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Alright, so the esteemed @ArmoryBazaar posted some pictures of coins found in Idlib - Syria. I would like to make a thread out of this, for future coins. I will post my take on these coins, but I'm very much interested in other opinions.
The two small copper coins (picture 2 & 3) are in my opinion #Umayyad copper fals. The inscription features Islamic texts, most definitely the Islamic shahada. That indicates they're from the later Umayyad period. I would say 8th century.
It's really possible that the last coin is much older that the other coins. It still features a cross and human imagery, indicating Byzantine influences. This kind of coins were used in early Umayyad times, when the caliphs still imitated #Byzantine en #Persian coinage.
The first coin could very well also be an Umayyad fals, albeit in better condition than the other #coins. It features the entire Islamic shahada on one side and, like the other to coins, probably stems from the 8th century Umayyad coin innovation phase.
@ArmoryBazaar sent me some more coins currently circulating in #Idlib. These are interestingly enough of Greek origin, more specifically classical Athens. They could've been dug up in #Syria, or smuggled/stolen from local museums. Some might be forged.
The first three coins are Classical Greek tetradrachmae, probably minted throughout the 5th century BC. They feature a portret of Athena, patron goddess of Athens. The reverse shows the Athenian owl, with a olive sprig and the inscription "ΑΘΕ", the initials of the city.
These #coins were widely used across the Classical world, and it's hard to find one without test cuts, a method for testing coins. The first pic is IMO therefore probably authentic. I'm not sure about the second pic, but the third definitely looks off.
Now this, this is a rare and valuable Athenian dekadrachm, worth 10 normal drachmae. This coin features a standing Athenian owl (Athene noctua) with its wings spread, the olive sprig and the initials. The goddess Athena wears a crested Attic helmet, an earring and a necklace.
These coins were discovered as far as Arabia or even India, circulating across much of the known world. It's thus possible that the coins pictured here were found in Syria. I heard some forgeries are being made in neighbouring countries, so it's always a bit tricky.
Some days ago, the venerable @Ahmdyarr posted this picture of some coins found in southern #Afghanistan. I will repost my opinion in this thread of found coins, just so it's in the right place.
So, I and @eranudturan found out that the largest coin says "Basileos Nikatoros Amintoy." This means "The Victorious king Amyntas" in Greek. Amyntas Nikator was an Indo-Greek king who lived in the 1st century BC. Check out his coins on wikipedia. They're very similar to this one.
The reverse of the coin features a seated Zeus holding a victory palm. Coins of king Amyntas have been found in eastern Punjab and Afghanistan, indicating that he ruled a sizable territory.
This one is for our Italian friend @Kyruer. Another coin circulating in #Idlib, this is a Roman denarius minted late 2nd century AD in Antioch. The obverse of the coin depicts Pescennius Niger, Roman claimant to the throne and emperor between 193 and 194 AD.
The inscription reads: "Imp(erator) Caes(ar) C(aius) Pesc(ennius) Niger Iust(us) Au(gustus) Con(sul) II." The bearded emperor is wearing a laureate. He adopted Iustus (the Just) as his third name.
The reverse of the coin features a naked Apollo standing left while resting his right arm on a column. The inscription reads: "Apollini Sancto" or "for the sacred Apollo". Apollo was known to be one of the principal deities worshipped by the people of Antioch. @ArmoryBazaar
@ArmoryBazaar Another Greek coin found in #Idlib, this time a rare Hellenistic Seleucid one. The obverse of this coin shows probably Antiochus IV Epiphanes, Seleucid king from 175-164 BC. He is diademed and is pictured with a radiating head. He is looking to the right.
The reverse pictures an eagle standing on a thunderbolt, with the inscription: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ ΘΕΟΥ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ or "King Antiochus, Manifest/Image of the gods." You can clearly see some test cuts, adding to its authenticity. @ArmoryBazaar @Kyruer
@ArmoryBazaar @Kyruer This is a special one from #Idlib. Man, that place is a real goldmine. A silver #Umayyad Dirham from the year 709 AD, minted during the rule of caliph al-Walīd I. Thanks @ArmoryBazaar for the pictures.
The obverse of the coin (1st pic) reads: "There is no god except Allāh alone, He has no equal." The inscription on the margin reveals: "In the Name of Allāh. This Dirham was struck in #Damascus in the year eighty-nine (89AH)."
