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Adventures in post-Carolingian monograms of the 10th and 11th centuries.


JeandAcre

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Anyone acquainted with the Carolingians is likely to be familiar with the iconic ‘KAROLVS’ monogram, appearing both in documents 

K7eJcnnPJh8E9ZsJGq35PoQVfSIXiLe-y-PY-a-Wif-Jcz-kpa3TadWbpG2EWAyfE9PcIxJ2XX1NggUw-GTUsuvV4fr6xMXJdkFzjd0t2-IrOiCo1tv7JF5gUgr7dHxuGU_lyYknF-1_mso4rwayjSs

 

and on coins, beginning in his own reign.  …As perpetuated in the profuse issues of his grandson, Charles ‘the Bald’ (king of West Francia 843-877), such as in this example of his latest, and most common issue, following the Edict of Pitres, from 865.  (Also known as the ‘GDR’ issue, from the obverse legend.)  9MHr27UvZqSHB8fExX5HGC8zWGeITL1EKrcv-Q5PbsoG1OxDGv4YGBF3oOfjE7kQALjdOx3ZKxG1PZ2Dr6PKIvWR5WBOJz3FV-KIFkHgVu_Kuzzx95CSdJRNqwCy_5X3frgjyY-DPTbaMZbBiNir-3o

Obv.  (all you get; been reposted too many times:) KAROLVS monogram.

Legend (From 9 o’clock): +GRATIA D-I REX 

(My hasta-be favorite one, of Bayeux, immobilized in Normandy by Comte Richard I in the following century –but that’s a different story.  Depeyrot, 3sieme ed. (2008), 127.)

…Not to mention continuations of the same monogram in later Carolingian reigns, and the innumerable immobilizations by various municipal, episcopal and feudal polities, from the 10th  into the mid-12th century.  With inexorable, often rapid deterioration of the prototype.  For one instance, there’s this municipal issue from Amiens, as early as the late 10th century.  (Dumas, Fécamp 6579, 6580.)

iV_DuBQG-5JA5tmri7fIIBDT4BmYZu_fB0xtW7hui5IMA50bFEMoHolzUDRMtV0QAej4tvYGS2z5MFzuWBxH6zyGBVB6Z-qQOJbruS291_t8pvItrfRl2sCKRM1PN3AyhI9a0EqUhni1TsV2hFOBZ5Q

  

But beyond the more passive copying, and pirsuant, progressive degeneration of the ‘KAROLVS’ prototype, Robertian and Ottonian kings were adapting their own monograms to the same medium.  This was already happening as soon as the late 9th century.  The monograms themselves, while differing widely from the almost paradigmatic Carolingian antecedent, are no less distinctively of the period.  Here’s one early example.  

 

e9LDgRqIRAThdFvJHgF0WcLLalMo68vNiGm9MiUREgopY61Tw4BDLbTS7bmKAmeMYS5Xb6KENwhgfge2R-Kjl4DiNAeRAOVZ3RKBIzVdZeD2x4V6rwfLQET0Lf-1IjXYpdcnxlvLZNIt-5LoyIboyFY

Odo /Eudes, Robertian king of (West) Francia c. 887/8 -898.  Denier of Limoges.

Obv.  ‘ODO’ monogram, consisting of (vertically) two cruciform ‘O’s; with a ‘D’ in the center, flanked (horizontally) by crosslets. (This is still the dealers’ pic, and should’ve been rotated 45 degrees to the left.)  Legend (from 8 o’clock:) +GRATIA DE-I RE+  (Echoing the most extensive issue of Charles ‘The Bald,’ aka the “GDR” / Edict of Pitres one, from 865.  Cf. the example of Bayeux, above.)

Rev.  Cross, pellet and annulet in two angles.  +LIMOVICAS CIVIS (the ‘S’s variously couchant, and retrograde).  

(Depeyrot 511.)

Granted that this coin marks a departure from the ‘KAROLVS’ monogragram, with its own endless degeneration in local issues, the plot thickens.  Subsequent coinages of Limoges proceed to do precisely the same thing to, Oops, the ‘ODO’ monogram, most dramatically over the course of the 11th century, when Limoges is a viscounty, under nominal Capetian rule.  Watch this.

 8iQwIWetb8ZaeO4Nw03rY4RGXDFJgv94Shhpa5X19D8RkJvWJkuxLoyW1IxqXgQ8kvL89IWkKM6R7H4J86FHlogEJm9h2ReuEWedwq9wNFP63keA8RFuX6r1W4XSfhDGQU4KPiZGNArbpcvshzTbTaQ

(Duplessy 847, 847A.  At this juncture, the variants are just too numerous; Duplessy effectively throws up his hands.  Under 847A, he lists one, concluding: “Autres déformations de legends.”)

Returning to the 10th century, in the nascent German empire, the Ottonians are riffing on the same motif.  

