A very rare denaro of the highly interesting Pope John IX
Lot 3395
ITALY. Papal Coinage. John IX, 898-900. Denaro (Silver, 19 mm, 1.40 g, 5 h), in the name of Lambert, Holy Roman Emperor (891-898), January-October 898. S / C / S – P/ET/RV/S Half-length bust of St. Peter, wearing mantum and stole, facing slightly to left, holding cross-tipped scepter. Rev. + LANTVERT MP around monogram of IOHANS. Berman 52. CNI 1. MEC 1, 1063. Muntoni 1. Very rare. An attractively toned and unusually complete example of this historically interesting issue. Good very fine.

Ex Numismatica Ars Classica 56, 8 October 2010, 945 and Münzen & Medaillen GmbH 8, 10 May 2001, 559.

Pope Formosus died on 4 April 896 amidst power struggles over the Papacy, the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Kingdom of West Francia, and the Holy Roman Empire. What followed was a time of bitter infighting, with his successor, Boniface VI, dying after just two weeks in office and the next pope, Stephen VI, conducting the infamous Cadaver Synod, in which the decayed corpse of Formosus was indicted, convicted, mutilated, and cast into the Tiber. This outrageous act would soon come to haunt Stephen, however, as he was himself imprisoned and strangulated in the summer of 897. The next pope, Romanus, was deposed after just three months and followed by Theodore II, who had Formosus' body recovered from the Portus harbor, where it had been secretly buried. Yet Theodore, too, died in office after a reign that lasted only twelve, or twenty, days in December 897, depending on the sources.

In January 898, John IX was elected as Theodore's successor. A native of Tivoli near Rome, John strove to reconcile the opposing factions within the Papacy. In foreign affairs, he sided with Lambert of Italy against Arnulf of Carinthia in the struggle over the Holy Roman Empire, striking coins with Lambert's name around his own monogram. However, Lambert died on 15 October 898, with John himself following just fifteen months later, thus throwing Rome into turmoil again. It would eventually take several decades for the Papacy to get back into calm waters. In less than a century, between 872 and 965, two dozen popes ruled the Holy See, and in the most turbulent years between 896 and 904, there was, on average, a new pope every year.
Starting price:
750 CHF
Hammer price:
3200 CHF
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Closing time: 26-Feb-24, 17:22:00 CET
All winning bids are subject to a 20% buyer's fee.


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