Description:This coin was minted over 800 years ago in the Crusader state of Antioch, which was located near the northeastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea in modern day Turkey. During ancient times, Antioch was known as the cradle of Christianity and the city was re-taken from the Muslims during the First Crusade in 1098. This silver denier coin features the Jerusalem Cross or better known as the Crusader Cross. The reverse shows the helmeted head of Bohemond III, who ruled Antioch from 1163 - 1201 and was allied with the Byzantine Empire.
As the Western World recovered from the Dark Ages, 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. These wars were brutal and in many ways misguided, but the Crusades had an enormous influence on the European Middle Ages. A tremendous amount of knowledge in science, medicine and architecture was brought back to the Western World from Constantinople during this era, which led to the Renaissance in later centuries.
The Crusades also greatly increased trade, which brought many things to Europeans that were once unknown or extremely rare, including spices, ivory, gun powder and apples. By the end of the Crusades in the late 13th century, the foundation of the modern nation-state was well on its way in France, England and Spain.