Gold Coin of Sancho II of Portugal

04 Jan 2021  Mon

Sancho II was King of Portugal from 1223 to 1248. He was succeeded on the Portuguese throne by his brother, King Afonso III, in 1248. Sancho was born in Coimbra, the eldest son of Afonso II of Portugal by his wife, Infanta Urraca of Castile.

By the time of his accession to the throne, in 1223, Portugal was embroiled in a difficult diplomatic conflict with the Catholic Church. His father, Afonso II, had been excommunicated by Pope Honorius III, for his attempts at reducing the Church's power within the country.

A treaty of 10 articles was signed between the Pope and Sancho II, but the king paid little attention to its fulfilment. His priority was the Reconquista, the reconquest of the southern Iberian Peninsula from the Moors. From 1236 onwards, Sancho II conquered several cities in the Algarve and Alentejo, securing the Portuguese position in the region.

Depicted here is gold Morabitino issued under his reign. The obverse of a coin depicts the king on horseback right, holding sceptre and brandishing a sword. On the other hand, the reverse of a coin engraved the cross composed of five shields.

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