HAMERANI, Giovanni: France, 1673, Bronze, 45 mm
Obv: Equestrian Portrait of Louis XIV     LVD. XIV. D. G. FR. ET. NAV. REX.
Rev: Warrior, watched over by Religion, stomps on Gorgon     QVIS CONTRA. NOS. (Who Is Against Us); below, 1673
Ref: Forrer II, p.403

The Huguenots, the name given to the French Protestants who arose in France during the Reformation, suffered severe persecution by the Roman Catholic clergy. Henry IV, although adopting the Roman Catholic faith, issued the Edict of Nantes (1598), which, while recognizing Catholicism as the official religion, gave Huguenots certain rights, among them freedom of worship. Under Louis XIV, however, the clergy regained its influence and the Huguenots were again persecuted. Hundreds of proclamations, edicts, and declarations attacking the Huguenots in their household, their property and their liberty of conscience were promulgated during these years, leading finally to the total revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. This caused thousands of Huguenots to flee France and greatly weakened France's Protestant alliances in Europe. This medal commemorates the massacre of the Huguenots in the Cevennes, one of the persecutions directed by Louis XIV against the Protestants during this period. It was executed in Rome by the Italian medallist Giovanni Hamerani and appears to celebrate rather than criticize this massacre, with Religion guiding the slaughter. The Cevennes are a mountain range in southern France, home to the Camisards, the name given to the Protestant peasantry who, from 1702 to 1705 and for several years afterward, carried out organized military resistance to the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Although they killed many Catholics and burned several churches, ultimately Louis prevailed over them. It wasn't until 1789 that the Protestants' civil rights were restored and their religious equality guaranteed.


LINK to Edict of Nantes (from Wikipedia)

LINK to excerpts of Text of Edict of Nantes (from stetson.edu)