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SIEGE (O. Fr. sege, siege, mod. siege, seat, ultimately from sedere, to sit, cf . Class. Lat. obsidium, a siege), the " sitting down " of an army or military force before a fortified place for the purpose of taking it, either by direct military operations or by starving it into submission (see FORTIFICATION AND SIEGECRAFT). A special form of coin is known as a " siege-piece." These are coins that were struck during a siege of a town when the ordinary mints were closed or their issues were not available. Such coins were commonly of special shape to distinguish them from the normal coinage, and were naturally of rough workmanship. A common shape for the siege pieces which were issued during the Great Rebellion was the lozenge. A noteworthy example is a shilling siege-piece struck at Newark in 1645 (see TOKEN MONEY).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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