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Caliphs, Popes and Gold: Money and Long-Distance Connections in the Early Middle Ages

Tuesday 29 May 2018, 6.30PM

Speaker(s): Dr Rory Naismith (Kings College, London)

One of the most celebrated Anglo-Saxon coins is a gold piece naming Offa, king of the Mercians (757-96), which closely imitates a gold dinar of the Abbasid caliph al-Mansur. It encapsulates a fascinating series of cultural interconnections which bound Anglo-Saxon England to the rest of mainland Europe and, ultimately, to the Muslim world. This talk will use the Offa dinar as its starting point, and explore other instances of money forming a visible and versatile point of contact between England, its Northern European neighbours and the Islamic lands to the east and south. These coins stand for a whole range of economic and cultural interactions, illuminated by other sources including narratives and manuscripts.

About the Speaker: Dr Rory Naismith completed a PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2009, and has been a lecturer in medieval history at King's College London since 2015. His interests are in the earlier Middle Ages, and especially in aspects of economic, social and cultural history.

Rory’s talk is part of a series of events organised by the York Islamic Art Circle, a collaboration between the University of York’s Islamic Society and Department of History of Art.


To book, please visit

Location: The Bowland Auditorium, Berrick Saul Building

Admission: Attendance is by free booking only; please use the link provided