Kings of Mercia Cynethryth, wife of Offa 757-796AD Silver Penny


Code: KS674

Kings of Mercia Cynethryth, wife of Offa 757-796AD Silver Penny,

Diademed bust right ‘EOBA’ (Moneyers name) before / ‘+CYNETHRYTH REGINA’ around ‘M’ (Mercia).

S909, 16mm, 1.10g. A full coin with reasonable portrait and legends, does not photograph well due to the usual base silver used at this time. Better in hand.

This coin comes with a previous handwritten label (Spink). Found near Cambridge in 1992.

Cynethryth, the wife of King Offa of Mercia, was the first and only Anglo-Saxon queen to have her name and image placed on coins. While it has been suggested that these coins were inspired by the appearance of the empress Irene on Byzantine issues, the profile portrait harks back to coinage of Roman augustae. Many details of Cynethryth’s life, such as the date of her marriage, are unknown. She appears to have been active in political affairs until Offa’s death. After her husband’s passing, she became abbess of the monastery of Cookham, where she remained until her death sometime after 798. Cynethryth appears in the hagiography of St. Aethelbert, where she is portrayed as a jealous villain who incites Offa to kill the saint.

1 in stock

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