A serious upgrade

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by +VGO.DVCKS, Jan 26, 2021.


    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Still waiting on this from Elsen, as a late birthday present.
    Renaud de Dammartin (d.1227), Count of Boulogne (1191-1212) and of Dammartin (1201-1212).
    AR denier parisis of Boulogne.
    Obv. (In two lines, continuing the obverse legend: ) B[O]L [/] ON.V
    (From 9 o’clock: ) +RENAD’ COME ( ‘RENA[L]D[VS] COM[ES] BOLONV[M],’ (‘M’ and ‘E’ ligated; Count Renaud of Boulogne.)
    Rev. +BOLVNENE
    (Boudeau 1935, Poey d’Avant 6629, Roberts 3932. Not in Duplessy ...yet; two volumes and counting....)
    This upgraded my first example, which is more typical, but also a variant issue.
    (Dealer’s pic; Sorry.)
    Obv. (upside down: ) B[O]L / ON.V ; (from 3 o’clock: ) +RENAD. COM’
    Rev. +BOLI/NENE
    As @seth77 has noted in previous posts, the ‘denier parisis’ type, with the field legend in two lines, was initiated by Philippe II (1180-1223). Originating in (...wait for it) Paris, it was continued in other royal mints in northeastern France (several of them recent royal acquisitions), and imitated by feudal ones in the same region. (Cf. Spufford, esp. 197-9.) ...But in both collective cases, most examples on the market are well worn. The high level of sustained circulation evokes the commercially vibrant urban centers of Ile-de-France and Picardy --which, like Flanders to the northeast, benefitted from a lively wool trade. Spufford isn’t forthcoming about the type’s weight and composition across the entire series, royal and feudal. The furthest he gets along those lines is to note the initial, Paris issue, c. 1200, whose weight and composition was less than stellar, notably in comparison to the first royal coinage of Tours. Which, in turn, would become the dominant royal issue by the reign of Philippe’s grandson, Louis IX (1226-1270). (102, 103). This might suggest that, especially in this corner of France, the cachet of a royal type, even absent more mundane factors, was enough to encourage its issuance, imitation, and circulation, especially during a dramatic phase of royal expansion, both territorially and administratively. (In the latter capacity, the Capetians, from Philippe II to Philippe IV (1284-1314), were remarkably adept at the use of existing feudal law to further their own agenda.)
    ...Perhaps in conjunction with the relative paucity of deniers of this module that were being issued in northeastern France generally (along with ‘feudal’ polities just across the border, in the German empire), where petit-deniers /mailles predominated. These were of finer silver content, but smaller module, and often indifferently struck.
    County of Flanders: Bruges. Petit denier, anonymous, c. 1180-1220.
    Obverse: Soldier in chain mail advancing to right, with sword and Norman-style ‘kite-shaped’ shield.
    Reverse: ...Well, what it looks like. (Ghyssens p. 107, no. 239.)
    The three chevrons on the shield are a very early instance of heraldry in this medium. As such, they evoke the arms of Hainaut, and in turn of Baudouin V, Count of Hainaut 1171-1195; of Flanders by marriage.
    ...Sadly, here’s the best map I found, without the means of cropping better ones.
    Modern map of the operant coast, with Calais at the top and Boulogne to the south. South of that is Abbeville, capital of the county of Ponthieu, which figures in the narrative. From WIkimedia Commons (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portail:Boulogne-sur-Mer#/media/Fichier:Côte_d'Opale_topographic_map-fr.svg]).

    This is a pic of the original keep /donjon of the castle of Boulogne, most of which was built by Renaud, c. 1191-1214. Funly combining late Romanesque windows (with rounded arches) and round corner turrets. The latter, while already common enough in ecclesiastical architecture, were still very state-of-the-art in castle design. The (arrow-) slit windows on the central turret suggest that this one has the staircase. The top storey of the main building, with the windows, was added later in the early 13th century; the sept-/octagonal turret is 18th century, after the donjon had been appropriated by the municipal authorities, initially as the belfry of a church.


    (From Wikmedia Commons: Arnaud Gaillard (arnaud () amarys.com)

    ...What follows is from a “paper” started sometime to either side of a decade ago, as an overly ambitious attempt to give most of the medieval collection the historical context it deserves. ...Don’t hold your breath; at something like 287 pages, it’s likely to stay unfinished longer than I do. This excerpt is abridged for (cough, snort) relative brevity. --But also heavily rewritten; as a recovering (or not) English major, ‘mission creep’ inexorably ensues. If any of the citations don’t match up with the bibliography, or I missed any of the typos, it’s like, Promise, I Feel Your Pain.

