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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Medieval & Modern Coins| ▸ |Crusaders||View Options:  |  |  |   

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, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, William of Villehardouin, 1246 - 1278

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |William| |of| |Villehardouin,| |1246| |-| |1278||denier| |tournois|
William of Villehardouin became Prince of Achaea when his brother Geoffrey II died in 1246. He conquered the remaining Peloponnese territory and built the fortress of Mistra near Sparta. In 1249 he accompanied Louis IX of France on the Seventh Crusade, joining him in Cyprus with 400 knights and 28 ships. Louis gave him a license to mint coins in the style of royal French money. William defeated Venice in the War of the Euboeote Succession and defeated the Duke of Athens in 1258, reaffirming his power over the duchy. In 1259 he formed an alliance with the Byzantine Despotate of Epirus against Nicaea. He led the Achaean forces against the Nicaeans, but the Epirote army deserted and William was defeated. He fled and hid under a haystack, but was captured. He remained captive until 1262 and permanently lost all his power.Arms_of_Achaea
CR96932. Billon denier tournois, Metcalf Crusaders pl. 39, 940; Malloy Crusaders 10a; Tzamalis Frankish GV224; Schlumberger pl. XII, 12, F, uneven strike with part of obverse legend weak, light marks and deposits, slightly off center, tiny edge splits, weight 0.735 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 235o, Corinth mint, 1246 - 1278; obverse +:G:PRINCE ACh', cross pattée within inner border; reverse DCLARENTIAV, castle tournois, spire in the form of Λ, surmounted by cross dividing legend; from the Louis G Estate; $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Charles II of Anjou, 1285 - 1289

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |Charles| |II| |of| |Anjou,| |1285| |-| |1289||denier| |tournois|
Charles II succeeded his father, Charles I, in Achaea as well as Sicily (now reduced to the Kingdom of Naples), but he was a prisoner in Aragonese hands. In the interim, the rule of Achaea devolved upon a series of baillis chosen from the Morean nobility. Not long after his release and coronation in 1289, he granted the Principality to Isabelle of Villehardouin upon her marriage with Florent of Hainaut, in part to redress the greedy application of the Treaty of Viterbo at William's death. However, he retained feudal overlordship over the Principality, and his grant provided that neither Isabelle nor any daughter who was her heir might marry without his consent.Frankokratia_Map
CR96936. Billon denier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 12 (S); Metcalf Crusades pl. 39, 942; Tzamalis Frankish KA101; Schlumberger XII 17, F, light toning, light marks, minor edge flaw, small edge cracks, weight 0.789 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Clarentza mint, 1281 - 1289; obverse + • K• R• PRINC ACh• (curly foot R = Clarentza mint), cross pattée within inner border; reverse :DE: CLARENCIA: (colons indicate double x stops, DE probably abbreviates denarius, curly foot R = Clarentza mint), castle tournois surmounted by cross dividing legend; from the Louis G Estate; scarce; $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00
 


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

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |Florent| |of| |Hainaut,| |1289| |-| |1297||denier| |tournois|
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
CR88457. Billon denier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 13c; Metcalf Crusades type F4, pl. 39, 961, VF, well centered, toned, weight 0.785 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Clarentza mint, 1289 - 1297; obverse + ⚜FLORENS P AchB, cross pattée within inner border; reverse DE CLARENCIA', castle tournois surmounted by cross dividing legend; from the Louis G Estate; $125.00 SALE |PRICE| $113.00
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, William of Villehardouin, 1246 - 1278

