Mike Markowitz published a nice Coin Week article on "The Terrible Ninth Century". Here's an excerpt, but read the complete article for much more on the interesting coinage of that
MOST PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT MEDIEVALISTS would be hard pressed to name one thing that happened between the years 800 and 900. For many Europeans during that terrible century, it was the worst of times. Viking raiders
descended from the north, Arab marauders attacked from the south, and kingdoms in between were repeatedly torn by dynastic civil wars. Disruption of trade and shrinkage of the economy made coinage in this chaotic era scarce,
and like most coins of the so-called “Dark Ages” they are not much to look at.
But they have quite a few stories to tell.
On Christmas Day in the year 800 in Rome, Pope Leo III crowned Karl, King of the Franks (742-814), as Emperor of the Romans, a post considered vacant because a woman, Irene, ruled the eastern empire in Constantinople. We
know him better by his French nickname, Charlemagne (“Charles the Great”).
Most coins issued in Karl’s name identify him only as king of the Franks (REX FR). The imperial title (IMP AUG) appears on rare portrait coins, struck either for the coronation in 800 or for the Byzantine recognition of
such in 812.
To read the complete article, see:
CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: The Terrible Ninth Century
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor
at this address: email@example.com
To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 1998 - 2012 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.
NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster