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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Medieval & Modern Coins ▸ ItalyView Options:  |  |  |   

Coins of Italy

Normans, Southern Italy, Anonymous, Dukes of Apulia or Counts of Sicily & Calabria, c. 1060 - 1080 A.D.

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This coin is certainly imitative, as it weighs less then 1/3 the weight of the even the lightest official Class B Byzantine anonymous follis Forum has handled. Attribution to the Normans in Italy is based on the reputed find location and some similarity to other Byzantine imitatives issued by the Normans in Southern Italy and Sicily.
ME73353. Bronze follaro, apparently unpublished, imitative of Class B Byzantine anonymous follis (SBCV 1823, Constantinople, 1028 - 1041); MEC Italy III -, MIR -, et al. -, F, weight 2.163 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Italian mint, c. 1060 - 1080 A.D.; obverse facing bust of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, holding book of Gospels; reverse IS - XS / bAS-ILE / bAS-ILE (Jesus Christ King of Kings, mostly off flan), Cross on three steps, dividing legend; from a California collector; $240.00 (213.60)


Kingdom of Naples and Sicily, Phillip II of Spain, 25 July 1554 - 13 September 1598

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Philip II was King of Spain from 1556 and of Portugal from 1581 (as Philip I, Filipe I). From 1554 he was King of Naples and Sicily as well as Duke of Milan. During his marriage to Queen Mary I (1554 - 58), he was also King of England and Ireland. From 1555, he was lord of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands. Known in Spanish as "Philip the Prudent" (Felipe el Prudente), his empire included territories on every continent then known to Europeans, including his namesake Philippine Islands. During his reign, Spain reached the height of its influence and power. The expression "The empire on which the sun never sets" was coined during Philip's time to reflect the extent of his possessions.
ME66320. Bronze cavallo, MIR Napoli 198 var. (legend variations and the cross dividing the legend noted in MIR), aF, uneven strike, weight 1.956 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Naples mint, obverse PHILIPP REX ARA VT (sic), radiate head right, no date(?); reverse HIERVS + SICILIAE (sic), crown, legend divided at the top by small cross fourche; $160.00 (142.40)


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.
SH66322. Bronze cavallo, MIR Napoli 156, VF, weight 1.215 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 90o, Naples mint, obverse PLVS : VLTRA, the Pillars of Hercules, banner over trefoil in center, crown above; reverse REX : IVSTVS, cross potent; $160.00 (142.40)


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.
ME66323. Bronze 2 cavalli, MIR Napoli 155/1 var. (obverse legend, pellets, MIR notes legend variations and varieties with pellets exist), gF, flan flaw reverse right edge, weight 3.510 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 45o, Naples mint, obverse CAROLVS V ROM IMP (sic), bare head right, pellet under neck; reverse + REX ARAGO VTRIVS S, imperial crown, three pellets in the field above, all within inner dot circle; rare variety; $160.00 (142.40)


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.
ME66338. Billon denaro, MIR 10 347 (R3), Biaggi 493 var. (R), MEC Italy III 643, VF, weight 0.405 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 135o, Apulia, Brindisi mint, early coinage, 1266 - 1278; obverse K DEI GRA REX SCL, cross fleury; reverse + DVC AP ET PRIC CAPE, shield with lis and three pendants, flanked by two small lis; rare; $140.00 (124.60)


Normans, Southern Italy, Anonymous, Dukes of Apulia or Counts of Sicily & Calabria, c. 1081 - 1087 A.D.

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This coin is certainly imitative, as it weighs about 1/3 the normal weight of an official Class J Byzantine anonymous follis. Attribution to the Normans in Italy is based on the reputed find location and some similarity to other Byzantine imitatives issued by the Normans in Southern Italy and Sicily.
ME68381. Bronze follis, apparently unpublished, imitative of Byzantine class J follis (SBCV 1900, Constantinople, 1081 - 1118); MEC Italy III -, Biaggi -, Wroth Western -, aF, on a very small thin flan compared to Byzantine proto-types, weight 2.200 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain S. Italy mint, c. 1081 - 1087 A.D.; obverse bust of Christ facing, cross behind, wears pallium and colbium, raising right in benediction, Gospels in left, crescents above, IC - XC flanking, facing bust of Christ, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, holding book of Gospels; reverse Cross with globule and two pellets at each extremity, large crescent below, four globules around each surrounded by pellets; from an American collection; $140.00 (124.60)


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.
ME70450. Billon denaro, MIR 10 286, MEC Italy III 555, Biaggi 459 (NC), Spahr 128, gVF, wavy flan, small hole, weight 0.583 g, maximum diameter 17.4 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 (124.60)


Normans, Kingdom of Sicily, Roger II, 1105 - 1154 A.D.

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Until the Normans, Bari was governed by the Byzantines, with occasional interruption. It was a major depot for trade in Slavic slaves, destined most frequently for Muslim states including the Fatimid Caliphate which relied on Slavs purchased at Bari for its legions of Sakalaba Mamluks. Captured by Kalfun in 847, Bari was the center of the Emirate of Bari for 20 years. Emperor Louis II fought for five years to take Bari, and was only successful with the aid of a Byzantine naval blockade. In 885, Bari became the residence of the local Byzantine catapan. In 1025, under the Archbishop Byzantius, Bari became attached to the see of Rome and was granted "provincial" status. In 1071, Robert Guiscard captured Bari after a three-year siege. The Greeks refused the Latin ways and a civil war broke out in 1117. Bari was seized by Grimoald Alferanites, a native Lombard, and he was elected lord in opposition to the Normans. Grimoald later did homage to Roger II of Sicily, but then rebelled and was defeated in 1132. Bari was occupied by Manuel I Komnenos from 1155 to 1158. In 1246, Bari was sacked and razed to the ground. It was subsequently rebuilt, destroyed and rebuilt several times.
ME68460. Bronze follaro, MIR 10 134 (R), MEC Italy III 188 (Capua, Anfusus mint?); CNI XVIII p. 241, 1 - 3 (Capua, Pandolfo I Ironhead, 961 - 981), F, weight 0.782 g, maximum diameter 13.2 mm, die axis 135o, Bari mint, 1139 - 1154 A.D.; obverse figure of St. Demetrius standing facing, nimbate, sword in right, shield in left, OΛN downward on left; reverse pseudo-Kufic one-line inscription, cross below; ex Rosenblum Coins; rare; $135.00 (120.15)


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; $125.00 (111.25)


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; $120.00 (106.80)




  



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REFERENCES

Anastasi, M. Monete Bizantine di Sicilia. (NP, 2009).
Bellinger, A. & 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. 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. 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 Thursday, March 23, 2017.
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Italian Coins