Badr al-Din Lu’Lu’ (AD 1234-1259)

AE Fals. 8.0g, 25.5mm
MINTED: al-Mawsil (Mosul) mint, AH 656 (AD 1258/1259)
REF: Spengler & Sayles Type 72.2; Album 1876
OBVERSE: Five-line central legend in Kufic script, bearing bame and titles of the Mongol Great Khan Mangu; denomination, mint and date in Arabic script around.

REVERSE: Five-line central legend in Kufic script bearing name and titles of Lu’Lu’; Kalima around.



Glossy dark brown surfaces with some roughness.  Nicer in hand.

An interesting type, struck after Lu'Lu' betrayed the Abbasid Caliph, switching allegiance to the Mongols.  According to Stephen Album, one of the first types to combine Arabic and Persian script, with Lu'Lu' offering fawning praise of the Mongol Great Khan Möngke (Mangu), naming him "master of the world, emperor over the face of the earth", a title that Album suggests was likely Chinese in origin.  


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.  


Badr al-Din Lu’Lu’ was originally an Armenian freed slave of the Zengid emir Nur al-Din Arslan Shah I (AD 1193-1211).  His talents saw him rise to the position of atabeg (guardian), where he served as advisor and minister to the young successors of his master.  Lu'Lu's ambitions grew to a point where he desired the throne for himself, and he eventually had Nasir al-Din Mahmud (AD 1219-1234) strangled to death.  He would then go on to govern Mosul in his own name for the next 25 years, until his death in AD 1259.

ZENGIDS OF MOSUL . Badr al-Din Lu’Lu’ . AE Fals . Usurper and betrayer

SKU: 4141
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