Humanities and Social Sciences

Wiadomości Numizmatyczne


Wiadomości Numizmatyczne | 2015 | Rok LIX | Zeszyt 1-2 (199-200) |

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This article focuses on a Samarian coin issue that portrays a biga carrying people clad in Iranian apparel on the obverse and an Iranian horseman on the reverse. It was struck in the name of BDYHBL and the forerunners of the type can be traced to Sidonian coinage and Achaemenid-infl uenced minor arts. It is possible that the issuer of the coin held a military or an administrative post in the Achaemenid realm, which could explain why this and other issues bearing his name contained motifs drawn from its iconography.

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Jarosław Bodzek
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From the territory of Central Europe that lies north of the Sudetes and the Carpathians, occupied during the Roman Period by the Przeworsk and the Wielbark cultures, we currently have a record of only a very small number of Roman Imperial denarii issued before AD 64. The interpretation of these finds is hindered by the small size of this database and the lack of archaeological context. There are three possibilities; one of them is that these coins, or at least some of them, entered the region as a complement of a ‘Republican’ wave of infl ux, which contained a signifi cant amount of Roman Republican denarii. The second possibility is that the Early Imperial denarii passed into the Central European Barbaricum during the second century as a small admixture to a great wave of denarii struck after AD 64. The third option is that we ought to view the influx of the Early Imperial coins as an independent and a minor occurrence not related directly either to the ‘Republican’ or the ‘second-century’ wave. The view held by the author of this article is that the influx of the bulk of pre-AD 64 Imperial denarii is best explained by the first hypothesis.

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Arkadiusz Dymowski
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In 1822 and 1838 two finds of late Roman solidi hoarded around AD 430/440 were unearthed at the Goldberg near Klein Tromp in former Eastern Prussia (now Trąbki Małe, Poland). With an approximate total of 141 gold coins confi rmed (including one aureus of Gordian III) this hoard represents the largest hoard of Roman solidi in Poland and the Baltic region to date. Most of the coins entered the Royal Cabinet in Berlin, while smaller parts were given to the University at Königsberg and the landowner. This article provides an overview of the history of the hoard’s discovery and later fate.

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Karsten Dahmen
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The Ossolineum bought the coin discussed in this article at the 58th auction of the Warsaw Numismatic Centre held on 8 November 2014. It was initially identified as a Gothic imitation of an aureus of Severus Alexander, most probably made in the Chernyakhiv culture. Only after close examination was it revealed that the coin had a runic inscription, which was part of the matrix and not carved on the coin. This means that it is the oldest known runic coin, as it should be dated to 271–332, whereas other runic coins or gold Scandinavian bracteates are dated no earlier than to the fi fth century AD. The authenticity of the specimen has been confi rmed by microscopic examination, comparative analysis of other imitations, numismatic objects produced in an analogical method or style and metal analyses. Attempts to trace the provenance of the specimen failed. The meaning of the inscription cannot be ascertained. The discovery of runic signs on the coin has serious implications for our knowledge of ancient East Germanic peoples. It means that we have to date the beginnings of Germanic coinage at least two centuries earlier than has been accepted until recently. We must also accept that the links between the Baltic and Black Sea regions were very close.

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Adam Degler
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The author updates the state of knowledge about the origins of Polish coinage in the late tenth and early eleventh centuries. This became possible due to new coin finds and the use of new research methods and, above all, revealing new die-links. The author concludes that it was not Mieszko I (c. 962–992), but his son Boleslaus the Brave (992–1025) who began Polish coinage. This early coinage was more intensely produced and more diverse than was previously thought. In one mint, correctly inscribed dies and corrupted imitations of foreign patterns were used simultaneously. Coins served the purpose of both propaganda and economic tools. They accounted for a small proportion of the prevailing foreign coins in circulation.

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Stanisław Suchodolski
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In this article, a new interpretation of the so-called Cyrillic penny has been proposed. The coin in question was struck for Duke Boleslaus Chrobry (‘the Brave’) in Greater Poland, probably in the last months of 1018. The reason for the revision of earlier hypotheses is the bulla of a Kyivan prince, Iaroslav the Wise that was uncovered in Novgorod Velikiĭ and dated to c.1018. The bulla differs in its iconography from other tenth and eleventh century lead seals from the area of Rus´. The close similarity between the fi gure of Iaroslav on his bulla and the depiction of the Polish duke on his Cyrillic penny as well as the contemporaneity of the two objects, leads us to presume that the penny played some role in propaganda activities associated with the capture of Kyiv by Boleslaus in 1018.

