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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Medieval & Modern Coins ▸ Italy |  |  | ◁◁      ▷▷

Medieval Coins of Italy

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 immediatly 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; $145.00 (€126.15)


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.
ME66350. Bronze follaro, MIR 10 133 (R2), MEC Italy III -; CNI XVIII -, Fair, weight 0.852 g, maximum diameter 11.5 mm, die axis 135o, Bari mint, 1139 - 1154 A.D.; obverse half-length figure of St. Demetrius standing facing, nimbate, transverse spear in right, shield in left; reverse pseudo-Kufic one-line inscription, cross above; very rare; $140.00 (€121.80)


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; $140.00 (€121.80)


Kingdom of Naples, Phillip III of Spain, 13 September 1598 - 31 March 1621

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Naples was ruled by the Crown of Aragon as part of the Spanish Empire from 1504 to 1714.
ME66316. Bronze 2 cavalli, MIR Napoli 231 (R2), F, uneven strike, tight flan, weight 2.182 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Naples mint, obverse + PHILIPP III D G REX ARA, two flints and two flint locks forming a cross, a flame in each angle; reverse SICILIAE ET HIERVSA, crown, two crossed scepters inside; rare; $135.00 (€117.45)


Kingdom of Naples, Charles V (HRE), 1516 - 1554

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Though always at war, Charles was a lover of peace. "Not greedy of territory," wrote Marcantonio Contarini in 1536, "but most greedy of peace and quiet." Charles pushed for the convocation of the Council of Trent, which began the Counter-Reformation. It was during Charles reign that Spain conquered the Aztecs of Mexico and Incas of Peru, and then extended its control across much of South and Central America. Charles provided five ships to Ferdinand Magellan whose voyage was the first circumnavigation of the Earth. He retired in 1556. The Habsburg Monarchy passed to his younger brother Ferdinand, and the Spanish Empire was inherited by his son Philip II. The two empires would remain allies until the 18th century. Charles was only 54 when he retired, but after 34 years of energetic rule he was physically exhausted and sought the peace of a monastery where he died aged 58. Charles' motto, Plus Ultra ('Further Beyond'), became the national motto of Spain.
ME66324. Bronze 2 cavalli, MIR Napoli 155/3 var (normal obv legend ends IMP RO, MIR notes legend variations exist), F, weight 3.115 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 135o, Naples mint, obverse CAROLVS • IIII • RO • IMP (sic), bare head right, A under neck; reverse + REX ARAGO VTRIVS, imperial crown; rare variety; $135.00 (€117.45)


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.
ME66666. Billon denaro, Biaggi 498 (R), MIR 355 (R2), MEC Italy III 660, gF, weight 0.568 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 180o, Brindisi mint, 1276; obverse + DEI GRA REX SICIL', KAR monogram, double omega above, pellet below; reverse DVC APVL' PRIC CAPE, cross pattée, lis in each quarter; rare; $130.00 (€113.10)


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.
ME66658. Bronze denaro, MIR 10 356 (R), MEC Italy III 665, Biaggi 499 var (legends reversed, NC), VF, weight 0.546 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 90o, Brindisi mint, 1277; obverse + •DEI•GRA•REX•SICIL•, •K• in frame of six arches; reverse + DVC APVL PRIC CAP, cross with trefoil at each end and star in each quarter; $125.00 (€108.75)


Kingdom of Naples, Robert of Anjou (the Wise), 1309 - 1343 A.D.