Eeltqn8I2afVQ8vBs2UMIDFhz80UEuBiIqTofE1bLQPlWPWOcQO3Ys5NJf3GiCArQEbzga_zrfgnatpg-Sb92kX4zm0Xgz1_VF2IWgZHrCUNpMeYiGtYaZDZ6IWuj77QJPe5VGbGYIo7rSpi_8xtLBQ

aeWYwqNjzPxvNUjyjyVy8w41l8WWdOINpD7NY7hA71KBx0Y-Vik9A86_6kYU2hDHPoQviEHjPd3t5cugmuXzPzbcS-pckRZMZV7hI3BeQrJUTG_tn2c-pHfnnzJBH-Tf_xjQEuQ8Ueu7hG832R1VwUw

Otto III, (King of the Germans 983 (aged 3); Emperor 996-1002), with his grandmother and regent, Adelheid /Adelade.  Denar of Goslar.   

Obv.  Cross; ‘ODDO’ in angles.  (From 9 o’clock:) +D-I GR-A+ REX.  

Rev.  Church.  +ATEAHLHT.

(Dannenberg 1167.)

May the record show that if Anyone wanted to fling Anything medieval onto this (so far ostensible) thread, you would instantly garner my, for one, cordial thanks.  –Improvisation will only get you extra points!

  

 

Edited by JeandAcre
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Denier of Charles the Bald, of Rotomagus (modern Rouen) Depeyrot 878, AD 840-77.   

This coin came out of a Heritage auction.  I posted it in a prior thread, but perhaps it is worth a second look in light of the peculiar monogram.  I rotated the picture of the obverse to give two perspectives on the monogram.  I think it is clear that the die cutter neglected to cut the  mirror image of the desired result into the die as would be proper, thus the monogram is completely reversed on the resultant coin.  All the other lettering is correct, though.  The “A”s lack crossbars, but that is extremely common on Carolingian coinage.  

What is interesting is that the K of KAROLUS in the monogram has been replaced by a C for CAROLUS.   Is this an error, or a deliberate change?  The same is true on the coin of Amiens, above.  Classical Latin had little use for the letter K except in words borrowed directly from Greek.  Was the engraver classicizing the monogram?  

image.jpeg.1fc7282a1ec3f744a01ce712c688169e.jpegimage.jpeg.f05372ffde18b46b7680303eb181fc79.jpeg

Here is the reverse.

image.png.95185c115b59429f22fd40accb6427bc.png

 

 

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Some monogram pieces I have. I had some interest here but never got deep into them. This was before I accepted raw coins, so all of them sit in NGC slabs, as they are relatively little things.

Charles the Bald - Soissons 

I have an attribution number: 1435 but not sure what that is. I notice the monogram has the bottom L facing left, not right.IMG_5524.jpeg.951cadfdc9a85afd3b53a1bb20bdf055.jpegIMG_5525.jpeg.3a0f489007b1b48beab6d11504437031.jpeg

this one is one of the undetermined Charlemagne or Charles the Bald out of the Melle mint. Was sold at CNG as a Charlemagne, but I believe Depeyrot around 2010 determined it could be Charlemagne or Charles the Bald.

IMG_4583.jpeg.1fc5f7c3f75b5786cdd6a8f7121b0d57.jpegIMG_4584.jpeg.24032dbe1676aa9ae91ec98803f1fd97.jpeg

my Richard 1 of the Rouen Mint. Pretty crude coin with a mushy monogram. I enjoy it because of the ties to Emma of Normandy, her kids, and William 1.

IMG_5521.jpeg.0a2e5a570dced638698c3d6a14f98f63.jpegIMG_5522.jpeg.c4f968139ece37e844d3b59d1a44b4ed.jpeg

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I'm not sure, but I think there is a case that this type (with the wide spacing of the letters) below was minted under the rule of Charlemagne, rather than Charles the Bald.

Obv.: CARLVS REX FR

Rev.: +METVLLO

Mint: Metallum (Melle)

I like the fact, that they latinized the German name Carl as Carlus and not Carolus. The more common, and I suppose correct latinization is Carolus, but the die engraver was apparently not familiar with this form and used Carl-us instead, indicating that the king (be it Karl the Great or Karl the Bald) really was called Carl, rather than Carlus, Carlolus let alone Charles or even Charlemagne.

 

I wonder, could the little V in the centre of the monogram be a distinguisher?

karl.PNG

Edited by Tejas
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Here is a denarius of Louis the Pius.

 

Obv.: +HLVDOVVICVS IMP

Rev.: +RISTIANA RELIGIO

This is of course a super comon coin, but in exceptionally fine condition. 

The name Hludowig is Germanic and translates as "the famous warrior". Interestingly, Gregory of Tour always rendered the name as Hlodovicus, ie. with an "o" in the first part, which has caused linguists to suspect that the first part means "lod" with the meaning of "war booty". Hence, the name, they argue should be translated as "the warrior who brings booty". However, this argument completely ignores the evidence from the coins, where the name is always spelled with an "u" in the first part. Hence, there can be no doubt that his real name was Hludowig/Ludwig and not Lodowig (let alone Louis). 

 

karl.PNG

Edited by Tejas
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28 minutes ago, Tejas said:

I'm not sure, but I think there is a case that this type (with the wide spacing of the letters) below was minted under the rule of Charlemagne, rather than Charles the Bald.

