Author Topic: Dortmund: The Reinold-Rudolf Denar  (Read 92 times)

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Offline chrisild

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Dortmund: The Reinold-Rudolf Denar
« on: December 02, 2020, 04:31:45 PM »
The city of Dortmund (NW, DE) just presented its monument/find of the month December – a pfennig/denarius coin from the 13th century. What makes the piece special is that Dortmund pfennigs from those years are rarely found in Dortmund.

This coin was discovered a couple of weeks ago by an archeology volunteer, basically one of those licensed "treasure hunters" who search the ground with metal detectors. The inscription cannot be read in its entirety any more, because the coin is somewhat worn, but on one side (left in the attached image) it says RVDOLFVS REX, and TREMONIA CIVI[...] on the other side. Yes, some guessing and analogies involved ...

Dortmund was a free city, i.e. was not part of any kingdom, duchy etc. but had the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire as its supreme ruler. At that time, the emperor was Rudolf who you see on the left. The man on the other side (on the right in that image) is Saint Reinold, the patron of Dortmund (also see here).

The first records of Dortmund go back to the 9th century; the city was mentioned as "Throtmanni" then. Tremonia was the Latin(ized) name of the place. Dortmund had a mint roughly from 1000 to 1800. The Dortmund Denar was quite popular in the area, also beyond the city limits. Its value or power of purchase back then is hard to determine; roughly two loaves of bread or two and half pounds of beef, based on a document from 1256.

As for this Reinoldus, well, he was a fine example of why wage dumping is not a good idea. ;) Legend has it he was a monk at the monastery of St. Pantaleon in Cologne. He also worked at the construction site of the city's cathedral (which later was replaced by the current Cologne cathedral), carrying stones and such. However, he wanted less money than the other workers ... who ultimately killed him with a hammer. A variation of that legend says he was some kind of construction supervisor and did not pay them "enough" – in any case, the result (hammer) was the same.

Later his body was placed in a coffin, and that coffin on a cart which miraculously started moving, and went on and on, until it stopped in Dortmund. At that place the Dortmunders then built a church (St. Reinold's) ... and interestingly, when the archbishop of Cologne and some other rulers attacked Dortmund in the late 14th century, people saw Reinold stand on the city walls, catching cannon balls and firing them back at the enemy. :)

Christian
« Last Edit: December 02, 2020, 07:56:17 PM by chrisild »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Dortmund: The Reinold-Rudolf Denar
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2020, 07:19:56 PM »
We can narrow the date range to 1273 - 1291, when Rudolf reigned. He never became emperor, but he did achieve being the first of the house of Habsburg to rule a vast area, centred on what is now Germany.

Since the city says the coins are not rare, I presume the legend is known from other coins of this type. However, the type doesn't figure in Dannenberg. I know triangular heads only from Ireland and SF flicks.

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

Offline chrisild

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Re: Dortmund: The Reinold-Rudolf Denar
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2020, 08:48:25 PM »
This page, from a Saints on Coins gallery, shows a similar coin. Found it when looking for more information about Reinold ... whose "vita" seems to be entirely based on legends. :)

Christian