    Renaud de Dammartin has gone down in history as an emblematic, if not stereotypical baronial rogue of 13th-century France. Luchaire, writing in the early 20th century, is content to characterize him as “only a common brigand,” even while acknowledging his eventual, dramatic role in the Battle of Bouvines (1214), one of the more momentous episodes in early 13th-century European history. (Pp. 251, 252-3; see below for examples of his mere brigandage.)
    Among contemporaries, this was counterbalanced by his reputation for martial prowess. Gillingham quotes a late 12th-early 13th century chronicler: “Ralph of Coggeshall described him as ‘the standard bearer in every conflict, outstanding in every aspect of knightly prowess’” (p. 313). The latter quality may have served both as a catalyst for his misdeeds, and a primary means by which his career survived so many of them.
    Both traits are on display in a roman of Jean Renart, dating to the later 12th-early 13th century. (Baldwin, Aristocratic Life pp. 2-3; cf. p. 79 for its literary context in a still nascent genre of prose fiction.) As cited by Baldwin, it describes a tournament in the duchy of Brabant. The participants include both the “fictive” protagonist, Guillaume (perhaps loosely based on the famous earlier contemporary, William Marshal, and “the renowned Renaud de Dammartin,” appearing, according to Hollywood cliché, as himself. As Baldwin retails the events,
    “[N]ot until Guillaume has been wearied by the contest […] does Renaud appear on the field with 140 knights shouting: ‘As frains, as frains [‘to the reins!’]!’ […]. By sundown, riderless horses wander aimlessly, reins dangling at their feet. ‘God, there’s a fortune to be gained there!’ the author observes” (pp. 82-3).
    ...In plunder. Forget, for one minute, the ransoms that the parties concerned would have to pay if they’d been unhorsed. Never mind the contrast between tournaments of the 12th -early 13th centuries and the better known ‘jousts’ of the 14th -16th centuries, involving two knights, in plate armor, tilting at eachother with a dividing fence between them. The earlier practice culminated in the ‘melée’ --leading directly to the word’s modern connotations-- which amounted to a staged, pitched battle between opposing groups. Real weapons were used, bones were broken, wounds were sustained, lives were lost; and --the primary economically driver-- often exorbitant ‘ransoms’ were paid by participants who were unhorsed. The contrast invites comparison to that between football (i. e., ‘soccer’ --not to mix hemispheres--) and rugby (thank you, closer to American football).
    Neither tactic, nor their common, pointedly mercenary motive is original; William Marshal (perhaps fictionalized above) learned it from the count of Flanders who immediately preceded Renaud’s own suzerain, Baudouin VIII /V of Hainaut and Flanders. (Pp. 80-1; Crouch, William Marshal p. 199.) By the time of the roman’s composition, William’s tourneying days would likely have been long over.) Given which, it is illuminating that the author, writing for a French aristocratic audience, chose to associate it so explicitly with Renaud, an active member of their immediate social milieu.
    Moving right along, to the more overt brigandage. On the basis of available secondary sources in English, Renaud’s career might be dated from 1190, with his abduction and forcible marriage of Ida, the heiress of the county of Boulogne. (Baldwin, Government pp. 200-1; Aristocratic Life p. 59.) As Napran observes, this alienated his immediate suzerain, the count of Flanders, who “withheld [Boulogne],” granting its control to his neighbor across the French border, Henri I of Brabant. Boulogne was only “restored to Ida,” and to Renaud in right of marriage, by Baudouin V of Hainaut, “when he succeeded to [the county of] Flanders” in the following year, as Baudouin VIII (Gilbert p. 137 and note 467; see also pp. 142-3). In 1194, Renaud proceeded to reward his new suzerain by knighting Baudouin’s younger son, Henri (who was “probably intended […] for a clerical career”), against his father’s wishes. Baudouin seems to have taken this in good grace; his chronicler, Gilbert of Mons, notes that “Count Renaud […] ordained [Henri] honorably as a knight,” and Renaud retained Boulogne (Gilbert p. 160 and note 539).
    Despite Baudouin’s magnanimity, his predecessor’s response to the abduction is understandable, even in the context of its own milieu. Precedent for such behavior is conspicuous in the same region. As early as 862, Judith, daughter of Charles le Chauve, eloped with Baudouin I of Flanders, “to the immense distress of her parents.” (Riché p. 191, 196; McKitterick 249 ff. for a more detailed account of the events, and Baudouin’s subsequent career.) In the neighboring county of Ponthieu, as Koziol notes, “sometime before 1027 Angelran [/Enguerrand], the [lay] advocate of Saint-Riquier [and grandfather of Guy I of Ponthieu], killed the count of Boulogne and married his widow. At that point he took the title of count, a title his successors retained” (p. 43; See also Bridgeford, table, ‘Ponthieu,’ preceding p. 1).
    1190 also saw Renaud demonstrate his capacity for rapacity on a more metaphorical level, as retailed by Luchaire (cf. above). This early, Renaud appears to have been acting as count of Boulogne, de jure uxoris, effectively by right of conquest. Appropriately, this episode also finds precedent in the county of Ponthieu. This time thanks to Guy I (c. 1053-1100), who held the future Harold of England after his ship ran aground on his coast, before being ransomed by Guy’s suzerain, William ‘the Bastard’ of Normandy. When the party of an exiled English bishop of Richard I “landed on the shores of Boulonnais […. , h]ardly had he entered before Renaud fell on him with his troop and took […] his horses, his baggage, the sacred vases of his chapel, and even his episcopal cope, and then allowed him to continue on his way.” Especially in light of the international repercussions, “[t]he episode created a scandal.” Renaud was excommunicated by Guillaume de Champagne, Archbishop of Reims. Renaud “’listened to the remonstrances, but returned nothing, not even the cope of the bishop.’” (Luchaire 252.)

