Early Anglo-Saxon Coins Viking British Anglia Wessex Kent Northumbria Mercia NEW

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Seller: ancientgifts ✉️ (5,285) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, US, Ships to: WORLDWIDE, Item: 385007164600 Early Anglo-Saxon Coins Viking British Anglia Wessex Kent Northumbria Mercia NEW. “Early Anglo-Saxon Coins” (Shire Archaeology) by Gareth Williams. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title.DESCRIPTION: Softcover. Publisher: Shire Publications (2008). Pages: 64. Size: 8¼ x 5¾ inches. Summary: Coins are among the most important sources of information for the Anglo-Saxon period. In addition to what they tell us about the Anglo-Saxon economy, the combination of inscriptions and images provide evidence about kingship, religion and cultural identity. Written by one of the foremost experts on Anglo-Saxon coins, this book provides an overview of Anglo-Saxon coins in their historical context, drawing on recent finds as well as famous treasures to provide an authoritative account of current interpretations. Covering the period from the Anglo-Saxon settlements of the fifth century, through the emergence of the great kingdoms of Kent, East Anglia, Mercia, Northumbria and Wessex, to the Viking invasions of the mid-ninth century and the conquest of all the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms apart from the Wessex of Alfred the Great, this is an essential volume for any aspiring amateur archeologist, coin collector or student interested in this historical period. CONDITION: NEW. New oversized softcover. Shire Publications (2008) 64 pages. Unblemished, unmarked, pristine in every respect. Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! #8872a. PLEASE SEE DESCRIPTIONS AND IMAGES BELOW FOR DETAILED REVIEWS AND FOR PAGES OF PICTURES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEWS: REVIEW: Offers an overview of Anglo-Saxon coins in their historical context. This book covers the period from the Anglo-Saxon settlements of the fifth century, through the emergence of the great kingdoms of Kent, East Anglia, Mercia, Northumbria and Wessex, to the Viking invasions of the mid-ninth century and the conquest of all the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. REVIEW: Gareth Williams is curator of Early Medieval Coins at the British Museum. In addition to coinage, he specializes in the history of the Viking Age, with particular interests in the nature of royal power, and in the relationship between history and literature. He is also a member of the re-enactment/living history group Vikings of Middle England. REVIEW: Gareth Williams studied history at the universities of St Andrews and Bergen, and has been Curator of Early Medieval Coinage at the British Museum since 1996. He has published extensively on Anglo-Saxon and Viking history and numismatics. Major publications include the CD-Rom World of Money; Coinage and History in the North Sea World, c.500-1250; and Silver Economy in the Viking World. REVIEW: Gareth Williams has been a curator at the British Museum since 1996, with responsibility for British and European coinage, about AD 500 to about 1180. Within this area he specialises in Anglo-Saxon and Viking coinage. Much of his work focuses on the use of coinage as evidence within broader historical and archaeological studies. His wider research includes the history of the British Isles and Scandinavia in the early Middle Ages, with particular interests in different types of economy, medieval warfare and military organization and the history and archaeology of the Vikings. He also works on the history of cultural identities, with a particular focus on the changing nature of British identity. A recent direction in his research has been a focus on Viking camps in England and Ireland in the late 9th century, and their role in the development of towns in both countries.He has strong interests in experimental archaeology, and has been actively involved in historical re-enactment and historical interpretation in character for several years. From 2002 to 2011 he also directed a collaborative research project on the history of Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire. He is currently acting as guest curator for the exhibition Viking Voyagers at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth, 20 March 2015 to 22 February 2017. TABLE OF CONTENTS: List of Illustrations. Glossary. Introduction. The Settlement Period. The Age of Gold. Early Pennies. Coins and Kingdoms. Gold Coins and International Trade. The Coinage of Northumbria. The Viking Onslaught. Further Reading. Online Resources and Public Collections. Index. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: I recently picked up a copy of Early Anglo-Saxon Coins by Gareth Williams, published by Shire Archaeology. This is one of the ‘new and improved’ Shire Archaeology series, sporting not only the modernized cover design, but a great many photographs accompany the text and the great thing about those photographs is that they are all in color!The book will be of limited value for identifying Anglo-Saxon coins (although there are many color images of Anglo-Saxon coins and you may get lucky) – a guide to identifying Anglo-Saxon coins was not the authors intent, rather, this book is the story behind those coins and how they came to be here in the United Kingdom.I hope all of the new look Shire Archaeology publications are produced to this standard, the production values and all the color photographs are wonderful! I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the Anglo-Saxons or Anglo-Saxon coinage, a must read for metal detectorists and coin collectors everywhere. The cover image is a hoard of Anglo-Saxon silver pennies, buried around 730AD, found at Woodham Walter in Essex. REVIEW: A great introduction to coinage of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms up to the Viking invasions. Gareth Williams looks at the development of coinage through the period, the iconography of the coins and what they can tell us about Anglo-Saxon kingship, and the distribution of coin finds, and what this reveals about the early Anglo-Saxon economy, trade and towns. Well illustrated in full color throughout.READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: A discussion or the early Anglo-Saxon coinages up to the reign of Alfred the Great. Discusses dispersal patterns and possible usages of certain coinage types as well as Roman, Islamic and Continental influences on the coinage. REVIEW: This is a very interesting and informative little book for anyone who is interested in early history or into metal detecting for a hobby and might come across this period of coin during their pursuits. Well written by Gareth Williams from the British Museum. REVIEW: An excellent little book just what I need for metal detecting identifications of coins.ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: REVIEW: Coinage in Anglo-Saxon England refers to the use of coins, either for monetary value or for other purposes, in Anglo-Saxon England during the early Medieval period. Archaeologists have uncovered large quantities of coins dating to the Anglo-Saxon period, either from hoards or stray finds, making them one of the most plentiful kinds of artefact that survive from this period. Anglo-Saxonist M.A.S. Blackburn noted that they provide "a valuable source of evidence for economic, administrative and political history."Early in the 5th century CE, when Britannia, broadly comprising what is now England and Wales, ceased to be a province of the Roman Empire, the production of coinage effectively came to an end and a non-monetary economy developed. During the 5th century, Anglo-Saxon tribal groups from continental Europe migrated to central and southern Britain, introducing their own language, polytheistic religion and culture. Although gold coins from continental Europe were traded into Anglo-Saxon England, they were initially used for decorative purposes, only beginning to be used as money in the latter part of the 6th century.It was around this time that the first Anglo-Saxon coins were produced, although sustained production would not appear until the 630s. These were small, gold coins, called scillingas (shillings) in surviving Anglo-Saxon law codes, although they have since been referred to as thrymsas by numismatists. Modeled on coins produced at the same time in Merovingian Francia – geographically the rough equivalent of modern France – these early Anglo-Saxon gold shillings were often inscribed with words borrowed from either Merovingian or Roman coinage, although examples have been found which instead bear such names as those of King Eadbald of Kent, the moneyers Witmen and Pada, or the names of mints in London and Canterbury. Small, thick, silver coins known as sceattas were also produced in England, as well as in Germanic continental areas of the North Sea coast, from about 680 to 750, bearing designs which featured a wide range of iconography.In about 675 the gold shilling was superseded by the silver pening, or penny, amongst the Anglo-Saxons, and this would remain the principal English monetary denomination until the mid-14th century, during the Late Medieval period. Early silver pennies were typically decorated with geometric or pictoral designs, occasionally having the name of the moneyer inscribed on them. More rarely, coins produced in the kingdoms of Northumbria and East Anglia bore the names of monarchs.In the latter part of the 8th century a new style of silver penny appeared in Anglo-Saxon England, thinner and commonly bearing the names of both the king and the moneyer who had struck it. This new type of penny was apparently first introduced in the reign of the Mercian King Offa in about 760. From the 9th century, monarchs and their governments gained greater power over the control of coin production, and the designs used by different moneyers became standardised. In the 860s, the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex formed a monetary alliance by which coinage of a common design could circulate through both of their lands. REVIEW: Members of a metal detecting club discovered a lead bucket filled with more than 5,000 silver Anglo-Saxon coins in December of 2014. The coins, which feature the faces of Anglo-Saxon kings, including Ethelred the Unready and Canute, had been covered with two feet of earth. “They’re like mirrors, no scratching, and buried really carefully in a lead container, deep down. It looks like only two people have handled these coins. The person who made them and the person who buried them,” club leader Pete Welch told the Daily Record. Archaeologist Ros Tyrrell was called in to help excavate the 1,000-year-old coins. “When the coins have been properly identified and dated, we may be able to guess at why such a great treasure was buried,” added a spokesman from Bucks County Museum. REVIEW: The British Museum has unveiled a hoard of coins found by a metal detectorist who alerted an officer from the Portable Antiquities Scheme and assisted with the archaeological excavation. The hoard contains 186 coins, seven pieces of Viking jewelry, and 15 ingots. Some of the coins depict figures thought to represent King Alfred the Great of Wessex, who ruled from A.D. 871 to 899, and King Ceolwulf II of Mercia, who ruled from 874 to 879. Ceolwulf II has been largely forgotten by history, but the coins suggest that the two kings shared a powerful alliance as equals. “Here is a more complex political picture in the 870s which was deliberately misrepresented in the 890s after Alfred has taken over the whole of Ceolwulf’s kingdom,” Gareth Williams, curator of Early Medieval coinage at the British Museum, told The Telegraph. The coins were produced in both kings’ names, and in a number of different mints. “It sheds new light on a very poorly understood period in English history,” Williams said. REVIEW: In the year 410 A.D., the Western Roman Emperor Honorius replied to the city magistrates of Britannia, who had urgently requested help against invaders. Rome had no legions to spare; they would have to look to their own defense. The invaders included Germanic tribes from across the North Sea, a people we know as the Anglo-Saxons. Their language is the ancestor of Modern English.The pagan Anglo-Saxons came to raid and pillage but stayed to settle and rule. They established a shifting constellation of minor kingdoms that pushed the Christian Romano-Britons north and west. For the first two centuries the Anglo-Saxons issued no