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THE

AMERICAN

NUMISMATIC

MUSEUM

SOCIETY

NOTES
22

ATIC-'
MWM&f J
' NU/AIStt
/
'50CIETY

THE

AMERICAN

NUMISMATIC

NEW

SOCIETY

YORK
1977

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THE
OF

THE

MAMLK

ADDITIONS

COINAGE
SULTAN
AND

BAYBARS

I:

CORRECTIONS
Michael L. Bates

(Plate 23)

It is the fate of corpuses,even those as magisterialas Paul Balog's


*
Coinageof theMamlk Sultans ofEgyptand Syria to beginthe process
of obsolescenceon the day of theirpublication. One mightbettersay
even before publication,for the author himselfwill inevitably learn
of new coins in the intervalbetweenthe finalproofsand the appearance
of the work. Once the corpusis in print,collectors,dealers,and scholars
immediatelybegin making special note of specimens "not in Balog."
Thus, only six years afterhis originalcorpusBalog was able to publish
a long article cataloguing "Additions and Corrections"to the work.2
Of more significancethan the mere addition of new varieties,such a
corpus (especiallyin the presentstate of knowledgeof Islamic numismaticsand monetaryhistory)stimulatesand facilitatesfurtherresearch
whichcan resultin wholesalerevisionsof partsofthe work,even though
forgenerations.
the corpusas a wholemustremainthe standardreference
Such a revisionis offeredby the presentstudy,which attemptsto
clarifyour understandingof the coinage of the great Mamlk sultan
Baybars I (658-76 H./A.D. 1260-77), who is justly described as the
founderof the Mamlkstate3. In MSES the coinage of Baybars seems
ratherchaoticin comparisonwiththat of otherMamlks. Indeed, it is
1 P. Balog,Coinage
oftheMamlkSultansofEgyptandSyria, NS 12 (NewYork,
as MSES .
1964). Citedhereafter
2 P. Balog,"TheCoinageof theMamlkSultans:Additions
and Corrections,"
as MSESAdd.
ANSMN 16 (1970),pp. 113-71.Citedhereafter
3 M. M. Ziyada,"TheMamlukSultansto 1293,"chap.22 in M. Setton,ed., A
andH.
, ed. R. L. Wolff
, 1189-1311
, 2: TheLaterCrusades
History
oftheCrusades
W. Hazard(Philadelphia,
1962),p. 746.
161

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162

Michael L. Bates

an unusually complicatedseries because of the variety of styles and


legends which it displays. Balog classifiedit by metal, style,reverse
legend(thatis, witheitheroftwo caliphs'namesor withreligiouslegend),
and Baybars's titulature(with or withoutthe title al-Sutyan),in that
order,and thenwithinthese categoriesby mintand date. At the time,
such a procedurewas unavoidable, given the many issues of Baybars
known only fromone or two specimenswith illegibledate or mint or
both.4 Now, thanks to the sound foundationlaid down by Balog and
to new discoveries,it is possible to reclassifythe coinage to reflectthe
succession of
sequence of events in Baybars's reign and the different
issues in each region and mint. The new organization,simplerand
more intelligiblethan that in MSES, helps to revisethe attributionof
some of Baybars's coins and providessome new historicalevidence,or
at least raises some interestinghistoricalquestions.
The firststep in reclassificationis to separate the issues of the two
regions, Egypt and Syria. There are important differencesin the
numismatichistoryof theseregionsunderBaybars as underhis Ayybid
and Mamlkpredecessors.Whetheror notthe coinageofthetwo regions
was made more uniformunder the later Mamlksis a question which
furtherresearchwill need to answer,but the possibilityof differences
betweenthemis one whichought to be bornein mind in any study of
Mamlk coinage.
The second step is to arrangethe issues of each mintin chronological
order,so far as possible, using the sequence of historicalevents as a
guide wheremore than one varietyis knownwith the same date. For
the metropolitanmints, Cairo (al-Qhira) and Damascus (Dimashq),
this is easy enough, and a nearly complete sequence can be formed
for each. In Egypt, the sequence at Alexandria (al-Iskandariyya)
is sufficiently
complete to show that that mint conformedclosely to
the practiceat Cairo, except in details of ornamentation,arrangement
of legends,and in strikingonly gold, not silver. In Syria, the known
representationof the minor mints Hamh and Aleppo (Halab) is so
sparse as to make generalizationunwise, but the available evidence
fromthese mints does not display any inconformity
with that from
Damascus. PossiblytherewereotherSyrianmints,as yetnot identified.
4 SeeBalog'sexplanation
ofhisprocedure,
MSES, pp. 2-3.

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163

Mamlk Sultan Baybars I

Certain of Baybars's issues are excluded fromthe discussionhere:


his Armenianstyle coinage (.MSES 40-41), which deserves a special
study in itselfwhen additional examples are found; and his copper,
whichseldombears a mintor date and is hardlysusceptibleto historical
and geographicalarrangement. The discussion of the coinage as a
whole is followedby a catalogue of ANS and othercoins not in Balog's
corpus and additions.
EGYPT
It is possible to treat the issues of Cairo and Alexandria together.
Baybars's Egyptian coinage can be divided into foursuccessiveissues.
MSES nos:
Issue

Date

al-Qhira al-Iskandariyya Mint


Al
Al
AL
Illegible

658H.

39A

658H.
659H.

69
70

3. al-Sultn
al-Malik 659H.
withal-Mustansir 660H.

46

1. Ayybid
style
2. Mamlkstyle,
titleal-Malik

4. al-Sultnal-Malik
withreligious
legend 660-76H.

35-36 72-92

27(?)
28
37
38
30-33

Baybars's earliest coinage, in the traditionalAyybid style, must


have been issued only very briefly;forBaybars came to power on 17
Dhu'l-Qa'da 658,5 six weeks beforethe end of the year,and introduced
his new styleheraldiccoinagewithinthat same six weeks. It is probably
for that reason that Baybars's Ayybid coinage is excessivelyrare,
6 Ibn 'Abd al-zhir,al-Rawdal-zhirfi siratal-Malikal-Zhir
, ed. andtr. F.
S. Sadequeas BaybarsI ofEgypt(Dacca, 1956),text,pp. 16-17,trans.,pp. 96duwalal-mjalk
97; Maqrizi,Kitbal-sulkli-ma'rifat
, 1, ed. M. M. Ziyda,2nd
ed.(Cairo,1956-57),
pp.435-36.Atfirst
al-Qhir,
Baybarstookthelaqabal-Malik
butonlya fewdayslater(Maqrizi,
it to al-Malikal-Zhir.Is
p. 437)he changed
it possiblethatanycoinswerestruck
withthefirsttitle?

