Emperor Conrad II bestows upon Aquileian Patriarch Poppo the right to mint coins that ought to be of equal or greater value than the Veronese denars.
Exemplum autentici domini Conradi invictissimi Romanorum imperatoris semper augusti anno Domini millesimo C LXXXX V, sexto die exeunte novembris, indictione XIII, in pallacio Aquileg(ensis).
(SC) In nomine sancte et individue Trinitatis.
Conradusa Dei gratia Romanorum imperator augustus.
Ex nostrob antecessorum constituto didicimus nostri esse iuris sancte matris Ecclesie res pro viribus augere et auctas pacificare.
Quapropter volumus et optamus ut notum sit omnibus sancte Dei Ecclesie nostrisque fidelibus quomodo nos, interventu nostre dilecte iugalis Gisle et Heinricic regis dilectissimi nostri filiid necnon et Arebonise Maguntiensisf archiepiscopi et dilecti nostri Brunonis nepotisg cancellarii atque Adelberonis ducis, donamus atque nostra imperiali potestate concedimus, prout iuste et legaliter possumus, sancte Aquilegensi ecclesie et Poponi patriarche, qui ibidem Deo videtur deservire, licenciam monetam publicam infra civitatem Aquileg(ie)h faciendi. Igitur denarios ipsius monete ex puro argento firmiter precipimus fieri et Veronensis monete denariis equiperari, nisi prenominatus patriarcha sua spontanea voluntate velit meliorari. Habeantque licenciam omnes nostri Regni negociatores in qualibet venali merce ipsos denarios accipere, si tamen fuerint simplices falsitate.
Quod ut verius credatur et ab omnibus diligencius observetur, hanc nostre concessionis paginam inde scriptam manu propria roborantes sigilli nostri impresionei iussimus insigniri.
Signum [domni]j Conradik invictissimi Romanorum (SM) imperatoris augusti.
Bruno cancellarius sacri palacii vice Arabonisl archiepiscopi et archicancellarii recognovi[t]m.
Data anno Dominice incarnationis millesimo XXo n octavo, indictione XIa, III idus septembris, anno Chvonradi regnantis IIIIo, imperii vero secundo eiusdemque imperatoris filii Heinricio regis anno primo.
Dominus Ubaldus Aquilegensis canonicus, Dominicus diaconus, Hermannus diaconus, Wodolricus acolitus ad audiendum autenticum invictissimi domini Conradi imperatoris et hoc eius exemplum interfuerunt et huius rei rogatis sunt testes.
Ego Petrus imperiali notarius, ut vidi in autenticum domini Conradi invictissimi imperatoris, ita transcripsi, nil addens vel minuens quod sententiam mutaret. (SN)
a) Chvonradus C. b) nostrorum C et sic ed. Bresslau. c) Hen. C. d) nostri filii] inv. C. e) lac. C. f) Maguciensis C. g) nostri Brunonis nepotis] nepotis nostri Brunonis C. h) Aquileg cum sign. abbr. BC: seu pro Aquilegie seu pro Aquilegensem. i) sic B; impressione C. j) om. et spatium vacuum posuit B; om. C; em. Bresslau. k) Chvonradi C. l) sic BC: pro Aribonis. m) recognovi B; recognovit C et sic ed. Bresslau. n) vigesimo C. o) Henrici C.
“In sexto [scrinio] [om.] imperiale privilegium super moneta auri et argenti cudenda ubicumque placuerit domino patriarche.” – Thesauri claritas, opus saec. XIV, ed. Giuesppe Bianchi, Thesaurus ecclesiae Aquileiensis (Udine 1847), n. 6, p. 9.
“In scrinio undecimo sunt privilegia et iura imperialia et regalia de donationibus, concessionibus et confirmationibus factis domino patriarche et ecclesie Aquilegensi [om.] de moneta fabricanda.” – Thesauri claritas, opus saec. XIV, ed. Giuesppe Bianchi, Thesaurus ecclesiae Aquileiensis (Udine 1847), n. 11, p. 14.
