A Millennium Ago: 1004
(and thereabouts)

This page is intended to offer a view coinage in 1004 and of some of what was happening in western Europe 1000 years ago, in 1004. Not surprisingly, events of this year tended to spill over to adjacent years, hence the 'and thereabouts' in the page title. Besides, there are a limited number of specific references to 1004.

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Henry II HRE (1016-24), king of Germany (1002-24), king of Italy (1004-24)

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AR denier, 21mm, 1.18gr. Obv: +HINRICVS REX MET, central temple. Rev: +DEODERICVS, central cross with four besants. This coin is weakly struck. Minted in Metz by Thierry II, brother in law of Henry II and archbishop of Metz. Boud 1611; seller (Hagadorn) id as Wendling/ll/D/c/7.

"German King and Holy Roman Emperor, son of Duke Henry II (the Quarrelsome) and of the Burgundian Princess Gisela; b. 972; d. in his palace of Grona, at Gottingen, 13 July, 1024." Catholic Encyclopedia.

"Henry the Pious or Henry the Lame, Duke of Bavaria and Holy Roman Emperor, was the last of the Saxon dynasty of emperors. Well educated for his time and originally intended for the priesthood, Henry was a conscientious leader and worked for cooperation between church and state. After a troublesome beginning (which included internal opposition as well as campaigns into Italy and Poland), he achieved peace and unity in Germany. Henry was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Benedict VIII 1014, with whom he planned ecumenical reform; but he died before the plans could be carried out." History Net

"In Italy the local and national opposition to the universalism of the German king had found a champion in Arduin of Ivrea. The latter assumed the Lombard crown in 1002. In 1004 Henry crossed the Alps. Arduin yielded to his superior power. The Archbishop of Milan now crowned him King of Italy. This rapid success was largely due to the fact that a large part of the Italian episcopate upheld the idea of the Roman Empire and that of the unity of Church and State." Catholic Encyclopedia

"Henry is also known as Saint Henry (Sankt Heinrich in German). Though never a particularly saintly man, he was canonized in 1146 due to some legends that circulated after his death. He was, however, a pious individual and founded a bishopric in Bamberg. Henry is the only emperor of the ... Holy Roman Empire to be made a saint." History Net

Robert 11 (996-1031)

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AR denier, 977 - 1030, 20 mm. Obv: ROB FRAN REX (and variations), crowned stylized head of the king. Rev: ADALERO LAD, stylized head of the bishop. Mint is Laon. D8, C29.

He was son of Hugh Capet and known as 'the Pious' and 'the August.' He was born in Orleans in 970. He married a cousin, Bertha, a marriage which was subsequently annulled due to consanguinity. There was no issue from this union. He subsequently married Constance of Arles, daughter of William of Arles and Blanche d'Anjou. They had four sons and a daughter. He was succeeded by his son Henri I.

He reconquered the duchy of Burgundy. When Henri the Venerable died in 1002, his potential heirs were Otto-William, an adopted son and Robert, a nephew. They were fighting over control of the duchy of Burgundy and feudal privilege in 1004. From 'L'An Mil:' Otte-Guillaume qui avait peut-etre ete appele par la noblesse du duche a lui succeder, ne fut pas duc et le roi Robert II ne recueittit pas tout suite le duche... Une grande anarchie semble avoir regne a ce moment: des comtes se consideraient comme autonomes, ainsi le comte d'Auxois, ou independants, tel l'eveque de Langres qui ne reconnaissait pas l'autorite royale, et le comte de Nevers qui s'empara d'Auxerre, domaine de l'eveque. Cette usurpation provoqua entre le roi et Landri une guerre qui dura deux ans et se termina par le marriage de la soeur du roi avec le fils aine du comte (72)." Robert had essentially prevailed by 1004 (CMH III:192) but fighting continued until 1015 when Robert finally prevailed over Otto William and bishop of Langres. The CMH notes the animosity between Robert and Langres was so strong that contemporary chroniclers virtually ignore Otto William in the later years of the conflict. At the end of this conflict Otto William was recognized as 'count' of Burgundy, even through this predated the idea of the County of Burgundy, or the lands east of the Saone.

