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Tyrolean Guldiner - Joachimsthaler - Current dollar

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Graph relating to the victims of witchcraft trials.

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Sigismund at the age of 12 years.


Sigismund at the age of about 53.
The detail of the fly on the gown
it would allude to his mental illness.

Dollars - Witches - Eight working hours


Tyrol of the 15th century navel of Europe

a docu-fiction by Carlo Magaletti
pre-production fase.



The dollar, the explosion of the witch hunt phenomenon and the legislation on eight working hours originated in the Tyrol of the 15th century, under the government of the controversial Archduke Sigismund of Austria who went down in history as the “Rich in coin”.
Following the dramatic personal vicissitudes of the Archduke, we will retrace the extraordinary circumstances that put the small county of Tyrol at the center of events destined to influence the future of Europe and the world.

©Carlo Magaletti


Sigismund the “Rich in coin” is a controversial character. Despite having launched important initiatives that influenced the future of Europe, it has been mostly described by the Austo-German historiography as an extremely volattle and plagiable person, more inclined to wine than to government affairs, and in the last phase of his life suffering from a some form of mental illness. An ancestor who, like the black sheep of the family, is better to keep on the margins of the story.

The scarce space dedicated to him in the mint museum in Hall is a symptomatic example, although it was Sigismund who moved the state mint that was previously in Merano to this town. In the museum tourists, among other things, with pencil and tissue paper can trace a large silver coin that one would expect to be "the original", that is Sigismund's Guldiner, while instead we find ourselves tracing with pencil the much less relevant version of the Guldiner coined by his successor Maximilian I.


Of course, Sigismund was "only" Archduke while Maximilian I was Emperor and therefore from the historical institutional point of view a figure of a completely different weight. But comparing the consequences that the actions of both characters had on our history, it is not difficult to note that unlike Maximilian I, Sigismund has been largely underestimated.

Just think that Sigismund, albeit belatedly, opposed the Inquisitor Institor, saving fifty people from a probable death sentence.

Maximilian I instead, a few years after that event, authorized the new rules of the criminal trial which, reversing the burden of proof of innocence in the witchcraft trials, led to the death sentence hundred of people.

Probably the historical figure of Sigismund was conditioned by the fact that he had endangered the territorial unity of Tyrol and by the inglorious dismissal that saw him forced to deal even on how many liters of wine per week would have been granted to him in "exile".


In this docu-fiction, with the help of the historians involved in the project, we will try to re-evaluate the historical and human figure of Sigismund. For this purpose, in the light of today's knowledge, we will try to trace a psychological profile that sheds light on the personal motivations that pushed Sigismund to those wicked political choices as well as to those good economic and financial intuitions that have influenced so much the social and economic history of Europe.

©Carlo Magaletti


Sigismund with the three women of his life: Rodegonda of France, Eleonora of Scotland and Catherine of Saxony

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