The reverse of the coin (2nd pic) has the text of the the 112th Quranic verse on it: "Allāh is One. Allāh the Absolute. He begets not, nor was He begotten. Nor is there to Him any equivalent."
The margin of the reverse says: "Muḥammad is the Messenger of Allāh. He sent him with guidance and the true religion to reveal it to all religions even if the polytheists hate it." Beautiful example of a post-reform Umayyad Dirham.
Yet another coin from #Idlib sent to me by @ArmoryBazaar. This coin is a special one... The obverse of this Parthian coin shows Mithridates II (121 - 91 BC). He is pictured with a hooked nose, a long beard and wearing a tiara.
The reverse of this coin shows an archer (believed to be the dynasty’s founder, Arsakes I) sitting right on a throne while holding his bow. However, the Parthians minted #coins exclusively in bronze and silver! This means that a gold Parthian coin is almost certainly a fake.
So, @Mumtazz_Maneka found a Mughal coin he didn't already own in his collection. I did some research and found a pretty good match.
This might be a silver rupee minted in the name of Muḥammad Shāh. The five-petalled flower with stem was the mintmark for #Mumbai around 1735. This coin is from the 22nd regnal year of the sultan (around the 1740s). These #coins are scarce.
In 1717, Farrukhsiyar granted the East India Company the right to mint coins in Mughal style. Silver coins in the Mughal way were struck from 1717 until the the unified coinage of 1835. That might explain the sign of the Bombay Presidency (5-petalled flower).
It might also explain the visual and design differences with "native" Mughal coins struck in Lahore or other cities. @mrrevinsky @ArmoryBazaar @NLBlough
A late Roman follis now in #Idlib (thx @ArmoryBazaar) just waiting to get some love. This coin was minted by emperor Constantine the Great in Antioch between 330 & 337 AD. The obverse reads: CONSTANTINUS MAX(imus) AUG(ustus). His draped, rosette-diadem wearing bust looks right.
The reverse shows two soldiers wearing spears and shields facing one another with two standards standing between them. The text reads: GLORIA EXERCITUS (the glory of the army). @IvAntioco @Kyruer @OptimoPrincipi
@IvAntioco @Kyruer @OptimoPrincipi A so-called zolota silver #Ottoman coin currently in #Idlib (thx @ArmoryBazaar). The obverse reads: al-Sulṭān Aḥmad Ibn Muḥammad, in reference to the Ottoman caliph Aḥmed III. Al-Qusṭanṭīniyya (modern-day #Istanbul) is mentioned as mint, in 1115 AH (1704 AD).
The inscription on the reverse reads: Sulṭān of what walks on the earth, Khāqān (ruler) of what swims in the sea, the Sulṭān son of the Sulṭān.
More #Idlib coins, by my good friend @ArmoryBazaar. These are pure gold solidus coins, minted in Constantinopel by Byzantine emperor Anastasius I (491 - 518 AD). This fairly common coin is of extremely good quality and a sharp strike and is estimated to be worth around $300.
The obverse shows emperor Anastasius I helmeted and cuirassed holding a weapon over his right shoulder and a shield in his left hand. The inscription reads ANASTASIUS PP AUG(ustus). His was famed for his aministrative reforms and decreasing corruption in the #Byzantine empire.
The reverse shows the winged goddess Victoria standing left holding a long cross. The inscription reads VICTORIA AUGGG and the mintmark is CONOB. There is a star to the left of Victory. These #coins are still in a beautiful condition, if real.
Another #Idlib coin from @ArmoryBazaar! Too bad I haven't the obverse, but the reverse tells us enough. This is a bronze #Byzantine follis, produced by Justin II (565-574).
It was minted in his 4th (IIII) regnal year. The coin's mintmark is THEUP, referring to Antioch (Theopolis). Large M with a cross above. Officina letter gamma below. The officinae were workshops within #Roman mints. The gamma stands for the 3rd officina.
The obverse of the coin would probably feature an image of Justin II and his wife Sophia, seated on a double-throne. Each are holding a sceptre and a long cross on a globe between them.
Coin time! Now this is an amazing one, sent to me by my good friend @ArmoryBazaar. This large silver decadrachm is believed to be one of the most beautiful #coins in the world. It was struck by the #Greek king Dionysius I of Syracuse (432-367 BC).
