Friday, August 20, 2010

Rex Carolvs means what?

Continuing the illustrated, annotated version of Last Night's Scandal...

As followers of the Two Nerdy History Girls blog are acutely aware, I spend a lot of time on historical trivia that many readers probably don't find all that thrilling. You can imagine my excitement, then, when a reader is sufficiently intrigued to ask me to explain an obscure detail in one of my books. 

Today's query relates to this exchange:
     “What have you got there?”
     “Dunno.  Brass button?”
     “Let me see.”
     After scraping off dirt, Roy said, “A medal, maybe.”  He peered at the object.
     “Old medal?” said Jock.  “Some of them fetch a good price.”
     “Could be.”  Roy scraped some more and peered some more.  Then he spelled out painfully, “R-E-X.  Then a mark, not a letter.  Then C-A-R-O-L-V-S.”
     Jock, whose reading skills extended to recognizing a tavern sign, said, “What is it?”
     Roy looked at him.  “Money,” he said.

My alert-to-details reader wanted to know what REX CAROLVS signified.

The reference is to King Charles I, who appears as Rex Carolvs (Rex Carolus) on the coins of his reign.  One of the plot elements of the book deals with a legend dating to his reign, the turmoil of the Civil War, and its unfortunate conclusion for him and those who supported him.

These illustrations are by Classical Numismatic Group.  You can see more examples here and here, at the Welsh website, Gathering the Jewels.  Another fine example is at the British Museum.  You can even buy a reproduction at the Royal Mint.


nightsmusic said...

Jock, whose reading skills extended to recognizing a tavern sign, said, “What is it?”


I love your attention to detail. Just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

I like these little history snacks.

Keep 'em coming!

Anonymous said...

Glad I googled it! Am reading the book "last night' scandal" now and had no idea what it meant. Awsome way to be there for your readers! Thanks!