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164

Michael L. Bates

with only four published specimensfromthe Cairo mint. This also


may well explain why no gold coinageby Baybars in the Ayybidstyle
has yet been recorded. The fact is, however,that there is little diferencebetweenBaybars's gold coinage in the Mamlk style and that
of his predecessorsin the Ayybid style, aside fromthe addition of
his heraldicsymbol,the lion passant to left. Possibly this symbolwas
used on his gold coinage fromthe very beginning. Furthermore,there
is a markedstylisticresemblancebetweenBaybars's heraldicgold and
and silver coinage, so that one mightwell say that the introduction
of the Mamlk style consistedmainly in, first,the use of a heraldic
symbol on the gold, and secondly,the adoption of the style of the
Ayybidgold foruse on silverissues as well.
The new coinage of Baybars, with his heraldic emblem,is strictly
speaking,the firstMamlkcoinage,forthe coinage of his predecessors
was Ayybidin everythingbut the sovereign'sname. That the new
stylewas introducedas earlyas 658 is demonstratedby onlytwo extant
coins,a dirhamof Cairo ( MSES 69) and a dinar of Alexandria( MSES
27; but see catalogue below). The Mamlk stylewas henceforthcharacteristicof Baybars's gold and silver coinage; this earliest issue is
differentiated
by the use of the titleal-Malikonly (forBaybars had not
yet been officiallyinvested with the sultanate) and by the religious
legend of the reverse(fortherewas at this time no 'Abbsid caliph6).
The secondissue ofBaybars, then,can be assignedto a periodbeginning
sometimein the last six weeks of 658 and lasting until 13 Raj ab 659,
when Abu'l-Qsim Ahmad was invested as caliph.7 The second issue
is distinguishedfromthe fourth,which began in 660 and which also
has a religiouslegend on the reverse,by the absence of the title alSul/n;but this earlier type ought not to be confusedwith certain
issues of the period after6608 on which the title al-Sulnis omitted
merelyfor lack of space.
6 The 'Abbsidcaliphateof Baghdadhad beenextinguished
by theMongols,
untiltheappearance
of
ofthefamily
to havesurvived
wasknown
andno member
in 659.
al-Amir
Ahmad,sonofthecaliphal-Zhir,
Abu'l-Qsim
7 Ibn 'Abd al-Zhir,
text,p. 35; trans.,p. 124; Maqrizi,p. 449.
8 Forexample,
a fractional
dinar,MSES 29,of663H. andtheAleppoissuedescribedin thecatalogue
below,no. 49.

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Mamlk Sultan Baybars 1

165

The 'Abbasid princeAbu'l-Qsim Ahmad appearedfirstin Damascus,


withfollowerswho vouchedforthe authenticityofhis descent. Baybars
orderedthat he be sent on to Cairo, where he arrived 9 Rajab 659.
Four days later, at a great assembly,the chiefqd, Baybars, and all
the notables of the courtsworeallegianceto Abu 'l-Qasim as the caliph
al-Mustansirbillh. The caliph then granted authority(qallada) to
Baybars over all the Islamic lands. Letters were sent out to Muslim
rulersinstructingthem to recognizethe new caliph and sultan in the
khutbaand to place the two names on theircoins.9
Given the sequence of events- the accession on the same day of
to explain
Abu 'l-Qasimas caliphand ofBaybars as sultan- it is difficult
a recordedissue of this year with the title al-sultan but withoutthe
caliph's name. Only one such coin is recorded,although another is
falsely so attributed. The latter is a dirham ( MSESAdd 77A) first
publishedby Bacharach,10said to have the date legend sana tise wa-l
khamsn/ wa-sittama. In reality, the left segmentof the marginal
legend,whichincludesthe digit,is not visible at all on the coin, being
entirelyoffthe flan,and the bottomsegmentreads wa-sittn,writtenin
the fashiontypical of dirhamsof 665-69.11 A second coin, however,is
not so easily gainsaid: a dinar, MSES 34, pl. 2. Althoughthe coin is
ascribed to Cairo, the mint is entirelyinvisible; but the date 659 is
indisputable. One mightargueon theevidenceofthiscointhatBaybars's
s name began
new titlewas recordedon the coinagebeforeal-Mustansir'
s
to appear, but this is hardlylikely. On the very day of al-Mustansir'
accession Baybars wrote to other rulersto ask them to acknowledge
himas sultanand al-Mustansiras caliph on theircoins. One mustthereforeassume that the same orderswere given to Baybars's own mints.
MSES 34 must be regardedas a mule, with the new obversebut with
an old reversedie fromthe period beforeal-Mustansirwas recognized.
9 Ibn fAbdal-Zhir,
text,p. 36; trans.,p. 125;Maqriz,
pp. 448-50.Suchcoins
Ism'ilb. Lu'lu', in 659 (1. andG.
werestruckonlyby theAtabegof al-Mawil,
islmsikkeler
miizeleri
, 1 [Istanbul,
katalou
Artuk,stanbularkeoloji
tehirdeki
de numis"Mlanges
1971],pp. 415-16,nos.1274-75)and 660 (W. Tiesenhausen,
no. 131;in theHermitage).
RBN [1875],pp. 356-57,
matiqueorientale,"
10J. Bacharach,
ANSMN 14 (1968),
"A Few Unpublished
MamlkDirhems,"
p. 166,no.4, pl. 24.
11See forexample,
MSES 81,pl. 3.

