It is a book referring to Spain in the late 16th century!

Spanish ducats, each one roughly equivalent in the later sixteenth century to one escudo, or crown and to two florins. About four ducats made up one pound sterling.

I found that quite a few coins were sharing the same name in the era! What are actually these coins, like the so-called Spanish ducat?


The biography written by Geoffrey Parker is about Philip II! (Imprudent King ?? ). G. Parker said that all moneys mentioned were calculated in Spanish ducat to get rid of confusion, then came what I have quoted.

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    I think this needs a few more details, Whose biography was it? What part of Spain? etc.
    – Steve Bird
    Commented Feb 26 at 13:46
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    History without sources is like physics without units; it means everything and nothing all at once. Citations please. And where have you searched so far?
    – MCW
    Commented Feb 26 at 13:58
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    Wikipedia:Ducat has an helpful quote, "In the 15th and 16th centuries, international traders in Western Europe shifted from the florin to the ducat as their preferred currency, with ducats often co-circulating with locally minted gold coins like the Rhenish guilder, French écu and Spanish escudo." If I were to research further I'd assume that "Ducat" was effectively an international accounting term, but coins were issued locally and would vary in value. It is a place to start
    – MCW
    Commented Feb 26 at 13:59
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    The same page, under Venetian Ducat examines the influence of inflation/debasement on the value of a Ducat; from my recollection that is very likely to be true in Spain. If I recall the Spanish money supply expanded radically during the period, which will impact the value of an individual coin (as measured in buying power, rather than in denomination).
    – MCW
    Commented Feb 26 at 14:02
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    What is the question?
    – shoover
    Commented Feb 26 at 17:51

1 Answer 1


The Spanish ducat (ducado castellano) was a gold coin created in 1497 with a value of 375 maravedíes.

In 1535, Charles V introduced a new coin, the escudo de oro (golden crown) with a value of 350 maravedíes. Although both were gold coins, the ducat was 24 carats and the escudo only 22. The ducat wasn't coined anymore and it was used only for counting purposes.

In 1566 the value of the escudo changed to 400 maravedíes and that's why your text says a escudo was roughly the equivalent to a ducat.

Source: Bernat Hernández, Monedas y medidas.

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