This map shows the extent of urbanization in Burgundy in 1004. The most notable pattern is urban sites along the Saone. The east of the Saone, through the Jura, is relatively empty, as is the Morvan in the southwest part of Burgundy.

Gaucelin, illegitimate son of Hugh Capet
Appointed Abbot of St. Benoit sur Loire in 1004
(half brother of Robert II)

Hugues, son of Robert II (996-1031)

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AR denier, 20mm, 1.34g. Obv: +D-I DEXTRA BE, portal with letters HYGO around it. Rev: +AVRELIANIS CIVITAS, central cross. Mint is Orleans. C 31aV (BE, not BNE in the reverse). R4895 as an anonymous issue; not in Dup, PdA. Ciani places as a royal coin in Robert's name.

Comté de Chartres. Eudes II, 1004 - 1037.
Eudes II of Blois assumed this title in 1004

Comté de Chartres. Eudes II, 1004-1037. Obole. Tête à droite, encadrée de deux besants, dessous, trois triangles. Rv. CARTIS CIVITAS, croix. 0.54g. PA.1736. Image from Yves Cellard - Argenor. I believe this Eudes II was simultaneously Count of Blois from 996 - 1037.

At this time the area around Chartres was not heavily urbanized. This map shows major urban concentrations in 1000. They are rather thin on the ground, compared to either the presence of  fortified sites (left map below) or religious centers (monasteries, convents) (right map below..

Eudes II was a major figure in the early 11th century. He was also count of Blois and ally of Robert the Pious. Conflict broke out between them in 1022 over Eudes "growing ambition following his (contested) inheritance of Meaux and Troyes in 1021"

CMH III:392. Early in the century Eudes was often in conflict with Fulk Nerra of Anjou over unresolved border issues and simultaneous territorial ambitions. This is reflected in the extensiveness of the fortification network throughout the territory of Chartres and Blois. The map below shows Fulk's fortification network. Fulk ultimately prevailed at the Battle of Pontelevoy. On the map at the left, Pontelevoy is in the lower right quadrant.

Counts of Anjou
Fulk III Nerra (987-1040)

Over these years Anjou expanded, in large part due to an effective strategy of building castles both to protect border areas and to surround enemies. This allowed the military advantage to to shift to Anjou. While this map is hard to read, the extent of castle construction is evident. It spans the years 950 - 1050. (Cambridge Illustrated Atlas: Warfare 35)

Hugh I Count of Maine (955-1015)
Charles the Bald immobilzed

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AR denier, 19mm, 1.38gr. Obv: +CRATIA D-I REX, central degenerate Carolingian monogram. Rev: CINONANIS CIVITAS, central cross. Mint is Le Mans. Dumas 7900-8086 ID's 10 of this type at this weight. Not in R.

Hugues had a very long reign. His coinage was an immobilized Charles the Bald design. Other than being a ruler in 1004 I'm not yet able to add details to events around the turn of the millenium.

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AR denier, 20mm, 1.34g. +C(?)RATIA D-I REX, central KRLS monogram. Rev: +CINOMAS CIVITAS, central cross. Mint is Le Mans. Dumas 7045-7462 (18 this weight). This is the most common type. Very similar is 7463-7690 which has 12 coins in this weight category. PdA 1544v; not in R, Boud. This coin dates 960-80 to be in the Fecamp hoard. PdA indicates Hugues I was count over these years.