The obverse shows the nymph Arethusa's head looking to the left, surrounded by 4 dolphins swimming. The reverse shows a charioteer riding a so-called quadriga. Below the line a shield, greaves, cuirass, and helmet, connected by a horizontal spear.
A well preserved version of these coins could be worth around $6000! No worries @Kyruer, if you ever want to start a collection, this worn version would be $3000 ;). Whoever ows this coin in #idlib is one lucky man. I hope he understands its value!
@Kyruer Coin time! @ArmoryBazaar sent me a coin currently located in #Idlib. It was a bit hard to identify this one because it's quite erased, but my best guess would be that this is a bronze #Byzantine follis minted by emperor Constantine X (1059-1067).
The obverse shows #Christ standing on a footstool, wearing a nimbus and holding the Gospels. The reverse shows Constantine on the right and his spouce Eudocia on the left, both standing facing, holding a labarum with a cross-piece on a shaft between them. #Constantinople mint.
#Idlib coins on an Idlib carpet, you know things got real. @ArmoryBazaar sent me pics of a series of Classical #Greek tetradrachmae. Since I wrote about this coin earlier in this thread, I'm going to focus a bit on the so-called Athenian Owl (Athene noctua) and the olive sprig.
This owl is closely related to the goddess Athena and represents wisdom and knowledge. The lettering ΑΘΕ on its righ stands for ATHE(na). The Greeks associated the olive sprig with peace and victory. It's said that Athena took possession of #Athens by planting the 1st olive tree.
Umayyad copper fals coin (696-750 AD) found in #Idlib, sent to me by the esteemed @CalibreObscura. The inscription on the coin reads: 'La Ilāha Illā Allāh, Waḥdahu', or 'There is no god except Allah, He alone'. Minted possibly under caliph 'Abd al-Malik (685-705) in #Egypt.
A gold #Roman aureus coin, it's obverse depicting the famous Diocletianus (244-311 AD), co-emperor of the Roman Empire and Augustus of the East. The text reads DIOCLETIANUS AUGUSTUS. Thanks @ArmoryBazaar for yet another lost and found #Idlib coin!
The reverse shows Providentia standing left, extending her right hand to Quies standing right, holding a branch (up) while leaning on a scepter. Both are figures in Roman religion, respectively personifying foresight and quiet. The text mentions PE-RPETUE. Probably #London mint.
The thing is, I didn't find this coin, not in #numismatic dictionaries/books and not on numismatic websites, forums and lists. Diocletianus' coins always feature Providentia on the right and always mention her by name. This is either a unique coin, a fake or an inaccurate copy.
Silver and copper #IS coins found in Dayr al-Zūr. This needs a closer look. All the coins' reverse reads: Al-Dawla al-Islāmiyya - Al-khilāfa ʿala minhāj al-nubuwwa [The Islamic State - The caliphate on the path of the prophecy]. The copper coins are Fals, the silver ones Dirham.
The silver coins literally state they contain 99.9% silver. Amazingly enough, each coin mentions its weight in grams. The coins are similar to other modern Middle-Eastern coinage, and unexpectedly not #Umayyad or #Abbasid coins. Thanks @Afarin_Mamosta for uploading this!
A whole bunch of coins currently in #Idlib and sent to me by @ArmoryBazaar. These are large silver Dirham coins minted by the #Umayyad caliphate but based on the older #Sasanian coins. The coins were struck throughout the last half of the 7th c. and common in the eastern parts.
The obverse shows the bust of Sasanian emperor Khosrow II (590 to 628), wearing a winged crown and surrounded by crescents and stars. بسم الله (In the Name of Allah) was added. The reverse shows a #Zoroastrian holy fire-altar flanked by 2 attendants and again crescents and stars.
Fine gold #Umayyad coins from #Idlib (thx @ArmoryBazaar). The obverse of the coins reads: "Lā ilāha illā Allāh waḥdahu lā sharīka lah" (There is no god except Allāh, alone he is; (there is) no partner to Him).
The margin of the #coins read: "Muḥammad rasūl Allāh arsalahu bil-hudā wa dīn al-haqq li-yuẓhirahu 'alā al-dīn kullihi... (Muḥammad is the messenger of Allāh; It is He who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to manifest it over all...)
