Author Topic: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made  (Read 12941 times)

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Offline Churchy

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2014, 04:24:06 PM »
Didn't have the benefit of looking at the backside before. That makes it post 974.

Peter

What is your argument for 'post 974'?

Oldenburg makes sense in connection with Harald Gormsen and his family.

'SCON' is not Scandia but Skåne, which was called Scon, Scone and Sconen in those times.

And 'JVMN' = JUMN = Jumne (not Jomsborg). In real life maybe the same, but not in writing.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2014, 04:47:46 PM »
Harald and Otto I were rivals and arch-enemies. Otto I dominated the papacy. It would have been highly politically incorrect for a HRI religious institution to make overtures to Harald during his life. In 974, Harald suffered a bad defeat at the Dannevirk and had to recognise German overlordship (again). In 973, Otto I died. Those two event changed the political situation.

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

Offline Churchy

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2014, 05:38:15 PM »
Sorry, but I don't see, what you do.
Harald was baptized in 963. His father-in-law secured in 967 sovereignty over the tribe 'Wagrierne' in the east. The year after was the Bishopric Oldenburg founded. Harald participated in 973 in the Diet (parliament) of Quedlinburg under Otto the Great as one who paid tribute.
Harald was a Christian from 963, so I cant see, what you mean, unless you want to connect the 'coin' to Otto.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2014, 06:31:43 PM »
I don't think it is a coin either. Harald had to acknowledge Otto I more than once, beginning in 960, when he was allied with (non-christian) slavs against Otto. His baptism, and that of his son Svein is contested. He lost out again in 974.

His participation in Quedlinburg is interesting. There is a connection between the monastery there and the drive to christianise the Slavs that runs via Eadgyth of England and Adelaide of Italy. The question arises where Oldenburg stood on the slavs. Being far to the North, they may have been somewhat less sympathetic to the Saxon influences in the South of the empire, more inclined towards Harald's side of things.

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

Offline Churchy

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2014, 08:05:21 PM »
It might not be of great influence, but when you write: "His baptism, and that of his son Svein is contested", I don't know what you mean, when it relates to Harald. I am not guessing, but writing on basis of the latest results from Danish research.

Anyway, we have to hope for a more precise dating of the subject, if it is or becomes possible. Several commentators have the opinion, that since they never saw something like it, it must be a fake. These people are either very young or ignorant, because when you have followed the development of historiography and archeology for many years, you know, that you should never say never.

Enjoy your evening.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2014, 10:36:50 PM »
As you may know, the problem with early medieval history is monks. They made hand-written copies all the time, but embellished and bent texts towards a view favourable to the church, making gross translation errors if the text was in another language. Now, if you can't trust contemporary witnesses and you should never trust non-contemporary early medieval texts, there isn't much you can prove. You can only deal in likelihoods.

Texts on conversions are especially untrustworthy, as the church had a direct interest in them. AFAIK, there are two texts that speak about the conversion and they don't agree, while there is no evidence of a change of religion on the coins. Consider the parallel with emperor Constantine and the In Hoc Signo Vinces myth. There is no evidence of a conversion in contemporary texts and monuments and nothing on the coins. All we know is that, in contrast with his predecessors, Constantine was tolerant towards religions and was just as interested in christianity as in other religions. Everything else is likely to have been made up or embellished by early medieval monks copying Roman manuscripts, who had a vested interest in the Romans to be christians as quickly as possible.

Is it likely that there was a baptism in 960? There is evidence that Otto I's aim was to introduce christianity among the Danes. It would be good propaganda to force a defeated leader to baptise (but the dogma that the king determined the religion of their people hadn't been invented yet.) It was a standard trick of Charlemagne. That's all we have. All the other evidence dates from later centuries.

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

Offline Churchy

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2014, 01:13:23 PM »
"Is it likely that there was a baptism in 960?" Yes, but in 963.

Offline metalsincoin

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2014, 03:05:59 PM »
One interpretation of the text on the front is as mentioned earlier:

HARALD GORMSEN, KING OF DANES+SCANIA+JOMSBORG+CITIZENS OF OLDENBURG

HARALD GORMSEN (HARALD CVRMSVN+)

HARALD CVRMSVN is most likely Harald Gormsen. Harald Bluetooth Gormsen was son of Gorm the Old. The surname Bluetooth is first seen in……. Also, Bluetooth would be in the wrong place: his Danish name would be the equivalent of Harald Bluetooth Gormson. A more likely scenario is that Christians may have found the Bluetooth part a bit too uncivilized and left it out.

