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question about Latin (1204) trachea and Bulgarian trachea


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This is no longer a clear cut question regarding the Bulgarian issues/ faithful copies. In fact, it really depends on what Numismatist you listen too. 

Michael Hendy, Wrote DOC IV in 1999 and DOC Studies 12 in 1969. He put forth the Bulgarian imitations. 

D.M. Metcalf ( Michael) did not agree at all. His review on DOC IV is rather brutal at parts. 

I don't know what Grierson said, I suggest you check his catalog, I am traveling for the next week so I do not have access. However, Grierson seemed to be fonder of Hendy than Metcalf in his writings. 

Now for the modern Numismatist, the first that came to the plate was John Baker, he was defiantly a follower of Metcalfs works, in fact he eliminates Latin tetartera and says they were Bulgarian coinage. This is hard for me to believe , maybe one of the four was Bulgarian but not all 4. 

He also believes no Thessalonica mint was in operation during the post 1204 conquest and says more that likely did not exist in the 12th century , again he bases that on Metcalf but I cant find Metcalf writings that really touch on the issue. 

The way all of this is interpreted is by Hoard finds, Metcalf based most of his findings on the Peter and Paul hoard supposedly found somewhere in Bulgaria, however the location is really unknown.

So the answer on Bulgarian trachea/ faithful imitations  really depends on who you believe, I love Hendys work but I personally think he was wrong, they were coins issued either before Latin rule or durring. I think they were issued the same time of the clipped coins and that metal was made to duplicate the older coins of Manuel, Isaac and Alexius III. 

Try Latin rule in Vcoins. 


Lattin rule trachea are not in dispute, Here is a nice large one. 


Here is its baby brother. 


Edited by Simon
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I must admit, I know absolutely nothing about Bulgarian trachea.  I do have the free pdf versions of DOC.  I'll have to look that up.

The only physical Byzantine book that I have is Sear. However, my current eye issue makes it fairly difficult to read regular books.  The pdfs aren't so bad; I have the giant screen and can magnify text.

Did pre-1204 Bulgaria have any types of their own? I suppose that there wasn't much of a window; 1186-1204.

One day, I'll have to dig up and look at a teeny weeny trachy I've had since the 1990's.  It's really teeny, probably less diameter than a denarius.  I had attributed it to the Empire of Thessalonica, but 1990's me was prone to wishful thinking.

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That is a fantastic article Ross @Glebe

I particularly liked your conclusion notes. that included this sentence. 

" Many of our current ideas on this period are therefore still only provisional, and hence we should not be surprised if some of these ideas are overturned by future discoveries."

I do not think hoard evidence alone will solve the mystery behind the coinage of this confusing time period. Perhaps we will be lucky enough to find some contemporary writings that confirm what is suspected. 

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