coinage of the second Saffarid dynasty in Sistan

Walker, John, 1900-1964
Numismatic Notes and Monographs
American Numismatic Society
New York
Worldcat Works




Open access edition funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Humanities Open Book Program.


Table of Contents




By John Walker

In 1877 when Lane-Poole published vol. III of his Catalogue of Oriental Coins the British Museum contained only 14 specimens of the coinage of the Saffarid Governors in Sistan (A.H. 296–399, A.D. 908–1008). This number has since been more than trebled, which is by far the largest collection of these rare coins in any museum. The additional examples have come from two private collections, namely, (1) that of Mr. G. P. Tate and (2) that of Lt. Col. Sir A. H. McMahon. Although the late Dr. Oliver Codrington published a few cursory notes on most of these in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1905 (pp. 549–551) and 1911 (pp. 781–3) respectively, he had to confess his inability to read certain of the marginal legends, which had likewise puzzled Lane-Poole. After a careful examination of the assembled material I have managed to decipher these, and as one of them reveals a Koranic text hitherto unknown to Muhammadan Numismatics it provides additional reason for publication. Besides, there are important questions of chronology and attribution involved, and so in the hope of throwing some light on such, I have considered it advisable to collect all the known numismatic data surviving of what is, I am afraid, somewhat arbitrarily termed, the Second Saffarid Dynasty in Sistan.

No attempt has yet been made to assemble the fragmentary information existing in historical records concerning these rulers, regarding whom there has been what amounts to a conspiracy of silence. Juzjani, the author of the Tabakat-i-Nasiri, actually passes over all mention of them although he deals with the First Saffarid Dynasty as well as with the later rulers of Nimruz or Sistan. In the Encyclopædia of Islam there is but a brief account of some of these princes by Büchner in his articles on Sistan and Samanids, while Haig's article on the Saffarids dismisses them in a sentence. Lane-Poole's Mohammadan Dynasties (1894) is strangely devoid of specific mention of any of the members of this dynasty, although it does refer in a footnote (p. 130) to the historical résumé contained in Sauvaire's Lettre sur un fels Saffaride. This omission however is rectified by Zambaur in his Manuel de Généalogie (pp. 200–1) where a list is given of the successive rulers of Sistan during this period, as well as a useful genealogical table and bibliography. The skeleton table of the dynasty which I subjoin has been largely based on this, and to a lesser degree on Justi's Iranisches Nahmenbuch (1895, p. 439) although the transliteration of the Arabic proper names is necessarily different. I have also included in this series the coins of the two rebellious governors Kathir ibn Ahmad (No. 4) and Husain ibn Tahir (No. 55).

A brief historical synopsis of events is no doubt desirable. The First Saffarid Dynasty was founded by a quondam bandit leader Ya'kub the son of al-Laith surnamed the Coppersmith (al-Saffar), who contrived to gain possession of Sistan c. A.H. 253, A.D. 867. He was succeeded in turn by his brother 'Amr and the latter's grandson Tahir, under whom the First Dynasty may be said to have terminated A.H. 296, A.D. 908. These three rulers are indicated on the accompanying table as A. B. and C. The members of what may be called the Second Saffarid Dynasty struggled during the following century to recapture and maintain their hold on Sistan. Of the six rulers (marked 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 on the table) we possess coins of four besides the issues of the two usurpers above mentioned.

Although it is with their period of unstable tenure that we are here concerned, yet a rough tabulation of the coins of the First Saffarid Dynasty in the British Museum (12 of which are so far uncatalogued) may provide a useful approach to the subject proper. [B.M.C. = British Museum Catalogue, vol. II, or vol. IX; N.C. = not catalogued. In each case I have indicated the appearance on the obverse or the reverse of the name of the 'Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad, the nominal overlord, and/or of the Saffarid Ruler. V. = Vasmer: Über die Münzen der Soffariden und ihrer Gegner in Fars und Hurasan in Numismatische Zeitschrift, Vienna, 1930, pp. 131–162.]

At the period with which we are dealing the 'Abbasid Caliphate at Baghdad had fallen on evil days. Although the name of the Caliph is placed on their coins by the various independent Saffarid, Samanid, Buwaihid and Ghaznavid rulers of the day, his over-lordship was seldom more than a polite figment. The following is a list of the Caliphs of Baghdad who are recognized on the coins of the Saffarid governors (of the first and second dynasties).

al-Mu'tamid 'ala'llah. A.H. 256–279 A.D. 870–892
al-Mu'tadid billah. 279–289 892–902
al-Muktafi billah 289–295 902–908
al-Muktadir billah 295–320 908–932
al-Kahir billah 320–322 932–934
al-Radi billah 322–329 934–940
al-Muttaki lillah 329–333 940–944
al-Mustakfi billah 333–334 944–946
al-Muti' lillah 334–363 946–974
al-Ta'i' lillah 363–381 974–991
al-Kadir billah 381–422 991–1031

Zambaur in his Contributions pt. I p. 14 makes the erroneous statement that Tahir, the grandson of 'Amr, was carried off to Baghdad (288) and assassinated (289, A.D. 902) although he is aware (cf. his footnote ibid.) that the coins flatly contradict this. In the same article he praises the succinct account of the Saffarids given by Müller in his Der Islam im Morgen- und Abendland. It looks very much as if he has been misled by Müller's statement (p. 34): "Ssedschestan allein überliess Motadid dem Tahir , einem Enkel des Amr ; dieser selbst ward 288 (901) nach Bagdad geschafft und kurz nach dem Tode des Chalifen (289 = 902) im Gefängnisse umgebracht." Obviously he has confused Tahir with his grandfather 'Amr who was put to death in that year. (Justi wrongly dates his death as A.D. 908.) In Ibn al-Athir (VIII, 42) we read of Tahir's capture by his adversary Subkari (سبكرى) and his being sent along with his brother Ya'kub to the Caliph Muktadir at Baghdad. According to the same historian (VIII, 100) we find Tahir and Ya'kub being invested with robes of honour by the same Caliph in the year 310. 1

However with the capture of Tahir and his brother Ya'kub the First Dynasty may be said to have ended, although Ya'kub's son 'Amr, as we shall see, was recognized in 300, A.D. 912 for a brief nine months

