Evolution of Coins

Coinage began in the western portion of Anatolia in ancient Lydia, part of modern Turkey, in what would later become the heart of the Byzantine Empire. The imagery and material used for coins changed significantly as power changed hands and culture shifted. Various rulers, gods, goddesses, items, and symbols were used to show what was important to the culture at the time, for propaganda by the ruler, or as a means to denote a great event. As time progressed there is a clear shift in what was important to depict on the coins, from rulers as conquerors to deities to rulers as pious, there are marked differences throughout time. Some of these choices are rooted in the culture they derive from, where some found it important to place the likeness of gods to connect themselves to a higher being on coins while others showed the rulers to remind the people of their strength. Regardless, coins evolved through time as the understandings of their worth grew and artistic depictions shifted.


Markku Makinen, Jared Rainey, Sophie Hogan