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166

Michael Lu Bates

Baybars's thirdEgyptian issue, then,is that with his title al-Suln


al-Malik and with the name of the caliph al-Mustansirin the reverse
field in place of the shahda. Baybars also acquired the title Qaslm
Amr al-Mu'minn,which he and his immediatesuccessorsplaced on
the coins.12 The obverse invocation bism Allh al-rahmn al-ram
is henceforthdropped fromthe dirhams,probably to provide space
for the expansion of the horizontalfield legends to include the new
titles. This thirdissue is substantiatedfromboth 659 and 660. Baybars
providedal-Mustansirwithtroopsand fundsto reconquerIraq, whither
the caliph departedin late 659. He metthe MongolarmyfromBaghdad
probablyon 3 Muharram660 and was eitherkilledin the battle or died
of his wounds shortlyafterward;in any case, according to Maqrz,
withinthe firstthirdof al-Muharram.13
Amongthosewithal-Mustansir
in the finalbattle was another'Abbsid, al-AmrAbu'l-fAbbsAhmad,
who escaped death and arrivedat Damascus 12 Safar 660. It would
have taken only a few days more forthe news of al-Mustansir'sdeath
to reach Cairo, if it had not already come. This provides a terminus
ante quem forthe end ofBaybars's thirdissue and the beginningof the
fourth.
With al-Mustansir'sdeath, the caliphate was again vacant. The
Egyptian mintsthereforerevertedto the use of religiouslegendsin the
reversefieldand continuedto do so until676 whenBaybars died,despite
the fact that on 8 Muharram661 the Amr Abu'l-cAbbs Ahmad was
proclaimedcaliph, as al-Hkim bi-AmrAllh, in a ceremonyin the
Cairo citadel. Neitheral-Hkim nor any of his successorsin the caliphate of Cairo were acknowledgedon the coinage of Egypt.14 This is
perhaps not too remarkable,consideringthe insignificanceof these
figureswhosemain functionwas to providepurelyformallegitimization
for the authorityof the sultans; but there has not as yet been any
specificexplanation of the change in Baybars's attitude toward the
caliphwhichled himto omital-Hkim's name fromthe coinage,thereby
settingthe precedentfor subsequent sultans. Equally in need of ex12MSES, p. 14.
13Maqrizi,p. 467.
14The soleexception
is al-Mustaein,
whoappearson thecoinagenot
815/1412,
andnominally
sultanduring
becausehewascaliphbutbecausehewastemporarily
an interregnum.

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Mamlk Sultan Baybars I

167

planationis the surprisingfactthat Syrianpracticediffered:al-Hkim's


name appears on the coinage of all SyrianmintsduringBaybars's lifetime, at least from666.
The Cairo dirhamsof thisfourthissue are dividedby Balog into three
groups,accordingto the beginningof the reversemarginallegend (the
mint-dateformula)at the leftside, the right,or at the top. Probably
this distinctionhas no significance,except as a rough chronological
guide. Dirhams with the legend beginningat the left were struck
660-63, thosewiththe beginningon the rightfrom662 to 664, and those
with the beginningat the top from66515in every year (except, as so
far recorded,673) until the end of Baybars's reign.
SYRIA
The sequence of issues in Syria differedfromthat in Egypt. The
table here shows only the issues of Damascus; only a few coins are
known fromother Syrian mints,but their issues seem to followthe
same course as those of Damascus. There is also a series of dirhams
with no mintname whichare probablySyrian.
MSES nos.
(Damascus& only)

Issue

Date

withBaybars
1. Ayybid
style,
anda localgovernor
withtitle
2. Mamlk
style,
al-Malik
only
with
al-Malik
3. al-Sultn
al-Mustansir
lacuna?

658-59H.

39

659 H.

71, 71A

659-60H.

47

660-66H.

no Syriancoins?

with
4. al-Sultn
al-Malik
al-Hkim

a) 666-69H.
b) 670-76H.

56-63(withmonth)
51-54(without
month)

According to Maqrz, Baybars's accession in Dhu'l-Qa'da 658


was accepted by all the amirsexcept the governorof Damascus, eAlam
15MSES 78-80,dirhams
of thisvarietydated662-64,are to be disregarded;
see cataloguebelow.

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168

Michael L. Bates

al-Dn Sanjar al-Halab.16 Sanjar claimed authorityfor himself17


and
adopted the title al-Malik al-Mujhid. Still, he does not seem at first
to have completelyrejected Baybars's authority,but ratheronly asserted autonomyfor himselfin his own domain while recognizingthe
nominal sovereigntyof Baybars; for in the khutba, MaqrizI says,
the name ofBaybars was mentionedfirstfollowedby Sanjar, and coins
werestruckbearingboththeirnames. Later, however,Sanjar expanded
his claim to include the sultanate, but MaqrizI does not say whether
he ever struckcoins with his name alone.
A coin such as that mentionedby MaqrizI has been known since
the publicationof M SES, but until recentlyit has not been correctly
read. On the hithertounique example, a dirhamof Ayybidstyle in
the AshmoleanMuseum,Baybars's name on the obverse and Sanjas
title al-Mujhid on the reverseare entirelyobliterated,and only the
firstletterof Sanjas name is visible.18It will be noted that this first
letter,sn, very much resemblesthe firstlettersof Baybars's name,
leadingBalog to assume that Baybars was named on both sides of the
coin and that 'Alam al-Dn was used as an additionaltitle by Baybars
in the early days of his reign.
A second example of this issue has recentlybeen discoveredby Ariel
Berman in a Jerusalemhoard.10 The legends (see catalogue below,
no. 39) are as would be expected from Maqrz's statement,with
Baybars's name and full title on one side and Sanjas on the other.
Accordingto Berman, his coin bears the digit tis' nine (not legiblein
the illustration),so the coin must have been struckin the six weeks of
that year before11 Safar 659, when a forceloyal to Baybars occupied
16Maqrizi,
p. 438.Sanjar'sfullnameandlaqabaregivenon p. 433 and againon
439.
p.
17The phraseused by Maqriziis daf li-nafsihi
, a phrasemorecommonly
a much
butin thiscontext,
fora claimto theimamate
clearly,
implying
employed
lesserassertion.
18MSES 39; a fuller
in MSES Addunder
areprovided
andillustration
description
mentioned
twodirhams
thesamenumber
byBalogunder
(p. 117,pl. 28). Theother
below.
arein factlikeMSESAdd39A,ofCairo. See catalogue
thisnumber
19A. Berman,
A.D. Reflected
Eventsin Syriain 658-59H./1260
"TheTurbulent
NCirc84 (1976),pp. 315-16,no. 3. A
Dirhams,"
Unpublished
by ThreeHitherto
ofthecoinis provided
in thecatalogue
below.
fulldescription

