Last Coin

Anglo-Saxon England

Dynasty: Primary Sceattas "Inscribed Runic"
Ruler: Moneyer 'EPA'
Reigned: 710 - 720
Denomination: AR Sceat
Moneyer: East Anglia?
Obverse: Radiate bust left; retrograde Runic "EPA" before
Reverse: Beaded 'standard' with "TOT II" legend; tufa above, cross below, pseudo-legend around
Reference: Abramson 11.20; Metcalf 391-3; North 157; SCBC 813
Weight: 1.2 gms
Diameter: 12.3 mm
Comment: As indicated below, this, and many early English and Continental coins, imitate Roman types, some 400 years after their prototypes were minted.


Although the earliest silver pennies are usually treated as a separate series from the gold tremisses, it is evident that they developed out of debased "shillings", although they were soon designated pence and accorded distinctive designs. It is now generally accepted that all the names inscribed in runes on these coins are those of moneyers, although it is possible that much of the English coinage struck before 750 is not necessarily regal.

These early pence of small module on thick flans have been called "Sceattas" for many years to distinguish them from the thinner and wider coins introduced in the last quarter of the eighth century. This designation is based on a misinterpretation of an Anglo-Saxon word for weight and it was suggested some years ago that they should be called denarii, but this has not been adopted by most influential students of the period. They form a fascinating series that provides considerable variation of styles of early art. This is due to the fact that they are not peculiarly English in origin as Frisia and England freely imitated each other and in some cases it is difficult to ascertain the country of origin. Thus the designs show the influence of Saxon, Merovingian, Frisian, Byzantine and even Roman art. The vast 'Standard' series takes its inspiration from the latter, being derived from the Constantinian small bronze having a vexillum and two captives as reverse type.
From North, 'English Hammered Coinage'

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