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The Agnus Dei Pennies of King Æthelred the Unready

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-223
Number of pages49
JournalAnglo-Saxon England

King's Authors


Specimens of the several substantive coin-types issued in the name of King Æthelred the Unready (978–1016) survive in their thousands, especially (and for good historical reasons) in Scandinavia; but very few specimens are recorded of his highly distinctive Agnus Dei type. In a checklist of recorded specimens published in 2007 (ASE 36, pp. 215–20), details were given of seventeen coins; and the type was set in the context of the English response to the viking invasion of England in 1009, led by Thorkel the Tall. A further four specimens came to light in 2008–10, one in England and three in Denmark. An updated checklist of the enlarged corpus of Agnus Dei coins is here accompanied by a complete set of illustrations; and the opportunity is taken to review some of the historical and numismatic matters raised by this remarkable type.

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