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)
Ch. XI CRUSADER COINAGE WITH ARABIC INSCRIPTIONS 429 operation, but in the troubled times of al-'Adid (1160—1171) a mint was again opened in Cairo and produced the bulk of his issues. This was apparently the only mint in the city under the Aiytibids and Mamluks. A second regular mint was established in Egypt at Alexandria in 465 (1072/3)18 and operated regularly into the fifteenth century. A mint also operated in Qus in Upper Egypt from 517 (1123/4) to 519. In eleventh-century Syria a number of towns had mints for the Fätimids: Aleppo, Damascus, Tiberias, Ramla (which used the name Filasttn, Palestine, on coins), Tyre, Tripoli, Acre, and Ascalon.'9 Of these, only Tyre may have minted continuously throughout the F~timid period, but even there the record has gaps. The first four mints mentioned, all located inland, apparently ceased to operate in the 1060's, probably as a result of the Selchükid conquests in Syria. Production of Fätimid dinars was left to the port cities Tyre, Tripoli, and Acre — the latter issued dinars for the first time just as the inland mints were closing down, perhaps not coincidentally. The last recorded date for Acre and Tripoli is 495 (1101/2) while production at Ascalon began in 503 (1109/10), at the time of Tripoli's capture by the crusaders, and continued until 510 (1116/7). The last date recorded for Tyre is 517 (1123/4) (p1. XIII, no. 11),20 just before it was taken by the crusaders (1124). According to a much later Arab writer, the crusaders kept the mint of Tyre open for three years after its conquest, striking coins in the name of a!Amir.21 Dfndr ~üri "Tyre dinar", was the generic Arabic term for the crusader Arabic gold coins, but only a small proportion of these imitations actually bear the mint-name Sur.22 These last three major F~ti 18. The various references in the literature to issues of Alexandria before 465 are all to be dismissed; those that have been carefully examined have turned out to be misattributions. For example, the coin of the University Museum, Philadelphia, ascribed by Miles to the year 435 (Miles, Fatimid Coins, no. 259, p1. III; the coin is on loan to the American Numismatic Society, 1002.1.1083; p1. XVI, no. 46) is an imitation or counterfeit; its date is indistinct, but its type was not introduced until 474 (1081/2). It may well be a crusader imitation, as its gold fineness is approximately 78.5 percent by specific gravity measurement, the same as that of many crusader bezants. 19. The table in Miles, op. cit., pp. 50—51, is still valid for the termination dates of Fätimid Syrian issues, except for SUr (Tyre). 20. The unique dinar of that date is unpublished, in the collection of the American Numismatic Society (1955.131.1). 21. Ibn-Khallikãn, Kitab wafayat al-a ' yan, ed. Ihsãn ' Abbas (Beirut, n.d.), V, 301; Fr. trans. MacGuckin de Slane (Paris, 1843—1845), III, 456; see below, p. 441. 22. It seems odd that only a few crusader bezants can be assigned to Tyre, as will be seen below. Robert Irwin, "The Supply of Money and the Direction of Trade in Thirteenth-Century Syria," in Coinage in the Latin East: the Fourth Oxford Symposium on Coinage and Monetary History, ed. Peter W. Edbury and Metcalf (BAR International Series, no. 77; Oxford, 1980), p. 91, has explained this anomaly with the suggestion that from the late twelfth century, if not earlier, the word Sun was a calque on the French term "de Syrie".
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