Serbian History Through Coinage

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Despot Djuradj (George) Brankovic (1427-1456)

Coin - Dinar - Despot Djuradj Brankovic

Dinar, Obv.: Cyrillic legend: +GIIN DESPOT surrounding monogram of Djuradj; Rev.: Lion marching

Coin - Dinar - Despot Djuradj Brankovic

Dinar, Obv.: Lion marching, Cyrillic legend: +GIIN DESPOT; Rev.: Christ enthroned

Coin - Half-dinar of Smederevo - Despot Djuradj Brankovic

Half-dinar of Smederevo, Obv.: Djuradj standing, holding upright sword and cross; Rev.: Lion, surrounded by Cyrillic inscription SMDRVO

Coin - Half-dinar of Rudnik - Despot Djuradj Brankovic

Half-dinar of Rudnik, Obv.: Djuradj enthroned, holding upright sword and cross; Rev.: Lion, surrounded by Cyrillic inscription ROUDNIK

 

HISTORICAL NOTES: The popular memory of Despot Djuradj - grandson of the famed Prince Lazar - has been partially plagued by association with his father Vuk's ill-fated role in Serbian epics. In fact an able all-around statesman like his uncle and predecessor Stefan Lazarevic (as attested by one of the most beautiful pieces of medieval Serbian literature, the anonymous speech at his funeral), he gave a new lease to life to a truncated Serbian state wedged between Turkey and Hungary, before its inevitable fall. As recently as WW I, the long abandoned walls of his capital, Smederevo, were meaningfully used against the advancing German armies, and their giant "Fat Berta" cannons.

NUMISMATIC NOTES: Djuradj's coins are generally of high artistic value, like these with a lion, the heraldic symbol of the Brankovic family. While not uncommon in his day, the image of a ruler with sword in hand particularly befitted Djuradj, who battled valiantly even in his eighties, losing two fingers against Hungarian plotters.

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