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Mamlk Sultan Baybars I

169

Damascus;20but such coinswereno doubt also struckin 658. Inasmuch


as Maqrz says that Sanjar's coinage also bore the name of Baybars,
there is no reason to believe, as Berman suggests,that the issue was
produced duringthe period of reconciliationbetween the two which
followednot long afterSanjar's arrest.
A second discoveryby Berman providesnew evidenceforthe political
situationelsewherein Syria at the accession of Baybars. The coin in
question is a dirhamof Ayybidstyle,much like the coins of Sanjar,
with Baybars's name and titles on one side and those of al-Mansr
Muhammad,the Ayybidruler of Hamh, on the other.21According
to certainhistorians,Sanjar called upon the Ayybidrulersof Hamh
and Hims to recognizehim as sultan, but they refusedand remained
loyal to Baybars.22 This new dirham shows that at Hamh, at least,
the situationwas more complicated. Al-MansrMuhammad may not
have recognizedSanjar as sultan,but he evidentlytook a positionwith
regard to Baybars very similarto that initiallytaken by Sanjar, acknowledgingBaybars's nominal supremacybut assertinghis autonomy
in his own territory.Such a positionwould be natural for al-Mansr,
who had governedHamh since642 as a subordinateto variousmembers
of his own familyand had been restoredby Qu^uz to his positionin
Hamh afterthe Mongol occupationof the city in 658. It is not clear
whetherhis issuanceofcoinagewithhis own name at Baybars's accession
indicatesan assertionof increasedindependence. His presentlyknown
silvercoinageat Hamh in theAyybidperiodneverbears his own name,
but onlythat of his sovereigns.23
However,no coin*of Hamh from655
20Maqrizi,
p. 444.
21Berman,
p. 315,no. 2; see cataloguebelow,no. 39M.
22Sadeque,in herintroduction
to Ibn fAbdal-Zhir,
p. 42, citingAbu'1-Fid'.
23A coinattributed
to thisrulerbyLavoixandCasanova(H. Lavoix,Catalogue
desmonnaies
musulmanes
de la Bibliothque
Nationale
: gypteet Syrie
, rev.P.
Casanova[Paris,1896],p. 270,no. 698,pl. 6) is wrongly
it is clearlya
attributed;
Mamlk
ofQal'n,andtherefore
tobe dated6(8)5,not650. Because
coin,probably
thecoinbearsthetitlesal-Mansr
Lavoixor Casanovaerroneously
Sayf...al-Din,
thetitleSayfal-Dinto al-Mansr
ofHamh,andthishasbeenrepeated
in
assigned
suchstandard
references
as E. de Zambaur,
Manuelde genealogie
etde chronologie
de l'Islam(Hanover,
titleis Nsiral-Din,
pourl'histoire
1927),p. 98. Thecorrect
as shownbyBerman's
coinandbyMaqrizi,
coinattributed
to alp. 318. Another

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170

Michael L. Bates

to the Mongol occupation of the city in 658 are as yet known; coins
were struckthere under the Mongols,but no coins are known of the
periodimmediatelyafteral-Mansrwas restoredto the city by Qutuz.
One cannot, therefore,say whetheral-Mansrplaced his name on the
coinage beforehis issue withBaybars's name. Similarly,it is not possible to say with certaintywhen this latter issue came to an end, for
the next known issue of Hamh, an ordinaryMamlk dirham with
Baybars and al-Mustansironly,is dated 660. The historianssay nothing
about the impositionofBaybars's authorityin Hamh, suggestingthat
al-Mansr at some point accepted the situation without resistance.
In late 659 he paid homagein personto Baybars in Damascus and was
confirmedin his position,which he retained until his death in 68S.24
One can thereforeonly say that the issue in question began almost
certainlyin 658 and possibly continuedinto 659. It perhapsended at
about the same time that Baybars's authoritywas establishedin Damascus.25
With the installation of Baybars's authority,the Damascus mint
began strikinghis new Mamlk coinage, with the title al-Malik and
religiouslegends in the reversefield. Then, sometimein the seventh
month of 659, the Damascus mint respondedto the accession of alMustansirand the investitureof Baybars as sultan, by strikingcoins
is a copperfais,BMCOriental
Mansr
Muhammad
4, Suppl.468c,p. 230,bearing
is probably
al-Mansr
which
andontheotheral-Malik
ononesideal-Malik
al-Nsir,
Illustrata
Numismata
Orientalia
thesamecoinillustrated
, 1 (LonbyW. Marsden,
I. Stephen
Muhammad
don,1823),pl. 13,no.237,attributed
byhimto al-Mansr
of twoothercopper
Albumhasrecently
pointedout to the authortheexistence
thenamesal-Malikal-Manr
on oneside
issues,apparently
unpublished,
bearing
andal-Malikal-lihon the other.On one issue,the namesare enclosedin a
thenamesarewithina
beadedcircle;ontheother,
a tangent
beadedsquarewithin
these
ofthefamiliar
style.As Albumsuggests,
AleppoAyybid
triplehexagram
in Hamh,
to be regarded
as issuesofal-Mansr
coppersalso are mostprobably
One
oftheAyybid
thesovereignty
al-SlihAyyb(d. 647/1249).
acknowledging
to theANS byAlbum.
ofeachissuehasbeendonated
example
24Ibn'Abdal-Zhir,
text,p. 45; trans.,
p. 138;Maqrizi,
pp.460,462.
25Berman
thattheissuewasprobably
thedate659tohisspecimen,
arguing
assigns
ofHamhbytheMongols
at theveryendof658and
struck
a briefreconquest
after
of659. However,
theMongols
did nottakeHamhat thistime;they
beginning
before
it(Maqrizi,
p. 442). In anycase,thecoincouldhavebeenstruck
onlybeseiged
as wellas afterward.
theMongols
arrived

