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Money in Belgrade through centuries

Belgrade in the time of Serbian Despot Stefan Lazarević
Picture: Belgrade in the time of Serbian Despot Stefan Lazarević

(According to the eponymous book by Adam and Nikola Crnobrnja, ed. Museum of the City of Belgrade, 2004, and according to Ranko Mandić's presentation in the journal Dinar no. 23, Serbian Numismatic Society, 2004)

Belgrade is a city where, as rarely in any other place in our region, the entire history of numismatics is written and illustrated by the money that circulated in this city. From the ancient times when the Celts from the tribe of Skorska lived here (from the 3rd century AD to the birth of Christ in the 1st century AD), to the Serbian dinars of the XXI century, issued in 2003 and 2005. In addition to metallic coins, including numerous editions in silver and gold with motifs of the city of Belgrade, a number of medals related to Belgrade are especially rich. Among the first, and by far the most famous, are numerous medals of the occupation of Belgrade from the Turks in 1688, 1717 and 1789. Metal money and medals should certainly add a lot of wealth to other numismatic materials: banknotes with Belgrade motifs, tokens, vouchers, shares and bonds ...

Well, let's start from the beginning:

The first forging of eastern Celts that reached the Carpathians is imitations of Tetradrachma (about 15 grams) of Philip II of Macedonia (359-336 years old), with Zeus's head on the obverse and horsemen on the reverse side. The Scordisci tribe begin to mint their money in the 2nd century AD, tetradrachma with the bearded head (Zevs) on the front side. Something younger forging is where Zevs is presented in the form of a ball (balls) with a pronounced elongated nose. Examples of this group, which we call the Srem group in the professional literature, since they are most often found on the territory of Srem, are brittle in two nomils, conditionally called tetrahedral (9-11 g) and drachma (about 2.3 g). At the end of their independence and monetary activities, in the last few decades from the end of the old era, the Scordisci coined small silver money, the so-called minima.

Picture: Tetradrachma minted by the Scordisci, a Celtic tribe that founded Belgrade(Singidunum), III/II century BC

Even before the appearance of his own money of the Celtic inhabitants of the ancient Singidunum, here was the ancient antique money, represented by Athenian tetradrahms from the 4th century, the silver coins of Alexander the Great of Macedonia, the bronze money of Pele, which was the capital of the Macedonian kings, etc.

From the 1st century AD monetary history of our territories is related to the rich Roman Empire money. The basis of the economy and the growth of Singidunum through the period of Roman rule is found in the stationing of IV Legion Flavia at Kalemegdan. The good wages of the legionaries conditioned the development of craftsmanship and all the benefits that made possible the emergence and development of urban cognition. The romic money circulation in Belgrade (Singidunum) was very high and feasible. In the findings from this area, there are more and more all types of money from all mints, as well as the money that was mourned by certain cities, so-called local editions.

In the money deposit boxes used in Belgrade there are also beautiful Roman coins - aureus Vespasian, Galician, Julianus usurper, solids of Constantine I and Valentine, and also many silver denars and silks. Not only are these silver and gold coins interesting, but also bronze antoninians, with thin silvering, such as the famous "Belgrade" Antoninian Empress Salonina (252-268). On the avers is the tsar's character, while on the reverse we see the goddess of the fireplace Vesta sitting on the throne. At the top of the diadem on the head of the Vesta, which is characteristic of the rulers, it identifies itself with the Emperor Salonin, the wife of Galilean. In the right hand Vesta, or Empress, holds a cross. In her left hand, she is a scepter whose top is another cross. This is for now unique money, where for the first time on an official document, what money is it, it shows the Christian sign - a cross. It was excavated in 265, in the time after Galian's Edict of Religious Peace from 261 AD.

Picture: Salonina (253-68), bronze antonin

The next period in the numismatic history of Belgrade is Byzantium. Throughout the millennium existence of the Byzantine Empire, Belgrade, as a border region, shared the fate of this mighty empire. The earliest "Belgrade coins" of that time were those from the time of Emperor Anastasia (491-518) - bronze folio (with the mark M, which represents a figure of 40, meaning 40 nummies), but also golden triennials (a third of solid, weight Ok 1.4 g). There are, of course, large solids (about 4.5 g) of Justinian I, Mauritius Tiberius, Kostantin VII with Roman II, etc.

By the end of XI century, changes in the Byzantine forging. Zlatnik gets the name of nomism, it becomes chubby and is most often buried in the electrum (a mixture of gold and silver). Beginning of bronze coins, and this form will be the main feature of Byzantine money from the 11th to the 13th centuries.

Continue to Belgrade's Numismatic Time Machine, we come to the Hungarian rule, which partly begins in XII, and it is definitely fortified in the XIII century, and lasts until 1521. Here, too, are interesting charm money, bronze skiffs that were stained by King Stefan IV (1162-1163). With King Robert Anžujski (1307-1342), a new stage in the Hungarian monarchy begins, which will take place until the Hungarian defeat of the Turks on Mohaj in 1526. He issues a larger silver nominal category of gros, and begins to forge gold money. These were gold coins directly for Florence Florence. Of the later Hungarian coins used in the area of ​​Belgrade, the most attractive are the dukes of Sigsmund (1387-1437) and Matija Korvina (1458-1490).

Finally Belgrade as a Serbian city, a monetary period from the 13th to the 15th centuries. For the first time in the hands of a Serbian ruler, Belgrade came in 1284, when the Hungarian king Ladislav (Laslo) IV gave the territory of today's northern Serbia with Belgrade to King Dragutin's administration. One century later, in the period 1403/4. By 1427, Belgrade is in the hands of the despot Stefan Lazarevic and for the first time the capital of the Serbian state.

Serbian medieval money used in Belgrade can be illustrated by silver dinar starting from Stefan Uros I (1243-1276) to the descent of Djurdj Brankovic (1427-1456). In that same period circulation of the coins of Dubrovnik and Venice.

Picture: Onluk (10 aces) by Mustafa II (1617-1622) minted in Belgrade

The Turkish period of Belgrade (1521-1878) can be divided into two parts. In the first, in addition to the various nominees, the most important Ottoman goldsmiths, ranging from Sultan Sulejman I (1520-1566) to the golden new romania - Mahmudia Mehmed II (1808-1839).

Mint of Turkish money in Belgrade opened in 1562 and worked with small interruptions until 1687. In addition to silver acacia, from 1526 to 1566, the mint issued gold coins. They are very rare - a copy from the Museum of the City of Belgrade collection, one of only six known examples in the world. We read it on (Arabic is printed) in translation: Sultan Suleiman's son Selim Hana, his victory was bright. Forged in Belgrade in 926 (year after Hijrah).

Picture: Local money from Belgrade in 1920

In the second part of Turkish domination in Belgrade, the money of the European states that was here, besides the Turkish, was in circulation from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. It was represented mainly by talirs, but also by ducats from various countries, including the Utrecht Republic (Holland).

The new era of our national independence, and the restoration of our own money, begins at the time of the reign of Prince Mihailo Obrenović III. In Belgrade circulation of metal and paper money of Serbia and all of Yugoslavia. And finally, the latest stage of Belgrade's numismatic history is the first issue of money, paper and metal, of the Republic of Serbia, at the beginning of this (XXI) century, of which the return of the traditional Serbian coat of arms on coins of 1, 5 and 10 dinars and banknotes of 50 and 200 dinars issued in 2005.