In the article “The Bulgarian and Latin Imitative Types” I discussed in detail the “Latin Imitative” types, the two dozen or so “billon” trach

ea in the general style of the imperial billon trachea of the 12th century which circulated in the southern Balkans in the first half of the 13th century. These types don’t have the names of the issuing rulers on them, but they were most likely struck by the Latin emperors, or at least under their nominal authority, during the era of crusader rule in northern Greece between 1204 and 1261.

The above article was concerned mainly with the difficult question of the source of these various types, and also of the three similar “Bulgarian Imitative” types, i.e, with the question of who produced the imitative series, and where, so that a detailed discussion of their dating was not possible. The purpose of the present article is to discuss the sequencing and dating of the various types in more detail.

Hoards and Sequencing.

There are two key sources of data available relevant to the sequencing and dating of the imitative types – coin hoards, which fortunately are common* in much of the period of interest to us, and overstrikes. Thus the first step in dating the types is to sequence a representative selection of hoards. In the table below I list and sequence a number of hoards from various identifiable sub-periods of the Latin era. As far as possible I have detailed the largest and most reliable of the various available hoards from each (sub)period, but there are plenty more which could have been used, at least for the early periods of 1204-c.1220.

In the table the first column lists the hoards, grouped by period, with the characteristic defining types of the period listed in brackets. The second & third columns list the Hoard No. in Jordanov, or in the Athens Numismatic Museum “Corpus of Hoards”, and the total number of coins in the hoard. The succeeding columns list the types present – “bA” means Bulgarian Type A, etc, “A” and “a” mean the large and small module Latin Type A of Constantinople, “tA” and “ta” (not d) indicate the large and small versions of the Type A of Thessalonica, and “nA” and “nB” mean the the large module versions of the first and second coinages of Theodore I Lascaris from Nicea, and so on. (Note particularly that “d”, “e”, etc. here mean the small module versions of the later Latin Types D, E, etc, not the small “Thessalonican” or Nicean issues meant in Hendy and most references. Also note that to save space from Group 10 onward, small module versions of the later types are listed only when the corresponding large module types are not present. The Petrich and Dolna Kabda hoards in particular included small versions of most Constantinople types from C to W).

As can be seen, the hoards can be sequenced on the basis of individual types up to Thessalonican Type C, but after that the lack of finds means that the later hoards can be ordered at best by groups of types.

Also included in the table are my best estimates of the dates for the various periods, as explained in the next two sections. Finally, after the table , in the last section I deal with the dating of the individual types themselves. As well, I have included a section listing all relevant overstrikes known to me – fortunately, with perhaps one exception, these confirm the conclusions drawn from the hoards.

* A large number of Latin period hoards from Greece and Bulgaria are listed and detailed in Hendy’s “Coinage and Money in the Byzantine Empire, 1081-1261” (1969), and particularly in Jordanov’s “Coins and Coin Circulation in Bulgaria in the Middle Ages 1081-1261” (Sofia 1984). The latter includes the northern Greek hoards detailed by Touratsoglou in “Unpublished Byzantine Hoards etc.” in Balkan Studies XIV, 1973, pp. 131-161. A number of Greek hoards are also listed in “Corpus of Byzantine Hoards in the Numismatic Museum” Athens, 2002. Other important hoards are Metcalf’s “Peter and Paul” hoard (Num. Chron. 1973, pp. 144-172), Bendall’s reconstructed “Thracian” hoard (Num . Chron. 1978, pp. 105-115), Jordanov’s Dolna Kabda hoard (Byzantinobulgarica VI 1980, pp. 173-211), and Penchev’s Petrich hoard (Agato Publishers, Sofia 2003).

Dating the hoards – the early period

While we can be fairly confident about the relative ordering of the hoards, tying them down to specific dates is rather more problematic, to use a term currently in vogue.

In fact our difficulties start with the very first hoards in the table. The date of the first issues of the “Bulgarian” imitative types is rather uncertain , and there has been much discussion as to whether these types precede or follow the fall of Constantinople in 1204. On the hoard evidence alone it is quite possible that the these types could have been first issued before 1204, and indeed this is quite likely, given the huge numbers of these types that were struck. For the moment however I have assumed that they date from 1204, although this dating is certainly not finally settled, and it may well need to be revised (downward) in the future. (For more details see “The Bulgarian and Latin Imitative Types“).

