Anglo Viking Danish East Anglia AD 885-915 Silver Penny St Edmund memorial


Code: CV54

Anglo Viking Danist East Anglia AD 885-915 Silver Penny St Edmund memorial coinage

Small cross/ Alpha

S960, 18mm, 1.18g. good metal and strike, slight wave to flan, some earth deposits still in place.

A metal detector find made near Ipswich, Suffolk in 2008.

Saint Edmund’s pennies

Perhaps the most numerous of the Anglo-Viking issues struck in the Danelaw are the so-called ‘St Edmund Memorial’ pennies, copying issues of Edmund – the King of East Anglia who was martyred in 869. These coins were struck in several phases from c. 895-910 by a dizzying array of moneyers, who demonstrate not only indigenous Anglo-Saxon names but also Scandinavian and even continental ones. These attest to a thriving, internationally-reaching polity that was probably somewhat diverse.

It might seem bizarre to think that the sons and grandsons of those who had originally killed Edmund had now moved to striking coins celebrating him as ‘SC EADMUND’ (Saint Edmund) within their own territory. However, perhaps there is a relevant point here to be made concerning the extent to which Christian beliefs had been adopted and the hold which Edmund’s cult held over the local populace. Perhaps the newly-converted Danes, feeling guilty for their ancestors’ martyrdom of Edmund, were trying to make spiritual amends by venerating him on their coins?

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