Hasmik S. Hovhannisyan

An irregular group of copper coins (follis) was struck in Buzantine Empire between 969 and 1092. They are known in scientific literature as “Anonymous Folles”, on which the image and the name of the emperor were replaced by the busy of Jesus Christ. The obverses of all Anonymous Folles depict Christ and the reverses have Greek legend, different types of crosses or Virgin orans effigy.

The series started during the reign of John Zemisces (969-975) and continued until the monetaryreform of Alexius I (1081-1118), in 1092. Simultaneously with the anonymous types, Constantine X (1056-1067) restarted the minting of folles that bear the image of the emperor.

Since the 19th century, the Anonymous Folles have been in the limelight of numismatists, who offered various modifications to its attribution and chronology. Their classification, chronology and the role in the economic life have been a subject of disputes among researchers up to present.

The Anonymous Folles are iconographically divided into classes in alphabetical sequence. The chronology of these classes has been difficult to establish. The research is partly based on overstruck coins in order to attribute each class to a particular emperor. Many Anonymous Folles were overstruck on older coins that were withdrawn from circulation, which helps to establish the chronological sequence of classes.

The copper coins of the Byzantine Empire were widespread in Armenia, the proof of which are the large amount of the folles found during archeological excavations and accidental finds. They contain precise data on the geography of the findings and their archeological milieu.

Anonymous Folles were in wide circulation in Armenia for a long time. Although the minting of these coins was stopped in Byzantium, their circulation continued in Armenia; event at the time when it was under Seljuk authority. These coins are a reliable source and rich material for the research on the economic, political, cultural and other spheres of that period.

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