Obv.: CARLVS REX FR

Rev.: +METVLLO

Mint: Metallum (Melle)

I like the fact, that they latinized the German name Carl as Carlus and not Carolus. The more common, and I suppose correct latinization is Carolus, but the die engraver was apparently not familiar with this form and used Carl-us instead, indicating that the king (be it Karl the Great or Karl the Bald) really was called Carl, rather than Carlus, Carlolus let alone Charles or even Charlemagne.

 

I wonder, could the little V in the centre of the monogram be a distinguisher?

karl.PNG

@Severus Alexander i believe has some input on the identifiers here. I think the Chevron in the center is another indicator of potential Charlemagne, I forget the others. Obviously I think we’d all like to believe we have Charlemagne’s!

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18 hours ago, Hrefn said:

Denier of Charles the Bald, of Rotomagus (modern Rouen) Depeyrot 878, AD 840-77.   

This coin came out of a Heritage auction.  I posted it in a prior thread, but perhaps it is worth a second look in light of the peculiar monogram.  I rotated the picture of the obverse to give two perspectives on the monogram.  I think it is clear that the die cutter neglected to cut the  mirror image of the desired result into the die as would be proper, thus the monogram is completely reversed on the resultant coin.  All the other lettering is correct, though.  The “A”s lack crossbars, but that is extremely common on Carolingian coinage.  

What is interesting is that the K of KAROLUS in the monogram has been replaced by a C for CAROLUS.   Is this an error, or a deliberate change?  The same is true on the coin of Amiens, above.  Classical Latin had little use for the letter K except in words borrowed directly from Greek.  Was the engraver classicizing the monogram?  

image.jpeg.1fc7282a1ec3f744a01ce712c688169e.jpegimage.jpeg.f05372ffde18b46b7680303eb181fc79.jpeg

Here is the reverse.

image.png.95185c115b59429f22fd40accb6427bc.png

 

 

Terrific example, @Hrefn.  Please be patient with this if it sounds a little condescending; it's mainly aimed at 'the general public' (...whatever there is of one).  But as you note in the instances of 'A's in the legends, relatively minor variations are ubiquitous in Carolingian issues; especially  of Charles II, given the regional breadth and sheer volume of his mintages, the 'GDR' issue above all.  But for official examples, rather than immobilizations or contemporary imitations, this has to take the prize.  Before looking it up, I was tempted to think it might be an early immobilization; a sort of transition to the Norman issues, already minted in William I's own name during the earlier 10th century.  (Not much later, Richard I was issuing immobilizations of the same type in Bayeux early in his reign.)

But no, Depeyrot seems to rule this out.  For this issue of Rouen, he has three different plates, just to keep up with the range of variation within it.  The second and third both have various degrees of retrograde engraving.  The second only reverses the monogram; the third is a close match to yours.  (3rd ed., 2008; no. 878; 232 examples studied.)  Trés formidable.

Meanwhile, the first plate (like my example, which I can't find pics of --Foiled Again) is entirely 'normal.'  --Anecdotally, at least, retrograde engraving is much more prevalent in early feudal issues than in Carolingian ones.  Depeyrot's plates seem to suggest a downward slide even in the official mintage.

The other feature of the first plate (--wish I could scan the page) is that the initial letter of the monogram is a 'K.'  So you have both variations of that, along with 'ROTVMAGVS' and 'ROTOMAGVS' in the same issue.  Not to mention the rendering of 'G' as 'C' in the legends, another common occurence.

Not knowing any better, I have to wonder whether, at this juncture, the occurance of the 'K' as well as the 'C' in the monogram is due to the influence of early German rather than Greek.  Yes, for the dynamics between Latin and Greek, you don't have to look further than the Kyrie in the Latin mass. 

But I'm reminded of how, at least in modern German, 'Caesar' is rendered, phonetically, as 'Kaiser.'  As an Anglophone, I like to say that we kept the spelling, but they kept the pronunciation. 

image.jpeg.47cbae34951084d41953c2aa3c1dd01c.jpeg

There's this for precedent in the more immediate, Carolingian context.  The commonest, 'temple' issue of Louis I, Charles II's dad, renders his name, 'HLVDOVICVS.'  Yes, obviously Latinized, but still with the initial 'H,' evoking the evolution of the (most Germanic) 'Chlotaire,' to the more latinized 'Lothaire' (as well as the more Anglicized 'Lothar'). 

--But Wait, There's More!  The side with the temple renders 'CHRISTIANA (RELIGIO)' with an initial 'XP.'  Since the entire legend is otherwise in early Medieval Latin, this resonantly confirms your point about ongoing Greek influence, especially in more explicitly religious contexts.

Historically, the 'GDR' issue has plenty of resonance.  Depeyrot notes that it began with the Edict of Pitres in 864, and continued to the end of Charles's reign in 877; possibly continued, in effect as an official immobilization, by Louis II the Stammerer (gotta love those chroniclers) up to 879.  This coincides with a significant midpoint in the Carolingian 'Danegelds,' which predated the Anglo-Saxon ones of AEthelred II by over a century.  McKitterick notes that

"Tribute was paid [to, thank you, the Vikings] in 845, 853, 860/1, 862, 866, 877, 889, 897, 923/4 and 926.  The sums of the 7 payments of which we have details amounted to almost 40,000 [literal] pounds of silver, let alone the food and drink that often went with it."  (The Frankish Kingdoms of the Carolingians: 751-987.  London: Longman, 1983/1988.  P. 233.  One fun detail is that the investiture of Hrolf /Rollo with part of Normandy in 911, as a de facto 'buffer state,' only delayed further incursions by that much.) 

