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Coinage of the prince of Poland Bolesław III the Wrymouth

  Project information


Project title: Coinage of the prince of Poland Bolesław III the Wrymouth

Project No: 2014/13/N/HS3/04592

Project lead: mgr Grzegorz Śnieżko

Project lead, institutional: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences
Project financing:National Science Center, 2014-2016


e-mail: g.sniezko@poczta.onet.pl
phone (22) 620-28-81 do 86

Project implementation:

mgr Grzegorz Śnieżko - Project lead
prof. dr hab. Stanisław Jerzy Suchodolski - Scientific advisior





1. Research project objectives/ Research hypothesis


The planned project takes up issues of monetary policy and coinage organization of the Polish prince Bolesław III the Wrymouth. This problem has not been taken in previous researches in a satisfactory way. It results in the existence of a significant gap in the knowledge of the history of money in that part of Europe for almost 40 years.
The intended research will direct to recognition of technological aspects of coin production, such as methods of applying images and inscriptions on coin dies, emission, organization of coinage and assigning it results to the specific mints. Another important issue, that will be undertaken, is a problem of implementation of the renovatio monetae system (re-coinage), made by Bolesław III the Wrymouth, as the first Polish ruler.
Realization of the described project, will result in the preparation of a doctoral dissertation targeted on comprehensive elaboration of a coinage of that Polish prince.


2. Research project methodology


The planned research method includes interdisciplinary, divided into complementary phases, realization of the project. During that, there will be applied achievements of such scientific disciplines, as:
a) archaeology - carrying out the surface research in Karczmiska and Wola Skromowska (both in lubelskie voivodeship). Their purpose is to verify in the field two places, where the coin hoards were found. These two deposits have fundamental significance for the elaboration of the coinage of Boles³aw III the Wrymouth. Circumstances described about their discovery indicate the possibility of remaining part of the coins in places, where they were hidden;
b) numismatics:
- distinction of die-varieties among the particular coin types by searching for differences between the images from the coin surface,
- preparation of the die-links consisting of the coins comparative analyses. The purpose of this method is creating chains of a die-links and showing them as graphic schemes. This will allow to make conclusions about their relative chronology and organization of coinage,
- analyses of metrological data and the hoards composition directed to the determination of the chronological and typological relationships between types and separated die-varieties among them;
c) history - the analyses and interpretation of written sources in connection with the numismatic research will allow to establish or to verify already defined dating of particular types and die-varieties;
d) linguistics - analyses of different inscriptions placed on coins;
e) physics and chemistry - non-destructive mass spectrometric coins analyses. Their task is to determine the elemental signature of alloy used to strike the coins. In connection with the historical and numismatic data analyses, they will allow to make inference about the fiscal policy of the ruler and to establish the relative chronology of particular die-varieties of coins.


3. Expected impact of the research project on the development of science, civilization and society


It is quite symptomatic that in other countries, history of money of analogical periods, has been well examined. Despite the passage of more than two centuries from first scientific numismatic research, Polish money history from the time directly before the feudal fragmentation is still not elaborated. Preparation of such study is the aim of presented project. Thanks to its realization, there will be the typescript of the doctoral dissertation devoted to the coinage of Bolesław III the Wrymouth prepared. In the future, it will be published as a monograph. Besides the problematic part, its elementary component will be detailed catalogue of all available for research coins from public and private collections. It will be linked with cartographic depiction of coin finds (the last one was prepared more than 40 years ago).
Preparation of this study will have a substantial influence on the progress in research on the history of money in the Middle Ages. Showing in the broader context the results of the planned project, especially in comparison with the countries where the iconographic patterns of coins came from (like Holy Roman Empire of German Nation or Bohemia), will allow to record this conclusions in the European scientific research.