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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Types ▸ ArchitectureView Options:  |  |  |   

Architecture on Ancient Coins

France, Philip IV the Fair, 1285 - 1314 A.D.

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King Philip IV, deeply in debt to the Knights Templar, took advantage of rumors about the Order's secret initiation ceremony. On Friday, October 13, 1307, he had the Order's members in France arrested (the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition). Pope Clement, under threat from Philip, instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assets. Many Templars were tortured into giving false confessions and burned at the stake. Grand Master Jacques de Molay, burned alive in Paris in 1314, called out from the flames, "Dieu sait qui a tort et a pëché. Il va bientot arriver malheur à ceux qui nous ont condamnés à mort" ("God knows who is wrong and has sinned. Soon a calamity will occur to those who have condemned us to death"). Pope Clement died only a month later, and King Philip died in a hunting accident before the end of the year.
ME87718. Silver Gros Tournois, Van Hengel 432.02; Duplessy 213, Ciani 201, Roberts 2461, Lafaurie I 217, VF, well centered and stuck, part of edge a little ragged, weight 3.966 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 270o, 1285 - 1290; obverse outer legend: + BNDICTV: SIT: NOmE: DNI: nRI: DEI: IhV: XPI (the name of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed, N's as H, m open, triple pellet stops), inner legend: + PHILIPPVS' REX (King Philip, no stop); cross pattée; reverse TVRONVS CIVIS (City of Tours, R with tail, round O, N reversed, pellet at top of second V, no stop), Châtel tournois topped with a cross, border of twelve lis within arches; $350.00 (€297.50)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Augusta Traiana, Thrace

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Augusta Traiana (Stara Zagora, Bulgaria today) was founded by Trajan, c. 106 A.D. During 2nd - 3rd century A.D., it was the second largest city in Roman Thrace, after Philippopolis, and was fortified by strong walls. The city struck bronze coins from the time of Marcus Aurelius to Gallienus.
RP83509. Brass AE 31, Schönert-Geiss Augusta Traiana 163, Varbanov II 1009 (R7), SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, F, well centered, central cavities, weight 15.997 g, maximum diameter 30.8 mm, die axis 0o, Augusta Traiana (Stara Zagora, Bulgaria) mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse AV K Λ CEΠTI - CEVHPOC Π, laureate head right; reverse AVΓOVCT-HC TRAIAN-HC, tetrastyle temple on raised platform, flanked on each side by a tree and a stag leaping outward, Artemis standing right within the temple, holding bow in left hand and drawing arrow from quiver on shoulder with right hand; big 31 mm bronze!; very rare; $195.00 (€165.75)
 


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

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Charles I (early 1226/1227 – 7 January 1285), commonly called Charles 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

CR88453. Billon denier tournois, Metcalf Crusades pl. 39, 950; Tzamalis Frankish KA203; Malloy Crusaders 11 (S), VF, toned, small edge cracks, overstruck on an earlier coin(?), weight 0.680 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 270o, Corinth mint, 1278 - 1285; obverse + ▼K• R• PRINC' ACH' (R with wedge shaped foot = Corinth mint), cross pattée; reverse ▼CLARENCIA▼(R with wedge shaped foot = Corinth mint), castle tournois surmounted by cross; from the Louis G Estate; scarce variety; $160.00 (€136.00)
 


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

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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

CR88454. Billon denier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 12 (S); Metcalf Crusades pl. 39, 942; Tzamalis Frankish KA101; Schlumberger XII 17, VF, toned, light marks, weight 0.974 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 90o, Clarentza mint, 1281 - 1289; obverse + • K• R• PRINC ACh• (curly foot R = Clarentza mint), cross pattée; reverse :DE: CLARENCIA: (colons indicate double x stops, DE probably abbreviates denarius, curly foot R = Clarentza mint), castle tournois surmounted by a cross; from the Louis G Estate; scarce; $160.00 (€136.00)
 


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.
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 Ach B, cross pattée; reverse DE CLARENCIA', castle tournois surmounted by a cross; from the Louis G Estate; very rare; $160.00 (€136.00)
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Duchy of Athens, William or Minority of Guy I de La Roche, 1280 - 1294

