Jump to content

Medieval coins and genealogy: an illuminating convergence.


JeandAcre
 Share

Recommended Posts

...And some of us even think it’s fun.  Be that as it may, a key dimension of medieval European history is its dynastic component.  Especially from the 10th century onward, as the Carolingian kingdoms deteriorated and were replaced by rival polities, marriage between the latter, and beyond, became a primary tool of statecraft.  For variously lucky or calculating suitors (yes, overwhelmingly men), this not only helped to validate significant alliances; it often effected major inheritances, and ensuing territorial aggrandizement.  While most evident across royal borders (and occasional imperial ones, in the case of Byzantines and Germans), the same principle held on regional scales, among the feudal aristocracy.

(To briefly digress into a later period than this post, my favorite example involves the marriage of a son of Friedrich Barbarossa to a daughter of Isaak II of Byzantium (descended, in his turn, from Alexios I).  Their daughter married (1215) a duke of Brabant, in modern Belgium.  And in the space between the late 12th and early 13th centuries, you’ve already got Byzantine descent migrating into the heart of western Europe.  –See? Fun Stuff.)

 

For one collective instance, this is notable in the interval involved here, the mid-11th to mid-12th centuries.  The close of the Viking Age, and the high tide of feudalism further south, provide numerous, resonant examples of the practice.   

  

…As Yoda might say, some coins, you have.  (Caveat: these fulfill every esthetic stereotype of earlier medieval, post-Carolingian coins.  You Have Been Warned.) 

    djolHHUnqdKHIDT-nLJAYFHo5qRWkvj7Si3J479-A7hdvtqq7GT55sbIaK9ENV45LwUntoGr94phNJ5yKAG8aOMGB9dL-1S4JfAOKUtoXZJHRlu5WxWdpcs1HzQ1EMqbsbFggj6o0_ZsK22M6pZ1JkJAsCUusM3jkXw4JL0EVbPd9Ql8Lapovpl-Wg

Lower Lorraine: denar, immobilized in the name of the late Carolingian, Louis IV (936-954); Antwerp, circa 1020.  

Obv.  Two triangles, forming a diamond shape (but here with the lower one unstruck /off the flan); the upper one surmounted by a cross.  Possibly imitating the temple facades of 9th-century Carolingian deniers of Louis I and Charles II, or, perhaps more likely, the similar motif in anonymous German Sachsenpfennigs of the later 10th century.  [M]ONET[A] across.  (From 3 o’clock:) [ANT VER PI]EN + SIS.

Rev.  +LVDOV[VICVS IMP].  Ilisch 26.3.1. 

 

Whether or not the triangle motif in this issue was indeed riffing on earlier architectural motifs, it was almost immediately imitated in its own right, in two issues of Cnut (1016-1035) in the Danish mint of Roskilde.  These are the last two in the plate of Hauberg, reproduced in the Danish numismatic website, below.   (http://www.danskmoent.dk/tidl/usider/kds_rosk.htm.)



 

Gqgre_3cuAoHJPLRwf5pZL5zsqgkdnEiRbZcxEWR6ZpP2bpdWwIMG_OfRcYyUqmcdEHZrcd_fE_hkETPx4iT797_fFa-D4764QH3dlsNtkh8aguGfW9Gz7jZxRwFs4FKNxGqh6G-kXPfdhdF8UdKlsP2-D48WvypkqCmrS502uZBHlWtyjhqs3oOyA

Cnut’s imitation was taken up, in quick succession, by Magnus ‘the Good,’ King of Norway 1035-1047; King of Denmark from 1042.

45Bl7_0OYqcbgMNY3QLOsCYhwVqlzWBIzHyeiEHBv1VPyP1b_mxCu5xoVWy1BRhTP6ZRSLlgeOpnbrabTEQMGNKaiSAL-uSJrLNds3hi5C0qhljnfHWMBod5JkFWLVBsYWSHo7SskDaYcgfBOVVBBlgDnJxLpQIF5IMr3M8PEUEbzwTqEitknEk7QA

 

Denmark. Time of Magnus the Good.  AR Penning of Roskilde (wish you could stop me), c. 1042-1047.  (17mm, 0.85g.)

Obv.   Triquetra (a recurring late Viking device, both on coins and runestones).  Indecipherable letters in fields.

Rev.  IIOOII[...] across a diamond; ornamental dots above and below.  

(From 7 o’clock:)  [...] VOIII [...]. 

Hauberg, Magnus, 21; Cnut, 35 (the last plate above) for the immediate prototype.

 

Magnus invites this genealogical progression:

 

                                          Table 1.

                                                             Olof I "Skotkonung/under-King," King of     

                                                             Sweden 994/5-1022

                                                                 | (illegitimate)

                                                                 |

Olav II, KIng of Norway 1015-1028==Astrid     Bernhard II Billung, Duke of Saxony 1011-1059                                                                                                

  |   (illegitimate)                                 |                     |            |                       

  |                                                         |                     |          Ida (see second table)

Magnus the Good,                        Ulfhild==Ordulf /Otto, Duke of Saxony 1059-72                                                 

1035/42-1047                                               |

                                                                 Magnus, Duke of Saxony 1072-1106 

 

Bernhard II was effectively allied with Magnus the Good in their sustained endeavors against the Wends of the southern Baltic.  It was during his reign (1042) that Ordulf married Magnus the Good’s half-sister, Ulfhild.  The Heimskringla anachronistically alleges that ‘Duke’ Ordulf (/‘Otto’) joined Magnus, with a large force, in the campaign which led to Magnus’s decisive defeat of the Wends at the Battle of Lyrskov Heath in 1043 (560 ff.).  However, as Adam of Bremen confirms, Ordulf, as heir to the duchy, had married Magnus’s half-sister in the previous year, soon after which he murdered a possible rival for the Danish throne, ‘for the sake of his brother-law.’  (108-9; cf. Cawley, entry for Ordulf: https://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/SAXONY.htm#Ordulfdied1072 .)  In the absence of reliable secondary confirmation of the Heimskringla (written two centuries after the events), it’s entirely possible that Ordulf did participate in the Lyrskov Heath campaign prior to his accession to the duchy.