First Saffarid Dynasty
Metal Mint Year Reference Obverse Reverse
Ya'kub ibn al-Laith (253–265) A.D. 867–879
يعقوب بن الليث
image Ahwaz 264 N.C. = V. 10 al-Amir Ya'kub al-Mu'tamid 'ala'llah
image Banjahir 260 B.M.C. = V. 3 Ya'kub al-Mu'tamid 'ala'llah
image Faris 264 B.M.C. = V. 6 Ya'kub al-Mu'tamid 'ala'llah
'Amr ibn al-Laith (265–288) A.D. 879–900
عمرو بن الليث
Jannaba 275 B.M.C. = V. 36 al-Muwaffak billah 'Amr ibn al-Laith 2 al-Mu'tamid 'ala'llah Ahmad son of al-Muwaffak billah
image Arrajan 275 B.M.C. = V. 37 al-Muwaffak billah 'Amr ibn al-Laith al-Mu'tamid 'ala'llah Ahmad son of al-Muwaffak billah
image Shiraz 280 N.C. = V. 46 'Amr ibn al-Laith al-Mu'tadid billah
image Shiraz 281 N.C. = V. 53 'Amr ibn al-Laith al-Mu'tadid billah
image Faris 267 N.C. = V. 23 al-Muwaffak billah 'Amr al-Mu'tamid 'ala' llah
image Faris 273 N.C. = V. 33 al-Mu'tamid 'ala'llah Muhammad ibn 'Amr 3 al-Mu'tamid 'ala' llah 'Amr ibn al-Laith
image Nisabur 269 N.C. = V. 15 al-Muwaffak billah Mansur 4 al-Mu'tamid 'ala'llah 'Amr
image Nisabur 282 N.C. = V. 65 Abu Hafs 'Amr ibn al-Laith 5 al-Mu'tadid billah
Tahir ibn Muhammad (288–296) A.D. 900–908
طاهر بن محمد
image Madinat Zaranj 295 B.M.C. = V. 84 al-kadr lillah 6 al-Muktafi billah Tahir ibn Muhammad
image Faris 290 N.C. = V. 74 Tahir ibn Muhammad al-Muktafi billah
image Faris 291 N.C. = V. 75 Tahir ibn Muhammad al-Muktafi billah
image Faris 292 N.C. = V. 76 Tahir ibn Muhammad al-Muktafi billah
image Faris 293 N.C. = V. 77 Tahir ibn Muhammad al-Muktafi billah
image Faris 294 B.M.C. = V. 78 Tahir ibn Muhammad al-Muktafi billah
image Faris 295 N.C. = V. 79 Tahir ibn Muhammad al-Muktafi billah
image Faris 296 B.M.C. = V. 86 Tahir ibn Muhammad al Muktadir billah
7 by the insurgents in Sistan; while his daughter Banu was the mother of Khalaf, the most distinguished member of the Second Dynasty.

Genealogical Table of First and Second Saffarid Dynasties


Ibn al-Athir (VIII, 43,44) tells us that in 297, A.D. 909 Laith ibn 'Ali advanced into the rich province of Fars and drove Subkari off to Arrajan. When the tidings reached Baghdad however, the Caliph sent a punitive force under Munis, who successfully routed the troops from Sistan, captured their leader Laith, and carried him off to Baghdad. There are but three coins extant of his mintage. The one in the British Museum (No. 3), although dated 298, A.D. 910 may have been issued from the town of Bust before the news of the recent defeat had arrived or, more probably, as an expression of the citizens' loyalty to their captive prince. 8

Mu'addal, a brother of Laith, succeeded him as Sahib or Master of Sistan (in 298, A.D. 910), and the same year witnessed the advance of the Samanid 9 power from Bukhara under Husain ibn 'Ali the general of Ahmad ibn Isma'il. A third brother Muhammad was ordered to protect the territory around the towns of Bust and al-Rukhkhaj in the forefront of the invading forces. The Samanid general was victorious however, and when Mu'addal learned of the defeat and capture of his brother Muhammad, he capitulated. It is not known whether he issued any coins during his brief period of government.

One of the first things the Samanid Amir Ahmad did after the surrender of Mu'addal was to appoint Mansur ibn Ishak (his cousin) as Governor of Sistan for the Samanids. But the country was far from pacified. In 300, A.D. 912 a religious sectarian (one of the ubiquitous Khawarij), named Ibn Hurmuz, provoked a popular rising in favour of the Saffarids. Under a powerful adventurer named Ibn-al-Haffar they seized control, imprisoned the Samanid Governor Mansur and offered Sistan with their allegiance to 'Amr, the son of their captive prince Ya'kub.

This led to a second invasion of the land on the part of the Samanid general Husain ibn 'Ali who this time besieged the capital Zaranj for nine months. Whether it was the premature decease of their religious instigator Ibn Hurmuz, or the rigours of the siege, at all events 'Amr and his generalissimo Ibn al-Haffar sued for terms. In the rôle of captives they pass from the pages of history and a new Samanid Governor Simjur al-Dawati (سيمجور الدواتى) was appointed over Sistan. It is not surprising that there is no numismatic evidence known of this disastrous revolt.

In the year 301, A.D. 913 the Samanid ruler, Ahmad ibn Isma'il, was assassinated, leaving behind him as heir Nasr, his eight year old son. The masterly fashion in which the delicate situation of the succession was handled on behalf of this terror-stricken child by a scion of the Saffarid family named Ahmed ibn Muhammad, who was at the time prefect (متولى امر) in Bukhara, 10 was destined to be rewarded some years later as we shall see. But in the meantime, the Samanid dynastic crisis led to the withdrawal from Sistan of Simjur al-Dawati and the occasion was apparently seized by the Caliph Al-Muktadir to appoint his own representative Badr al-Kabir as governor of the land (Ibn al Athir VIII, 59).

Sistan at this period was never destined to be long at peace. In 304, A.D. 916 a usurper, named Kathir ibn Ahmad, 11 apparently not a member of the Saffarid family, rose in revolt, an act which at once called for reprisals from Baghdad. An army from Fars almost defeated Kathir, but when the inhabitants of Sistan heard that the Caliph's envoy Zaid was bringing chains and fetters for their chief men and increased taxation for themselves, they joined with Kathir, repulsed the Caliph's forces and took Zaid prisoner ignominiously. Kathir wrote to the Caliph to exculpate himself and laid the blame on the people. The Caliph's answer was to order Badr ibn 'Abdallah, the Governor of Fars, to advance in person with his troops against Sistan. On hearing this Kathir in apprehension hastened to agree to terms, an annual payment of 500,000 dirhams and the recognition of his status as Governor in Sistan [Ibn al-Athir, VIII, 77]. We have no record of the length of his governorship but coin no. 4 indicates his presence in power two years later (306, A.D. 918).

Sauvaire 12 on the supposed authority of Ibn al-Athir discovers a new Governor of Sistan for the year 307 named 'Amr ibn al-Laith. His error has arisen through failing to understand the passage in Ibn al-Athir (VIII, 86, 87). The Arabic historian under the year 307, A.D. 919, is recounting the story of Ahmad ibn Sahl, the quondam representative of 'Amr ibn al-Laith at Marw, whom 'Amr had arrested and carried off to imprisonment in Sistan. Sauvaire failed to observe that Ibn al-Athir, as the latter expressly states (p. 86 ونحن نذكر حاله من اوّله), is relating Ahmad's history anterior to the year 307 and that the 'Amr ibn al-Laith who is mentioned, is none other than the second ruler of the First Saffarid dynasty who, as we saw above, was assassinated at Baghdad in 289, A.D. 901.

In 310 13 the Samanid overlord, Nasr, having now reached his majority, demonstrated his gratitude to Ahmad ibn Muhammad, the Saffarid vassal who had supported his claim to the throne of his father, by appointing him Governor of Sistan. It was a popular choice, since the Sistanese, constantly disaffected at this period, welcomed the return of a member of the Saffarid ruling house. It is ten years later (320, A.D. 932) however, before any numismatic evidence of his rule is forthcoming. Thereafter until his death c. A.H. 349, A.D. 960 his name appears fairly regularly on the coinage of Sistan.

That it was some years before Ahmad established his position as governor of Sistan may be gathered from the scanty references of the historians supplemented by the contemporary records of the coins. We know that in the year A.H. 316, A.D. 928, 14 a nameless Kharijite, or religious sectarian, intended to march an army from Sistan into the province of Fars but before he reached there he was put to death by his own partisans and the expedition abandoned. We also learn from the same source (VIII, p. 164) that in 318, A.D. 930 the Caliph al-Muktadir appointed his son Harun as Governor of Fars, Kirman, Sistan and Makran, while in the following year (319, A.D. 931) we find him investing Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Yakut with the governorship of Sistan (ibid p. 165). The coins however tell us nothing about these.