KING OF DANES (REX AD TAN ER)

REX AD TAN ER would most likely refer to REX AD DANER. The minor misspelling would probably had no importance during medieval. REX AD DANER is Latin and means king of Danes. Harald Bluetooth was king of the Danes. Danes (Danish: danskere) are the citizens of Denmark, most of whom speak Danish and consider themselves to be of Danish ethnicity 

SCANIA (SCON)

SCON would most likely refer to Scania (Swedish: Skåne) which was called Scon, Scone and Sconen in those times. Scania came under Danish king Harald Bluetooth in the middle of the 10th century. Scania is the southernmost province (landskap) of Sweden, constituting a peninsula on the southern tip of the Scandinavian peninsula, and some adjacent islands.

JOMSBORG (J VMN)

J VMN would most likely refer to Jumne (Jomsborg). The Nordic sagas use "Jómsborg" exclusively, while medieval German histories use "Jumne" or "Julin", with the alternate names, some of which may be spelling variants, "vimne", "uimne", "Jumneta", "Juminem", "Julinum", "uineta", "Vineta" and "Vinneta". There are different accounts for the origins of the order. Gesta Danorum tells that a settlement named Julinum was conquered by the King of Denmark, Harald Bluetooth, who gave it to the Swedish prince Styrbjörn the Strong. Harald then provided Styrbjörn with a strong force with which Styrbjörn terrorized the seas. Jomsborg is often thought to be identical with the present-day town of Wolin (also Wollin) on the southeastern tip of the isle of Wolin, probably located at Silberberg hill north of the town. In the Early Middle Ages, modern Wolin was the site of a multi-ethnic emporium (then known as Jumne or Julin).

CITIZENS OF OLDENBURG (CIV ALDIN)

CIV(itas) might be derived from the Latin "ciuium" for citizens. 

ALDIN would most likely refer to Aldinburg (=Oldenburg) and is a potential city for manufacturing the object.

Theory of the occassion

A wedding gift to Harald Bluetooth from his father-in-law Mistivoj


As the reverse on the back is based on a typical Germane-Frankish short cross coin the object should have been manufactured during or after Harald Bluetooth´ baptism.  During the 960s, there was a significantly active process of Christian the area of the Slavs. Harald's father-in-law Mistivoj had in 967 secured the obodritiska sovereignty over the trunk Wagierna in the east. The following year the bishopric of Oldenburg was founded. Mistivoj became a Christian which he seems to have held on to for the rest of his life. He ended his days in the monastery Bardowiek and he had close contacts with the bishops of Oldenburg, of which the first was Egward. Sven Estridsson told Adam that during this time there was continual peace between obodriterna and Otto I, and that the Slavs were tributary to the German Emperor.

Scania and Jomsborg should have been part of the Danish kingdom during the production process as it is mentioned on the object. It is therefore very strange that Norway is not mentioned on the object. If the object would have been manufactured after the period 970-974 (when Harald became king of Norway) it should have been mentioned on the object. As Harald Bluetooth´ and Tove´s son Sven Tveskägg was mentioned as a little child in 974 the marriage should have taken place in the late 960s.

Important dates:

968 – The bishopric of Oldenburg was founded
970 – 974 Norway is conquered by Harald Bluetooth

There is a possibility that the marriage took place between 968-970 and a theory is that Mistivoj asked the bishops in Oldenburg to manufacture the object during this period and gave it as a wedding gift to Harald. When Harald Bluetooth is taken to Roskilde after his death 986 the object is left behind in Jomsburg and perhaps forgotten until it was found in Wollin (=Jomsborg) 1841.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2014, 05:25:34 PM »
I have little against any of the above. Minor point: on coins, CIV is always civitas (city). This is not insignificant. In Roman law, a city had many more rights than a town (villa) and German law was based on Roman law. Significantly, a city had the right to construct a cathedral and a city wall. Wolin was a town.

The weak point is why would Harald leave such a valuable object behind, especially if it came from his father in law? Thinking about that, it hit me that there is an old custom for the groom to hand a purse to the priest who officiates his wedding. This custom existed in France until the French revolution and I have read somewhere of a late French king (Louis XV?), who had the purse filled with gold coins, because that was customary. What if this had been a wedding gift all right, but for the priest? It would explain much better why it wasn't taken along or melted. I am now wondering about the archeological environment in which the coin was found. A buried cash reserve, I suppose, but was the owner a religious official or not?

