Author Topic: Afrighid Khwarezmshahs, 305-995 AD  (Read 213 times)

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Offline Manzikert

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Afrighid Khwarezmshahs, 305-995 AD
« on: May 04, 2019, 01:14:21 PM »
We have had quite few coins of the Muslim Khwarezmshahs posted over the years, but as far as I can see no coins of their predecessors the Afrighids, from whom the Arabs inherited the title 'Khwarezmshah'.

I knew vaguely of their existence, but over the last few months I have been lucky to acquire four coins of this dynasty (the name is a modern concoction: noone seems to know for sure what they called themselves), which I am posting here.

The Afrighids ruled Choresmia (Khwarezm) from 305-995 AD Afrighids - Wikipedia and about 23 rulers are recorded in various sources. Unfortunately very little of their history is known, the historian al-Biruni attributing this to the fact that the Arabs destroyed virtually all records when they finally conquered the area around 1000 AD. It is rather ironic that their capital Kath (where their coinage presumably was struck) is now known as 'Beruniy' after al-Biruni, renamed in 1957.

The coinage starts as silver tetradrachms, which are gradually reduced in weight (though the diameter stays much the same) so that the latest are sometimes called drachms, with copper small change of unknown denomination. Many of the coins are anonymous (or at least unread) but I havegone for known rulers so far.

The four pieces I now have are all from the later period (earlier tetradrachms are from 500-1500, well outside my budget!):

Ramik, Ar reduced tetradrachm, 5.27 gm, 28 mm. Ramik is believed to have reigned c.560-600 AD.

Azkatswar I (also known as Jigan or Chegan), Ae unit, 3.76 gm, 26 mm. Azkatswar is knwn to have died in 712 AD, but his length of reign is unknown.

Kanik, Ae unit, 3.60 gm, 27.75 mm Kanik is early 8th century, perhaps c.725 AD.

Shawshafan, Ar reduced tetradrachm ('drachm'), 3.03 gm, 26 mm. Shawshafan is known to have written to the Chinese emperor in 751 AD, and also in 762 AD. His coins all seem to be about 2.50-3.15 gm so they appear to be the same denomination, whether called tetradrachm or drachm: there seem to be no known silver fractions from any of the later rulers.

I will obviously be looking out for more  :)

Alan

Offline THCoins

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Re: Afrighid Khwarezmshahs, 305-995 AD
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2019, 02:58:06 PM »
Very nice series and overview, i especially like the copper ones !

I remember that not so very long ago there was another enthusiastic thread on the subject. You may not have found that because it was in the Medieval section instead.

Offline Manzikert

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Re: Afrighid Khwarezmshahs, 305-995 AD
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2019, 05:48:13 PM »
Hmm, when I searched for Afrighid and Afrighids all that came up was a post about the Muslim Khwarezmshahs: that other interesting one didn't appear at all. I must have just been searching the Central Asia and Caucasus section :-[

Alan