The miliaresion, was a name used for a number of Byzantine silver coins. In its most specific sense, it refers to a type of silver coin struck in the 8th–11th centuries. Originally, the name was given to a series of coins issued in the 4th century that were struck 72 to the pound and were the equivalent of 1,000 nummi. Thereafter and until the 7th century, the Byzantines did not use silver coins, only from the reign of Emperor Theophilos did the coin become regular issue, struck throughout an emperors reign. In the 10th century, Emperor Alexander introduced a bust of Christ on the obverse and this process culminated in the 11th century, when images of emperors, Christ, and the Virgin Mary began to appear. In the 11th century, 2⁄3 and 1⁄3 fractions of the miliaresion also began to be minted and it was discontinued after 1092, except as a money of account equal to 1⁄12 of the nomisma. Under the Komnenian emperors, it was replaced by a very low-grade billon trachy coin, initially worth a quarter of a miliaresion. The miliaresion was essentially revived in the form of the basilikon issued from circa 1300 onwards, the name also passed into Western European languages, where milliarès was used for various kinds of Muslim silver coins. New York and Oxford, Oxford University Press, studies in the Byzantine Monetary Economy c. The Miliaresion Poet, The Dactylic Inscription on a Silver Coin of Romanos III Argyros, media related to Miliaresion at Wikimedia Commons
Example of the first miliaresia, struck by Leo III (r. 717–741) to celebrate the coronation of his son, Constantine V (r. 741–775), as co-emperor. Notice the lack of any imagery except the cross.
Image: Romanos I with co emperors, miliaresion, 931 944 AD