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What books do you recommend? Carolingian coins


Hrefn

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First, a confession.   I know it is more wise to “buy the book before the coin”.   But I was weak, and yielded to temptation.  The coin was so pretty, so historic, and it was just sitting there, in the midst of an auction which had almost no Carolingian coins.   Perhaps it would be overlooked by the other bidders?   So I pondered the new reality of higher coin prices, and placed an aggressive bid.  To my absolute open-mouthed shock, I won the coin.  

Custom (or superstition) seems to dictate that we refrain from posting pictures until receiving the coin in hand.  So I will refrain from posting the seller’s pics, unless there is a consensus that waiting for my admittedly non-professional photographic efforts is an unnecessary scrupulosity.   

Which brings me to my request.  What books on Carolingian coins are worthwhile additions to one’s numismatic library?  Assume one is starting from almost empty shelves.  What are the best introductions and overviews?  Best comprehensive studies?   Old auction catalogs of outstanding collections?  Focused studies of particular mints or types?

I will start by saying I already have a copy of:

Medieval European Coinage (1) The Early Middle Ages (5th-10th centuries) by Philip Grierson and Mark Blackburn.  This book is based primarily on Professor Grierson’s personal collection housed at the Fitzwilliam Museum.  It was published in 1986 by the Cambridge University Press.  Approximately 1500 coins of Europe are featured, beginning with the earliest issues of the Vandals, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, and Lombards; other minor Germanic peoples;  the gold and silver of the early Franks through to the decline of the Carolingians;  about 30 pages devoted to Anglo-Saxon thrymsas and sceattas and another 40 pages featuring Anglo-Saxon pennies.  Each coin is illustrated in the excellent plates.  The scholarly and historical chapters benefit from the erudition of Professor Grierson as a professional medieval historian, as well as Mark Blackburn’s expertise in Anglo-Saxon numismatics. 

It is remarkable to consider that this volume deals with only about 10% of Grierson’s collection, AFTER he had divested himself of his Byzantine coin holdings.  It is an indispensable overview of the peoples and coinages described;  in my opinion the best initial book of the period.

 

image.jpeg.aa8fa17882a24c3fa0a0dcfa73272028.jpeg

 

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@Hrefn, seriously looking forward to seeing the coin!!!  But I'm enjoying the suspense.  

The two books on Carolingians that I rely on are

Georges Depeyrot, Le Numéraire Carolingien: Corpus des Monnnaies.  (3rd ed., expanded; Wetterin, Belgium: Moneta, 2008.  A subsequent edition was printed a few years ago.)

Patrick Nouchy, Les Rois Carolingians de Francie Occidentale: De Pepin le Bref A Louis V (751-987).  (Dreux: Editions du Grenier Durocasse, 1994.)

For an analogy from feudal coins, Nouchy is a little like the Duplessy to Depeyrot's ...well, whatever a more contemporary version of Poey d'Avant would look like.  Depeyrot has a lot more detail about, for instance, known examples of given issues, with their respective weights.  That can be helpful even to a civilian like me, particularly when trying to distinguish lifetime issues from earlier immobilizations.  Depeyrot is arranged by mint (alphabetically), from which he proceeds, reign by reign.

Nouchy does the opposite; listing by reign, and proceeding by mint and issue.  ...And it's a smaller book, so that's where I often start.  

Both have indices of legends, while Nouchy compensates for his arrangement by indexing the mints.  ...Depeyrot also has a lot more introductory, interpretive material at the beginning, in French, of course.

You could easily get by with either one, but they're both of real value.

Regarding what coins to get first, well, of course, if you really wanted to 'pee with the big dogs' (as my uncle from Saarland used to say), you could get one of Charlemagne.  These show up pretty frequently, but they're decidedly high end!  