On the other hand certain coins of 320–321, A.D. 932 besides bearing the name of Ahmad ibn Muhammad also preserve for us another name, that of al-Husain ibn Bilal who is apparently otherwise unknown in historical documents. Prof. Vasmer of Leningrad, who has given me the benefit of his advice on the matter, informs me that about twelve years ago he lost much time in perusing certain oriental writers in the hope of finding something concerning this personage, but without success. So for the present, at any rate, al-Husain ibn Bilal must remain an enigma. Whoever he may have been, the year 321 saw his name displaced on the coins by that of Abu Ja'far (or Father of Ja'far) which was the additional name or kunya of Ahmad ibn Muhammad with reference to his son Ja'far.

There are many points of interest about the coinage of Ahmad ibn Muhammad. One is the presence of the name Khalaf. This occurs with and without the name of the governor himself Ahmad ibn Muhammad, and his kunya Abu Ja'far. Khalaf was both the name of his grandfather and of his celebrated son who succeeded him. Perhaps the appearance of the name on the early gold coins (nos. 5, 6, 7) may be accounted for by the fact that Ahmad's son Khalaf was born about that time (326, A.D. 937). Another interesting point, of historical importance, is to be seen in nos. 20, 41 and 42. The last two coins unmistakably have the date 346, in spite of the fact that Codrington declared it illegible, while no. 20, a fragment in the Ermitage, is of the year 349. They are issued in the name of Ahmad ibn Muhammad, with the Caliph's name and that of Khalaf. Zambaur gives 344, A.D. 955 as approximately the last year of Ahmad's reign, but these coins definitely prove that he was alive and in power at all events as late as 349, A.D. 960. The re-appearance of the name Khalaf at this late date seems to indicate the ascription of a certain measure of political prominence to the heir apparent. But in what year the latter succeeded his father is still wrapped in obscurity. We know from history 15 that Ahmad's son Khalaf was restored to the governorship of Sistan in the year 353, A.D. 964 by the Samanid Mansur ibn Nuh, but the earliest extant examples of his coinage are more than ten years later (nos. 43, 49). In view of these facts it is not at all improbable that Ahmad died c. 353, A.D. 964.

Codrington (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1911, p. 782) mentions a bronze coin of Ahmad ibn Muhammad with the obverse "filled with a star of six leaves radiating from a central circle with pellets between the rays and a marginal circle of annulets between two of plain lines." He read the date as 338. Unfortunately he did not illustrate this and it is not among the coins from the McMahon Collection that were presented to the British Museum. Its present whereabouts is unknown to me. But judging by his description of the obverse, I have no hesitation in asserting that the coin in question is not Saffarid but 'Abbasid, in fact similar in character if not in date to the one published by Lavoix, Cat. des Monnaies musulmanes vol. I, Paris 1887, No. 1593, plate IX, and minted at Sijistan A.H. 194.

Khalaf ibn Ahmad, the next Saffarid governor, has left behind him the reputation of being one of the most enlightened men of his generation. 16 Yakut (III, p. 44) gives his name as Abu Ahmad Khalaf ibn Ahmad ibn Khalaf ibn al-Laith ibn Farkad al-Sijizi, but in so doing he omits several generations (see table above p. 9). He also tells us that besides being a king (ملك) in Sistan, he was amongst the most learned and honourable of men. Al-Biruni 17 in mentioning a certain contretemps between him and his Samanid overlord, Nuh ibn Mansur records the fact that Khalaf had the title of Wali al-Daula (ولى الدولة), which agrees with the Berlin specimen given below (no. 56). His relations with the Samanid power were always rather strained, and the internal politics of Sistan seldom left him much certainty of security of tenure; even his sons as we shall see plotted against him. Finally succumbing before the advance of the great Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna in 393, A.D. 1002, he lingered for a few more years, and died in A.H. 399 (A.D. 1008).

A brief account of the main events of his exciting reign may serve as a setting for the few surviving coins of this period described below. Not long after his accession in 353, Khalaf left the government in the hands of a relative by marriage, named Tahir ibn Husain, and went off on pilgrimage as a pious Moslem, to Mecca. On his return in the following year (354) he was ousted by Tahir, who had fomented a revolt against him. With the help of Mansur ibn Nuh, the Samanid ruler at Bukhara, he managed to regain possession of his domain for a short time, but a second revolt sent him again seeking aid from Bukhara. Tahir at this crucial moment died, to be succeeded by his son, Husain, who carried on the rebellion, and a specimen of whose gold coinage is described below (no. 55). Khalaf, however, once more won back his kingdom and Husain was forced to retire for the time being to the Samanid court. For some time all was well, but as soon as Khalaf stopped sending tribute money and robes of honour to his Samanid overlord, he found the old civil strife resumed, this time with the Samanid forces in league with the former usurping governor Husain ibn Tahir. Khalaf found himself besieged by them in his citadel at Zaranj for a period of seven years. At length the Samanid ruler Nuh ibn Mansur, sent the famous general Abu'l-Hasan, son of the Simjur al-Dawati mentioned above, to end the protracted campaign. The latter who was friendly with Khalaf devised with him a strategic move which completely succeeded in defeating Husain ibn Tahir and once more leaving Khalaf in undisputed possession of Sistan.

But his dynastic troubles were not at an end. One of his sons 'Amr, who had suffered an ignominious defeat at the hands of the Buwaihid governor of Kirman, and had returned in disgrace to Sistan, was imprisoned and, for some unknown reason, put to death by his father's orders in A.H. 382, A.D. 992. Another son, called Tahir, revolted against Khalaf in A.H. 391, A.D. 1000, who once more found himself taking refuge in one of his citadels. By means of an act of treachery he captured his unfilial son in an ambush and according to one account is said to have killed him with his own hands. It seems a most inhuman act for one who was renowned for his piety and learning. Hence the importance of the unique coin in the Ermitage (no. 57) which, although the mint and date are both unfortunately missing, must have been issued by Tahir ibn Khalaf after 393— since it bears the name of Mahmud—the year in which Sistan was irrevocably wrenched from Khalaf and he was driven into retirement until he died in 399. If these facts are so, then Tahir must have survived his unsuccessful mutiny. According to the his-torians, however, Khalaf was succeeded either by another son, named Abu Hafs, or by a grandson named Tahir. But it is difficult to explain away the coin evidence, which clearly indicates that Tahir, Khalafs son, issued coins, presumably in Sistan, with the name of the Caliph al-Kadir and also that of his overlord Mahmud of Ghazna.

