Pope Callixtus III

Coat of Arms

Bronze, 42.7 mm Ø, 40.4 g
Attributed to Andrea Guacialoti, 1455/1458.
Obverse:  Bust of Callixtus III facing left, wearing decorative mitre and cope. Around, CΛLISTVS PΛPΛ TERTIVS (Pope Callixtus III); the inscription beginning and end are separated by a cinquefoil.
Reverse:  Borgia coat of arms, featuring a standing ox facing left on shield, surmounted by crossed keys and papal tiara. Around, · ΛLFONSVS BORGIΛ GLORIΛ ISPΛNIE (Alfonso Borgia, Glory of Spain); the inscription beginning and end are separated by a lion's head.

Pope Callixtus III was born Alfons de Borja on December 31, 1378, in the Spanish Kingdom of Valencia. He was a professor of law, served as diplomat to the Kings of Aragon, and was the founder of the family fortunes in Italy under the Italianized name of Borgia. Alfons was elected to the papacy on April 8, 1455, and ruled until his death on August 6, 1458. He was austere and pious, but surrounded himself with relatives and place-seekers. Callixtus ordered the retrial of Joan of Arc, which would later vindicate her. This medal, showing his coat of arms on the reverse with papal accompaniments, is the only contemporary medal of Callixtus.


Börner 1997, no. 275

Hill 1930, no. 747

Modesti 2002, no. 44

Pollard 2007, no. 234