Sixtus V, Pope 1585-1590

Muntoni 92; Berman 1357, PCGS graded MS-64

Bologna. SIXTVS V PONT MAX, Papal arms. Reverse: BONONIA DOCET, crossy fleury between two shields.

This gold doppia illustrates the intersection of the interests of the Pope as feudal ruler and the city as part of the Papal States. The obverse type unequivocally advertises the Papacy of Pope Sixtus V by featuring the Piergentile arms crowned by a papal tiara and the crossed Keys of St. Peter. However, the floral cross on the reverse and the surrounding legend (“Bologna teaches”) emphasize the civic authority behind the issue. The shared Papal and civic responsibility for the coinage is further underlined by the small arms of Piergentile and Bologna that appear below the cross. Pope Sixtus V had some special interest in the city during his reign and founded the Collegio Montalto there.