Kingdom of Serbia, Stephen Dragutin, Matapan

At the beginning of the 13th century, Venice created a new silver coin. It was a grosso, a piece of silver with a value of 12 Italian denarii, issued to finance the fleet and the equipment of the troops for the Fourth Crusade (1202-1204). The coin became known as matapan, after the Arabic expression for the sitting figure of Christ on the reverse.

Originally the Fourth Crusade was intended to conquer Egypt, but instead it became more of a raid through the hinterlands of the Adriatic and the Aegean coasts and to Constantinople. At that time, together with the Crusaders, the matapan came into these lands. In the Balkans and Byzantium it soon became a popular and often imitated trade coin. The first copies were made in Serbia, where the matapani illustrated Saint Stephen and the Serbian king on the obverse, instead of the Venetian Doge and Saint Mark.

ca. 1280 n. Chr.