 

Here are my stand-ins for Olof ‘Skotkonung,’ Magnus’s grandfather and Ordulf’s grandfather-in-law.  They’re a couple of fragmentary pennings, imitating the Long Cross issue of AEthelred II (978-1016).  The first one could be seen as a late example of Viking ‘hacksilver’ (commoner among Samanid dirhams of the earlier 10th century CE); if the second one qualifies as a cut half, it was still a sloppy job.  They were both attributed to Sweden, c. 11th c. –in the complete absence of my own access to references, but by a very reliable source based in the eastern Baltic. 

Yes, as in the Danish example of Magnus, the legend blundering is ubiquitous (resonantly confirming the coins’ Scandinavian origin) —although, in the first example, it looks as if some effort was made to conform to the original legends.  You can read the obverse as ‘[AEDELR]ED RE[...]X.’

eSuJoxGvz6FydB2u5ZsHvyKom8tNu7iM2KjQFLls13DeCqUmAFKpF0hpzdl_ny33l_So-ipvhcTujJoEgy6MWw4wubx8_nl_ZQ31kmUaT58oxo1o_FYzWIlKoCEeVy_iofnJLRaLHmCoEp9VhNtww4NMngCoP7ngtqaHRQMtcnqEzdrIBqpfXvZvbg

yur1ixNEXgE98yUrwr5ekln2XAi6ceJ9AeQZNUhqnyuCynOGq6C_67RPvO3rQVHdEuhVKkJLk4LI5_ys0maRjdhsLk12hEPnP-nd6rblhVJE99UKnb_Yh31L9aGN27_elIFSU7yoXKtPLjtIPhEjtTs9odqWoOKXMqxzjHwlYAHQjVi8SsPNkqNpPw

3OA0rzjjjoSD5rX5RKv70azNZV7iAO44GK8pqi0WhbmI4czxKM8YaVz4eMq3Ty4gMriO5C2O-QE6JuQvDQd9NTD7tFlruJMAWcNZ5LywDbLY3WvNNudtc5QCWZMBUDzU9ArXtSQSteWPs2TnXSFbNAkKvN4WpBd1TK30KVjbuF5QOJ0eycya9a7eWA

qzkIy-XNkjGtjCVZjE07s6M3pxT9nRGEdqmEVxvSGDJYo_bzdwvuBvgzn8PWZhZQDXiaMEmHm3f5h6lbqX9vY1FLw3GlseUFmx5O-Ix2_2wr6-WOPEtOPyqTqZ3aoDqbZN9P7Ex_Cy2FESHX9vCytLxM1eFKIvveRupA1z14tArFiaXQZKKmMT8-cw

 

And here’s one of Bernhard, Ordulf’s father and Magnus’s older contemporary and de facto ally.

ThUSsmzATVnKTi_fdgwFW9ihrdJmV6gxii9wT0A3RA2dgLXFxneQ-WfsxQki7nq3QibaNE968X8GLQEJ0DGj_qTo9UUE8eyjdLxZqBkhSWSxfXV3uS7Y89GFaRZ5pOKdpbyIkChlIedJ2by3fFvo0WXig3ceEM8NstbBWkVJEpocamdum9H8hRHi6A

Bernhard II, Duke of Saxony 1011-1059. Denar of Jever.

Obv. Facing portrait. Blundered, indifferently struck legends.

Rev. Gonfalon (/banner–well, this is how I interpret it). Legends as above. (If my reading of the reverse motif is correct, this side should be turned 180 degrees. The initial cross, beginning the legend, is visible at 6 o’clock.  —Granted, that in itself is common enough in denars of the period; cf. the first example of Godfrey the Bearded, below.)   Dannenberg 191-3, variant.

 

Gonfalons —banners which distinctively terminated in three tails— occur in Carolingian, Viking, and Norman martial panoply; as well as French heraldry, at least from the later 12th century.  The counts of Auvergne, in eastern Aquitaine, adopted a gonfalon as their coat of arms.

khsvOY_njdNjKU6Tncpt_-VWhC1vUUaZfIW0TnYMd5Q37sPtd5gFbMQ7EfbNDmIKqlu_tZZnf16-P1HBDOCqxA3w8vdyWKYJz0Ewi0VkLUUHIEbv3qlQ0e6mRQ41Y-D1epD976ZhQtJSX_Novy7MZveLDHdFYSDShIf9W9_u0xwnR4RlNDWsXSrwUw

 

(Both from Wikimedia Commons.  The right-hand picture is from a later 12th-century seal; both show the correct, non-gravity-defying orientation.)