For easier options, three are obvious.  The commonest of the whole series are the 'GRATIA D-I REX' issues of Charles the Bald, issued from the Edict of Pitres in 865.  But issues of his that predate that are pretty easy to find, too.  --Beware of immobilizations, though!!!  Particularly the ones of Melle.  If you wind up like me, those will have their own fascination, but ...well, you get the drift.  A third, iconic but common issue are the Temple deniers of Louis I.  Those don't state the mint, although lots has been done recently toward locating them by style and variant, in triangulation with find spots.

Best of luck!  ...On a purely esthetic level, I find the Carolingian capitals in the legends to be a resonant complement to the monumentality of the legends in Julio-Claudian coins.

 

Edited by JeandAcre
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image.jpeg.83d124f68b608c0f291290ef6ab9e601.jpegI do have a coin which could be claimed to be a Charlemagne lifetime issue, but I do not think of it as a Carolingian coin.  The Duchy of Beneventum issued coins which were imitative of contemporary Byzantine pieces, initially.  Later, they became more brave, and began putting their own initials, and later, their names and portraits on their coins. Two Lombardic tremisses are shown.  The first is probably from 788-792 AD, and on the reverse the Lombardic Duke of Benevento acknowledges the suzerainty of DOMinuS CARolus ReX.   The second coin is a bit later, after Charlemagne was a safe distance away, and Grimoald no longer felt the need to show subordination.  image.jpeg.162be30ea21141889e66d1edb1deba51.jpeg

I suspect this is the closest I will come to a lifetime Charlemagne issue.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

@JeandAcre  I followed your advice and picked up a copy of Patrick Nouchy’s Les Rois Carolingiens de France Occidental.   Here is the listing of my new coin, a Class 2 denier of Louis the Pious from Lyon.D0B06BE0-C741-460E-B48A-C2DF844F9F39.jpeg.ea54f814390e9164dcf026312729b127.jpeg

 

and here is the example in MEC as number 772.   F9DBE1CA-E7F8-4C94-AB1B-ED97623F1779.jpeg.1284e2ba7633623ef8747645471fb650.jpeg

And here is the coin itself.D7C02D4C-4DA9-4DA9-92E5-1075692298C6.jpeg.1cc47730e160f1577e300f930ff37a4a.jpeg236F90EC-1A34-4CF8-B195-9BBDCCCE9792.jpeg.c468eeebfb850b6780e1a99e1335e5d9.jpeg

 

I think I did well.  Grierson states in MEC that the Class 2 deniers are not uncommon as over a thousand of them were found in two large hoards, though these were divided amongst multiple mints, with Venice accounting for a fifth of them.  (MEC 1 p. 215).  Forty different mints for the Class are known.  I am not sure how common the coins from Lyon are, and I have only found one prior sales record thus far.  That information may be in Depeyrot, but I have not located a copy of his book yet.  

Thank you again for your kind and informative post. 

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@Hrefn, it's a joy to have been of any help.  (Promise you, I don't get to do that every day.)

And your example is difficult to describe without resort to expletives.  But, why not, I'll try. 

Generally, the convergence of toning and detail are as good as you're likely to get.  And those outer borders are truly stunning.  Especially for something on this level, the diameter, weight, and even a side view or too would be really welcome.

This is why, for this series, the linear legends are this resonant compelling totemic all of the above.  Hearty congratulations for starting at this level!!!

...Conspicuously including the impressive range of other sources you consulted.  ...Right, this is from Depeyrot (3rd, only penultimate edition, 2008).  In honor of the level you're already at, this will be a full quotation.  Unedited, except for the absence of French diacritics (I've never figured out how to include those without a Lot of annoying cutting and pasting), and other formatting details which are only less relevant. 

[P. 269:] Type de 819-822: Louis le Pieux (814-840), Pepin I roi d'Aquitaine (817-838), Lothaire I (817-855)

523.  Denier de Louis de Pieux (31 exemplaires etudies)

+HLVDOVVICVS IMP croix                        lVGD-VNVM en 2 lignes

Gariel XVI 64; Morrisn-Grunthal 379, 380; Depeyrot (1) (2) [right, previous editions] 523; 

Collections: Berlin 1,80, 1,75 [thank you, grams]; New York 1,78; Prou 630 (1,73), 631 (1,78), 632 (1,83); MEC 772 (1,76).

