ISLAMIC, ZENGIDS OF ALEPPO
Al-Salih Isma’il (AD 1174-1181)
AE Fals. 5.22g, 25.4mm
MINTED: Dimashq (Damascus) mint, AH 569 (AD 1174)
REF: Spengler & Sayles Type 75.1; Album 1854.2
OBVERSE: Central Kufic legend: al-Malik al-Salih / Isma’il (The just king Isma’il); above and below, marginal Kufic legend: (Perpetual glory and healthy life and everlasting salvation).
REVERSE: Central Kufic legend: ibn al-Malik / al-Adil Mahmud (identifying the ruler’s father); marginal Kufic legend stating denomination, mint and date.
Rough, copper and green surfaces. Struck off-center.
A rare issue, struck briefly at Damascus under the new 11-year old ruler al-Salih Isma’il after his accession in May 1174, and before Saladin seized the city from him in October.
The Zengids were a dynasty of Turkoman Muslim emirs who controlled much of Syria and northern Iraq between the 12th and 13th centuries. Under their founder Imad al-Din Zengi (AD 1127-1146), they gained prominence by conquering the County of Edessa, the first of the Crusader states to be established in the region. After Zengi's death in 1146, his territories were split between two of his sons, one of whom for a time counted amongst his vassals the famous Saladin, then the Governor of Egypt. Later Zengid emirs, ruling independently from their power bases at Mosul, Aleppo, Sinjar and al-Jazira, would gradually lose control of their territories, until the last of the Zengid cities was taken in 1250 by the Ayubbid emir An-Nasir Yusuf, a great grandson of Saladin.
ZENGIDS OF ALEPPO. Al-Salih Isma’il . AE Fals . Rare; from the time of Saladin
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