected to the restoration of the Byzantine Empire along the Eastern coastline. It also documents the recovery of the circulation of coinage, the principal instrument used in trade, capable of stimulating the symbolic substitution of worth through the use of currency. It spread along sea routes and, consequently, was instrumental in the resuming of trade, exchanges and also contacts including the monetary kind that, through Dalmatia especially, involved the northern Adriatic where the Constantine Folles of the 11th Century was accepted tender and exchange with a worth value of 1/2 Dinar.