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The crusades were military expeditions undertaken by the Christians of Europe in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims. The origin of the word may be traced to the cross made of cloth and worn as a badge on the outer garment of those who took part in these enterprises. The Crusader states were a number of mostly 12th and 13th century feudal states created by Western European crusaders in Sicily, Greece, Asia Minor, and the Holy Land, and during the Northern Crusades in the eastern Baltic area. Politics were complicated, including a Christian alliance with the Islamic Sultanate of Rûm during the Fifth Crusade. The Crusaders ravaged the countries they marched through, killed 8,000 Jews in the Rhineland in the first of Europe's pogroms, devastated the Mediterranean ports, fought amongst themselves as much as the "Infidel" and fleeced their subjects to fill their coffers. Murder and massacre in the service of the Gospel was commonplace. Seventy thousand civilians were butchered in the sack of Jerusalem. The end came in 1291 with the fall of Acre, the last Christian stronghold in the Holy Land.
Normans, Southern Italy, Anonymous, Dukes of Apulia or Counts of Sicily & Calabria, c. 1060 - 1080 A.D.
This coin is certainly imitative, as it weighs less then 1/3 the weight of the even the lightest official Class B Byzantineanonymous follisForum has handled. Attribution to the Normans in Italy is based on the reputed find location and some similarity to other Byzantine imitatives issued by the Normans in Southern Italy and Sicily.ME73353. Bronze follaro, apparently unpublished, imitative of Class B Byzantineanonymous follis (SBCV 1823, Constantinople, 1028 - 1041); MEC Italy III -, MIR -, et al. -, F, weight 2.163 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Italian mint, c. 1060 - 1080 A.D.; obverse facing bust of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, holding book of Gospels; reverse IS - XS / bAS-ILE / bAS-ILE (Jesus Christ King of Kings, mostly off flan), Cross on three steps, dividing legend; from a California collector; $135.00 (€114.75)
Normans, Kingdom of Sicily, Roger II, 1105 - 1154 A.D.
Roger II was King of Sicily, son of Roger I of Sicily and successor to his brother Simon. He began his rule as Count of Sicily in 1105, became Duke of Apulia and Calabria in 1127, and then King of Sicily in 1130. Roger II is remembered for having united all of the Norman conquests in Italy under one strong central government. He was also the grandfather of Frederick II.ME70465. Bronze follaro, MIR 10 135 (R2), MEC Italy III 227, F, both sides off-center, weight 1.120 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 180o, Messina mint, 1150 - 1151 A.D.; obverse half-length bust of the Virgin Orans facing, MHP - ΘV (Greek abbreviation for Mother of God) across field; reverse Arabic inscription arranged as a cross: umila five hundred forty five (struck in 545 AH), four dots arranged in a square in each quarter; very rare; $110.00 (€93.50)
Crusaders, Athens, Frankish Greece, Guy II de La Roche, 1287 - 1308
Guy II de la Roche was the Duke of Athens from 1287, the last duke of his family. He succeeded as a minor on the death of his father, William I, at a time when the duchy of Athens had exceeded the Principality of Achaea in wealth, power, and importance. Guy was originally under the tutorship and regency of his mother, Helena Angelina Komnene, who was forced to make submission to Isabella of Villehardouin. In 1299, Guy was engaged to Matilda, daughter of Isabella and and her husband, Florent of Hainaut. Charles objected, as his permission had not been sought, but Pope Boniface VIII intervened on the young couple's behalf. In 1307, Guy was made bailli of Achaea by its new prince, Philip I of Taranto. He governed well, but for barely a year. He died, 5 October 1308, at the age of twenty-eight, but was respected and renowned for his chivalry and manners, typical of the Frankish courts kept in Greece.ME85309. Billondenier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 85, Metcalf Crusades Variety 1c and pl. 42, 1067; Schlumberger XXXIX 14, VF, well centered, toned, areas of weak legend, tiny edge cracks, weight 0.783 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 45o, Athens mint, majority, 1294 - 1308 A.D.; obverse + GVI DVX ATENES (trefoils flanking cross, trefoil stops), cross pattée; reverse + ThEBANI.CIVIS (trefoils flanking cross), castle tournois, double pellet at beginning and end of legend; ex C. Subak (Chicago, Sep 1975); $100.00 (€85.00)
Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea Philip of Taranto, 1307 - 1313
Philip of Taranto was the son of Charles II and the overlord of Philip of Savoy. Charles II deposed Philip of Savoy in June 1306, and in 1307 Philip of Taranto took the title of prince. Based on epigraphy, Metcalf identifies this type as possibly struck at Corinth. Malloy Crusaders notes the obverselegend ending variation (but for type 24, not 25), and notes, "D P, for 'Depotes,' presumably rather than D R, for 'Depotes Romanie.'"ME85305. Billondenier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 25 var. (obv. leg. ends D•R•), Metcalf Crusades PT1, 979 var. (same), VF, toned, edge cracks, weight 0.838 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, Clarentza (or Corinth?) mint, 1307 - 1313; obverse + •Ph'S P•ACH•TAR•D•P• (Philip, Prince of Achaea and Taranto, Despot [of Romania]), cross pattée; reverse + DE CLARENCIA (fleur-de-lis on each side of cross), castle tournois, pellet on each side of castle, fleur-de-lis below; ex C. Subak (Chicago, Sep 1975); scarcer variety; $95.00 (€80.75)
Kingdom of Sicily, Henry VI (HRE), 1194 - 1197
