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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Medieval, Islamic and Crusader Coins (Moderators: AlexB, quadrans)  |  Topic: If you had to choose 10 Islamic coins... 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: If you had to choose 10 Islamic coins...  (Read 18827 times)
Federico M
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« on: March 05, 2005, 03:16:36 pm »

I know it's not so easy, and maybe it's not so meaningfull, but what coins would you suggest to represent Islamic coinage from its origin up to 1600? I don't mean extraordinary specimens, but common coins anyone could put in his collection, but with a specific importance (history/example of main denominations/etc.).

If I had to do the same thing for Roman coinage (I know a bit more) I would choose something like these representative coins (you may add some, but it's just to give an idea):
a Republican denarius with the Dioscuri or a quadriga;
an as of Nero or Vespasian (even a worn one you can buy for 20$);
a denarius of Trajan;
two/three denarii with the aging process of Caracalla;
an antoninianus of Probus or Aurelianus;
a FEL TEMP and a GLORIA EXERCITUS of the Constantinian dinasty;
a follis of Justin II.

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Federico
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Istinpolin
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2005, 03:23:42 pm »

Hi

I find this a very interesting question. Well but the answer is very difficult. The Roman Empire was only one empire so it may be easier to choose. There have been more than over 100 Islamic empires ranging from China, over North Africa to over Balkan Europe including Hungary and Spain.


Well this is entirely based on my opinion:

1) An Umayyad coin which is minted to the standards of Byzantine empire. The reason being is that it is one of the first islamic coins ever.

2) A Sultani from Mehmed II who conquered Constantinople. This gold coin is pretty remarkable for its meaning.

3) An Umayyad coin minted in Spain with Al-Andalus as its mint. Also historically important. A very important conquest. If you compare the flags of the states in Spain you will all of them bein red and yellow representing the royal colours but only one flag is white and green representing the colours of Islam. This is due to Islamic occupation of Andalusia

4) An Ayyubid coin from Damascus minted under Sal al-din Yusuf, as he marched with 200000 men to conquer Jerusalem from there

5) Any coin from Sultan Suleyman I as under him the Ottoman Empire was at its largest size.

6) The Ottoman Akce from Galipoli, because the coin is quite rare, and also it was minted in 886AH, but centuries later the British Empire lost an important battle against the Ottoman Empire there.

This is where my list ends
Of course there are a lot more better coins of historical value but as I am mainly interested in the region of the middle east this would be MY list. There are of course other remarkable empires such as Mamluk, Abbasid, Great Mongols and many other Turkich or Persian coins.

It would be interesting to see some more opinions.

Best wishes,
Burak
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LordBest
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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2006, 08:09:18 am »

I have No.4 on that list (which closely matches my list) and I used to have No.3 and 5 before I sold them to pay off some hefty debts.
Other coins I would like would be a coin minted by the Assassins at Alamut (i think) and coins minted in the Islamic occupation of Sicily.
                                                 LordBest. Cool
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Robert_Brenchley
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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2006, 12:13:27 pm »

No. 4's the only one I have as well. It's not a good specimen, but such a historical coin I had to have!
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2006, 08:18:11 am »

Istinpolin was right, it's very difficult to select the top 10 as there were so many islamic states. His favourites are mostly Ottoman, due to his interest to Ottoman coinage, mine would be Georgian coins with Arabic inscriptions, there're also amazing Persian and Indian islamic coins, etc.
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ROMA
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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2007, 05:19:28 am »

New to islamic coins so forgive my ignorance. What, if any, islamic coinage was produced in direct response to the crusades (perhaps to raise money for army?) and are any of these issues considered important historically?
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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2007, 03:46:41 pm »

I'm not sure the crusades were such a big issue to the Arabs; they only involved a corner of their empire, and if it wasn't for the fact that Jerusalem is a holy city, they would probably have been remembered as a series of minor wars.
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Robert Brenchley

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« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2007, 12:21:57 pm »

