IMC 2008: Sessions

Session 627: Lunchtime Lecture - Early Medieval Coinage, III: Coins and Icons, Christ and the Virgin

Tuesday 8 July 2008, 13.30-14.00

Sponsor:UK Numismatic Trust
Organiser:Tony Abramson, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds / Department of Archaeology, University of York
Moderator/Chair:Catherine E. Karkov, School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies, University of Leeds
Speaker:Anna Gannon, St Edmund's College, University of Cambridge

Early Anglo-Saxon ‘sceatta’ coinage displays a variety of iconography, much of a religious nature. The diversity of imagery stands in contrast to the subsequent growing uniformity (necessary for a strengthening political hierarchy), though sceattas remain a neglected field of study. Anna Gannon’s recent volume on The Iconography of Early Anglo-Saxon Coinage, 6th-8th Centuries (2003) looks closely at possible interpretations.

Following Gannon’s recent work of exploring the iconography of Series BZ (types 29a & b) and comparing it to icons and pilgrim’s souvenirs representing the Holy Face, this talk will explore the theme of sacred representations and devotional cults. It will look at coins of the Triquetras eclectic group and of Series U (types 23b & c), and discuss these with reference to liturgical innovations of the time. By comparing the coins with the images on the Ruthwell Cross, Anna Gannon will aim to demonstrate the presence of female representations on some of the sceattas.