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Mamlk Sultan Baybars I

171

like those of the third Egyptian issue. The unique example of this
issue with the mintDimashq bears no legible date and may have been
struckin 659 or earlyin 660; a dirhamof Hamh (MSES 48) confirms
that such dirhamswere still being struckin Syria in the firstsix weeks
of the latter year.
Since al-Mustansirwas killed in early 660, leaving the caliphate
vacant for about a year, one would expect Damascus to have issued
coins like the fourthEgyptian issue, with the title al-Sul^n al-Malik
combinedwith the reversereligiouslegend; but no Syrian dirhamsof
this type are recorded.26Indeed, no Syrian dirhamsare recordedfor
nearlyseven years,fromearly660 (the latest possibledate forthe third
issue, with al-Mustansir)to late in 666 (the earliestknown coin of the
fourthSyrian issue is dated Dhu'l-Qa'da, the eleventh month,666).
Thereis no obviousexplanationforthislacuna in the series,whichseems
unlikelyto be the resultof chance.
When mintingof dirhamswas resumedin Damascus, the type issued
theredifferedfromthat standardin Egypt in having the name of the
caliph al-Hkim on the reverse. Why al-Hkim was recognizedon
the coinageof Syria and not that of Egypt is perplexing.At Damascus,
this fourthSyrian issue is divided into two subseries. The first,with
dates from 666 to 669,27 has the honorifical-marsafollowingthe
mint-name,and is dated by month as well as by year. Coins of this
subseriesare not rare,but few are fullylegible,so that therehas been
recorded at present only one example of each of eight month-year
combinations. Future discoveriesmay help to clarifywhetherwe can
expect eventuallyto recordeverymonthin each year, or whethermint
activity was intermittent.
26Thereis, however,
andthe
issueofDamascuswiththetitleal-sultan
a copper
shahdaonthereverse,
datedxxl (MSES 100;MSES 98-99arenotfrom
Damascus,
as Balognotedin MSESAdd, p. 130). Therearealsocopperissues,MSES 96 and
totheperiod
toassigntheselatter
97,withthecaliphal-Hkim.It seemsreasonable
thatis, 666-76,on whichassumption
whendirhams
withal-Hkimwerestruck,
MSES 100wouldmoreprobably
be 661,not671. If so,it wouldappearthatalonthecoinageofSyria,justas in Egypt;forhe
Hkimwasat firstnotrecognized
wascaliphduring
all butthefirsttwodaysof661.
27Thedate674assigned
thecoin
to a coinofthisvariety
(MSES 63)is incorrect;
is dated667. See catalogue
below,no. 58M.

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172

Michael L. Bates

The second subserieslacks both the mint honorificand the month,


but is otherwisesimilarto the first. It spans the years670-76, although
671 and 672 have not yet been recorded,and 676 is knownonlythrough
coins with the digit alone visible. When Baybars died (28 Muharram
676) the caliph's namewas droppedfromthe reverseon his son's coinage,
and replaced by religiouslegends.
Of the two otherSyrianmintsrecorded,Hamh and Aleppo (Halab)
only Hamh seems to have had any importance.From it there is now
recordedthe issue of al-MansrMuhammad with Baybars, discussed
above; a dirhamof 660 ( MSES 48) which is similarto the thirdDamascus type, with the caliph al-Mustansir;and coins of 666-74 which
parallel the fourthDamascus type, with al-Hkim. There is then no
distinctionto be made betweenthe coinage of Hamh and that of the
Syrian capital, except that Hamh issues do not have the mint-date
formulain a circularmarginal legend, but rather in horizontallines
above and below the reversefield. The attributionof one coin,MSES
67, to Hamh is dubious (see below and the catalogue).
Aleppo is sparselyrepresented.One issue, knownfromtwo examples
only (see catalogue below, no. 49), correspondsto the fourthissue of
Damascus, with the caliph al-Hkim, but Baybars's title is al-Malik
only,withoutal-Sultn. This, no doubt, is an abbreviationforlack of
space, for this Aleppo issue is distinguishedby an unusually broad
border,consistingof a linear octalobe surroundedby an octalobe of
dots; a circularmarginallegend; and outer linear and dotted circles.
As a result,the space remainingfor the centralfieldlegend is rather
limited. No date is legible on the coins, but there is no objection to
makingthe issue contemporarywith the fourthDamascus issue, that
is, some time in the period 666-76; the Aleppo coins could, however,
have been issued as earlyas 661,whenal-Hkim was installedas caliph.
A thirdAleppo coin,tentativelyassignedto 675, is mentionedbyMayer.28
It is said to be like the last issue ofDamascus, withthe caliph al-Hkim.
Harrn may tentativelybe proposed as a third Syrian mint. At
least that name seems to fit betterthe visible portionof the mint on
MSES 67, whichBalog ascribed to Hamh. The arrangementof the
28L. A. Mayer,"A HoardofMamluk
Coins,"QDAP 3 (1934),p. 169,no. 7a.

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Mamlk Sultan Baybars I

173

legends on the coin is atypical of Hamh and similarto that of Damascus; but the mint name is definitelynot Dimashq.
DIRHAMS WITHOUT MINT OR DATE
Anothergroup of issues which are most probablyto be assigned to
Syria are the dirhamsand half-dirhamswhich bear no mint name or
date. These coins may be arrangedin the followingchronologicalorder:
1. MSES 68, a unique half-dirham
withoutthe titleal-Sul^n and with
the religiouslegend in the reverse field. Note that the lion is fullface, a featurewhich Bacharach29has observed as a characteristicof
Damascus but which is also found on Hamh issues; it is at any rate
typically Syrian rather than Egyptian. There is no corresponding
dirhamissue with no mint name and with religiouslegends. Therefore
this half-dirhammightequally well be assigned to a later period, for
the absence ofthetitleal-Sul^nis no guideto the datingofhalf-dirhams,
as shownby MSES 43 and 50 (of issues 2 and 4 below).
2. MSES 42, dirhamswithoutthe title al-Sultn but with the caliph
al-Mustansirin the reversefield,and a corresponding
half-dirham
issue,
MSES 43 and 43A. One ofthe latterhas the lion facingright,a feature
otherwiseknown only on a dirham attributedto Hamh (MSESAdd
66A).
3. MSES 44, dirhams with the titulature "al-Sultn... Qasm Amir
al-Mu'minin" and on the reversethe caliph al-Mustansir;one of these
(see catalogue below) has, clearly,the lion full-face.MSES 45 is the
correspondinghalf-dirhamissue.
4. MSESAdd 49A, a dirham with the same titulatureas MSES 44
but withthe caliph al-Hkim; the lion is full-face.The analogous halfdirhamtype is MSES 50, which, however, lacks the title al-Sultn.
Issues 1, 3, and 4 withoutmintmay be regardedas the analogues of
Damascene issues2, 3, and 4 respectively.Issue 2, whichanachronistically has Baybars with the title al-Malik only, but with the caliph al29Bacharach,
p. 167.

