1624, Poland, Sigismund III Vasa. Silver 1/4 Thaler (18 Groszy) Coin. VF
Mint Year: 1624
Mint Place: Bromberg
Denomination: 18 Groszy (also known as Ort = 1/4 Thaler)
Condition: Cleaning, scratches and dark deposits, otherwise VF
Obverse: Crowned, armored half bust of Sigismund III with neck ruff right, holding imperial orb and sword.
Legend: + SIGIS . III . D : G . REX . POL . M . D . LI . RVS . PRVS : M
Reverse: Crowned shield of Poland (horses/eagles), splitting date (16-24).
Legend: SAM : LIV : NEC . N : SV (shield) GOT : VAN : Q : HRI : R
Bromberg was originally a fishing settlement called Bydgozcya ("Bydgostia" in Latin), the city became a stronghold for the Vistula trade routes. In the 13th century it was the site of a castellany, first mentioned in 1238. The city was occupied by the Teutonic Knights from 1331–1337, and later by King Casimir III of Poland, who granted the city municipal rights on 19 April 1346. The city increasingly saw an influx of Jews after that date.
In the 15th-16th centuries Bydgoszcz was a significant site for wheat trading. The Treaty of Bydgoszcz was signed in the city in 1657.
Sigismund III Vasa (Polish: Zygmunt III Waza) (20 June 1566 – 30 April 1632 N.S.) was Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Polish Crown, a monarch of joined Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1587 to 1632, and King of Sweden (where he was known simply as Sigismund) from 1592 until he was deposed in 1599. He was the son of King John III of Sweden and his first wife, Catherine Jagellonica of Poland. He was the last ruler of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth bearing a dynastical blood of House of Gediminas and a branch of it Jagiellons, although from female line. Sigismund owed allegiance to the Imperial Habsburgs as a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece.
Elected to the throne of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Sigismund sought to create a personal union between the Commonwealth and Sweden (Polish-Swedish union), and succeeded for a time in 1592. After he had been deposed in 1595 from the Swedish throne by his uncle, Charles IX of Sweden and a meeting of the Riksens ständer (Swedish Riksdag), he spent much of the rest of his life attempting to reclaim it.
Sigismund remains a highly controversial figure in Poland. His long reign coincidenced with the apex of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth's prestige, power and economic influence. On the other hand, it was also during his reign that the symptoms of decline that led to the Commonwealth's future demise surfaced. Common views, influenced by popular books of Pawel Jasienica, tend to present Sigismund as the main factor responsible for initiating these negative processes, while academic historians usually are not that condemning. However, the question whether the Commonwealth's decline was caused by Sigismund's own decisions or its roots were in historical processes beyond his personal control, remains a highly debated topic.
He was commemorated in Warsaw with Zygmunt's Column, commissioned by his son and successor, Wladyslaw IV.
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