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Money and Power in Anglo-Saxon England
The Southern English Kingdoms, 757–865

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Part of Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series

  • Date Published: January 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107669697

$ 35.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This groundbreaking study of coinage in early medieval England is the first to take account of the very significant additions to the corpus of southern English coins discovered in recent years and to situate this evidence within the wider historical context of Anglo-Saxon England and its continental neighbours. Its nine chapters integrate historical and numismatic research to explore who made early medieval coinage, who used it and why. The currency emerges as a significant resource accessible across society and, through analysis of its production, circulation and use, the author shows that control over coinage could be a major asset. This control was guided as much by ideology as by economics and embraced several levels of power, from kings down to individual craftsmen. Thematic in approach, this innovative book offers an engaging, wide-ranging account of Anglo-Saxon coinage as a unique and revealing gauge for the interaction of society, economy and government.

    • Integrates historical and numismatic research, introducing historians to the potential of numismatic methodology, and vice versa
    • Draws extensively on sources and historiography from England's continental neighbours, directly comparing England with the rest of early medieval Europe
    • Contributes to important debate on the nature of the early medieval economy, discussing economic and political spheres side by side and offering a nuanced view of power in relation to economic resources
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    • Winner of the 2013 International Society of Anglo-Saxonists First Book Prize

    Reviews & endorsements

    "This is a well-crafted, rigorously researched book, supported by an extensive bibliography. Naismith uses all of the evidence available to explore the relationship of money and power in the Southern Kingdom in the century between the reign of Offa and the arrival of the Viking Great Army." -Tony Abramson, The Journal of British Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107669697
    • length: 370 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • contains: 147 b/w illus. 2 maps 10 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Money in its political context
    3. Looking at coinage: iconography and inscriptions
    4. Authority and minting I: the King
    5. Authority and minting II: mints, die-cutters and moneyers
    6. Value judgements: weight and fineness
    7. Production of coinage
    8. The circulation of coinage
    9. The nature of coin-use in the early Middle Ages
    10. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Rory Naismith, University of Cambridge
    Rory Naismith is a Junior Research Fellow at Clare College, Cambridge, working in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge and the Department of Coins and Medals at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.


    • Winner of the 2013 International Society of Anglo-Saxonists First Book Prize

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