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I think Michael may agree with me when i say half of the story of the coin is in the history behind the coin. Whether this is directly related to the coinage in a specific way (be it in the design, how it came about, or what it represented), or in a less direct way. The history of the period itself. An understanding of the context of the coin will enable a greater understanding and appreciation of the coin as a fragment of the past.



Here's two reference points for primary source material that might be of use;


The Ancient History Sourcebook



The Medieval History Sourcebook



Both invaluable reference sites for primary sources of the periods (there is also a modern history sourcebook) all brought together by the historian Paul Halsall.


I am now kicking myself very much because there was another site on the history of coinage, ancient to the 19th century that was full of more info that you could wish for. Coin types, relative values of coins to one another, European economy, where alloys were mined, debasement and it's problems. Italian banking systems in the medieval period and dealings with Byzantium. Tons of stuff. Fascinating stuff too! I did have it in my favourites but it's got wiped by accident... and i can't find the site anywhere searching google! Grrr...

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