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

Offline metalsincoin

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2014, 10:56:23 AM »
That is a very interesting theory as the object was found 1841 along with Arabic and German coins when a church was built in the same place where there were ruins of an old chapel in Groß Weckow (Wiejkowo in Polish), Wollin. The following link in Polish is about the church:

http://szczecin.kuria.pl/wspolnoty/koscioly/Wiejkowo-Kosciol-filialny-pw-Niepokalanego-Poczecia-NMP_845)

The landowner, the family von Ploetz (see http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ploetz_(Pommern)), gave probably the object to the vicar in Groß Weckow or Kunow.
All that was found in 1841 were stored most likely until 1945 in one of the churches. Then everything was bought by NN (1946-47) who sold most things (like silver or gold scrap). Only a few things were left behind, such as the object and an Otto coin, see enclosed. Our object does not look at all like it is made of gold and it probably therefore it has survived to these days.

Offline metalsincoin

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2014, 11:01:42 AM »
Still there is a possibility that it was a gift to Harald when we consider the following.

Enclosed is a map of the area where the object was found. The distance is about 3 km from the finding place in Groß Weckow (Wiejkowo in Polish) and Wollin. Harald Bluetooth was transported to Wollin when he was wounded after the lost battle against his own son Sven Tveskägg. Eventually Harald died in the Wollin. One theory is that his corpse was transported back to Roskilde but research shows that left-overs from the corpse are found in the Wollin area and some historians highly doubt that his corpse was brought back to Denmark. It is not impossible that Harald was buried near Wollin and that the left-overs never were transported to Denmark. In such case, the object could have followed Harald into his grave as personal possessions always should be taken along to the underworld. During the construction of the new church the object was discovered. Medieval churches were often built in old cemeteries according to a historian. Therefore it is plausible that the dead from Wollin were buried on the other side of the river right under the chapel (before the chapel was built).


Offline Churchy

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2014, 09:28:46 AM »
HARALD CVRMSVN is most likely Harald Gormsen. Harald Bluetooth Gormsen was son of Gorm the Old. The surname Bluetooth is first seen in……. Also, Bluetooth would be in the wrong place: his Danish name would be the equivalent of Harald Bluetooth Gormson. A more likely scenario is that Christians may have found the Bluetooth part a bit too uncivilized and left it out.

1. Civitas is latin for city.
2. The epithet Bluetooth (Blåtand) is not a source until 'Roskildekrøniken' from around 1140.

There is a possibility that the marriage took place between 968-970 and a theory is that Mistivoj asked the bishops in Oldenburg to manufacture the object during this period and gave it as a wedding gift to Harald. When Harald Bluetooth is taken to Roskilde after his death 986 the object is left behind in Jomsburg and perhaps forgotten until it was found in Wollin (=Jomsborg) 1841.

3. As far as I know, Harald has never been found in Roskilde.
4. Nowadays historians doubt, that he died in Jomsborg, since he would rather seek protection from his father-in-law than go to people that had been hostile to him. The only source to Jomsborg in this case is Adam of Bremen's story of Hamburg's church, which is not credible, because he adapted his story to the church's praise.

The claims that Harald went to Jomsborg, and that he died there, are therefore debatable.

According to a relatively new (few years old) analysis of a senior researcher at the Danish National Archives, Harald was baptized by Folkmar from Cologne in 963. I have the source in my files, if it is interesting. But I am not well today, and will maybe not find it today.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2014, 10:03:58 AM by Figleaf »

Offline Churchy

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2014, 01:49:03 PM »
According to a relatively new (few years old) analysis of a senior researcher at the Danish National Archives, Harald was baptized by Folkmar from Cologne in 963. I have the source in my files, if it is interesting. But I am not well today, and will maybe not find it today.

The source is this – Michael Gelting: Poppo's Ordeal: Courtier Bishops and the Success of Christianization at the Turn of the First Millennium. Viking and Medieval Scandinavia no 6/2010.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2014, 04:59:32 PM »
Thank you. The text says that Gelting considers that the conversion took place c.963 and in any case before 965. Anyway, I prefer to see the medal linked to a marriage, as it contains nothing that connects it to religion. The texts are 100% political. Rather like a marriage.

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

Offline metalsincoin

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Re: Age of golden coin? Two metal tests have been made
« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2014, 09:20:03 PM »
Regarding the marriage token gift theory there is a third option and that is that it was a token gift in gold from Harald to Tove.   

In the tenth century the following ritual became common in Western Europe during a wedding: If a transfer of land was to be made, the woman knelt before the man and acknowledged that he would be her protector and that of her possessions, a role formerly played by her father or brothers. A ring, blessed by the priest in the name of the Trinity, was placed upon the bride´s finger. She might also receive token gifts of gold and silver while the groom recited, “With this ring I wed you, with this gold and silver I honor you. (World History: Ancient and medieval times to A.D. 1500 (page 368), by Charles A. Frazee)

As Wolin lay in Wendland (Historical Dictionary of the Vikings page 289, by Katherine Holman) it is possible that the wendish princess was buried in Wiejkowo (Wendland) with her golden token from Harald.