ჯვაროსნული მონეტების იკონოგრაფია

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Date
2023
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ივანე ჯავახიშვილის სახელობის თბილისის სახელმწიფო უნივერსიტეტის გამომცემლობა
Abstract
The Jerusalem cross is comprised of four small equilateral yellow crosses positioned within the branches of a central cross. The first Crusaders are usually depicted with the Jerusalem Cross, especially Godfrey Bouillon (1060-1100), whose later depictions consistently feature him accompanied by five crosses. This is historically inaccurate. Despite popular opinion, the adoption of the five-cross configuration, symbolizing Jerusalem, occurred relatively later. It is absent from the early phases of the Crusades and remained entirely unfamiliar in Palestine. Furthermore, the coins minted in the Kingdom of Jerusalem do not showcase the presence of the five crosses. The coins minted by the Crusader states exhibit significant diversity. The influence of their Muslim neighbors, particularly Syria and Egypt, is evident on the coins of the kings of Jerusalem and the counts of Tripoli, situated further south. In the northern regions, including Edessa, Antioch, and Cyprus, Byzantine influence held sway. Simultaneously, it is entirely natural that Crusader currency retained its distinct Western European characteristics. The interplay among these three political-cultural centers in the medieval world – European, Byzantine, and Muslim – played a crucial role in shaping the appearance and variety of Crusader money. Latin money, stemming from the Carolingian denarius, inherited a concise and clear design. Typically, the name of the issuer, and often their title, were inscribed in a circular fashion around the center on the obverse side, while the mintage details were featured on the reverse. On Crusader money, the predominant religious and heraldic symbol was a cross of various shapes, prominently depicted at the coin’s center. Analysis of Crusader coins reveals that there is no consistent pattern in the placement of bezants, pellets, or crescents within the quadrants of the cross. This suggests that the Crusaders did not assign significant importance to the quantity and arrangement of these symbols within the central cross. It is evident that these elements did not bear any heraldic significance and were primarily employed for decorative purposes. The five-cross composition, later known as the Jerusalem cross, first appeared on a coin only in the year 1277. In this year, Charles I of Anjou (1266-85) was crowned King of Jerusalem, and to commemorate this occasion, he minted a gold coin featuring his new coat of arms on the reverse side, seamlessly blending the Jerusalem cross with the Angevin lilies. It’s worth noting that in addition to the small crosses placed in the four corners, there is also a fifth cross, and this feature is also observed on Charles’s silver coins. In general, the analysis of his coins suggests that during this period, the five-cross composition had not yet reached its final and widespread form. In the cantons of the central cross of various shapes, bezants, wedges, and stars were used in addition to small crosses. Nevertheless, it is evident that by this time, the large cross surrounded by small crosses was already being recognized as a symbol associated with Jerusalem, and its final form was soon to be established. A classical five-cross composition, with four small crosses in each of the four corners of the central cross, appears in Cyprus during the rule of Henry II’s brother Amalric (1306-10) on coins minted in their names, featuring the Jerusalem cross on the obverse side. On the coins minted only in the name of Amalric, the depiction changes slightly: one half of the heraldic shield on the reverse side of the coin displays the cross of Jerusalem, while the other half showcases the coat of arms of the Lusignans. This divided shield is also seen earlier on the coin of Charles of Anjou, where the French lilies next to the Jerusalem cross represent Charles’s coat of arms, and here the lion represents the coat of arms of the Lusignans. It seems that this composition was deliberately chosen by the Lusignans as a strong claim to the kingdom of Jerusalem. The tradition established by Amalric is continued by Henry II (1285-1306, 1310-24), whose silver coinage during his second reign (1310-24) features engravings of the cross of Jerusalem. In the study of Crusader coins, it is evident that the Jerusalem cross has evolved over time. The five-cross configuration, symbolizing Jerusalem, came into use later and was absent from the early phases of the Crusades. This five-cross composition appeared on a coin in 1277 when Charles I of Anjou was crowned King of Jerusalem. The composition continued to evolve, with the classical five-cross design appearing in Cyprus during the rule of Lusignans. This evolution depicted on Crusader coins reflects the historical and heraldic changes of the Jerusalem Cross and highlights its growing importance.
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ეძღვნება აკადემიკოს ზაზა ალექსიძის ხსოვნას (1935 – 2023)/ Dedicated to Memory of Academician Zaza Aleksidze (1935 – 2023)
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აღმოსავლეთმცოდნეობა, №12, თბილისი, 2023, გვ.: 214-223 / Oriental Studies, №12, Tbilisi, 2023, pp.: 214-223
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