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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 428

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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