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |William| |of| |Villehardouin,| |1246| |-| |1278||denier| |tournois|
William of Villehardouin became Prince of Achaea when his brother Geoffrey II died in 1246. He conquered the remaining Peloponnese territory and built the fortress of Mistra near Sparta. In 1249 he accompanied Louis IX of France on the Seventh Crusade, joining him in Cyprus with 400 knights and 28 ships. Louis gave him a license to mint coins in the style of royal French money. William defeated Venice in the War of the Euboeote Succession and defeated the Duke of Athens in 1258, reaffirming his power over the duchy. In 1259 he formed an alliance with the Byzantine Despotate of Epirus against Nicaea. He led the Achaean forces against the Nicaeans, but the Epirote army deserted and William was defeated. He fled and hid under a haystack, but was captured. He remained captive until 1262 and permanently lost all his power.Arms_of_Achaea
CR88480. Billon denier tournois, Tzamalis Frankish GV222; Metcalf Crusaders pl. 39, 938; Malloy Crusaders 10b, VF, centered, toned, uneven strike, encrustations, weight 0.755 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 270o, Corinth mint, obverse +•G•PRINCEPS, cross pattée within inner border; reverse :CLARENCIA▼ (R with a wedge foot = Corinth), castle tournois, spire in the form of Λ, surmounted by cross dividing legend; from the Louis G Estate; $125.00 SALE |PRICE| $113.00
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Charles I of Anjou, 1278 - 1285

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |Charles| |I| |of| |Anjou,| |1278| |-| |1285||denier| |tournois|
Charles I of Anjou, was a member of the royal Capetian dynasty and the founder of the second House of Anjou. He was Count of Provence (1246-85) and Forcalquier (1246-48, 1256-85) in the Holy Roman Empire, Count of Anjou and Maine (1246-85) in France; he was also King of Sicily (1266-85) and Prince of Achaea (1278-85). In 1272, he was proclaimed King of Albania; and in 1277 he purchased a claim to the Kingdom of Jerusalem.Carlos_I
CR96935. Billon denier tournois, Metcalf Crusades pl. 39, 948; Tzamalis Frankish KA202; Malloy Crusaders 11 (S), aVF, well centered, light deposits and marks, small edge splits/cracks, weight 0.550 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 0o, Corinth mint, 1278 - 1285; obverse +•K• R• PRINC' ACH' (R with wedge shaped foot = Corinth mint), cross pattée within inner border; reverse ▼CLARENCIA• (R with wedge shaped foot = Corinth mint), castle tournois surmounted by cross dividing legend; from the Louis G Estate; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Isabella of Villehardouin, 1297 - 1301

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |Isabella| |of| |Villehardouin,| |1297| |-| |1301||denier| |tournois|
This was one of very few medieval coin types minted under female authority. Isabella of Villehardouin was the elder daughter of William II of Villehardouin, Prince of Achaea. On 28 May 1271 Isabella married Philip of Sicily, son of Charles I of Sicily. This had been pre-determined by the Treaty. In accordance with the marriage treaty, after Isabella's father, husband, and father-in-law died, Isabella's brother-in-law Charles II was the heir to Achaea. In 1289, however, on Isabella's marriage to Florent of Hainaut and on Charles II's accession as King of Sicily, he conferred on the couple the titles of Prince and Princess of Achaea, on condition that, if she survived her husband, she would not remarry without Charles II's consent. Florent and Isabella had one daughter, Matilda. Frankokratia_Map
CR88471. Billon denier tournois, Metcalf Crusades type Y1, pl. 39, 692; Malloy Crusaders 15a; Schlumberger XII 19, VF, toned, clashed dies, weight 0.738 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 315o, Clarentza mint, 1299 - 1301; obverse +⚜YSABELLA·P·AChB (E, cross pattée within inner border; reverse DE CLARENCIAI, castle tournois surmounted by cross dividing legend; from the Louis G Estate; $115.00 SALE |PRICE| $104.00
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Mahaut (Maud) of Hainaut, 1316 - 1318

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |Mahaut| |(Maud)| |of| |Hainaut,| |1316| |-| |1318||denier| |tournois|
This was one of very few medieval coin types minted under female authority. In 1313, Philip I of Taranto, in compensation for breaking their engagement, granted Achaea to Maud and gave her hand to Louis of Burgundy. The principality was, however, possessed by another claimant, Ferdinand of Majorca. At the Battle of Manolada on 5 July 1316, Ferdinand was killed and Louis took control. He was poisoned soon after, leaving 23-year-old Maud in charge. Rule was soon disputed by varying claimants and Maud was dispossessed of her fief by 1318, in which year John, Duke of Durazzo, abducted the princess and forced her to marry him. She did not give him children, however, and he repudiated her in 1321. Maud married again to Hugh de La Palice and retired to Aversa, where she died in 1331.Arms_of_Achaea
CR88473. Billon denier tournois, Metcalf Crusades MA1c; Malloy Crusaders 36, VF, toned, tight flan, edge cracks, light deposits, weight 0.876 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Clarentza(?) mint, 1316 - 1318; obverse + MAhAVTA·P·Ach, cross pattée within inner border; reverse DE CLARENCIA (R with a small thin foot = Clarentza?), castle tournois surmounted by cross dividing legend, annulet left, three branched plant between two small pellets below; from the Louis G Estate; $115.00 SALE |PRICE| $104.00
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Mahaut (Maud) of Hainaut, 1316 - 1318

