Coins, Dies, Silver: for a new approach to the making of the feudal period

LE STUDIUM Multidisciplinary Journal, 2018, 2, 25-29

Jens Christian Moesgaard1,2,4, Guillaume Sarah2, Marc Bompaire2,3


1 Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, National Museum. 1220 Copenhagen, Denmark
2 IRAMAT-CEB, UMR 5060, CNRS/Université d’Orléans, 45000 Orléans, France
3 Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, 75014 Paris, France

4 LE STUDIUM Institute for Advanced Studies, 45000 Orléans, France


The transition in the 10th century from the centralised Carolingian state to the decentralised feudal principalities is a subject of debate among historians: was it a violent breakdown or a continuous evolution? The major problem facing historians is the scarcity of written sources. But coins are numerous and constitute a relevant source material. Indeed, Coinage is an official institution, and studying it informs us about the state of society and the organisation of the administration. The study of Norman coinage in the 10th century shows a large and well-managed production and a firm control of the circulation. Exchange fees provided income for the duke. This reflects a well-organised stable administration and an ability of controlling society, far from the chaotic, violent and anarchistic picture of early feudalism that is sometimes purported.


10th century
Managed currency
Metal analyses
Public administration
Public revenues
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LE STUDIUM Multidisciplinary Journal