Featured Very early Norman immobilization, Bayeux, 10th c.

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by +VGO.DVCKS, Sep 8, 2020.


    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    (I posted stuff about this already in one of LordMorcovan's justly celebrated giveaway threads, but now I can't even find it.)
    Not That long ago, I saw a, shall we say, underattributed denier on French ebay. Nabbed it.
    Denier of Bayeux, anon. c. (?) mid-late 10th c.; immobilized from later (...and very common) 'GDR' issues of Charles II, le Chauve /the Bald. The pics, from the original listing, start with the reverse; I'm running with it.
    Rev. +IAIOCASH CITAS. ([Blundered Medieval Latin for 'Bayeux'] civitas.)
    Obv. 'KAROLVS' monogram;
    (From 10 o'clock: ) +CPATIA D-I REX. [Blundered version of 'GRATIA D-I REX'; Gratia Dei Rex.]
    I'm not as good at this as other people, but this might be a die match of Dumas, Le Tresor de Fecamp, no. 6047 (pp. 104-5 and pl. VI). See also Moesgaard's article, "A Survey of Coin Production and Currency in Normandy, 864-945," in Graham-Campbell et al., eds., Silver Economy in the Viking Age (2007), 99-121, esp. pp. 104-5 and Fig. 6.3.) It's very light, and viscerally crappier silver than you'd expect from an official Carolingian issue.

    After that, I 'had' to find an example of the Carolingian prototype. That took some old-fashioned good luck.
    Denier of Charles II /the Bald (grandson of Charlemagne) as king of (West/) Francia; post-Edict of Pitres / 'GDR' issue, c. 864-875. COINS, FRANCIA, FRANCE, CAROLINGIAN, CHARLES LE CHAUVE, BAYEUX, DENIER, REV..jpg COINS, FRANCIA, FRANCE, CAROLINGIAN, CHARLES LE CHAUVE, BAYEUX, DENIER, OBV. .jpg
    Rev. Cross; +HBAIOCAS CIVITAS. (Right, especially for place names, the Medieval Latin orthography can be a hoot. Sit back, and enjoy the ride....)
    Obv. 'KAROLVS' monogram. [From 9 o'clock:] +GRATIA.D-I.REX.
    Back ...yeah, kind of inexorably... to the Norman immobilization, available evidence seems to suggest that it's no later than the reign (sorry, comital, not ducal) of Richard I (942-996), but with origins predating the issues of Rouen in his own name. (...And later; after all --drum-roll, please-- it's an immobilization.) Dunbabin, France in the Making: 843-1180 (1985, with one second edition; Find it!!) makes a prescient numismatic reference to this, with resonant historical context (pp. 80-1). Among other academic historians, Bates notes Bayeux as the second and much less active of the first two Norman mints. (Normandy Before 1066, pp. 128-9.)
    It's fun to see how this anticipates the first, no less ad hoc minting efforts of the Normans in Apulia and Calabria, a century and change later.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
    seth77, Peter T Davis, Dave M and 9 others like this.
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