For a little ex post facto context, Jones's notice of the later Danegelds paid by AEthelred II (the Uncounselled) suggests that in both cases, the volume of payments are likely to have accelerated from one to the next.

"To attack the unhappy country was to be paid to go away, and to be paid to go away kept your army in being till you attacked again.  The weight of tribute still astonishes: 15,000 pounds in 994, 24,999 ub 1002, 36,000 in 1007, 48,000 in 1012: literally, England paid for her conquest with her own money."  (A History of the Vikings.  Rev. ed. (citing Mckitterick, for one).  Oxford and New York: Oxford U P, 1984. 364-5.)

...To wallow in the obvious, for anyone still wondering why, for Carolingians, Charles II's issues are the most common, as AEthelred's are for late Anglo-Saxon, look no further.

Thanks again, @Hrefn, for your funly insightful observations.  They lit up the synapses like a Christmas tree!

...And, Oh No, this is only the first post to respond to.  I'm just trying to go down the list.

Edited by JeandAcre
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15 hours ago, ela126 said:

Some monogram pieces I have. I had some interest here but never got deep into them. This was before I accepted raw coins, so all of them sit in NGC slabs, as they are relatively little things.

Charles the Bald - Soissons 

I have an attribution number: 1435 but not sure what that is. I notice the monogram has the bottom L facing left, not right.IMG_5524.jpeg.951cadfdc9a85afd3b53a1bb20bdf055.jpegIMG_5525.jpeg.3a0f489007b1b48beab6d11504437031.jpeg

this one is one of the undetermined Charlemagne or Charles the Bald out of the Melle mint. Was sold at CNG as a Charlemagne, but I believe Depeyrot around 2010 determined it could be Charlemagne or Charles the Bald.

IMG_4583.jpeg.1fc5f7c3f75b5786cdd6a8f7121b0d57.jpegIMG_4584.jpeg.24032dbe1676aa9ae91ec98803f1fd97.jpeg

my Richard 1 of the Rouen Mint. Pretty crude coin with a mushy monogram. I enjoy it because of the ties to Emma of Normandy, her kids, and William 1.

IMG_5521.jpeg.0a2e5a570dced638698c3d6a14f98f63.jpegIMG_5522.jpeg.c4f968139ece37e844d3b59d1a44b4ed.jpeg

@ela126, if it's to any point, your Soissons example is Depeyrot (3ieme ed.; one subsequent one published; 2008) no. 937 (126 examples studied).  ...Right, sadly enough, the same edition already attributes the Melle one to either Charles I or II.  (606; wait for it: 5,754 examples studied.)

Your Magnificent example of Richard I is Duplessy, odales Tome I, 18.  In the same listing, he goes on to say (without resort to the diacriticals that my relentlessly American keyboard refuses to cooperate with) that "[l]'attribution a Hugues archeveque de Rouen est tres contestable."

In Vol. 23 No. 11 (Nov. 2009) and 24 Nos. 2 and 11 (Feb. and Nov. 2010) of the American numismatic journal, the Celator, the American numismatist Alan S. DeShazo advanced a cogent argument that the monogram /insignia is actually of the contemporaneous, late Carolingian king Lothaire (r. 954-986).  Indicating a coissue, apparently following a recent (if temporary) defeat of Richard by Lothaire, and an ensuing reemphasis of Richard's vassalage, as count of Rouen.  Sadly, the issues of the Celator which have been uploaded onto the VCoins website don't appear to go back this far, but that's an ongoing project. 

 https://social.vcoins.com/thecelator/ 

But that's an Amazing example.  For contrast, here's mine.  Replete with recent hoard cleaning.

image.jpeg.91b5c2082e8ca10c1aae8402eeed5446.jpeg

...No worries; I won't offer you money I don't have for it.  Just, Congratulations!  :<}

Edited by JeandAcre
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15 hours ago, Tejas said:

I'm not sure, but I think there is a case that this type (with the wide spacing of the letters) below was minted under the rule of Charlemagne, rather than Charles the Bald.

Obv.: CARLVS REX FR

Rev.: +METVLLO

Mint: Metallum (Melle)

I like the fact, that they latinized the German name Carl as Carlus and not Carolus. The more common, and I suppose correct latinization is Carolus, but the die engraver was apparently not familiar with this form and used Carl-us instead, indicating that the king (be it Karl the Great or Karl the Bald) really was called Carl, rather than Carlus, Carlolus let alone Charles or even Charlemagne.

 

I wonder, could the little V in the centre of the monogram be a distinguisher?

karl.PNG

An engaging orthographic take on 'CARLVS' vs. 'CAROLVS,' @Tejas.  