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AR denier, 20mm, 1.05gr. Obv: CIATIA DI REX, central KRLS monogram. Rev: CIIONANIS CIVTA, central cross. Mint is LeMans. This coin was also identified as from Fecamp but does not match any of the LeMans references in Dumas (7045-8357). It varies in several ways. The closest ones are 8092 CIVITA and 8355 IITA. This coin starts with CIIO which is uncommon and not paired with either of the CIVITA coins. This is in all likelihood an unusual (in that it does not appear in Dumas)  immobilized 10th C coin. Weight suggests later rather than earlier. Not in Roberts, Boud or PdA. Hugues I was count of Maine (LeMans) at this time. By the 11th C, under Herbert I (1015-36) the legend from LeMans shifted to COMES CENOMANNIS, arguing that this is in fact 10th C. It appears to be an uncatalogued coin. :)

Information on Hugues (Hugh) of Maine and the county of Maine at the end of the 10th century is not thick on the ground. Poey d’Avant (1:210) notes that Hugh the Grand, duc of France, established Hugues I, son of David, as count of Maine in 965. This is after a break in a series of 9th century rulers. His listing of the counts of Maine gives Hugues I’s reign as from 955 to 1015, (yes - 955) when he is succeeded by Herbert I. The Grand Larousse Encyclopedia also notes 955 as the start of the reign, but does not identify a date of death. Several sources indicate three, but even here there is variation on the dates among the sources. One writer cites The Acts of the Counts of Maine (Latouche 1910) with similar information as Poey d'Avant. I will go with Poey d'Avant for the moment and am looking for a copy of Historie du Comte du Maine pendant le Xe et XIe Siecles.

The county remained hereditary in this family, according to Poey d’Avant, into the 12th century. At that point it passed into English hands for a time. Philippe Auguste seized it from king John (Lackland), but all this is further down the timeline from our current interest.

Guizot (1:238) mentions Hugues as being present at the conference that chose Hugh Capet as king of France. “At the time fixed, probably the 29th or 30th of June, 987, the grandees of Frankish Gaul, who had bound themselves by oath reassembled at Senlis. Hugh Capet was present with his brother Henry of Burgundy and his brother in law, Richard the Fearless, duke of Normandy. The majority of the direct vassals of the crown were also there, Foulques (Fulk) Nerra (the Black), count of Anjou; Eudes, count of Blois, Chartres and Tours; Bouchard, count of Verdome and Corbeil; Gautier, count of Vexin; and Hugh, count of Maine.

Archbishop Adalberon presided and noted the concave was to elect a ruler of France. Recognizing that there was a shift from a Carolingian pretender, he said “the throne is not acquired by hereditary right and we are bound to place at the head of the kingdom none but him who not only hath the distinction of corporeal nobility but also hath honor to recommend him and magnanimity to rest upon.” The concave went on to recognize Hugh Capet as king of France, who was crowned July 1, 987. (See the Siege of Paris page for the story of Hugh’s defense against a Viking invasion that key to winning him the crown.)

Dunbabin makes several mentions of Maine. He notes the title goes back to the middle of the 10th century, consistent with Poey d’Avant. Maine often found itself in a militarily precarious position. Dunbabin notes it was pressed by Normandy after Rollo and William Longsword protected themselves against Scandinavian incursions (80). Plunder and land were a big incentive to follow the Normans in Maine (90). Toward the end of Hugues’ reign Foulques Nerra claimed suzerainty over Maine. By this time, under Herbert I, Maine was part of the Anjou mouvance. The count of Maine (Herbert) fought with Foulques at the battle of Pontlevoy in 1016, against Eudes II of Blois.

By the middle of the 11th century Geoffrey, Foulques’ heir, had essentially come to control Maine (Dunbabin 188). Maine was subsequently attacked and coveted by the ducs of Normandy in the person of William the Bastard (to be the Conqueror) (204).

From the French chronologies:

Gauzlin became abbot of Fleury.

Start of the construction of the porch tour at the abbey of Fleury.

A severe drought followed by heavy rains and flooding and an invasion of locusts, which ruined the crops this year. This set up a terrible famine over the next two years.

