Liudhard Medalet



Gold medalet showing Bishop Liudhard, whose arrival in Kent from the Frankish court started the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity. The Bishop accompanied the Merovingian princess Bertha when she married the King Æthelbert around 580 AD. The medalet was probably given to an early Christian convert. The obverse is inscribed: LEV.DΛR.D VS EPS. The inscription runs backwards from right to left. The bust faced to the right wearing diadem and robe with border of dots, the folds are rendered with vertical bands and there are transverse bands below the neck. The border is beaded. The reverse has an ornamental patriarchal cross on a semicircular base, with a broad semi-circle standing on exergual line and cutting across cross shaft. The upper cross arm has two short hanging pendants, the lower arms terminate in vertical bars. A small ring encircles junction of lower arms with a shaft. Above the cross [upside down] Ѧ Ѧ to either side NINƆ ; in exergue VΛV. The border is beaded. The loop is made from strip of corrugate gold strip, soldered at either side to extreme edge below beading. It is now squashed. The coin and loop are of good orange gold. The coin shows some wear on the bust, and the border. The loop also shows slight wear. The artist is accustomed to making runic letters. The medalet is one of a group of coin pendants and ornaments from St. Martin's Church, Canterbury, conventionally called a 'hoard', found before 1844.