Tuesday, 2022.01.25
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Numismatic Puzzle: Charlemagne

Under Charlemagne, the Frankish Empire reached its greatest expansion around 800 and experienced the so-called Carolingian Renaissance. Charlemagne also reformed the monetary system – today you can try your hand at a denarius featuring the ruler’s monogram.

Numismatic Puzzle: Anastasius and Clovis

In the 5th century, new rulers established themselves in the Western Roman Empire – and they often had little experience in coinage. This gold coin imitates a solidus of the Eastern Roman Emperor Anastasius, but it was minted in Gaul under the Merovingian King Clovis I.

Numismatic Puzzle: Knife Money

Commodity money including various tools had a long tradition in China. Knife money circulated for centuries, especially in northern China. This specimen from the Qi Kingdom dates to the 4th century BC.

Numismatic Puzzle: Darius

Today you will see the Persian King Darius the Great (ca. 522-486 B.C.) in a half-kneeling stance as brave archer on one of his gold coins. For a long time, these darics, which were named after him, were a popular means of payment throughout the Mediterranean world.

Numismatic Puzzle: Spade Coin

No, today’s issue does not feature gardening tools, but a numismatic object lesser known in Europe. Spade coins were a type of money in ancient China. This coin is from the 3rd century BC and you can probably tell straight away how it got its name.

Numismatic Puzzle: Julia Domna

Without Julia Domna, Septimius Severus would not have been able to found a dynasty. His wife did not only bore him two sons. She also made her mark in politics. Aristocratic ladies were especially inspired by her hairstyle. Our aureus shows how complicated it was.

Numismatic Puzzle: Victory Over the Gallic Forces!

Caesar’s great success was his victory over Gaul. This was also celebrated by a silver denarius of 48 BC by one of his followers. A Gallic warrior is shown as prisoner with a rope around his neck. But see, I mean: solve the puzzle for yourself!

Numismatic Puzzle: Racing Didrachm

This time you will have a go at a Roman didrachm from about 220 BC. You will assemble a racing quadriga. The depiction is the reason why these coins are called quadrigati. Do you recognize who is driving the carriage?

Numismatic Puzzle: Poseidonia

Today, we have a coin featuring a Greek god, who was believed to protect the cities of Southern Italy from earthquakes. It was a useful thing to have him on your side: after all, he caused the earthquakes himself. To see what he used to do this, take a look at the coin.

Numismatic Puzzle: Sybarite Bull

Incuse coinage was characteristic for the Greek colonies in southern Italy. Thus, the depiction on the obverse of coins of the city of Sybaris was always elevated, while the reverse featured the negative, deepened motif. The image is bursting with power: a mighty bull!
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