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Robert of Anjou, known as Robert the Wise, was King of Naples, titular King of Jerusalem, Count of Provence and Forcalquier from 1309 to 1343, and the central figure of Italian politics of his time.
ME68463. Billon denaro, MEC Italy III 718 - 719, Biaggi 1637, MIR Napoli 29, aVF, nice green patina, slightly wavy and crowded flan, light scratches, weight 0.476 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 180o, Naples mint, 1309 - 1343 A.D.; obverse + ROBERTU DEI GRA, four lis around center, upper lis at center of heraldic label; reverse + IERL ET SICIL' REX, cross potent; $120.00 (€104.40)


Kingdom of Naples and Sicily, Conrad I, King of Jerusalem and Sicily, 1250 - 1254

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Conrad was the son of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor. In Sicily he was Conrad I, but by other German titles he was known as Conrad IV.
ME66342. Billon denier, MIR 10 301 (NC), MEC Italy III 577 - 578, Biaggi 476, Spahr 158, VF, weight 0.680 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 90o, Brindisi mint, 1250 - 1254; obverse + • IERVSALEM •, C•O / R, --- above, within inner border; reverse + • ET • SICIL' • REX •, cross pattée, within inner border; $120.00 (€104.40)


Republic of Ancona, Italy, c. 1250 - 1348 A.D.

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Ancona, on the Adriatic Sea in Le Marche, is 280 km northeast of Rome. During this period Ancona was an oligarchic republic, ruled by six elected Elders. In 1348, after the city was weakened by the black death and a fire that destroyed many important buildings, the Malatesta took control but they were ousted in 1383. In 1532 Ancona lost its freedom and became part of the Papal States, under Pope Clement VII.
ME70815. Billon denaro, Biaggi 33, VF, weight 0.532 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Ancona mint, c. 1250 - 1348 A.D.; obverse +•PP•S•QVI•RI•A•, CVS around central pellet within inner border; reverse +•DE•ANCONA•, cross pattée within inner border; $120.00 (€104.40)


Kingdom of Sicily, Frederick II (HRE), 1198 - 1250

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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.
ME66664. Billon denaro, MIR 294 (R2), MEC Italy III 568, Biaggi 471 (NC), gVF, weight 0.920 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 90o, Messina mint, 1248; obverse + ROM INPERATOR (INP ligate), F•R in center, Ω (suspension mark) above; reverse + IERL' ET SICIL' R (Jerusalem and Sicily), cross pattée, star in 2nd and 3rd quarters; rare; $120.00 (€104.40)


Kingdom of Naples and Sicily, Conrad I, King of Jerusalem and Sicily, 1250 - 1254

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Conrad was the son of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor. In Sicily he was Conrad I, but by other German titles he was known as Conrad IV.
ME68209. Billon denier, MIR 10 304 (NC), Biaggi 475 (R), MEC Italy III 5581, Spahr 1976, VF, well centered and struck, weight 1.352 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 225o, Brindisi mint, 1250 - 1254; obverse + • CONRADVS •, cross pattée; reverse + • IERL • 'ET • SICIL' •, Rx ligature (Rex); scarce; $120.00 (€104.40)


Kingdom of Naples and Sicily, Conrad II (Conradin), King of Jerusalem and Sicily, 1254 - 1258

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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.
ME70458. Billon denaro, MIR 10 310 (R3), MEC Italy III 590, Biaggi 482 var (R, no R at end of reverse legend), Spahr 166, VF, centered, weight 0.764 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 0o, Brindisi mint, obverse •+• C•SECVNDVS, crowned eagle facing with head left; reverse •+• IER ET SICIL'•R, cross pattée, pellet in third and fourth quarters; rare; $115.00 (€100.05)


Kingdom of Naples and Sicily, Phillip III of Spain, 13 September 1598 - 31 March 1621

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Naples was ruled by the Crown of Aragon as part of the Spanish Empire from 1504 to 1714.
ME66317. Bronze tornese, MIR Napoli 225 var (unlisted control symbol), aF, weight 2.182 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 45o, Naples mint, 1619; obverse + PHILIPP III D G REX, cornucopia overflowing with bunches of grapes, other fruit, and stalks of grain, 16-19 flanking across field; reverse * VIGILAT ET CVSTODIT (watches and keeps), recumbent lion atop round altar with ornamented side, MV (control symbol) below; rare (R2); $110.00 (€95.70)