One interesting result of a fresh study of these coins has been the elucidation of a hitherto unrecorded coin legend. It is found on the gold coins of Khalaf (nos. 50, 51, 52, 53) and by patching together the fragments I have been able to read it as follows:

وَ مَنْ يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأولَئِك هُمُ المُفْلِحُونَ

This is the end of a verse which occurs twice in the Koran (LIX, 9 and LXIV, 16) and may be translated as follows: "And those who are saved from their own covetousness shall be prosperous." Prof. Vasmer, to whom I communicated my reading, has written to me expressing his agreement. In order to illustrate, and justify, my decipherment of the above legend, and also of the one on the bronze coins (nos. 23, 24 and 30), it is perhaps advisable to tabulate the examples as follows to show how the remnants of one legend supplement the other.

no.23 image

no.24 image

no.30 image

koran xxx.3. لله الامر من قبل ومن بعد

no.50 image

no.51 image

no.52 image

no.53 image

koren Lix.9.شح نفسه فاولئك هم المفلحون (or ومن يوق (يق

End Notes

* In the transliteration of Arabic words a very simplified form has been adopted. An apostrophe has been employed to mark that consonant which is so characteristic of Semitic languages, the 'ain. Apart from this no ligatures or logotypes have been used, and no attempt has been made to indicate long vowels. To have followed any precise system would have involved much additional expenditure that would not have been counterbalanced by any great gain in general accuracy.I am indebted to the authorities of the Kaiser Friedrich Museum, Berlin, and of the Ermitage, Leningrad, for permission to publish certain coins in their cabinets.In the publishing of this monograph I have been very generously assisted in the presentation of the material in typescript and the correction of proofs by Mr. Howland Wood. To him, and to the Publications Committee of the American Numismatic Society, are due my sincerest thanks.
1 These seem to be the same two persons, pace Raverty, Tabakat-i-Nasiri (Bibliotheca Indica) London 1881 I, p. 185, who regards them as grandsons of Laith ibn 'Ali.
2 Al-Muwaffak was the brother and the associate of the Caliph al-Mu'tamid. The name of his son Ahmad, who succeeded his uncle as the next Caliph al-Mu'tadid, appears on the reverse.
3 Muhammad 'Amr's son died in 274 in retreating from the Caliph's army (Ibn al-Athir VII, 298).
4 Abu Talha Mansur, the representative of 'Amr.
5 'Amr is here given the additional name (or kunya) of Abu Hafs, i.e., Father of Hafs, his son.
6 I.e., fate rests with Allah. Lane Poole read it as alkudra lillah which would be "Power belongs to Allah" and his reading is naturally repeated by Vasmer.
7 See note in Tiesenhausen's article in the Numismatische Zeitschrift, III, p. 178; see also footnote below p. 16. Justi's genealogy is erroneous in this branch.
8 He died in 317 A.D. 929, see Vasmer, p. 154.
9 The Samanids, originally governors in Transoxania, founded a powerful dynastic line whose dominion embraced the greater part of modern Iran. Their sway lasted from A.D. 874–999 after which they were displaced by the Buwaihids. They did much to foster a Persian national literature and were the patrons of great physicians and philosophers such as Avicenna (Ibn Sina) and Rhazes (al-Razi). From their capital Bukhara they maintained a strong opposition to the Caliph at Baghdad whose overlordship was purely nominal.
10 Ibn al Athir (VIII, 58) calls him simply Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Laith thus omitting several stages in his genealogy (see table on page 9).
11 There is no reason why the name should be read in a diminutive form as is done by Lane-Poole (Kutheyyir) and by Weil in his Geschichte der Chali'en (Kutheir).
12 Num. Chron. 1881, p. 132. "Ebn al Atir nous apprend implicitement."
13 Sachau, Verzeichnis p. 11 (based on the work of Munajjim Bashi). Büchner however, in the Encycl. of Islam, art Sistan p. 459 gives the date as 309.
14 Ibn al Athir VIII, 46.
15 B. de Jenisch: Historia Priorum Regum Persarum (ex Mirchond) Vienna, 1782, p. 107. A Mansuro, filio Nuhi, in regnum Sistaniae a.h. 353 et seq. restitutus. Hence no doubt, the date given in Justi for the beginning of Khalaf's reign, though he makes the latter the son of Ahmad ibn Isma'il who died in 942 (A.H. 331). This is obviously quite incorrect. See table above p. 9. The investiture of Khalaf by the Caliph is described by Ibn Miskawaih under the year 354 (quoted by Codrington, op. cit. 1911 p. 782).
16 "Une des gloires du Sedjestan" C. Barbier de Meynard: Dictionaire de la Perse, Paris, 1861 p. 305.
17 The Chronology of Ancient Nations, ed. Sachau, p. 330.


al-Laith ibn 'Ali

الليث بن علي

A.H. 296–298 = A.D. 908–910 [†A.H. 317]

1. (Madinat) Zaranj. A.H. 296 = A.D. 908. image

Fraehn: Recensio, p. 37, No. 8 = Vasmer 91.

2. Faris. A.H. 297 = A.D. 909. image

Lane-Poole in Numismatic Chronicle, 1892, p. 162 = V. 92.

Outside obv. and rev. margins:

بالنصر | والظفر | واليمن | والسعادة

With help and victory and success and happiness.

3. (Madinat) Bust. A.H. 298 = A.D. 910. image

1.05, wt. 40.2 grains (2.6 grams).

B. M. Cat., II, No. 250 = V. 93.

لا اله الا | الله وحده | لا شريك له | الليث بن على

There is no god except Allah alone. He has no associate. 18 al-Laith ibn ,Ali.

Inner margin:

بسم الله ضرب هذا الدرهم بمدينة بست سنة ثمان وتسعين ومائتين

In the name of Allah this dirham was minted in the town of Bust, in the year 298.

Outer margin:

لله الامر من قبل ومن بعد ويومئذ يفرح المؤمنون بنصر الله

Authority belongs to Allah before and after, and on that day the believers shall rejoice in the help of Allah (Koran XXX, 3, 4).

Rev. لله | محمد | رسول |الله | المقتدر بالله

To Allah! 19 Muhammad is the apostle of Allah. al-Muktadir billah (the Abassid Caliph at Baghdad who was nominal overlord).


محمد رسول الله ارسله بالهدى ودين الحق ليظهره على الدين كله ولو كره المشركون

Muhammad is the apostle of Allah, who has sent him with Guidance and the Religion of Truth that he may make it prevail over all religion, even if the syntheists 20 are averse (Koran IX, 33).

Plate I. 1

End Notes

18 Part of the Muslim credo. The latter part (taken from Koran VI, 163) is a direct hit at the Christian doctrine of the Trinity which Muhammad confused with some form of syntheism.

al-Mu'addal ibn 'Ali

المعدّل بن على

A.H. 298–299 = A.D. 910–911

No coins known.

End Notes

19 For a discussion of the meaning of the phrase see an article by the present writer in the Numismatic Chronicle, Fifth Series, XIV, p. 292.
20 Cf. note 18.

'Amr ibn Ya'kub

عمرو بن يعقوب

A. H. 300 = A.D. 912

No coins known.

Kathir ibn Ahmad

كثير بن احمد


c. A.H. 304–306 = A.D. 916–918

4. Sijistan. 21 A.H. 306. image

1.15, wt. 54.8 (3.55).

B. M. Cat., III, No. 29.

كثير بن احمد | بالعدل| as No. 3 | والوفا

As No. 3 but with name of Kathir ibn Ahmad and legend:—With equity and honesty.

Inner margin as No. 3, but

بسجستان سنة ست وثلثمائة

In Sijistan in the year 306.

Outer margin (Koran XXX, 3, 4).

Rev. Legends as on No. 3, but with * at bottom of centre legend.

Margin: (Koran IX, 33), as No. 3.

Plate I, 2

End Notes

21 I.e., Sistan or Seistan (Sakastana, the land of the Sakae) also called Nimruz ("mid-day" land, south of Khurasan). The chief mint was at the capital Zaranj.

(Abu Ja'far) Ahmad ibn Muhammad

احمد بن محمد

c. A.H. 310–349 (?) = A.D. 922–960 (?)

(a) Without the Caliph's name

5. Mint obliterated. A.H. 324, 7 or 9? 

0.45, wt. 11.7 (0.76).

