MAIASP. 2020. No. 12

D.P. Shulga (Novosibirsk, Russia)


DOI: 10.24411/2713-2021-2020-00025 

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Pages: 774788


Over forty East Roman coins have been found in China over the past hundred years but many of them have no archaeological context, so it is almost impossible to establish when they got the Celestial Empire. Besides, a significant part of the finds are rather crude initially or heavily worn. Fake coin printing was also frequent on the Silk Road. It is believed that sometimes this was not even malicious intent Byzantine and Iranian coins acted as stable monetary units, the position of which was stronger because China, with all its role in international trade had been fragmented starting from the 3rd century CE for hundred years. And this fragmentation, in contrast, for example, with the Eastern Zhou period (771221 BCE), was accompanied by the constant emergence and disappearance of kingdoms and empires, which rarely existed for more than one century (especially in the north). Of course, in such a political climate the value of foreign coins, which had a standard mass and precious metal content, increased significantly. It is no less obvious that this prompted many to produce solidus analogs in an artisanal way, and such craftsmen could act on areas from Near East to the Yellow Sea. Genuine and questionable coins of the Eastern Roman Empire are spread along the Silk Road (modern Xinjiang Uygur and Ningxia-Hui autonomous regions, Gansu, Shaanxi and Henan provinces, partly also south of Inner Mongolia). For example, in the area of Xi'an city, the bright find of Justinian solidus (the authors of the excavations, however, tend to regard the coin as belonging to Justinian's reign) was printed in the tomb (571 CE) of the Sogdian Kan Ye. We put this golden coin into circulation in 2018. However, the study of Byzantine coins in China sheds light on events in the Eastern Roman Empire itself. The conjugation of the processes described above is the focus of this work.

Key words: China, Eastern Roman Empire, solids, Silk Road, Kang Ye.

Received September 11, 2020

Accepted for publication September 21, 2020

About the author:

Shulga Daniil Petrovich (Novosibirsk, Russia). PhD (History), Novosibirsk State University, Siberian Institute of Management the branch of Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation