Serbian History Through Coinage

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Republic of Venice, Doge Jacopo Tiepolo (1229-1249)

COIN IMAGE

Matapano (Grosso). Obv.: Doge (governor) receiving banner from St. Mark; Legend: IA TEUPL DUX S.M. VENETI; Rev.: Christ enthroned, holding Book of Gospels, legend: IC - XC

NUMISMATIC NOTES: Introduced around 1202 (to fund preparations for the grand and infamous Fourth Crusade that eventually sacked Constantinople) by the mighty doge Enrico Dandolo and backed by the Republic's thriving economic power, this coin remained for well over a century the deutschmark of Southeastern European economy. Although almost all of its design elements are of Byzantine origin - including the iconic image of a facing enthroned Christ with the Greek inscription "IC XC" (for Jesus Christ) on its reverse - their particular combination in this silver coin of stable and strictly controlled weight and purity lasted for over 150 years (with variations in doge only) and became associated strictly with Venice. As such, through imitations and forgeries, it influenced many Eastern Mediterranean coinages, including the first systematic series of Serbian medieval coins.

 

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