Guide The French Kings Hoard

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In October, , the French excavated a hoard of 63 tetradrachms which not only supplied a chronology for the site, but also contributed new evidence regarding the Euthydemid kings and their kingdom at large. For a convenient survey see P. I would like to express my deep appreciation for the encouragement and information provided so generously by Dr. Bernard; all errors and interpretations remain my own responsibility.

Such finds surface everywhere in Britain. Coins, silver objects cut up for scrap metal, dumps of weapons, even a magnificent silver dinner service—all from British, Roman, or Viking times—have been found in the soil. In the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf the warrior Sigemund has killed a dragon guarding "dazzling spoils," and the aged hero Beowulf battles a dragon guarding gold and "garnered jewels" laid in the ground. Treasure was buried for many reasons: to keep it out of enemy hands, to "bank" a fortune, to serve as a votive offering.

Given the era's scant documentation, the motive behind the burial of the Staffordshire Hoard is best surmised from the hoard itself. The first clue is its military character, which suggests that the assemblage was not a grab bag of loot.

The French King's Hoard

The nature of the hoard accords with the militarism of the Germanic tribes, which was impressive even to the military-minded Romans. The historian Tacitus, writing in the late first century, noted that "they conduct no business, public or private, except under arms," and that when a boy came of age, he was presented with a shield and spear—"the equivalent of our toga. Warfare formed England.

The consolidation of land gained by warfare and alliances was the likely origin of the tribal kingships of early Anglo-Saxon England. The first Mercians are thought to have been Angles who moved inland along the River Trent, establishing themselves in the valley in the vicinity of the hoard.

Mercia was not only one of the most important of the seven principal Anglo-Saxon kingships into which England was roughly divided but also one of the most belligerent. Between A. The apex of Teutonic military craft was the long cutting sword. Averaging about three feet, blades were pattern welded, a sophisticated technique by which twisted rods and strips of iron or steel were hammered together. Forged from this intricate folding, the polished blades rippled with chevron or herringbone patterns.

As one appreciative recipient recorded in the early sixth century, they appear "to be grained with tiny snakes, and here such varied shadows play that you would believe the shining metal to be interwoven with many colours. The number of sword pommels in the Staffordshire Hoard, 92, roughly corresponds with the number of men noted as making up one nobleman's troop of retainers.

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The hoard, then, could represent the elite military gear that distinguished the retinue of a certain lord. Often a sword was issued by a lord to his retainers along with other equipment and even horses, together known as a heriot, repaid if the retainer died before his lord. But sometimes swords were buried without warriors. In a practice in northern Europe dating from the Bronze Age through Anglo-Saxon times, swords and other objects, many conspicuously valuable, were deposited in bogs, rivers, and streams as well as in the ground.

Ritual deposits, as opposed to caches buried for safekeeping, are found not only in Britain but also in Scandinavia, homeland of some of England's Germanic tribes.

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Significantly, many weapons—and sometimes other objects, such as a craftsman's tools—were, like the objects in the hoard, bent or broken before burial. Perhaps "killing" a weapon dispatched it to the land of spirits or rendered it a votive offering to the gods, its destruction representing the donor's irrevocable surrender of the valuable weapon's use. According to Brooks, "the source is a mystery. Imperial gold had fallen to the Germanic tribes as plunder following the sack of Rome, and caches found in England may have been recirculated and recycled.

By the date of the Staffordshire Hoard, gold supplies were dwindling, and silver and silver alloy were being used instead. Similarly, the source of garnets—like gold, a striking feature of the hoard—had shifted, from India to Bohemia and Portugal. Historian Guy Halsall has estimated the value of the hoard's gold in its day as equivalent to solidi, about 80 horses' worth.

In its own time, however, the hoard's worth was surely calibrated by other considerations.

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The gold dazzles, but from a practical point of view the most valuable part of the weaponry—"the long, sharp, pointy bit you killed people with," as Halsall notes dryly—is not present in the hoard, and it is possible that the sword blades were cannily retained for reuse.

Above all, the pieces in the hoard were forged and buried in a world in which mundane events and acts could be suffused with magic; misfortune, for instance, was commonly attributed to tiny darts fired by malicious elves, and many charms against attacks survive. The magic properties an object possessed trumped its material worth.

Gold was valued not only for being precious but also because, alluring and indestructible, it was infused with magic, and therefore used in amulets. Germanic myths tell of the gods' great hall of gold, and as Christian churches and monasteries gained wealth, they acquired golden sacramental objects.

He returns and crushes the revolt. Summer - Harold's sons raise an army of Irish-Norse mercenaries and attempt to take Bristol but are driven back.

June - The pair are eventually defeated by the forces of Count Brian of Brittany. In an interview with Treasure Hunting Magazine, they described the hoard as 'amazing' and 'absolutely mind-blowing'. As King Harold's reign only lasted nine months, before he was famously struck in the eye by an arrow at the Battle of Hastings, coins from that period are incredibly rare. Some coins in the Norman treasure hoard show William on one side, and Harold on the other, despite the Anglo-Saxon monarch having been overthrown.

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We've been dreaming of this for 15 years but it's finally come true. The hoard features examples of how French-speaking officials had struggled to get a grip on Old English, which is imperfectly stamped onto some of the silver coins. Under the Treasure Act , finders of potential treasure in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are legally obliged to notify their local coroner.

If the find is declared treasure, the finder must offer it for sale to a museum at a price set by the British Museum's Treasure Valuation Committee. The couple notified both the county's local finds liaison officer as they were obliged to by law and gave the coins to the British Museum in London to evaluate.

Stunning £5MILLION haul of 1,000-year-old coins reveals 11th-century tax evasion

Gareth Williams, of the British Museum, said: 'This is an extremely significant find for our understanding of the impact of the Norman Conquest of The British Museum has received the coins, and a coroner will decided whether the hoard is officially treasure and where it should be held. If the hoard is declared treasure it will be up to a museum to compensate Mr Staples and Miss Grace with the monetary value of the coins - making them overnight millionaires.

Mr Staples and Miss Grace have remained tight-lipped over their 'find of a lifetime'. But in an interview with Treasure Hunting Magazine, they described the hoard as 'amazing' and 'absolutely mind-blowing. The metal detecting grapevine has also been rife with news of the find, with scores of people posting messages of congratulations to the couple. Combat took place around 7 miles 11 kilometres north-west of Hastings, in East Sussex — and close to what has become the aptly-named town of Battle.

After a reported nine hours of fighting, Harold was killed. The event was a decisive victory for the Norman invaders, and formed the onset of the Norman conquest of England. The battle was instigated by a power struggle between several contenders for the throne following the death of Edward the Confessor in the January of , who had passed while leaving no heir.

The battle was instigated by a power struggle between several contenders for the throne following the death of Edward the Confessor in the January of Harold — sibling of the queen, Edith of Wessex — had been crowned shortly after the death of his brother-in-law Edward.

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The insurgence, however, was quelled but five days later, when both Tostig and Harald were killed at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, which took place in the East Riding of Yorkshire. William, meanwhile, claimed that he had been promised succession to the throne by Edward in This gave him his early names of 'William the Bastard' and 'William the Tanner' — prior to the victories that saw him become 'William the Conqueror'.

This, he added, 'contributed to one of the greatest catastrophes to which the English have ever succumbed. Two years after the Battle of Hastings, Harold's sons Edmund and Godwin — who had fled to Ireland — raised an army of Irish-Norse mercenaries to take on the Norman occupiers.