Obviously the crusades had an enormous influence on the European Middle Ages which was more signifcant then its effect on the muslim world. But to say that it was simply a localized affair within the muslim world is downplaying the effects. The crusades opened up roads into the east that expanded trade a great deal from the east to the west. Nur ad-Din was able to unite the various Muslim forces between the Euphrates and the Nile which was directly due to crusader incursion. Also the later uprising of Saladin and the founding of the Ayyubid dynasty was due in large part to the crusades allowing Saladin to unite fractured muslim elements into a single cause. It's been said that the crusades had a devastating effect on arab policy which lead to its isolation for centuries. 
More localized relative to its effect on Europe, but more then just a "series of minor wars" regardless of Jerusalem. 
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bakkar
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2007, 03:44:05 pm »

Thank you Istinpolin for this thread.
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2010, 05:27:21 pm »

Some of these lists seem very focussed on coins that document conquest, power and empire! Just imagine if you were doing the same exercise for, say, British coins, and you chose coins to illustrate how the British beat up the Spanish Armada, triumphed over the French on various occasions, took over India, rubbed the Germans' noses in it (twice, not to mention the World Cup in 1966), re-took the Falkland Islands, and so on - well, the political correctness brigade would soon be up in arms...   Wink

My list, on the other hand, would include at least a couple to document the incomparable beauty of Islamic calligraphy - a rupee of Akbar from Mughal India, for instance? Or pleasing designs like the sun-and-lion issues of the Seljuqs of Rum?

Francis
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« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2010, 02:56:32 pm »

8- Qutuz, the great Mamluk leader minted a copper coin in his name directly
   after he defeated the greatest Mughal army in the historical battle of "Ain Jalut".
 

Wasn't that victory really down to Baybars?
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« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2010, 04:05:04 pm »

And a victory over the Mongols, not the Mughals (who were a slightly different bunch, in a different part of the world, and Muslims for that matter)?
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2010, 03:50:32 am »

Robert,  Qutuz is the leader of this battle , he urged people of Egypt to
go to the Mongols in Palestine before Hulago troops come to Egypt . Hulagu sent
messengers to Egypt asking the Mamluk leaders to surrender and deliver
Egypt to the Mongols.  The messengers of Hulago were killed and Qutuz
led a great Egyptian army to the battle of Ein Jalut.

For details see the link

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qutuz

Best regards
Bakkar
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« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2010, 04:20:38 am »

According to the account in volume 3 of Runciman's History of the Crusades, both Qutuz and Baibars were involved in the battle. It was Baibars who was given the active role, and it was he who led the Mongol army into a trap in the hills. Qutuz himself then entered the battle and (as recounted in the Wikipedia site) bravely rallied his troops against the fearsome Mongol warriors.
Only six weeks later, in a scene reminiscent of the murder of Julius Caesar, Baibars was involved in the killing of his master (according to some accounts, he himself struck the fatal blow).
Although I'm a Wikipedia author myself, I should point out that many universities refuse to allow their students to quote from Wikipedia, because the contributions are not subjected to critical review by acknowledged experts or editors. (I'm not saying that this particular Wikipedia site is biased or inaccurate, though many of them are.)

Francis
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bakkar
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2010, 01:31:39 pm »

I also do not depend on wikipedia for documentation. We have our reliable medival historians
and sources.


I collect Islamic coins which have a great historical significance
and represent events which have influenced the history of the area
and the world. Victory is the main event for changing history, from Alexander the great to the current
war of Iraq .
The beauty of a coin or calligraphy is something else.
It is an artistic point of view.

Here are photos of the two significant and extremely rare coins
of Baybars and Qutuz. Both from Aleppo mint ( The city which both
were anxious to get)

Bakkar


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Robert_Brenchley
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« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2010, 02:31:09 pm »

Who struck the Qutuz coin? I'm not sure whether he was still alive when they took Aleppo, but if so, he must have died very shortly after.
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Robert Brenchley

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« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2010, 03:43:58 am »

I collect Islamic coins which have a great historical significance
and represent events which have influenced the history of the area
and the world. Victory is the main event for changing history, from Alexander the great to the current
war of Iraq .
The beauty of a coin or calligraphy is something else.
It is an artistic point of view.