B. M. Cat., III, No. 32. 22

There is no god except Allah alone. He hath no associate.

Margin: Date.

Rev. As No. 3, but the name of Khalaf added instead of that of the Caliph.

Margin: Part of Koran XXX, 3, partly cut off.

Plate I, 3

(b) With the Caliph's name

6. Zaranj. 23 A.H. 332? 

0.5, wt. 11.5 (0.75).

B. M. Cat., III, No. 30.

There is no god except Allah; Muhammad is the apostle of Allah.

Margin: Mint and date.

Rev. To Allah! Al-Muttaki lillah (i.e. the Abbasid Caliph) Khalaf.

Margin: As on No, 3, but only as far as "truth." (Koran IX, 33).

Plate I, 4

7. Zaranj. 23 A.H. 334. 

0.6, wt. 15.2 (0.98).

B. M. Cat., III, No. 31.

Same as No. 5 but last line Khalaf.


بسم الله ضرب هذا الدينر بزونج سنة اربع و ثلثن وثلثمائة

Rev. Muhammad is the apostle of Allah, and the name of the Abbasid Caliph al-Mustakfi-billah.

Margin as preceding.

Plate I, 5

8. Sijistan. A.H. 343.

0.9, wt. 33.2 (2.15). 24

Codrington (Tate). J. R. A. S. 1905, p. 549, illustrated in J. R. A. S. 1911, fig. 5.

There is no god etc. and with the names of al-Muti' lillah, the Abbasid Caliph, Ahmad ibn Muhammad and Khalaf.

Margin: As usual, but with mint name Sijistan and date 343.

Rev. Allah is one! Allah the Eternal! He begetteth not nor is He begotten, and there is none other like unto him. (Koran CXII, 1–4).

This is regarded as the quintessence of the Koranic teaching. It expressly attacks the Divinity of Christ. Because it appears so frequently on the coins of the Umaiyad Caliphs it is often reffered to as the Umaiyad symbol.

Margin as No. 3.

Plate I, 6

(a) With names of the Caliph, al-Husain ibn Bilal and Ahmad ibn Muhammad

9. Sijistan. A.H. 320. image

1.1, wt. 34.1 (2.21).

Ermitage, Leningrad. 25

As No. 3 but with name of al-Husain ibn Bilal.

Inner margin similar to above but with date 320.

Outer margin as No. 3, (Koran XXX, 3, 4).

Rev. As No. 3, but after the Caliph's name al-Muktadir that of Ahmad ibn Muhammad.

Margin as No. 3, (Koran, IX, 33).

Part of the coin is missing.

Plate II, 7

10. Sijistan. A.H. 321. image

1.25. Kaiser-Friedrich Museum, Berlin. See Weyl: Verzeichniss der Fonrobert'schen Sammlung. 1878, No. 6741, and Zeitschrift für Numismatik, Berlin, 1882, p. 16.

As above, but date 321.

Rev. As above, only with name of the Caliph al-Kahir billah.

There is an outer marginal band on both obverse and reverse.

Plate II, No. 8

10a. Mint and date cut off. image

0.7. Ermitage, Leningrad.

As No. 9, but the epigraphy of the governor's name more cursive.

Rev. As No. 9, but the epigraphy more cursive. This fragment, from which all marginal legends are cut off, was found, as Prof. Vasmer informs me, in the hoard of Berozy, district of Dmitrowsk, 1910. Since it bears the name of the Caliph Al-Muktadir it must be not later than 320.

Plate II, 8a

(b) With names of the Caliph, Abu Ja'far and Ahmad ibn Muhammad

11. Sijistan. A.H. 321. image

1.2, wt. 41.9 (2.72).

Ermitage = Markow p. 109, No. 1.

As above, but fourth line Abu Ja'far (i.e. the additional name or kunya of Ahmad ibn Muhammad). Date 321.

Rev. As above, but the Caliph's name indistinct.

Plate II, 9

This coin was described by Tiesenhausen (in Numismatische Zeitschrift III, p. 178 f.) who read the name as that of al-Radi billah although this Caliph did not begin to reign until 322. It might be read as al-Kahir billah.

12. Sijistan. A.H. 323. image

1.2, wt. 32.1 (2.08).

Ermitage = Markow, p. 109, No. 2.

As above but date 323.

Rev. As above but Caliph's name clearly al-Radi billah.

Fragmentary. This is Tiesenhausen (op. cit.) No. 22, p. 179.

Plate II, 10

13. Sijistan. A.H. 324. image

1.25, wt. 50.5 (3.27).

Ermitage = Markow, p. 109, No. 3.

As above but date 324.

Rev. As above.

Outer marginal band on obverse and reverse. This is Tiesenhausen (op. cit.) No. 23, p. 179.

Plate II, 11.

14. Another of same mint and date. image

1.25, wt. 35.1 (2.27).

Ermitage = Markow, p. 109, No. 4.

Plate II, 12

(c) With name of the Caliph, Ahmad (ibn Muhammad)

15. (Madinat) Sijistan (?) A.H. 343 or 346. image

0.65, wt. 5.9 (0.38).

B. M. (McMahon) unpublished. With name of the Caliph al-Muti'lillah.


سجستان (؟) سنة يد (؟) اربعين وثلثمائة

Rev. With name of Ahmad ibn Muhammad.


بسم الله ضرب هذا الد[رهم] بمدينة

The coin is of very thin fabric, and the marginal legend begins on the reverse and is continued on the obverse, which is most unusual.

Plate II, 13

16. No mint. A.H. 339. image

0.4, wt. 4.2 (0.27).

B. M. (McMahon), unpublished.

There is no god but Allah alone. He hath no associate.

Margin: Date 339.

Rev. With names of the Caliph al-Muti' and Ahmad.

Margin as on obverse.

Plate II, 14

17. No mint. A.H. 340. image

0.4, wt. 5.3 (0.34).

B. M. (McMahon) unpublished.

As above.

Margin as above but date 340.

Rev. As above.

Margin illegible.

Plate II, 15

18. No mint, date illegible. image

0.35, wt. 4.2 (0.27).

B. M. (McMahon) unpublished.

As above but margin illegible.

Rev. As above but margin illegible.

Plate II, 16

19. Mint and date illegible. image

0.35, wt. 4.6 (0.30).

B. M. (McMahon) unpublished.

As above.

Rev. As above.

The above unusual silver denominations are only known during this reign.

Plate II, 17

(d) With names of the Caliph, Khalaf and Ahmad ibn Muhammad

20. Sijistan. A.H. 349. image

Wt. 24.2 (1.59).

Fragment. Ermitage.

With names of the Caliph al-Muti', Ahmad ibn Muhammad and Khalaf.

Margin shows part of mint name and 49 of the year.

Rev. As on No. 8.

Margin: Part of Koran IX, 33, as on No. 3.

Plate II, 18

Prof. Vasmer informs me that this fragment is from a hoard found in 1923 at Vaskovo, district of Velikiya Luki, in the govt, of Pskov, N. W. Russia.

(a) With name of Khalaf

21. Sijistan. A.H. 3xx. 26 Æ

0.95, wt. 41.4 (2.68).

B.M. Cat., III, No. 33.

ولى (؟) | لا اله الا | الله وحده | لاشريك 27

له | ح ح

ح = initial letter of Khalaf (?).