...On the other hand, the Carolingian, as well as subsequent early phases of the French feudal series, are rife with often arbitrary contractions, dictated as much by the die-sinker's skill (or lack thereof) as by a more substantive level of intentionality.  Nouchy's Les Rois Carolingiens (Dreux, 1994) conveniently includes an index of legends, in which the ratio of 'CAROLVS' to 'CARLVS' is approximately 1 to 2 1/2 (pp. 34--3).

Regarding the monogram, the central device served for all three vowels, 'A,' 'O' and 'V [/U].'  A funly distinctive feature of earlier medieval examples of the genre. 

Edited by JeandAcre
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15 hours ago, Tejas said:

Here is a denarius of Louis the Pius.

 

Obv.: +HLVDOVVICVS IMP

Rev.: +RISTIANA RELIGIO

This is of course a super comon coin, but in exceptionally fine condition. 

The name Hludowig is Germanic and translates as "the famous warrior". Interestingly, Gregory of Tour always rendered the name as Hlodovicus, ie. with an "o" in the first part, which has caused linguists to suspect that the first part means "lod" with the meaning of "war booty". Hence, the name, they argue should be translated as "the warrior who brings booty". However, this argument completely ignores the evidence from the coins, where the name is always spelled with an "u" in the first part. Hence, there can be no doubt that his real name was Hludowig/Ludwig and not Lodowig (let alone Louis). 

 

karl.PNG

Very enlightening observations on the name, @Tejas

This goes back to a post on the other forum, and inhabits a much more impressionistic level, but I've always needed the evolution of the Latin '[H/]Ludovicus' in modern French and German.  Between 'Louis' and 'Ludwig,' it's as if they divided the Latin between them. 

Thanks for getting into this very subject in such engaging depth.

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15 hours ago, ominus1 said:

...you know i went down the Louis rabbit hole 2, 3 5 and 10 (and really 4 too, but i have a 'in the name of' there for the moment ^^) have eluded me due to scarcity & price, but i have similar coinage of the early Louies...

Louis le pew and 17th.jpg

IMG_1672.JPG

@ominus1, that's a really sweet Louis I, replete with the 'war wound.' 

...And I can bet money I don't have (...any more) that I've got one of your Louis IVs.  From Langres, right?

COINSCAROLINGIANLOUISIVDOUTREMER.jpg.0fa66b948db18ecad75103c9161ab520.jpg

This was from CNG, who said exactly nothing about it having been immobilized for who knows how long, exactly. 

Only most especially for Carolingian, you just can't beat established European dealers.  I like Elsen, for instance.  And even though, for anything medieval, they're a shadow of their former selves, the archives of .cgb have never stopped being a serious reference.  If you or anyone else doesn't have this, it's called for.

https://www.cgbfr.com/archive.html

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8 hours ago, JeandAcre said:

There's this for precedent in the more immediate, Carolingian context.  The commonest, 'temple' issue of Louis I, Charles II's dad, renders his name, 'HLVDOVICVS.'  Yes, obviously Latinized, but still with the initial 'H,' evoking the evolution of the (most Germanic) 'Chlotaire,' to the more latinized 'Lothaire' (as well as the more Anglicized 'Lothar'). 

The "original" Germanic form is Hludwig, where the H is a short asprirant sound, which does not exist in French or English (it was lost in English owing to the Norman invasion), but in German. The Romanic people (indeed, even the modern French) have usually difficulties pronouncing this sound. Hence, they added the C, which is entirely un-Germanic. This applies to the many Merovingian names that start with Ch-, thus 'Childeric' is really 'Hilderic', 'Chlodomer' is really 'Hlodomer', and 'Chlothar' is really 'Hlothar'. 

The worst 'butchering' of names was inflicted on 'Chlodewig I', who is today known as 'Clovis' and 'Theuderic', who is known as 'Therry'.

The Merovinigians (and Carolingians) were of course Germanic people, who ruled over predominantely Romanic populations. Their personal names had to be modified so that their subjects could pronounce them.

Edited by Tejas
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@Tejas, although it is true that the Norman invasion led to changes in spelling, the pronunciation of Old English (OE) words beginning with the aspirate H is not entirely obliterated by what has been labeled the wine-whine merger.  Words such as whale, weather, which, whine sometimes retain the hint of the OE aspirate H in their pronunciation.  The areas which defied the wine-whine merger include Northern England and 
Scotland, rural Ireland, a broad area of the American South, and upper class New England.  New England is a special case.  Use of the aspirate H is probably a revival, influenced by education, in an effort to speak more “correctly.”

In former times, English language classes would make the transition from OE to Middle English to Modern English a familiar concept to every student.  This might include how words beginning with “wh” in Modern English were altered from OE “hw”.  The standard example is the word “whale” which comes from OE “hwael.”   (Interestingly, the letters are all the same.  Only the order of them has been altered.)   
Because speech patterns are salient indicators of class, pronouncing whale and the other wh- words “correctly” with the aspirate H is an immediate signal in New England of advanced education and upper social class.  It serves the same purpose as adorning one’s speech with foreign terms and Latin sayings, but is much more subtle.  

image.jpeg.0ad85ebe56af39f9a75a7f5aefe9cebb.jpeg

For me, whale will always be pronounced hwael.  I refuse to bow to the imperialist linguistic dictates of the Normans.  A bunch of post-Carolingian parvenus.  

