Front Page Titles (by Subject) 5.: JUSTINIAN'S COINAGE — ( P. 44 ) - The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 7
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5.: JUSTINIAN’S COINAGE — ( P. 44 ) - Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 7 
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ed. J.B. Bury with an Introduction by W.E.H. Lecky (New York: Fred de Fau and Co., 1906), in 12 vols. Vol. 7.
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JUSTINIAN’S COINAGE — (P. 44)
“Anastasius introduced a new copper coinage in the year 498, in order to relieve the people from the inconvenience resulting from the great variety in the weight and value of the coins in circulation, many of which must have been much defaced by the tear and wear of time. The new coinage was composed of pieces with their value marked on the reverse by large numeral letters indicating the number of units they contained. The nummus, which was the smallest copper coin then in circulation, appears to have been taken as this unit, and its weight had already fallen to about 6 grains. The pieces in general circulation were those of 1, 5, 10, 20, and 40 nummi, marked A, E, I, K, and M.
“Justin I. followed the type and standard of Anastasius, but the barbarous fabric of his coins, even when minted at Constantinople, is remarkable. The same system and the same barbarism appear in the copper money of Justinian I. until the twelfth year of his reign, 538. He then improved the fabric and added the date, numbering the years of his reign on the reverse. Though the value of copper had been fixed by the code at a higher rate than by the law of 396, since a solidus was exacted where twenty pounds of copper were due to the fisc, Justinian nevertheless increased the size of his copper coins. Now if we suppose the coins to have corresponded with the value of the copper as indicated in the code, the normal weight of the nummus being 10 grains, the piece of 40 nummi would be equal to a Roman ounce, and 240 ought to have been current for a solidus. No piece of 40 nummi has yet been found weighing an ounce, and it has been supposed that these pieces are the coins mentioned by Procopius, who says that previous to the reform the money-changers gave 210 obols, which were called pholles, for a solidus, but that Justinian fixed the value of the solidus at 180 obols, by which he robbed the people of one sixth of the value of every solidus in circulation. It has, however, lately been conjectured that the obolus to which Procopius alludes was a silver coin, and according to the proprotion between silver and gold then observed at the Roman mint, a silver coin current as of a solidus ought to have weighed 5.6 grains, and such pieces exist. It is not probable that the copper coinage of Justinian was ever minted at its real metallic value, and it is certain that he made frequent reductions in its weight, and that specimens can be found differing in weight which were issued from the same mint in the same year. An issue of unusually deteriorated money in the twenty-sixth year of his reign caused an insurrection, which was appeased by recalling the debased pieces” (Finlay, History of Greece, vol. i. p. 445-7).