The Roman follis was a large bronze coin introduced in about 294 (actual name of this coin is unknown ) with the coinage reform of Diocletian. It weighed about 10 grams and was about 4% silver, mostly as a thin layer on the surface. The word follis means bag (usually made of leather) in Latin, and there is evidence that this term was used in antiquity for a sealed bag containing a specific amount of coins. It is also possible that the coin was named Follis because of the ancient Greek word "φολίς" meaning a thin layer of metal which covers the surface of various objects, since originally, this coin had a thin layer of silver on top. The follis of Diocletian, despite efforts to enforce prices with the Edict on Maximum Prices (301), was revalued and reduced. By the time of Constantine, the follis was smaller and barely contained any silver. A series of Constantinian bronzes was introduced in the mid-4th century, although the specific denominations are unclear and debated by historians and numismatists. They are referred to as AE1, AE2, AE3 and AE4, with the former being the largest (near 27 mm) and the latter the smallest (averaging 15 mm) in diameter. Namely:
|over 25 mm||21 – 25 mm||17 – 21 mm||under 17 mm|
Fourth century folles represent the largest category of coin finds in the United Kingdom.
The follis was reintroduced as a large bronze coin (40 nummi) in 498, with the coinage reform of Anastasius, which included a series of bronze denominations with their values marked in Greek numerals. A 40 nummi coin of Anastasius is depicted on the obverse of the Macedonian 50 denars banknote, issued in 1996.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Follis.|
- Grierson, Philip (1999), Byzantine coinage (PDF), Dumbarton Oaks, ISBN 978-0-88402-274-9
- Hendy, Michael F. (1985), Studies in the Byzantine Monetary Economy c.300–1450, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-24715-2
- Kazhdan, Alexander, ed. (1991), Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6
- A close look at a follis by Doug Smith
- Follis Coin Catalog information and details
- Article from Forum coins