Holy Roman Empire, Rome, Charles of Anjou as Roman Senator, Grosso Rinforzato

This coin stands for nothing less than the submission of papacy to the French king. During the 13th century, a relentless struggle for power went on within the Holy Roman Empire. Opponents were the pope and the emperor, or, more precise: their respective adherents. For the pope, the French king as the German emperor's major enemy was a natural ally. And he was willing to pay for the pact: In 1262 Charles of Anjou, brother of the French king, received the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily as a papal grant. Additionally, Charles became senator of Rome in 1263 (until 1278). Charles immediately documented this increase of power with the issue of a silver grosso, on which the legend proudly read: CAROLVS REX SENATOR VRBIS.