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Italian States: Norman Sicily. Roger I "Bosso" (the Great Count, 1085-1101)
D'Andrea-Contreras 112, Travaini 145; Spahr 16.

Billon kharruba, uncertain mint. 11 g., 7.95 mm. max.

Obv: Pseudo kufic symbols, possibly Allah / six-point star / Malik (=king) in kufic script, in three lines.

Rev: six-point star / of believers is kufic script / Greek letter tau, in three lines.

The tau has been interpreted variously, some scholars seeing in it a reference to Tancred or Tancracina, a traditional name for the island, but a cross seems to be the most plausible explanation. Although this tupe of cross had ancient precedents, it was not normally in use at this period but may have been adopted in the hope of minimizing the repulsion that wouldbe felt by a largely Muslim population at the use of a Christian symbol.
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