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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); $115.00 (€97.75)
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); $110.00 (€93.50)
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; $110.00 (€93.50)
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); $95.00 (€80.75)
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