Corsica, Girolamo Assereto prefect. Medal 1596.
Av. Bust on the left. Rv. Weapons of Genoa crowned.
45,95 mm. 49,20 g.
Extremely rare and important medal, APC
Girolamo Assereto is the eighty-seventh doge of Genoa. For two years - the office being biennial and not renewable - he was in charge, from 1607 to 1609, of the other Serenissima republic, the one that Plutarch preferred to call "the Superb", in comparison with Venice. As such, he was King of Corsica. In 1596, he melted down a rare gilded bronze medal in his effigy and titles. On the reverse side is the coat of arms of Genoa and a legend recalling that he was duke and governor of Genoa. He came from the Ligurian aristocratic oligarchy and was one of the eight hundred patricians who managed the city and, above all, its powerful maritime empire. In the right, he is depicted in damasked armour and enhanced by a high strawberry. The associated legend names him, then it designates him as Prefect of Corsica. This title does not seem to be frequent and can be close to a military mission as much as to a political and diplomatic one, according to the ancient tradition of the Praefectus exercitus. Since the middle of the 16th century, Corsica has been shaken by a systemic revolt led by Sampiero Corso who survived his melodramatic death in 1567. France, like other powers regularly interfering in this conflict but in their sole interest, Genoa, supported by Spain, decided to take control of the situation by force. It will do so brutally and indiscriminately. Only its supporters will be spared and then favoured afterwards. A deep resentment, born of a real feeling of injustice, will follow. It will reappear two centuries later, in the form and banner of a new national hero, Pascal Paoli.
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