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Was Byzantium any Better than Rome?

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QUESTION: Mr Armstrong,
Thanks for sharing your knowledge of Ancient Coinage.
The Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire lasted for over a thousand years and is fabled for its immense wealth.

Was the Byzantine Empire more successful in its currency management than the Western Roman Empire?


ANSWER: Actually no. The split between East and West came AFTER the Great Monetary Collapse of the 3rd Century, Constantine established the new capital in 330 AD during the 4th Century and issued the tokens above to celebrate its opening.


The Byzantine Empire was no more successful in its currency management than the Western Roman Empire? In fact it may have been worse. Rome reduced weight of the gold but debased the silver. Byzantium debased the gold as well. There was the Great Monetary Crisis of 1092 AD that effectively marked the peak from which it never really recovered. By 1204, Byzantium was under Latin Rule from Venice. If we add 309.6 years to the founding of Constantinople in 330 AD, we arrive at 639AD. It was in December 639 that the Arabs left for Egypt with a force of 4,000 troops. So Byzantium peaked right on schedule with the ECM in 6 waves of 51.6 years equal to 309.6 years.


If we look at Rome itself, the Social Wars to the peak during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, is also 309.6 years.That was the start of the Decline and Fall. From that peak the debasement of the coinage became rapid and it finally reached a low in 268AD.



The rapid decline toward the end was just 8.6 years for the still silver sppearing denarius to turn into crude bronze imitations.


We now face the Sixth Wave as well due in 2032. Are we ready for the Decline & Fall of Western Society? Between the politicians and the NSA, they are following precisely the same time line and behavior pattern as every failed state that has gone before us. Very interesting indeed parallels.


The peak