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A feudal polity in Pannonia in the 11th century


seth77
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I have decided to actually go ahead and add my posts from CT here, hopefully they will be helpful to more like-minded folk and perhaps who knows, spark some debates and/or new ideas for research and collecting. I will try to add them perhaps at the rate of one per day as to not clog the threads and push newer threads to the back. Some of them will have added information and notes which did not appear in the original postings.

 

Here is my latest feudal coinage, which is an interesting apparition.

 

The 'Duchy of Nitra' was established by the Arpadian dynasty as an appanage for the heirs of the Kingdom of Hungary starting around 1046, when Andrew I recognized the independent rule in Kabar and Slavic areas of eastern Moravia of Duke Bela, who had been ruling autonomously possibly since 1042. The territory allotted constituted 'tercia pars regni' -- a third of the kingdom -- and was ruled after Bela by the heirs presumptive of the Crown until 1108, when it was annexed under the king's rule. Parts of the duchy also had a border defense function -- the western parts towards Moravia and in the south-eastern Csanad-Cenad area -- and acted as a defensive margraviate for central Pannonia, extending from Nitra in the West to Bihar area in the Est and to the Cenad-Mures-Tisza area in the Southeast. The exact shape and borders of the ducal territories is still a subject of historical dispute.

 

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The Duchy ca. 11th century is in dark blue.

Magnus became Duke together with his brothers Ladislaus (the future Saint Ladislaus) and Lampert after the death of Bela and the accession to the throne of Solomon with Holy Roman Empire help in 1063. He seems to have kept direct control over the western portions of the Duchy centered around Nitra, while the eastern portions were ceded to his brothers. In 1074 the three dukes expelled Solomon and Magnus became King of Hungary, taking the name Geza I. On his ducal coinage he is named Magnus, Duke in Pannonia, ruling thus under his baptismal name.

geza.thumb.jpg.f63365d89baa44749670e37406ca575a.jpg

Magnus as Duke in Pannonia (1064-1074)
AR18mm 0.88g silver denar, mint of Nitra or Esztergom, ca. 1064.
+ D.VX MVGNΛS; small cross with wedges in quarters
+ P A N O N A I; crosslet with wedges in quarters
Huszar 18



The coinage of the period, although feudal, was of good quality and used extensively in the Duchy and beyond. Considering that neither Ladislaus nor Lampert minted any coinage as dukes, the only mint operating in this period was likely Nitra (Hungarian researchers like Gyöngyössy, Tóth-Kiss, Kovács consider the more likely mint as Esztergom), which seems to have only coined for Magnus. This specimen is heavy for the series and in almost uncirculated condition, making it rather rare.

A bit about the mint -- There is not much information regarding a minting operation at Nitra for Duke Magnus at this time, so most Hungarian numismatists contend that the coinage was struck at Esztergom. This is where the Hungarian coinage was initiated ca. 1018-20 for Stephen I (I. Istvan 997/1000-1038) but that was the Royal coinage, while the ducal coinage, although widespread, was a feudal operation (there is no question of the distinction that was made clearly on the legend which names Magnus as 'Duke in Pannonia' not to be confused with the King). Nonetheless, the style of the engraving and the lettering indicate that it was a product of the Esztergom mint, or at the very least of die cutters from Esztergom. The module and weight also keep with the standard of the early denars of King Stephen, which is probably what made this coin preferred and hoarded.

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