It is clear from the hoards that the first Latin issues postdate the initial Bulgarian types, and by some time, judging from the number of hoards which include Bulgarian types only. But as noted earlier, determining the exact dates of issue of these types is not easy. The basic problem with dating during the Latin period is that we find only a few other (i.e, non-Latin) types in the hoards that can be used as reference points, and also that not all of these can tied down to specific dates of issue, or even a reasonably narrow date range.

In the early Latin period, the only reference types at our disposal are issues of Theodore I Lascaris, and of these only the two Nicean issues of this ruler are at all common in the hoards. Furthermore, even the dates of these two types are uncertain – thus Theodore’s first coinage (Hendy’s Nicean Type A) is usually assigned to 1208, the year of his coronation, but in theory it could have been issued some time before this, perhaps as early as 1205-6, when he proclaimed himself emperor. However, given Theodore’s weak hold on power to begin with, and the fact that quite a number of post 1204 hoards don’t include this first type, it is probably reasonable to assume it was issued in 1208, or perhaps a little earlier, and that is what is done here. This then dates the nearly contemporary first Latin issue, the Constantinople Type A, to basically the same date range, i.e, c.1207-8.

(It is often stated that the Constantinople A preceded the Nicean A, but if so it was not by much, since there are few Period 2 hoards of any significant size which include the former type but not the latter. The only real exceptions to this are Kounino I-II, in far north-west Bulgaria, and it seems, Loukovo, a large hoard from western Bulgaria, which consisted mainly of official Byzantine types with some Bulgarian copies, and, reportedly, a single Latin type (a small Type A of Constantinople). Even in northern and central Greece, where the Nicean types in general are scarce anyway, Period 2 hoards like Drama usually include a few Nicean A’s. Also note particularly the large Veliko Turnovo VIII hoard, evidently dating from very soon after the introduction of the Constantinople Type A; like Loukovo this hoard consisted mainly of official Byzantine types and some Bulgarian copies, but it also included 5 Nicean Type A’s, one LM Constantinople Type A, and 2 SM Constantinople Type A’s.)

It is also usually stated as an established fact that the small Constantinople Type A’s followed the large originals by some time, but, curiously, almost all hoards (other than a few found near Constantinople, where the small types probably didn’t circulate) which contain large Type A’s also include their small module counterparts, usually in considerable numbers, so that even in Period 2 the small types outnumber the large by a factor of three or four (and again, note V. Turnovo VIII). These facts hardly support the conventional view on the timing of the small Type A. It should be noted that in some significant Greek hoards (such as Drama and Mikro Eleftherochori) the ratio of SM to LM types is quite low, which might be taken as indicating a delay in the introduction of the small types, but it seems that these types were slow to reach northern Greece anyway (or maybe the Greeks just didn’t like to hoard them, at least to begin with). One thing that is clear from the actual figures is that the small Type A is easily the most common type in the later hoards from Bulgaria, so that production of this type evidently continued beyond that of the large prototype, and in fact, well into the later Latin period.

The next available marker is Theodore’s 2nd Nicean issue (Hendy’s Nicean Type B). We have no real information on when this type was issued , so we have to make an informed guess and see where it leads us. In 1219 a treaty was signed between Theodore and the Venetian mayor of Constantinople (who would have been responsible for coin production in that city) which banned the copying of each party’s coins by the other. This treaty could have well been an opportunity for a new issue by Theodore, and this is sometimes assumed to be the case. However, as will explained below, there are difficulties which such a late date for the Nicean B (not the least being the five or six Magnesian issues of Theodore, which presumably represent the beginning of the annual changes of type which characterise the Latin and later periods). Now it turns out that the 1219 treaty apparently renewed a similar treaty of 1214, so that we could equally well adopt that date, or something like it, for the Nicean B. In fact I have actually assumed here the slightly later date of 1215 for this type – this might seem somewhat arbitrary, but at least it allows for the Magnesian issues, and as we shall eventually see, it leads to a reasonably convincing overall dating of the Latin series.