Tresors: Apremont (820-829), 19 ex. (D 17; H. 2 date de 819); Belvezet (829-830), 4 ex.  (D. 40; H date de 822) (1,81); Saint-Cyr-en-Talmandois (864-875), 1 ex. (D. 297; H. 56 date de 864).

...Right, I don't have a scanner, other than a very second-hand one that I can no longer persuade to work.  But here's hoping that was to some point.

Edited by JeandAcre
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@JeandAcre  Many thanks for the relevant info from Depeyrot!  The new denier came in a PCGS holder, a fact about which I have mixed feelings.  Among other constraints, I am unable to weigh it.   And I searched the coin on the PCGS look-up site, and there is no information about the coin’s mass.  

99% of my Byzantine and medieval collection has not been third party graded.    As a collector who began before the onset of slabbing, I never felt the need for it, though I am not rabidly against the practice.  For mint state modern coins it makes sense to me.   And it provides some protection if I should drop it.

DE57452D-A186-4100-82EE-996F7B9674D2.jpeg.562170bea6a0695e896c98f1cc74e99d.jpeg

 

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@Hrefn, as someone who has yet to get a slabbed coin, the practice continues to elicit all the scorn of which I'm capable. 

...In so very many ways.  With reference to a veteran collector of English hammered, in the UK, who had occasion to buy a slabbed coin from California, if memory serves, and who was diplomatic enough to express nothing beyond his sheer bemusement.  --Right, he summarily cracked it.

Regarding any substantive help they provide toward attribution, let alone authentication, I have to recall a dealer, exceptionally erudite in all things medieval, going back as far as the UK collector (c. 2000s-2010s).  This in reference to customers' requests for certificates of authenticity.  I don't know how she navigated that in real time, but from email correspondence, her preferred response was along the lines of, 'Fine.  What would you like it to say?' 

Never mind the fact that, as long as this frankly fantastic coin is in that slab, you won't be able to determine those Oh, So Minor details, such as weight and diameter.  Crikey.

...My last two cents, for what they're worth.  From here, the ostensible virtues of slabbing --whether in case you drop a coin (this is why we have carpeted floors), or someone (demonstrably not you) has a perceived need of the largely fictional level of expertise that most of these outfits relentlessly demonstrate-- elicit the following response. 

This is Why We Have Baseball Cards.  

 

Edited by JeandAcre
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  • 2 months later...

So I won this in the CGB auction last month and it was shipped FedEx International priority.  It made it to the States in 2 days and then sat in FedEx custody for over 2 weeks.  Their automated system said it was released from customs, then they said it was back in customs, which a customer service representative said was highly unusual.  I had fears of running afoul of some new cultural patrimony regulation but couldn’t get any information.  Today it showed up out of the blue without any prior notification.  Getting coins from overseas is getting more nerve-racking all the time.  

So.  A denier of Louis the Pious, type 2.   Complementing my coin of Lyon, above.  This is from the city of Tours.

816-822/3 AD. Depeyrot 1036.            50 examples known.  

The Council of Tours in 813 ordered sermons to be preached in the vernacular as the laity no longer understood Latin.  Henceforward sermons would be in rusticam romanam linguam or in German.   This is the first notice of the differentiation of French from Latin in history.   image.png.2e0a5bc7e9aec101ec994a516910f160.pngimage.png.ddc6d85d0a1dfab738425109fa764777.png

Earlier, the Battle of Tours was fought on 10 October 732 AD.  Charles Martel was Louis the Pious’ great grandfather.  

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14 hours ago, ominus1 said:

...i've lQQked at tens(i can't say hundreds:P)..of Louis the Pious coins to purchase for me Louis o France coins....that's a dandy and i don't have one yet..:)

The Type 2 deniers of Louis the Pious, how many are there available to collectors?  Grierson in MEC (published in 1986) said there were about a thousand found in two big hoards.  Adding in stray finds before and since, and assuming no other huge hoards have been discovered, would it be reasonable to guess there are two thousand examples extant?  Let’s say yes. 

