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Coins of the Crusaders

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. Near East 1135


Crusaders, Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, Hetoum I, 1226 - 1270 A.D.

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As the Mongols approached, King Hetoum made a strategic decision to send his brother Smpad to the Mongol court in Karakorum and agree to become a vassal state of the Mongol Empire. In 1254, Hetoum himself traveled to Mongolia to renew the agreement. The account of his travels, "The Journey of Haithon, King of Little Armenia, To Mongolia and Back" is still important for its observations of Mongol, Buddhist, and Chinese culture, geography, and wildlife. The Mamluks invaded Armenia in 1266, taking 40,000 Armenians captive, including Hetoum's son, Leo. Hetoum abdicated in 1270 in favor of his son Leo, and lived out the rest of his life in a monastery, as a Franciscan monk.
CR89073. Silver tram, cf. Nercessian 332, aVF, toned, weight 2.870 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 90o, Sis mint, obverse Armenian legend: Hetoum king of the Armenians, crowned lion standing right, long cross in center on far side dividing legend above; reverse Armenian legend: By the will of God, King Hetoum (on right) and Queen Zabel standing holding long cross between them, star low on shaft; ex Munzhandlung Ritter (Düsseldorf, Germany); $100.00 (€88.00)
 


Crusaders, Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, Levon I, 1187-1219 A.D.

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Leo II, or Lewon I, Levon I, and sometimes Levon I the Magnificent, was the tenth lord of Armenian Cilicia or “Lord of the Mountains” 1187–1198 - 1199 and the first king of Armenian Cilicia. During his reign, Leo succeeded in establishing Cilician Armenia as a powerful and a unified Christian state with a preeminence in political affairs. Leo eagerly led his kingdom alongside the armies of the Third Crusade and provided the crusaders with provisions, guides, pack animals and all manner of aid. Under his rule, Armenian power in Cilicia was at its apogee: his kingdom extended from Isauria to the Amanus Mountains
CR89016. Silver tram, Nercessian 282 ff., gVF, toned, weight 2.869 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 270o, Armenia mint, obverse Armenian legend: Levon King of the Armenians, king seated on throne ornamented with lions, his feet resting on a footstool, wearing a crown and royal mantle on his shoulders, cross in right hand, fleur-de-lis in left hand; reverse Armenian legend: By the will of God, long cross with two bars, between two rampant lions facing outward, heads regardant; ex Münzenhandlung Brom (Berlin, Germany); $120.00 (€105.60) ON RESERVE


Crusaders, Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, Levon I the Magnificent, 1198 - 1219 A.D.

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Leo, having governed the country twelve years as Baron and twenty-two as King, felt his end approaching, and appointed in an assembly of the whole nobility of the kingdom, a certain baron named Atan to be Regent of the country and guardian of his daughter. Leo died soon after and was buried in the church of Agner; a part of his body was brought into the town of Sis, and a church was built thereupon. -- Vahram of Edessa: The Rhymed Chronicle of Armenia Minor
CR91871. Copper tank, cf. Bedoukian CCA 715, Nercessian 303, VF, broad flan, earthen deposits, light marks, uneven strike with parts of legend a little weak, weight 7.086 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 90o, Sis mint, 1198 - 1219 A.D.; obverse Armenian legend: Levon King of Armenians, crowned lionized head of Levon facing, six dots on the crown, and a single curl of hair; reverse Armenian legend: Struck in the city of Sis, patriarchal cross, base flanked by star on each side, no steps under cross; $40.00 (€35.20)
 


Munzen & Medaillen GmbH, 2 Auction Catalogs, Auktion 47 - 48, May 2019

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Featuring Coins of the Crusader States and Their Successors, the collection of Erich Wackerlin, and coins of Greek, Celtic, Roman, medieval and modern times.
BC20766. Munzen & Medaillen GmbH, 2 auction catalogs, Auktion 47 - 48, May 2019, 2 catalogs, softcover, in German, international shipping at the actual cost of postage; $12.00 (€10.56)
 


Crusaders, Principality of Antioch, Tancred, Regent, March 1101 - May 1103 and Late 1104 - December 1112

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This type was struck while Bohemond I was in captivity. It was the first type struck by Tancred. The order in which his types were struck has been firmly established by frequent overstrikes of later issues on earlier coins.

