2006 | 50 | 1(181) | 127-146
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THE ICONOGRAPHY OF COINS OF SOBIESLAV SLAVNIK'S SON (Ikonografia monet Sobieslawa Slawnikowica)

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Sobieslav, Slavnik's son, ruled in Bohemia's north-eastern part in the years 981-995. Libice was the capital of his state. Its relationships with the other Czech state of this time is not clear. There are three main types of coins Sobieslav. All of them were issued before 995, presumably in the years 985-995. Type I presented Manus Dei upon the obverse, different birds (peacock? eagle? pigeon?) being shown on the reverse. Type II - a bust and the Dextera Dei. Type III - crowned en face head combined with the design of a Saxon type church. The author concludes that patterns for the images upon Sobieslav's coins had been taken both from coins by Boleslav II and the Empire - from Lower Lorraine (Deventer) and Saxony. There was also a non-monetary source that provided bird motifs. Apart from imitating foreign patterns, the deliberate modification thereof is also to be observed upon Sobieslav's coins. The great importance of Sobieslav's coins for studying the history of his state has been confirmed by research. However, the results differ from those so far accepted by Czech scientist. First of all suggestion of political manifestation carried out by Sobieslav by means of coin must be given up. He was supposed to have provoked Boleslav II by the mere fact of his coinage having been started, which allegedly infringed upon his coinage regale. The crown on Sobieslav's head, shaking the sword and boasting with the eagle was supposedly another provocation. Much more probable is that the images upon the coins were religious symbols. Yet, if they were to allude to the contemporary situation, it seems more plausible to see them hinting at the protection of supernatural forces. This was very important in the face of the growing threat on the part of a stronger neighbour.
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  • Stanislaw Suchodolski, no address given, contact the journal editor
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