Anyway, whatever the actual date of of the Nicean B, it is clear from the hoards that the “Thessalonican” Types A and B must be fitted in between the first and second Nicean types. It also seems that the Latin type B of Constantinople dates from about the same time as the Nicean B, i .e, after the Thessalonican B, and that is what we assume below; although, as we shall see later, there are some possible doubts about this idea. Note that once again the small module types in all cases evidently follow the large module originals fairly closely.

The next two issues are the Thessalonican and Constantinople Type C’s, both of which involve some problems. Taking the hoards at face value, it would seem that the Thessalonican C follows Theodore’s 2nd Nicean coinage after a short time – a year or two perhaps, judging from the number of hoards from the period. However, we need to consider another possibility here – given the often smallish size of this type, it’s tempting to link it with the Thessalonica Type B’s, which are also mostly found in a reduced module format. This means assuming that the Thessalonican C predates, rather than postdates, the Constantinople Group 5 hoards which contain Constantinople and Nicea type B. This would mean adding a new Group 4b, defined by the Thessalonican C, before Group 5. An obvious objection to this idea is of course the lack of any obvious hoards from such a group, but this could perhaps be explained by assuming that any currently known hoards from this (hypothetical) period aren’t big enough to actually include examples of the not very common Thessalonican C, and hence are effectively hidden in Group 4. (This arrangement would, incidentally, also be more consistent with the fact that the silver content of Constantinople Type B is apparently lower than that of the Thessalonican types – although of course Hendy would presumably say that the difference confirms his theory that the Thessalonican types come from a different mint in the first place).

However, there are serious difficulties with this seemingly attractive idea. Although the frequency of the Thessalonican C is very low in the Period 6 hoards, it rather commoner (relatively speaking) in later hoards, and in fact, in stray finds the Thessalonican C is as common as the Thessalonican Types A and B, and also rather more common than the Constantinople Type B. We would therefore expect to see Thessalonican C’s alongside these last types in the current Group 5 hoards, some of which are quite large, but in fact we don’t, and also to find more examples in the Group 6 hoards than we actually see. Overall then, it seems that Thessalonican Type C does actually date from some time after the Constantinople B*, and that the low frequency of the Thessalonican C in the Period 6 hoards presumably means that these hoards all date from shortly after the issue of the latter type. (There are only a few of these hoards, and in fact as dated here they mark the end of the period of the common hoards, coinciding, it would seem, with the accession of Ivan II Asen in Bulgaria). For the moment, then, I will stick with the arrangement in the table below.

The date of the Constantinople type C is also difficult to tie down. It is not a very common type and does not occur in any hoard that can securely dated before the mid 1220’s. Nonetheless, it is probably rather earlier than this, since, like all the other types so far considered, it is relatively common in small module format, although it is clear that it is later than the Thessalonican C, as its absence from the very large Muglizh II hoard shows (and note the overstrike of a small Constantinople Type C on a Thessalonican C at Dolna Kabda).

* This conclusion is valid, incidentally, irrespective of whether the Thessalonican C is a product of the same mint as Constantinople types or not. The seeming inconsistency of size and (possibly) silver content between the Constantinople B and the “Thessalonican” types is perhaps the best real argument in favour of Hendy’s theory of two mints.

The mid and later periods.

During the 1220’s and the 1230’s hoards become noticeably smaller and much scarcer than before, so that we can here only date types by group. The mid period groups (Period 7) therefore include Types C, D, E/K, O, P and R, since these types occur collectively, in either large or small format, in hoards which can be reasonably assigned to the 1220’s on the basis that they do not include any issues of Manuel Comnenus-Ducas of Thessalonica. However, given the relatively small size of some of the hoards listed here, it must be admitted that some of them could in theory postdate 1230, although we will ultimately see that this is unlikely in most cases.

The only hoard of any size that can reasonably be assigned to Group 8, covering the reign of Manuel C-D, is Svishtov, which includes many of the late Latin types. However this is still a small hoard, so even though it lacks any coins of John C-D it could still conceivably date from the early 1240’s, i.e, from the period of the Mongol raids into Bulgaria in 1241-2, when it is likely that quite a number of hoards were laid down. Again, however, we will again see that this is not likely.

