By Joël van Dam – Owner, Joëlnumismatics, for MA-Shops.com ……
Coins from the Merovingian Empire are popular around the world. Their gold coins, the tremissises, being the most popular of all. Merovingian coins have a style that reminds people of the early middle ages, and most of the coins are very rare.
So, to add one to your collection must certainly be one of the highlights of your numismatic life.
Kings of the Franks
Until the Merovingian king Theudebert I, Byzantine coins were in use in the Merovingian kingdom. He introduced his own coins at the start of his reign.
The Merovingian dynasty lasted from the fifth century AD until the year 751. They were referred as ‘’Kings of the Franks’’ in early literature from the Roman Army in Gaul. In 509 AD they had united all the Franks and northern Gaulish Romans. With this alliance, they conquered most of Gaul and they defeated the Visigoths in 507 AD and the Burgundians in 534 AD. They also defeated the Alemanni.
The Bavarii and the Saxons acknowledged their empire and lordship. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Merovingian Kingdom was the largest and above all the most powerful kingdom of western Europe. Their empire was located in what is nowadays France, Belgium, and Germany, though this differed over time.
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Early Continental (Merovingian France) 584-750
- Weight: 1.22 g
- Dimensions: 14 mm x 12 mm
- Catalog: Belfort 6226-7
- Type: LOCO SANCTO/DACOALDVS
- Mint: Lieusant
Sceat 695-740 AD Merovingian continental phase
- Catalog: Abramson E105; cf. S.790
- Material: Silver
- Weight: 1.04 g
- Diameter: 10.50 mm
Obv: Degenerate diademed ‘porcupine’ head right, bars and cross facial motif. Rev: Debased altar or standard, saltire and trefoil in opposing corners.
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Sons of Merovech
The word “Merovingian” comes from the Latin word Merovingi which means ‘’sons of Merovech’’. Merovech was possibly a legendary king. Although his actual existence is controversial, he must have been real to a lot of people during the Merovingian period. In contrast to the contemporary Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, the Merovingians never claimed to de descent form any god – something of an exception in their time, generally.
But this does not mean that religion was not important within their empire. Their main religion was Christianity. It was, of course, introduced to them through their contacts with Gallo-Roman culture. Monks played also a large part in spreading Christianity. The rulers of the Merovingian Empire used the newly formed religious structures to their own advantages. Episcopal and cloister’s seats were given to those elites who supported the empire. Land was during this time still one of the most expensive and prestigious possessions. Likewise, large tracts of land were given to monasteries, and these lands were mostly exempt from royal taxation.
Some great coins are on MA-Shops from the Merovingian empire. For example, this tremissis from circa 620-640 AD minted under Theudenus. This coin has an attractive primitive style and weighs only 1.22 grams. On the obverse is a diademed and draped bust to the right. You can read METTIS C?ETATE. On the reverse, you can see a cross with C – ? in the lower angles within a wreath. In the outer circle is the legend + THEVDENVS MOE. This is a rare coin find and an absolute highlight for any collection.
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Tremissis (circa 620-640 AD) Merovingian Dynasty – Theudenus
- Catalog: cf. Belfort 2960 | cf. Prou 932
- Weight 1.22 g
- Diameter: 14 mm
Obv: Diademed and draped bust right, around the legend METTIS C?ETATE (C inverted). Rev: Cross with C – ? in the lower angles within wreath. In outer circle the legend + THEVDENVS mOE (inverted). Attractive primitive style. Very rare.
Triens Bourges BETOREX, FREDVLFVS
- Weight: 1.32 g
- Diameter: 10.50 mm
- Catalog: Belfort:846
FREDVLFVS Moneyer, Bourges, Merovingian, BETOREX, Triens, Bare head left, Latin cross on a globe, Very rare type, well struck and in very good condition, + BETO REX, FREDVLF MONIT?.
Denier 683-723 AD, Merovingian VINIVNO
- Weight 1.10 g
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