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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Medieval & Modern Coins ▸ SyriaView Options:  |  |  | 

Coins of Syria

Crusaders(?), Imitative of Zangids of Syria, c. 1146 - 1200 A.D.,

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This coin is a crude imitative of an Islamic fals of the Zangids of Syria, Nur al-Din Mahmud, struck at Halab (Aleppo, Syria), 1146 - 1173 (Spengler-Sayles 73, Album 1850). That type was itself also imitative, copying a Byzantine follis of Constantine X, struck at Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey), 1059 - 1067 (DOC III 8, SBCV 1853). The quality of the Zangids fals vary greatly and it can be difficult to distinguish between Halab mint issues and imitatives. This example is very crude and if any can be attributed to the crusaders, this is one.
BZ77974. Bronze follis, Malloy Crusaders -; cf. Spengler-Sayles 73 (notes "barbaric" imitations), Album 1850 (notes imitations are perhaps struck by the Crusaders), F, desert patina, tight flan, weight 2.798 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain mint, c. 1150 - 1200 A.D.; obverse two Byzantine style imperial figures (Constantine X and Eudocia) standing facing, supporting between them labarum resting on three steps, EX downward on left, imitation of Kufic legend inner left; reverse Christ standing facing, nimbate, book of Gospels in left hand, right hand on hip, IC - XC flanking head, blundered imitation of legend around; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; $140.00 (Ä124.60)


Byzantine Empire, Palaestina or Syria, c. 450 - 500 A.D.

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This object, from the Alex Malloy Collection, was held by him for decades, only speculatively attributed as probably Islamic. The referenced recent article by Farhi indicates another possible attribution. As discussed by Farhi, in the second half of the 5th century, besides Byzantine nummi, low-value currency in Palaestina appears to have included similar sized centuries old Jewish prutah, cast Axumite imitations, and even bronze and lead blank flans. Many fragments of lead mirror frames, found over many years, appear to have been cut around decorative star-like or floral patterns to look like coins. They were almost certainly used as coins. The lead mirror frame fragment "coins" in Farhi have different patterns and are blank on one side, but this object is very similar.
BZ53343. Lead nummus, fragment of ornamented lead object coinage(?); See Farhi, H. "Note on Two Types of Byzantine Lead Currency" in INR 8 (2013) for similar examples, weight 2.836 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, ex Alex G. Malloy Collection; $60.00 (Ä53.40)


Islamic, Umayyad Caliphate, Damascus, c. 680s A.D., Arab-Byzantine Coinage

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While the Muslims administered the city, the population of Damascus remained mostly ChristianóEastern Orthodox and Monophysiteówith a growing community of Muslims from Mecca, Medina, and the Syrian Desert. The governor assigned to the city which had been chosen as the capital of Islamic Syria was Mu'awiya I. After the death of Caliph Ali in 661, Mu'awiya was chosen as the caliph of the expanding Islamic empire. Because of the vast amounts of assets his clan, the Umayyads, owned in the city and because of its traditional economic and social links with the Hijaz as well as the Christian Arab tribes of the region, Mu'awiya established Damascus as the capital of the entire Caliphate. With the ascension of Caliph Abd al-Malik in 685, an Islamic coinage system was introduced and all of the surplus revenue of the Caliphate's provinces were forwarded to the treasury of Damascus. Arabic was also established as the official language, giving the Muslim minority of the city an advantage over the Aramaic-speaking Christians in administrative affairs. It is critical to note that, at the time Damascus was conquered by the Muslims, the majority of Arabs were either pagans or Christians. Damascus itself was predominantly Aramaic with Arab speaking people.
BZ77973. Bronze fals, Walker BMC 7; SICA I 560; DOCAB 49; Album 3517.1 (S), Mitchiner WOI -, aF, rough, weight 3.450 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, Dimashq (Damascus) mint, c. 650 A.D.; obverse DAMACKOC, emperor standing facing, long cross scepter in left hand, globus cruciger in right hand, bird standing right atop T on left, ΛEO curving downward on right; reverse large M (40 nummi), rho-cross monogram above, arc over horizontal line below, ANO downward on left, X/Y/II (frozen pseudo regnal year 17) in three lines on right, ∆AM (Damascus) in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; scarce; $12.49 (Ä11.12) ON RESERVE







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Catalog current as of Monday, June 26, 2017.
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Syrian Coins