The reverse reads: "Allāh aḥad; Allāh al-Ṣamad; Lam yalid wa lam yūlad." (Allah [is] One; Allah [is] the Eternal; He neither begets nor is He begotten.) Such coins were the first of their kind to describe the tenets of #Islam rather than being issued on behalf of a dynasty.
The margin of the reverse states when the #coin was struck, most of these coins being struck round 115 H, or 734 AD, which was during the reign of caliph Hishām ibn ʿAbd al-Malik, a great patron of the arts and the sciences. These coins were probably minted in #Damascus.
So @LaurentHaMelekh found these coins belonging to his grandfather. They feature beautifully stylized Seals of Solomon, both on the obverse and on the reverse. These coins were struck by king ʿAbd al-Ḥafīẓ of #Morocco (r. 1909-1912).
They are dated 1329 AH, or 1911 AD. The coin is worth 1 Riyāl, or as also stated on the coin, 10 Dirham. Both coins are #Paris mint. The Riyāl was used in Morocco until 1921. The stylized hexagrams, although very common on #Moroccan coins, are really special with regard to these.
So @dr_mimouni sent me two coins he owns. Both coins are of #Moroccan origin, struck by king Muḥammad IV of Morocco (r. 1859–1873). The 1st is a copper 4 fals from the #Marrakesh mint dated 1280 AH, or 1863 AD. The 2nd is a bronze 2 fals from the Fes mint around 1283 AH/1866 AD.
Yet another #Idlib coin sent to me by @ArmoryBazaar, but one that kept me searching for a while. This is a bronze Artuqid coin minted probably in their capital of Mārdīn by its ruler Najm al-Dīn Alpī (1152-1176 AD). His name can be recognized in the #Arabic writing.
The obverse of the coin features two confronted male busts, probably depicting the facing portraits of a #Seleucid ruler (Antiochus VII ?) in #Hellenistic style. The reverse of the coin shows a #Christian scene of the Virgin Mary crowning a #Byzantine emperor (Romanus III).
A popular coin among the #Hellenistic Empires was this silver Tatradrachm. Its obverse shows Herakles wearing a lion skin headdress. Being the greatest hero of the #Greeks, the idea of a man becoming a god obviously was an attractive image for #Alexander. Thx @ArmoryBazaar :)
The coin's reverse show Herakles' father, Zeus, seated while holding an eagle. His legs are one behind the other, a sign the coin was struck after Alexander's death in 323 BC. The inscription behind #Zeus reads "ALEXANDROU". Left, a monogram. Struck at Miletus late 4th c. BC.
So @Aswed_F found a coin near a tomb (what's up with the #Levant and ancient coins being literally everywhere?). It's a rather interesting coin, as it belongs to a specific time period in the long #Hellenistic history of the region. It's a bronze coin, and really rare.
It took some in-depth search, but notice that both the obverse and reverse feature an image of #Zeus, the obverse his laureate head, the reverse him seated while holding a sceptre. The image of Zeus on coins is typically #Diadochi Hellenistic, although on both sides is rare.
The Ptolemaic dynasty of #Egypt feature a bearded Zeus on the obverse, with an eagle on the reverse. The #Seleucid coins feature a bearded Zeus with a quadriga of elephants on the reverse. A seated #Zeus on the reverse is almost exclusively featured with Herakles on the obverse.
Yet this coin features both. It's worn, but you can vaguely observe Zeus seated with sceptre. I'll show you below. This combination is specifically related to the 1st century BC semi-autonomous Seleucid capital #Antioch. The inscription would've read: ANTIOXEΩN MHTΡOΠOΛEΩΣ
At the time this coin was struck (Antioch mint), the Seleucid capital was very unstable, revolts being common to such an extent that the population even invited Tigranes the Great of #Armenia to meddle in the civil war in 83 BC and sided with the #Romans in 64 BC.
It's been a long time, but thanks to @Kyruer, I noticed that @NotWoofers posted pictures of literally hundreds of copper #coins captured by the #Kurdish Asayîş near ʿAyn ʿĪsā after a failed attempt to smuggle them out of #Syria.
Though most are in a pretty bad condition, I would determine these coins generally to be of Baḥrī #Mamluk origin ( 1250-1382), mostly based on the use of the so-called naskhi Arabic calligraphy style. The addition of diacritical dots on some, further confirm my guess.
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