Now, there are about 40 different mints known for the type, and if the surviving coins were divided equally amongst them, that would mean there are on average 50 examples known from each mint.  We know that some mints are over-represented, e.g. Venice, and some are known from very few examples.  The latest edition of Depeyrot says there are 32 examples of Lugdunum like mine above, and 50 of Tours.  So these are of average scarcity for the Type.

How many of these are damaged, chipped, or cracked?  No idea, but the silver fineness is high so they are vulnerable to crystalization, plus the flans are thin.  I imagine there is a non trivial percentage of damaged coins.  The denier of Tours illustrated in Patrick Noucy’s book above is missing a significant portion of the flan.  Is that the best he could find to illustrate the Type? 

The next consideration is that many of these coins are immured in Museums thus unavailable to the collector market.   Place a few examples in Berlin, Paris, the Fitzwilliam Museum, and New York, and you have taken a sizable percentage of the collectible coins out of reach.  

I suspect the reason I was able to afford my Type 2 deniers is either they are much more common than I estimated, or that almost no one else is interested in them.  Probably the latter.   

One of the oddities about collecting coins is that we know so little about the size of the market, and of the number of collectors and their interests.   How many serious collectors of Carolingian coins are active?  How many collectors of British Celtic gold, or Merovingian silver, or coins of Faustina?  Does anyone concentrate on Flavian dynasty bronzes, or are there a thousand such collectors?

Some of the larger dealers and auction houses, with their large mailing lists, must have better ideas of the answers to such questions.  It would make a great article for the Celator if that publication still were in existence. 

Here is another Louis the Pious denier, much more common and less expensive than the Type 2’s above.  It seems it was a deliberate policy to eliminate any regional distinctions in the coins in favor of a single, empire-wide standard design common to all mints. Sadly this makes them somewhat less interesting, IMO.

image.jpeg.784153f652d47da0cb0838189f8a17a9.jpegimage.jpeg.ee3fc34691613b09fe66b9200d344e5a.jpeg

 

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13 minutes ago, Hrefn said:

The Type 2 deniers of Louis the Pious, how many are there available to collectors?  Grierson in MEC (published in 1986) said there were about a thousand found in two big hoards.  Adding in stray finds before and since, and assuming no other huge hoards have been discovered, would it be reasonable to guess there are two thousand examples extant?  Let’s say yes. 

Now, there are about 40 different mints known for the type, and if the surviving coins were divided equally amongst them, that would mean there are on average 50 examples known from each mint.  We know that some mints are over-represented, e.g. Venice, and some are known from very few examples.  The latest edition of Depeyrot says there are 32 examples of Lugdunum like mine above, and 50 of Tours.  So these are of average scarcity for the Type.

How many of these are damaged, chipped, or cracked?  No idea, but the silver fineness is high so they are vulnerable to crystalization, plus the flans are thin.  I imagine there is a non trivial percentage of damaged coins.  The denier of Tours illustrated in Patrick Noucy’s book above is missing a significant portion of the flan.  Is that the best he could find to illustrate the Type? 

The next consideration is that many of these coins are immured in Museums thus unavailable to the collector market.   Place a few examples in Berlin, Paris, the Fitzwilliam Museum, and New York, and you have taken a sizable percentage of the collectible coins out of reach.  

I suspect the reason I was able to afford my Type 2 deniers is either they are much more common than I estimated, or that almost no one else is interested in them.  Probably the latter.   

One of the oddities about collecting coins is that we know so little about the size of the market, and of the number of collectors and their interests.   How many serious collectors of Carolingian coins are active?  How many collectors of British Celtic gold, or Merovingian silver, or coins of Faustina?  Does anyone concentrate on Flavian dynasty bronzes, or are there a thousand such collectors?

