2020, vol. 8, no. 2. Ovcharov V.

2020, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 258-273

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22378/2313-6197.2020-8-2.258-273


V. Ovcharov
Technical University of Varna
Varna, Bulgaria

Abstract: Research objectives: To determine the value of the special marking of the surfaces of coins found in the territory of Dobruja.
Research materials: Medieval silver coins originating from the territory of Dobruja represent an extremely interesting aspect of Bulgarian numismatics. Serbian and Bosnian coins in circulation within the Despotate of Dobruja are a phenomenon that rightly gene­rates interest and serves as a reason for a long and fruitful discussion. The most interesting are the countermarked silver coins.
Results and novelty of the research: In the Bulgarian specialized literature, four types of countermarks are known and attributed to the rulers of Dobruja, though one should note that this attribution is not supported by specific evidence. Among them: a circle inside a circle, a square, a square with a duck and a square with the letter “τ”. There is no plausible explanation as to why the despot, who received the title from the Byzantine Empress, countermarked part of the coins with his own initial “τ”, and some with the sign of a duck (!?). Hypotheses put forward earlier are not supported by the necessary facts and do not follow logically. Unfortunately, all these targeted (political) efforts are undertaken unilaterally without discussing hypotheses that take into account the political, economic, and financial context in a broader sense. If we turn, for a moment, from this view and look at other factors of that period, the constant presence of the “Golden Horde” in the region will immediately become apparent. The importance of this state is a significant factor in our medieval history and is recognized by all researchers. The act of countermarking can be considered as an adaptation of coins as valid means of payment by a certain power which wished to demonstrate its authority in the region. It should be noted that the proposed new hypothesis about the countermarks from Dobruja very well coincides with the well-established idea of the “Golden Horde’s” influence on Terter’s copper issues (1370–1390).

Keywords: Despotate of Dobruja, countermarked silver coins, Tatar influence, new hypotheses

For citation: Ovcharov V. The Questions of a Tatar Presence and Problems of Money Circulation in Dobruja (1347–1353). Zolotoordynskoe obozrenie=Golden Horde Review. 2020, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 258–273. DOI: 10.22378/2313-6197.2020-8-2.258-273


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About the author: Vladimir Ovcharov – Dr. Sci. (Technical), Technical University of Varna, numismatist (1, Studentska Str., 9010 Levski, Varna, Bulgaria). E-mail: vl.ovtcharov@yahoo.com

Received  January 13, 2020   Accepted for publication  May 28, 2020
Published Online  June 29, 2020