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Kingdom of Sicily, Frederick II (HRE), 1198 - 1250
Frederick II was one of the most powerful Holy Roman Emperors of the Middle Ages. At two he was crowned King of Sicily, co-ruler with his mother Constance, the daughter of Roger II of Sicily. In 1220, he was made King of the Romans, and as such, King of Germany, of Italy, and of Burgundy. He became King of Jerusalem through marriage and the Sixth Crusade. Due to frequent disputes with the Papacy, he was excommunicated four times and Pope Gregory IX called him the Antichrist. An avid patron of science and the arts, he spoke Latin, Sicilian, German, French, Greek and Arabic. ME66346. Billon denaro, MEC Italy III 549, MIR 10 282 (NC), Biaggi 455 (NC), Spahr 121, VF, porous, weight 0.533 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 45o, Apulia, Brindisi mint, 1239; obverse F•- IM-PER-ATO-R•, long cross intersecting legend; reverse R•I-ER'-ET•S-ICL'•, crowned head superimposed at center on long cross intersecting legend; $50.00 (€42.50)
Normans, Kingdom of Sicily, William II, 1166 - 1189 A.D.
Secluded and pleasure-loving, William II, the Good, seldom emerged from his palace life at Palermo. Yet his reign was marked by an ambitious foreign policy and vigorous diplomacy. Champion of the papacy and in secret league with the Lombard cities he was able to defy the common enemy, Frederick I Barbarossa.ME68451. Bronze follaro, MEC Italy III 401 ff., Biaggi 1233, VF, weight 0.762 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 180o, Messina mint, 1166 - 1189; obverse + OPERATAT IN VRBE MESSANE, o / REX W / SCOVS in center (OV ligate); reverse Arabic legend "al-malik / Ghulyalim / al-thani" (King William 2nd) in center, "bi-amr al-malik al-mu'azzam al-musta'izz" around edge; $50.00 (€42.50)
Kingdom of Sicily, Manfred von Hohenstaufen, 1258 - 1266
Manfred was frequently in conflict with the Papacy and was excommunicated by three different popes. In the Divine Comedy, Dante meets Manfred outside the gates of Purgatory, where the spirit explains that, although he repented of his sins in the moment of death, he must atone by waiting 30 years for each year he lived as an excommunicate, before being admitted to Purgatory proper. Queen Elizabeth is a descendant of King Manfred.ME67160. Bronze denaro, MEC Italy III 610, Biaggi 1278 (NC), MIR 10 480 (R), VF, weight 0.830 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 315o, Brindisi or Manfredonia mint, 1258 - 1266; obverse + NFRIDVS REX, MA / Y in center, crescent above; reverse SICILIE +, long cross; scarce; $32.00 (€27.20)
Normans, Kingdom of Sicily, William II, 1166 - 1189 A.D.
The Normans entered Sicily and southern Italy to fight the Byzantines and Arabs. They conquered the land and, after long wars, established a powerful kingdom that had to be recognized by the Pope.ME77972. Bronze 3 follaro, MEC Italy III 425 ff., Travaini 166 ff., Biaggi 1231, F, weak strike, weight 9.910 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, die axis 0o, Messina mint, second copper coinage; obverse facing lionhead mask; reversepalm tree with dates; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $27.00 (€22.95)
Kingdom of Naples and Sicily, Conrad II (Conradin), King of Jerusalem and Sicily, 1254 - 1258
Conrad II in Sicily was officially Conrad III in Jerusalem but was called "the Younger" or "the Boy," and most often the diminutive "Conradin." Conradin was an infant when he assumed the throne. Manfred his regent, although only about 18 years old, acted loyally and with vigor in the execution of his trust. However, upon a false rumor of Conradin's death, Manfred was crowned king 1258 and refused to abdicate when the rumor was proved false. Pope Clement IV defeated and killed Manfred. At age 16, Conradin was defeated and beheaded by Charles of Anjou, ending the legitimate Hohenstaufen line.ME79274. Billon denaro, MIR 10 322 (NC), MEC Italy III 597, Biaggi 484 (R), Spahr 178, aVF, weight 0.544 g, maximum diameter 14.74 mm, die axis 315o, Brindisi mint, 1254 - 1258; obverse + SECVNDVS• R, C in center surrounded by four crescents; reverse + IERL ET SICIL', cross with crescent in each quarter; scarce; $90.00 (€76.50)
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