The hoards of Periods 9a and 9b include at least some of the issues of John Comnenus-Ducas, and hence must date from 1237 at least. Here it is actually quite likely that these hoards do in fact date from 1241 or later, and this is obviously true of Bendall’s 1978 hoard, which contains virtually all of the known Series III types of John C-D. (Given its similarity to hoards such as Petrich, this last hoard may even in fact date from after 1246, even though it included no confirmed Thessalonican types of John III Vatatzes. Note that I do not accept Hendy’s theory that the Series III types extend beyond 1244-6 – see Article “The Coins of John Comnenus-Ducas“). The Serres hoard, the only significant post 1230 find from northern Greece, possibly dates from 1242, when John Vatatzes reconquered Thrace and Macedonia, although it too could be later than that.

The final main group of hoards is defined by the inclusion of issues of John III Vatatzes which are assigned by Hendy to the mint of Thessalonica , so that these hoards must apparently date from 1246 or later. However, we must tread carefully here, since we are dependent on the conventional assignments of the John III types, which experience suggests must be treated with caution. Most of the hoards from this period include only one or two of the “Thessalonican” types of John III, and in some cases the only Thessalonican type present is Hendy’s (original) Type K (S.2134), or something like it. Now this type is in fact a small module type found in Asia Minor, and hence it could very possibly be an issue of Magnesia rather than Thessalonica, and therefore of uncertain date. Nonetheless, Type K is stylistically similar to the LM Type I, which is generally assumed to be an issue of Thessalonica (it appeared in the Arta 1983 hoard, for example), in which case the post 1246 dates for hoards including Type K’s (such as Tri Voditsi/Dorkovo, Peter and Paul, and Petrich), could well be justified*. Other late hoards, like Alexandrovo, which included a Thessalonican Type B of John III, and Krasen, with a (small?) Type I, don’t need to rely on Type K for a post 1246 dating. It should also be noted here that coins initially attributed to Theodore II in some of the later hoards have usually turned out to be issues of earlier rulers, and that in fact no coins have been found in pre-1261 hoards which can be securely attributed to Theodore II.

Note also that whatever their exact dates may be these late hoards include some of the rarest Latin types, namely Hendy’s Types L and M, and Jordanov’s New Types I, II and IV, denoted here by jI, jII etc. (for these last types cf. “The Post-Hendy Latin Types“).

Lastly we have Dolna Kabda. This hoard has essentially the same composition as the Group 10 hoards, but the coins are all heavily fragmented, with even the small Latin types halved, or cut down to Series III size or even smaller. This hoard clearly must date from the 1250’s, when the supply of new coinage to Bulgaria had evidently ceased for some time. However, the lack of confirmed coins of Theodore II in this hoard, or of the new Bulgarian coins of Mitso Asen and Constantine Asen, means that this hoard is unlikely to be much later than 1254-5.

* For the possible reassignment of the John III Type K to Asia Minor, see H. Voegtli, “Die Fundmuenzen aus der Stadtgrabung von Pergamon”, Berlin 1993, p.22, note on coin 940 – this type has also apparently been recently found at Anaia, near Kusadasi in Anatolia. It is of course possible that the small Type K was issued both in Magnesia – or perhaps some temporary mint in Asia Minor, given the apparent lack of a large module version – and Thessalonica, in 1246, when Vatatzes actually assumed control of the city. In fact this is quite likely, since in Latin hoards the Type K often appears in the very small Series III format. It is noticable that this type did not appear in either of the two Arta hoards of the early 1260’s, which included, as we might expect, most of the other “Thessalonican” types of John III; however, it is possible that the absence of this particular type was simply due its small size, as John III evidently removed the small types from circulation in Greece not long after he reoccupied Thessaalonica.


