Italy Monetation Part I

By | February 11, 2022

The political splitting of the Italy medieval is directly reflected in the production of money: this being one of the most strongly representative expressions of power, it is not surprising that sovereign entities of all sizes, including small municipalities, have at some time struck their own money. If apparently it may therefore seem difficult to talk about a unitary coinage of the Italy medieval, there are not a few common and connecting elements. The great variety of medieval Italian coins can be broadly divided into two groups; if the Italy of the kingdom of Sicily had from the century. 12 ° a more homogeneous coinage than that of Italy north-central, this can in turn be grouped into larger, regional series, sometimes linked by monetary agreements, such as that of 1254 between the cities of Cremona, Parma, Brescia, Piacenza, Pavia, Tortona and Bergamo, who decided to mint interchangeable coins, and, while maintaining their own citizen types, placed a star as a mark, which was to replace the sign of the O crusade, established in a previous convention (Mazzi, 1882; for other monetary agreements, Salvioli, 1901; Travaini, 1988). Furthermore, despite their differences, medieval Italian coins were linked into account systems on a regional or multiregional scale from time to time; in the sources we can thus find references to ‘d’I.’ coins, such as the Milanese denarii which in 1175 “in totam Ytaliam currebant” (but in reality it was only the northern and central Italy; Travaini, 1989, p. 240), or the gold coins of many mints of the sec. 14th and 15th, equated and defined as “all good Talia florins” in Giovanni da Uzzano’s Practice of Mercatura (1442; Pagnini del Ventura, 1766, p. 152). in the early Middle Ages it knew various monetary forms. The Goths and the Lombards somehow continued the late Roman and Byzantine tradition, with issues in gold, as well as in silver and bronze, the latter abandoned by the Lombards (see Goths; Lombards; Vandals).

According to Globalsciencellc, the Carolingian monetary reforms, starting from 781, with influences also in Rome, led to the abandonment of gold (definitive in the Italy Carolingian after the tremisses of the 773 / 774-781 period: the very rare later Carolingian golden solids come from mints d’Oltralpe) and the introduction of a monometallic system based on silver money. The number of mints was reduced compared to the Lombard period; ticks active in Italy Carolingian were Pavia, Milan, Lucca, Pisa and Treviso, the latter replaced by Venice around 820: in this way the coinage had a unitary character, the money issued in the various mints were similar, with generally epigraphic types, with a temple or a cross, and a frank source from 849 speaks of Italic silver coins (Grierson, 1976, English ed. p. 43; see Carolingia, Arte). While monograms were widespread as monetary types, these are rarer in Italy, with the exception of antiquiores. The denari antiquiores, issued in Rome jointly by the pope and the emperor, sometimes have peculiar characteristics, with the bust of the pope or that of s. Peter who detach themselves from the Carolingian monetary iconography, which very rarely depicts busts or portraits (antiquiores with figurative types are occasionally found N of the Alps, evidently preferred by pilgrims as a reminder of the Roman pilgrimage, Grierson, 1976, ed. engl. p. 60; for portraits, Arslan, 1992, p. 843).The small field of the coins and its circular shape determine a precise limit to the figurative expression, but they are also a challenge for the engravers, who were sometimes able to translate and arrange words and images in a singular way, such as for example. the rebus on the reverse of a denarius of Pope Benedict IV with Ludwig III (901-903), where the letters RO and an open hand indicate the name Romanus, substituting the more common monogram for Rome (Corpus Nummorum Italicorum, 1910-1943, XV , p. 84, no. 7). AS of Rome, Longobard Benevento and Salerno struck coins that on the one hand continued the Byzantine golden tradition, with busts and crosses, on the other they felt the Carolingian influence, emitting silver-like northern-type denarii. Near the end of the century. 9 ° Arab gold coins began to spread in the Tyrrhenian cities of Campania, together with the Byzantine folles of Constantinople, preparing the ground for new local coins that imitated Arab and Byzantine models. Thus, while the coinage of the Italy northern continued until the end of the century. 12 ° to have mostly epigraphic types and monograms, or crosses or stars, with few innovations, such as the door (IANVA) on Genoese money from 1139, imitated in the century. 13 ° on the denari of Parma, in the South developed a completely different, highly figurative coinage. This, partly following a Byzantine trend, it began in Salerno shortly after the middle of the century. 11 °, by the Lombard prince Gisulfo II (1052-1077), who, alongside the gold coins of Arab imitation, which were also produced in Amalfi (see Arabs), had copper fullers issued which first of all exalted the personality of the sovereign, with a truly significant propaganda program, which depicted the prince in imperial dress, now Western now Byzantine, together with the view of the fortifications of Salerno designated in the legend as OPVLENTA.

Italy Monetation 1