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Damietta: The Fifth Crusade

CNG 88, Lot: 1777. Estimate $300.
Sold for $2200. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

CRUSADERS, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. John of Brienne. 1210-1225. BI Denier (16mm, 0.79 g, 6h). Uncertain mint in Egypt. Struck 1219-1221. + IOHΛNNЄS RЄX, head facing, wearing conical crown with pendilia / + DΛMIЄTΛ, cross pattée, with annulet in second and third quarters. Metcalf, Crusades 202; CCS 45. VF, toned. Very rare.

During the preparations for the Fifth Crusade in 1217, it was decided that Damietta should be the initial focus for the attack. The crusaders believed that if they controlled Damietta they would control the Nile. Then, once having conquered Egypt, they would advance into Palestine and recapture Jerusalem.