English edition  
May  2006
176 pp.
124 b/w 
15X23 cm
ISBN 9789774249303
For sale worldwide

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Islamic History through Coins

An Analysis and Catalogue of Tenth-Century Ikhshidid Coinage Jere L. Bacharach

An investigation of what historians can learn through the study of coins

What can one discover through the study of medieval Islamic coins? It appears that the regular gold dinars and silver dirhams issued by the Ikhshidid rulers of Egypt and Palestine (935–69) followed a series of understood but unwritten rules. As the first part of this book reveals, these norms involved whose names could appear on the regular currency, where the names could be placed (based upon a strict hierarchical order), and even which parts of a Muslim name could be included. The founder of the dynasty, Muhammad ibn Tughj, could use the honorific al-Ikhshid; his eldest son and successor could use his teknonym Abu al-Qasim; his brother, the third ruler, could use only his name Ali; and the eunuch Kafur, effective ruler of Egypt for over twenty years, could never inscribe his name on the regular coinage. At the same time, each one of these rulers was named in the Friday sermon and most had their teknonym inscribed on textiles. Presentation coins, the equivalent of modern commemorative pieces, could break all these rules, and a wide variety of titles appeared, as well as a series of coins with human representation. The second half of the book is a catalogue of over 1,200 specimens, enabling curators, collectors, and dealers to identify coins in their own collections and their relative rarity. Throughout the book numismatic pieces are illustrated, along with commentary on their inscriptions, layout, and metallic content.

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Jere L. Bacharach is emeritus professor of Middle Eastern history at Washington University. He is the editor of The Restoration and Conservation of Islamic Monuments in Egypt (AUC Press, 1995) and Fustat Finds: Beads, Coins, Medical Instruments, Textiles, and Other Artifacts from the Awad Collection (AUC Press, 2001).

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"This superb, slender and elegant volume is a kind of study that is much-needed in the field of monetary history."—Timothy Crafter, University of Oxford

"This is a very important work, not only for its compilation of all types of Ikhshidid coinage known to the author, but also for its extraordinary analysis of Ikhshidid history. I can strongly recommend adding the book to any library of Islamic numismatics or Islamic history."—Oriental Numismatic Society's Newsletter

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Also available by this author

Fustat Finds ISBN 9789774243936
The Restoration and Conservation of Islamic Monuments in Egypt ISBN 9789774243561
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