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Denomination: AR Grosso Date: 1289-1310 CE
Obverse: PEGRADONICO D / V / X SMVENETI; Nimbate St. Mark, to right, presents royal standard to robed and bearded Doge.
Reverse: Christ with a granulated nimbus encircling his head in robe (hiton) and mantle (himation) is seated on a throne. Holds on his left knee the Gospels ornamented with five precious stones.
Initials “IC-XC” (Greek abbreviation for Jesus Christ) written at the height of his head.
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 type of coin remained for well over a century the dollar 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 - the 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.
Pietro Gradenigo-Doge (Duke) 1289 - 1311
"Children are terrified by words; valiant men fear not even the sword's point."
-Pietro Gradenigo on the occasion of the Republic's third Papal interdict, 1309
For some thousand years, the leader of Venice was the Doge ( Duke ). The Doge was elected by the city-state's aristocracy.
Commonly the person selected as Doge was the most politically shrewd older man in the city. While they had great temporal power, Doges were by law confined for the rest of their lives to within the Doge's Palace complex