Kingdom of Napels, Ferdinand I of Aragon, Coronato

Ferdinand of Aragon (1458-1494) became king of Napels after the death of his father Alfonso V. The pope in Rome declined his recognition, however, because Ferdinand was an illegitimate child. As a result, Ferdinand had to fight off several pretenders trying to dispute his right to the throne. Ferdinand employed every means to consolidate his power; coins he used as media of promotion. This piece is a coronato (from Italian: crowned), a propaganda coin issued on the occasion of Ferdinand's coronation. It bears the kings bust with a large crown on the obverse, and on the reverse the archangel Michael with a lance, just about to kill a dragon. According to the Bible Michael was the angel who drove Lucifer from heaven to hell and threw Adam and Eve out of paradise. He is the weigher of souls, who on Judgment Day balances the good deeds of men against their evil.