 

More contemporaneously, Eustace II, Count of Boulogne from c. 1049 (cf. second table, below), is shown with a gonfalon on the Bayeux Tapestry, where he points to Duke William during the Battle of Hastings.  (Picture from Wikimedia Commons; cf. Bridgeford, esp. 140; 192 and n. 2, cogently (I think) identifying the protagonist as Eustace II.)  

c5WHxmdboLjYXOa35mGajDunQhiXlXoi27wtPBLP3a1ANoYGP8NhmExZT4vtnlFEoI4bTHrkCkh1ehUFaANIwrEXKToLFgZ7B4X0Ze3ZcdAMxRlj2STfDulyTwX_ysC8m98w1KGwzL_-tNC4e7CkX1WpPM3Arkb5Zb278qXPyzs6O-qWVPFP6p2DtA

 

And here’s my best example of Bernhard’s son, Olav’s son-in-law, and Magnus’s brother-in-law, Ordulf.

ghYz-1lQSQExQDXjIEzDefTsan8VpEGhAIpSrpRczjzc1SShW-JyqByBd5xY1vHdG2pzy9LHT0nas9AGQBCmFfv-3zb9Oqzt-9HaFpxvWqxJMaJta39yEGhLZ_OML4t_Yqp4IkAlPTBfMA2X1q0m-PJ-rRc1MhT9bFLkGLzxRj7PUAsQX485C7z6Gg

u5i7_njW-dz3Lz0avP0e7bTb8f1R-c1Ep3413kY4-OhB_zeO76-HQD5pjJIXepgt4OgJ-r8mk7N5Gjxssjkav1CrNqkYyE3CPVoO1qLQnIqvP1JJsXTROrenG8xp6G480H0HB3oZfCbZ6_54BIpkJGUdL5FUlkZ-rHCRlp_IkvVP0GmQj_eHm3B7BQ

Obv.  Ordulf facing, crowned; (entirely retrograde:) +D[VX] ODD[O].

Rev.  Cross, pellets in each angle.  (Retrograde again:) +[DVX O]DDO.

Dannenberg 595.

 

…Circling back to the anonymous denar of Antwerp at the start of this post, the chronology corresponds to the reign of Gozelo I, Duke of both Lower and Upper Lorraine c. 1023-1044.  (Cf. the genealogical sketch, below.)

 

                                      Table 2.

Gozelo /-n I, Duke of Upper and Lower Lorraine 1023-1044, m. ?                                              

     ___________|______________________________ 

     |                                                                   |

Godfrey the Bearded,                     Regelinde,==Albert II, Ct. of Namur  

fl. 1044-1069, m. Doda                d. after 1067  |              c. 1030-1064

             |                                                                 | 

           Ida==Eustace II, Ct. of Boulogne       Albert III, Ct. c. 1064-1102, m. Ida, 

                  |     c.1049-1070/1087               a sister of Ordulf Billung (cf. first table)                         

   _______________________________________________________________

   |                                                                |                                     |

Eustace III, Ct. 1089-1125   Godfrey de Bouillon,   Baldwin I, K. of Jerusalem                  

m. Mary of Scots                       d.s.p. 1100                           1100-1118 

    |   

Matilda (1125-1152) m. Stephen of Blois, King of England 1135-1154  

 

To wallow in the obvious as noted above, Gozelo was the father of his successor, Godfrey the Bearded, and of Regelinde /Regelindis, who married Albert II, Count of Namur.  Godfrey had a long history of revolt against Heinrich III of Germany, going back to Heinrich’s allowing his accession (1044) only to Upper Lorraine, out of fear of an ongoing, united Lorraine under the rule of one duke.  (Godfrey was also Marquis of Antwerp, under separate vassalage; hence his earlier issues from Lower Lorraine.)  Godfrey, whose sense of his own dynastic rights was no less pronounced than Heinrich’s anxieties, immediately revolted.  He was defeated by Heinrich, who imprisoned him and deprived him of Upper Lorraine.  (See Weinfurter, 104-6, esp. for Godfrey’s apparently legitimate concerns for the stability of the region, along with the still very recent phenomenon of hereditary, feudal or proto-feudal duchies in Salian Germany.)

 

For Godfrey, numerous peregrinations ensued, both literal and in terms of his subsequent career.  These included several years as co-Marquis of Tuscany, in right of his second wife, Beatrice of Bar (in Upper Lorraine), heiress of Tuscany by her own earlier marriage.  Likewise, he was reconciled to the Salian crown, and revolted, on more than one subsequent occasion.  Finally, in 1065, Godfrey was installed as Duke of Lower Lorraine by Heinrich IV, ‘King of the Romans’ (/imperial heir) and eventual German emperor, of whom, by this time, he was a loyal subject.  (See esp. John, pp. 18-28.)

 

Here are two examples of Godfrey; one common, but iconic, the other scarce (and late), but fragmentary.

V6YbQ6MFrCoSgaQDditXNJkb-djtsczx0OLx7U0A_-BYkRMDjeGrUG2gl3IpCKdahaEVOP00HL-MS-Makbz_IKpE0od_cBMdslOBFgQO-mFBBbV7g0RADgsCYdCUJFNOClvPOOiqQib0gArbSa7m5uKm4SvxURqTz-pliLaNT5Vvt4ID6K4ytXvu2g

FIemvBbdPY2j3_udxa5i4FDxLFk1qBjE91gy_2Rc_raMXMiwWQ6O_F864h7EiMdNIH1P_3sydAK4w_Kdup2pfWC6wohQgbMzk3vXoQ2y2lSeM9xdP74S0VOZ5Jh3i68XYxY0U1mh5F3mO1TJ2sNY2L4TIBZOI6h0s57ReGPxcttV3DkW4io7OMSXbA

Duchy of Saxony, c. 1046-56. AR Denar (18mm, 0.73g).  Bearded head facing / Castle (?) with cross in center. Dannenberg 1311 (as Hildesheim); Jesse 28 (as Stade).


