Historical knowledge

Silver’s route to Denmark – trading with the Arab coins

Silver was the most important precious metal of the Viking Age. It was not until the 900s that it came to Denmark in large quantities. During much of the Viking Age silver came to Denmark via connections with the Russian territories. It originated in the Muslim provinces in Central Asia. In cities such as Samarkand and Tashkent large quantities of silver coins, or ‘dirhams’, were minted. These coins were used on a large scale by Muslim merchants along the Volga and Don rivers. Perhaps the trade in silver was controlled by a relatively small group of Vikings. At the end of the 900s the flow of Arab coins stopped. Instead western European coins now found their way to Denmark.

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