 

 

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4 hours ago, Tejas said:

The "original" Germanic form is Hludwig, where the H is a short asprirant sound, which does not exist in French or English (it was lost in English owing to the Norman invasion), but in German. The Romanic people (indeed, even the modern French) have usually difficulties pronouncing this sound. Hence, they added the C, which is entirely un-Germanic. This applies to the many Merovingian names that start with Ch-, thus 'Childeric' is really 'Hilderic', 'Chlodomer' is really 'Hlodomer', and 'Chlothar' is really 'Hlothar'. 

The worst 'butchering' of names was inflicted on 'Chlodewig I', who is today known as 'Clovis' and 'Theuderic', who is known as 'Therry'.

The Merovinigians (and Carolingians) were of course Germanic people, who ruled over predominantely Romanic populations. Their personal names had to be modified so that their subjects could pronounce them.

@Tejas, many thanks for bringing some actual expertise to this whole side of the discussion!  Very enlightening explication.  I never would have guessed that the Franks were having pronunciation issues with the original Germanic as early as the Merovingian period.

Edited by JeandAcre
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On 12/1/2023 at 5:29 AM, Hrefn said:

Denier of Charles the Bald, of Rotomagus (modern Rouen) Depeyrot 878, AD 840-77.   

This coin came out of a Heritage auction.  I posted it in a prior thread, but perhaps it is worth a second look in light of the peculiar monogram.  I rotated the picture of the obverse to give two perspectives on the monogram.  I think it is clear that the die cutter neglected to cut the  mirror image of the desired result into the die as would be proper, thus the monogram is completely reversed on the resultant coin.  All the other lettering is correct, though.  The “A”s lack crossbars, but that is extremely common on Carolingian coinage.  

What is interesting is that the K of KAROLUS in the monogram has been replaced by a C for CAROLUS.   Is this an error, or a deliberate change?  The same is true on the coin of Amiens, above.  Classical Latin had little use for the letter K except in words borrowed directly from Greek.  Was the engraver classicizing the monogram?  

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Here is the reverse.

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Well, okay.  I'm sitting around hoping the mailman will attempt redelivery of a Very Important 'signed for' coin, like he was supposed to.  So Just In Case You Missed the OP (which looks to be in the other forum), here's some more on early immobilization of the 'GDR' type. 

The prototype of Bayeux --this time with both sides.

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Obv.: 'KAROLVS' monogram; (from 9 o’clock): +GRATIA D-I REX. 

Rev.  +HBAIOCAS CIVITAS.  

(Depeyrot, 3sieme ed. (2008), 127; variant reverse, minus the 'M' before 'CIVITAS.')

(...Here's a fun sidelight on the often mystifying medieval Latin orthography of French place names.  Just lately, in correspondence from this website, @Roerbakmix informed me of the fact that many of them were adaptations of the original Gallic names, going all the way back to Caesar's Commentaries and other Classical Latin sources.  This is from the Wiki (...English) article for Bayeux.

("Founded as a Gallo-Roman settlement in the 1st century BC under the name Augustodurum, Bayeux is the capital of the former territory of the Baiocasses people of Gaul, whose name appears in Pliny's Natural History (iv.107)."

(Effectively, this issue involves Romanization of the original Celtic, perpetuated by Franks.  In my ignorance, the original Celtic element was the missing term in the dialectic.  Thanks, @Roerbakmix!)

And the immobilization, also really from Bayeux, during the comital reign of Richard I.  It may predate Richard's later, vast and correspondingly iconic issues of Rouen, issued in his own name; or it could be contemporaneous, the immobilization being reducible to Bayeux's decidedly secondary status as the only other Norman mint. 

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Rev.  +IAIOCASH [cf. Depeyrot's 'M,' in his listing of the prototype] CITAS.  

Obv.  Degraded 'CAROLVS [sic]' monogram; (from 10 o'clock:) +CPATIA D-I REX.

(Dumas, Fécamp 6047-9; interpretive remarks, p. 105; Pl. VI.)

As early as this is for an immobilization, it already demonstrates significant erosion in both the KAROLVS monogram and the legends.  This example most nearly corresponds to the plate in Dumas for 6047.  Not an exact die match, but the legend variants alone nail it as an example of the same issue.  ...I got it on French ebay, from a seller who assumed it was just a substandard example of the official issue.  ...Like how I landed my only Carolingian denier with peck marks --which, this early, are as unambiguously Viking as you're going to get.  In that instance, the dealer wrote them off as random surface damage.  Au contraire, mon frère!

...Why not. I'm stuck here all day.  Here's that one.  The issue is comparable to the pre-'GDR' examples of Charles II from @ela126 and @Tejas, above.

