The Info List - Tremissis

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The tremissis or tremis (Greek: τριμίσιον, trimision) was a small solid gold coin of Late Antiquity. Its name, meaning "a third of a unit", formed by analogy with semissis (half of a unit), indicated its value relative to the solidus. It was introduced into Roman currency in the 380s by the Emperor Theodosius I
Theodosius I
and initially weighed 8 siliquae (equivalent to 1.52 grams).[1] Roman tremisses continued to be commonly minted into the reign of Leo III (717–741), but thereafter they were only rarely struck in the east of the empire, probably only for ceremonial uses, until the reign of Basil I
Basil I
(867–886), after which they disappeared. Nevertheless, the coin continued in common use in the Sicilian theme until the fall of Syracuse in 878. The trachy, introduced in the 11th century, was equivalent in value to the old tremissis. Although it was not made of gold, it was one third of the standard golden hyperpyron. It was not, however, called tremissis.[1] Outside of the Roman empire, tremisses were minted by the Anglo-Saxons, Burgundians, Franks, Frisians, Lombards, Ostrogoths, Suevi and Visigoths between the 5th and 8th centuries.[2] The word tremissis was borrowed into Old English
Old English
as thrymsa.[3] In Frankish sources, the tremissis is sometimes called a triens, a term likewise meaning "a third", which originally referred to a bronze coin worth a third of an as. The historian and bishop Gregory of Tours calls the Frankish tremissis a trians or treans. The German form dremise is also attested. In French historiography the term tiers (third) or tiers de sou (third of a solidus) is often used. The French, in general, prefer to call the coin of the Merovingian
kings a triens (but avoiding the plural form trientes), while British scholarship prefers tremissis.[4]

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^ a b Philip Grierson, "Tremissis", in Alexander Kazhdan, ed., The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium (Oxford University Press, 1991 [online 2005]), vol. 3, p. 2113. ^ "Tremissis", in Robert E. Bjork, ed., The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages (Oxford University Press, 2010). ^ "Thrymsas", in Robert E. Bjork, ed., The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages (Oxford University Press, 2010). ^ Philip Grierson and Mark Blackburn, Medieval European Coinage: Volume 1, The Early Middle Ages (5th–10th Centuries) (Cambridge University Press, 1986), p. 102.

Further reading[edit]

Metcalf, William E. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Coinage. Oxford University Press, 2012.

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Currencies of Ancient Rome


Bronze Aes rude Aes signatum

Republican era

Gold Aureus Silver Denarius Sestertius Victoriatus Quadrigatus Bronze and copper Dupondius
(2 asses) As (1) Dodrans (3/4) Bes (2/3) Semis
(1/2) Triens
(1/3) Quadrans
(1/4) Quincunx (5/12) Sextans (1/6) Uncia (1/12) Semuncia

Early Empire

Gold Aureus Dacicus Silver Antoninianus
(32 asses) Denarius
(10; 16) Quinarius
(5; 8) Copper Double sestertius
Double sestertius
(8) Sestertius
(2½; 4) Dupondius
(2) As (1) Semis
(1/2) Quadrans

Diocletian era

Gold Solidus Silver Argenteus Nummus Copper Radiate Laureate Denarius

Late Empire

Gold Solidus Tremissis Silver Miliarense Siliqua Copper and bronze Follis Nummus Constantinian bronzes Centenionalis

Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome
Portal Numismatics Portal

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Currencies of the Byzantine Empire

First period (498 – ca. 700)

Gold Solidus Semissis Tremissis Silver Hexagram (from 615) Copper Follis Half-follis Decanummium Pentanummium Nummus

Second period (ca. 700 – 1092)

Gold Solidus or Nomisma (later Histamenon) Tetarteron (from 960s) Silver Miliaresion
(from 720) Copper Follis

Third period (1092 – ca. 1300)

Gold Hyperpyron Electrum Nomisma trachy aspron (Trikephalon/Manouelaton) Billon Aspron
trachy (Stamenon) Copper Tetarteron Half-tetarteron

Fourth period (ca. 1300 – 1350s)

Gold Hyperpyron Silver Basilikon Billon Tournesion (Politikon) Copper Trachy Assarion

Fifth period (1367 – 1453)

Silver Stavraton Half-stavraton Doukatopoulon (Aspron) Copper Tournesion Follaro

Related topics

Byzantine economy Byzantine mints Scyphate

Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
Portal Numism