Henry VI was King of Germany from 1190 - 1197, Holy Roman Emperor from 1191 - 1197, and King of Sicily from 1194 - 1197. In 1197, his German soldiers mercilessly suppressed a revolt in Italy, especially in southern Sicily. In this same year, Henry prepared for a Crusade, but, on 28 September, he died of malaria (or he may have been poisoned) in Messina. His son, Frederick II, inherited both the Kingdom of Sicily and the Imperial crown.ME72172. Billondirham fraction, Biaggi 1780 (R2), Spahr 2 (RR); MIR Sicily 457 (R); MEC Italy III, 477, VF, typical tight flan, slightly off-center, weight 0.944 g, maximum diameter 10.1 mm, die axis 0o, Palermo mint, 1194 - 1195; obverse Arabic legend in Nashki script: Harir / quaysar / aughust (HenryCaesarAugustus); reverse + / Z REX / SICI +; rare; $90.00 (€76.50)
Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Isabella of Villehardouin, 1297 - 1301
One of the few medieval coins minted under female authority. Isabella was the daughter of Charles II. She minted coins in her own name only between her marriages to her second husband, Florent, and her third husband, Philip of Savoy. Metcalf notes this issue was a recoinage beginning in 1299, intended to achieve parity with the Athenian tournois. ME85298. Billondenier tournois, Metcalf Crusadestype Y1; Malloy Crusaders 15a; Schlumberger XII 19, VF, well centered, toned, earthen deposits, weight 0.807 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 225o, Corinth mint, 1299 - 1301; obverse + YSABELLA•P•ACh (small trefoil before and small B after legend, unbarred A's), cross pattée; reverse + DE CLARENCIA' (unbarred A's), castle tournois, star of eight rays at beginning and end of legend; ex H.M.F. Schulman Auction, The Thomas Olive Mabbott Collection (N.Y.C., Jun 1969); $85.00 (€72.25)
Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, John of Gravina, 1322 - 1333
John of Gravina, Count of Gravina 1315–1335, Prince of Achaea 1318-1332, Duke of Durazzo 1332–1335 and ruler of the Kingdom of Albania (although he never used a royal title), was a younger son of Charles II of Naples and Maria of Hungary. He was a younger brother of (among others) Charles Martel of Anjou, Saint Louis of Toulouse, Robert of Naples and Philip I of Taranto. The death of Louis of Burgundy in 1316 widowed Matilda of Hainaut, Princess of Achaea. Her suzerain, John's brother Philip I of Taranto, had her brought by force to Naples in 1318 to marry John and bring the Principality of Achaea into the Angevin inheritance. Matilda refused to surrender her rights to Achaea to her husband and ultimately contracted a secret marriage with Hugh de La Palice. This violated the marriage contract of her mother Isabelle, which had pledged that Isabelle and all her female heirs should not marry without permission of their suzerain. On these grounds, Philip stripped her of Achaea and bestowed it upon John: the marriage was annulled for non-consummation, and Matilda was imprisoned in the Castel dell'Ovo.ME85306. Billondenier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 51, Metcalf CrusadesType Γ, VF, centered on a tight flan, crude as usual for the type, edge cracks, weight 0.734 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Corinth(?) mint, 1322 - 1333; obverse + IOΛNS P AChI, cross pattée, pellet in the third quarter; reverse + DE CLARENCIA, castle tournois; ex C. Subak (Chicago, Sep 1975); $85.00 (€72.25)
Crusaders(?), Imitative of Zangids of Syria, c. 1146 - 1200 A.D.,
This coin is a crude imitative of an Islamic fals of the Zangids of Syria, Nur al-Din Mahmud, struck at Halab (Aleppo, Syria), 1146 - 1173 (Spengler-Sayles 73, Album 1850). That type was itself also imitative, copying a Byzantinefollis of Constantine X, struck at Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey), 1059 - 1067 (DOC III 8, SBCV 1853). The quality of the Zangids fals vary greatly and it can be difficult to distinguish between Halab mint issues and imitatives. This example is very crude and if any can be attributed to the crusaders, this is one.BZ77974. Bronze follis, Malloy Crusaders -; cf. Spengler-Sayles 73 (notes "barbaric" imitations), Album 1850 (notes imitations are perhaps struck by the Crusaders), F, desert patina, tight flan, weight 2.798 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain mint, c. 1150 - 1200 A.D.; obverse two Byzantinestyle imperial figures (Constantine X and Eudocia) standing facing, supporting between them labarum resting on three steps, EX downward on left, imitation of Kuficlegend inner left; reverse Christ standing facing, nimbate, book of Gospels in left hand, right hand on hip, IC - XC flanking head, blundered imitation of legend around; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $70.00 (€59.50)
Normans, Kingdom of Sicily, Roger II, 1105 - 1154 A.D.
Roger II was King of Sicily, son of Roger I of Sicily and successor to his brother Simon. He began his rule as Count of Sicily in 1105, became Duke of Apulia and Calabria in 1127, and then King of Sicily in 1130. Roger II is remembered for having united all of the Norman conquests in Italy under one strong central government. He was also the grandfather of Frederick II.ME72282. Bronze follaro, MEC Italy III 162, Biaggi 1216 (R, double follaro), Spahr 53, MIR Sicily 19 (R2), aVF, well centered, slightly rough, weight 3.643 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Messina mint, 1127 - 1130 A.D.; obverse Roger standing facing, long cross in right, globus cruciger in left, wearing crown with pendilia, R over II on left; reverse Christ seated facing on wide throne, nimbus cruciger behind head, Gospels in both hands on lap; rare; $60.00 (€51.00)
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