Long Table 125. Crusades, Colonies, and Coins in the Baltic and Beyond

Friday, February 10
1:00 PM ET

Colonial projects often introduced (sometimes by force) new exchange systems and coinages to populations that in many cases did not previously use coins. The medieval Western European colonization of the Eastern Mediterranean, by contrast, brought coinage to an area that had different, but equally sophisticated, coinages and monetary traditions. Settlers brought their coinage traditions, complemented by tokens, but local coinages continued to be used or were even imitated by the colonizers. Crusades were also launched in the Baltic North at about the same time as the European crusading in the Levant, following the same ideological currents. While claiming to be out to convert the Eastern Baltic to the true faith, the campaigns were at the same time colonial enterprises. In the Eastern Baltic countries, no domestic coinages existed, and currency transactions were based on precious metals by weight. Crusader coinages accordingly filled a void and, in several areas, mark the start of the Baltic Middle Ages in the numismatic sense. Professor at Stockholm University Nanouschka Myrberg Burström will discuss examples of these Northern crusader coins and discuss the role they played in the colonial strategies of the Baltic Crusades (c. 1150–1350).

ANS Members only. A link will be sent to members the day of the event.