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XXI

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Zangid and Crusader Imitatives of Constantine X Folles

by Burak Cebeci

See a discussion of the types in the Classical Numismatic Discussion

Notes:

Spengler-Sayles 73:
Obv. Two Byzantine style figures standing...two lines of Kufic vertically in the left and right inner fields between the figures...blundered imitations of Greek legends vertically in the left and right outer fields...
Rev. Nimbate figure of Christ standing...two lines of Kufic vertically in the left and right inner field...barbarous imitation of Greek legends vertically...

Album 1850:
AE fals, Byzantine type but with Arabic legends

Both Spengler-Sayles and Album note that the Zangid Fals is imitated. Spengler-Sayles speaks of "barbarous" imitations. Album 1850 notes, "...some blundered imitations, perhaps struck by the Crusaders."

As for the coins called "Crusaders Imitations" we still have three unknowns:
- Who produced these coins?
- Where were these coins produced?
- When (the exact date) were these coins produced?


Examples of these types from the Forum Ancient Coins Consignment shop follow below:

Byzantine Empire, Constantine X Ducas, 25 December 1059 - 21 May 1067 A.D.



BZ81768. Bronze follis, DOC III part 2, 8, Wroth BMC 18, Morrisson BnF 51/Cp/AE/1, Ratto 2021, SBCV 1853, Sommer 52.6, VF, weight 11.155g, maximum diameter 29.9180mm, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse +EMMA-NOVHΛ, Christ standing facing on footstool, wears nimbus cruciger, pallium and colobium, Gospels in left, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) across field; reverse + KWNT ∆K - EV∆K AVΓO (or similar, from upper right), Eudocia on left, Constantine on right both stand facing crowned, wearing loros, holding between labarum with cross on shaft on three steps



BZ58705. Bronze follis, DOC III part 2, 8, Wroth BMC 18, Morrisson BnF 51/Cp/AE/1, Ratto 2021, SBCV 1853, Sommer 52.6, gF, weight 8.880g, maximum diameter 29.1mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 25 Dec 1059 - 21 May 1067; obverse +EMMA-NOVHΛ, Christ stands facing on footstool, wears nimbus cruciger, pallium and colobium, Gospels in left, IC - XC across field; reverse + KWNT∆ - EVEKA (sic, from upper right), Eudocia on left, Constantine on right both stand facing crowned, wearing loros, holding between labarum with cross on shaft on three steps



BZ27214. Bronze follis, DOC III part 2, 8, Wroth BMC 18, Morrisson BnF 51/Cp/AE/1, Ratto 2021, SBCV 1853, Sommer 52.6, VF, weight 7.154g, maximum diameter 29.5mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse +EMMA-NOVHΛ, Christ standing facing on footstool, wears nimbus cruciger, pallium and colobium, Gospels in left, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Jesus Christ) across field; reverse + KWNT ∆K - EV∆K AVΓO (or similar, from upper right), Eudocia on left, Constantine on right both stand facing crowned, wearing loros, holding between labarum with cross on shaft on three steps


Islamic, Zangids of Aleppo, Syria, Nurettin Mahmud bin Zengi, 541 - 569 H, 1146 - 15 May 1174 A.D.

An interesting transitional Islamic issue imitative of a Byzantine follis of Constantine X, struck at Constantinople, 1059 - 1067 (DOC III 8, SBCV 1853).



IS09094. Bronze fals, Spengler-Sayles 73, Album 1850, Mitchiner WOI 1132, Hennequin 603, VF, obv and rev off-center, weight 5.34g, maximum diameter 26.0mm, die axis 180o, Aleppo (Halab) mint, obverse two byzantine emperors facing, wearing long gown, holding together labarum, between them two line kufic legend, corrupted Greek legend on border; reverse nimbate Christ facing, wearing long gown, two lines kufic legend in field, corrupted Greek legend on border



IS47239. Bronze fals, Spengler-Sayles 73, Album 1850, F, weight 6.389g, maximum diameter 25.1mm, die axis 180o, Syria, Halab (Aleppo) mint, obverse Kufic inscription in inner fields: al-Adil - Nur al-Din, two Byzantine-style figures standing facing, holding labrum with cruciform shaft on three steps between, blundered imitation of a Greek legend in outer left and right fields; reverse Kufic inscription in inner fields: Malik al-umara - Mahmud, Nimbate Christ standing facing, book of gospels in left, Kufic script to left and right, blundered imitation of a Greek legend in left and right outer fields; from a private collection (collector 's notes record: Purchased from Aaron R. Feldman, NYC, 6 Feb 1963, 80 cents).


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

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 dirham, 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 2.798g, maximum diameter 22.0mm, 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

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