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |Mahaut| |(Maud)| |of| |Hainaut,| |1316| |-| |1318||denier| |tournois|
This was one of very few medieval coin types minted under female authority. In 1313, Philip I of Taranto, in compensation for breaking their engagement, granted Achaea to Maud and gave her hand to Louis of Burgundy. The principality was, however, possessed by another claimant, Ferdinand of Majorca. At the Battle of Manolada on 5 July 1316, Ferdinand was killed and Louis took control. He was poisoned soon after, leaving 23-year-old Maud in charge. Rule was soon disputed by varying claimants and Maud was dispossessed of her fief by 1318, in which year John, Duke of Durazzo, abducted the princess and forced her to marry him. She did not give him children, however, and he repudiated her in 1321. Maud married again to Hugh de La Palice and retired to Aversa, where she died in 1331.Frankokratia_Map
CR88477. Billon denier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 40; Metcalf Crusades type MA2 var. (lis beginning of reverse legend, no annulet right, Corinth), VF, toned, centered, clashed dies, weight 0.739 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 30o, Clarentza(?) mint, 1316 - 1318; obverse + MAhAVTA•P•Ach, cross pattée within inner border; reverse DE CLARENCIA (R with small foot = Clarentza?), castle tournois surmounted by cross dividing legend, surmounted by cross, C left, annulet right, no cross below; from the Louis G Estate; scarce; $115.00 SALE |PRICE| $104.00
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Mahaut (Maud) of Hainaut, 1316 - 1318

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |Mahaut| |(Maud)| |of| |Hainaut,| |1316| |-| |1318||denier| |tournois|
This was one of very few medieval coin types minted under female authority. In 1313, Philip I of Taranto, in compensation for breaking their engagement, granted Achaea to Maud and gave her hand to Louis of Burgundy. The principality was, however, possessed by another claimant, Ferdinand of Majorca. At the Battle of Manolada on 5 July 1316, Ferdinand was killed and Louis took control. He was poisoned soon after, leaving 23-year-old Maud in charge. Rule was soon disputed by varying claimants and Maud was dispossessed of her fief by 1318, in which year John, Duke of Durazzo, abducted the princess and forced her to marry him. She did not give him children, however, and he repudiated her in 1321. Maud married again to Hugh de La Palice and retired to Aversa, where she died in 1331.Arms_of_Achaea
CR88478. Billon denier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 39; Metcalf Crusades type MA3a, aVF, toned, light deposits, tight flan, weight 0.722 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 270o, Corinth(?) mint, 1316 - 1318; obverse + MAhAVTA P Ach', cross pattée within inner border; reverse DE CLARENCIA (R with a large wedge foot = Corinth?), castle tournois surmounted by cross dividing legend, surmounted by cross, small cross below castle; from the Louis G Estate; $115.00 SALE |PRICE| $104.00
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Duchy of Athens, Guy II de La Roche, 1287 - 1308

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Duchy| |of| |Athens,| |Guy| |II| |de| |La| |Roche,| |1287| |-| |1308||denier|
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.Frankokratia_Map
CR88462. Billon denier, Metcalf Crusades 1b & pl. 42, 1064; Malloy Crusaders 94, aVF, toned, clashed dies, a little off center, uneven shifted strike, tiny edge split, weight 0.698 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 165o, Thebes mint, majority, 1294 - 1308; obverse +:GVIDVX:ATENES:, cross pattée within inner border; reverse uThEBAHI:CIVISu (u = small crescent with horns up), castle tournois surmounted by cross dividing legend; from the Louis G Estate; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00
 




  



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REFERENCES|

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