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  Ring » Midieval » R8  
     
 
 
R8
 
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  Metal Type:  Sterling Silver
  Diameter:  16 mm
  Size: 
 
 
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  $ 144
   
 
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Denomination:   Silver Denar                                         Date: 1131-1141 CE

Description:   Obverse: pillars topped with cross center and crescents on each side. Reverse: Cross at center of concentric rings with ornamentation

History: Bela II of Hungary was known colloquially as Bela the Blind. As the son of the brother of King Colomon, he was a threat to one day take the throne. In Hungary as in the Byzantine Empire, blind men were prohibited from wearing the crown. Thus, paranoid kings had their rivals’ eyes put out, as a more merciful alternative to outright murder.           

            As a boy, and at the behest of the king, Bela was subjected to this hideous practice, which involved holding a red-hot poker millimeters away from the open eyeball until it burned out, and then repeating the process. His father, the rebellious prince Almos, was also cosigned to the darkness.

            Colomon’s scheme did not work, however. When his son Stephen II failed to produce an heir, the king named his cousin as his successor, ignoring the Byzantine blindness prohibition. Bela ruled for ten years, from 1131-41. He was a successful monarch, expanding his territory and restoring order to the throne.

            This coin is a silver denar issued by Bela II. The reverse shows a cross at the center of concentric rings. The obverse is an abstraction of pillars, with cross at the center and crescents on each side. The dots are remarkably similar to Braille.

 
     
 
         
 
 
 
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