 

xZOC7HP_YLasm9tskQWPwiPz6btaDDDoQdLM5whvM_56KJ5boc-2ZA_Otf67NyP3vxCG6hQGa6KcroSw1d07Y1XfOrhTqhv37u-1YWFTl54kEmLD_oMXUGMFglkz7dk6NwLltn6RDuJ-wbi4nkFZOJzmKx76SGEgVOp68XoMkEGIagAAzayc6lINuw


 

Cut denar, Lower Lorraine; attributed to Mere (chapel of Alkmaar?); before 1060.  (Significant legend blundering –It’s Goin’ On.)

Obv. Facing portrait (perhaps tonsured, indicating the priest of the chapel?). + GOEDI[DRRVS] (Thank you, ‘GODFREDVS’), or variant. 

Rev. Building with dome; [/\]/\, S in upper field; CII within. +EGN[CIVETR]S.  

Ilisch, (JMP 1997/8), p. 267, no. 24.6, var.; Dannenberg 305 var.; Kluge 231 var.; Gaettens, Ludwiscze, 104 var.

 

Elsen cites yet another numismatic reference, minus bibliographic details, to this effect (using Google Translate –again, You Were Warned:)

‘Grolle, which supports the attribution to Alkmaar, indicates that the building represented on the reverse would be the chapel of Alkmaar, daughter of the chapel of Heiloo, Capella Heligeloliensis, which explains the letters CH [/CII] appearing in the building.’

(Found here; it takes scrolling down a little to see the operant listing.

http://www.nederlandsemunten.nl/Virtuele_munten_verzameling/Bisdom_Graafschappen_Heerlijkheden_Hertogdommen/Neder_Lothringen/Verzameling_Zilveren_penning_Mere_Godfried_III_1065-1069.htm)

 

Tempting as it is, I’ll skip representative examples of Heinrich III and IV, all of which have been posted before, at least in the other forum.  We can proceed to Alberts II and III of Namur, a county in Lower Lorraine.

 

As in the second table, Albert II married Regelinde, a daughter of Godfrey ‘the Bearded.’  John notes that “this marriage would have a significant bearing on the fortunes of the house of [...] Bouillon [cf. the later Godfrey de Bouillon, Advocate of the Holy Sepulchre, in the second table].” (18; cf. Tanner, 82-3.  For contemporaneous precedent of lay ‘advocacy’ of ecclesiastical foundations, conspicuously in Godfrey’s part of the world, see esp. Dunbabin, 118-9.  See also John 183, for a brief acknowledgment of the same practice in Godfey’s immediate context.)

 

Albert III would go on to claim Bouillon itself, in right of his descent from his maternal grandfather, and Godfrey de Bouillon’s great-grandfather, Gozelo I of Lorraine.  This briefly crossed the line from legal wrangling to potential warfare.  Later, Albert subscribed to the ‘Peace of God,’ an ecclesiastically sponsored program to limit the ‘private warfare’ which was endemic among the feudal aristocracy in the 11th century.  This seems to have decelerated the conflict.  By 1095, Albert and Godfrey were witnessing the same charters —including one involving a dispute between an abbey and its lay advocate, eventuating in a ‘trial by battle’ between ‘champions’ on either side.  …So much for the ‘Peace of God’ having summarily ended the dominant ethos of the period!  (See esp. John 64-8, 81.)







 

eRgJcSdApGcTaqQPAEG68FTNfVEh3bGPaHhdC0k0NpHN9mkLr8bLyb7LfoPiTcnyezrVSuGyTFy_fnkoKukFwrxjeUqtdjUB4g7bbFMaum3UUDDhNyJX-4LuZ898CN-DVy9ZNdiz2wKbRiplCB9hXCewOYuE8haepKzZwdGjzdDAnjKL61GOrlQgbg

Namur, Albert II (c. 1031-1063), AR denier of Dinant, after 1040.

Obv. Profile; from 8 o’clock: A[LBERT]VS 

s.  [+DE]ON[A]M. et, cantonnée de quatre croissants. Chalon, Namur, 9 (attribué à Albert III); Dan. 176; Ilisch II, 30.7.

…And here’s another one.

_xbx74dHUcCEhX1i946HGtuvtDqNDDzSeM7QLtwXwf7yidQh23SpbGlIG50-dEdMIWDCgLfLiP2LF-VZvFpV9kdU079iB7K-BUdY8QIySQyCzkncHokalX2Vj492VZAnjP4Sqfyu4e6HjHkPY6kerKFMutqAnv3Pmnkrm0MaH1nOnxstk4VDaiT3PA



 

Hh36dvKAfi16PXRxvE9_-X_G_fWAaEONQbnwdGya7_a3_8AJ6Z4D6nfk9RKZCoFg8fam9zv5YPHAf7a8gSmJPIODLEX5mUKsQeBqWlgMk74ehnb3sx4F8WhkgwevBzlTpgc4_C00yomqcISzgL87S4MSjmNKPud6nB43G5GfHu7A-POehNbJGzAYgg

 

Lower Lorraine /County of Namur. Albert III, 1063-1102, with Regelinde as regent; c. 1064-1075. AR Denar (20mm, 1.03g). Dinant mint. +R[EILE TB]LA (likely a retrograde and otherwise blundered rendering of 'ALBERTVS'); busts opposed, one with diadem, one with long hair (presumably Albert and Regelinde).  [+]DE[ONANT], cross with circles around center, pellet in each angle. Ilisch 30.10; Dannenberg 1822. 

 

Finally, Yep, it was through the same Boulognese descent as Godfrey de Bouillon that we briefly wound up with a king of England from this part of the world.

