From Old French besant, nominative bezanz, from Latin Byzantius (“of Byzantium”).
byzant (plural byzants)
- (historical) A coin made of gold or silver, minted at Byzantium and used in currency throughout mediaeval Europe.
1819, Walter Scott, Ivanhoe:
“Gramercy! good fellow,” cried Prince John, “thou pleasest me — Here, Isaac, lend me a handful of byzants.”