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)
428 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES VI to be materially different from those of the last Fätimids. The change in government and religion led to some modifications in the inscriptions and small changes in the arrangement, but the basic coin design, with brief central horizontal inscriptions surrounded by prominent circular legends, is much the same (p1. XII, no. 8). It has been asserted that Saladin abandoned standard weight for his gold coinage, but this in fact had happened long before, in 490 (1096/7); if the range of variation of Saladin's dinars is larger than that of al-'Adid's, this is probably a result of the larger number of coins available for study. It has also been asserted that Saladin debased his dinars significantly, but some of the low-fineness coins assigned to him may be crusader imitations. The alleged debasement of the dinar in his reign cannot be confirmed until careful numismatic study has separated his genuine coins from their crusader imitations.'6 - It was not until the reign of al-'Adil AbU-Bakr I (1200-1218) that any substantive change in the appearance of the AiyUbid dinar is seen (p1. XII, no. 9). In the first year of his reign a new dinar type with long horizontal inscriptions and a single marginal legend was introduced, or rather revived from the eleventh century. The mint alternated between the old and new designs during al-'Adil's reign, but by the time of al-K~mi1 (1218-1238) the new type was definitively adopted and maintained until after 713 (1313/4). Major variations on this type include the introduction of Naskhi script instead of Kufic after 622 (1225/6), and az-Z~hir Baybars' use of a lion or leopard on dinars as his personal symbol (p1. XIII, no. 10), an innovation not maintained by his successors. There is no evidence to suggest that any of the changes after Saladin's time reflected a change in the weight standard, fineness, or other monetary functions of the Egyptian dinar, but the Aiyubid and Mamluk gold coinage has yet to be examined rigorously on these points. Misr, the official name of Fustät, the commercial center of the Cairo metropolis, is the usual mint name on Fätimid Egyptian dinars. In 516 (1122/3), however, unspecified problems at the Fust~ mint led to the opening of an additional mint in the administrative center al-Q~hirah, that is, in Cairo properly speaking.'7 After 525 (1130/1) this mint ceased 16. Cf. Andrew S. Ehrenkreutz, "The Standard of Fineness of Gold Coins Circulating in Egypt at the Time of the Crusades," Journal of the American Oriental Society, LXXIV (1954), 162—166, a work published before the existence of crusader imitations of AiyUbid gold was suspected. 17. Al-Maqrizi, Kitdb al-mawä'i; wa-l-i'tibarft dhikhr al-khitat wa-l-ãthdr (Cairo, 1270/ 1853), I, 445. An issue of al-H~kim dated 394 (1003/4) is also known from a mint in Cairo, but this mint apparently operated only in this year for some special purpose.
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