Serbian History Through Coinage

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King Stefan Uros III Decanski (1321-1331)

COIN IMAGE

"Cross" dinar. Obv.: Crowned king receiving partiarchal cross from St. Stephen, legend: STEFAN REX S STEFAN; Rev.: Christ enthroned

COIN IMAGE

"Sword" dinar. Obv.: Crowned king seated, holding sword in left, and sceptre with cross in right hand, Cyrillic legend: KRA STEFAN OUROS TRETI("King Stefan Uros the Third"); Rev.: Christ enthroned, IC - XC, sigla:B-P

HISTORICAL NOTES: A tragic figure that suffered both from his father and later his son, Stefan nevertheless continued the state's progress. His victory at Velbuzd (1330) effectively reduced the Second Bulgarian Empire to a subordinate state of Serbia; his monastery, Visoki Decani, remains one of the finest medieval Serbian monuments.

NUMISMATIC NOTES: The "sword" dinar is a cornerstone in deciphering some of the attribution mysteries, since it is a rare issue that uniquely identifies a Nemanjic dynast with his full title. The exact meaning of symbols flanking Christ's throne, known as "sigla", is still a mystery - they could be related to mints, mint officials, batches of silver, or engravers.

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