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7 hours ago, Hrefn said:

@Tejas, although it is true that the Norman invasion led to changes in spelling, the pronunciation of Old English (OE) words beginning with the aspirate H is not entirely obliterated by what has been labeled the wine-whine merger.  Words such as whale, weather, which, whine sometimes retain the hint of the OE aspirate H in their pronunciation.  The areas which defied the wine-whine merger include Northern England and 
Scotland, rural Ireland, a broad area of the American South, and upper class New England.  New England is a special case.  Use of the aspirate H is probably a revival, influenced by education, in an effort to speak more “correctly.”

In former times, English language classes would make the transition from OE to Middle English to Modern English a familiar concept to every student.  This might include how words beginning with “wh” in Modern English were altered from OE “hw”.  The standard example is the word “whale” which comes from OE “hwael.”   (Interestingly, the letters are all the same.  Only the order of them has been altered.)   
Because speech patterns are salient indicators of class, pronouncing whale and the other wh- words “correctly” with the aspirate H is an immediate signal in New England of advanced education and upper social class.  It serves the same purpose as adorning one’s speech with foreign terms and Latin sayings, but is much more subtle.  

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For me, whale will always be pronounced hwael.  I refuse to bow to the imperialist linguistic dictates of the Normans.  A bunch of post-Carolingian parvenus.  

 

 

@Hrefn, Huge Thanks for expanding on this, in the context of Old English.

  Linguistic history is endlessly fascinating, not least in this context.  But I for one never got more than an introduction to Old English, and an overview of Chaucer.  Both of them made liberal use of primary sources, in the original, but both were at undergraduate level.  I still have my "third edition" of Bright's Old English Grammar & Reader (going back to 1891); wish I still had the edition of Chaucer.

Edited by JeandAcre
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I don't post them often, but I do have a Carolingian coin (had a couple of them, but sold them to finance my avatar coin). I kept this one, because of its fabulous toning. 

dOqOaBV0.jpg.bada75138f583c2003d97513fa088cf4.jpg

CAROLINGIAN, Charles II ""le Chauve"". Denomination: AR Denier (Carolingian, early type), minted: Le Mans, France; 834-877
Obv: + GRATIA D-I REX, monogram 
Rev: + CINOMANIS CIVITAS, cross in the middle
Weight: 1.69g; Ø:19 mm. Catalogue: Nou.146c-Dep.559-Prou.420. Provenance: From finder (Paul van der Ven); acq.: 01-2020
Find location: Amiens, France Published: No
Beautiful example, wonderful and pleasant toning.

 

And, to be dated roughly in the same period, my only artefact:

2nkeFg5o.jpg.0056c53fba30a2380a6f4bf375468ade.jpg

"EARLY MEDIEVAL, Anonymous. Denomination: Pewter Pseudo-coin fibula (Pseudo-coin fibula), minted: Frisian / Carolingian; 9th-10th century
Obv: EVO[??]DVS, bust to right
Rev: Incuse of obverse
Weight: 10.53g; Ø:34 mm. Catalogue: NA. Provenance: From Hollandia Numismatics, who bought it from finder. ; acq.: 07-2022
Find location: Zeeland, the Netherlands Published: Numis: 1167868
Derived from a Carolingian Solidus of the MVNVS DIVINVM type, placing the dating to the 9th or 10th century. Discussed in depth, and compared with mould-identical examples here:  

 

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2 hours ago, Roerbakmix said:

I don't post them often, but I do have a Carolingian coin (had a couple of them, but sold them to finance my avatar coin). I kept this one, because of its fabulous toning. 

dOqOaBV0.jpg.bada75138f583c2003d97513fa088cf4.jpg

CAROLINGIAN, Charles II ""le Chauve"". Denomination: AR Denier (Carolingian, early type), minted: Le Mans, France; 834-877
Obv: + GRATIA D-I REX, monogram 
Rev: + CINOMANIS CIVITAS, cross in the middle
Weight: 1.69g; Ø:19 mm. Catalogue: Nou.146c-Dep.559-Prou.420. Provenance: From finder (Paul van der Ven); acq.: 01-2020
Find location: Amiens, France Published: No
Beautiful example, wonderful and pleasant toning.

 

And, to be dated roughly in the same period, my only artefact:

2nkeFg5o.jpg.0056c53fba30a2380a6f4bf375468ade.jpg

"EARLY MEDIEVAL, Anonymous. Denomination: Pewter Pseudo-coin fibula (Pseudo-coin fibula), minted: Frisian / Carolingian; 9th-10th century
Obv: EVO[??]DVS, bust to right
Rev: Incuse of obverse
Weight: 10.53g; Ø:34 mm. Catalogue: NA. Provenance: From Hollandia Numismatics, who bought it from finder. ; acq.: 07-2022
Find location: Zeeland, the Netherlands Published: Numis: 1167868
Derived from a Carolingian Solidus of the MVNVS DIVINVM type, placing the dating to the 9th or 10th century. Discussed in depth, and compared with mould-identical examples here:  

 

@Roerbakmix, that is the first example of Quentovic I can recall ever having seen that unambiguously grabs you by the elbow, spins you around, and yells in your face, 'Charles II, Lifetime Issue.'  That's The Goods.  As any recovering Art History major can tell you, style alone can tell you more than some people are likely to give it credit for.  