 

Etienne de Blois /Stephen, King of England 1135-1154.

xxwsTOE6BmV1q14VzP8frGYNvSOKwTvM80enXUvTu1nGOQGHwoj1UxWpBtqPYwhdE4x0uy4qY-pMfbEFTP5GiH3mGvPSS6ibMw281QFRBM2FZn-gIukgee5gpXkB4Bah_LQwdOr16OMxrU7mF8V32xTIUx1zP_aU-hli-BB03cWnW7WchWwVIb-r7gd853ThbaKn-p9GHfUHAuD1Z7Rm6czYzGCZIV6w5CUdAs0xqxVXQZD_8c5DlBkePMPWnPL270GB9oKDrf-8c9kJd6LzvwjW0x-S-ZCQe6_Rlv9V_K9_x4mM0ezQdaf6DkNSAkA7CF4qZHT6kpTLYM5s8_1mq012fsvEirqipa-wm5lgA9KjYe08F60g

Cut halfpenny, first, Watford type, c. 1136-c. 1145.  Cf. North 873; Spink 1278.  Annoyingly, all you reliably get from the reverse is reducible to ‘[somebody whose name ends in] R: [moneyer] ON [...someplace].’  A worst case, even for a cut halfpenny.  But the profile, with the collar and scepter, and the cross moline, (with more fleurs de lis) made it eminently worth the price, as a UK detector find.

Historical references.

(Disclaimer: some of the more arcane numismatic references have been cited directly from online listings, in the absence of my access to them, either in print or .pdf.  In those cases, I have only resorted to established European dealers of demonstrated reliability.  …The sole numismatic source I’ve cited below is the available .pdf of Ilish, for coins of the Low Countries –mainly because, for an earlier medieval subseries, it’s that cool to have this much.

(Likewise, in the body of the text, I’ve only selectively cited the references below, so as not to unduly clog whatever narrative flow this might have had in their absence.)

Primary sources.

Adam of Bremen.  History of the Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen.  Ed. /tr. Francis J. Tschan.  New York: Columbia UP, 2002.

Snorri Sturluson.  Heimskringla: History of the Kings of Norway.  Ed. /tr. Lee M. Hollander.  1964.  Austin: U of Texas P, 1991.

 

Secondary sources.

Bridgeford, Andrew.  1066: The Hidden History in the Bayeux Tapestry.

Cawley, Charles.  Medieval Lands.  (An invaluable online reference for medieval genealogy, aspiring, often successfully, to cite primary vs. secondary sources.  By a Brit with decades of experience in the legal field.  Replete with internal, clickable links, between both family members and citations.)  https://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/LOTHARINGIA.htm#Regelindisdiedafter1067 

Dunbabin, Jean.  France in the Making: 843-1180.  First ed. (the second with an expanded bibliography.)  New York: Oxford UP, 1985.

Haywood, John.  The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings.  London  (...wait for it): Penguin, 1995.

Ilisch, Dr. Peter.  (Catalogue of deniers /denars of the Low Countries, c. 11th -earlier 12th centuries.)  Jaarboek voor Munt- en Penningkunde.  Amsterdam, 2014.  

https://jaarboekvoormuntenpenningkunde.nl/jaarboek/2014/2014-100a.pdf

John, Simon.  Godfrey of Bouillon.  2018.  London: Routledge, 2019.  

Tanner, Heather J.  Families, Friends and Allies: Boulogne and Politics in Northern France and England, c. 879-1160.  Leiden /Boston: Brill, 2004.

Weinfurter, Stefan.  The Salian Century: Main Currents in an Age of Transition.  Tr. Barbara M. Bowlus.  Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1999.


 

                                                                                  

Edited by JeandAcre
  • Like 11
  • Thanks 1
  • Cool Think 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, very entertaining.

In terms of genealogy, I believe everyone of European descent is descended from Charlemagne, just by the laws of probability. (Not unlike Genghis Khan in Asia, although he has a few centuries to catch up).

I don't have many coins of relevance, although I do have a Stephen cut halfpenny. This one is missing his head but does have enough to identify the mint.

Stephen Voided Cross and Stars Cut Halfpenny, 1145-1150
image.png.836808a4707e2f5e04b84e151eb9a4db.pngLondon. Silver, 20mm, 0.69g. Crowned facing bust holding sceptre; +(STIEFNE). Voided cross with a star in each angle; ( )D:ON:LVN (S 1280). Ex David Rogers. From the Wicklewood (Norfolk) Hoard 1989, EMC 1200.1105. The hoard was deposited around 1168 in a bank of sandy clay alongside a ditch. The bank collapsed and the ditch was filled, scattering the coins over 10 feet.

  • Like 5
  • Clap 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@John Conduitt, that's a truly brilliant cut half of Stephen.  And you couldn't be more spot on about descent, respectively from Charlemagne and Genghis Khan.  As in, Yep, Precisely, on the basis of inexorable statistical probability, in both cases.

I've read, somewhere, that on the same, statistical basis, Brits of ethnically native English descent are all descended from Edward I.  Evoking an observation C. S. Lewis made (dang, wish I could find this without Googling it), to the effect that the difference between the peerage and commoners was reducible to the fact that the former knew who they were descended from.

Edited by JeandAcre
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another example of a coin copying the architectural motif:

Switzerland, Genf (Geneva). Conrad, Bishop, AD 1019-1030. AR Denier (23mm, 1.16 g, 12h). Obv: + COHRΔDVS EPS; Cross pattée; pellets in quarters. Rev: + GEИEVΔ CIVITΔS; Temple façade. Ref: Coraggioni pl. XLVIII, 15; HMZ, Schweiz 1-268. Good Very Fine, toned. Ex CNG 85, Lot 1436.

image.jpeg.212a45a185fb3e323d921b0958e71f05.jpeg

  • Like 4
  • Clap 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Absolutely Brilliant, @Edessa!  That one's far enough off the beaten path that I can't remember ever seeing one.

