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AD 781

Charlemagne's monetary reforms

After decades of monetary disorder, Pepin the Short decided to standardise the weight and shape of the silver denier in AD 755. Charlemagne continued his father's efforts to restore order to the monetary system, reinstating the royal monopoly over the minting of coins and making the silver denier the official currency of the empire.

The sou was worth 12 deniers and the livre was worth 20 sous: this counting system, known as the duodecimal system (from the Latin duodecimus meaning one twelfth), was used up until the French Revolution.

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