This coin, which as far as I can tell has not made an appearance yet on CT, is not from the time period that I usually gravitate toward. When I stumbled across it and ultimately purchased, I was attracted to the curious and strange mash-up of styles and symbols: Byzantine, Roman, Christian and Islamic. The more I collect information, the more eclectic and interesting I find this coin. A large (35mm, 15.5 grams) copper/copper-alloy Dirham of the Artuqids of Mardin, minted between 1152-1176 AD. The Artuqids of Mardin ruled in eastern Anatolia, northern Syria and northern Iraq, in the eleventh and twelfth centuries (see map above). The Reverse The reverse is a familiar scene from contemporary Byzantine coins: The Virgin Mary, on the right, holding her hand over (or crowning) the emperor, who is standing, facing, wearing loros (a ceremonial costume of worn only by the Imperial family and senior officials), a globe between them. For example this gold solidus of Romanus III from wildwinds: The inscription starting from the left side - on this coin the left side a bit obscured - in 4 segments reads: Abu al-Muzaffer Alpi / bin / Timurtas bin Il-Ghazi bin / Artuq - describing Alpi as son of Timurtas son of il-Ghazi son of Artuq) The Obverse The obverse takes its inspiration from Roman coins with facing busts of draped, and cuirassed emperors in the style of this provincial coin of Septimus Severus and Claudius Albinus (also from wildwinds). The obverse inscription: "Najm al-Din, Malik Diyar Bakr" which translates as "Star of the Faith, King of Diyar Bakr". Diyar Bakr is Jazira or Upper Mesopotamia. Faces from late Rome? And it gets even odder when one auction reference suggests that the faces themselves are modeled after half-brothers and co-emperors Valentinian II and Gratianus (375-383 AD), imagined below with a combination of two coins with Gratianus on the right (reversed from original). If I squint a bit, I think I can see the resemblance. I would like to know more about how this link was made. Astrology Astrology was an important theme in the coins of the Artuqids and this coin is said to represent the two houses of Mercury: Gemini, on the obverse as the "day house" of Mercury, and Virgo the "night house", although I do not have a clue what these houses mean in ancient astrology - I am assuming it is linked to where the planets would be seen in the sky relative to to constellations of the zodiac. My sources are thin at this point - any additional information would be appreciated. - a book on the Great Age of the Seljuks p66-71 - a page in Ancient Coin Collecting VI from Wayne G. Sayles on Artuqid coins - an ANS database entry - a Künker auction catalog p387 - a CoinCommunity social media posting - of course wildwinds and wikipedia Also a few active auction listings that I won't post, and I think the astrology link made in the by Spengler & Sayles is from this book which I do not yet have a copy of. Post your favorite cultural mash-up coins, any other coins of the Artuqids, Seljuks and related dynasties, or anything that shows a curious combination of symbols and imagery, or surprising mix of cultural references.