Quite a number of overstrikes of the Latin types are known, and many are detailed in Hendy (Pl. 46, p.90), in Lianta’s Ashmolean catalog and in the hoards listed in Jordanov. They are summarised here, using the terminology outlined above (B

na Alex. III (or bC?) B Alex. III (or bC?) Isaac II (or bB?) B tC P

These overstrikes are all consistent with the ordering of the types according to the hoards, except for that of the Thessalonican Type B on a Constantinople Type B reported in Stara Zagora IV (but not noted by Hendy). If this overstrike is correct, then it suggests that the Constantinople B may in fact belong in Group 4, before the Thessalonican B. However, in that case the lack of Constantinople B’s in any of the Group 4 hoards is difficult to account for.

Also worth noting are the overstrikes of the small Constantinople Type A’s on the later large types P, R and N (clipped), confirming that production of the small A continued to c.1230 at least. The reported overstrike of a rare (large module) Type L on a Thessalonican A fragment among the stray finds at Sevtopolis would seem to be intrinsically very unlikely, although not impossible.

* Note that in his report on the coins found at Kalenderhane in Istanbul (see “The Bulgarian and Latin Imitative Types“) Hendy misquotes his own reference to this overstrike in DOC IV, and hence ends up saying (p.178) that the Type P was overstruck on the Manuel C-D Type A, the exact reverse of the actual situation. (He then uses this nonfact to support his theory that Types N, O and P were issued by the Latin regent and co-emperor Jean de Brienne in the 1230’s – more of this later).

The Table



Jord./ Athens No.

Total Coins

“Bulg- arian”

Const A

Th. I Lasc. Nicea

Thess A

Thess B

Const B

Thess C

Mid period types

Late period types

V. late? types


 Period 1:
(Bulg. types)

1204?- 1207-8?












Or a little earlier?

 V. Turnovo II

J. 24












Early in period?a
 Kazanluk I

J. 87


bA,bB, bC










 Muglizh I












 Tsruncha I & II












 Period 2:
 (Const. A &
Theod. I NIc. A)

1207-8? –












 V. Turnovo VIII


a: The small number of Bulgarian types in this hoard (it consists mainly of imperial types) implies that it is early in Period 1; the lack of Type C’s is interesting, suggesting perhaps that minting of this type may have commenced after that of Type A and B’s, although the data here are minimal.

b: The small number of Latin and Nicean types in the large V. Turnovo VIII hoards means that it probably dates from the beginning of the period.

c: The small module version of Theodore I’s first Nicean coinage occurs in small numbers in various hoards from Period 2 onward, but oddly it only becomes common in Period 5, when Theodore’s 2nd coinage appears.

d: One has to suspect that in early hoards lacking Bulgarian Type B, some of the “Isaac II’s” are in fact imitative types. In some cases only analysis of the metal can securely distinguish between these types.

e: N. Circ. 2005, pp. 375-6. This hoard is composed primarily of Bulgarian Imitatives (mainly Type C’s) and the 1st and 2nd Nicean issues of Theodore I Lascaris. The only “Latin” type appearing in any numbers is the small module version of the Nicean Type A (i.e, Hendy’s SM Type G). The provenance of this hoard is unknown, but it would seem likely that the hoard comes from Asian Turkey, in which case it would seem likely that the SM Nicean A’s are actually issues of Nicea, and not, as is usually assumed, Constantinople. In fact, judging from the quoted weights, the Nicean A’s in this hoard exhibit a complete spectrum of sizes from large to small module, as is the case with the Constantinople A’s and Bulgarian C’s. However, we observe that the small Nicean A’s only become common after the issue of the Nicean Type B (as noted earlier) , while small versions of the latter type are quite scarce. The significance of these facts is unclear. It should also be noted that we know little about this hoard, and its odd composition suggests that in the end it may not be complete, so that the conclusions drawn here are only provisional.

f: (Reserved).

g: This hoard as published does not include Theodore C-D. However, it includes a number of unidentified types, possibly, according to Hendy, issues of John III Vatatzes or Michael VIII (although the latter would seem unlikely, given the lack of later Latin types), and hence is included here in Period 7c. The hoard is important but needs to be republished before it can used definitively for dating purposes.