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174

Michael L. Bates

Mustansir,can most plausiblybe explained by the carelessreuse of old


obverse dies with new reverses.
If theseissues wereknownfromhalf-dirhams
only,no problemwould
be raised, for it is easy to imagine that the die cutterswould have
omittedthe mintand date fromthese littledies forlack of room(which
would also explain the prevalentomissionof the title al-Sul^n). The
half-dirhamscould then be regardedas products of the Damascus or
Hamh mints. It is more difficult,
however,to fitthe dirhamsinto a
relevantcontext. Are they to be regardedas the productof an otherwise unrepresentedmint, perhaps of a mobile camp mint which accompanied Baybars in his Syrian campaigns? Or are they merely
anomalous issues of Damascus or Hamh, possiblyin part from the
period fromearly 660 to late 666 which is not representedby dated
coins? Perhaps a closerstudyof details of epigraphicalstyleand ornamentation,or the discoveryof a die link between the mintlessissues
and the correspondingissues with mint name, will solve the problem.
CATALOGUE
The catalogue which followslists a numberof unpublishedcoins in
the ANS collectionand, forthe sake of completeness,some coins which
have been publishedelsewheresince the appearance of MSESAdd or
which were overlookedby Balog. Coins which merelyduplicate those
already catalogued by Balog are generallyomitted here, aside from
certain rarities. For example, the ANS has 114 Cairo dirhams and
halves (includingthose mentionedby Balog), 29 of Damascus, and 17
of Hamh, but most of these do not add to our knowledgeexcept as
materialforstudies of metrology,fineness,or die linkage,all of which
lie outside the scope of the presentarticle. A comparisonof the ANS
coins to theirdescriptionsby Balog has revealed some minorerrorsof
detail, which are corrected,and some ANS coins mentionedby Balog
are here illustratedforthe firsttime.
It seems more convenientto followBalog's classificationand enumerationofthe issues than to attemptto reassigncatalogue numbersto
the entirebody of Baybars's coinage. Whereas Balog, in MSESAdd ,
assignedto new varietiesa numberfollowedby capital A, new varieties
in this listinghave been given a numberfollowedby M (or, in two in-

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Mamlk Sultan Baybars I

175

stances,K and P). This will help to distinguishcitationsof this listing


fromcitationsofBalog's corpusand its supplement,and also leaves the
letters precedingand followingM available for enumerationof new
varietiesin theirpropersequence in futurepublications. Balog's precedent in designatingthe side of the coin with the ruler'sname as the
obversehas also been followed. Those coins markedby an asterisk(*)
are illustrated.
27. AL-ISKANDARIYYA, 658. It should be noted that the sole
coin cited to substantiate this date-mintcombinationis Karabacek
no. 909,30whichin the latterpublicationis listed witha query afterthe
date and is comparedwith Khediu. 1470,31a dinar of 661 or 671 with
the title "al-Sul^n." So the existenceof an Alexandriaissue ofBaybars
in this year must remain somewhatproblematic.
28. AL-ISKANDARIYYA, 659. Of the three coins cited by Balog
under this number,two (his own, illustratedMSES , pl. 2, and the
ANS example) have no visible mintname. The entryis supportedonly
by the BritishMuseumexample ( BMCOriental 4, no. 473). MSES does
not note that the ANS coin is pierced.
30. AL-ISKANDARIYYA, 661. The ANS coin is pierced.
34. Mintillegible,659. Althoughthis unique coin is listedunderCairo,
the mintis completelyoffflan; see MSES , pl. 2.
35. AL-QHIRA, 660. A third example of this issue was acquired
by the ANS in 1965 (5.854 g; 25 mm); the mintand date are completely
legible.
36K. AL-QHIRA, 667. A dinar of this mint and date has been published by Ilisch.32Like MSES 31 (see correcteddescription,MSES
Add, p. 117), of the same year but fromAlexandria,the coin has the
mint at the top of the reversefieldas well as in the margin.
36P. AL-QHIRA, 359 or 360. None ofthethreeexamplesofEgyptian
issue 3 listedby Balog, MSES 37-38,bears a mintname; but Karabacek
30J. Schulman
(18 November
1907).
31S. Lane-Poole,
in the
Catalogue
of theCollection
of ArabicCoinsPreserved
Khediuial
in Cairo(London,1897).
Library
32L. Ilisch,"Beitrge
zurmamlukischen
Miinstersche
NumismaNumismatik,"
tischeZeitung
(in HolgerDombrowski
Mnzenhandlung
Lagerkatalog
65/66[November
1975]),pp. 5-6,no. 1, pl. 1.

