Early Czech silver coins go on display at National Museum
Some of the earliest silver coins discovered in the Czech lands feature in a new exhibition that has just begun at the National Museum. Many were minted in Prague, and some were found during reconstruction work at Prague Castle. And, says the show’s curator, the coins were used in the buying and selling of slaves.
“They are treasures from the beginnings of Czech minting. The era we’re talking about is from the middle of the 10th century to the first third of the 11th century. We have the oldest Czech coin of all, which was made in the Prague mint around the year 960 under Duke Boleslav II, who in those days ruled a great Czech empire from the deep forest in the border area to today’s Ukraine.”
“They are very rare. They are some of the oldest copies of Bavarian and Schwabian coins. And one of the most valuable is similar to the coins of the English king Ethelred II and to one of the first coins of the Hungarian king Stephen I.”
The silver coins in the exhibition were probably never in the hands of ordinary people. Rather they were used for long-distance trade in metals and other materials. And, says Luboš Polanský, they would have been used in the buying and selling of human beings.
By the way, some believe the word slave is derived from the word Slav. The exhibition runs at the National Museum until May 9.