QUESTION: Hi Martin.
In your recent blog posts, you talk about the possible timing of the break up of Britain but you talk about that in terms of the regionalisation or break up of England only. Have you not said before that Scotland is likely to become independent sometime in the next few years? Perhaps you could explain how that possibility fits in this process?
ANSWER: There are two expansions on the island of Britain. The more commonly known is the formation of the United Kington which took place in 1707 under Queen Ann. That saw Scotland under English Rule and the birth of the United Kingdom. However, before the reign of Eadgar (959-975 AD), England was divided into Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. It was Eadgar who instituted a uniform coinage throughout the land and a single government. While Eadgar set the pattern for the ‘reformed’ coinage of the later Anglo-Saxon and Norman period and standardized the use of the king’s portrait as in old Roman tradition, it was all about creating BRITAIN as a nation-state.
If we look back in time, we see that the first Anglo-Saxon kingdom to really become powerful was Mercia. It was the King of Mercia who was the one who actually resurrected the old Roman Empire’s monetary system for all of Europe since the French copied his idea. We see that King Offa of Mercia was the first king to put the portrait of himself and his wife on the coinage as was the tradition in the Roman Empire.
Here is the Roman Emperor Claudius who married Agrippina, Jr. in 49AD. You will find throughout the history of Roman coinage, the Roman family of the emperor was traditionally portrayed on the coinage. Constantine the Great even issued coins with the portrait of his mother.
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