Some of the larger dealers and auction houses, with their large mailing lists, must have better ideas of the answers to such questions.  It would make a great article for the Celator if that publication still were in existence. 

Here is another Louis the Pious denier, much more common and less expensive than the Type 2’s above.  It seems it was a deliberate policy to eliminate any regional distinctions in the coins in favor of a single, empire-wide standard design common to all mints. Sadly this makes them somewhat less interesting, IMO.

image.jpeg.784153f652d47da0cb0838189f8a17a9.jpegimage.jpeg.ee3fc34691613b09fe66b9200d344e5a.jpeg

 

..thanks!..the coin you show here are the types i've been looking at and i reckon while they are less expensive than your OP type, they are still 'not cheap'...to me anyway...i can't pay a lot for one coin when i'm trying to collect them all...^^:P

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11 hours ago, Hrefn said:

One of the oddities about collecting coins is that we know so little about the size of the market, and of the number of collectors and their interests.   How many serious collectors of Carolingian coins are active?  How many collectors of British Celtic gold, or Merovingian silver, or coins of Faustina?  Does anyone concentrate on Flavian dynasty bronzes, or are there a thousand such collectors?

Some of the larger dealers and auction houses, with their large mailing lists, must have better ideas of the answers to such questions.  It would make a great article for the Celator if that publication still were in existence. 

It's an interesting question. Occasionally, an auctioneer, such as Spink's, will comment that there are 100 bidders online. I always think - only 100? There are 300 coins in this auction. That's 3 each. So why is the bidding so fierce? Are some people buying dozens of coins? Are dealers buying stock at such high prices? It only takes 2 people to bid up a coin, but there always seems to be someone else with deep pockets after my coin.

When it comes to Roman coins, I'm fairly sure there are hundreds or even thousands of people specialising in fairly narrow areas. With Celtic coins, I often feel like the only person interested in the bronze. Some of these might have less than a dozen in existence and still sell for a couple of hundred pounds. But the gold always seems to attract enough bidders to take it well over £1000, even for what I think are very common coins not in great condition. The gold content is nowhere near enough to justify the difference. These coins are 5g and often in debased gold. Are there a lot of collectors? Or a few very prolific ones?

Edited by John Conduitt
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I have a question about Class 2 obols. I got one in a CNG auction about 6 years ago (hard to believe I’ve had it that long!). How common are obols compared to their larger denier counterparts? Also, as a related question, are Class 2 deniers from Melle particularly expensive? I’d like to get one to match it some day. These are old images from when I first got it.374BC1EA-A413-4F65-8EDE-41B07BE6A4B4.jpeg.91b1310454aac4c32ea46cd357331139.jpeg6C93D24F-9DAC-4013-B567-5BA58889430B.jpeg.97360cf220b5ad52a9390a5a3f48c348.jpeg

Edited by milesofwho
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@milesofwho, with your reference to Class 2, I'm guessing you're working from the operant, Grierson volume of MEC.  Which is precisely what I, for one, don't have, although it's impossible to doubt that it's, well, um, on Grierson's level.  (I only have vol. 6, Iberian ...since it was cheaper than any of the other ones, by orders of magnitude.)  

But to your question about obols as a denomination, to the best of my knowledge, it goes like this.  From the Carolingian through the Capetian periods, including contemporary feudal issues, oboles (from the modern French) were ubiquitously valued at half a denier.  --Thank you, anachronistically, relative to a Greek obol being a fourth of a drachm.  But you can blame that on the fact that the medieval Franks and French were already appropriating the term as arbitrarily as they were.  ...I have to be reminded of the Greek words that appear in the Latin mass (Kyrie, to wallow in the obvous), on what can can easily look like a random basis.

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I have MEC I and the latest edition of Depeyrot, but not in front of me at the moment.   Depeyrot states the number of each variety of coin he studied in assembling his book.  One could assume that number would correlate with each variety’s scarcity.  I will see what I can glean from them later today.  CGB seems to list more Carolingian coins than anyone, unless there are other dealers of which I am unaware.  Perhaps an email to them?  
Melle, being the location of a silver mine, probably struck more coins than other mints, a good thing if one seeks a representative example.

