The Crusades were a series of holy wars—Church-sanctioned expeditions to deliver the Holy Places from Muslim infidels. Those who ”took up the cross,“ or crux, were described by contemporary writers as pro cruce, from which the word ”Crusader“ derives. Tradition holds that there were eight crusades, although there were numerous smaller expeditions well into the fifteenth century.
This silver denier from the Principality of Antioch, was issued by Bohemond III (1149-1163), a descendent of Bohemond of Taranto, who seized the pivotal city of Antioch in 1098—a key event in the First Crusade. The obverse features la croix pattée, or the footed cross, often seen on Crusader coins.