• When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Charles V - real d'or

8 posts in this topic

I waited rather impatiently for this coin to arrive - but it finally did. And it was well worth the wait. I've had my eye out for one of these for a long time - and when a I dealer I often buy from wrote me about it - I jumped at the chance cloud9.gif







It is the real d'or struck in the Austrian Netherlands at the Antwerp mint between 1546 - 1556 during the reign of Charles V, King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor. His contemporaries were Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France - both great rulers in their own right. But Charles dominated the politics of Europe for 40 years.


Not since Charlemagne in the early 9th century had any one ruler dominated so much of Europe. Moreover, Charles V's Spanish subjects were conquering vast overseas territories in Central and South America. Hernan Cortes, the conqueror of Mexico, began to refer to his sovereign as "ruler of the world." Charles spoke of himself as "God's standard bearer," and his heraldic device bore the legend plus ultra - "always further" or "plus more". And this motto later became famous as part of the legend on the well know Spanish pillar dollar.


Charles V was heir to several crowns. He ruled Spain, the Netherlands, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and important principalities in northern Italy. He was elected Emperor of Germany. He owned enormous oversea dominions in Africa; and the two Americas soon became New Spain. He governed each part of his European dominions by a different title and

under a different constitution. He had no fixed imperial capital, but moved about from place to place, a legitimate sovereign everywhere and, for the most part, a popular one as well.


During his reign he fought many wars throughout his Empire - most of them successful, some not so successful. But such was the power of Charles that, although his navies were much weaker than his armies, he yet was able to fight by sea on two enormous fronts, first, in the Mediterranean against the Turks and other Moslems, secondly, in the Channel and along the coast, all the way from Antwerp to Cadiz.


In 1555-56, Charles V voluntarily abdicated in several stages. He left the Holy Roman Empire to Ferdinand and all his other dominions to his son, PHILIP II of Spain. Many historians have seen Charles V's reign as a failure. His contemporaries, however, did not, especially as Philip's marriage with Queen MARY I of England in 1554 seemed to open up dazzling new prospects for the house of Habsburg. No one could know that Mary would die young and childless.


Charles retired to a comfortable villa built next to the monastery of San Yuste in Spain. There he lived the life he had always wished to live. He spent much time in religious devotions but was also surrounded by his fine collection of paintings by Titian and other Renaissance artists. He listened to music, dismantled and assembled mechanical clocks, ate gluttonously, and, not least important, still meddled in European political affairs. Charles died on Sept. 21, 1558.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

That’s a super coin! I doubt much more could fit on that coat of arms. I really dig the half length portraits with the orb and scepter – a very serious look from a very serious dude. You put that design on a thaler and I’m a buyer!


As long as we’re having a history lesson tonight, here are a couple of on topic books that I’ve read recently and can recommend highly:


The Reign of Charles V by William Maltby. A slender, recently published, volume which covers the great events of Charles’ life. Much of the focus is on the constraints imposed on his freedom of action by the difficulties in financing his far flung empire.


A History of Modern Germany, The Reformation by Hajo Holborn. The title is self explanatory and covers Germany history in depth from 1512 until the Peace of Westphalia in 1647. It has a strong concentration on the theological differences and how all the German prices popped from one side to another as the converted, were overawed by their neighbors or sought to expand their realms.


Here’s a couple of famous and world altering speeches quoted in the 2nd book that stood out in my mind:


On April 18, 1521, Martin Luther stood before Charles V, a papal nuncio, the electors and prices of the empire at the Diet of Worms. When asked if he would recent his teachings he responded:


“Unless I am convicted by testimonies of the Scripture and clear reason – for I do neither believe the pope nor councils alone, since it is obvious the have contradicted each other – my conscience is bound by Holy Scripture and a captive of the Word of God. Therefore I cannot and will not recent anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe: God help me, Amen”


The following day Charles, 20 years of age and elected emperor just a year earlier, read his reply aloud:


“As a descendant of the Christian emperors of Germany, the Catholic kings of Spain, the archdukes of Austria, and the dukes of Burgundy, who without exception had been loyal to their deaths to the Roman Church, defenders of the Catholic faith, the sacred customs, decretals, and traditions of worship, I am determined to cling to the legacy of my ancestors and to stake my kingdoms and dominions, friends, body and blood, life and soul. It would be a disgrace for me, and for you, members of the noble German nation, if in our age by our negligence even the appearance of heresy and any curtailment of the Christian religion would sink into the hearts of men.”


Charles then placed Luther under the Imperial Ban and began the internal religious divisions which would divide Germany for the next 400 years.


Congratulations on the new acquisition! And to think, I felt beating the French coin would be tough to do!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dunno JJ - but I'm with you. Just doesn't make sense now does it confused-smiley-013.gif


But it does seem as if truth is a bit confused by the whole situation. Then again - that may be his normal condition ? 27_laughing.gif27_laughing.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites