ITALY. Papal Coinage. Eugenius III, 1145-1153. Bulla (Lead, 35 mm, 27.35 g, 12 h). EV-GENIVS-P•P•III• in three lines. Rev. SPASPE Bare heads of the Sts. Paul and Peter, facing slightly to right and left, respectively, each within beaded halo; cruciform scepter between; all within beaded-linear border. Very rare. A sharp and particularly attractive example with its yellow chord still intact. Extremely fine.
Eugenius III was a disciple of Bernard of Clairvaux and the first Cistercian pope. Following the fall of Edessa in 1144, he called for the Second Crusade in 1145, but the undertaking failed miserably and left the Crusaders States in the Levante in a state of disarray, laying the breeding ground for the rise of Saladin some twenty years later.