The medieval period—the nine centuries between the fall of Rome and the start of the Renaissance—is often depicted as backwards, an era marred by holy war, plague, and ignorance: the Dark Ages. But the Middle Ages were anything but dark. There were many accomplishments in the medieval period, including the re-emergence of silver coins as money. From 1278-1564, silver groschen struck in Prague (the third-largest city in medieval Europe; only Rome and Constantinople were bigger) were the ”coins of the realm“—a near-universal currency known for its high silver fineness that was recognized across Europe, from London to Constantinople. They tend to be well worn—evidence of how
often, and for how long, they circulated.