    With this as background, Renaud is best known for his intrigues against Philippe II, including alliances with Richard I and King John. (Preceded by their father, Henry II, these were the later two of the French king’s three successive Angevin nemeses.) Like Baudouin of Flanders, Philippe had “acquiesced to [the] unconventional procedure” of Renaud’s forcible elopement, and “confirmed the marriage in 1192,” having acknowledged his succession to Boulogne the year before (Baldwin pp. 200-1, 277; Aristocratic Life p. 59). In 1197, Renaud “rewarded the king’s complaisance, and revealed his characteristic unruliness, by joining Richard ’s alliance” against him (Baldwin p. 201; see also p.92). Renaud and his immediate suzerain, the count of Flanders, proceeded to “attack Philip’s lands in northern France.” The following year saw a renewal of hostilities by Renaud and his Flemish overlord, in concert with Richard’s last campaign in the Vexin (Hallam p. 129; see also Gillingham pp. 313, 314). Ominously, Baldwin notes that on Richard’s death in 1199, Renaud “renewed” his alliance with Richard’s successor, King John (p. 201). Eventually, this would lead to still more dramatic events, on the broader canvas of Bouvines in 1214.

    But despite his penchant and capacity for intrigue across royal borders, Renaud’s antics give every appearance of symptomizing the local and dynastic concerns which were endemic to his class. Each of them occurred in collusion with successive counts of Flanders, who were understandably “alarmed by French royal expansion” in the region, including Normandy but also, even nearer home, the county of Artois, to the northeast of the map. (Hallam pp. 129, 132; see also France p. 169 (in the later context of Bouvines), Petit-Dutaillis pp. 223-4, Turner p. 98.) This seems to be borne out by the tactics that Philippe II used, from the end of the 1190’s, to bring Renaud back into the Capetian fold. First, in a treaty concluded as early as 1200, he induced King John to “promise[... [Philippe] to give up his alliance with the counts of Boulogne and Flanders” (Painter, William Marshal p. 126; cf. Baldwin, Government, 95-6, 201). As Baldwin continues, having effected this coup on the international stage, and “in the face of Renaud’s evident instability [,] Philippe set about regaining the count’s loyalty by two traditional bonds, marriage and gifts of land.” The latter included Renaud’s patrimony of Dammartin, which happened to lie within 25 miles of Paris, on the frontier of the Comte de Champagne and the Capetian royal demesne. (P. 201; see also Shepherd p. 76, coordinates “E b,” for the location of Dammartin; p. 69, esp. inset, for its wider geographical context in later-12th-century France.) For Renaud, the ensuing decade witnessed a dramatic, if ultimately fleeting interval of rehabilitation. In 1202, on the eve of Philippe’s reconquest of Normandy, Renaud assisted the king in a brief campaign on the extreme northeastern border of the duchy (Painter, William Marshal pp. (127-) 129). In 1205, immediately following the reconquest, he “headed” the baronial signatories of a charter relating to “rights of patronage over churches in Normandy” (Bisson pp. (543-) 544; cf. Petit-Dutaillis p. 307, relating to “articles of 1205-6 limiting ecclesiastical jurisdictions”). As late as 1209, he (along with Eudes III of Bourgogne) witnessed an ordinance which increased royal authority over feudal inheritance. This stipulated that those fiefs which were held in chief (directly from the crown) were not subject to subinfeudation (being held of intervening feudal authorities), regardless of their subsequent devolution and division. (Petit-Dutaillis pp. 303, 309. Cf. Baldwin p. 277-9, regarding Philippe’s related, already lucrative rights of relief (the medieval equivalent of estate tax) and wardship of heirs during their minority.)
    So far, Renaud’s political career provides a neat geographic counterweight to the ebb and flow of the baronial wrangling between the de Lusignan Comtes Hugues IX and X of La Marche and their Capetian and Angevin overlords (sometimes in alliance with Pierre ‘Mauclerc’ of Brittany). But while, in the western heartland of the Angevin Empire, the Lusignans and Pierre were content to play the Capetian and Angevin kings off against eachother, the comte de Boulogne ultimately went one further. (Granted, his participation in the advancement of the Capetian agenda, during the fleeting interval of his rehabilitation, may have ultimately exacerbated his initial misgivings.)