...And, Well, Shoot, Why Not, here's the prototype of Louis I (Emperor 814-842 --giving you an idea of how many there were in circulation, for how long).

image.jpeg.6a402ce3ed774d7a7a341f4f69bb4ec2.jpeg

Rev.  Temple /church facade, topped by a cross; cross in center.  +XPISTI/\N/\ RELIGIO.

Obv.  Cross with pellets in angles; +HLVDOVVICVS IMP.  No mint indicated.  Nouchy, Louis I, No. 5.

...On to the most obvious of the 'usual suspects' from France.

http://historiccoinage.com/collection/images/coins/56316r1obv2.JPGhttp://historiccoinage.com/collection/images/coins/19300r1rev.JPG

Normandy; Richard I, Count of Rouen 943-996.  Denier of Rouen.  

Rev. Cross, with the same four pellets (otherwise not especially common in this part of France).  +RIC/\RDVSI. 

Obv.  Temple, surmounted by another cross; large 'X' in center; pellets above and below.  +ROTOMAGVS.  Duplessy 16. 

I have an earlyish example of the deniers tournois of the Abbey of Tours, but can only find pictures from Philippe II and Louis IX, well after the period.  It would be fun if someone posted a Sachsenpfennig with the same basic motif (--or are those a more regular imperial issue?), to complement this, your example in particular.

Edited by JeandAcre
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Benefactor

A very impressive post and coins! But I do have to say that the logical fallacy underlying the presumption of statistical inexorability regarding the descent  from Charlemagne of everyone with a European background is that it doesn't account either for populations that were isolated (geographically or for other reasons), or for those who immigrated to Europe in recent centuries. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, @DonnaML, for your (in)valuable perspecive on this.  You summarily nailed the range of exceptions, when I was doing no more than retailing second- and third-hand (...wait for it: ) 'information.'

...And some of us think that representative democracy can survive in this country.  Thank you for so resonantly being one of the people who are of that much help, just in that capacity.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, DonnaML said:

A very impressive post and coins! But I do have to say that the logical fallacy underlying the presumption of statistical inexorability regarding the descent  from Charlemagne of everyone with a European background is that it doesn't account either for populations that were isolated (geographically or for other reasons), or for those who immigrated to Europe in recent centuries. 

To some extent this is true. It would only apply to people with one line that goes back a few generations in Europe, not new immigrants. But from my own genealogical explorations I know that we are all far closer related than we think. You only have to go back to the 1500s for most people in Britain to be related. If you follow the maths, by 1066 we have at least 1bn ancestors when there were only 1m people in the country. Now take that back a dozen generations to Charlemagne and you have 1tn. A lot of people stayed where they were but a lot migrated, and it only takes one out of 30-40 pairs to migrate and all those ancestors open up.

Even isolated populations weren’t that isolated, particularly since the 1800s. Colonialism went pretty much everywhere and now we all mix without any barriers. It won’t be long before the whole world is descended from everyone who had lots of children in Charlemagne’s time. So if it isn’t true today for me with my 1tn ancestors, it will be for my son with his 2tn - it would be much more remarkable not to be descended from Charlemagne.

  • Like 1
  • Cool Think 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Benefactor
7 hours ago, John Conduitt said:

To some extent this is true. It would only apply to people with one line that goes back a few generations in Europe, not new immigrants. But from my own genealogical explorations I know that we are all far closer related than we think. You only have to go back to the 1500s for most people in Britain to be related. If you follow the maths, by 1066 we have at least 1bn ancestors when there were only 1m people in the country. Now take that back a dozen generations to Charlemagne and you have 1tn. A lot of people stayed where they were but a lot migrated, and it only takes one out of 30-40 pairs to migrate and all those ancestors open up.

Even isolated populations weren’t that isolated, particularly since the 1800s. Colonialism went pretty much everywhere and now we all mix without any barriers. It won’t be long before the whole world is descended from everyone who had lots of children in Charlemagne’s time. So if it isn’t true today for me with my 1tn ancestors, it will be for my son with his 2tn - it would be much more remarkable not to be descended from Charlemagne.

I'm afraid we'll have to agree to disagree. The European population has never constituted a single gene pool reproducing in a single petri dish. To be blunt, perhaps the best example is that except for the occasional products of rape, there was almost zero genetic inflow into the European Jewish population after its formation well before the end of the first millennium, until intermarriage became legal and more socially acceptable in the late 19th and especially the 20th century. The only intermarriages permitted for more than a thousand years after Christianity became the state religion throughout Europe (I admit that Lithuania converted later, but there were very few Jews there until the 1400s-1500s) required the Jewish spouses to convert to Christianity. The few famous examples of Gentiles converting to Judaism in the medieval period were illegal, and ended up emigrating to places like Egypt. There was far more genetic outflow from the Jewish to the Gentile population, as a result of forced or coerced conversions (not only in Iberia), as well as the economic and social benefits of conversion both to wealthy Jews and very poor ones (the ubiquitous Beteljuden of early modern Europe). Not to mention that no Jews were permitted even to live in France itself, where one might be most likely to encounter a direct descendant of Charlemagne, from the final expulsion in 1394 until France acquired Alsace in 1648 at the end of the Thirty Years' War.