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@milesofwho From MEC I:  There are no obols of Charlemagne.  Louis the Pious is the first to strike them.  Grierson had 3 examples of the denier and two obols of Metallum.  Below is the relevant plate of MEC.  image.jpeg.b02b18414a8916e9cd181b258163d8ed.jpeg

 

Depeyrot knows of 53 examples of the denier with the mint name in two lines, like #774-6 above.   There are also 36 examples of a denier variety with the same reverse as the obols #777 and #778, +METALLUM around a central cross.   There are 46 examples of an obol like yours known to Depeyrot.  

I know of one coin like 774 for sale now.  

 

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  • 2 months later...

I have increased my collection of Louis the Pious class 2 deniers by 50% !!!   That is, I have gone from two examples to three.  This one is not as beautiful as the coins from LUGDUNUM and TURONES, but it was much less expensive.  The new coin is from METALLUM otherwise known as Melle.  Melle was the site of a silver mine in Carolingian times, and an important mint.  I believe the mint was responsible for immobilized types which persisted for years after Charles the Bald’s time.  But so far as I know the class 2 deniers of Louis the Pious struck in his name were indeed struck in his time, that is AD 819-822.    The mine gradually decreased in importance, and by the 1700’s was closed and forgotten.   The town’s population is now only about 6,000.   The mines are now a tourist attraction.  

Depeyrot is aware of 53 examples of this type.  Grierson’ s MEC I alone had 3 examples, all nicer than this one by my judgement of the photographs.  But it is a scarce coin, and I am happy to get it.   

image.jpeg.5beff5aa4ed4fc6a9cb2129144028c64.jpegimage.jpeg.0e731000e3714df6ce23c6b0127eb9af.jpeg

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Brilliant example, @Hrefn.  Right, all of those linear mint signatures are compelling, and somehow iconic of the series.

Duplessy, Feodales v. 1 attributes the immobilizations, ultimately carried on long into the 12th century, to Charles the Simple, starting from the earlier 10th century and partially datable by the convergence of style and hoard evidence.  And, Yep, even if there's a trace of ambiguity as to whether the very first prototypes are Charles the Bald or the Simple, the immobilizations ubiquitously have the legend 'CARLVS REX.'  Yep, in issues of Carolingian France (versus Bourges), the title 'IMP' is distinctive of Louis I, even relative to his descendants and namesakes.  There effectively isn't the shade of a doubt that your examples are of the reign.  ...All I have for Louis I is one of the mintless temple variety.  Above and beyond the esthetics, the mint signatures are very cool in their own right.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The first coin of the new year added to my small but growing Carolingian coin subcollection.  I am posting it here because it would seem more sensible to keep the Carolingian coins in their own post.  

2023.1)   Denier, Charles the Bald, St-Denis, AD 840-77

OBV:  GRATIA D-I REX, KAROLUS monogram in center, no chevron,  four pellets between R and E of REX

REV:  +SCI DIONUSII M, pellet over the M, cross in center

Depeyrot 896.    Known examples 251.

Nouchy 199

The pellet over the M is uncommon, the cluster of 4 pellets in REX is otherwise lacking in ACS search.  The elaborate M and pellet likely stand for moneta, with the rest of the inscription being SANCTI DIONYSII, grammatically correct genitive case meaning mint “of Saint Dionysius.”  

And who was Saint Dionysius?  The early Christians in Paris had suffered greatly from the persecution of Emperor Decius, died 251.  Pope Fabian sent Dionysius, with some companions, to Paris to assume the office of Bishop and restore the church there, which they seem to have accomplished.  Dionysius was himself martyred circa AD 250, also.  There are some apocryphal elements associated with the story of his martyrdom, the most extraordinary of which is that after he was put to the sword and beheaded,  he picked up his head and walked several miles, preaching as he went, until expiring.  He was buried at the place where the church of Saint Denis was then built.  The site of his grave became an important shrine the existence of which is attested by the end of the fifth century.

