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Zacour, N. P.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume VI: The impact of the Crusades on Europe

XI: Crusader coinage with Arabic inscriptions,   pp. 421-473 PDF (5.7 MB)

Page 426

denominated in it, or for export, or as bullion. The kinds of monetary change
that the new types marked might have included changes in the weight standard
or metal alloy of the dinars or of the silver dirhams (which were changed
in parallel with the dinars), changes in the way standards of alloy or weight
were enforced, changes in the terms on which coins were issued from the mint,
or changes in the weight standards used to measure out payments. The determination
of which of these factors was behind any particular change rests upon a more
careful study of F~timid coinage than has yet been made, as well as a reexamination
of the written sources. 
 Al-Mustansir's coinage was the prototype for one group of crusader imitations,
although most of the imitations do not precisely reproduce any of his coins.
Balog and Yvon cite an issue struck from 1043 to 1047 (p1. XII, no. 3) as
prototype for their crusader varieties 3—16,'° but there does not
seem to be any good reason for this short-lived issue to have been selected
in particular. BY 3—16 have only four horizontal lines of inscription
on the obverse, unlike any of al-Mustan~ir's issues. It is more realistic
to say that these imitations merely reproduce, after a fashion, a coin type
introduced first in 1043 or 1044 but retained with variations until 1048
or 1049, then reintroduced in 1081 or 1082 and retained until al-Mustansir's
death in 1094. All the dinars of these years have the words "All" and "Ma'add"
at the top of the obverse and reverse field inscriptions, as do the imitations,
but none of the originals have only three lines of inscription below these
words as do the imitations. Probably the crusader die cutters attempted to
reproduce only the general appearance of the prototype, condensing four or
five lines into three. Most of these imitations are extremely barbarous,
and their makers could have had no idea of the meaning of the inscriptions
they attempted to copy. Very likely the coin they had before them was an
example of al-Mustansir's last issue, which was struck in Egypt and Syria
for about twelve years and ended only some three years before the First Crusade
(the type was retained for a few years after al-Mustan~ir's death, but no
longer with his name or the words "All" and "Ma'add"). 
 The concentric inscription type that interrupted the "AlI-Ma'add" type may
also have been imitated, but very sparingly if at all. Balog and Yvon list
only one such coin in their corpus." There may, how- 
issue of 440—474), as well as between Damascus and Egyptian dinars
of the same kind. These latter seem to the modern observer to be externally
identical except for the mint names. 
 10. Balog and Yvon, op. cit., pp. 145-146. 
 11. BY 1, a coin in the American Numismatic Society (0000.999.14974); its
attribution is problematic (p1. xvi, no. 45); see below, p. 455. 

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