h: I have taken the composition of this hoard from the detailed report by M. Caramessini-Oeconomidou in Byzantina 13 (1985) pp. 989-1002. The initial report in Arch. Delt. 29, 1973-4, B’, p.14, does not mention the types bB, B, or O (cf. Coin Hoards V, #225). Note that the large module Type A of Thessalonica is not listed in the text of these reports, but Pl. III, 23 in Byzantina appears to show a clipped example. This hoard also included 9 examples of the first issue of Theodore Comnenus-Ducas of Thessalonica, and a Magnesian Type H (S.2096) of John III Vatatzes. It also included two small unlisted types, one (coin 627) an example of the Peter and Paul hoard type 1111-12, assigned originally by Metcalf to John C-D, and another assigned by Oiconomidou tentatively to Theodore or Manuel C-D. Given the lack of any of the established types of Manuel or John in the hoard, these last two coins are more likely issues of Theodore C-D, or John III. (The Peter and Paul type has similarities to S.2101, an issue (apparently) of John III, which occurs in SM form in several of the later hoards, and is evidently an issue of the early 1220’s).

It is worth noting that of the 9 Theodore C-D Type A’s in this hoard 4 or 5 are unclipped, and the rest clipped, while all the 14 large module Latin types are clipped, except perhaps for one or two medium module Thessalonican Type B’s. Presumably all the clipped coins reached Thebes through Bulgaria. The same appears to be true of the Serres hoard.

i: Svishtov also included single examples of Types A and B of Theodore Comnenus-Ducas (as well as the Manuel C-D types). It also reportedly included the only small module version of the Latin Type S that I know of – it would nice to have this coin verified.

j: Nisovo includes a Latin “Thessalonica” Type A tetarteron (S.2058).

k: (Reserved).

l: Jordanov Type II is possibly actually a coin of Andronicus I Gidon of Trebizond (cf. “The Post-Hendy Latin Types”).

m: Coin 309 in this hoard was later assigned by Hendy in DOC IV to John III at Thessalonica as the new Type M (S.2135). However, even if this is an issue of John III, its similarity to S.2134 suggests that it may be an issue of Asia Minor.

n: There are a few differences in the details of this hoard as reported by Jordanov and Touratsoglou. The “rather small” Type U shown by Touratsoglou in Arch. Delt. 31 looks more like a Type J to me.

o: Krasen is really a group of finds, but even so the reported 81 clipped “large module” Type A’s in this “hoard” are most likely overrated smaller types. The same probably applies to the reported large Type T’s, and perhaps some other types. An unsatisfactory hoard, in need of revision.

p: Coin 540 (but emp. stdg). Jordanov Type IV appears in the Ashmolean catalog as coins 103-4 (LM), and 105-6 (SM).

q: Tri Voditsi is possibly part of the Dorkovo find. It appears that small and large module versions of later types were not distinguished in the reports of these finds.

r: Dolna Kabda is noted in Jordanov’s book but not detailed there. Note that some coins described as “large module” in the report of this hoard are actually small-medium types. In particular, the illustrated Type T’s all seem to be small module (although statistically it is likely that some at least some of the 140 Type T’s in the hoard were originally large module). Note, incidentally, the large number of LM Type E’s (and K’s) reported in this hoard – perhaps some are Type D (or maybe these types are reported as Type D’s in other hoards).

Dating the Types

Dating the hoards is not exactly the same as dating the individual types. For the early period, to about 1220, we have a plethora of hoards to work with, which enables us to establish the sequence of hoards, and hence of types, with considerable confidence. However, the dating of the early hoards is somewhat less certain, and depends critically on the dates we assign to the two Nicean issues of Theodore I Lascaris, particularly the Type B. As stated earlier, we can think up reasons for dating this latter type as late as 1219 (if we are prepared to overlap the Magnesian issues) or as early as 1214, dates which we can call for convenience the “late chronology” and the “early chronology”. However, as we shall see there are problems with the late chronology, and hence, again as stated earlier, in the hoard table above I have adopted a “relatively early” chronology, with 1216 as the nominal date for the Nicean B. With this choice, the early types have then been spread (more or less evenly, as the hoard statistics suggest) between 1207-8 for the Constantinople A and c.1218 for the Thessalonican C.

