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The 'first English king' commemorated Allah ...

Discussion in 'World History' started by Pangur Bán, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. Pangur Bán

    Pangur Bán Deconstructed

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    It's literally true:


    Spoiler :
    This is a coin issued by Offa of Mercia (died 796) after the fashion of an Abbasid dinar.

    That Anglo-Saxon kings could issue Arabic coins is a big lesson on the dynamics of the 8th century world.

    The coin also uses Latin.

    So if England's coinage is a Roman inheritance of later medieval Europe for the most part, it has to also be, in part, an Arabic inheritance. On that logic anyway.

    Of course it reflects the fact that the Arabic political spheres exerted contemporary economic and therefore political influence. There is a tendency to discuss 'dark age' civilization in northern Europe purely in terms of 'survival'/non 'survival' of Roman/Mediterranean institutions, acting like these institutions could never themselves change. The coin should remind us that Mediterranean influence was also contemporary rather than historic in Anglo-Saxon England.

    Bede still used Roman emperors to date affairs, but the Arab coins show that maybe the Roman Empire's contemporary models were beginning to be marginalized in terms of prestige in favour of newer 'barbarian' remakes. Was this in part because of the replacement of the Romans by the Arabs as the dominant political unit of Western Eurasia during the seventh and eighth centuries?
     
  2. Wrymouth3

    Wrymouth3 Emperor

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    Pffft, every esoteric historian knows that Aethelstan was the "first king of the English." Stop with that Offa nonsense, EVERYONE knows who he is now. Dats not cool anymore :crazyeye:
     
  3. cybrxkhan

    cybrxkhan Asian Xwedodah

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    I've heard what happened in the medieval period was that Christian Europeans thought Muslim designs looked cool, and were probably unaware of what was actually written on them, and simply copied them onto wherever they were copied onto. For instance, there are paintings of, say, the Virgin Mary and Jesus and the Virgin Mary is wearing a dress or something that has (probably badly written) Arabic on it saying Allahu Akbar or "There is no God but God and Mohammed is his messenger."

    Which is absolutely hilarious if you think about it.
     
  4. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Deity

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    Imitation is fairly common phenomena in coinage. Arabic coinage of 7th century imitates Byzantine models.
     
  5. Pangur Bán

    Pangur Bán Deconstructed

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    Exactly. Which is precisely why it should make us think about how 'Christian' and 'Roman' the barbarians of Europe actually were in the, especially early, Middle Ages. Just because they do 'Roman' and 'Christian' things doesn't mean they have 'well-informed' 'Roman'/'Christian' intentions. It's the sort of thing that indicates Patrick Wormald was on to to something about Beowulf being more representative of early medieval English 'Christian' religious thought than Bede.
     
  6. Lord Baal

    Lord Baal Deity

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  7. Lord Baal

    Lord Baal Deity

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  8. Pangur Bán

    Pangur Bán Deconstructed

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    Why do you say that?
     
  9. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

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    Because it's a really old-fashioned way of interpreting the Medieval period.
     
  10. Pangur Bán

    Pangur Bán Deconstructed

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    No it isn't. I mean, I'm not a fan of such terminology, but it is very current as any book search will show you. Anyway, I'd like to hear LB's own explanation if that's ok.
     
  11. haroon

    haroon Deity

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    they have the terms for that I forgot what is it, but I also remember vaguely after the crusades Knight of The hospitaller get influence by the muslim trend and been warned by the Chruch. And the crusades is another way for the western to benefit from information, knowledges, arts, commodity etc (many aspect) from the muslim world. But yea this coin appear before the Crusades.
     
  12. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

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    So it's basically the early medieval equivalent of western people getting tattoos of semi-random 'asian' characters...
     
  13. Pangur Bán

    Pangur Bán Deconstructed

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    Indeed, that's how some might have you see it. Of course the coin above was issued by a government for public practical use
     
  14. History_Buff

    History_Buff Knight of Cydonia

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    The practical use may well have been paying Muslims though, which would be one reason why you'd (rather crudely) copy their coinage.
     
  15. haroon

    haroon Deity

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    Japan in Nara period also import the tang dynasty coin to be used for daily currency, and sent a delegation to China to learned about Chinese culture and religion, they chose the most handsome among them and the most taller among, until one Chinese artist that been known for his gallant appearance been called "The Japanese" because the Chinese peoples at that time stereotype Japanese with the delegation that they sent.

    It's similar transaction in comparison with the trade of information between the muslim world or Islamic(ate) society (I don't reduce it with race or geography variable) and the western world but it run with different method or way with a lots of conflict in comparison with Japan-China relation at the time.
     
  16. cybrxkhan

    cybrxkhan Asian Xwedodah

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    Yeah, that's pretty much one way to put it.
     
  17. Yeekim

    Yeekim Deity

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    I don't even remember the last time there was a thread in WH that had information that contained new (for me at least) and interesting trivia, so kudos.
     

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