The FLAME (Framing the Late Antique and early Medieval Economy) project involves an international group of scholars investigating the process of change in the economy of the Mediterranean and surrounding regions during the transitional period from antiquity to the early Middle Ages in the Byzantine, Islamic and European spheres and while using coinage as a proxy. It is a project of the Princeton University Numismatic Collection. This site allows project participants to post their research results and exchange observations among themselves. At present it is also open on a read-only basis with the understanding that the material posted here represents the unedited and unpublished work of the participants and is not to be cited or otherwise used without their permission.

The FLAME project will hold its first conference to conclude its first stage (minting) at Princeton, 29-30 April, bringing together our participants and several experts to discuss our results in a broad context. At the same opportunity we will also provide a preview of our work on the second stage (circulation).

The Phases of Research

  • I – Minting, 325-c.725 CE – basically a review of the all coins produced at Roman and Sassanian mints, with note of issues of denominations and (less completely) types produced.
  • II – Circulation, 325-725 CE – based on literary sources for the relationship between coin issues and moneys of account, and hoards and site finds for evidence of the geography and chronology of circulation.


To produce comprehensive date on coinage in the period of the transition from the ancient to the medieval world comparable and complementary to that which Chris Wickham assembled for Framing the Early Middle Ages primarily based on documentary and archaeological evidence. Our intention is to work through the technical numismatic issues and be able to present our results in a form that will be of value to historians and others not trained in numismatics.

The minting video is currently on YouTube and can be freely used.

For more information about the project, please email Lee Mordechai at