Author Topic: 11th century denarius of the City of Groningen  (Read 178 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Pellinore

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1 137
    • Some numismatic books for sale on our website
11th century denarius of the City of Groningen
« on: December 19, 2018, 01:36:12 AM »
This coin I wanted to have long ago, when I was very young, because it is the first minted in the city where I was born. About nine centuries before me.

The fair town of Groningen was founded on the end of a low ridge in the field, a glacial flute (or series of glacial flutes), the Hondsrug. I used to live on that ridge when I was a child, it was almost imperceptible, but coin collectors develop a feeling for tiny differences. (I'm sure you all can easily feel the difference between a 25 mm coin and one of 28 mm - hard to imagine for ordinary beings).

I was taught 'Groningen' meant green pastures, and certainly, there were many green pastures when I was young, that have grown brown and stony since. This coin clearly shows the mint name and that of the authority, the mighty bishop of Utrecht, Bernold or Bernulph - revered as a saint. It even exemplifies his staff, the symbol of his power: 'baculus' or (bishop's) staff, crosier.

Groningen, bishop Bernulph (1040-1054). AR denarius. Obv. Bishop’s crosier with legend BACVLVS. Around this + BERNVLDVS EPS.  Rev. Cross with four points in the corners. GRONINGA (or something like it). 17 mm, 0.68 gr.

-- Paul

Offline THCoins

  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5 305
Re: 11th century denarius of the City of Groningen
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2018, 11:02:07 AM »
Very nicely preserved coin. I can imagine the extra value because of the shared history. It must be quite thin with this size and low weight. I believe your word that the center text on the left should read Baculus. But the individual letters seemed to have been distributed over the field in an almost random order. Initially when i first looked at it i actually saw a "gelaarsde kat" holding the staff.
While my eyesight gets a bit worse over years my imagination tries to compensate for this i think.

Offline Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28 585
Re: 11th century denarius of the City of Groningen
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2018, 05:14:21 PM »
Weren't they bad spellers and great drawers of "puss-in-boots"? That's also how my brain interpreted the scattered letters, TH :) Don't worry, it'll get worse in time.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.