    Renaud’s Flanders lay in the northeastern corner of France, directly across the western border of the German empire. As such, it inhabited an even more complex geopolitical sphere. As demonstrated by Count Baudouin V’s adventures in the same region, hostilities could and did spill across major, if still only prototypically international (and duly porous) frontiers, even in the limited context of private war. (Cf. the thread, https://www.cointalk.com/threads/a-private-war-in-the-low-countries-1184-5.368535/.) Accordingly, Renaud’s second foreign alliance included not only John of England, but the reigning German emperor.
    In the aftermath of Friedrich Barbarossa’s death on the Third Crusade in 1190, the German succession had been in a state of sustained flux. Philippe II and the Angevin kings supported rival candidates, in what amounted to a proxy war. Philippe initially supported Philipp von Schwaben, a younger son of Friedrich who was crowned ‘King of the Romans’ (and heir presumptive to the Imperial throne) in 1198. From 1196, Richard I “urged the election of a member of the [rival] Welf family” (Haverkamp pp. 239-40). Following the murder of Philipp von Schwaben in 1208, the Welf candidate, with support from King John, the Pope, and much of the German aristocracy, was acclaimed ‘King of the Romans.’ In Rome, the following year, he was crowned German Emperor as Otto IV (241-2, Baldwin 204-5).
    Meanwhile, King John of England was seeking to recover the continental possessions of the Angevin Empire, lost to Philippe II’s reconquest less than a decade before. To this end, John made overtures not only to Renaud and his Flemish suzerain, but to the future Otto IV, “cement[ing] an alliance” with him as early as 1207 (Turner p. 98). As Turner further notes, “the English king was aiming at a grand alliance with the Low Countries and Germany, and he spent much treasure purchasing allies.” His ultimate strategy involved “a pattern of alliances […] that would would permit a combined operation in south-western France and to the north-east, requiring the Capetian king to fight on two fronts” (ibid.; see Baldwin p. 212 for the plan on the eve of its execution). Ambitious as it was, it echoed the last two campaigns of his elder brother, Richard, against Philippe. These, while waged on a more modest scale, had been markedly successful, and involved several of the same protagonists, Renaud conspicuously among them (Gillingham p. 310; cf. above).
    In this context, Luchaire asserts that Renaud was “the special enemy of the king of France and the man who worked hardest to organize the [northeastern] coalition” (p. 251). Baldwin is only slightly more circumspect, naming the “unstable count of Boulogne” as one of the principal actors in the impending invasion, following only the English king and the German emperor, and “the natural catalyst for [the] coalition” (Government 207, 208). Baldwin goes on to note that by 1212, “the French king had dispossessed [Renaud] of his fiefs,” following Philippe’s growing suspicions of Renaud’s intrigues with “the Anglo-Norman party,” which may have gone back to 1209. (207, 201-2; see pp. 266, 382 for the tectonic shift in the legal authority of the French crown between Renaud’s two main phases of rebellion. See also Warren p. 203.) Petit-Dutaillis elaborates that Renaud was in “negotiations with [both] the King of England and the Emperor” from 1211, and that his dispossession was accompanied by a formal sentence of treason (223; see also Baldwin, Aristocratic Life 19). Over the spring of 1212, he fled into exile, appealing first to Otto of Germany, then to King John. He did homage to the latter, in the company of Hugues de Boves, “a known English agent,” receiving confirmation of his English possessions and “a yearly payment of 1,000 pounds sterling” (Baldwin p. 208). As Petit-Dutaillis notes, “henceforward, he was to be the inspirer and organizer of the coalition against the King of France” (p. 223).
    After several delays, largely owing to lack of cooperation from John’s barons (...Magna Carta, anyone?), hostilities finally began in 1213. They followed three principal phases, beginning with a defensive maneuver on John’s part. By this time, Philippe, knowing of John’s intentions, and capitalizing on his weakness at home, had “commissioned his son Louis [the future Louis VII] to lead an invasion of England, and the French overran Flanders to gather an invasion force along the Flemish coast.” John responded with a naval counterattack on Flanders. It was resonantly representative of his new coalition, “under joint command of [his] half-brother, William Longespee, Earl of Salisbury, Renaud of Boulogne, and the count of Holland” (Turner pp. 98-9). As Baldwin recounts, “the allies swooped down on the unguarded [French] ships [gathered in the port of Damme], plundered and burned those in the harbor, and cut loose those in the river. […]Philip reacted immediately with a counterattack [. …during which] the count of Boulogne barely avoided capture” (p. 211).
    From this point, particular wrath was directed at the lands of Renaud and his Flemish suzerain. The count of Flanders had resisted joining King Philippe’s initial invasion plans in 1213, resulting in his “dismiss[al…] from the [royal] court.” He had proceeded to follow the example of his vassal, Renaud, in assenting to “a formal alliance” with King John later in the year, “sealed personally by the count’s journey to England in January 1214 and by his performance of homage for his English possessions.” (Baldwin, Government 211, 212. See also Fawtier 15, Painter 10-11; Petit-Dutaillis pp. 223-4 for the preexisting animosity between Philippe II and the count of Flanders). As Baldwin elaborates, “from the spring of 1213 to the summer of 1214, therefore, Flanders bore the brunt of John’s strategy. While John sustained his Flemish allies with money, Philip Augustus and Prince Louis attempted to punish [the count of Flanders], Renaud, and their adherents. In the process the county was devastated by an extended series of attacks and counterattacks. Though all on a local scale, these nonetheless reduced the towns to ashes and the population to desolation” (p. 212). The ensuing chaos encouraged a regional spike in private war. “[L]ocal lords took the opportunity to vent lesser quarrels,” among them Henri I ‘le Guerroyeur’, Duc de Brabant (an old nemesis of Renaud’s former suzerain, Baudoin V of Hainaut /VII of Flanders), who, “[t]hroughout the period […,] skirmished with his inveterate enemy, the bishop of Liege.” But the royal protagonists were no less quick to capitalize on the immediate circumstances. “By intervening in the struggle [with the bishop of Liege, the German emperor] Otto was able to win […] duke [Henri] over to the allies’ cause” (p. 213). Henri would go on to participate at the Battle of Bouvines.
    [From the original Elsen listing:] [​IMG]

    BRABANT, Duché, Henri Ier (1190-1235), AR denier au cavalier, 1211-1235. D/ Le duc galopant à d., ten. l'épée haute. En dessous, une croisette et DV-X. R/ Croix brabançonne. Ghyssens p. 6, 2; W. 33; Haeck, Brabant, 43. 0,54g Patine foncée. [On the obverse, you can Just see the “D V X”, from 6 o’clock upwards to 3 o’clock, in the retrograde style reminiscent of some legends on Roman coins of the Flavian dynasty.]

    As Warren continues, while King John’s ostensibly coordinated invasion of southwestern France “was collapsing for lack of [local baronial] support […] the north-eastern forces were just ranging themselves for the decisive encounter” (pp. 222-3).
    Nominally led by Otto IV, these comprised contingents under William Longespee, Earl of Salisbury (representing King John’s immediate interests), Henri I of Brabant, and Renaud himself. This coalition proceeded to invade northeastern France. As Baldwin notes, “their final goal was Paris and the royal domain, which they had already divided among themselves” (Baldwin pp. 214-5; see also Turner pp. 100-1). The army was met by a force under the personal leadership of Philippe II, who, like the invaders, “felt himself ready for that rarity in medieval warfare, a pitched battle,” despite the fact that, as such, “t was the first [one] that the Capetians had risked since 1119, when Louis VI had been defeated decisively by Henry I” (Turner p. 100, Baldwin p. 214).
    Philippe’s feudal levy included the personal presence of Eudes II, Duc de Bourgogne, Robert II, Comte de Dreux, and Guillaume II ‘Talvas,’ Comte de Ponthieu. (For all but Guillaume de Ponthieu, see esp. Baldwin p. 216. Guillaume’s presence is noted in two contemporary primary sources, Guillaume le Breton’s Gesta Philippi Augusti and the Anonymous of Bethune’s Chronique des Rois. Both are cited on Brian Timms’s Early Blazon website ( http://www.earlyblazon.com/ .)

    After several feints, the two armies found eachother at Bouvines, on the road to Lille (Baldwin p. 215).
    Here are four of a total of twelve plans of the course of the battle. The blue side is Capetian; the yellow are the Anglo-Flemish-German alliance. (These are all thanks to a brilliant French website, done by reenactors, initially in anticipation of the 800th anniversary of the battle, waaay back in 2014. Here’s a link to the first of the plans: http://bataille.bouvines.free.fr/plans/plangen.php3?np=07 .)
    1. The initial deployment of forces at the Battle of Bouvines. Lille is very approximately 10 miles to the northwest, Ghent 20 miles to the northeast. (Cf. Shepherd, p. 69.) To the west, in front of the town of Bouvines, is the Capetian army, including (northwest to southeast): Guillaume II ‘Talvas,’ Comte de Ponthieu; Robert II, Comte de Dreux; Philippe Auguste, Roi de France; contingents from Champagne (during the minority of Comte Thibaut IV); and Eudes III, Duc de Bourgogne. To the right is the allied invasion force, including contingents of William ‘Longespee,’ Earl of Salisbury; the now dispossessed Renaud de Dammartin (with mercenaries funded by King John); Otto IV of Germany; Renaud’s erstwhile suzerain, Ferrand, Comte de Flandre (presumably including his vassal, Hugues de Boves –cf. immediately below); and (furthest to the southeast; unlabelled except for his coat of arms) Henri I, ‘Le Guerroyeur,’ Duc de Brabant (see esp. Baldwin 215).
    2. A later phase of the battle, showing the brilliant outflanking of the allied left by the Capetian right.
    3. The flight (lower right) of the contingents of Ferrand, Count of Flanders and Henri I, Duke of Brabant, following the capture of the count of Flanders (Baldwin 217-9, Warren 223). Toward the center is the contingent of Renaud himself, “the only man to show any [tactical] originality,” who “form[ed] a defensive circle of foot-sergeants armed with pikes,” serving as “an island […] from which he and a half-dozen knights sortied out and returned for respite.” (Warren 223, Baldwin 218; cf. France 171. Renaud’s tactics would be further elaborated, with spectacular results, at the Battle of Courtrai /Kortrijk, fought nearby in 1302, as well as Stirling Bridge (1297) and Bannockburn (1314), during the Scots wars of independence.) Above this, the force of William ‘Longespee’ is also in retreat, precipitating, or precipitated by, the capture of William himself (Baldwin p. 218, Warren p. 224).
    4. The final coalescence of the Capetian forces around the massed infantry of Renaud. (See also France pp. xiv-v for a five-part plan of the battle, with much less detail regarding the various contingents on both sides.)