The site of his decapitation was on the hill north of Paris known as the Mons Martis or hill of Mars, and subsequently called the Mons Martyrorum or hill of the martyrs, and is now Montmartre.  Whether he walked from there as a cephalophore, or his body was conveyed more conventionally to his final resting place at St Denis, is not for me to say.  

Saint Dionysius’ story was confused with that of two other figures.  The first was Dionysius the Areopagite, an Athenian who was converted by the preaching of Saint Paul in the first century.  The second was a person now referred to as Pseudo-Dionysius, who pseudonymously authored some Platonically-flavored theological works around the end of the fifth century.  These were little known in the West until a manuscript was given by Byzantine Emperor Michael II to Louis the Pious.   Louis gave the manuscript to the monastery at St. Denis.  The abbot Hilduin translated  it, (reportedly poorly;  but I am impressed that a Carolingian abbot in Northern Europe knew enough Greek to even make the attempt.)

Hilduin also wrote a Life of Saint Dionysius which unfortunately conflated the late first century Dionysius the Areopagite, the mid third century martyr Saint Dionysius of Paris, and the author of the Pseudo-Dionysian literary corpus.   In Hilduin’s defense, Pseudo-Dionysius had already muddled the record by claiming to be the first-century Dionysius.  

Charles the Bald, who had this denier struck, commissioned a better translation of Pseudo-Dionysius’ work by the Irish scholar John Scotus Eriugena, a man lauded by Bertrand Russell as the most astonishing man of the ninth century.  It is conceivable that John Scotus Eriugena handled this very coin.  It would seem likely he visited the monastery at St-Denis while engaged in this task.  

St Dionysius became the patron saint of the people of France, and his name came to serve as their war cry, “St-Denis!”   They also used “MountJoie!”    This means Mount Joy, of course, and I always wondered why that would be used.   Now I wonder if it referred to the site of Saint Dionysius’ martyrdom, Montmartre, which would have been a place of joy for the believing Christian. 

Davvissons 13.192;  ex. eBay private purchase 1/2023 from ayersr, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

image.jpeg.22322ccc3530045896c97f2fd6acefef.jpegimage.jpeg.05aae9c5a25d16b909a806eb0b58facf.jpeg

 

 

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@milesofwhoI must apologize for claiming a few months ago that there were no obols of Charlemagne.   I was basing my statement on information in MEC I.   Scholarly opinion has changed, with the author of this paper claiming Charlemagne did have obols struck.  https://www.academia.edu/490314/Charlemagne_Charles_the_Bald_and_the_Karolus_monogram_coinage_A_multi_disciplinary_study

I have acquired another GDR (GRATIA DEI REX) denier of Charles the Bald.  This one comes from CGB, unsold at auction 6/9/2022 when there were no bids at the starting price of 300 euro.  It had been listed on their website for sale at the original opening bid, so I purchased it. Shipment to USA was amazingly fast.  Kudos to CGB.  

2023.2 )        denier of Charles the Bald, Palace mint.   Circa 864-75 AD

OBV:  KAROLUS monogram,  + CRTIA D-I RIEX

REV:    Cross patée in circle, + PALATINA MoNE

Old ticket ~170 F 

Ex:  CGB auction 6/9/2022 opened at 300 euro, graded AU/AU, no sale

Nouchy;  Charles II le Chauve 54

Depeyrot 750  “touted ces pièces avec les nombreuses variétés connues appartiennent donc bien du règne de Charles le Chauve.”     285 examples.  

Silver fineness of this issue is very high, unlike some of Charles’ earlier coinage. 

The palace mint is variously thought to be Aachen, or Senlis.   It is curious that despite the likely close association of the Pallatine mint with the court, the spelling on this coin is very poor, with the celator of the OBV likely illiterate.  

