Doctoral defence: Viktors Dāboliņš “The Rise of the Riga Schillings (1582–1621)“

On 12 September at 16:15 Viktors Dāboliņš will defend his doctoral thesis The Rise of the Riga Schillings (1582–1621) for obtaining the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (in History). 

Associate Professor Enn Küng, University of Tartu
Associate Professor Ivar Leimus, Tallinn University

Professor Dr Jürgen Heyde, Leipzig University (Germany)
Dr Borys Paszkiewicz, University of Wrocław (Poland)

The thesis is the first attempt to systematically approach the extraordinary rise of Riga schillings (1582-1621) in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth monetary market. The subject had been highlighted four decades ago by the Polish numismatist Andrzej Mikołajczyk on the basis of Polish coin hoard analysis and expanding its geographical scope in the analysis of Lithuanian and Ukrainian hoards. In order to trace the dynamics and volumes of schilling expansion within the historical Commonwealth territory, this study introduces hoarding data from Latvia and Estonia to the research field. Both territories once formed the Duchy of Livonia (1561-1629), in which the Riga mint executed exclusive minting rights. Additionally, the thesis presents major findings from schilling collection of the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation, and the uniquely well-preserved mint archive. Principal quantitative and qualitative indicators - emission rates, minting standards, revenue, silver and copper consumption are plotted in data series and cross-examined within the monetary history contexts of the Commonwealth, Duchy of Livonia and the mint itself. Hence, the thesis addresses general ’Polish period’ monetary history. The analysis of calculated emission rates and hoard studies allows to conclude that more than 300 million schillings were minted in the period and as much as half of the production could have left provincial borders of the duchy in several waves. While the circulation of domestic coins was unrestricted in the common monetary area, Riga schilling success is explained by their relative cheapness, dearth of small change in the Commonwealth and increasing speculative prospects in the final years of their coinage.


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