Aethelred II (978-1016)
King of Wessex

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Penny, 20 mm. Obv: +EDELRED REX ANGLOR, center bust left. Rev: text, center small cross. S. 1154, N 777. Contemporary French coin: Robert II.

The map shows Wessex as limited to the southern section of England at this time.

He was son of Edgar (king) and Elfrida. He came to the throne on the death of his half brother.

From the Anglo Saxon Chronicles: "A.D. 1004.  This year came Sweyne with his fleet to Norwich, plundering and burning the whole town.  Then Ulfkytel agreed with the council in East-Anglia, that it were better to purchase peace with the enemy, ere they did too much harm on the land; for that they had come unawares, and he had not had time to gather his force.  Then, under the truce that should have been between them, stole the army up from their ships, and bent their course to Thetford.  When Ulfkytel understood that, then sent he an order to hew the ships in pieces; but they frustrated his design.  Then he gathered his forces, as secretly as he could.  The enemy came to Thetford within three weeks after they had plundered Norwich; and, remaining there one night, they spoiled and burned the town; but, in the morning, as they were proceeding to their ships, came Ulfkytel with his army, and said that they must there come to close quarters.  And, accordingly, the two armies met together; and much slaughter was made on both sides.  There were many of the veterans of the East-Angles slain; but, if the main army had been there, the enemy had never returned to their ships.  As they said themselves, that they never met with worse hand play in England than Ulfkytel brought them."

Aethelred  had an interrupted reign, abdicating in favor of  Sweyn in 1013. Sweyn claimed the throne by right of conquest, but enjoyed its privileges for less than a year before he died and Aethelred regained the throne. By his first marriage to Elgiva he might have had as many as 13 children, although there is uncertainty. By his second marriage to Emma, daughter of the Duke of Normandy, he had three children, one of whom, Edward the Confessor, ultimately succeeded him. He was known as the 'unraed' or 'unrede.' which means 'without counsel.'

Comings and Goings:

Died 1004: Garcia Sanchez II of Navarre, Pomplona and Argon.

Became ruler 1004:

Sancho Garces III of  Navarre, Pomplona and Argon.
Eudes II  Chartres (1004-37)

Western rulers in 1004:

Henry II,  king of Germany (1002-24), Italy (1004)
Hermann III, duke of Swabia (1003-12)
Dietrich I, duke of Upper Lotharingia (978-1027)
Rudolf III, king of Burgundy (993-1032)
Otto William, count of Chalon (d1026)
Robert II, king of France (996-1031)
Geoffrey Berengar, duke of Brittany (d1008)
Richard II, duke of Normandy (996-1026)
Baldwin IV, count of Flanders (998-1035)
William V, duke of Aquitaine (993-1050)
Fulk III Nerra of Anjou (987-1040)
Eudes II of Blois (__-1037) and Chartres (1004-37)
Sancho William, duke of Gascony (997-1009)
William III Taillefer, count of Toulouse (961?-1037)
Ramon Borrell II, count of Barcelona (992-1018)
Aethelred II, king of Wessex (978-1016)
Vladimir of Rus (978-1015)
Boleslav Chrobry of Poland (992-1025)
Jaromir of Bohemia (1003-12)
Vajk Stephen of Hungary (1000-38)
Basil II of Constantinople (976-1025)
Samuel of Bulgaria (976-1014)
Pandulf II, prince of Capua (982-1014)
Landulf V, count of S. Agata (1000-7)
Guaimir III, prince of Salerno
Hisham II, caliph of Cordoba (976-1009)
Alphonso V, king of Leon (999-1027)
Sancho Garces III of Navarre (1004-35)
John XVIII, pope, (1003-1009)


Argenor website

Atlas de La France de l'An Mil

Cambridge Medieval History III

Catholic Encyclopedia website

Patron saints index website (Henry II image)

History Net: Who's Who in Medieval History website