بسم الله ضرب هذا [الفلسر? ] بسجستان

(sic) سنه ا ى ثلثين ثلثما ئة


لله | محمد | رسول | الله | خلف

Margin: Koran XXX, 3, 4, as on obverse of No. 3.

Plate III, 19

22. Sijistan. Date illegible. Pierced. Æ

1.05, wt. 39.5 (2.56).

B.M. (Tate) unpublished.

As above but not so clear in places.

Rev. As above.

Plate III, 20

(b) With name of Abu Ja'far Ahmad ibn Muhammad.

23. Zaranj. A.H. 327. Æ

0.8, wt. 24.3 (1.57).

Codrington (McMahon) No. 2, fig. 2.

As No. 11.

Margin with name of Zaranj and date.

Rev. As No. 11, but with the Caliph's name omitted.

Margin: Koran XXX, 3.

Plate III, 21

Codrington dates this 334, but the date is certainly either 327 or 329. As for the reverse margin, characteristic of the copper coins of this group, both Lane-Poole and Codrington considered the legend illegible. See page 21.

24. Zaranj. A.H. 327. Æ

0.85, wt. 27.6 (1.79).

B. M. (McMahon).

As above; date clearer. See page 21.

Plate III, 22

25. Zaranj. A.H. 328. Pierced. Æ

1, wt. 32.2 (2.09).

B. M. (McMahon).

As No. 16.

Margin: As above but date 328.

Rev. With name of Abu Ja'far.

Margin: (ordered by) the Amir Ahmad ibn Muhammad. May Allah magnify him.

Plate III, 23

26. Zaranj. A.H. 328. Æ

0.75, wt. 29.7 (1.92).

B.M. (McMahon). Codrington, fig. 3 (obv).

He was unable, however, to date coins of this type.

As above but in two lines, below, Abu Ja'far.

Margin as above.

Rev. As above.

Margin: Border of annulets.

Plate III, 24

27. Zaranj. A.H. 32[8?] Æ

0.85, wt. 34.8 (2.26).

B. M. (McMahon).

As above, but date not so clear.

Rev. As above.

Plate III, 25

28. Another probably of the same year. Æ

0.8, wt. 27.7 (1.79).

B. M. (McMahon).

As above.

Rev. As above but without لله at top.

Plate III, 26

29. No mint or date. Æ

0.85, wt. 40.4 (2.62).

B. M. (McMahon) Codrington, fig. 4.

This interesting freak combines the reverse of No. 27 with the reverse of No. 28.

Plate III, 27

(c) Without the name of the Caliph or Abu Ja'far

30. Zaranj. A.H. 319? or 329? Æ

0.85, wt. 30.4 (1.97).

B. M. (McMahon).

As No. 16.

Margin: (Within double circle and outer border of annulets) mint and date.

Rev. As No. 9, but with Caliph's name omitted.

Margin: Koran XXX, 3. See page 21.

Plate III, 28

(d) With the name of the Caliph and Ahmad ibn Muhammad

31. Sijistan. A.H. 337. Edge partly broken. Æ

0.8, wt. 25.3 (1.64).

B. M. (Tate) unpublished.

In circle: بن | احمد | محمد, (with point in the centre of the mim of Ahmad).

Margin: In the name of Allah this fals (i.e. copper coin) was minted in Sijistan. (The nun of Sijistan omitted).

Rev. In circle: المطيع | لله (The name of the Caliph al-Muti' lillah).

Margin: In the year 337.

Plate III, 29

I have read the date 337 rather than 339 because the numeral in question is سبع and not تسع.

32. Sijistan. A.H. 339. Æ

0.8, wt. 26.4 (1.71).

B. M. (Tate).

As above.

Rev. As above, but date 339.

Plate III, 30

33. Sijistan. A.H. 339. Æ

0.8, wt. 24.3 (1.57).

B. M. (Tate).

Almost obliterated.

Rev. As above.

Plate III, 31

A similar coin was described by Bartholomaei in the Revue de la Numismatique Belge, 1861, pp. 34–36 (plate III, No. 1) but as he was unable to read the mint name he wrongly ascribed it to the Shahs of Khwarizm.

34. Sijistan. A.H. 340. Æ

0.85, wt. 26 (1.68).

B. M. Cat., III, No. 34.

As No. 31 but mint name written correctly.

Rev. As above but date 340.

Plate III, 32

35. Sijistan. A.H. 340. Æ

0.85 wt. 29.3 (1.90).

B. M. (Tate).

As above, but less distinct.

Rev. As above, but less distinct.

Plate IV, 33

36. Sijistan. A.H. 341. Æ

0.85, wt. 30.1 (1.95).

B. M. (Tate).

As above.

Rev. As above, but date 341.

Plate IV, 34

37. Sijistan. A.H. 342. Æ

0.9, wt. 41.0 (2.66).

B. M. (Tate).

As above.

Rev. As above, but date 342.

Plate IV, 35

38. Sijistan. A.H. 343. Æ

0.85, wt. 36.1 (2.34).

B.M. Cat., III, No. 35.

As above.

Rev. As above, but date 343.

Plate IV, 36

39. Sijistan. A.H. 343. Æ

0.85, wt. 36.6 (2.37).

B. M. (Tate).

As above.

Rev. As above.

Plate IV, 37

40. Sijistan. A.H. 344. Æ

0.85, wt. 29.5 (1.91).

B. M. (Tate).

As above, but partly obliterated.

Rev. As above, but date 344.

Plate IV, 38

(e) With the name of the Caliph, Khalaf and Abu Ja'far Ahmad ibn Muhammad

41. Sijistan. A.H. 346. Æ

0.9, wt. 21.9 (1.42).

B. M. (Tate). 28

Area in arabesque characters, al Muti' lillah and Khalaf in three lines.

Margin as No. 34.

Rev. Area: (This coin is) of what was ordered by the Amir Abu Ja'far Ahmad ibn Muhammad. May Allah strengthen him!

Margin as above, but date 346.

Plate IV, 39

42. Sijistan. A.H. 346. Æ

0.9, wt. 28 (1.81).

B. M. (Tate).

As above, with parts of the legend a little clearer.

Rev. As above, but less distinct.

Plate IV, 40

End Notes

22 Lane-Poole gives the date as 33x, but it is decidedly 32x.
23 Lane-Poole was unable to read the mint name.
24 A metal loop has been affixed to the coin, which is badly cracked.
25 Prof. Vasmer tells me that this coin was found at Friedrichshof in 1913. Cf. Sitzungsberichte der Gelehrten Estnischen Gesellschaft 1925, p. 44, no. 24.
26 Lane-Poole reads it as 325 (?). I am inclined to read it as 331, but it is not clear enough.
27 Not an ornament as Lane-Poole supposed it to be. It possibly refers to Khalafas heir apparent (wali 'ahd)

(Abu Ahmad) Khalaf ibn Ahmad

خلف بن احمد

c. A.H. 349 (?)–399 = A.D. 960–1008

(a) With name of the Caliph al-Muti' (334–363)

43. Sijistan. A.H. 362. 

0.5, wt. 24.4 (1.58).

Zambaur, Contributions. No. 436.

44. Sijistan. A.H.366. 29

0.5, wt. 18.6 (1.21).

B.M. Cat., III, No. 36.

In circle: ○ Muhammad is the apostle of Allah, and ع

Margin: There is no god except Allah etc.

Rev. In circle: Al-Muti' lillah | Khalaf ibn Ahmad | Equity.

Margin: Mint and date 366.

