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university of birmingham


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Byzantine

Byzantine Coins

The single largest section of the Barber Institute coin collection comprises its Byzantine coins.

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Coins

Coin Collection

Coins are one of the most important sources of surviving evidence for the economic and social lives of past societies and of the political messages their rulers wished to convey. The Barber Institute of Fine Arts possesses one of Europe's finest collections of Byzantine coins

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Eastern Medieval

Eastern Medieval

The Barber collection has significant strengths in eastern medieval coinage, including some unique examples of early Arab-Byzantine issues, a large selection of Sasanian coinage, extensive holdings of Turkmen coins and a range of Georgian and Armenian coinage.

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Byzantine

Late Byzantine

This silver basilicon coin from the Barber Institute Coin Collection was struck in around 1320 by Andronicus II, Emperor of Byzantium. Andronicus’ rule was a period of literary and artistic renaissance, but also a time of constant threats from the east and west.

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Roman

Roman Coins

The Barber Institute has a significant collection of Roman coins, including a small selection of republican and a very large selection of imperial issues.

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Modern & Miscellanea

Miscellaneous

In addition to coins and seals, the Barber Institute Coin Room also houses a small selection of paranumismatica (things like or associated with coins). These provide useful teaching aids and in some cases supplement a historical understanding of coins by providing information about their creation and use in markets.

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Byzantine

Middle Byzantine

The Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos usurped the imperial throne in 1081, ending fifty years of erratic government, and founding the Komnenian dynasty which ruled Byzantium for over a century.

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Byzantine

Early Byzantine

The Byzantine Empire is a term given by historians to the East Roman Empire from around the fourth century onwards.

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Roman

Anthony & Cleopatra

This wonderful coin documents a moment in Roman history which remains iconic today: it is the story of a passionate affair, which shook the society of ancient Rome, a military expedition and the tragic death of two lovers, one of whom was the last pharaoh of Egypt.

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Roman

Et tu, Brute?

The silver denarius minted in the name of Brutus in circa 43 BC is arguably one of the finest holdings of the Barber Institute Coin Collection and among the few surviving examples worldwide.

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Modern & Miscellanea

MODERN & MISCELLANEOUS

In addition to its world-class medieval coin collection and impressive selection of Roman coins, the Barber Institute Coin Room also houses various selections of modern coins, a small range of Hellenistic coinage and a small but significant collection of Byzantine lead seals.

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Byzantine

FAITH & FORTUNE

Visualising the Divine on Byzantine and Early Islamic Coinage

8 November 2013 - 5 February 2015

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Western Medieval

Western Medieval

The Barber Institute collection of western medieval coins is small but contains some fine examples, from Visogothic to Burgundian to British coins.

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Eastern Medieval

Turkmen

The Turkmen states of medieval Anatolia (11th-14th centuries) ruled areas which had formerly been under Byzantine governance.

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Eastern Medieval

Sasanian

Prior to the rise of Islam in the seventh century, the power which most effectively matched the Byzantine Empire in the east was the Sasanian Persian Empire, based around the areas of modern Iran and Iraq, and centred on its capital city of Ktesiphon, near modern Baghdad.

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Western Medieval

British

British coinage in the Barber collection begins in the first century BC with coins produced in the Channel Islands, under the influence of Continental models.

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Western Medieval

Merovingian and Burgundian

The Merovingians and Burgundians ruled areas of modern France and Italy in the immediately post-Roman period of western European history (from the fifth century).

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Eastern Medieval

Arab-Byzantine

In AD 622 the Prophet Muhammad led a community from the city of Mecca in the Arabian Peninsula to the city of Medina. This date has come to form the beginning of the Muslim calendar as it represents the first founding of a community based on belief in Muhammad’s teachings and the revelation of the Qur’an by the angel Gabriel.

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Modern & Miscellanea

Byzantine Seals

In the Byzantine Empire seals were used, especially from the seventh century, though they had also been used in the Roman world, to verify that documents came from their official sender and to prove that they had not been opened or tampered with. Discover more about them here.

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Modern & Miscellanea

Hellenistic Coins

The Barber Institute collection of Hellenistic coins is small but contains some fine specimens of early Greek coins, the earliest examples of ancient western coinage.

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Modern & Miscellanea

The Edgar Guest Collection of Hungarian Coinage

In April 2004, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts was given a comprehensive collection of rare Hungarian and Transylvanian coins by Edgar Guest, an alumnus of the University of Birmingham.

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Coins

COIN STUDY ROOM

The Barber Institute is home to one of the finest collections of Roman, Byzantine, Sasanian and Medieval Islamic coins in the world, numbering more than 15,000 items.

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