As a result, the average European Gentile has far more Jewish ancestry than the average European Jew (or their descendants and scattered remnants, given the mass emigrations from the 1880s to the early 1920s as well as what happened 80 years ago) has Gentile ancestry more recent than late antiquity -- well before Charlemagne. I know the names of more than 250 of my direct ancestors back to the early 1500s, and every one was Jewish. My DNA shows not even a hint of non-Jewish European ancestry.  Of course it's true that everyone has far fewer actual ancestors than the arithmetic doubling each generation would indicate, as a result of marriages among related people. But that doesn't mean that any given person's actual ancestors 1200 years ago necessarily included Charlemagne or any other specific person who was alive at the time. Ashkenazi Jews are a well-known endogamous population. First cousin marriages (never mind marriages of more distant cousins) were extremely common right up to the late 19th century, especially in communities or regions with small Jewish populations. I've found so many in my family tree (just going back to the mid-18th century, as far as records still exist) that one group of my maternal grandfather's first cousins had only 6 different individual people among their theoretical complement of 16 great-great-grandparents. (The practice declined only when the family all moved in the 1870s from small villages and towns in Pommern and Westpreussen to Berlin, where there was obviously a larger pool of potential Jewish marriage partners.)  Take that back a thousand years, and there's no need to involve Gentile royalty! 

As an example, this is a photo taken in a town in Pomerania in 1859 depicting my maternal grandfather's father at the age of 5 (the little boy standing on a chair in the middle) with his family. The boy's parents (my great-great-grandparents) were each other's first cousins. Let's call them A and B. Not only were they first cousins, but A's brother C married B's sister D.  A daughter of A/B married a son of C/D, her double first cousin. And so on, back through the centuries.

image.jpeg.a1a37dbbfdb3a120ee6fef44a4a23fbd.jpeg

I think there's a certain amount of Eurocentrism in the idea that there are no isolated populations anymore and everyone intermixes without barriers. I've seen people claim that their mathematical calculations (all based on numbers rather than on actual genetic or historical evidence) supposedly prove that there's no such thing as an indigenous Australian or Native American or African or Indonesian -- even members of "uncontacted tribes" -- without European ancestry within the last thousand years.  As a practical matter, I say that's just not true, even now. 

Edited by DonnaML
  • Like 5
  • Cool Think 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, @DonnaML, very interesting. I have to say such community barriers would make them an exception to the statistical argument, albeit in a mathematically logical way.

I don’t know about Eurocentric. This rule applies in all directions. It is thought 1 in 5 caucasian people in Britain have a black ancestor and don’t know it. (Based on evidence). It won’t be a huge number of generations more until that’s almost everyone, from migration that happened 3-500 years ago.

So it is with Jewish ancestry. My brother-in-law has Jewish ancestors, even though he didn’t know it until recently. He is far from alone. So in one marriage 2/3 of my parents’ descendants suddenly have Jewish ancestry.

My descendants, on the other hand, gained Indian ancestry, since some of my wife’s British ancestors lived in India in the 16-1700s and married Indian women. She has distant cousins in India with white British ancestors, who probably don’t know it.

With Indian and European ancestry, maybe my son is descended from Genghis Khan and Charlemagne.

Edited by John Conduitt
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, DonnaML said:

I'm afraid we'll have to agree to disagree. The European population has never constituted a single gene pool reproducing in a single petri dish. To be blunt, perhaps the best example is that except for the occasional products of rape, there was almost zero genetic inflow into the European Jewish population after its formation well before the end of the first millennium, until intermarriage became legal and more socially acceptable in the late 19th and especially the 20th century. The only intermarriages permitted for more than a thousand years after Christianity became the state religion throughout Europe (I admit that Lithuania converted later, but there were very few Jews there until the 1400s-1500s) required the Jewish spouses to convert to Christianity. The few famous examples of Gentiles converting to Judaism in the medieval period were illegal, and ended up emigrating to places like Egypt. There was far more genetic outflow from the Jewish to the Gentile population, as a result of forced or coerced conversions (not only in Iberia), as well as the economic and social benefits of conversion both to wealthy Jews and very poor ones (the ubiquitous Beteljuden of early modern Europe). Not to mention that no Jews were permitted even to live in France itself, where one might be most likely to encounter a direct descendant of Charlemagne, from the final expulsion in 1394 until France acquired Alsace in 1648 at the end of the Thirty Years' War.

As a result, the average European Gentile has far more Jewish ancestry than the average European Jew (or their descendants and scattered remnants, given the mass emigrations from the 1880s to the early 1920s as well as what happened 80 years ago) has Gentile ancestry more recent than late antiquity -- well before Charlemagne. I know the names of more than 250 of my direct ancestors back to the early 1500s, and every one was Jewish. My DNA shows not even a hint of non-Jewish European ancestry.  Of course it's true that everyone has far fewer actual ancestors than the arithmetic doubling each generation would indicate, as a result of marriages among related people. But that doesn't mean that any given person's actual ancestors 1200 years ago necessarily included Charlemagne or any other specific person who was alive at the time. Ashkenazi Jews are a well-known endogamous population. First cousin marriages (never mind marriages of more distant cousins) were extremely common right up to the late 19th century, especially in communities or regions with small Jewish populations. I've found so many in my family tree (just going back to the mid-18th century, as far as records still exist) that one group of my maternal grandfather's first cousins had only 6 different individual people among their theoretical complement of 16 great-great-grandparents. (The practice declined only when the family all moved in the 1870s from small villages and towns in Pommern and Westpreussen to Berlin, where there was obviously a larger pool of potential Jewish marriage partners.)  Take that back a thousand years, and there's no need to involve Gentile royalty! 

