One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1historical A gold or silver coin originally minted at Byzantium.
- ‘Once in the eastern Mediterranean they bought up the local gold bezant coins of the Byzantine empire or Arabic dinars and ultimately these became a source of gold for Europe.’
- ‘Gold and silver were still available in abundance there and trade flourished, based on the gold bezant.’
- ‘Al-Kamil sent back a second time, adding 30,000 bezants cash to compensate for the two castles, but again the offer was rejected.’
- ‘But the success of the past two seasons mean that the standard emblazoned with four bezants or gold coins, to symbolise both wealth and wheels of a car is apt.’
- ‘The Byzantine society functioned very successfully economically for a thousand years using the pure bezant gold coin.’
A roundel or (i.e. a solid gold circle).
- ‘The sign of the bezant is borne by those deemed worthy of trust and treasure.’
- ‘In the center of these arms is a gold (yellow) plate, called a bezant, on which is placed a dove, in his proper color, to honor Saint Fabian, the Bishop's baptismal patron.’
- ‘The bezant or gold roundel is one of the three of St. Nicholas, to whom the first church in Norton was dedicated.’
- ‘At the end the bezant has a designed belt in a shape of 2 interlaced birch branches with leaves and garden-stuff. The shield is decorated with a crown with 3 pinks.’
- ‘In the middle of this aisle, on a raised tomb, is a cross-legged mail, and a pointed helmet of the same, his head reclined on a double cushion to the right, his hands elevated; on his shield a bend between six crosses botone, charged with only one bezant.’
Middle English: from Old French besant, from Latin Byzantius ‘Byzantine’. bezant (sense 2) dates from the late 15th century.
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