The Carolingian Empire, which stretched from Western to Central Europe, was the result of the territorial expansion of the Frankish kingdoms under the influence of the Carolingian dynasty during the Early Middle Ages. When Pepin the Short, founder of the Carolingian dynasty, came to power in 751, he fought against monetary anarchy by imposing a silver-based standard. His son Charlemagne decided in 781 to give a forced exchange rate to the currency (20 solidi, so 240 Deniers per Carolingian pound), in order to promote cash exchanges and put an end to barter. By instituting the royal monopoly on mints, Charlemagne really founded Carolingian currency and extended it to the whole of Europe. In 814, his son Louis the Pious continued this policy, adding a new division, the Obol, worth half a Denier. The Empire was finally divided among Charlemagne's grandsons in 843, after the death of Louis the Pious in 840, giving rise to West Francia, East Francia and Middle Francia in between. The latter will experience successive fragmentations throughout the period, with the kingdoms of Italy and Provence to the south, Lotharingia to the north, itself later divided into two separate duchies. The political instabilities caused by fratricidal struggles and external pressures, especially Norman, gradually provoked a challenge to the royal monopoly and the end of the period saw the emergence of a decentralized feudal coinage. The silver Denier characteristic of the Carolingian Empire is nevertheless the direct or indirect model of all Western coinage produced from the 9th to the 13th century.
The Numista referee for coins of this issuer is Compendium.
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