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Obverse of a silver penny of King Alfred. This side of the coin (the 'head's' side) bears a bust of the king with a band around his head and an incription that reads: "AELFRED REX". On the other side of the coin there is a monogram made up of the letters "LVNDONIA" - medieval Latin for London. This penny was issued in about 880, the time at which the Anglo-Saxons seem to have regained control of the London area from the occupying Viking forces. The West Saxon king Alfred (ruler of the only surviving independent Anglo-Saxon kingdom) could then lay claim to London, which had formerly been in the kingdom of Mercia. In 886 Alfred went further and re-established London by founding 'Lundenburg' within the walls of the old Roman city, and abandoning the earlier Saxon town of 'Lundenwic' that stood further to the west.
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