coinage, their modest fiscal needs being served by imported Frankish coins. At Sutton Hoo in Suffolk on the east coast, a king (possibly Rædwald, who ruled East Anglia c. 599 – c. 624) was buried with a rich treasure--including a purse with 37 gold tremisses of the Frankish Merovingians, each one from a different mint. Perhaps it was a coin collection.In 595, Pope Gregory I sent monks led by Augustine to the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Kent, where pagan King Æthelberht had married a Frankish Christian princess. Over the following decades, the Anglo-Saxons were converted to Christianity and Augustine became the first Archbishop of Canterbury and later a saint. The earliest Anglo-Saxon coins were imitations, or close copies, of gold tremisses that circulated across the English Channel in France. Since the 17th century, numismatists have called these rare coins “thrymsas” but they were probably known as “shillings” (or scillingas) and represented the price of a cow or sheep.A handful of larger coins, copied from late Roman solidi, were probably struck as royal gifts for special occasions. A hoard buried before 650 and discovered in 1828 at Crondall in Hampshire contained 73 diverse thrymsas, now in the Ashmolean Museum of Oxford University. Many have a crude bust on the obverse and a cross, surrounded by the name of a moneyer (such as WITMEN) on the reverse. “Moneyers” were private contractors, possibly goldsmiths, who produced coins on order for a king or bishop. Some thrymsas were struck at Canterbury, others at London. A few are known from York.“Post-Crondall” thrymsas date from after 650; one common type is the “two emperors” reverse, derived from the imagery on a fourth century gold solidus of Magnus Maximus, the last Roman coin struck in Britain. The rare “Crispus” type imitates the coin portrait of one of Constantine the Great’s sons, but in an abstract local style where the details of the helmet and crest are transformed into an elaborate hair style. Thrymsas became more and more debased over time, until they were just silver coins with a trace of gold. About the year 680 gold disappears from the coinage. The silver coins that continued to be struck were probably called “penningas”, but thanks to one of those historical misunderstandings so common in numismatics, they are known today by a different Anglo-Saxon word: sceat, or sceatta, which means “wealth” or “treasure.”The so-called “primary sceattas” were struck for a period of about 25 years (c. 675-700). Thick coins, 12 – 13 mm in diameter, they weigh from 1.0 to 1.3 grams and are nearly pure silver (90-95%). Twenty grains of barley from the middle of the ear weigh almost exactly 1.3 grams, and this may have been the theoretical standard. The obverse design is typically a crude bust, with a few letters or runes of a fragmentary or garbled pseudo-inscription. A common reverse is derived from a “vexillum” – a Roman military standard or flag commonly depicted on fourth century coins. Another reverse type shows a bird atop a cross. One of the most common types is the “porcupine” – a whimsical description of the simple abstract obverse design, which may have started out as a bust (with the “quills” representing hair brushed back) or as a depiction of a wolf (with the “quills” representing the bristling hair on the beast’s arched back.) Hoard evidence suggests that many of these coins were struck across the North Sea in Frisia (now part of the Netherlands and northern Germany), where the Frisians spoke a language closely related to Anglo-Saxon. There was extensive trade between Britain and the continent, and the silver used in Anglo-Saxon coins probably came from the rich mines of Melle (about 400 km southwest of Paris, France).Beginning about 710, the sceattas show an extraordinary proliferation of creative original designs (as opposed to imitations of ancient Roman coins). Some of these recall the style of Britain’s pre-Roman Celtic coinage, and might have been inspired by accidental finds of such coins. Over 150 different designs are known, identified by a rather complex system of lettered “series” and numbered “types”. We see human heads and standing figures, stylized animals and birds, and geometric patterns--especially variations of the Christian cross. What we don’t generally see are inscriptions that might identify the ruler, the date, the kingdom or the mint of origin; these have to be inferred through numismatic detective work: analysis of style, hoard composition and distribution of find spots. The weight of these “Secondary sceattas” declines to a gram or less and the alloy is gradually debased from 60 – 80% silver to only about 20%.In the complex geo-politics of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, Mercia, occupying a central position in the English Midlands, rose to a dominant position under King Offa (ruled 757-796). Strongly influenced by classical prototypes, Offa’s coinage went through many changes during his long reign. His portrait coins, struck after 780, show him wearing an ancient diadem and give his title in Latin: “Rex” (king). He also struck rare portrait coins honoring his queen, Cynethryth--one of the few women to appear on a coin during the middle ages.One of the most remarkable coins in the vast British Museum collection is a unique gold “dinar” struck in the name of Offa. It imitates the coinage of the Abbasid Caliph al-Mansur, who ruled in Baghdad from 754 to 775. It weighs 4.28 grams and is 20 mm in diameter. In the middle of the slightly blundered Arabic text on the obverse, “OFFA REX” is inscribed upside down, presumably because the engraver was unfamiliar with Arabic.