Chapter

Invasion or inflation? Hoards and barbarians in sixth- and early seventh-century Greece

Florin Curta and Siu-lun Wong

in The Edinburgh History of the Greeks, c. 500 to 1050

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780748638093
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670741 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638093.003.0006
Invasion or inflation? Hoards and barbarians in sixth- and early seventh-century Greece

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The many hoards of bronze coins buried in Greece in the sixth and early seventh century may have belonged to soldiers or officers in the army. That hoards of the 580s were a military phenomenon, not an index of barbarian invasions, may also explain why hoarding in Greece stopped after 585 (although barbarian attacks continued after that). This could also explain the sudden reduction of the number of coins in circulation in Greece, which is particularly striking for the years between 582 and 602. In Greece, an economy exhausted by the combined effects of inflation, barbarian raids, and overwhelming military demands was not given sufficient respite to recover. Under Phocas and at the beginning of Heraclius’ reign, the army re-appeared in Greece, which explains the last horizon of hoards buried in the region. After the withdrawal of the Roman troops from the central and northern Balkans, troops and coins were restricted in Greece to the coastal areas around Thessalonica, Athens, and Corinth.

Keywords: Coins; hoards; numismatics; minimi; coinage depreciation; inflation; donativa

Chapter.  10066 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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