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Ummayads of Spain, Hisham II dirhem, al-Andalus

Started by Manzikert, May 25, 2019, 02:52:26 PM

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One of three Spanish Umayyad coins recently acquired, a common type but, though slightly double-struck on the obverse, is otherwise well-centred on a full circular flan.

Ummayads of Spain, Hisham II ibn al-Mu'ayya, 1st reign (366-399 H), dirhem, al-Andalus 388 H, Album 354.2; Vives 538, 3.74 gm, 25.5 mm.

The last line in the reverse centre is an ornate version of the name 'Amir', for Abu'l-'Amir Muhammad bin 'Abd Allah (known in Spanish history as Almanzor, see Almanzor - Wikipedia)



Great coin indeed. FWIW, Cayón 492. It may be common, but is it common in this quality? Aas you say, echo strike lines from 12 o'clock to 3 o'clock on the left image. Are the other two from the same mint? Possible variants are Fez and Necor.

The minter made the strike just a little bit more powerful than necessary. In moslem countries you sometimes run into a practice to make a small error on purpose as perfection would be considered blasphemous.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


Coins of this year are quite common and often in excellent condition as is this coin. They were studied in detail some time ago by J. SÁENZ DÍEZ who published his findings in the following article:

SÁENZ DÍEZ, J.I., Los dirhems del 388 de la ceca de Al-Andalus, Numisma 165-167, 1980, pp. 211-222

which can be downloaded here:

Revista Nvmisma - FNMT

As the article is in Spanish, here is a brief summary - the study covers a sample of 61 dirhams, all of this type, bearing the names 'Amir, Muhammad and the caliph Hishām II. He points out the main die varieties, focussing on the differences in formats of the date, that could, in his view, point to different workshops. He briefly discusses the identity of the persons mentioned on the coins with some historical background, and then goes on to present the detailed results of his study. He is able to identify eight different formats for the date along with some twelve ornaments that give rise to a total of twenty-three different sub-types, presented in a table at the end of the article.

Hope this is of interest
all the best



Thank you very much for that reference. The Spanish will give me some problems, but after a quick skim through not as much as I feared.