This is a fair argument, and an obvious motivation for wanting to collect these coins, though it would be a pity not to do justice to the widely acknowledged beauty of many Islamic coins. Not just for purely aesthetic reasons, but also in terms of your argument, because magnificent coins can reflect the greatness of a civilisation. Every couple of years I take a party of my students to Egypt, and (as well as going to the Pyramids!) we spend a day learning about the Islamic history of the country. Visiting awe-inspiring monuments like the Ibn Tulun and Sultan Hassan mosques helps to shake my students out of their Eurocentric mindset a little bit.

Your list (and even more so, Istinpolin's) reflects Islamic victories and successes. It's fine to "support your own team", as it were, but, as I suggested in my previous post, this kind of listing can all too easily tip over into chauvinism and triumphalism. The history of relations between the West and the Middle East has been an ebb and flow, not a tide of ever increasing victory for one side  - you mention Alexander and the Iraq War -, and a two-way process of learning and cultural influence. So - where are the coins illustrating the moments of movement in the other direction? Charles Martel, the Fall of Granada, the Siege of Malta, Lepanto, Vienna 1683 (where an ancestor of mine was one of the Christian commanders!), and so on.   Wink

Francis
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bakkar
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« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2010, 10:18:17 am »

I dont collect none Islamic coins illustrating " the moments of movement in the other direction" as I do not
acknowledge the "cultural influence" of war against Iraq as you say.
However, if I have to add a coin with clear cultural influence I present the following gold coin
of  the British king Offa Rex. They imitated a pure Abbasid dinar with all its Islamic terms and  inscription.

I think this is not "chauvinism and triumphalism" in this case. Wink

Best wishes
Bakkar
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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2010, 10:35:09 am »

I'd quite like to collect more of these

1.
Nasir al-Din Mahmud (AH 616-631/ AD 1219-1234), 
Ob. Facing head with two Nikes above
Rev. Modud's legend

Nasir al-Din Mahmud (AH 616-631/ AD 1219-1234),
al-Mawsil (Mosul) mint

Ae Dirhem
Ref Mitchiner 1118, SS59
Size 30mm

 
2.
Artuquids of Mardin, Hosam Al-Din Yuluk Arslan 
Ob. Seated figure withthree others standing (Four figures mourning the death of Saladin?)
Rev. Arabic script

Ae Dirhem
Size 31mm
1184-1201
Ref Mitchiner 1041

 


Old photography.  when I retreve them from their safe location I must re-take the pictures

MAlcolm
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« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2010, 12:12:03 pm »

I dont collect none Islamic coins illustrating " the moments of movement in the other direction" as I do not
acknowledge the "cultural influence" of war against Iraq as you say.
However, if I have to add a coin with clear cultural influence I present the following gold coin
of  the British king Offa Rex. They imitated a pure Abbasid dinar with all its Islamic terms and  inscription.
I think this is not "chauvinism and triumphalism" in this case. Wink
It's a very peculiar coin, and apparently unique.
There is the theory that it may have been struck for purposes of trade with Islamic Spain, but since only one single specimen is known (and only a tiny handful of gold coins of Offa in any case) this seems improbable. More likely it was intended for a ceremonial payment or as a gift. Although it was obviously influenced by Abbasid coins, it's not a "cultural influence" that seems to have led to very much.
Still, how I'd love to have one in my collection!   Tongue

Francis
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bakkar
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« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2010, 02:08:23 pm »

.