    Above: A sort of visual pastiche of the Battle of Bouvines, from Matthew Paris’s Chronica Majora, first version, c. 1235-earlier 1240’s. Philippe II has been unhorsed, “a quick response from his household knights [having] saved the king’s life” (Baldwin, Government p. 217; see also Warren p.223). To the right, Hugues de Boves (“Hugo de boues”), a Flemish colleague of Renaud, flees the field. (Picture, with attribution to the version in the library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University (Vaughan’s “B”), from Wikimedia Commons: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipe...I_and_Hugh_de_Boves_at_Battle_of_Bouvines.png
    The battle ended not only in a spectacular rout of the invading army, but the “capture of most of the enemy leadership, and […] a death-blow to John’s strategy for a dual strike against the Capetians.” (Turner p. 101; see Baldwin pp. 215-9, France pp. 235-41, and the website cited for the maps above, for more detailed accounts of the battle.) In the same vein, Baldwin notes that “Otto had fled, abandoning his […] knights and […] standard,” and that “it confirmed Philip’s conquests of 1204-1206,” leaving Philippe “free of the unsettling presence of the Angevin kings of England” for “the remainder of his reign” (p. 219). Regarding the events on the ground, Warren notes that “[t]actically it was a crude affair, and none of the leaders sought to prevent it degenerating, as it did, into confused melees – a type of warfare to which the French chivalry was accustomed by many tournaments” [certain parties conspicuous among them; Renaud’s relative tactical sophistication notwithstanding]. (P. 223; cf. Petit-Dutaillis p. 225.) Baldwin expounds on this point, observing that, in the rare instances of pitched battle (Medieval Latin bellum, vis. the more conventional, less conclusive guerra), the aim was “to obtain a definitive decision over important objectives. As a wager of total victory or loss [especially in the “bewildering confusion of the actual battleground”], it was considered, in the final analysis, a judgment of God.” (Pp. 214-5, (in brackets: ) 218.) In this context, Renaud’s advice, on the eve of the battle, to avoid fighting on a Sunday carries immediate resonance. Ironically, he was overruled in part by Hugues de Boves, who (as has been seen) proceeded to flee the battlefield (Baldwin p. 215).
    For Renaud, the aftermath proved a grim end to what was, if nothing else, a colorful career. Unhorsed, and “pinned to the ground” by his mount, he surrendered to a bishop-elect who had nonetheless taken an enthusiastic part on the Capetian side. The fact that, in his compromised state, and despite a “lively dispute […] among the French knights as to who would have the honor of capturing the traitor,” Renaud could still choose the party to whom he surrendered, may provide a hint regarding the continued professional esteem in which he was held among his chivalric peers. After “one further attempt to escape, he was finally delivered to the king.” (Baldwin p. 218; cf. 215 for the future bishop of Senlis.) Renaud was subsequently imprisoned, committing suicide in 1227 (Hallam pp. 208-9, Baldwin p. 219). His badly damaged tomb monument provides a soberingly resonant metaphor for his legacy. (From Wikimedia Commons.)
    His sister, Agnes, married Guillaume de Fiennes, grandfather of a namesake who died at the Battle of Courtrai in 1302. Ironically, as a knight fighting a municipal infantry force not unlike that which had left Renaud the last actor on the field ninety-eight years before, twenty miles to the south. (See esp. Charles Cawley, the Medieval Lands website: http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/NORTHERN FRANCE.htm#GuillaumeFiennesdied1213.)

