1736, Kingdom of Naples, Charles III of Spain. Silver ½ Piastra (60 Grana) “Volcano” Coin.
Mint Year: 1736 Mint Place: Naples Ruler: Charles III of Spain Reference: MIR 338/3, KM-C#19. Denomination: 60 Grana (½ Piastra) Weight: 12.33gm Diameter: 34mm Material: Silver
Obverse: River god reclining right and pouring water from a vessel (symbol for the river). Smoking volcano (mount Etna) in background. Legend: DE SOCIO PRICEPS Exergue: De . 1736 . G
Reverse: Crowned coat-of-arms of the Kingdom of Naples with a small central bourbon shield. Mint master´s initials (F:-B:/.A.) at sides, value (G.60) inside oval cartuche below. Legend: CAR : D : G : REX : NEAP : (G : 60) HISP : INFANS . & c Exergue: (G.60)
Mount Etna (or Etna or Mongibello, Sicilian: Mungibedduor â Muntagna, Latin: Aetna) is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, in the Metropolitan City of Catania, between the cities of Messina and Catania. It lies above the convergent plate margin between the African Plate and the Eurasian Plate. It is the tallest active volcano in Europe, currently 3,329 m (10,922 ft) high, though this varies with summit eruptions. It is the highest peak in Italy south of the Alps. Etna covers an area of 1,190 km2 (459 sq mi) with a basal circumference of 140 km. This makes it by far the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, being about two and a half times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius. Only Mount Teide in Tenerife (owned by Spain) surpasses it in the whole of the European–North-African region. In Greek Mythology, the deadly monster Typhon was trapped under this mountain by Zeus, the god of the sky and thunder and king of gods, and the forges of Hephaestus were said to also be located underneath it.
Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. The fertile volcanic soils support extensive agriculture, with vineyards and orchards spread across the lower slopes of the mountain and the broad Plain of Catania to the south.
Charles III (Spanish: Carlos III; Italian: Carlo III; 20 January 1716 – 14 December 1788) was the King of Spain and the Spanish Indies from 1759 to 1788. He was the eldest son of Philip V of Spain and his second wife, the Princess Elisabeth Farnese. In 1731, the fifteen-year-old Charles became the Duke of Parma and Piacenza, as Charles I, at the death of his childless great uncle Antonio Farnese, Duke of Parma.
In 1734, as the Duke of Parma, he conquered the kingdoms of Naples and of Sicily, and was crowned as the King of Naples and Sicily on 3 July 1735, reigning as Charles VII of Naples and Charles V of Sicily. In 1738 he married the Princess Maria Amalia of Saxony, an educated, cultured woman who gave birth to thirteen children, eight of whom reached adulthood. Charles and Maria Amalia resided in Naples for nineteen years; she died in 1760.
Upon succeeding to the Spanish throne on 10 August 1759, Charles, a proponent of enlightened absolutism, on 6 October 1759 abdicated the Neapolitan and Sicilian thrones in favour of Ferdinand, his third surviving son, who became Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies, or Ferdinand IV of Naples and III of Sicily. Charles III’s descendants ruled the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies until 1861.
As king of Spain Charles III tried to rescue his empire from decay through far-reaching reforms such as weakening the Church and its monasteries, promoting science and university research, facilitating trade and commerce, modernizing agriculture and avoiding wars. He never achieved satisfactory control over finances, and was obliged to borrow to meet expenses. His reforms proved short-lived and Spain relapsed after his death.
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