Description:These silver coins were minted in the Kingdom of Hungary during the rule of Bela II. The obverse of these coins feature the Jerusalem Cross, which was also known as the Crusader Cross. The reverse side shows a small cross within circles.
Bela was the only son of Duke Almos, the younger brother of King Coloman of Hungary. After Duke Almos led several unsuccessful rebellions against his brother, King Coloman ordered him and Bela to be blinded in 1113. Bela "the Blind" became King when his childless cousin died in 1131 and he ruled Hungary and Croatia until his death in 1141. During his reign, Bela strengthened his alliance with the Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom expanded its territory into Bosnia and Kiev.
These cross coins circulated as the Western World was recovering from the Dark Ages and Christian Crusaders from Europe massed their armies in an effort to recapture Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Muslim rule. The Crusades were fought over a period of nearly 200 years, between 1095 and 1291. Hungary had emerged as a Christian kingdom upon the coronation of King Stephen I in the year 1000 and the Hungarians assisted in the early Crusades. In 1217, King Andrew II led a Hungarian Crusade of 3,000 soldiers to the Holy Land during the Fifth Crusade.