“The purpose of the coin is uncertain. It has been suggested that it was made as a gift for the pope (it was first recorded in Rome), but it is unlikely that any Christian king would have sent the pope a coin with and inscription stating that 'there is no God but Allah alone'... It is more likely that it was designed for use in trade; Islamic gold dinars were the most important coinage in the Mediterranean at the time. Offa's coin looked enough like the original that it would be readily accepted in southern Europe, while at the same time his own name was clearly visible.” In 796, Offa was succeeded by his son Ecgfrith, who soon died, and Coenwulf came to the throne of Mercia.In 2001, a metal detector hobbyist out walking with his dog found a gold coin of Coenwulf a few centimeters beneath a footpath in Bedfordshire. Almost Mint State, the type was previously unknown. In fact, only seven English gold coins were previously known from this period, this being the eighth. Five years later the piece was purchased by the British Museum for £357,832 (in 2015 that would be approximately US$544,513). The obverse image closely follows late Roman imperial coin portraiture. The Latin reverse inscription, DE VICO LUNDONIAE, surrounding an eight-petaled flower, translates “from the trading post of London.” Weighing 4.33 grams, 20 mm in diameter and about 85% gold, the coin’s denomination is a mancus, from the Arabic manqush, a fractional unit of weight. This was probably a presentation piece, intended to rival a similar issue of the contemporary Frankish ruler, Charlemagne. Anglo-Saxon coinage continued in England until the last Saxon king, Harold Godwinson, was killed in battle at Hastings in 1066. As you might expect, Anglo-Saxon coins are mainly found in England, although hoards have been found in Scandinavia, Russia, and even Italy (carried by Christian pilgrims to Rome). They usually appear first in the inventory of major British dealers and auction houses. The growing popularity of metal-detecting as a legal hobby in the UK means that new discoveries are continually being made, such as a spectacular recent hoard of five thousand tenth and eleventh century silver pennies.Gold thrymsas are quite rare and sell for thousands of US dollars when they appear on the market. An important modern sale was the Subjack collection (121 lots) sold by Italo Vecchi in London in 1998. Silver sceattas and pennies range from common to scarce, and except for the greatest rarities or most superb specimens, typically go for a few hundred dollars. REVIEW: A gold Anglo-Saxon coin lost 1,200 years ago on a river bank in Bedfordshire became the most expensive British coin when it was bought by the British Museum for £357,832 (over a half million dollars). A little smaller than a pound coin in diameter and much thinner, the glittering mancus, the value of 30 days' wages for a skilled Anglo-Saxon worker, now ranks among the museum's most valuable artefacts.Experts described the coin as "the find of the last 100 years". Made from more than 85 per cent gold, weighing 4.33g and showing almost no sign of wear, the coin was struck in 805-810 during the reign of Coenwulf, the King of Mercia, East Anglia and Kent, the most powerful ruler in Britain at the time and a significant figure in the gradual unification of England. The coin carries his name, title and an image of him and, on the reverse, the intriguing inscription DE VICO LVNDONIAE (From the trading place of London).Besides being in almost perfect condition, it's significance, says the museum, is that it is the earliest gold coin in the name of an English ruler intended as part of a circulating currency. Many dozen Anglo-Saxon silver pennies have been unearthed but the Coenwulf mancus is only the eighth British gold coin - the museum now owns seven of them - cast between 670 and 1257 to be found. Earlier gold examples, including one from the reign of Offa, Coenwulf's predecessor as ruler of Mercia, were ceremonial coins.Little is known about Anglo-Saxon coinage - and less still about Coenwulf who ruled Mercia from 796 to 821. But despite the enormous value of the coin, Gareth Williams, the museum's Anglo-Saxon coin curator, said yesterday that he was convinced that it was used as currency because of the unexpected inscription. Coenwulf was, like rulers before and after him, in thrall to the language and culture of the Romans who had left Britain three centuries earlier. His decision to use the word vicus, meaning a trading centre, on the coin rather than civitas, the city seat of authority, is a strong indication that the coin was for trading.The mancus was found several inches below a footpath on the bank of the Ivel near Biggleswade in 2001 by a metal detector enthusiast out walking with his dog. But how the coin came to be there is anybody's guess. "It would have been a grievous loss," said Mr Williams. A recent dig near the river - not yet written up by archaeologists - has unearthed the remains of an Anglo-Saxon market place which may have been the destination of whoever lost the coin.The image of Coenwulf, a bloodthirsty figure who stole the throne from Offa's son and then invaded East Anglia and Kent to create an empire stretching from the South Coast to the Welsh borders and the Humber, is not likely to be a good likeness, said Mr Williams. "The rulers of the time chose to make themselves look like Roman emperors." He went on: "It may be very expensive but it is an absolutely top discovery. It is beautifully preserved. It has no wear or tear and must have been freshly struck when it was lost. It's condition is so exceptional that we were suspicious at first. We had to test it quite thoroughly before we were convinced." REVIEW: "The Cuerdale Hoard", written by Gareth Williams.The Cuerdale Hoard is the greatest Viking silver treasure trove ever found, outside Russia, far exceeding in scale and range any hoard found in the Scandinavian homelands or in the western areas of Viking settlement. Containing around 8,600 items of silver coins and bullion when found, and weighing some 40kg, it is an astonishing assemblage, as impressive even in its slightly depleted form today as it must have been when it was first put together in the early tenth century.It was found on 15 May 1840, by workmen engaged in repairing the embankment on the south side of the River Ribble at Cuerdale, near Preston, Lancashire. The hoard had been buried in a lead chest, fragments of which survive, and the presence of small bone pins suggests that some of the coins or bullion had been parceled up into separate bags or parcels, secured by these pins.Prompt action by the landowner's bailiff ensured that almost all the hoard was retrieved; the laborers were allowed to retain one coin each for themselves. It was declared Treasure Trove at an inquest on 15 August 1840, the property of Queen Victoria in right of her Duchy of Lancaster; the Duchy then passed