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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Medieval & Modern Coins ▸ SicilyView Options:  |  |  |   

Coins of Sicily

Normans, Kingdom of Sicily, Roger II, 1105 - 1154 A.D.

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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 MP − ΘY (Greek abbreviation: Mother of God), half-length bust of the Virgin Orans facing; 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; $180.00 (€160.20)
 


Kingdom of Naples and Sicily, Phillip II of Spain, 25 July 1554 - 13 September 1598

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Philip II was King of Spain from 1556 and of Portugal from 1581 (as Philip I, Filipe I). From 1554 he was King of Naples and Sicily as well as Duke of Milan. During his marriage to Queen Mary I (1554 - 58), he was also King of England and Ireland. From 1555, he was lord of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands. Known in Spanish as "Philip the Prudent" (Felipe el Prudente), his empire included territories on every continent then known to Europeans, including his namesake Philippine Islands. During his reign, Spain reached the height of its influence and power. The expression "The empire on which the sun never sets" was coined during Philip's time to reflect the extent of his possessions.
ME66320. Bronze cavallo, MIR Napoli 198 var. (legend variations and the cross dividing the legend noted in MIR), aF, uneven strike, weight 1.956 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Naples mint, obverse PHILIPP REX ARA VT (sic), radiate head right, no date(?); reverse HIERVS + SICILIAE (sic), crown, legend divided at the top by small cross fourchée; $160.00 (€142.40)
 


Kingdom of Naples and Sicily, Charles I of Anjou, 1266 - 1285

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Charles I of Anjou was the King of Sicily by conquest from 1266, though he had received it as a papal grant in 1262. He was expelled from the island in the aftermath of the Sicilian Vespers of 1282.
ME66338. Billon denaro, MIR 10 347 (R3), Biaggi 493 var. (R), MEC Italy III 643, VF, weight 0.405 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 135o, Apulia, Brindisi mint, early coinage, 1266 - 1278; obverse K DEI GRA REX SCL, cross fleury; reverse + DVC AP ET PRIC CAPE, shield with lis and three pendants, flanked by two small lis; rare; $140.00 (€124.60)
 


Normans, Southern Italy, Anonymous, Dukes of Apulia or Counts of Sicily & Calabria, c. 1081 - 1087 A.D.

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This coin is certainly imitative, as it weighs about 1/3 the normal weight of an official Class J Byzantine anonymous follis. 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.
ME68381. Bronze follis, apparently unpublished, imitative of Byzantine class J follis (SBCV 1900, Constantinople, 1081 - 1118); MEC Italy III -, Biaggi -, Wroth Western -, aF, on a very small thin flan compared to Byzantine proto-types, weight 2.200 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain S. Italy mint, c. 1081 - 1087 A.D.; obverse bust of Christ facing, cross behind, wears pallium and colbium, raising right in benediction, Gospels in left, crescents above, IC - XC flanking, facing bust of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, holding book of Gospels; reverse Cross with globule and two pellets at each extremity, large crescent below, four globules around each surrounded by pellets; from an American collection; $140.00 (€124.60)
 


Kingdom of Sicily, Frederick II (HRE), 1197 - 1250

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Frederick was born in Catania. In his youth, his reign was under the control of powerful Sicilian barons, and was plagued by wars with the Kingdom of Naples and by the Black Death, which killed his elder brother and predecessor. In 1372 he was able to come to peace terms with Naples and Pope Gregory IX.
ME70450. Billon denaro, MIR 10 286, MEC Italy III 555, Biaggi 459 (NC), Spahr 128, gVF, wavy flan, small hole, weight 0.583 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, Brindisi mint, 1243; obverse + F ROM IMPR SEP AVG', bare head right; reverse +•R• IERSL' ET SICIL'•, eagle standing facing, head right, wings open; $140.00 (€124.60)
 


Kingdom of Sicily, Henry VI (HRE), 1194 - 1197

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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. Billon dirham 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 (Henry Caesar Augustus); reverse + / Z REX / SICI +; rare; $140.00 (€124.60)
 


Normans, Kingdom of Sicily, Roger II, 1105 - 1154 A.D.