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176

Michael L. Bates

910, illustratedin that publication,pl. 2, is of that issue and has the


mint name al-Qhira, althoughthe date is not legible.
38. (Egypt), 360. The Paris dinar cited underMSES 38 withthe date
66x must,of course,be dated 660, forit was in that year that al-Mustansir died; also, the word hijriyga added to the end of the date
formulais probablythereto take up the space left by the absence of
a digit,as on the later dinars of that same year (MSES 35) and the
dirhamsof 670 (below, MSES 86). The ANS dinar cited under this
numberhas no portionof the date visible. Anotherdinar of this issue,
also with neithermint nor date visible,was published in the Artuk,
Istanbul katalogu, no. 797, pl. 28.
39. The correctversionof the legendson this Ayybidstyledirhamof
Damascus, as shown by Berman's newly discoveredexample (see note
19; 2.78 g; 20 mm), is:
Reu.:

Obv.:ytlkJI 1)11
LjjJI Sj

j i^JI picj?**

i/jnj
margin:
L

d|AI

R
j*P

margin:
T

B
^ J/1 JI Vj/

Berman arguesthat this coin may indicatea legitimatesharingof power


between Bay bars and Sanjar, and that it was thereforestruck after
Sanjas "independent"coinage; but Maqrz's statement shows that
Sanjas coinage fromthe beginningof his rebellionbore both names.
If Sanjar ever struckcoins with his name only,these would have come
later, when, accordingto Maqrz, he expanded his claim to include
the sultanate. However, Berman's coin, if the date is correctlyread
(65)9 (it cannot be confirmedfrom the illustration),indicates that
Sanjar probably never droppedBaybars's name fromthe coinage, for
he held powerin Damascus only a shorttime at the beginningof that
Ayybid
year. Sanjas issue differsfromthe ordinarysquare-in-circle
and Mamlkissuesin havingthe linearsquare borderoutsidethe square

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Mamlk Sultan Baybars I

177

of dots; usually the dots are outside. The Ashmolean and Jerusalem
obverse and reversedies.
specimenswere struckfromdifferent
The two dirhams mentionedby Mayer which are cited under this
numberin MSES and MSESAdd ought ratherto be assigned to the
number39A (that is, to Cairo); forMayer says that the reverseof his
coins bore the "ApostolicMission."
39M. The coin published by Berman with the names of al-Mansr
Muhammadand Baybars (see note 21; 2.85 g; 20 mm) has legends as
follows:
Obv.: ytlkJIJill

Rev.:

margin:
RBLT

margin:
RBLT

UjJI jSj

3b~j/

/..../

I... J

/<0)1V/1 -01 V/

The mint, as Berman suggests,is almost certainlyHamh; the date,


as argued above, could be either 658 or 659. Berman suggests also
that the reverseof this coin was struckfroman old obverse die used
for al-Mansr's "independent"coinage, with the marginsreut to replace the mint-dateformulawhich would have been on the original
obverse with the shahda appropriatefor the new reverse. He bases
this argumenton the assertionthat the obverse and reversewere not
cut by the same engraver,and the fact that the new reversemarginal
legendis in part defective,in the top segment. The argumentis rather
weak. No "independent"coinageofal-Mansris known;on the contrary,
thesilvercoinageofHamh ofthelate 640s and early650s, up to 655,is all
struckin the name of one or anotherAyybid,neverwiththe name of
al-Mansr(see note23). Al-Mansrwas in factneverreallyindependent;
ifcoins of Hamh betweenthe last Ayybidissue of655 and the Mongol
issue of 658 turnup, theywill veryprobablybear the name of al-Nsir
Ysuf,like the coins of 655. If any coins were struckafterthe Mongols
were drivenout of the city by Qu^uz, they would probablyhave borne
that Mamlk'sname, eitheralone or withal-Mansr. In the lattercase,
a reversewith al-Mansr'sname could have been reused forthe issue
with Baybars, but there would have been no need to reut the die.

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178

Michael L. Bates

Whetherthe dies forthe two sides of the coin were struckby two differentengraversis not evident,althoughpossible; Berman must have
had in mind the fact that the letteringof the obverse is ratherthick
in comparisonto that of the reverse. Otherwise,the epigraphyof both
sides is the usual mid-thirteenth-century
SyrianAyybidstyle. As for
the inscriptionof the top reversemarginalsegment,it is not defective;
ratherit is engravedin a fashionfrequentlyencounteredon thirteenthcenturySyriandirhams:the letterh of ilh is formedas an undulating
curve,with a break at the highestpoint of the curve which causes the
end of the letterto appear to be a separate letter,somethinglike r'
Whetheror not the die was reused froma hypotheticalearlierissue,
thereis no evidencethat it was reut.
43. Withoutmintname or date. The ANS example of this half-dirham
issue varies slightlyfromthe two examples illustratedin MSES , pl. 3,
in havingthe alif of al-Zhirat the end of the firstline,like MSES 68.
The lion to leftwas inadvertentlyomittedfromthe descriptionof this
issue in MSES .
*44. Withoutmintname or date. A new ANS example of this dirham
(2.75 g; 22 mm) shows the lion clearly full-face,a characteristicof
Syrian issues.
46. AL-QHIRA, 660. Two specimens in the ANS have the word
amir below, not at the end of,the last line of the reverse,and have no
marginallegend at the bottomof the field;on both,the mintname alQhira is visible. It should be noted that several of the specimens
cited in MSES under this numberhave no legible date and could as
well be 659 as 660.
*47. DIMASHQ, 659 or 660. The unique Paris dirham cited under
this numberin MSES has the word amir below the reversefield,like
certainCairo dirhamsjust described. An ANS dirham(2.73 g; 23 mm)
also has this feature,and in additionhas the mintformulabeginningon
the rightside, not the left. The mintis not visible,but the full-facelion
on the obverse suggestsDamascus. In sum, the dirhamis probablya
duplicate of the Paris coin, for the original catalogue descriptionof
the latterdoes not say, as Balog does, that the mintformulabeginson
the left.
*49. HALAB, date missing. The only example of this issue cited by
Balog, an ANS dirham,has no trace of marginallegends,but a second