it to the British Museum for examination prior to its distribution to over 170 recipients. The lion's share, however, was allocated to the British Museum. The coins found with the hoard reveal that it must have been buried in the years between 905 and 910, shortly after the expulsion of the Vikings from Dublin in 902. The Ribble Valley, a peaceful backwater today, was then the main route between Viking York and the Irish Sea; this fact, together with the Irish Norse origins of much of the bullion, and the presence of newly minted coins made by the York Vikings, have led scholars to suggest that this massive treasure may have been a war chest, assembled by Irish Norse exiles intending to mount an expeditionary force to reoccupy Dublin from a base on the Ribble estuary.It is often assumed that hoards from the Viking Age were buried in times of danger, and not recovered because the person who had hidden the hoard was killed, captured or forced to flee. This is probably a good explanation for many hoards, and the threat of Viking raids was itself sufficient to make many people hide their treasures. However, there are other possible reasons why treasure might be hidden and not recovered.One is that the treasure was buried for religious reasons. It is said that pagans in the Viking Age believed that a man would have the use in the afterlife of any treasure he buried while still alive. However, this story was written down long after the Christianization of Scandinavia, and it is not known whether it is true.Another possibility is that hoarding might be linked with the display of wealth and power. If a leader wished to appear generous and successful, he needed to be able to hand out silver to his followers. This would mean stockpiling silver ready for handouts, and even without a specific threat, it would be important to keep the silver safe until it was given out.If a leader wished to appear generous and successful, he needed to be able to hand out silver to his followers. An even more dramatic display of wealth would be to remove the silver from circulation permanently, by burying it. In Egil's saga, the hero Egil Skallagrimsson does precisely that, hiding his hoard to provide a permanent talking point for others. That sort of ostentatious destruction of wealth finds parallels in many cultures.Some of these possibilities can probably be excluded in the case of Cuerdale. The hoard contains both quite freshly minted Christian coins from the Danelaw, and ingots marked with a cross. This suggests that the hoard is unlikely to have been buried for religious reasons, while its huge size makes it unlikely that it was symbolically removed from circulation. However, the fact that the hoard contains identifiable parcels, acquired at different times and places, would be consistent with a carefully hidden stockpile which was added to gradually, as well as with a single hoard buried because of a sudden crisis.The Cuerdale hoard contains over 7,000 coins. Between them they demonstrate very clearly the international scale of Viking activity, as well as providing evidence for the dating of the hoard. Not surprisingly, most of the coins come from England, both official Anglo-Saxon issues (about 1,000) and coins of the Danelaw (about 5,000). However, the hoard also contained about 1,000 Frankish coins, a handful of early Scandinavian coins, about 50 Kufic dirhams from all over the Islamic world, a few imitations of Kufic coins from eastern Europe, and a single Byzantine coin.It is likely that the Scandinavian, Byzantine, Kufic and imitation Kufic coins all came to Britain from Scandinavia, reflecting the Vikings' links to the east through the Russian river systems. The Frankish coins reflect multiple raids on the continent. One group contains coins of the so-called Middle Kingdom, which stretched from the modern Netherlands down into northern Italy. Such coins were probably acquired from raids on the Netherlands, where the port of Dorestad was a repeated target. The date and condition of these coins suggest they were acquired on at least two occasions. The same is true of the much larger group of coins acquired in raids on what is now western France.The English material also suggests a variety of sources. The condition of the Anglo-Saxon coins suggests that they came in a steady trickle rather than all being acquired at the same time, and this probably reflects ongoing trade as much as raiding. By contrast, the coinage from the southern Danelaw seems to have come north in distinct groups, one of which had only recently been struck when the hoard was deposited. Finally, the local coinage of Viking Northumbria, the largest single group in the hoard, shows some variation of wear, but all the coins were relatively new.This suggests that these issues were circulating locally, and that the hoard was buried only a few years after this coinage was first introduced. Our knowledge of the dating of the Danelaw issues largely derives from the hoard, rather than the other way round, but the Anglo-Saxon, Frankish and Kufic coins all point consistently to a date between AD 905 and AD 910. The bulk of the hoard, weight-wise, was bullion - weighing over 36kg (80lb). Some of this had been melted down into ingots of various shapes and weights; much of the rest consists of silver jewelry, and other items that had been chopped up into small pieces designed for the melting pot or for sharing out as payments. The very varied nature of this so-called hack-silver testifies to the mobility and far-ranging contacts of the Vikings. Much of it is of Norse Irish origin, including distinctive stamped arm-ring types, both whole and chopped up, and fragments of spectacular bossed penannular brooches and thistle brooches; such large and imposing items of personal jewelry were portable wealth as well as functional and decorative attachments.Alongside these relatively local products, however, were more exotic items, matching the coins in the hoard in their range and diversity. Arm-rings and neck-rings of different types from Scandinavia are present in some quantity, as one might expect; but there are also fragments of so-called Permian rings, from the eastern Baltic, as well as some Slav beads. From western Europe comes a very fine gilded Carolingian buckle, along with