The Allegories of Germania Mint introduce a very intriguing collection of the legendary female personifications of prominent historical lands and nations. In each example Germania meets in symbolic circumstances with her counterpart representing another nation. Lady Germania was unveiled to us by her stunning image being displayed on the earlier release of Germania Mint’s 2019 Germania 25 Mark 5 oz Silver Round. This remarkably beautiful design featured Germania personified in the classic form of a brave, beautiful woman. She is portrayed standing strong, prepared to defend the realm, as guardian. This release of the Allegories Polonia & Germania is an incredibly beautiful and powerful addition to the series!
Brave, Powerful Feminine Touch
Allegories raise the question as to why many ancient lands and nations, (particularly in the West), have both feminine names and female personifications as their legendary guardians. Perhaps, this could be explained in the allegorical sense of identifying the “homeland” with the actual home and family in which they were raised under maternal care and protection.
As the mint states it, “Treating the country as a metaphor of home and family, nations have always identified their countries with maternal protection, which provided them with a sense of security and community. Wishing to pay a tribute to them, we created a series of coins called ‘The Allegories’, with which we want to celebrate the extraordinary figures of ‘mothers of nations’, who for centuries have encouraged people in the hardest moments of human history.”
It is out of this sense that the Allegories of Germania Mint were born. This series promises to be quite fascinating. And this inaugural 2019 5 oz Silver Allegories Polonia & Germania BU is a beautifully striking example!
Germania ‑ Brave, Beautiful Defender
Germania is recognized to be the Latin term for Germany, which was very early used by the Romans to distinguish the area in north central Europe of which the Germanic peoples mostly populated.
As the Germania Mint notes: “Due to the connection with patriotic feelings, this word was present mainly in German literature and poetry. In ancient times the area inhabited by Germans east of the Rhine and north of the Danube rivers was called Germania. At that time its first personifications on coins and reliefs appeared, depicting a brave woman ‑ the guardian of the nation.”
Polonia: Mother of Poland
We find the earliest known appearance of Polonia in Renaissance writer Mikołaj Rej in his 1562 work, “Zwierzyniec.” An illustration in the story portrays a woman weeping about her dire situation, and it was meant as a metaphorical representation of Poland. During this period, Polonia, who was pictured with a white eagle and portraits of royal leaders, was meant to illustrate the Polish state’s ideas and its authority.
However, the image that became the most emblematic of the Polish state was on the front page of “Quincunx,” by Stanisław Orzechowski, which was published in 1564 in Krakow. Orzechowski portrayed Polonia as standing on Pope Pius IV’s and King Sigismund Augustus’s shoulders. He believed that Catholicism was the backbone of the Polish state. This image described his belief in the inseparable relationship of church and state.
Germania and Polonia
The obverse portrays a wonderfully stunning representation of two powerful guardians. Polonia and Germania meet together in the friendship between cultures. Germania confidently and proudly holds her shield, while the brave and confident Polonia carries her sword, both standing together in friendship. The background is filled with a distinctive guilloche pattern that really makes Polonia and Germania prominently stand out. Inscriptions “ALLEGORIES . 1 OZ . 999.9 FINE SILVER” are displayed within a narrow band encircling the rim. An attractive texture fills the band.
The Ancient Bicephalous Eagle
The reverse the Germania and Polonia round boldly features the figure of the Bicephalous Eagle, an image of a two-headed eagle that reaches deep into ancient history. Although most historians trace the image’s origin back to the ancient Hittites, it has been adopted throughout history by mythology, heraldry, religious groups, and various countries. As noted by the Mint: “The two-headed eagle is a symbol appearing in Roman mythology associated with Janus ‑ the god of all origins, guardian of doors, gates, passages and bridges, the patron of allied agreements and arrangements. Heads facing the opposite symbolize the past and the future. The lightning bolts held in the claws of an eagle are a divine attribute, symbolizing strength and the power of creation and destruction.”
Adding further distinction to the eagle’s image, framed on either side is a nicely detailed laurel wreath. The inscriptions include “5 MARK” at the top rim, and “GERMANIA” at the bottom. It should be noted that the “5 MARK” is symbolic only and does not denote the silver round as having any actual face value as legal tender. The entire background is filled with the same attractive texture as displayed within the obverse rim-band.
From Germania Mint:
The Germania Mint, inspired by the power of femininity, created an impressive series of coins – Allegories – to highlight the extraordinary figures of “Mothers of Nations”. The lead character of the series is a feminine personification of Germania, accompanied by the personifications of other countries. In the Western world, the first feminine impersonations of nations were usually majestic manifestations of values considered to characterise the communities of given countries or regions. Many of these visualizations came from the image of goddess Athena and took the Latin names of the ancient Roman provinces, such as Germania, Polonia, Britannia, and Italia. For hundreds of years, for unknown reasons, women have been seen as the weaker sex. Often unnoticed and underestimated, women were forced to believe that they should obey men. Nevertheless, national incarnations and country names are mostly female. The country as a metaphor for home and family has always been identified with maternal protection, which provided security and a sense of community. And although the overwhelming majority is still mainly men who are world leaders, in times of wars and disasters people symbolically turn to the “Mother of the Nation” in search of safety and protection.
It is out of this sense that the Allegories of Germania Mint were born. This series has been quite fascinating, and this fifth release 2020 Germania Allegories Polonia 5 Mark 1 oz Silver BU is a remarkably fine addition! Depicting the feminine guardian of Germania and her counterpart of another powerful nation meeting together, the beautiful and majestic Polonia of Poland, there is the expectation that the two could walk together towards a brighter future for both.
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