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Mamlk Sultan Baybars I

179

example acquired by the ANS sinceBalog wrote(2.30 g; 22 mm) shows


the mint name Halab, Aleppo, in the obverse marginfollowedby uncertainletterswhichmay be the beginningof al-marsa; on the reverse
the words l ilh illa Allah are visible.
mentionedunderthis
50. Withoutmintor date. The ANS half-dirham
number differsfrom the general descriptionin having the obverse
marginallegend begin at the top, like the half-dirhamsMSES 43 and
68.
53. DIMASHQ, 674. Balog lists only one dirhamunder this number,
but the ANS dirham (3.01 g; 22 mm) listed under number54a is no
doubt also of this year.
54M. DIMASHQ, 676. Althoughno dirhamof this year with a fully
legibledate has been recorded,the coins with only the digitsix legible,
under number54a, are no doubt of this year.
*58M. DIMASHQ, DHITL-HIJJA 667. The ANS dirhamto whichBalog
assigned the number63 should instead be given this numberto put it
in its properplace in the sequence; fora reexaminationofthe coin shows
in the margin at bottom and rightthe words . . .ja sana sab' wa-/
sittn wa- . . ., that is, Dhul-Hijja 667. The digit could as well be
read tis' nine, but the point visible below it is probably sufficient
evidence for the reading suggestedhere. An extraneousmark above
the decade misleadinglysuggeststhe readingsab' ri. The coin is pierced.
63. To be deleted; see no. 58M above.
63M. HALAB, 675. Mayer mentions a dirham of this mint and,
tentatively,this date, whichis not recordedby Balog, perhapsbecause
the descriptioncan no longerbe confirmed.If Mayer's informationis
correct,the coin was similarto the Damascus issues of the same period.
64. HAMH, 666. On the ANS coin (2.82 g; 23 mm) which uniquely
supportsthis mint and date, the mint name is not visible, although
the attributionis no doubt correct. The descriptiongiven forMSES
64 must be a compositefromnos. 64-66 and 66a. Note the correction
made by Balog, M SE S Add, p. 119: Ahmad, not bn, in the thirdline of
the reverse. Accordingto Balog, who followsLane-Poole on this, the
caliph's title on these coins is al-Hkim billh instead of the correctalHkim bi-AmrAllh. In fact, on the ANS coin ( MSES 64) only the
firsttwo letters,b'-alif, of the terminationare visible, permittingno
conclusionon the reading. On neitherof the two Paris specimenswhich

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180

Michael Lu Bates

support MSES 65 is the caliph's title visible, judging by Lavoix's


description. On the British Museum dirham under MSES 66 ( BMC
Oriental 4, no. 482, pl. 6), one can read either form of the title,
despite Lane-Poole's categoricalassertionthat the title is billh. Of
the 17 ANS dirhamsof this issue, only 2 show this portionof the title;
on both it is bi-AmrAllah. An examination of the illustratedcoin
(no. 66a; 3.30 g; 22 mm)willshowthat the alif ofAllh is writtendirect. If these words are
ly above and almost touchingthe mm of bi-Amr
as
on
the
British
Museum
dirham,it is easy to imagonlyfaintlyvisible,
ine that one could read billh; but when the title is fullyvisible it is
always bi-AmrAllah.
65K. HAMH, (66)9. Mayer33mentionsa coin of this mintwith the
digit tis*visible. Althoughhe also says the mint-dateformulawas in
the margin,which does not accord with his ascriptionto Hamh, it
is more likelythat he was mistakenas to the marginthan in reading
the mint.
*65P. HAMH, (67)1. The ANS has a coin, similarto MSES 64-66,
with the digit aljtadvisible (2.72 g; 23 mm). Anotherwas mentioned
by Mayer,with no. 65K above.
66M. HAMH, (67)4. A dirham with the digit arba' is mentioned
by Mayer.34In this instancethe coin is said to have the mintand date
below the field.
*67. HARRN ( ?), date missing. Balog read Hamh on the unique
ANS coin ofthisissue (illustratedhereforthe firsttime,2.88 g; 21 mm),
but the small visible portion of the mint name does not supportthis
reading very well. Moreover,the coin differsfromall other securely
recordedissuesofHamh in havingthe mint-dateformulain the margin,
not above and belowthe reversefieldlegends. Harrnis verytentatively
proposed. In the descriptionin MSES9 the name Ahmad should be
added at the end of the thirdline of the reversefield.
has the full*68. Withoutmintor date. This unique ANS half-dirham
face lion characteristicof Syria.
33Mayer,p. 169,no. 7b.
34Mayer,
p. 168,no.3.

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Mamlk Sultan Baybars I

181

77A. "AL-QH1RA, 659." The unique dirhampublishedby Bacharach


and recordedin MSESAdd underthis numberis to be reassignedto the
period 665-69,as argued above, p. 165.
78-80. "AL-QHIRA, 662-64." These entriesshould be deleted from
the corpus. They are supportedonly by dates listed by Mayer,35but
in fact Mayer's descriptionis deliberatelyambiguous so as to apply
to all Cairo dirhamsof 660-76: He does not indicatewherethe marginal
legend begins,and says that some of the dirhamsUsted under his de"
scriptionhave the words "din al-aqq (like MSES 72-77) and some
do not (like MSES 78-92). Thus Mayer's dirhams of 662 could be,
and probablywere,like MSES 75; those of 663 should be assignedto
MSES 74 or 76, and those of 664 to MSES 77. The deletionof MSES
78-80 eliminatesthe chronologicaloverlap of Balog's variety C with
the two earliervarieties.
86. AL-QHIRA, 670. The ANS owns two dirhamswith this date
followedby the word hijriyya. Probably all dirhamswith this word at
the right,like MSES 92, shouldbe assignedto thisyear. See the dinars
of 660, above, no. 38.
92. Missingdate,withhijriyya: To be deletedas suggestedabove, no. 86.
Dirhams with hijriyyacannot be assigned to 660, forin that year the
arrangementof the marginal legend was different.
95. No mint or date. As may be seen on MSES , pl. 4, Baybars's
heraldic lion should appear in the descriptionbelow the obverse field
legends.
98. Mint and date missing,if any. Balog's descriptionomitsthe words
Rukn al-DIn which are foundin the trianglesto left and rightof the
central cartouche. As he noted in MSESAdd , the attributionof this
issue and MSES 99 to Damascus is unfounded.
*102M. No mint or date. The ANS owns yet anothervariant of the
type representedby MSES 101, 102, and 102A whichis like 102 except
in havingthe name Baybars at the end of the thirdline o the reverse.
The name is spelled with alif, BBRS , instead of the usual BBRS
foundon all othercoins of Baybars (1.91 g; 17 mm).
36Mayer,p. 170,no. 9.

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23

Coinage of Baybars I

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