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The study of Byzantine coins is essentially the study of communications and movement of people and ideas, within and outside Byzantium. This highly illustrated and accessible volume, winner of the Royal Numismatic Society Lhotka Prize 2007 and nominated for the Art Newspaper & AXA Art Exhibition Catalogue Award 2007, focuses on over 50 coins to explore the empire's political and socio-economic development and cultural relations with its neighbours.

It looks variously at city markets and the exchange of goods between different parts of the Byzantine Empire; at Byzantines travelling to the West; including trade between the Svear and the Romans and trade with Britain; Byzantines travelling to the East, including Armenia, Anatolia and China; the Byzantine legacy in the Islamic world, including the cult of Alexander the Great; and Western merchants in the East, particularly Venetians. The study concludes with the story of the late Byzantine emperors travelling to the West, and the impact their journeys had on western European art.

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