Plate IV, 41

45. Sijistan. Date uncertain. 30

0.55, wt. 19.3 (1.25).


Muhammad is the apostle of Allah.

Margin: Traces of legend.

Rev. As above.

Margin: Mint and part of date.

Plate IV, 42

46. Sijistan. 3xx. 

0.5, wt. 18.0 (1.17).

B. M. Cat., III, No. 37.

As No. 44, but top cut off.

Margin as on No. 44.

Rev. As above.

Margin. Mint and part of date.

Plate IV, 43

47. Sijistan [3] x 3. 

0.45, wt. 8.7 (0.56).

B. M. Cat., III, 39.

As above, but below. ك, instead of ع

Margin: Traces of same legend as above.

Rev. As above, but margin showing part of date.

Plate IV, 44

48. Sijistan. Date uncertain. 

0.45, wt. 12.0 (0.78).

B. M. Cat., III, No. 38.

As No. 44.

Rev. Al Muti'|lillah | | Khalaf ibn Ahmad? The fourth line may possibly conceal the kunya or additional name Abu Ahmad.

Margin: Illegible.

Plate IV, 45

49. Sijistan (?) A.H. 361 (?). Æ

0.85, wt. 20.1 (1.30).

B. M. (McMahon). 31

In circle: Khalaf ibn Ahmad. Above, arabesque.

Margin: Traces of inscription with the mint name.

Rev. In circle: Al-Muti' lillah. Above, arabesque.

Margin: Date 361 (?).

Plate IV, 46

A better preserved specimen of same mint and date is in Oxford (Lane-Poole, Cat. of the Mohammedan coins preserved in Bodleian Library, p. 6).

(b) With name of Caliph al-Ta'i' , (363–381)

50. Mint obliterated. A.H. 375. 

0.55, wt. 29.5 (1.91).

B. M. Cat., III, No. 40.

In double circle: There is no god but Allah alone, Khalaf ibn Ahmad.

Margin: Date 375.

Rev. Muhammad etc., and name of Caliph al-Ta'i', ornament below.

Margin: See page 21 for full legend from Koran LIX, 9; LXIV, 16. 32

Plate IV, 47

51. Mint obliterated. A.H. 373 or 376. 

0.5, wt. 13.6 (0.88).

B. M. Cat., III, No.41.

As above but partly cut off, eight-pointed star below.

Margin: Date 373 or 376. The missing number arguing from the presence of the tail must be either a three or a six.

Rev. As above, but annulet below.

Margin: As on No. 50.

Plate IV, 48

In the plate the reverse is above and the obverse is below.

52. Sijistan. A.H. 378. 

0.75, wt. 21.5 (1.39).

B. M. (McMahon).

As No. 50, but within single circle; annulet below.

Margin: As above, but complete, struck at Sijistan, the year 378.

Rev. As No. 50, but different ornament below.

Margin: As above.

Plate V, 49

Illustrated by Codrington J. R. A. S. 1911, fig. 7

53. Sijistan. A.H. 3[7]9. 

0.8, wt. 25.1 (1.63).

B. M. (Tate).

As No. 52, only above الدولة and below ة ة

Margin: As No. 52, but date 379

Rev. As No. 52, below ة.

Margin: As above.

Plate V, 50

Illustrated by Codrington J. R. A. S. 1911, fig. 8. There is an example of this coin in the Ermitage, No. 7C, but the margins have been almost cut off.

Plate V, 51

54. Mint obliterated. A.H. 378. Æ

1.05, wt. 55.3 (3.58).

B. M. Cat., Add. IX, p. 268.

In circle of dots, Help is from Allah!

Inner margin: As on margin of No. 44.

Outer margin: Date 378.

Rev. In circle of dots, To Allah! Muhammad is the apostle of Allah, and with the names of the Caliph al-Ta'i' and Khalaf ibn Ahmad, ornament below.

Margin: Authority belongs to Allah before and after, and on that day the believers shall rejoice in the help of Allah. (Koran XXX, end of verse 3 and beginning of verse 4.)

Plate V, 52

Lane-Poole was unable to discern (8) ثمان but with a little cleaning the numeral has become clear. He read the central obverse legend as Nasr ibn Nuh, instead of the Koranic phrase nasr min Allah (Help is from Allah).

End Notes

28 Codrington published this in J. R. A. S., 1905, p. 550, and again in 1911, p. 783 (fig. 6) but he was unable to read the date, which is comparatively legible as above.
29 As pointed out by Lane-Poole the Caliph's reign ended in 363 yet the coin is certainly dated 366.
30 Prof. Vasmer dates this 365, but I am unable to verify this from the cast he very kindly sent me.
31 Illustrated by Codrington, fig. 9, J. R. A. S., 1911, p. 783, although, when he previously described the specimen in the Tate Collection (J. R. A. S., 1905, p. 550), he was unable to read the marginal legends. I have been unable to trace the whereabouts of the other examples of this fals. Codrington is also wrong in reading the mint name where he does. It is interesting to note the fourfold division of the marginal legends by spaces.
32 Neither Lane-Poole nor Codrington deciphered this fragmentary reverse marginal legend (see No. 51).

Al-Husain ibn Tahir

الحسين بن طاهر


55. Mint and date cut off. 

0.5, wt. 18.9 (1.22).

B. M. Cat., III, No. 42.

In circle, as on No. 44, but with "to Allah" instead of annulet; ع = initial for عدل equity.

Margin cut off.

Rev. In circle, al-Ta'i' lillah, al-Husain ibn Tahir in three lines.

Margin cut off.

Plate V, 53

The name of the Caliph al-Ta'i' limits the date to the period between A.H. 363 and 381, but whether the coin was struck during the first or second usurpation (see above p. 18) it is impossible to decide with any certainty.

Zambaur (op. cit. p. 201) regards Husain as the grandson of Khalaf. This I feel sure is incorrect.

With the name of the Caliph al-Kadir (381–422)

(With Khalaf's title of Wali al Daula)

56. Sijistan. A.H. 384. image

1.2, wt. 94.1 (6.1).

Berlin Museum.

In centre, in highly ornamental characters: There is no god except Allah alone, he hath no associate. Below eight-pointed star and triangle of annulets, and single annulet.

Margin: In the name of Allah this dirham was minted at Sijistan in the year 384.

Outside circle of dots.

Rev. In center, in ornamental script as on No. 54, and with the name of the Caliph al-Kadir billah, and below that Wali al-Daula, and 'adl = equity. All within circle of dots.

Margin: As on reverse of No. 3. (Koran IX, 33).

Plate V, 54

This interesting coin must have been struck shortly after Khalaf had won back his kingdom from the usurper Husain ibn Tahir. It is the only coin, as yet known, that bears his new title of Wali al-Daula (cf. p. 18 above)

Tahir ibn Khalaf

طاهر بن خلف

[Usurping son of Khalaf]

With name of Ghaznavid overlord

57. Mint and date cut off. Billon

0.85, wt. 35.8 (2.32).

Ermitage = Markow, 4th Suppl. 966, No. 4a.

In centre within plain circle: There is no God but Allah alone, and with name of Tahir ibn Khalaf.

Margin: Fragment of the date inscription.

Rev. In centre within plain circle; as on No. 54, and with name of the Caliph al-Kadir billah and below that, the name of Mahmud, the Ghaznavid ruler who had conquered Sistan in A.H. 393 = A.D. 1002.

Margin: As on No. 56 (part of Koran IX, 33).

