Stycas Simplified by Tony Abramson
L294mm x W210mm x H3mm
Conventionally, Northumbrian Stycas have been seen as plain, base little coins. It is only in the last two or three decades, that it has been accepted that they were the first mass-produced coinage with a face value sufficiently low to meet regular needs, including paying church dues, a spiritual need felt as keenly as the temporal demands of daily life for the early medieval serf.
They were empowering and an economic catalyst of considerable numismatic significance.
Elizabeth Pirie dedicated years of work to compiling a corpus of Stycas, but her complicated arrangement makes access difficult for the newcomer to what, in reality, is a simple coinage. Tony Abramson digitised her database and as a result compiled this short booklet which covers identification of the entire coinage by the simple device of separating obverses from reverses, that is, issuers from moneyers, rather than building complex spiders’ webs of interrelated dies.