Denar Karls des Großen aus Pavia

Staatliche Münzsammlung München


Obverse: CARLVS REX FR. In the centre a cross.

Reverse: PAPIA. In the centre the Carolus monogramme.

Charlemagne (768-814, emperor from 800) fundamentally reformed the coinage of the Frankish Realm in AD 793/794. He introduced as the only distinctive nominal the Denarius or Pfennig (penny), of which in rare cases also existed “Hälblinge”, i.e. halfpennies. The larger units of shilling (12 pennies) and pound (240 pennies) were not minted as coins. Weight and appearance of the coins were standardised for the entire Frankish Realm. The system introduced by Charlemagne based of the penny would influence coinage in Central-Europe for over 500 years.

This Denarius (penny) from the mint in Pavia was created during the time after the great reform and bears on its reverse the Latin name of the location of the mint. Such a marking of the mint was, however, not the norm, either in the days of Charlemagne or under his successors during the coming centuries.