Plate V, 55













Numismatic Notes and Monographs

  • David Eugene Smith, LL.D. Computing Jetons. 1921. 70 pp. 25 pls. $1.50.
  • Edward T. Newell. The First Seleucid Coinage of Tyre. 1921 40 pp. 8 pls. $1.00.
  • Howland Wood. Gold Dollars of 1858. 1922. 7 pp. 2 pls. 50c.
  • R. B. Whitehead. Pre-Mohammedan Coinage of N. W. India 1922. 56 pp. 15 pls. $2.00.
  • George F. Hill. Attambelos I of Characene. 1922. 12 pp. 3 pls. $1.00.
  • M. P. Vlasto. Taras Oikistes (A Contribution to Tarentine Numismatics). 234 pp. 13 pls. $3.50.
  • Agnes Baldwin. Six Roman Bronze Medallions. 1923. 39 pp. 6 pls. $1.50.
  • Howland Wood. Tegucigalpa Coinage of 1823. 1923. 16 pp. 2 pls. 50c.
  • Edward T. Newell. Alexander Hoards—II. Demanhur Hoard. 1923. 162 pp. 8 pls. $2.50.
  • Harrold E. Gillingham. Italian Orders of Chivalry and Medals of Honour. 146 pp. 34 pls. $2.00.
  • Edward T. Newell. Alexander Hoards—III. Andritsaena. 1924. 39 pp. 6 pls. $1.00.
  • C. T. Seltman. A Hoard from Side. 1924. 20 pp. 3 pls. $1.00.
  • R. B. Seager. A Cretan Coin Hoard. 1924. 55 pp. 12 pls. $2.00.
  • Samuel R. Milbank. The Coinage of Aegina. 1925. 66 pp. 5 pls. $2.00.
  • Sydney P. Noe. A Bibliography of Greek Coin Hoards. 1925. 275 pp. $2.50.
  • Edward T. Newell. Mithradates of Parthia and Hyspaosines of Characene. 18 pp. 2 pls. 50c.
  • Sydney P. Noe. The Mende (Kaliandra) Hoard. 1926. 73 pp 10 pls. $2.00.
  • Agnes Baldwin. Four Medallions from the Arras Hoard. 1926 36 pp. 4 pls. $1.50.
  • Edward T. Newell. Some Unpublished Coins of Eastern Dynasts. 1926. 21 pp. 2 pls. 50c.
  • Harrold E. Gillingham. Spanish Orders of Chivalry and Decorations of Honour. 1926. 165 pp. 40 pls. $3.00.
  • Sydney P. Noe. The Coinage of Metapontum. 1927 (Part I). 134 pp. 23 pls. $3.00.
  • Edward T. Newell. Two Recent Egyptian Hoards—Delta and Keneh. 34 pp. 3 pls. $1.00.
  • Edward Rogers. The Second and Third Seleucid Coinage of Tyre. 1927. 33 pp. 4 pls. $1.50.
  • Alfred R. Bellinger. The Anonymous Byzantine Bronze Coinage. 1928. 27 pp. 4 pls. $1.50.
  • Harrold E. Gillingham. Notes on the Decorations and Medals of the French Colonies and Protectorates. 1928. 62 pp. 31 pls. $2.00.
  • Oscar Ravel. The "Colts" of Ambracia. 1928. 180 pp. 19 pls. $3.00.
  • Howland Wood. The Coinage of the Mexican Revolutionists. 1928. 53 pp. 15 pls. $2.50.
  • Edward T. Newell. Alexander Hoards—IV. Olympia. 1929. 31 pp. 9 pls. $1.50.
  • Allen B. West. Fifth and Fourth Century Gold Coins from the Thracian Coast. 1929. 183 pp. 16 pls. $3.00.
  • Gilbert S. Perez. The Leper Colony Currency of Culion. 1929. 10 pp. 3 pls. 50c.
  • Alfred R. Bellinger. Two Hoards of Attic Bronze Coins. 1930. 14 pp. 4 pls. 50c.
  • D. H. Cox. The Caparelli Hoard. 1930. 14 pp. 2 pls. 50c.
  • Geo. F. Hill. On the Coins of Narbonensis with Iberian Inscriptions. 1930. 39 pp. 6 pls. $1.00.
  • Bauman L. Belden. A Mint in New York. 1930. 40 pp. 4 pls. 50 c.
  • Edward T. Newell. The Küchük Köhne Hoard. 1931. 33 pp. 4 pls. $1.00.
  • Sydney P. Noe. The Coinage of Metapontum. Part II. 1931. 134 pp. 43 pls. $3.00.
  • D. W. Valentine. The United States Half Dimes. 1931. 79 pp. 47 pls. $5.00.
  • Alfred R. Bellinger. Two Roman Hoards from Dura-Europos. 1931. 66 pp. 17 pls. $1.50.
  • Geo. F. Hill. Notes on the Ancient Coinage of Hispania Citerior. 196 pp. 36 dble. pls. $4.00.
  • Alan W. Hazelton. The Russian Imperial Orders. 1932. 102 pp. 20 pls. $3.00.
  • O. Ravel. Corinthian Hoards (Corinth and Arta). 1932. 27 pp. 4 pls. $1.00.
  • Jean B. Cammann. The Symbols on Staters of Corinthian Type (A Catalogue). 1932. 130 pp. 14 dble. pls. $3.00.
  • Shirley H. Weber. An Egyptian Hoard of the Second Century A. D. 41 pp. 5 pls. 1932. $1.50.
  • Alfred R. Bellmger. The Third and Fourth Dura Hoards. 1932. 85 pp. 20 pls. $1.50.
  • Harrold E. Gillingham. South American Decorations and War Medals. 1932. 178 pp. 35 pls. $3.00.
  • Wm. Campbell. Greek and Roman Plated Coins. 1933. 226 pp. 190 + pls. $3.50.
  • E. T. Newell. The Fifth Dura Hoard. 1933. 14 pp. 2 pls. $1.00.
  • D. H. Cox. The Tripolis Hoard. 1933. 61 pp. 8 pls. 2 maps. $1.50.
  • E. T. Newell. Two Hoards from Minturno. 38 pp. 5 pls. $1.00.
  • Howland Wood. The Gampola Larin Hoard. 1934. 84 pp. 10 dble. pls. $3.00.
  • J. G. Milne. The Melos Hoard of 1907. 1934. 19 pp. 1 pl. $1.00.
  • A. F. Pradeau. The Mexican Mints of Alamos and Hermosillo 1934. 73 pp. illus. $1.50.
  • E. T. Newell. A Hoard from Siphnos. 1934. 17 pp. illus. 50c.
  • C. H. V. Sutherland. Romano-British Imitations of Bronze Coins of Claudius I. 1935. 35 pp. 8 dble. pls. $2.00.
  • Harrold E. Gillingham. Ephemeral Decorations. 1935. 40 pp. 11 pls. $2.00.
  • Sawyer McA. Mosser. A Bibliography of Byzantine Coin Hoards. 1935. 116 pp. $1.50.
  • E. T. Newell. Five Greek Bronze Coin Hoards. 1935. 67 pp. 9 dbl. pls. $2.00.
  • Alfred R. Bellinger. The Sixth, Seventh and Tenth Dura Hoards. 1935. 75. pp. $1.00.
  • Frederick O. Waage. Greek Bronze Coins from a Well at Megara. 42 pp. 3 pls. $1.00.
  • Sydney P. Noe. The Thurian Di-Staters. 68 pp. 11 dble. pls. $2.00.