St. Peter is the patron saint of Antioch.
CR92928. Bronze follis, Metcalf Crusades 52, Malloy Crusaders 3a, Schlumberger II 6, aF, green patina, weight 3.052 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch mint, obverse bust of St. Peter facing, short curly hair and curly beard, scroll in right hand, cross in left hand, O / PE-TP/O/C (TP ligate) divided across field; reverse + / KE BOI/ΘH TO ∆V / ΛO COV TANKPI+ (O Lord, help your servant Tancred) in five lines; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 70 (7 Oct 2018), lot 791; $110.00 (€96.80)
 


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.
CR92123. Bronze follaro, MEC Italy III 432, Spahr 118, Biaggi 1232, VF, tight flan, light deposits, areas of corrosion, weight 2.175 g, maximum diameter 12.8 mm, die axis 0o, Messina mint, 1166 - 1189 A.D.; obverse facing lion head; reverse Arabic inscription "al-malik / Ghulyalim / al-thani" (King William 2nd); $60.00 (€52.80)
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, John of Gravina, 1322 - 1333

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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.Arms_of_Achaea
CR92197. Billon denier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 54, Metcalf Crusaders -, VF, well centered, light toning, typical clashed dies, edge a bit ragged, weight 0.831 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Clarentza mint, 1322 - 1333; obverse + IOhS P AChE, cross pattée; reverse D' CLARENCIA, castle tournois, annulet on each side; ex FORVM (2008), ex Alex G. Malloy Collection and ex A.J. |Seltman| Collection, co-authors of Coins of the Crusader States; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


Crusaders, County of Tripoli, Bohemond V, 1233 - 1251

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Bohemond V was Prince of Antioch and Count of Tripoli from 1233 to his death in January 1252. Bohemond V was the son of Bohemund IV of Antioch and Plaisance of Gibelet. Like his father before him, Bohemond had a notorious dislike for the Knights Hospitaller and the neighboring Kingdom of Armenia, preferring an alliance with the Knights Templar. Peace with Armenia was assured only shortly before his death, with the mediation of Louis IX of France.
CR89571. Billon denier, Sabine type 5, 75 - 127; Malloy Crusaders 19; Metcalf 547 - 550; Schlumberger IV 17, F, uneven strike, tight flan, encrustations, weight 0.681 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, die axis 90o, Tripoli mint, 1233 - 1251; obverse + BAMVND' COMS, cross pattée, three pellets in upper right quarter; reverse + CIVITAS TRIPOL, eight pointed star, annulets (pellets in crescents) between the rays; ex Forum (2010), ex Alex G. Malloy Collection, former dealer for 40 years and co-author of Coins of the Crusader States; scarce; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


Crusaders, Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, Hetoum I, 1226 - 1270 A.D.

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As the Mongols approached, King Hetoum made a strategic decision to send his brother Smpad to the Mongol court in Karakorum and agree to become a vassal state of the Mongol Empire. In 1254, Hetoum himself traveled to Mongolia to renew the agreement. The account of his travels, "The Journey of Haithon, King of Little Armenia, To Mongolia and Back" is still important for its observations of Mongol, Buddhist, and Chinese culture, geography, and wildlife. The Mamluks invaded Armenia in 1266, taking 40,000 Armenians captive, including Hetoum's son, Leo. Hetoum abdicated in 1270 in favor of his son Leo, and lived out the rest of his life in a monastery, as a Franciscan monk.
CR89706. Copper kardez, Nercessian 362, cf. Bedoukian CCA 1393, F, green patina, buff earthen fill, weight 6.109 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, die axis 330o, Sis mint, 1226 - 1270 A.D.; obverse Armenian inscription: + Hetoum King of the Armenians, king seated facing on bench-like throne, fleur-de-lis tipped scepter (mace) in right, globus cruciger in left, star left; reverse Armenian inscription: + Struck in the City of Sis, cross pattée, crescent in the upper right quarter, wedge in other three quarters; ex Beast Coins; $40.00 (€35.20)
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Florent of Hainaut, 1289 - 1297

