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Dynasty: Ilkhans - Mongols of Persia
Ruler: Ghazan Mahmud
Reigned: 1295-1304 AD (694-703 AH)
Denomination: AR 2-Dirhem (Post-reform)
Obverse: Tri-lingual (Arabic, Mongol and Nagari (Chinese Pagspa script)
Reverse: inscriptions
Reference: Album 2172
Weight: 4.4 gms
Diameter: 24.9 mm


By 1231 Mongol armies had overrun Iran, Mesopotamia, Armenia, and Georgia. In 1258 Baghdad, the seat of the Abbasid caliphate, was captured. Hulagu, a grandson of Genghis Khan, was given the task of capturing Iran by the paramount Mongol chieftain Mongke. Hulagu set out in about 1253 with a Mongol army of about 130,000. He founded the Ilkhanid dynasty in 1256, and by 1258 he had captured Baghdad and all Iran. The Ilkhans consolidated their position in Iran and reunited the region as a political and territorial entity after several centuries of fragmented rule by petty dynasties. During the reign of the Ilkhan Mahmud Ghazan (reigned 12951304), the Ilkhans lost all contact with the remaining Mongol chieftains of China. Mahmud Ghazan himself embraced Sunnite Islam, and his reign saw an Iranian cultural renaissance in which such scholars as Rashid ad-Din flourished under his patronage.

Ghazan's brother Uljaytu (reigned 130416) converted to Shi'ite Islam in 1310. Uljaytu's conversion gave rise to great unrest, and civil war was imminent when he died in 1316. His son and successor, Abu Sa'id (reigned 131735), reconverted to Sunnite Islam and thus averted war. But during Abu Sa'id's reign factional disputes and internal disturbances continued and became rampant. Abu Sa'id died without leaving an heir, and with his death the unity of the dynasty was fractured. Thereafter various Ilkhanid princes ruled as regional dynasts until 1353.

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