D370F743-3C1C-4DA1-9019-7E60525BA72F.jpeg.38a5a9ee0dd1166eae3d470c43f7b827.jpeg29BB04D1-3B31-4BFB-99A7-DDDE0E3A146C.jpeg.f3b34c7cd127e3112057e67f8b00a601.jpeg

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@Hrefn, that's a magnificent example.  Regarding the Palace mint, specifically for Charles the Bald, Bompaire offered another line of speculation.  Here's my indifferent translation, from this post.  

 

It is possible that [from the reign of Charles II, ‘le Chauve,’ mints were] established in [whichever] palace the king was in residence, as     anticipated in the Edict of Pîtres [864, with its renewed emphasis on royal control of the coinage]; their emissions carry the [mint signature]     of ‘palatina moneta;’ the issues with mint names [combining the term ‘palatina’ with a specific location], on the other hand, [denote] the     various     palaces [issuing coins in] the king’s absence from these places.  Several other palaces of the Oise valley are well attested in the ninth     century     (Quierzy, Verberie, Compiègne, Senlis, Saint-Denis near Attigny, Ponthion, Soissons...) but Annie Renoux observes their decline in the     tenth century (Ver, Servais, Samoussy, [after which] they disappear), [during which interval] the royal residences are rather located around     Laon.  [….] Continuity between the issues of the 9th century with the ‘palatina moneta’ [mint signature] and the the Carolingian [‘KAROLVS’]     monogram, and those from the end of the Xth century with the monogram, HITS can be neither established nor denied.  (P. 30.) 

Here's the full article.  https://www.persee.fr/doc/pica_0752-5656_2012_num_1_1_3267 

 

 

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Here is my latest Carolingian era denier.  This coin came from Heritage Auction 232304 lot#64312, previously in the Historical Scholar collection.  It is a coin of Odo, AD 887-898,  Count of Paris and elected King of Francia occidentalis.  Odo was the son of Robert the Strong, and the hero of the Viking siege of Paris in AD 885 and 886.  This coin is from Limoges, LIMOVICAS CIVIS.  Mass is 1.68 grams.  

One feature of this coin which I like is the clarity of the the king’s name.  I have observed coins of Odo where the cross on the reverse prevented the obverse from being well struck, so that Odo is not very legible.  By happy accident the obverse and reverse dies on this piece were aligned such that the legends and devices were optimally struck up.  

Odo’s coins of Limoges were immobilized and struck for years after his reign, so Depeyrot was aware of 1162 examples, a large number for Carolingian coins.   This is Depeyrot no. 511.  I am not certain how to differentiate a lifetime issue from a later immobilization, save that the later coins probably trend toward a less literate and less heavy product.  Comments and opinions are welcome.  

I am working my way through Simon Coupland’s Carolingian Coinage and the Vikings, but I am not yet ready to write a review.  

image.jpeg.43718d568d7a8a0943a921872d1a5f59.jpegimage.jpeg.dded4e28fb2453a4fc52152892ce1188.jpeg

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A truly stunning example, @Hrefn.  Here's mine that also could be either a decidedly early (10th c.) immobilization, or perhaps a lifetime issue.  1.81 g, 24 mm.  --With the same retrograde 'S' on the reverse as yours!

image.jpeg.ae88a069ae9d27caed1e0483f10154c4.jpeg

I'm sorry that I can't be certain of lifetime issues, either, since the immobilizations begin almost immediately.  But, precisely to your points, the later ones, through the 11th century, are easily distinguishable on the basis of weight, style, and blundering of the legends.  This makes Duplessy, Feodales especially helpful; in this and any number of similar instances, he picks up exactly where Depeyrot and others leave off!

image.jpeg.488991e51c7db70bd69a0ab6597041f4.jpeg

This is my much less ambiguous example, with glaringly obvious blundering.  Duplessy dates this later interval in the immobilization to 'vers 1020-1100' (847). 

I'm enjoying the anticipation of your review of the Coupland!  I wasn't even aware of the book.

Edited by JeandAcre
"awar"
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