I would like to extend my thanks to the participants of the third Symposium in Early Medieval Coinage at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (April 2010) for their helpful responses to a talk outlining the basic argument of this paper, and to Simon Coupland for comments on a draft of it. Illustrations are approximately double life-size, and are provided by kind permission of the trustees of the British Museum and the Fitzwilliam Museum, and of Mr Tony Abramson.
Kings, crisis and coinage reforms in the mid-eighth century
Article first published online: 25 JUL 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Early Medieval Europe
Volume 20, Issue 3, pages 291–332, August 2012
How to Cite
NAISMITH, R. (2012), Kings, crisis and coinage reforms in the mid-eighth century. Early Medieval Europe, 20: 291–332. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0254.2012.00345.x
- Issue published online: 25 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 25 JUL 2012
Between 740 and 770 coin reforms occurred in five north-west European kingdoms: Northumbria, East Anglia, Francia, Kent and Mercia. Comparison between them highlights important common features, especially the advent of a more explicit royal role in the supervision of minting than had hitherto prevailed. Precipitated by a substantial downturn in production probably resulting in part from shortfalls in bullion supply, the new coin issues stem from a partnership between the king and other agencies: moneyers in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms; secular magnates in Francia. These coinages provide an insight into international connections and local adaptation, grounded in the economic role of coinage and a complex administrative background.