Featured Seigneurie de Sidon, a 13th century fief of the Kingdom of Jerusalem

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by seth77, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    This is an anonymous issue minted during the lordship of Balian Grenier as Lord of Sidon (1202/4-1241) Constable of Tyre (1229-1231) and Bailie of the Kingdom of Jerusalem (1229-1240/1)

    13x12mm, 0.31g silver denier, minted in the City of Sidon, cca. 1230s.


    OBV: + · D · Є · N · I · Є · R · ; cross pattee

    REV: + · D · Є · S · Є · Є · T · Є · ; the domed Cathedral of Sidon

    REF: Malloy 4, Schlumberger V 8, Metcalf 213.

    Balian was one of the leading local barons in the Kingdom of Jerusalem and a vassal and ally of Emperor Frederick II after he seized the throne of Jerusalem in 1225.

    During his reign, the inlands of Seigneurie de Sidon were reconquered after they had been lost to Saladin in 1187/8. He took part as one of the representatives of the local barons in the Fifth and Sixth Crusade and fought alongside Thibaut "le Chansonnier" de Champagne, Henry II de Bar, Amaury VI de Montfort and Hugo of Burgundy during the Barons Crusade in 1239. He was one of the few knights to escape the Battle of Gaza during the later part of Thibaut's Crusade.

    Balian received as a result of his participation in the Crusade not only the old lands of the Grenier Lordship but lands in Galilee and the Golan Heights, enlarging his domains and stature as a leading baron of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.

    The 13th century marks the extended independence of the local barons alongside the development of a local baronial coinage, similar to the European feudal/baronial coinages of the time. The silver petit deniers of Sidon minted under the rule of Balian (and/or under his bailie or under his heir Julian) are usually of good quality silver and their function might have been to replace (at least locally) the royal immobilized coinage which had been in use from around 1200 to around 1230. The similitude between the coinages -- the domed building and the rather small and light module seem to point in this direction.

    The royal Jerusalem coinage of Acre and/or Tyre, revived as an immobilized type under Aimery de Lusignan around 1197/1200.

    The legends are particularly interesting as the obverse legend states the denomination of the coinage, marking it as a denier rather than an obole, like its dimensions might have implied. The dating period is suggested by the presence of such coins in the al-Mina and Djebail hoards but it is likely that they circulated at least well into the early 1250s, which would make sense also on account of their fineness.

    Jean de Joinville mentions "deniers (de) Madame de Saiete" (deniers of Madame Marguerite de Sidon-Beaufort) in his description of a donative that King Louis IX of France and his knights made around 1251, while in Sidon. The deniers mentioned by Joinville are very likely these coins, remembered by the chronicler for their legend: denier de Seete (denier of Sidon).

    This is a rare specimen, and very important historically, especially if it was used as a replacement for the old immobilized Holy Sepulchre type of Acre or Tyre.

    (both coins come from the same British collection)
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
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  3. John Anthony

    John Anthony Ultracrepidarian Supporter

    Thank you for your posts, Seth! I always learn something new. You are an educational asset to this forum!
    Curtisimo and seth77 like this.
  4. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    You're gonna make me blush :cat::cat::cat:
    John Anthony likes this.
  5. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    I always enjoy your posts, Seth. Cool coins too.
  6. VD76

    VD76 Well-Known Member

    Sorry for my pictures, I’m really not having any time to take better ones.
    Curtisimo and seth77 like this.
  7. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    No problem, excellent coins.
    VD76 likes this.
  8. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    As others have stated above, I also always enjoy your great write ups, @seth77 . I don’t comment as often as I should because I have very few coins in my Medieval collection and usually don’t have much to add to the already great content.

    I missed this thread the first time around so I am glad it got bumped.
    seth77 likes this.
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