FLAME- Framing the Late Antique and early Medieval Economy


FLAME (Framing the Late Antique and early Medieval Economy) investigates the economy of the Mediterranean and beyond c. 325-750, using coinage as a proxy. Drawing upon the expertise of historians, archaeologists, numismatists, and web developers, FLAME is establishing a standardized database of coins from Ireland to India, coming from the Byzantine, Islamic, and European spheres. It is a project of the Princeton University Numismatic Collection. As FLAME’s PI, I have been directing the project for the past three years.

FLAME is divided into two phases of research. The first, Minting, covers coin minting in the period of interest, has been largely concluded in a conference in Princeton in 2016. FLAME’s web application, which we developed for this purpose, has been online and openly accessible since. The project is currently in its second phase, Circulation, in which FLAME’s members examine the circulation of coins throughout Western Afro-Eurasia through coin finds (both hoards and excavations) and historical economic research. FLAME’s database currently has over a hundred thousand coins, and its second web application is in its beta phase.


The main objective of FLAME is to produce comprehensive data on the monetary economy during the period of the transition from the ancient to the medieval world. In the process, we have been working through the technical and numismatic challenges to present our results in a form that is of value to historians and others not trained in numismatics, while still being legible to a broader audience.


For more information please visit FLAME‘s website