brooch fragments and a decorative mount - testimony no doubt to the well-attested Viking raids on France. The northerly reach of Viking enterprise is seen in a decorated silver sheet and a fragment of a silver comb, both apparently of Pictish origin.Perhaps the greatest surprise, however, is that among all this vast assemblage there are only two items of Anglo-Saxon origin - a fine strap-end and a tiny mount - to set against the total of over 1,000 Anglo-Saxon coins in the hoard. These different elements came together in the hoard from many separate parcels, accumulated over time and across distances; but they are a graphic witness both to the boldly ranging scope of Viking activity, and to the enormous wealth it generated.REVIEW: The Britons began making coins from about 100BC, in imitation of Roman practice. They were made mainly in the West Country or the Thames Valley. This practice was stopped by the Romans when Britain became part of the Empire, and only imported Roman coinage was allowed. Roman coins were not minted again in Britain until 155AD, but once begun, this process continued until the late 300’s, when the Roman Empire began to disintegrate. In the early Anglo-Saxon period, where coins were used at all, they were gold pieces from the continent – the ‘solidus’ weighing a hefty 4 grams, or a piece one third of its value, called the ‘tremissis’. Because of their high value, they were fairly useless for everyday transactions, and were in any case prized more as jewellery or as gifts than as currency.It was more than two centuries later, around the 620’s, before the Anglo-Saxons began minting gold coins of their own, called ‘thrymsas’, which echoed the Latin ‘tremissis’. These were probably the ancestors of ‘shillings’. The designs were often imitations of Roman ones, with lettering sometimes malformed or not even making sense! Towards the end of the 600’s, the gold currency disappeared, to be replaced by a coinage of pure silver. The new coins were called ‘sceattas’, but it wasn’t until the 760’s that a new ‘penny’ coinage began, first in Mercia, then in Kent, with twelve to a shilling. They probably represented about a day’s pay for a skilled worker, so most everyday transactions were no doubt still made by barter, payment in kind, or by exchange of favors.‘Sceattas’ gradually disappeared from the scene, except in Northumbria, where they continued to be made in ever more debased silver. Eventually, they were struck in bronze or brass, before disappearing altogether. These pieces were called ‘stycas’. Coins were all generally tiny – no bigger than a fingernail – but in the later period nearly doubled in size. The first halfpennies were made in the 880’s, but after 973, when King Edgar reformed the currency, units smaller than a penny were made simply by cutting a coin into two or even four (‘farthings’).Coins were struck with a die at royal mints by ‘moneyers’, who could stamp more than 2000 blanks a day in a workshop. The dies were at first made locally, later on only under the king’s supervision, and later still at just five regional centers. The most important mints were in the south-east, where the inward flow of foreign bullion and coined silver. was greatest. By the close of the Anglo-Saxon period, however, the number of mints had grown again to over ninety, with many of them now in the north. The tradition of showing the king’s head on one side (the ‘obverse’) grew up towards the end of the period.The moneyer sat at a tree-stump with the lower part of the steel die set into it. The coin blank, still warm, was placed on the lower die, and the upper die placed over the blank. He then struck the upper die with a hammer and made the coin. Blanks may have been made from clay molds, cut from thin silver sheet, or more probably punched out. Occasionally, valuable gold coins called ‘mancuses’ were minted, worth thirty pence. This represented a month’saethelstan penny, both sides wages, so they could not have been in very common circulation! Tens of millions of silver pennies, however, were struck during the Anglo-Saxon period. After King Edgar’s reforms, foreign coin had by law to be melted down and re-struck, and even English coins had to be traded in for re-striking every six years or so. The circulation of money was becoming ever more tightly-controlled and sophisticated.After the 990’s, millions of English pennies were sent as ‘Danegeld’ to Scandinavia – the price paid for the Vikings’ oft-repeated promises not to continue their raids. A ‘pound’ in currency was simply a (Troy) pound weight of silver – and the Vikings demanded several thousand pounds each time a deal was struck. By 1066, the Anglo-Saxon currency system was so uniquely efficient and well-established, that although the Normans wrought many profound changes in the land they conquered, they saw no need to change anything where money was concerned. An Anglo-Saxon might be very puzzled by modern paper money or plastic cards but he would recognize the pennies in your pocket without any problem at all!REVIEW: When the Romans left, just after AD400, coins stopped being made. The early Anglo-Saxons did not use coins, but they did re-use some Roman coins. Some coins were brought over from the Continent, from places like France. Coins like this were found in the Sutton Hoo burial. During the seventh century (AD600-699) the Anglo-Saxons started to make their own coins. Kings wanted coins to show their importance and wealth, to use in trade, and because mints were profitable.In this early period coins were made of gold and were very valuable so they were not used for everyday transactions. Most people used barter, which involved exchanging goods rather than coins. Coins began to be more widely used during the eighth century (AD700-799), especially in southern and eastern England. Each kingdom had its own coins with their own king's head on those coins. A trader who was traveling between kingdoms would need to change their coins into the local currency - just as people do today when they travel aboard.Over time as there were fewer and fewer kingdoms there were less types of coins but more mints producing coins. Thus there were more coins in circulation. Coins started to be made of silver instead of gold. The earliest Anglo-Saxon coins were used by