Kingdom of Naples, Phillip III of Spain, 13 September 1598 - 31 March 1621

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Naples was ruled by the Crown of Aragon as part of the Spanish Empire from 1504 to 1714.
ME66318. Bronze 2 cavalli, MIR Napoli 225/6, aF, weight 3.954 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 180o, Naples mint, 1620; obverse + PHILIPP III D G REX, cornucopia overflowing with bunches of grapes, other fruit, and stalks of grain, 16-20 flanking across field; reverse * VIGILAT ET CVSTODIT (watches and keeps), recumbent lion atop round altar with ornamented side; rare (R2); $110.00 (€95.70)


Kingdom of Sicily, Frederick II (HRE), 1198 - 1250

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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.
ME66343. Billon denaro, MIR 10 292 (R), MEC Italy III 566, Biaggi 470 (NC), Choice VF, weight 0.951 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 45o, Brindisi mint, 1247 - 1248; obverse + ROM INPERATOR (INP ligate), FR in center, --- above, six pointed star below; reverse + R IERSL' ET SICL', circle upon cross pattée; rare; $110.00 (€95.70)


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.
ME66347. Billon denaro, MIR 10 290 (NC), MEC Italy III 560, Biaggi 464 (NC), Choice VF, nice green patina, weight 0.765 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 315o, Brindisi mint, 1245; obverse + F•ROMANOR VM, IMPR (IMP ligate) in center with double suspension mark above; reverse +IERSL'•ET•SICIL'•R•, cross pattée, crescent in each quarter; $110.00 (€95.70)


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.
ME66349. Billon denaro, MIR 10 256 (NC), MEC Italy III 485, Biaggi 434 (NC), VF, nice green patina, weight 0.792 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 135o, Brindisi mint, 1194 - 1196; obverse HE •INPERATOR (HE ligate), cross pattée, six pointed star in the third and fourth quarters; reverse C INPERATRIX•, Ω (suspension mark) over A•P; rare; $110.00 (€95.70)


Kingdom of Sicily, Frederick II (HRE), 1198 - 1250

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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 282 (NC), Biaggi 455 (NC), Spahr 121, VF, porous, weight 0.533 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 45o, 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; $100.00 (€87.00)


Normans, Kingdom of Sicily, William II, 1166 - 1189 A.D.

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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.
ME66620. Bronze follaro, MEC Italy III 401 ff., Biaggi 1233, VF, weight 1.703 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 0o, 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; $100.00 (€87.00)




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REFERENCES

Anastasi, M. Monete Bizantine di Sicilia. (NP, 2009).
Bellinger, A.R. and P. Grierson, eds. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection. (1966 - 1999).
Berman, A. G. Papal Coins. (New York, 1991).
Biaggi, E. Monete e Zecche medievali Italiane dal Sec. VIII al Sec. XV. (Torino, 1992).
Corpus Nummorum Italicorum. (Rome, 1910-1943).
Erslev, K. Medieval Coins in the Christian J. Thomsen Collection. (South Salem, NY, 1992).
Grierson, P. & L. Travaini. Medieval European Coinage, Volume 14: Italy III: South Italy, Sicily, Sardinia. (Cambridge, 1998).
Hahn, W. Moneta Imperii Byzantini. (Vienna, 1973-81).
Lunardi, G. Le Monete della Repubblica di Genova. (Genoa, 1975).
Metlich, M. A. The Coinage of Ostrogothic Italy. (London, 2004).
Monete Italiane Regionali. (Pavia, 1996 - present).
Pannuti, M & V. Ricco. Le monete de Napoli. Nummorum Auctiones S.A., Lugano. (Naples, 1984).
Sear, D.R. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Travaini, L. "Hohenstaufen and Angevin denari of Sicily and Southern Italy: their mint attributions" in NC 1993.
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Coins of the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Lombards and of the Empires of Thessalonica, Nicaea, and Trebizond in the British Museum. (London, 1911).

Catalog current as of Monday, June 29, 2015.
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Medieval Italy