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A Pair Of Medieval German Saints

 
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 Posted 02/16/2020  9:18 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
A while ago I began intentionally collecting European coins with images of saints, because it resonated with interests in medieval/Renaissance art, and the history of Christianity in the late middle ages and early modern era.
As background to this post, the first Christian saints (1st to 4th centuries A.D.) were martyrs who died because their belief system was seen to be a political threat to Roman authority. Later, in the middle ages, the threat was expanded to the authority of places that were being "Christianized."
But, by the beginning of Christianity's 2d millenium, most of western and central Europe was nominally Christian, so few new martyrs were being created. But since the cult of saints had become a vital part of both spiritual and economic life, new sources of saints were needed. And so, the church hierarchy began acknowledging as saints especially effective clerics ("confessor saints" who were usually bishops, archbishops), and people from other walks of life (hermits, abbots, and even royals!) who had led exemplary Christian lives.
First up: Bishop Bernward of Hildesheim Germany (960-1022), canonized 1193, shown on this recently acquired Hildesheim sechsling dated 1494 (Roman numerals XCIIII obverse from 9:00 to 12:00). Noted for his architectural, artistic, and civil engineering accomplishments (and perhaps political connections?).



Next, Saint Elizabeth of Thuringia. ELizabeth was raised in a noble family in Hungary, and betrothed to Louis IV, landgrave of Thuringia, who she married at 14. Louis died in southern Italy en route to the 6th crusade in 1227, while ELizabeth, at age 20, was pregnant with their third child. SHortly after the birth, Eizabeth renounced her association with the Thuringian court, and took up residence in Marburg, where she founded and ran a hospital for the poor. She died in Marburg in 1231 at the age of 24, and was canonized just 4 years later.
On this undated einseitiger (one sided) pfennig of Hessen (Wilhelm II, 1485-1509) she is shown holding a model of a church which is unmistakably the St. Elizabeth Church of Marburg Germany in which her remains resided at the time. An interesting twist is that her maternal aunt was Saint Hedwig, the wife of Henry II (the Pious) of Silesia, who appears on coins of the Duchy of Legnica-Brzeg around the same time http://goccf.com/t/362080&SearchTerms=silesia).


Edited by tdziemia
02/16/2020 9:26 pm
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 Posted 02/16/2020  9:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice work on this @tdz. A couple questions--is there a comprehensive list of saints on coins? Also, have you considered a post-a-saint thread here? While I think that you are the only one of CCF with this as a specific area of collecting, several of us here probably have some medieval coins with saints on them too.
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
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"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
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 Posted 02/16/2020  9:57 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great coins and an informative post.
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 Posted 02/16/2020  10:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you!
I did try a thread on this topic some time ago (I can't find it with a quick search). It didn't get much traction, but another CCF member (I think it might have been 1c5d or petrus) gave me this link, which is pretty complete: http://www.coingallery.de/Heilige/index.htm#T

Strangely for a German site, it is missing the Bernward-Hildesheim connection.

Indeed, many CCF members are likely to have a coin with St. Rupert of Salzburg, St. John the Baptist (Tuscany, Malta, Silesia), and ESPECIALLY ST. George!
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 Posted 02/17/2020  1:31 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very nice coins and interesting history.
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 Posted 02/17/2020  5:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@tdz, ok yes I think that your previous thread is here:

http://goccf.com/t/312770

I was thinking that it might be fun to have all the coins with saints posted in a single thread, but there must be more than 100, so we'd need to think a bit about how best to organize it. The coingallery website has them listed alphabetically by saint name and by issuer. or not--I'm not wanting to push you into something that makes you uncomfortable or for which you don't have the time.
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz

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 Posted 02/17/2020  5:39 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'd be glad to start/host a thread (somehow I always find myself with enough time to spend messing around out here), but would appreciate some guidance on where and how... Would it go in the "gallery" area in the Main Forum? Or World Coins? (I think we'll find they straddle the medieval and modern era).

Maybe alphabetically a week or two at a time? (week 1 ABC, week 2 DEF, etc or more spread out if that sounds better). But do you think it would go better according to the saint's name or the place name? I am guessing more collectors will have their coins organized and searchable by place name.
Edited by tdziemia
02/17/2020 5:48 pm
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 Posted 02/17/2020  6:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes I agree that for most of us have our coins organized by issuer rather than by design element (although @pepactonius somehow always seems to be able to find coins with specific design elements easily in his collection). When I've organized this sort of thread before, it was always within the context of a book, so I could devote a section/chapter per week. Without that underlying structure, you would just need to lay it out in the very first post. Three letters of issuers per week should give everyone adequate time to search their collection and the whole thing will take a couple months to complete.

Here are links to two previous ones that I have done:

http://goccf.com/t/269713
http://goccf.com/t/285873

I'm not sure about whether this thread belong here or in the world coin section, but I'm sure that Ron would be willing to offer his direction in that regard. Do you think that most of the coins are going to be from before or after 1600? In a quick survey of about 10 saints, it looks to me like perhaps 75% of the coins are pre-1600. I'm sure you have a better handle on that answer though.

"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz

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 Posted 02/17/2020  9:20 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think the preponderance of saints will be pre-1600 (for all the obscure patrons of defunct city-states), but I think we could get a lot of post-1600 coins due to St. George on British, Canadian and Australian coins, madonnas on Bavaria and Hungary (St. Stephen there, too), saints Peter and Paul on Vatican coins, etc.

So I will start the thread on World Coins (but not till later in the week ... currently staring at piles of homeworks and labs that need grading ).

Thanks for the quick feedback!

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 Posted 02/18/2020  7:39 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
OK, thread has been started here: http://goccf.com/t/367831

... and I am always open to suggestions on improving the title, lead-in, etc.
Edited by tdziemia
02/18/2020 7:40 pm
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