The purpose of this Forschungsfond application is to develop a database of coinages of the Later Roman Empire in order to study and statistically measure the actual monetary integration of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East during its first unified currency system in the late third, fourth, and fifth centuries CE. This has important implications for understanding the global economy of the Mediterranean and beyond, as we can trace economic links and study trade and commercial relations based on the movement of coins and the economic profile of each province. Assessing the monetary integration can also open up question of economic interdependence between differing regions around the Mediterranean, and thus help us understand the way in which the various level of economic units- local, regional and global, functioned during this important period of human history.
Furthermore, studying monetary integration can help to assess the adequacy of employing an open currency system in the European continent, something that is very relevant to present-day economic systems. The construction of the database of third to fifth century coin hoards is the first step of a larger project aimed at studying the link of coins and commercial economy, and is meant to be seed money in preparation for an Ambizione project application, which will center around understanding economic interdependence on various levels within the Roman Empire in order to understand the success and shortcomings of an open currency systems by looking at different periods throughout monetary history.