What the coins from the Preslav treasure can tell us about the social status of its owner
Keywords:Preslav Treasure, miliarense, Constantine VII with Romanos II (945 – 959), social status
This paper reviews the potential reason why the fifteen silver Byzantine coins (miliarensia) of Constantine VII with his son and co-Emperor Romanos II (945 – 959), part of the famous Preslav gold treasure buried in 971, could have found their way as a compact sum of money in the medieval Bulgarian capital of Preslav. Arguments are provided in support of the assumption that they were a monetary gift (or part of such a gift) bestowed by the Byzantine government to a Bulgarian aristocrat who was a member of an official Bulgarian delegation which visited Constantinople at some date between 945 and 959. The traditional diplomacy practice of the Byzantine government in that era (described in the treatise of Emperor Constantine VII “On Ceremonies”) to present the members of official foreign delegations to Constantinople with monetary gifts, the amounts of which corresponded to the ranks of the delegation members, is well-known.
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