Description:This silver Grosso Agontano coin was minted in Ancona during the late 13th to early 14th century. The observe side shows a cross pattée with the inscription DE ANCONA or “From Ancona.” The reverse shows Saint Cyriacus, the patron saint of Ancona, blessing with his right hand and holding a crosier in his left hand, with the coin legend P.P.S. QVIRIACUS. Judas Cyracius assisted Saint Helena in discovering the true cross in a pilgrimage to the Holy Land where he was martyred during the 4th century. His remains still lay in the Ancona Cathedral.
During the Middle Ages, the Republic of Ancona was an important maritime republic located along the Aegean Sea on the east coast of Italy. Their push for maritime trade dominance resulted in frequent conflicts with the Venetian Republic. Ancona was an Oligarchic Republic which minted its own coinage and had its own legal system. The government was ruled by a group of 6 Elders elected by the 3 districts of Ancona. During the Crusades to recapture the Holy Land, the city’s fleet provided support to the Christian armies.
The republic was briefly interrupted when the city was taken over by the House of Malatesa in 1348 after the city was ravaged by the black death and a large fire, however they were ousted in 1383. The Papal States eventually took control of the city in 1532, ending the Republic of Ancona.