RAVEN PENNY Anlaf Guthfrithsson, Northumbira viking coin, replica, Silber 925

$47.51
In stock 3 - 4 pcs
(catalogue number: GOR8745)

Reproduction of a Viking ruler coin from England and Ireland. In this case it is Anlaf Guthfrithsson (939-941), Northumbira and Dublin. The coin is also known as the Raven Penny.

  • Diameter: 2 cm
  • Material: sterling silver
  • Weight: 5g

King Anlaf/Olaf Guthfrithsson and his coin from circa 939-941. But what do we know about him?

He was the son of Gofraid ua Ímair and great-grandson of Ímar, making him one of the Uí Ímair.

Anlaf/Olaf  Guthfrithson was a Viking leader who ruled Dublin and Viking Northumbria in the 10th century. Olaf succeeded his father as King of Dublin in 934 and succeeded in establishing dominance over the Vikings of Limerick when he captured their king, Amlaíb Cenncairech, in 937. That same year he allied with Constantine II of Scotland in an attempt to reclaim the Kingdom of Northumbria which his father had ruled briefly in 927. The forces of Olaf and Constantine were defeated by the English led by Æthelstan at the Battle of Brunanburh in 937.

Olaf returned to Ireland in 938 but after Æthelstan’s death the following year Olaf left for York where he was quickly able to establish himself as king, with his brother Blácaire mac Gofraid being left to rule in Dublin. The ‘Raven Penny’ was minted during this occupation.

Olaf and Æthelstan’s successor Edmund met in 939 at Leicester where they came to an agreement regarding the division of England between them. This agreement proved short-lived, however, and within a few years Vikings had occupied the Five Boroughs of Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Nottingham and Stamford. Olaf died in 941 and was succeeded in Northumbria by his cousin Olaf Cuaran. At the time of his death, the Irish annals title him “king of Danes” and “king of the Fair Foreigners and the Dark Foreigners”.

The obverse legend means ‘King Anlaf’ in Old Norse and is one of the earliest surviving texts in this language. The use of Old Norse language instead of Latin coupled with the raven image, associated with the Norse god Odin, is a strong indication that the Vikings were declaring their independence in the British Isles.

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