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Witold Garbaczewski
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The article presents new coins and die-chains of Bolesław the Brave’s coins. A mule of the PRINCES POLONIE type and an Otto-Adelheid imitation, kept in the State Historical Museum in Moscow, connected two previously known die-chains, enlarging the number of Bolesław the Brave’s coin types. New coins from the antiquarian market also expanded the DVX INCLITVS die chain. All these new coins and die chains show that despite the chaotic and incidental character of Bolesław the Brave’s coinage, in most cases the dies were produced in stylistically homogenous pairs, which were mixed afterwards during the minting process. Analysis of the quantity and chronology of Bolesław’s coins might also suggest that the heir to the throne, Mieszko II, was responsible for a relative ‘ordering’ of the oldest Polish coinage.

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Mateusz Bogucki
Jacek Magiera
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The purpose of this study is to analyse which kinds of monetary taxation and coinage policies the minting authorities applied in Sweden in the period 1153–1512. In medieval Europe, old coins were frequently declared invalid and were exchanged for new ones at fi xed rates and dates. Here, the question of whether and when such periodic recoinage was applied in medieval Sweden is analyzed against the historical record. A theory of how short-lived and long-lived coinage systems work is applied to Swedish coinage. Sweden adopted similar coin forms as those minted in Continental Europe in the Middle Ages, but also adopted the corresponding continental coinage and monetary taxation policies linked to these coin forms. Swedish experience is extraordinarily well in line with what one would expect from the theory of short-lived coins. Economic backwardness, limited monetization of society and separate currency areas facilitated recoinage. Recoinage with varying frequency was applied in 1180–1290 when only bracteates were minted. This is evidenced by many different coin types per reign, coin hoards which are dominated by a few types and dating of types to specifi c periods of the kings’ reigns. However, monetization increased in the late thirteenth century, making recoinage more diffi cult. and bracteates were replaced by long-lived two-faced coins in 1290. With an end to recoinage, the Swedish kings then accelerated the debasement of the long-lived coins. The disappearing recoinage fees were compensated for by debasing the silver content. Such debasements – interrupted by several coinage reforms – were applied until the beginning of the sixteenth century.

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Roger Svensson
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Recent archaeological discoveries have allowed us to examine a series of bracteates from East Pomerania from the late twelfth and the thirteenth century, which has enabled us to construct a new view of medieval coinage in this province. A pivotal role may be attributed to the coins inscribed with the name of Sambor I, the fi rst historical master of Gdańsk, and with the monogrammed name of Otto, which is supposed to refer to St Otto of Bamberg.

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Beata Ceynowa
Borys Paszkiewicz
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From the annexation of the Polish territories in the thirteenth century, Neumark and Torzym Province (Land Sternberg) became districts of the Margraviate of Brandenburg. Neumark belonged temporarily (1402–1454) to the Teutonic Order. From the very beginning, the two regions clearly varied in their coin circulation. The earliest Brandenburgian denier fi nds from east of the Oder River date to the last decade of the thirteenth century. However, the most important differences in the coin circulation became noticeable only after the middle of the fourteenth century.

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Tadeusz Szczurek
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The denarius of Marcus Junius Brutus, commemorating the Ides of March, can be placed among the coins most established in the collective imagination of ancient societies and, later, among those having the greatest impact on European humanism. One cannot point out another antique coin that refers directly to such a fateful historical event as the assassination of Julius Caesar. Respublica liberata, the work by Andreas Alciatus (1492–1550), printed in 1546, is outstanding among numerous, ancient and modern examples of the reception of Brutus’s coin. Alciatus, a famous Milanese lawyer, composed his work in the innovative form of an emblematic study. Emblematics enjoyed great popularity throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Symbols and allegorical representations were used as a universal media for describing the world. The distinguishing representation of daggers and pileus – according to the general idea of emblems – had been separated by Alciatus from its historical context and given a universal and ageless meaning. In this manner, the writer made the ancient iconographical type the general symbol of the liberation of a state from the rule of a tyrant.

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Bartłomiej Czarski
Piotr Jaworski
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The Puck (Mrzezino) hoard and procedures of the Prussian Monarchy towards coin finds. Treasure legislation in the Prussian monarchy shared hoards between the finders and the owners of the ground. This regulation produced archival evidence dating back to the eighteenth century. The large gold hoard, found in what is nowadays Mrzezino in northern Poland in 1795, was reported to Berlin shortly after its discovery. In the beginning, mainly juridical questions were discussed, but in 1798, this moved to the discussion of what to do with the coins and where and to whom they should be sold. The archival reports reveal that the coins were mainly of Anastasius, some of Zeno’s and only a few of Leo, Basiliscus and Theodosius and, as their value was above intrinsic value, they were sold to the royal collection in Berlin as well as to collections in Prussia and Poland.

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Authors and Affiliations

Peter Ilisch

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