After the decline of the West, the Eastern Roman Empire remained powerful and even grew in importance. Since the native language of most of the Middle East had been Greek ever since the times of the Ptolemaic and Seleukid rulers, the Byzantine Empire's government business came more and more to be conducted in Greek. This gradual process of reverting to the use of Greek had an unusual impact on the written language that has created some interesting puzzles for coin collectors. Many of the Latin letters were found to be so useful that they were incorporated into this evolving form of Byzantine Greek. The reverse inscription on the coin at right reads "IhSUS XhiStUS BASILEu BASILE" which translates "Jesus Christ King of Kings". The original Greek alphabet used a lambda where we would use an "L" and a rho where we would use an "R". Notice the presence of the "L", of definite Latin origin, in this inscription. The coin is a Byzantine type from about A. D. 1100 - 1200. The obverse has an image of Christ instead of the emperor.
Go to next article: Using Compact Symbols to Broadcast News and Ideas
Go to previous article: Imperial Propaganda on Reverses of Roman Coins
|JaysRomanHistory.com :: Table of Contents|
|The Roman Government||Social Classes||Rome's Enemies||Roman Emperors||Cities of the Empire||Roman Coins||Writers & Historians|
|The Republic||Christians and Lions||Other Empires||Roman Women||Engineers & Technology||Roman Art||Interesting Events|
|The Late Empire||The Roman Economy||Roman Army||Trade and Transport||Roman Food|
|Home Page: History and Technology Back Pages||Books||Glossary||Navigation and Help|