Barnabo Visconti, Lord of Milan 1378-1385
Fr-677, PCGS-graded MS-65
Struck at Milan. Rare, and a magnificent coin!
Born in Milan and an accomplished soldier, he had 17 children with the daughter of the Lord of Verona, all while in exile. On the death of Giovanni, he came to rule Milan with his two brothers, including the notorious Galeazzo. The utterly vicious Matteo was murdered in 1355 at the order of his two brothers, who then divided his inheritance between them. Bernabo was a despot whose taxes enraged the Milanese. The English poet Chaucer featured him as a tyrant in The Monk’s Tale, labeling him as the “god of delit and scourge of Lumbardye.” In 1385, he was deposed by his nephew Gian Galeazzo Visconti, imprisoned in the castle of Trezzo, and killed by poisoning in December of that year.