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Dynasty: Zangids of Sinjar
Ruler: Qutb al-Din Muhammad
Reigned: 594-616 AH (1197-1219 AD)
Denomination: AE Dirhem
Mint: Sinjar
Date of Issue: 599 AH (1202 AD)
Obverse: Inscription around a Hellenistic bust, left with spear over shoulder. "Duribe bi-Sincar sene 599"
Reverse: Inscription citing Abbasid Caliph al-Nasir (1180-1225). "El-Imam el-Nasir li-dinillah. El-Melik el-Mansur Kutbeddünya veddin Muhammed bin Zengi bin Mevdud"
Reference: Album 1880.2, MWI 1139/40
Weight: 12 gms
Diameter: 26.4 mm


In the second half of the eleventh century, the Seljuk Great Sultans ruled over a united Empire, comprising almost the whole of the lands of the caliphate in southwest Asia, with the addition of Anatolia. After the death of the third Great Sultan, Malikshah, in 1092, civil war broke out between his sons, and the process of political fragmentation, which had been interrupted by the Seljuk conquest, was resumed, this time under different branches or officers of the Seljuk family. The most important were the Seijuk monarchies of Kirman, Iraq, Syria and Anatolia, all owing a tenuous allegiance to the Great Sultan, who resided in Khuräsän.

It was during this period of weakness and dissension that, in 1096, the Crusaders arrived in the Levant. For the first thirty years, the disunity of the Muslim world made things easy for the invaders, who advanced speedily down the coast of Syria into Palestine, and established a chain of Latin feudal principalities, based on Antioch, Edessa, Tripoli and Jerusalem. But even in this first period of success the Crusaders were limited in the main to the coastal plains and slopes, facing the Mediterranean and the Western world. In the interior looking eastwards to the desert and Iraq, the reaction was preparing. The Seljuk princes who held Aleppo and Damascus were unable to accomplish very much, and the real strength of the movement came from further east. In 1127, ‘Imad al-Din Zangi, a Turkish officer in the Seljuk service, seized Mosul, and in the following years gradually built up a powerful Muslim state in northern Mesopotamia and Syria. His sons Nur al-Din, took Damascus in I 154, creating a single Muslim power in Syria and confronting the Crusaders for the first time with a really formidable adversary.

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