The Senate of Rome began to coin gold in the early 14th century. At that time the city was waging an embittered fight against the French city of Avignon, where the Pope lived in exile since 1309. In Avignon, the Pope issued ecu d'ors in the French fashion. The Senate of Rome, not wanting to be a cheapskate, coined the Italian way and issued ducats modeled after the Venetian zecchini. The obverse showed Christ in a mandorla (an aureola surrounding the entire figure), while on the reverse Saint Peter bestowed a kneeling senator with a banner.