From about 1220 on things become more difficult. We don’t have nearly as many hoards to work with, and we can’t be so sure of their completeness and integrity. The key fact to note is that among the hoards of the 1220’s, only one (Thebes) definitely includes any of the issues of Theodore Comnenus-Ducas. Now this ruler’s coins are not very common in Latin hoards, but they make up roughly one percent of coins found after the mid 1220’s, a figure roughly comparable to the figures for the large Latin types of Thessalonica, or the small Type C of Constantinople, and they appear, if only in small numbers, in most hoards from c.1230 onwards (including notably the small Svishtov hoard). This suggests that the hoards in Group 7a and 7b (except perhaps for Oustrem II & III) must predate Theodore’s first coinage at Thessalonica, which presumably dates from 1224-5 (it can hardly be much later, given the number of types issued by Theodore, even though he wasn’t elevated to emperor until 1227). This of course clearly favours an early chronology rather than a later, pushing Types O, P and R into the earlier 1220’s at the latest, with Types C, D and E before them.

On this basis then we can reasonably date the Types C, D and E, as a group, to the three years 1219-1221, and O, P and R, again as a group, to 1222-24. Of the first group Type C is very likely the earliest, and there are hints, although they are little more than that, that E may precede D (since, e.g, the London 1996 hoard, and the Troad hoard from about the same time, included (single) examples of Type E, but none of the more common Type D’s; as well, the large E’s are often unclipped, whereas large D’s are almost always clipped). Whether Type K belongs in this period (with the very similar Type E) is uncertain, since clipped examples of the two types are often indistinguishable. Although we don’t seem to have any clear evidence of K before the late hoards I am inclined to think (like most people probably) that these types are simply varieties of the one type – in any case it is likely that in some hoard reports E includes K, whether this is spelled out or not, so that in end the hoards probably aren’t too much help anyway.

It should be noted that the correct dating of these hoards is of some importance, since apart from their evidence, for a variety of reasons (e.g, the large number of early period hoards) a late chronology would seem to better fit the overall evidence available to us. Assuming that the large Oustrem I find is a regular and complete hoard, it seems that it must almost certainly predate Theodore C-D, although this by itself is not necessarily a problem for the late chronology. The small size of Oustrem II and III means that they could, at a pinch, postdate 1224, assuming they are not part of Oustrem I*. However, it is difficult to see how the larger Dumbarton Oaks hoard group can be dated after 1224, assuming it is complete. Furthermore, the apparently regular Thebes hoard contained 9 examples of Theodore’s first coinage, and none of his other issues, so it must presumably date from not long after 1224 anyway. Overall, then, on the evidence that we have (such as it is) it is difficult to date Types O , P and R from much later than 1224. However, it must be said that many of the hoards that we have for this period are of uncertain value, in terms of completeness and integrity, so that our present conclusions concerning the chronology may well need to revised in the future. (As noted earlier, Hendy wants to tie Types N, O and P to Jean de Brienne in the 1230’s, noting that Types N and O copy coins of John II Comnenus. While such a dating is not impossible, on the hoard evidence it seems rather late to me, at least for Types O and P).

The next hoard that we have is Svishtov, the only apparently regular hoard that can be assigned with any degree of confidence to the reign of Manuel Comnenus-Ducas. Given the considerable number of new types in this hoard it must clearly date from some time into Manuel’s reign, at least on the late chronology. In fact, it might even date from a little after his reign, perhaps, as suggested in the table, from the period of the Mongol invasions of Bulgaria in 1241-2, although the lack of the relatively common issues of John Comnenus-Ducas (which make up about 9% of the coinage in Bulgaria after 1242) militates against this idea. Thus the types H, N, S, T, U and V can be assigned, in no particular order, to the 1230’s.