rich and important people as gifts, to buy land, to pay fines and taxes and for long distance trade. During the later ninth to eleventh centuries (AD850-AD1066) coins became more common. Therefore more people could use them to buy objects. Today we have coins with lots of different values but the Anglo-Saxons did not have as many types of coins with different values. So to reduce the value of a coin they would cut it in half or in quarters. For example, if a coin was worth one penny but they wanted to buy something worth half a penny then they would cut a penny coin in half and use half the coin. Archaeologists often find these cut coins. REVIEW: The British Museum today unveils the most expensive coin in history. The ninth-century coin depicts Coenwulf, the ruler of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia from 796 to 821, and it is thought to be the oldest example of gold currency commemorating a British ruler - which helps to explain why the museum paid £357,832 to the anonymous person who found it near Bedford in 2001. "It's completely unprecedented," says Gareth Williams, the museum's curator of early medieval coinage. "The most expensive single British coin before this was a gold penny of Henry III, which went for something like £145,000."To put the find in context, there are only eight known English coins dated between 700 and 1250. This is the first to be found for more than 50 years. Williams is particularly excited by the wording on the back of the coin, "De Vico Lvondoniae", meaning "From the trading place of London". "London is referred to as a vicus, part of Ludenwic and a centre of authority and it is striking that Coenwulf chooses to describe it in that way," says Williams. "I think he is imitating a coin of his contemporary, the Frankish emperor Charlemagne, who was the most powerful ruler in Europe. Coenwulf is basically saying, 'I'm as good as Charlemagne and London's as good as Dorestadt.' He's promoting London on an international trade coinage as a major trading centre."Many ancient coins carry messages. Among the selection of notable British finds pictured is one found in Oxfordshire in 2003 that depicts Domitanius, a Roman emperor neglected by history. His coin informs us that he ruled Gaul and Britain in 271, as leader of the breakaway "Gallic" empire. Another, a King Alfred silver penny from c880, is, like the Coenwulf coin, a piece of Londoncentrism, intended to mark the Anglo-Saxons' recapture of the city from the Vikings. The odd monogram on one side makes up the letters "Lvndonia". The museum also owns the earliest surviving English halfpenny, but it only cost a few thousand pounds. Why was the Coenwulf coin so much more expensive? "It's one of the most beautiful Anglo-Saxon coins anyone has ever seen. The halfpenny was historically interesting but it's small and grotty and silver. This one is gold and went into the ground in something close to mint condition, so it's a very collectable coin."REVIEW: A hoard of Viking silver, jewelry and Saxon coins was discovered by a metal detectorist in a field in Oxfordshire. The ‘significant’ treasure trove of 186 coins, ingots and jewellery was uncovered by amateur treasure-hunter James Mather, in a farmer’s field near Watlington in October. The find should shed some light on the period of Anglo Saxon history that saw King Alfred the Great of Wessex defeat the Viking Danes, and then go on to banish his one-time ally, King Ceolwulf II of Mercia, from history.The Daily Mail reports:More than 200 pieces of silver including Viking coins, ingots and jewellery dating back to the 870s AD have been unveiled at the British Museum in London. The treasure is thought to have been buried at the end of the century, in the period following Alfred the Great of Wessex’s defeat of the Vikings at Edington in Wiltshire. The ‘nationally significant’ artefacts were unearthed by a metal detectorist near Watlington, Oxfordshire, in October last year and reveal clues as to how Alfred the Great of Wessex and King Ceolwulf II of Mercia may have co-operated to battle the invaders.James Mather, 60, had been hunting for treasure for five hours and was about to go home when he chanced upon the cache of valuable Viking items. Some of the coins were minted during the reign of Alfred the Great, ruler of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex from 871 and 899 AD and others are said to have been minted for King Ceolwulf II of Mercia, who ruled between 874 and 879 AD. At this time, England was split into kingdoms. Alfred the Great ruled Wessex which covered the west and majority of south England, excluding Cornwall, while Mercia was ruled by King Ceolwulf II and covered the River Trent and the Midlands.Three types of penny were found that were issued in Ceolwulf’s name and were designed in the ‘Cross and Lozenge’ style, also used by King Alfred. Due to the fact the reigns of these rulers overlapped, and that King Ceolwulf’s coinage is similar in style and design to that of Alfred of Wessex, it has been suggested the two teamed up to fight against the Vikings.viking silver Elsewhere, seven pieces of Viking jewellery including and 15 ingots were also found. Academics from the British Museum and the Ashmolean in Oxford believe the hoard was buried around the end of the 870s, in the period following Alfred’s decisive defeat of the Vikings at Edington in 878.At the Battle of Edington, King Alfred’s army is reported as defeating what was called the ‘Great Heathen Army’, led by Guthrum in May 878 AD. Four years previously, historical reports claim Mercia and its army had collapsed. Guthrum made several attacks on Wessex from 875, and by early 878, his army occupied parts of the east and north east of England. In Spring 878 AD, King Alfred marched to Edginton with West Saxon soldiers to take on Guthrum. The West Saxon troops won the battle and King Alfred cut off supplies to Guthrum’s army who had taken refuge in Chippenham.The Vikings asked King Alfred for a truce, which was granted as long as they left his kingdom immediately, and later became known as the Peace of Wedmore. In particular, the experts believe the Viking treasure was buried when the Vikings moved north of the Thames and Guthrum returned to East Anglia where he was converted to Christianity with