Serbian History Through Coinage

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Prince Lazar Hrebeljanovic (1371-1389)

Coin - Dinar - Prince Lazar Hrebljanovic

Dinar. Obv.: Lazar crowned and enthroned, holding sceptre with cross, legend: KNEZ LAZR ("Prince Lazar"); Rev.: Christ enthroned

Coin - Dinar - Prince Lazar Hrebeljanovic

Dinar. Obv.: Lazar standing, holding sceptre with cross, Cyrillic legend: KNEZ LAZR ("Prince Lazar"); Rev.: Christ enthroned

Coin - Dinar of Novo Brdo - Prince Lazar Hrebeljanovic

Dinar of Novo Brdo. Obv.: Lazar standing, holding sceptre with cross, legend: CONTE LASARO ("Prince Lazar"); Rev.: Christ standing, legend: NOVOMONTE ARGEN ("silver of Novo Brdo")

HISTORICAL NOTES: The key figure of Serbian epic tradition, whose choice of "kingdom of Heaven" over "kingdom on Earth" postulates the basic moral tennet that permeated the Serbian national ethic for centuries. A cohesive force in a disintegrating empire, he promoted political unity through both diplomatic and military means, and gained ecclesiastic support by helping the reconciliation of Greek and Serbian churches in 1375.

NUMISMATIC NOTES: Historical information can be deduced through numismatic evidence. In the wake of Ottoman advances and dynastic struggles, Lazar appears to have favored unity, first by denying virtually all his vassals minting authority, and second by reducing contention - as evidenced by the gradual elimination of imperial insignia (e.g. closed imperial crown and jewels) from his portrait on coins. The rather quick debasement of his currency also indicates an inflationary economy, probably geared for the final military showdown with the advancing Turks.

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