Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily
In 1516, Charles V inherited Naples and Sicily from his grandfather Fernando de Aragón. Charles installed viceroys and visited his possessions in southern Italy only once, in 1535, when he returned triumphantly from defeating the pirate Khayr Ad-Din Barbarossa in Tunis. The people had suffered from the pillaging and when Charles landed at Trapani at the western end of Sicily in August 1535, he expected to be celebrated as a Caesar. He also wanted to get to know his country. He travelled via Monreale, Palermo, Taormina, Messina to Naples, where he spent Christmas. In the spring of 1536, he proceeded to Rome, where he delivered his famous Easter address to cardinals, diplomats and Pope Paul III.
Ducato, n. d., Naples. Ø 22 mm, 3,50 g. Pannuti-Riccio 4; Friedberg 833a.
Obv.: +CAROLVS RO - MANORum
REX "Charles, Roman King"
◦ET "King of Aragón and both Sicilies"
quartered shield: Castile/León, Aragón(vertical stripes)/Naples and Aragón/Sicily (two diagonals
separate two eagles from vertical stripes). At the bottom the pomegranate for Granada.
On top of the shield: the crowned imperial double eagle with the Austrian band shield.
Why "both" Sicilies?
The Byzantines already talked of 'the two Sicilies' on either side of the strait, Sicily the island and Sicily on the mainland. The Normans unified lower Italy and established the Kingdom of Sicily in 1130 as papal tenure. The Hohenstaufen dynasty inherited it in 1195. In 1266, Charles I of Anjou was called in by the Pope and defeated the remaining Hohenstaufen. An uprising against Charles I in 1282 made him leave Sicily-island, where the House of Aragón took over. The House of Anjou kept Sicily-mainland, which became the Kingdom of Naples in 1302. In 1442, they lost it again to the House of Aragón which now ruled "both" Siciles as two separate kingdoms.
Carlino, n. d., Naples. Ø 26 mm, 3,52 g. CNI XIX p.348 n.552; MIR 144/1.
Obv.: +CAROLVS⦂DI⦂FA⦂CLE⦂IMPE "Charles, elected imperator in Frankfort"
Crowned bust with young beardless face with accented mandible to the right, in the field: G.
Rev.: R◦ARAGO⦂VTRIVSQ◦SI◦ET - Coat of arms as before and below.
Carlino, n. d., Naples. Ø 26 mm, 3,55 g. CNI p.347, n.545-549; Pannuti-Riccio 26.
Obv.: + CAROLVS ⦂ ROMANOR◦REX "Charles, Roman king"
A double struck produced misalignments at "⦂ R" and at the inner circle in front of the face.
Crowned bust with young beardless face and long hair.
In the field behind: G (mintmaster Marcello Gazzella).
Rev.: R ARAGO VTRISQ SI ET largely unreadable because of the double strike.
Coat of arms, similar as before.
Carlino, n. d., Naples. Ø 23 mm, 3,13 g. CNI XIX p.359 n.653ff.
Obv.: CAROLVS IIIII ROManorum
IMPerator "Charles V, Roman Emperor"
laureated head, to the left monogram IBR (Juan Bautista Rabaschiero).
Rev.: REX ARAGOniae
SICiliae "King of Aragon and both Sicilies"
Order of the Golden Fleece in the form of a sheepskin.
Mezzo carlino, n. d., Naples. Ø 20 mm, 1,47 g. CNI p.368, n.726.
Obv.: ·CAROLVS·V·ROM·I - MP· - laureated head, below A (mintmaster Girolamo Albertino)
Rev.: ·NON·ALITER·VIRTVS - firesteels in the shape of the letter B, three flints and many sparks.
Far away from the Burgundy site of the Order of the Golden Fleece, the coin shows some pretty details of the Order and its chain Order of the Golden Fleece. The viceroy who suggested this decoration must himself have been a member of the order, i.e. it must have been either Charles de Lannoy, viceroy from 1522 to 1524, or Philibert de Chalon, viceroy from 1524 to 1530. Charles V had given the order to both of them in 1516.
2 Cavalli, n. d., Naples. copper, Ø 20 mm, 3,13 g. Pannuti-Riccio 45a
ROLVS V ROManorum
· - bearded bust to the right.
Testone, n. d., Naples. Ø 27 mm. CNI XIX, p.333, n.414 var.
with five crowns distributed over the coin
CAROLVS:IIIII:RO:IM // Rex
:HISPAN:VT - RIVS:SICILA
Rev.: crowned arms between the wings and the tail of a threefold crowned double eagle.
Top left: Castile/León. Top right: Aragón, Navarra (5 circles) and Naples.
(The sixth dot in Navarra's coat is a 'central dot' and does not belong to the coat.)
Bottom left: Austria (band), New-Burgundy (fleur-de-lis), Old-Burgundy (inclined stripes), Brabant (lion).
Bottom right: Jerusalem (cross) und Old-Hungary (horizontal stripes).
At the bottom of the shield: a pomegranate for Granada, better to be seen on the next coin.
Mezzo ducato d'argento, n. d., Naples. Ø 33 mm, 14,83 g.
CNI XIX p.328 n.373; Pannuti-Riccio 15.
