Monetăria târzie a lui Mircea cel Bătrân în lumina tezaurului monetar descoperit în 1867, în zona Treviso (Veneto, Italia) / The Late Coinage of Mircea the Elder, In the Light of a Coin Hoard Found in 1867, In the Area of Treviso (Veneto/Italy)
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|Excerpt||The Romanian medieval numismatics as an autonomous field of the European numismatics was established during the last quarter of 18th century and the first six decades of 19th century, thanks to the contribution of several foreign collectors and scholars (Hungarians, Austrians, Germans and Russians). They were strongly influenced by the general European movement fuelled by the Romanticism, to find the medieval roots of the nations of our continent.
After a slow development, during the 1850s and early 1860s, more than a dozen of Wallachian and Moldavian issues were already edited, and most of them correctly attributed, in spite of the huge epigraphic and historical challenges posed by the Romanian medieval coinage (including the monotony of the dynastic names). Among the pioneers of Romanian medieval numismatics, one could mention: Johann Seivert, Joszef Weszerle, Franz Vincent von Eitl, Bernhard Karl von Koehne, Leopold Welzl von Wellenheim, Jakob J. Reichel, Adolf Oberndorffer, Hermann Grote, Johann Friedrich Weidhaus and Alexis Ouvaroff.
Since the early 1860s, the interest shown by the Romanian collectors and scholars for these important sources of the national history increased rapidly, and in 1872/ 4, Dimitrie A. Sturdza was able to present the first larger overview on the coinage of Moldavia and Wallachia, in Numismatische Zeitschrift. Published in German, and later in Romanian translation, Sturdza's work represented for more than two generations the basic catalogue of the Romanian medieval coinage.
However, in spite of the progress made in finding and describing new Wallachian and Moldavian issues, for long time almost nothing was known on the circulation of the Romanian medieval coins. The first uncovering of a hoard containing such issues is mentioned only in 1842, by B. von Kohne. Von Kohne presented a hoard found in an unknown place located on the territory of the Duchy of Posen (Poland), consisting of Polish, Teutonic Order and several other issues, including a groat of the Moldavian prince Elias (1432-1442). Two decades later, two other coin hoards containing Wallachian and Moldavian medieval coins were published by Arist A. Kunik and Carlo Kunz. One of them represents the main topic of this study.
The author deals with a coin hoard containing Romanian medieval issues, found during the 186os, in the area of the Northern Italian town of Treviso, in the Venetian mainland. It was published in 1867 by Carlo Kunz. It consisted of 13th early 15th century silver coins struck by Venice, Padua, Aquileia, Dalmatia and a Wallachian silver issue.
This small silver coin, weighting, according to Kunz, 0.24 g, was struck by Mircea the Elder (1386-1418). Following the current reference catalogue of the medieval Romanian coinages, the Wallachian coin from the Treviso/1867 hoard belongs to MBR no 205-205a-b type. According to my classification, the coin was a reformed ducat of Mircea the Elder, IV issue, struck in the mint of Târgovişte.
Sturdza, Docan, as well as some contemporary Romanian scholars were aware of Kunz's contribution, however, the real information on the Wallachian coin from the Treviso hoard/1867 remained unnoticed so far.
Kunz was the first scholar to identify correctly the issuing ruler of this coin as Mircea the Elder, because during the 1830s-1860s the common wisdom shared by the numismatists was that such coins were struck by Mircea II (a fictive ruler, dated 1419- 1420, an obvious confusion with Mircea's the Elder son and successor, Michael I). Kunz was also the first scholar, to draw the attention of the meaning of the letter t, depicted on the parted shield on the reverse. According to him, it was a mint-mark, assertion fully confirmed by the further researches.
Quite likely, the most interesting contribution of Kunz to the Wallachian medieval coinage was his attempt to establish the date of the concealment of Treviso hoard/1867 using the chronology of the coin of Mircea the Elder, presumed to be the most recent issue in the hoard. According to Kunz, the hoard was lost about 1413-1414 or soon after, before the election of the Venetian doge Tommaso Mocenigo (1414-1423).
The hoard of Treviso provide an important chronological evidence for the dating of the IVth issue of the reformed ducats of Mircea the Elder, which so far were only generally dated - cca 1396-1418. The make-up of the hoard suggests that the IVth type of the reformed ducats of this ruler were already issued during the period 1410- 1413/ 4. They represent the last and the most plentiful coinage of Mircea the Elder, struck in two mints: Târgovişte and Severin, in several mint-mark variants.
Based on the chronology of the last coinage of Mircea the Elder suggested by the Treviso hoard, as well as on the succession of the mint-marks on the ducats struck at Severin, the author presumed that some of the issues of Michael I, bearing the inscription ☩IW MIXAHΛ BOEIBO were already struck before 31st January 1418, during his joint rule with Mircea the Elder.
Thanks to the contributions of A. A. Kunik, C. Kunz, Ju. B. Iversen and V. N. Jurgevic, the Romanian medieval numismatics entered in a new stage of its development. It became modern, because for the first time since the establishment of this topic as an autonomous field of the medieval European numismatics, the identification and the attribution of the coin type relied on the more objective chronological data provided by the coin hoards make-up and geographical distribution.
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