I have a couple of c. 10th-century immobilizations, gotten mainly in the hope that they might be contemporaneous to a Carolingian  as late (and, for the sub-issue, as early) as Louis IV.  @seth77 wrote this terrific OP.  

 

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3 hours ago, ominus1 said:

..here is the 'in the name of' denar of Louie IV...minted in the centuries you spoke of...:)

louie iv in the name of denar.jpg

Aaah, @ominus1,  Now I'm getting it.  Just takes some of us longer.  Your example isn't so much from a different ballpark than I was going on about, as another part of the same, thank you, ballpark: the feudal coins that immobilize the names of Carolingian kings, most notoriously Louis IV, especially in the southwestern corner of France, as late as the mid-13th century. 

--But Wait!  The dealer was confusing your example with one from the same neighborhood, closely contemporaneous.  Getting to that.  But this is my best (Ever) example of yours (...and this stuff was my main obsession for years on end).

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County of La Marche. Hugh IX de Lusignan (1199-1219) or Hugh X (1219-1249).

Obv.  +VGO COMES [annulet].

Rev.  Crosslet between annulets and crescents.  +MARCHIE [annulet].  Duplessy 960. 

(Variant, with annulets in the legends.  ...With anything earlier medieval and French, you just have to relax about the variants.  The numismatists who are still publishing will never catch up with all of them.  As in, No, in the cold light of day, an unpublished variant will Never summarily net you a rarity.  More like, Existing variants, 1; references in print: 0.  Right, as in European football.)

Right, it was a younger brother of one of these Lusignan counts who went on to a less than stellar career as a king of Frankish Jerusalem, presiding over the city's fall to Saladin in 1187.  Along with a more durable one as the first Frankish king of Cyprus, which persisted into the 15th century ...still claiming the throne of Jerusalem, as Henry VII did in the 16th, regarding France, a century after the French recovery of everything but Calais.  I guess sustained legal fiction is one of the perks of royalty.

But in the senior line, the counts of La Marche, only most prominently Hughs IX and X, have a long and entertaining history of baronial revolt against both the Capetian and Angevin kings; effectively playing them off against eachother.  Along with having gone on various crusades themselves.  This isn't the greatest map, and is likely to take up most of the room, but it might help to convey the strategic location of their territorial base.  

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But here's an example of the issue that's likely to have led Janumismatics to reference Louis IV, in your example.  This is from the county of Angouleme, neighboring la Marche, and due south of the ancestral home, Lusignan.  For issues of Angouleme, this one is just late enough to have Lusignan creds.  Hugh X Lusignan of la Marche fell into this county by marriage to the heiress, Isabelle, as late as 1220.  ...Following the death of Isabelle's first husband, 'Jean sans Terre.'  (...Hanging out in French Wiki for this minute.)

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County of Angouleme; later issue, c. (later?) 12th - mid-13th centuries.  (Again resorting to dealer's pics; sorry.)

Obv. Crosslet, three annulets and a crescent to each side.  (From 7 o'clock:) +EGOLISSIME.

Rev.  +LODOICVS.  (With those beautiful couchant 'S's, never more fetching than from this part of France.  --FreudWhat, I didn't say anything....)

Duplessy 947.

 

 

 

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MAP, ANGEVIN EMPIRE, 1180 MAP, ANGEVIN EMPIRE, 1180 MAP, ANGEVIN EMPIRE, 1180

Edited by JeandAcre
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On 12/2/2023 at 7:52 PM, JeandAcre said:

many thanks for bringing some actual expertise to this whole side of the discussion!  Very enlightening explication.  I never would have guessed that the Franks were having pronunciation issues with the original Germanic as early as the Merovingian period.

I think the Franks had no pronounciation issues with their native Germanic language. Instead, their Romanic subjects had pronounciation issues with the Germanic names of the Frankish elites. To deal with that they adjusted the spelling and the pronounciation, which in extreme cases produced names like Thierry (Theudebert) or Clovis (Hlodowig) and in general let to the addition of the letter "C" to all Germanic names starting with "H". 

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Okay, so we're on the same page, after all.  The Franks themselves, as ruling elites, hung on to the Germanic essence of their language for a considerable interval; you're talking more specifically about their Gallo-Roman subjects.  As our temple examples of Louis I demonstrate, the Franks were still hanging on to the Germanic "Hl" of the original form as late as the Carolingian period, even as they Latinized the rest of the name.

Regarding the evolution of the French lanaguage per se --that is, among the populace-- I'm wanting to suppose that, along with the Germanic and Latin dynamics, a residual Celtic element may still have been active as a third term in the dialectic.  After all, the French names you cite --along with the rest of the language-- are as distinct from Latin antecedents as they are from Germanic ones.  As @Roerbakmix has pointed out in correspondence, many French place names can be traced to the Latinization of Celtic ones, whether in the early Medieval or the Roman period.  (For instance, Vermandois, ultimately from the Gallic tribe, the Viromandui.)  It's easy to suppose that a similar dynamic was at work across the broader range of the vocabulary.  

This is the best I'm likely to do on the way out the door to work.  But it's a fascinating subject.    

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