As an example, this is a photo taken in a town in Pomerania in 1859 depicting my maternal grandfather's father at the age of 5 (the little boy standing on a chair in the middle) with his family. The boy's parents (my great-great-grandparents) were each other's first cousins. Let's call them A and B. Not only were they first cousins, but A's brother C married B's sister D.  A daughter of A/B married a son of C/D, her double first cousin. And so on, back through the centuries.

image.jpeg.a1a37dbbfdb3a120ee6fef44a4a23fbd.jpeg

I think there's a certain amount of Eurocentrism in the idea that there are no isolated populations anymore and everyone intermixes without barriers. I've seen people claim that their mathematical calculations (all based on numbers rather than on actual genetic or historical evidence) supposedly prove that there's no such thing as an indigenous Australian or Native American or African or Indonesian -- even members of "uncontacted tribes" -- without European ancestry within the last thousand years.  As a practical matter, I say that's just not true, even now. 

@DonnaML, I really think that you nailed it with your central point that, especially in this context, statistics by themselves, in the absence of indispensible details of historical (and genetic) context, can only give you a fraction of the story.

By way of comparison, on a frankly impressionistic, but no less relevant level, I've just been dealing with my favorite online phenomenon to cordially hate.  Algorithms, which were, to all appearances, designed by humans with glaringly insufficient life experience in the first place, routinely fail, in their rush to quantify everything, to acknowledge the nuances of human experience... which routinely, and categorically defy quantification.

...Quantification of people.  Tell that to anyone on my hemisphere, of Black descent (Right, Just for One), and watch what happens.

Edited by JeandAcre
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that simple math doesn't help much here. It also makes a big difference what class people come from. 95% of my ancestors were commoners, and the family branches remained within a very small area for centuries without much exchange with the rest of the world. However, there have always been outbreaks that have led to my ancestors coming from four different countries. For me quite interesting but this does not lead to Charlemagne.

It's different in noble circles where marriage was always also political. There we might have an almost mathematical mixing within Europe, and everyone who has any noble among his ancestors, probably also has Charlemagne as ancestor. Just look for it.

Edited by shanxi
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, shanxi said:

I agree that simple math doesn't help much here. It also makes a big difference what class people come from. 95% of my ancestors were commoners, and the family branches remained within a very small area for centuries without much exchange with the rest of the world. However, there have always been outbreaks that have led to my bourgeois ancestors coming from four different countries. For me quite interesting but this does not lead to Charlemagne.

One exception is a branch that begins in the 17th century and leads  to the Bourbons. This branch then leads to almost every European country. In fact an almost mathematical mixing. That means that everyone who has any noble among his ancestors, probably also has Charlemagne as ancestor. Just look for it.

I think the point is that you don’t need recent nobility in your ancestry. The nobility comes to us. If King X has 10 children, child 10 isn’t going to get much in the way of land and titles, especially if they are female, regrettably. Their children’s children will very soon be amongst everyone else. And if King X or his successor is ousted - very likely - they are all again down with the rest of us.

Don’t forget too their many infidelities - one of which led to former Prime Minister Boris Johnson 😂

Then the maths kicks in, like spreading a cold - unless you have certain rules in place as with DonnaML’s ancestors.

Moreover, migration was common, from a few villages to whole countries each generation. One ancestor might stay where they are, but you have 1024 in 10 generations - only back to the 1500s or so, which is roughly where DNA and paper records can reach. The ones that are hard to trace are the people who moved.

Back another 800 years there are hundreds more relevant nobles and monarchs you could be related to. And you only need one. It would be remarkable if you missed them all. Proving it, however, usually requires a recent gateway ancestor.

Sorry for labouring the point but it’s interesting 😂

Edited by John Conduitt
  • Like 1
  • Cool Think 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

53 minutes ago, John Conduitt said:

I think the point is that you don’t need recent nobility in your ancestry. The nobility comes to us. If King X has 10 children, child 10 isn’t going to get much in the way of land and titles, especially if they are female, regrettably. Their children’s children will very soon be amongst everyone else. And if King X or his successor is ousted - very likely - they are all again down with the rest of us.

Don’t forget too their many infidelities - one of which led to former Prime Minister Boris Johnson 😂

Then the maths kicks in, like spreading a cold - unless you have certain rules in place as with DonnaML’s ancestors.

Moreover, migration was common, from a few villages to whole countries each generation. One ancestor might stay where they are, but you have 1024 in 10 generations - only back to the 1500s or so, which is roughly where DNA and paper records can reach. The ones that are hard to trace are the people who moved.

Back another 800 years there are hundreds more relevant nobles and monarchs you could be related to. And you only need one. It would be remarkable if you missed them all. Proving it, however, usually requires a recent gateway ancestor.

Sorry for labouring the point but it’s interesting 😂

I'm really likeing the back and forth here, from nuances to counter-nuances!

Almost anecdotally, as relatively specific as the context is, there was a Lot of social mobility in 15th century -Tudor England.  But most of it, by way of multiple marriages within a single family, was downward.  Younger sons and daughters could easily start in the aristocracy, with some if not most of their progeny, over later generations, going to gentry and knightage, and from there to commoners.

The process could start, or at least be anticipated, even earlier, and more dramatically than that.  The conspicuously underachieving son of Edward I in my line, Thomas of Brotherton (from Edward's second, near record-breakingly cradle-robbing marriage to Marie, a daughter of Philippe III), initially married a daughter of the local coroner in Norfolk.  I wonder if she was just that pretty.

Edited by JeandAcre
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...