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About Medieval

The Medieval Period

After the end of the Roman period, the Pannonian region was conquered and settled by various tribes, begining with the Visigoths in 378. The Huns ruled the area until the mid 5th century. They were followed by Gepids, Avars, then other slavic tribes. The northern area of Slavonia was settled by Magyars, with Croats to the south. Hungary finally conquered the Croat kingdom in 1097, and then the countries were united under the Hungarian crown.

The period covered by finds presented here is from the 11th century onwards. Artefacts from the earlier medieval period have not yet come to light.

The 14th and 15th centuries were known for great unrest and feudal squabbles amongst the various rulers under the Hungarian crown. Hungarian rule in the region came to an end with the invasion of the Turks, who harried the region until most people fled, making conquest easier. After the battle of Mohacs in 1528, the Ottoman Empire became absolute rulers.

Their Ottomans ruled for 150 years, but have left little mark of their prescence in the region. What has been left are many hundreds of abandoned medieval settlements, many still lost or unknown. These often tiny settlements are scattered across the region by the dozen.

Medieval Coinage

The quality of coins found from the medieval period varies. Simply put, the earlier the coinage, the better it is. Later coinage was often plated copper or worse. Forgeries and copies abound. The coins are often tiny, such as the parvus of Sigismund, at only 8 mm. Sigismund was also responsible for the minting of the quarting, a small, low quality coin that is the most commonly found and was valued at four to the silver denar . A hoard of over 600 of these coins was found and they can fit in one hand. Unusually for the period, King Bela III issued a large copper penny in the late 12th century, which is a common find.
The coinage started with the issue of denars by King Stephen (997-1038) in the year 1000, of which we are lucky enough to have an example

Medieval Coinage - Arpad

The Arpad dynasty spanned from 1000 to 1301. They produced some very attractive coins. Unlike the rest of Europe, the coins of this period were very varied in design.
Unusually for the period, king Bela III issued a large copper penny in the late 12th century, which is a common find. These are often found scyphate, or bowl-shaped. They were not minted that way; the effect comes from folding the soft copper coin and then opening it again.
The silver coinage was usually of high silver content

Medieval Coinage - Angevin

Under the first Angevin King, Karl Robert (1308-1342) Hungary became a great economic power and the kingdom accounted for more then 80% of Europe's annual gold production. The Hungarian florin (forint) d'or served as the prototype for gold coin issues from the Low Countries to Russia.
The Angevin dynasty spanned from 1301 to 1387. Included here are the coins of such lesser dynasties, Luxembourg, Jagiellon and Zapolya, which lead up to the death of Louis II at the hands of the Turkish invaders in 1526 and the effective end of the Hungarian Kingdom.
The coinage contained less silver over the years and it wasn't until the reign of Mathew Corvine that the silver content was raised

Later Coinage - Hapsburg

The Hapsburg dynasty spanned from 1526 until 1918. Though they were not in control of the Slavonia region until the late 17th century, some coins from this period occasionally turn up. included here is a coin of John Zapolya, immediate ruler after the death of Louis II at the battle of Mohacs against the Ottomans

Medieval Rings

Going by the amount found, rings must have been very popular. Many are very low quality and appear cheaply made from tin or silver plate; others are cast in bronze or silver. Very common amongst the engraved designs on them is the fleur de lys, the symbol of the Angevin dynasty that started here with the rule of Charles Robert in 1307 and ended with Charles II in 1387.

For more information see our reference guide to rings of that period here.

Some jewellery, such as the "S" shaped earing, are as early as the 11th century, but most items here date from the 13th to 15th century.





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