Holy Roman Empire, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, Bracteate

The German Imperial Eagle harks back to the Aquila, the Roman military standard. It was not a personal or dynastical emblem but symbolized executive power. Emperor Charlemagne adopted the Roman eagle after his coronation in the year of 800 AD, to carry Roman imperial power into the Frankish Empire. Hence the eagle was passed on to the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation. This bracteate from the 13th century shows a wonderful eagle with spread wings and a naturalistic beak. The coin is a so-called Constance pfennig because it was modeled after the pfennigs of the bishop of Constance. That was the most frequent currency around the Lake of Constance and beyond at that time.