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Coin, silver

(1,137 words)

Author(s): Fried, Torsten
1. To the mid-16th centurySince antiquity silver was the best known and most popular metal used for coins, since it was more plentiful than gold, making it possible to represent small values [2. 27–29, 77–104]. In the monetary reform of Charlemagne at the close of the 8th century, the bright precious metal was declared the basic material for coinage. Tied into the libra- solidus- denarius system (pound-shilling-pence system), the silver denarius (later denier) was the only minted value; it long sufficed to meet the needs of trade and the economy in Europe.The year 1172 saw the…
Date: 2019-10-14


(3,283 words)

Author(s): Häberlein, Mark | Bartels, Christoph | Fried, Torsten
1. Introduction The resurgence of the European population after the plague epidemics of the 14th and 15th centuries, which also brought about a revival of long-distance trade (see Trade, long-distance), led to rising demand for copper, the softness, durability, and malleability of which made it suitable for many different applications (see below, 3.). European expansionism overseas made copper and brass goods important commodities in the Portuguese Africa and Asia trades from the 16th century (World economy) [3. 335, 337, 347 f.]. The development of new refining metho…
Date: 2019-10-14

Medal, medallion

(2,211 words)

Author(s): Fried, Torsten
1. Concept and originsThe medal or medallation (German Medaille; French  médaille; from Middle Latin  medallia, “small coin”) is a special form of relief sculpture, generally round and double-sided and usually referring to specific persons or events. Despite their resemblance to coins, medals are not used as a medium of exchange in the strict sense.The first examples of early modern medals date from the 1380s and 1390s and come from northern Italy (Padua, Venice) and France (Duc de Berry). Although the new medium drew inspiration from ancien…
Date: 2019-10-14

Symbolic money

(753 words)

Author(s): Fried, Torsten
Commodity money (formerly known also as “primitive money”) comprises a wide range of symbolic objects that are used in place of all other goods in the course of exchange processes [1. 276]. Their general currency enables these objects to function as mediums of exchange and measures of value. Although in terms of the materiality of money, commodity money stood at the beginning of the medieval and early modern …
Date: 2022-08-17


(4,085 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Konrad | Fried, Torsten
1. ConceptThe coin (from Latin  cuneus via OF  coing, “wedge,” i.e. the wedge-shaped die used to stamp metal) was long synonymous with money in the early modern period (Money economy), although even in the Middle Ages there were some forms of cashless transaction (Payment transactions), such as bill of exchange, giro transactions, and securities like bonds of debt (obligations). The first forms of paper money came into use from the second half of the 17th century, first in Sweden after 1661. Until long…
Date: 2019-10-14