The present charter has caused much debate in historiography.
Namely, Gian Rinaldo Carli (cited above), who consulted neither the 1195 nor the 1261 copy, claimed that the charter in question was a forgery. He based this claim on very weak arguments: a peculiar dictamen, the fact that no coin was minted in “pure silver”, the 11th indiction instead of the 12th (presupposing a Byzantine indiction that changes on the 1st of September), the 4th year of Conrad’s reign instead of the 5th, the fact that he did not know where Immideshuson is, and that the concession was not explicitly confirmed in later confirmation charters issued by Roman kings/emperors.
All of these arguments are easily refuted. First, neither the formulary nor the dictamen is controversial and Carli based this claim on his extremely limited knowledge of Conrad II’s (poorly) edited charters. Harry Bresslau, who edited all the surviving charters issued by Conrad II, concluded that the charter was composed and most probably also written by a notary dubbed Br. A who worked under chancellor Bruno in his Italian chancellery (Bresslau, cited above, p. xvii). Moreover, the Byzantine indiction was largely abandoned in imperial chancellery already at the beginning of the 11th century, and during Conrad II’s it was the indiction beginning on the 1st of January that was predominantly used (Harry Bresslau, Manuale di diplomatica per la Germania e l'Italia, trans. Anna Maria Voci-Roth (Rome 1998), pp. 1032–1033; Bresslau, Diplomata Conradi II, pp. xviii–xix). Also, Conrad II’s years of reign would be calculated from his coronation in Mainz that took place on September 8, 1024; September 11, 1028, would indeed be the 5th year of Conrad II’s reign as stated by Carli, but with only four days between the 4th and the 5th year, this discrepancy can be easily explained as a scribal oversight. Immideshuson is Imbshausen in the district of Northeim in Lower Saxony. Although the charter was not explicitly mentioned in Frederick I’s 1180 confirmation, a charter upon which all the later confirmations were styled, it may very well be that the right to mint coins was implied with the confirmation of patriarch’s iura regalia (as claimed by Leicht, cited above, p. 52).
While Luschin von Ebengreuth (cited above) did not accept many of Carli’s arguments, he still believed the charter to be a forgery, drawn up on the basis of an authentic charter in 1195. He was followed in this interpretation by Puschi (cited above) as well. Both authors based their thesis on the fact that no subsequent confirmation charters mention this important privilege (and on the absence of Aquileian coins from Poppo’s period).
The final nail in the coffin of this thesis is the fact that Poppo’s coin was actually found, proving that the patriarch commenced minting his denarii following this imperial concession. The coin, found in Jarocin, Poland, in 1879, features the head of Emperor Conrad II on one side surrounded by the inscription “CHǑNRAD9 · IMPR ✠”, and “AQL” surrounded by the inscription “POPPA PATHA” on the other (see images below).
Even though he was aware of this coin, Bernardi (cited above) decided to interpret the privilege as a forgery drawn up in 1195, following Luschin von Ebengreuth and viewing Peter’s vidimus as the source of the invented text. This thesis is also untenable because the 1261 vidimus is clearly based on the original and not on Peter’s 1195 copy.
Due to all the above, it must be concluded that the charter in question is indeed an authentic document (as claimed by Bresslau, Paschini, Leicht, Schmidinger, Cammarosano, Saccocci and Scalon, all cited above). As Saccocci persuasively argued, the motivation for issuing this charter was precisely to boost the circulation of “good” coins in the March of Verona (hence the term ex puro argento and the comparison to the Veronese coin) and thus combat the “bad” (= debased) coins minted by Venice that were spreading like wildfire throughout the region (Saccocci 2000, p. 234).
The coin shown above is part of the Münzkabinett collection of the Staatliche Museen in Berlin, inventory number 18277155. The image is freely available on the official web pages of Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.
The images of the coin remain under the exclusive copyright of Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.