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This type was minted either under William de La Roche, 1280 - 1287, or during the minority of Guy I de La Roche, 1287 - 1294. William I de la Roche succeeded his brother, John I, as Duke of Athens in 1280. William reversed the territorial losses of his brother's reign, extending his control over Lamia and Gardiki. He married Helena Angelina Komnene, daughter of John I Doukas, ruler of Thessaly, securing a military alliance with him.
CR88467. Billon denier tournois, Metcalf Crusades 1030, Malloy Crusaders 85, VF, toned, clashed dies, weight 0.756 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 105o, Thebes mint, perhaps minority of Guy I de La Roch, 1280 - 1294; obverse +:G:DVX:ATENES: (: = double trefoil stop, trefoils resembling Y), cross pattée; reverse :ThEBE:CIVIS: (: = double trefoil stop, trefoils resembling Y), castle tournois with open corner circles, surmounted by cross, distinctive style; from the Louis G Estate; $160.00 (€136.00)
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Duchy of Athens, William or Minority of Guy I de La Roche, 1280 - 1294

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This is believed to be the earliest William or Guy denier variety, so more likely struck under William than other types. The arches on the castle are very unusual. William I de la Roche succeeded his brother, John I, as Duke of Athens in 1280. William reversed the territorial losses of his brother's reign, extending his control over Lamia and Gardiki. He married Helena Angelina Komnene, daughter of John I Doukas, ruler of Thessaly, securing a military alliance with him.
CR88468. Billon denier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 83 (R), Metcalf Crusades GR101, pl. 41, 1025 var. (stops), VF, tight flan, uneven strike, weight 0.097 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 195o, Thebes mint, perhaps minority of Guy I de La Roch, 1280 - 1294; obverse +;G:DVX:DATENES: (; = double trefoil stop, : = double pellet stop), cross pattée; reverse ;ThEBE:CIVIS: (; = double trefoil stop, : = double pellet stop), castle tournois, 2 arches, open circles on corners, surmounted by cross; from the Louis G Estate; rare; $160.00 (€136.00)
 


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

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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.
CR88477. Billon denier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 40 (this coin); 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; reverse DE CLARENCIA (R with small foot = Clarentza?), castle tournois, surmounted by cross, C left, annulet right, no cross below; from the Louis G Estate; very rare; $160.00 (€136.00)
 


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

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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 Loius 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.
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; reverse DE CLARENCIA (R with a small thin foot = Clarentza?), castle tournois, surmounted by cross, annulet left, three branched plant between two small pellets below; from the Louis G Estate; $145.00 (€123.25)
 


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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The reverse depicts the double temple of Venus and Roma, designed by Hadrian, the largest and most splendid temple in Rome, finished by Antoninus Pius. Damaged by fire in 307, the temple was restored "in magnificent manner" by Maxentius. When Constantius visited Rome fifty years later, the "Temple of the City" was one of the sights he most admired. In 625, Pope Honorius received a special dispensation from Heraclius to strip the gilded bronze roof tiles for the repair of St. Peter's. During a twelve-day visit to Rome in 663, Constans II stripped it of its remaining bronze ornaments. It was damaged by an earthquake in 847. Later a church was built in the ruins.
RA76944. Silvered antoninianus, Hunter IV 32 (also 3rd officina); RIC V-2 185; Cohen VI 530; Pink VI-1, p. 56-57/4; SRCV III -, Choice EF, near full silvering, superb portrait, light marks, weight 4.097 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Rome mint, emission 4, 279 A.D.; obverse IMP PROBVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse ROMAE AETER (eternal Rome), statue of Roma seated facing inside a hexastyle temple, head left, Victory in right, long scepter in left hand, R pellet in crescent with horns up Γ in exergue; $140.00 (€119.00)
 




  



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REFERENCES

Price, M.J. & B. Trell. Coins and Their Cities: Architecture on the Ancient Coins of Greece, Rome, and Palestine. (London, 1977).

Catalog current as of Sunday, March 24, 2019.
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Architecture