Sep 11 – 16, 2022
University of Warsaw
Europe/Warsaw timezone

“Latin" Imitations of Hyperpyra of John III Vatatzès—A Coinage of Geoffrey II of Villehardouin?

Sep 13, 2022, 9:00 AM
Auditorium Maximum - Hall D

Auditorium Maximum - Hall D


Robert Leonard (American Numismatic Society )


The hyperpyra of John III Vatatzès of Nicaea were imitated in such quantity that the Florentine merchant Francesco Pegolotti noted them as "latin" gold hyperpyra. In 2000 Ernest Oberländer-Tȃrnoveanu published guidelines on how to recognize the imitations, based on a Romanian hoard. This paper presents additional guidance for identifying "latin" imitations and distinguishing them from modern counterfeits, and proposes that their issuer was Geoffrey II of Villehardouin, Prince of Achaea, circa 1236-1243; Geoffrey II offered an annual subsidy of 22,000 hyperpyra to Latin Emperor Baldwin II in 1236, and continued supporting the Empire as late as 1243. Hoard evidence will be offered in support of this proposal, and a possible mint site suggested.

Primary author

Robert Leonard (American Numismatic Society )

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