Ett eget värde : Gotlands tidigaste myntning, ca 1140-1220
Sammanfattning: Coin production began on Gotland, an island off the eastern coast of Sweden, at the beginning of the 12th century. The coins were struck to a standard that was different from that of other coinages of the Scandinavian area, and were modelled after coins from north-western Germany and Frisia. The Gotlandic coins were subsequently used in a large area around the Baltic Sea, and in south-eastern Sweden were preferred over the royal mainland coinage well into the 13th century. That they later became the standard for the newly initiated coinages of the Baltic countries is a further measure of their success. But why was this coinage undertaken at all?The thesis Ett eget värde [A Worth of Their Own] seeks the answer not simply in the economic needs of trade, which existed long before and thrived without an indigenous coinage, but rather in a deliberate strategy on the part of the Gotlanders to create as much political independence as possible for themselves. They did this by building a strong identity, a political platform and a trading hub in the Baltic Sea area. The geographical position of the island between several strong powers made it both possible and necessary for the inhabitants to define themselves. Through their success in this the islanders achieved a worth of their own both philosophically and in a true material sense. The production of local coins and providing a safe harbour for visitors were essential parts of that strategy.The thesis investigates the early medieval coinage of Gotland through numismatic, archaeological and historical sources. It sheds light on the iconography, chronology, function and meaning of the coinage, as well as on the relationship between Gotland and the surrounding areas in terms of politics, economics, religion and culture. Running through this are also reflections on the role of archaeology as a mediator - but also creator - of history, and on how humans and things relate to, affect, and are affected by each other.
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