Constantine I (q.v.) introduced the gold nomisma (Latin solidus) at 72 nomismata per pound of gold. The nomisma was used primarily by the state to pay its soldiers and bureaucrats, and in its relations with other states. Beyond that it served as a constant standard to which the other gold, silver, and copper coinage (whose types were inevitably less long-lived) were related. Thus, the gold semissis was half a nomisma, and the gold tremissis was a third of a nomisma; both types lasted until 878. The tetarteron, introduced by Nikephoros II Phokas (q.v.) was a quarter of a tremissis. The basic silver coin was the miliaresion, evaluated at 12 to the nomisma. The follis (q.v.), the chief copper coin introduced by Anastasios I (q.v.), was calculated at 288 per nomisma, and 24 per silver miliaresion. Rigorous maintenance of an unadulterated nomisma of standard weight made it an international currency until the late 11th century, by which time it had been adulterated and was in need of reform. Alexios I Komnenos (q.v.) introduced a reformed nomisma, called the hyperpyron in 1092, an electrum worth a third of the new nomisma, which became the standard gold coin until the empire fell to the Ottomans (q.v.). It was much competed against by the foreign gold and silver coins that were increasingly used within the empire.

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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