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Until the Normans, Bari was governed by the Byzantines, with occasional interruption. It was a major depot for trade in Slavic slaves, destined most frequently for Muslim states including the Fatimid Caliphate which relied on Slavs purchased at Bari for its legions of Sakalaba Mamluks. Captured by Kalfun in 847, Bari was the center of the Emirate of Bari for 20 years. Emperor Louis II fought for five years to take Bari, and was only successful with the aid of a Byzantine naval blockade. In 885, Bari became the residence of the local Byzantine catapan. In 1025, under the Archbishop Byzantius, Bari became attached to the see of Rome and was granted "provincial" status. In 1071, Robert Guiscard captured Bari after a three-year siege. The Greeks refused the Latin ways and a civil war broke out in 1117. Bari was seized by Grimoald Alferanites, a native Lombard, and he was elected lord in opposition to the Normans. Grimoald later did homage to Roger II of Sicily, but then rebelled and was defeated in 1132. Bari was occupied by Manuel I Komnenos from 1155 to 1158. In 1246, Bari was sacked and razed to the ground. It was subsequently rebuilt, destroyed and rebuilt several times.
ME68460. Bronze follaro, MIR 10 134 (R), MEC Italy III 188 (Capua, Anfusus mint?); CNI XVIII p. 241, 1 - 3 (Capua, Pandolfo I Ironhead, 961 - 981), F, weight 0.782 g, maximum diameter 13.2 mm, die axis 135o, Bari mint, 1139 - 1154 A.D.; obverse figure of St. Demetrius standing facing, nimbate, sword in right, shield in left, OΛN downward on left; reverse pseudo-Kufic one-line inscription, cross below; ex Rosenblum Coins; rare; $135.00 (€120.15)
 


Kingdom of Sicily, Frederick II (HRE), 1197 - 1250

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Frederick was born in Catania. In his youth, his reign was under the control of powerful Sicilian barons, and was plagued by wars with the Kingdom of Naples and by the Black Death, which killed his elder brother and predecessor. In 1372 he was able to come to peace terms with Naples and Pope Gregory IX.
ME70452. Billon denaro, MIR 10 286, MEC Italy III 555, Biaggi 459 (NC), Spahr 128, VF, centered, earthen fill, weight 0.697 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Brindisi mint, 1243; obverse + F ROM IMPR SEP AVG', bare head right; reverse +•R• IERSL' ET SICIL'•, eagle standing facing, head right, wings open; $125.00 (€111.25)
 


Kingdom of Naples, Charles II of Anjou, 1285 - 1309

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When his father died, Charles was a prisoner of Peter III of Aragon. King Edward I of England mediated peace, and Charles was liberated on the condition that he was to retain Naples alone. Sicily was left to the Aragonese. Three of his sons and 60 nobles were sent as hostages for his release. Pope Nicholas IV immediately absolved Charles from all the conditions he had sworn to observe, crowned him King of Sicily in 1289, and excommunicated King Alfonso III of Aragon. The two sides fought for the next 13 years until Charles finally gave up all rights to Sicily, agreed to marry his daughter Eleanor to King Frederick, and lived the rest of his life peacefully in Naples.
ME65257. Billon denaro, MIR Napoli 25, Biaggi 1631, MEC Italy III 689, VF, toned, grainy, weight 0.554 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 45o, Naples mint, 1290 - 1292; obverse +: KARL': SCD': REX:, crowned bust facing; reverse +: IERL': ET: SICIL':, cross fleurée; $115.00 (€102.35)
 


Normans, Kingdom of Sicily, Roger II, 1105 - 1154 A.D.

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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; $100.00 (€89.00)
 




  



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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Tuesday, March 28, 2017.
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Sicilian Coins