Nur al-Din Mahmud b. Zengi (AD 1146 – 1174)

AE Fals. 4.24g, 23.5mm
MINTED: Halab (Aleppo) mint, AH 541-569 (AD 1146-1173)
REF: Spengler & Sayles Type 73; Album 1850
OBVERSE: Two Imperial figures standing facing, holding between them patriarchal cross set up on three steps; to left of the cross, 'al-Adil' in Kufic; right of the cross, 'Nur al-Din' in Kufic; around, blundered imitation of Greek legend.

REVERSE: Christ standing facing, nimbate, holding book of Gospels in his left hand; on the left, 'Malik al-umara'in Kufic; on the right, 'Mahmud' in Kufic; around, blundered imitation of a Greek legend.



Green patina with some earthen deposits in fields. 

Interesting example of early Zengid coinage, which copied Byzantine types, resulting in the figure of Christ appearing on the coinage of Muslim rulers. The possible prototypes for this issue are folles of Theodora or Constantine X .


Historical Notes:

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. Nur al-Din Mahmud b. Zengi . AE Fals . Copying Byzantine type

SKU: 4143
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