Obv.: CAROLVS·V·ROMANO·IMP laureated bust and monogram IBR.
Rev.: ··R·ARAGO·VTRIVS·SI·· crowned double eagle holds crowned shield.
How did Charles V come by the coats of arms of Jerusalem and Hungary?
The kingdom of Jerusalem existed from 1100 to 1192. Emperor Frederic II of Hohenstaufen reconquered it and called himself King of Jerusalem for a short period until it fell to the Arabs. Charles I of Anjou expelled the Hohenstaufen from the island of Sicily in 1265/6. In the succession to their claims, he bought the title "king of Jerusalem" in 1277.
As the House of Anjou contributed a number of elected kings of Hungary, they added the Hungarian coats of arms to those of Jerusalem. Anjou kept both coats of arms until they were expelled from Naples in 1442, even though they had already been expelled from Sicily in 1282. The House of Aragón succeeded them and took over both coats of arms. Emperor Charles V. then inherited them from his grandfather King Ferdinand of Aragón, the Catholic, when he left Naples and Sicily to his grandson.
Ducato, n. d., Naples. Ø 22 mm, 3,40 g. Pannuti-Riccio 9; Friedb.834.
CAROLVS·IIIII·ROM IMP· - // R·ARAGO - VTRIVS·S
Doppia, n. d., Naples.
(double scudo) Ø 27mm, 6,71 g. Pannuti-Riccio 5a; Friedb.831.
CAROLVS·V·ROM·IMPE· // MAGNA·OPERA·DOMNI· "Marvellous are the works of the Lord"
Rev.: a woman (Peace?) walking left, holding a cornucopiae and setting alight a book and a pile of arms.
The reverse of the coin remembers a series of revolts in Naples and their happy conclusion:
Viceroy Don Pedro Alvarez de Toledo governed the country since 1532 with a competent though stern hand. He did away with feudal structures and modernized the city. However, this resulted in heavy taxation. On Charles V's visit to Naples in 1535/6, the gentry urged him in vain to dismiss Don Pedro - the emperor valued the viceroy's competence. Under his reign, Naples became the second largest city in Europe and obtained fortifications that could stand up to Turkish assaults.
In 1547, Don Pedro intended to introduce the Spanish Inquisition. This led to a revolt by the gentry because the Inquisition was regularly accompanied by expropriations. The revolt was quelled by force, yet protests continued. Naples sent a delegation to the emperor, together with a generous donation(*). In the Edict of 23 October 1547, Charles V pledged to never allow The Office of the Holy Inquisition to be introduced, thus confirming the promise given by King Ferdinand the Catholic in 1504 when Naples fell under Spanish rule. Naples was greatly relieved, when the emperor finally sent Don Pedro to Siena in 1552.
(*) Pannuti-Riccio mentions a "donation" of 100.000 ducats, other sources mention a higher sum. The same amount is also said to have been payed to Ferdinand the Catholic for the same purpose.
Mezzo trionfo doro, n. d., Messina. Ø 18 mm, 1,72 g. Spahr p.119, n.4.
Charles's beardless (i.e. youthful) bust.
+ ◦CAROLVS ◦ IMPE • // • REX : SICILIE •
4 Tari, 1555, Messina. Ø 32 mm, ca.11 g. Spahr 164 var.
Obv.: •+•CAROLVS•V•IMPERATOR• - crowned bust with beard, below the value 4.
Rev.: +•D•G•REX•SICILIAE•I555• - crowned eagle towards right, between mint marks C - M,
minted with several hammer blows. Misalignments arose on both sides and at several places,
mainly visible at the inner circle of pearls.
2 Tari, 1555, Messina. Ø 26mm, 5,74g. Spahr p.142, no.252.
Obv.: +•CAROLVS•IMPERATOR• - crowned bust with beard.
The 'central dot' under the ear is obviously not part of the picture.
Rev.: +REX+SICILIAE+1555+ - crowned Sicilian eagle between C - M
This eagle resembles the eagle which Emperor Frederic II of Hohenstaufen used on his famous Augustalis.
The coins for 4, 2, 1, 1/2 and 1/4 Tari use the same design: bust/eagle.|
They are distinguishable only by their weight and size.
Tari o.J. (about 1520), Messina. Ø ca.20 mm, 2,91 g. Spahr 19.
Obv: +CAROLVS IMPERAT?R - young crowned effigy.
Rev.: •D•G•REX•SICILI - crownes eagle between B - N (Bartolomeo Lo Nobile)
Note the misalignement on both sides, clearly visible at the inner circles of dots.
1/2 Tari, Messina. Ø 16 mm, ca. 1,3 g. Spahr 95.
:CAROLVS:IMPE // :REX:SICILIE: crownwd eagle between mark J - P.
• Pannuti - Riccio: Le Monete di Napoli - dalla caduta dell'impero Romano alla chiusura della zecca.
• R. Spahr: Le Monete Siciliane dagli Aragonesi ai Borboni (1282-1836). Palermo 1959, Basel-Graz 1982.
• CNI (Corpus Nummorum Italicorum), vol.XIX (Napoli, Parte I). 1940. (Index vol.XIX)