Here again we have two options – on the late chronology all these types can be comfortably accommodated in the 1230’s, and in fact, in the period 1230-37 (corresponding closely, it is perhaps worth noticing, with the rule of Jean de Brienne in Constantinople). On an early chronology , however, we have an embarrassing lack of issues in the late 1220’s**, so we would presumably have to shift several types into this period, most probably Type N, which is easily the commonest of the late period types, perhaps type H, and maybe even other late types not appearing in Svishtov, such as the relatively common Type F. Svishtov is, after all, quite a small hoard, and probably did not include all of the Latin types in circulation in the 1230’s, and as well some incompletely published hoards suggest that Types F and G may belong in the later 1220’s (see below ). In any case it seems unlikely that the common Type N can be any later than c.1230, given the rapid decline of Latin fortunes in the later 1220’s, although it presumably has to postdate the Thebes hoard. (Apart from Type N, the commonest large module Latin types in stray finds (and the coin market) are D, O, P and R, all issues of the early to mid 1220’s, with types E/K, F and H the next most common – cf. Appendix B in the article “The Bulgarian and Latin Imitative Types”).

And what about the famous “Peter and Paul” types, i.e, Types S and T? Svishtov certainly seems to put them in the 1230’s, and this is of course consistent with Metcalf’s idea that these anonymous religious types were issued by Ivan Asen for propaganda purposes during his flirtation with the Vatican in this period. However, let us not rush to judgement here – while these types may well belong in the mid to later 1230’s, just who issued them, and exactly when, is not so clear – after all, Ivan was at war (as usual) with the Latins, and the latter may have issued these types themselves for their own propaganda reasons. Finally, we note that Svishtov also dates the John the Baptist type (Type U) to the same period as the Peter and Paul types, at least generally. (For some further ideas on these types, see the Note “The Statistics of the Latin Type T”).

Readers will no doubt recognise the importance of the Svishtov hoard, as it clearly implies that many of the later types, in particular Types S to V, were issued before c.1240, contrary to what has been assumed by some writers. However, it is only one small hoard, so it will be interesting to see whether these conclusions stand up in the future.

The final hoards mostly date from the 1240’s or later, and include the commoner remaining types F, G, J and W***. Even if some of these types postdate 1237, it would seem likely that they were all issued by around 1241-2 at the latest, when the Mongols invaded the Balkans, and as noted earlier, some of them may actually date from some time earlier than this. Thus we can conclude almost certainly that the main sequence of Latin types ends around or before 1241. (The Mongols did not of course overrun Greece, but the collapse of Bulgaria would presumably have largely ended the need for new currency in the region as a whole).

A few rare types, such as L and M, and some of the very rare Jordanov types, are found only in the late Krasen and Dolna Kabda hoards, which probably date from 1246 or later – these types may therefore date from after 1241. (Note, incidentally, that while the commoner late types T to W , and most of the Jordanov types, are known mostly as small module issues, Types L and M are apparently known only in large module form, except for one small L reported in the strays at Preslav – the significance of this is unclear). Types I and Q are not dealt with here since, as explained in the associated article “The Bulgarian and Latin Imitative Types“, they are probably not Latin issues.

* If Oustrem I is connected with Outrem II and III, then presumably Type D shifts to Period 7b, which is perhaps more convincing, given the fact that it is almost always found heavily clipped.

** I am assuming here that the by the late 1220’s the Latin types were being changed on an annual basis, as in Nicea and Thessalonica; however, if these coins were being produced in Constantinople this may not have been the case, given the reduced circumstances of the Latin “Empire” by this time.

*** As noted earlier, LM Types F and G appeared in some hoards (cf. Coin Hoards IV, 205, 206 & 208) which may date from the 1220’s or soon after. Unfortunately we do not have full details of these finds (which have been dispersed), so that definite conclusions can’t be drawn from them. Note also that an example of the not very common LM Type G was reported at Pergamum, where the only other Latin types found were early and mid period (to Period 7) issues.

©Ross Glanfield

December 2007

Latest Revisions:

11 Jan. ’08: Significance of composition of V. Turnovo VIII noted.
12 Jan. ’08: Period 3 hoards changed.
18 Jan. ’08: Postallar moved to Period 7c.
4 Jan. ’08: Discussion of John III Type K revised.
25 Mar. ’08: Thera hoard added to Period 5.
25 Apr. ’08: Discussion of Period 6 and Thessalonican LM Type C expanded. Period dates somewhat revised.
18 May ’13: Dates of Period 5 etc. slightly revised; discussion of Periods 7a & 7b revised.