    Baldwin, John W. The Government of Philip Augustus: Foundations of Royal Power in the Middle Ages. 1986. Berkeley: U of California P, 1991.
    ----. Aristocratic Life in Medieval France: The Romances of Jean Renart and Gerbert de Montreuil, 1190-1230. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins U P, 2000.
    Bisson, Thomas N. The Crisis of the Twelfth Century: Power, Lordship, and the Origins of European Government. Princeton: Princeton U P, 2009.
    Bridgeford, Andrew. 1066: The Hidden History in the Bayeux Tapestry. New York: Walker, 2004.
    Crouch, David. William Marshal: Knighthood, War and Chivalry, 1147-1219. Second ed. London: Longman /Pearson Education, 2002.
    --. Tournament. London: Hambledon, 2005. (Paper) 2006.
    Fawtier, Robert. The Capetian Kings of France: Monarchy and Nation 987-1328. Trans. Lionel Butler and R. J. Adam. 1960. London: Macmillan, 1965.
    France, John. Western Warfare in the Age of the Crusades: 1000-1300. Ithaca: Cornell U P, 1999.
    Gilbert of Mons. The Chronicle of Hainaut. Ed. /trans. Laura Napran. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press, 2005. (Cf. entry, “Napran,” below --spoiler alert: it won’t help you much!)
    Gillingham, John. Richard I. Yale English Monarchs series. 1999. New Haven: Yale U P, 2002.
    Hallam, Elizabeth M. Capetian France: 987-1328. 1980. London: Longman, 1992.
    Haverkamp, Alfred. Medieval Germany: 1056-1273. Tr. Helga Braun and Richard Mortimer. 1984. New York: Oxford UP, 1988.
    Koziol, Geoffrey. Begging Pardon and Favor: Ritual and Political Order in Early Medieval France. Ithaca: Cornell U. P., 1992.)
    Luchaire, Achille. Social France at the Time of Philip Augustus. “Authorized translation from the second edition of the French by Edward Benjamin Krehbiel.” Introduction by (wait for it) John W. Baldwin. 1909 (trans. 1912). New York: Harper, 1967.
    McKitterick, Rosamond. The Frankish Kingdoms under the Carolingians: 751-987. 1983. London: Longman, 1988.
    Napran, Laura. Introduction and other, equally copious and erudite secondary material, conspicuously including annotation. (Please, just, do me a favor, and see Gilbert, above. --No, Better, Buy the Book!)
    Painter, Sidney. The Scourge of the Clergy: Peter of Dreux, Duke of Brittany. 1937. New York: Octagon /Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1969.
    ----. William Marshall: Knight-Errant, Baron, and Regent of England. 1933. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins U P, 1967.
    Petit-Dutaillis, Charles. The Feudal Monarchy in France and England: From the Tenth to the Thirteenth Century. Tr. E. D. Hunt. 1936. New York: Harper, 1964.
    Riche, Pierre. The Carolingians: A Family Who Forged Europe. (Trans. Michael Idomir Allen. 1983. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1993.)
    Shepherd, William R. Historical Atlas. 8th ed. Pikesville, Maryland: Colonial Offset Co. /New York: Barnes & Noble, 1956.
    Spufford, Peter. Money and its Use in Medieval Europe. 1988. Cambridge UP, 1989.
    Turner, Ralph V. King John: England’s Evil King? 1994. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Tempus, 2003.
    Vaughan, Richard, ed. /trans. The Illustrated Chronicles of Matthew Paris: Observations of Thirteenth-Century Life. 1984. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Alan Sutton, “in association with Corpus Christi College, Cambridge,” 1993.
    Warren, W. L. King John. 1961. Berkeley: U of California P, 1978.

    Feel free to post anything from around 1200 CE, or from any other period that saw some kind of royal or imperial victory over the forces of political entropy.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
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  3. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Well-Known Member

    V.D., Wow :jawdrop:, that's an impressive article with great illustrations :happy:! Thanks for sharing your knowledge of medieval coinage ;). Your latest denier is certainly an upgrade, with attractive toning highlighting the details.

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    ...Thanks for that, @Al Kowsky. ...Since you mostly collect ancients, you could've added, "...such as they are," and I wouldn't have blinked!
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
  5. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    Great in-depth look at Renard "le felon de Bouvines" -- but the type was introduced by Louis VII in the 1140s, in preparation for the Second Crusade rather than Philippe Augustus. What Philippe did was to try a standardization of the coinages used in northern France, not just the royal types but the coinages of his allies, vassals and trade partners. Since the type was "revived" around 1191 at Paris, Arras and Montreuil-sur-Mer, the other parisii likely followed soon after and were in use at least during the reign of Philippe (1223), but very likely as late as the 1240s as it's obvious from hoard finds, at least from tresor de Gisors. What is interesting is that it seems that although the royal parisis was struck on multiple occasions after 1191, the feudal coinage was rather small scale -- which is shown in the heavy wear that these feudal coins were subjected to, while the royal coins in comparison are frequently found in better condition and with far less wear.

    This is what intense wear looks like from tresor de Gisors -- coins minted in the 1190s but stuck in circulation until at least 1244:

    Guillaume Talvas, Count of Ponthieu (1191-1221)


    Robert II de Dreux, Count of Dreux (1184-1218)

  6. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Enrich the soldiers...ignore all others

    Great article and a cool coin. I hope it gets featured!
    jamesicus and +VGO.DVCKS like this.
  7. Only a Poor Old Man

    Only a Poor Old Man Well-Known Member

    @+VGO.DVCKS in some cases people post upgrades and you can barely tell the difference, but yours is an undeniable upgrade and a great improvement. Fabulous coin, but the write-up is even more impressive!

    I was already tempted to explore European medieval coinage, and this article made the impulse stronger...
    jamesicus and +VGO.DVCKS like this.

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @seth77, So Busted! The fact that Louis VII issued deniers parisis completely slipped my mind, even though I found one of his first issue at one point. ...But the royal examples I've seen run to being the worse for wear, too.
    ...One thing I've wondered about is whether the relatively high levels of circulation may have owed in part to the relative scarcity of other issues of this, more mainstream French module in the region. To the immediate north and east, petit deniers /mailles, or coins of comparable module, tended to predominate.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
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  9. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    From my observations, the royal parisis of Philippe Augustus is likely to be found both more readily available and in better overall condition, especially regarding wear, than any of the contemporary parisii of the neighboring barons, from St. Quentin to Abbeville, Boulogne or Dreux. Maybe the parisii of St. Omer and Peronne are more difficult.

    I'm not sure you care for the 14th century but here is an interesting parisis puzzle: Duplessy 221, 273 or an unrecorded Philippe V?

