Coinage in the Western and Eastern Medieval World

In the 5th century AD the Peoples of the Great Raids issued coinage following the Late Roman and Byzantine prototypes. In the mid-8th century the basis of the European numismatic system was set which, until the 12th century, was dominated by the use of silver. From the 13th century, the fixed structure of the new European states, the development of trade networks and the internationalisation of transactions contributed in a mutually accepted numismatic system, where gold and silver coinages of the Italian cities were prevalent. In Greece, during the same period, coins of the Frankish states were produced and circulated.

In the 7th century BC in the East, the first Arab coins succeeded the silver coinage of the Persian kingdom of the Sasanians. In the beginning, the Arabs would adopt Sasanian and Byzantine prototypes but soon their coins bore no more images but inscriptions of religious and political content. Since the mid- 8th century, caliphates and small states minted gold, silver and copper coins in accordance with an almost uniform numismatic system adapted to trade activities in the Eastern world.

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Exhibitions and events

The Iliou Melathron and Heinrich Schliemann

Permanent exhibition

The room is dedicated to the Iliou Melathron, a monumental 19th century residence in downtown Athens and to the extraordinary personality of its first resident Heinrich Schliemann, the “father of...

Coinage in the Ancient Greek World – Origins and Spread

Permanent exhibition

The origins of coinage, its manufacturing technique and the spread of its use are shown in the Hesperides Hall. In the 6th century BC Greek city-states began issuing their own coins. The turtles of...

Coinage in the Ancient Greek World – International and Common Coins

Permanent exhibition

The use of coins spread in the then known world via the Greek colonies in Magna Grecia and the Euxine Pontus. The tetradrachm of the Athenian Democracy as well as the silver tetradrachm and the gold...

Coinage in the Ancient Greek World – Iconography and Ideology

Permanent exhibition

Coins displayed on their surfaces themes characteristic of the issuing authority and easily recognizable by those who used them. Favourite themes of ancient Greek coin iconography include divinities,...

The Great Donors of the Numismatic Museum

Permanent exhibition

Characteristic pieces from the collections of the most important donors of the Numismatic Museum are exhibited in the dining-room of the Schliemann residence. The assemblage of collections and their...

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