Bezant - Encyclopedia


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BEZANT or Byzant (from Byzantium, the modern Constantinople), originally a Byzantine gold coin which had a wide circulation throughout Europe up to about 1250. Its average value was about nine shillings. Bezants were also issued in Flanders and Spain. Silver bezants, in value from one to two shillings, were in circulation in England in the 13th and 14th centuries. In Wycliffe's translation of the Bible he uses the word for a "talent" (e.g. in Luke xv. 8). In heraldry, bezants are represented by gold circles on the shield, and were introduced by the crusaders.

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