  10. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Hmmm. I've been collecting this stuff actively for about fifteen years, corresponding with numerous French dealers in the process (and the Gisors Hoard definitely came up --think I have one), and my distinct impression is that parisii across the board seem to have done a lot worse than the easiest point of comparison, deniers tournois. Maybe there's a nuanced difference in our standards.
    ...Now then. You're right, I don't hang out much in the 14th century --gets too depressing! (Cf. Barbara Tuchman --distinctive, but hardly unique, for responsible popular history.) But I'm game for this.
    From here, it's looking more like Duplessy 273. As you know, in this general period, there can be enough stylistic variations within a given issue to elicit a measure of caution, regarding which are of significance to the reign and chronology. But the width of the cross, and the more 'Lombardic' letter forms --conspicuously the "C" in "FRA / NCO-- there are more points of similarity with 273 than with 221. And the chronological interval between the two options is wide enough to have potential significance, where such points (to borrow from paleo-bibliography) are concerned. --Right, 221 refers (from Philippe IV) to issues of Philippe III, noting the attribution, all the back to Ciani (1926), all the way back to Philippe II. Aggregately emphasizing the 13th-century vibe of the style.
    ...So, yeah, I'm with Philippe VI, from 1329, as in Duplessy 273.
    Regarding the possibility of an "unrecorded Philippe V," was that, by any remote chance, a typo (You Will Not Lose Points!!!) for Philippe VI? Because, while, in 273, Duplessy lists several mintmarks in the primary legends of both sides, his plate has none of them on the reverse. Along similar lines, the annulet in the obverse legend of your example could be an unpublished variant of Philippe VI.
    ...Coming from a place that's not only more 12th-13th century than 14th, but more feudal than Capetian, I wouldn't sweat that. (...Is this variant also missing in Poey d'Avant?) Variants on that scale are more the rule than the exception. Apart from (selectively accessible) journal articles, published references on French coins of this period still has some catching up, in comparison to contemporaneous English hammered. ...On a mundane, anecdotal level, people who collect this stuff just kind of have to take that onboard.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
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  11. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    The parisii definitely lost ground to the tournois and this is obvious starting with the reign of Louis IX, but my comparison was between the parisii of Philippe Augustus from as early as 1191 and their feudal counterparts minted by the countess of Vermandois, Renard, Talvas in Ponthieu or Robert II at Dreux. Comparing the feudal parisii to the royal parisii, you obviously have more of the royal kind than the feudal kind and the royal kind is usually (with the exception of Saint Omer and Peronne) better preserved. My point is that this discrepancy happened because the royal mints (some of them) had a some sort of regular output after 1191 while the baronial mints probably minted less, or even only once(?). So the parisii are scarcer than the tournois generally but some parisii are more common than other parisii.

    As for the question I posted, Philippe V was not a typo. During his reign there are no small coinages according to Duplessy, so no parisii and no tournois. 5+ years without recorded deniers of either type. Perhaps some of the variations that fit neither with Philippe IV nor Philippe VI could/should be at least considered for this period. There is also an ° under the X in REX and a weight of 1.21g, between the poids theorique of 221 (1.17g) and 273 (1.27g). Stylistically there is no doubt that we deal with a 14th century issue, that would have been obvious even without other considerations.

    And while we're at it, who is this Louis with clear (early) 14th century characteristics?

    LVDO[VI]CVS τ REX; FRA / NCO en boustrophedon
  12. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    ...Well, no, I have several of the seigneurial /comital kind. I'm limited by the number of examples for which there are .pgs.
    Um, this (the collecting) goes back a ways.
    ...From here, looks like X.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
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  13. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    It was more of a generic "you" -- you as in the market for collectors and the material available in public collections. I'm also inclining towards Louis X, by the ordnance of May 6 1315 and to be truthful for the Philippe piece I'm considering the possibility of Philippe V on account of the similarities with the piece by Louis X and the shape of the lettering -- especially the triangular R and to a lesser extent the S and Vs.
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  14. TheRed

    TheRed Supporter! Supporter

    What a great coin @+VGO.DVCKS from a very 'colorful' character. I was only aware of Renaud from the Battle of Bouvines and his association with the Angevin cause, and didn't know much about him. Thanks for the very informative post. I think if the battle as the last gasp of the Angevin Empire, though maybe that is Taillebourg. Regardless, it's one of the key events in the first 100 Years War between the Capetians and the Plantagenets. Congrats on the great coin.
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  15. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Many thanks, @TheRed. It's also fun to watch the alliances between the different factions who were in the habit of staging baronial revolts, sometimes over several generations. Along with the obvious importance of the Angevins in the process.
    Your raising of the issue of the last gasp of the Angevin Empire lit up some synapses --thanks for that, too! There are real affinities with when the baronial revolts became a lost cause (some of this stuff was happening simultaneously). But your point about Taillebourg (for those just tuning in, in 1241) made me think about the dangers of hindsight in both cases. It's easy to think of the Taillebourg campaign (when Henry III made a last attempt to reconquer some what King John had lost --in collusion with Lusignans and other French barons) was doomed from the start. But it took a major mobilization of Capetian forces, and some pretty good generalship, to stop that.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2021
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