If it is unique this does not exclude being a coin. I have dozens of Unique Islamic ,Seleucid , Byzantine and provincial specimens. I dont think they are gifts or made for cermonies as your theory states
However, please see below  common crusader coins imitating the ayyubid coins with Islamic terms on borders.  
My theory says they are not gifts but real coins Smiley

Bakkar
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« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2010, 03:05:10 pm »

The common imitations are certainly coins. And everyone who has collected ancient, medieval, Indian or Islamic coins seriously for a while has "unique" specimens (usually variants within a known type). But it seems to me unlikely that a coin struck for a valuable trade would have survived only in one single example - it's in the nature of trading coins to be issued in number, think of the myriad Athenian owls, Maria Theresia talers, and so on - but very conceivable that a handsome individual specimen should have been struck as one of a small issue intended as ceremonial pieces or gifts. (It can still be a "real coin", in the sense that it could be spent.)   
This is not "my" theory, by the way. Here for instance is an extract from the discussion of the eighth (!) known Anglo-Saxon gold penny by Dr. Gareth Williams of the British Museum:

"The coinage of medieval western Europe, with the exception of those parts of Christendom recovered from the Muslims, was one of silver. About AD 670 a coinage of silver deniers was inaugurated in the Frankish kingdom of Neustria, and by AD 700 silver had taken over completely in the West, a monometallism which was set to endure for five hundred years. Gold remained known, gold in bullion form was often available and sums of gold were often referred to in documents and in wills, but these amounts were paid by weight, in the equivalent value of silver, or in Muslim gold coins (financial records show Henry III (1216-72) regularly purchased supplies of oboli and denarii de musc’, i.e. gold coins of Muslim Spain, in anticipation of each great festival of the Church). Only very occasionally, possibly for reasons of prestige, were gold coins actually struck. In England the term mancus, possibly derived from manqush (‘engraved’) an adjective used to characterize dinars in Arab records, came into use meaning an Arab gold dinar, and subsequently as a unit equivalent to the weight of gold of a dinar (4.25g) or the value of a dinar in silver currency, 30 pennies, at a gold:silver value ratio of 10:1. The seven other surviving Anglo-Saxon gold pennies also represent a mancus. They take a variety of forms:
The first and most famous is the gold dinar of Offa of Mercia (757-96), 4.28g., a close copy of an Abbasid dinar of Caliph al-Mansur (754- 77), AH 157, with ‘OFFA REX’ inserted into the inverted obverse. In 786 Offa promised the pope to send an annual gift of 365 mancuses, and Papal letters of thanks in 797 and 802 show that the subvention was paid. This coin, the only survivor, was found in Rome prior to 1841 and was acquired by the British Museum, ex the P W P Carlyon-Britton sale, 17 November 1913, lot 269, for £215. (Stewart 1978, A.120).
[...]
The extremely low survival rate suggests that Anglo-Saxon gold coins were never struck in large quantities, aided by the fact that they often ended up in the hands of ecclesiastical authorities, who turned them to other purposes."

Of course, £215 was a lot of money back in 1913!

Francis


 
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Steve P
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« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2017, 04:42:45 pm »

Wow, apparently it's been years since somebody decided to toss something into this cool thread (maybe I'll be reprimanded for posting to this sacred thread? ... sorry, if that's the case)

Ummm, Top-10 Islamic coins, eh?

Well, I'm gonna toss-in my favourite ...

ISLAMIC, Anatolia & al-Jazira (Post-Seljuk). Artuqids (Mardin)
Nasir al-Din Artuq Arslan. Æ Dirham

Mardin mint
AH 597-637 / AD 1200-1239
Dated AH 599 (AD 1202/3)
Diameter: 29mm
Weight: 9.09 grams
Obverse: Centaur advancing right, head facing, drawing bow at head of dragon emerging from his tail; mint name and AH date around
Reverse: Names and titles of Abbasid caliph al-Nasir and Ayyubid overlord in four lines; name of Nasir al-Din Artuq Arslan in margins
Reference: Whelan Type II, pp. 111-2; S&S Type 38.2; Album 1830.2; ICV 1212
Other: 3h … VF, earthen dark brown-black patina, areas of weak strike
Ex Künker 204 (12 March 2012), lot 1098 (part of)

"Centaur drawing bow at head of dragon emerging from his tail" ... man, it doesn't get any better than that, my coin friends!



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