Franks in Frisia, Tremissis


Franks in Frisia, Tremissis (obverse) Franks in Frisia, Tremissis (reverse)

The cross is the symbol of Christianity par excellence. Yet not every cross stands for the Christian belief of the minting authority. Here is a case in point: In the 7th century the Friesians took over the currency and coin motifs of the Christian Franks. In true Frankish fashion, this Friesian coin depicts the ruler's portrait on the obverse and the cross and name of the mint master, Madelinus, on the reverse. The Friesians were far from being Christianized at that time. They adopted Christian belief under the rule of Charlemagne, who enforced the new religion on them. By 800, most of the Frisian upper class had been baptized. It took considerably longer until the majority of the population converted to Christendom, however.


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