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Florent of Hainaut was Prince of Achaea in right of his wife, Isabella of Villehardouin. He was the son of John I of Avesnes and Adelaide of Holland. From his father he received the stadholdership of Zeeland. After he left Zeeland, he took up service with Charles II of Naples, who made him constable of the Kingdom of Naples. Florent settled with his wife in Morea. He negotiated the Treaty of Glarentsa with the Byzantine Empire in 1290; however, the situation for the Franks in Greece was hopeless by this time. The fall of the Angevins in Sicily meant that they were preoccupied with recouping territory there and few Western governments would send troops to defend Morea. Florent thus made peace and maintained it until 1293, when the Greeks retook Kalamata. Florent did not despair and did not reopen the war which had been ongoing until his succession: he instead sent an embassy in protest to Andronikos II Palaiologos, and the emperor returned Kalamata. In 1296, the Greeks retook the castle of Saint George in Arcadia. Florent besieged the castle, but died before it could be taken.Arms_of_Achaea
CR88456. Billon denier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 14; Metcalf Crusades type F3(c), pl. 39, 960, VF, toned, tiny edge chip, light deposits, weight 0.792 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 270o, Clarentza mint, 1289 - 1297; obverse + FLORENS P Ach' (A topped with horn-shaped serif), cross pattée; reverse D' CLARENCIA (pin) (A's topped with horn-shaped serif), castle tournois, triangular tower surmounted by cross; from the Louis G Estate; scarce; $105.00 (€92.40)
 




  






REFERENCES|

Bedoukian, P. Coinage of the Artaxiads of Armenia. RNS Special Publication 10. (London, 1978).
Bedoukian, P. Coinage of Cilician Armenia. ANSNNM 147. (1962).
Bellinger, A. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection, Alexius I to Michael VIII, 1081-1261. (Washington D.C., 1966).
Biaggi, E. Monete e Zecche medievali Italiane dal Sec. VIII al Sec. XV. (Torino, 1992).
Boudeau, E. Monnaies Françaises Provinciales. (Maastricht, 1970).
Boutin, S. Monnaies des Empires de Byzance - Collection of N.K. Volumes 1-2. (Maastricht, 1983).
Grierson, P. & L. Travaini. Medieval European Coinage, Vol. 14: Italy III: South Italy, Sicily, Sardinia. (Cambridge, 1998).
Hendy, M. Coinage and Money in the Byzantine Empire 1081-1261. (Washington D.C., 1969).
Malloy, A., I. Preston, & A. Seltman. Coins of the Crusader States, 2nd Edition. (New York, 2004).
Metcalf, D. Coinage of the Crusaders and the Latin East in the Ashmolean Museum Oxford. (London, 1995).
Metcalf, D. "Coinage of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem in the name of Baudouin" in NC 1978.
Nercessian, Y. Armenian Coins and Their Values. Armenian Numismatic Society, Special Publication 8. (Los Angeles, 1995).
Phillips, M. "The 'Roupen' Hoard of Helmet Pennies of Antioch" in NC 2005.
Porteous, J. "Crusader Coinage with Greek or Latin Inscriptions" in A History of the Crusades, vol. IV. (Madison, 1989).
Sabine, C. "The billon and copper coinage of the crusader country of Tripoli, c. 1102-1268" in NC 1980.
Sear, D. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Schlumberger, G. Numismatique de l'Orient latin. (1878; Supplement 1882; reprinted: Graz, 1954).
Sommer, A. Die Münzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Münzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Sotheby's. The John J. Slocum Collection of Coins of the Crusades, catalog of public auction, London, 6 Mar 1997.
Travaini, L. "Hohenstaufen and Angevin denari of Sicily and Southern Italy: their mint attributions" in NC 1993.
Tzamalis, A. "Addition to the tornesia of the 1st group of Guillaume de Villehardouin" in NK 11 (1992).
Tzamalis, A. "The first period of the Frankish tornesio. New evidence from an old hoard" in NK 9-10 (1990-1991).

Catalog current as of Friday, November 22, 2019.
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Crusader Coins