Alfred as his sponsor. Nearly all of the objects come from the time of the ‘Last Kingdom’ when the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex were fighting for their survival from the threat of the Great Heathen Army. The fight ultimately led to the unification of England and its kingdoms.Viking silver casts light on the era of King Alfred the Great, according to the Guardian:Alfred the cake burner and Viking beater is one of the most famous kings in British history, but poor Ceolwulf is only known from a list that says he reigned for five years. His fate is unknown, and the only accounts of his character come from Alfred’s side – after the victorious Alfred also annexed Mercia – describing him as foolish and a puppet of the Vikings. The newly found coins cover several years and were struck in different mints, demolishing the earlier belief that the two kings issued coins in only one year, marking a very short-lived alliance.Gareth Williams, curator of early medieval coinage at the British Museum said: “This is not just another big shiny hoard.” He said it was evidence about a poorly understood time in the development of England. Even the scrap of gold, chopped up to use as currency by weight, shows the emergence of a gold standard. The coins, he said, offered insight into a coalition that broke up acrimoniously after a few years, leading to one partner disappearing without trace. “They give a more complex political picture of a period which has been deliberately misrepresented by the victor.” He added, diplomatically, that the relationship of Stalin and Trotsky came to mind.Mather, a hobby metal detectorist for more than 20 years, had had a long dull day of uncovering metal ring pulls and cartridge cases and was ready to head home when he found what he thought might be a Viking silver ingot, similar to one he had seen in the British Museum. He dug a nine-inch hole revealing a great mass of coins, he recalled. He phoned the local officer who records finds under the portable antiquities scheme, which tracks the discovery of small archaeological objects, many less commercially but equally historically valuable. Then, heroically obeying orders, he filled in the hole again. He admitted he made many anxious return visits over the weekend to check the field was still undisturbed.The following Tuesday the finds officer, David Williams, sent the farmer to buy some clingfilm – “the best quality clingfilm,” he specified – and carefully excavated down to expose the hoard, and lifted the whole block of clay holding the silver. It was supported on an oven tray, also borrowed from the farmer, and brought to London in a suitcase. “That’s when I discovered that they don’t like it at the British Museum when you wheel a piece of luggage through the galleries – even if you assure them it contains a Viking hoard,” Williams said. SHIPPING & RETURNS/REFUNDS: We always ship books domestically (within the USA) via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). Most international orders cost an additional $17.99 to $48.99 for an insured shipment in a heavily padded mailer. There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Our postage charges are as reasonable as USPS rates allow. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are fully insured against loss, and our shipping rates include the cost of this coverage (through stamps.com, Shipsaver.com, the USPS, UPS, or Fed-Ex). International tracking is provided free by the USPS for certain countries, other countries are at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. Please note for international purchasers we will do everything we can to minimize your liability for VAT and/or duties. But we cannot assume any responsibility or liability for whatever taxes or duties may be levied on your purchase by the country of your residence. If you don’t like the tax and duty schemes your government imposes, please complain to them. We have no ability to influence or moderate your country’s tax/duty schemes. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked 30-day return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price; 1) less our original shipping/insurance costs, 2) less non-refundable eBay payment processing fees. Please note that eBay does NOT refund payment processing fees. Even if you “accidentally” purchase something and then cancel the purchase before it is shipped, eBay will not refund their processing fees. So all refunds for any reason, without exception, do not include eBay payment processing fees (typically between 5% and 15%) and shipping/insurance costs (if any). If you’re unhappy with eBay’s “no fee refund” policy, and we are EXTREMELY unhappy, please voice your displeasure by contacting eBay. We have no ability to influence, modify or waive eBay policies. ABOUT US: Prior to our retirement we used to travel to Eastern Europe and Central Asia several times a year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers. Most of the items we offer came from acquisitions we made in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) during these years from various institutions and dealers. Much of what we generate on Etsy, Amazon and Ebay goes to support worthy institutions in Europe and Asia connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. Though we have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, our primary interests are ancient/antique jewelry and gemstones, a reflection of our academic backgrounds. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, in Eastern Europe and Central Asia antique gemstones are commonly dismounted from old, broken settings – the gold reused – the gemstones recut and reset. Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state – most of them originally crafted a century or more ago. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting. Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from us. There is a $3 fee for mailing under separate cover. I will always respond to every inquiry whether via email or eBay message, so please feel free to write. Condition: NEW. See detailed condition description below., Length: 64 pages, Dimensions: 8¼ x 5¾ inches, Publisher: Shire Publications (2008), Format: Oversized softcover

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