Money and Society in the Early Medieval Bulgarian Empire




Imitative coins, Byzantine coinage, Medieval Bulgarian Coinage


The question about the beginning of the use of coins in the Bulgarian early medieval economy has always been on the scholarly agenda. Discussed, resumed, and always pending, finally, this debate seems to have found its resolution. While old historiography attempted to explain the inability of the rulers of the First Bulgarian Empire to mint coins with reference to the fact that the economy was underdeveloped and non-monetised, now the problem can be approached from a different angle. Why did the Bulgarian rulers not make use of all the necessary preconditions for minting coins? Given that, what were the functions of the numerous recorded Byzantine coins discovered in Bulgarian lands? Were they measures of value, means of payment, objects of hoarding, or just pieces of precious metal?
The answer to all those questions has a simple explanation: coinage results from the economic development of any civilised society, of the kind which the medieval Bulgarian society really was. This must be the departure point for the problem posed at the beginning so as to facilitate our search for answers to fill the existing gaps.




How to Cite

Zhekova, Z. (2024). Money and Society in the Early Medieval Bulgarian Empire. Bulgarian Numismatic Journal, 2(1), 1–10.