A Serbian grossus of the Venetian type and the problem of the chronology of the earliest coinage of medieval Serbia

A document dated December 26th, 1214, refers to the yperperi Sclavonie (meaning “the yperperi of Serbia”). This is the earliest piece of evidence concerning the coinage of medieval Serbia. It is probable that the yperperi in question were minted by the magnus iupanus Stephanus (1196 – 1217), the future king (1217 – 1228), but no Serbian coin attributable to that period was published so far. A grossus from the Collection of late Svetozar St. Dusanic seems to support the testimony of the document of 1214. Its obverse legend, STEFAN – S STEFAN/DVX, shows that it was produced in Serbia, while the dynast’s title, dux (to be understood as an international equivalent to the Serbian title of magnus iupanus?), dates the issue before Stephen’s coronation in 1217. The matapan type of the grossus well accords with the intensity of the Serbo – Venetian relations after c. 1202. Its rarity will have indicated a commemorative issue, perhaps to be connected with Stephen’s marriage ( in the first decade of the thirteenth century?) with Anna Dandolo, the granddaughter of Enrico Dandolo, great doge of Venice. The present whereabouts of the piece being unknown.

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