Artuqids of Mardin

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Pellinore, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. Pellinore

    Pellinore Supporter! Supporter

    In another thread, @svessien mentioned the difficulty of discerning between two types if you don't know Arabic. He says:

    If you are interested in Artuqid coins, that is, the large pictorial bronzes of the 12th-13th century in Eastern Anatolia and Northern Iraq, here's the book you should acquire: Turkoman Figural Bronze Coins and their Iconography by William F. Spengler and Wayne G. Sayles, vol. I: The Artuqids (1992). You can find it for about $60-80 (I saw one without dust jacket for $35). Coins from this catalog are marked SS or S/S followed by the type number.
    Album 1830.4 is SS 40. You may find it on Zeno (just use 'Mardin' and '1830' as search terms).

    SS 40.jpg

    Album 1830.6 is SS 42. I didn't see this on Zeno.

    SS 42.jpg

    You see, the difference is clear.

    I have a few of these, this type of coin often is quite expressive. I'm sure most of you know people that look like this man:

    6811 Artuk.jpg

    AE dirham Artuqids of Mardin, 620 AH = 1223 AD. Nasir al-Din Artuq Arslan (597-637h/1201-1239 AD). Obv.: Roman-style, bare head right; name and titles of Artuq Arslan around. Rev.: Names of Abbasid Caliph al-Nasir and Ayyubid overlord al-Kamil Muhammad in five lines; mint and AH date in margins. 26 mm, 13.92 gr. Whelan Type VI; S&S Type 43; Album 1830.7.

    In the book by Spengler and Sayles you always find theories about the reasons of the figures, quite interesting. In the case of this coin, they think it might go back to a Roman coin of the emperor Tiberius.

    I'm sure many of you have nice Artuqids, so... post them, please!
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    Thank you again @Pellinore
    Islamic coins is a brand new area for me, as is Byzantine coins.
    It would be a shame as a coin collector, however, to skip over the islamic world which has been (and is) so significant.
    The coins are awesome too. I only have one:
  4. CoinDoctorYT

    CoinDoctorYT Well-Known Member

    not much into any Arab related coins, but that dirham is very beautiful.
    hotwheelsearl likes this.
  5. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    I heartily second the recommendation of the books by Wayne G. Sayles and William F. Spengler, "Turkoman Figural Bronze Coins and their Iconography" (Volume 1 covers the Artuqids, Volume 2 covers the Zengids). It's full of detailed transcriptions and translations of all legends, historical information, and art history analysis of the types, including tracing back where many of the images copied older coins. Some from my collection:
    Artuqid of Mardin.jpg
    Artuqids of Mardin. Nasir al-Din Artuq Arslan (1201-1239 AD). Spengler/Sayles 43.
    Zengids of Aleppo.jpg
    Zengid Atabegs of Aleppo. Our al-Din Mahmud b. Zengi (1146-1174 AD). Spengler/Sayles 73.
    Zangids of Aleppo.jpg
    Zengid Atabegs of Aleppo. Al-Salih Isma'il (1174-1181 AD). Spengler/Sayles 76.
  6. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

  7. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I second that SS is essential if you like this series. I haven't collected them for a few years. I have around 40 different types. What I like most about SS is they give the history of the coin type they think it was imitating on many of these. Good info that makes your coins all the more interesting.

    They were supposed to have a third book, going over some more esoteric issuers of these, but unfortunately it was never published.
    Pellinore and svessien like this.
  8. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    Here are a couple of dirhems purchased through MA Shops:

    Dirhem ARTUQIDEN VON MARDIN HUSAM AD-DIN YULUG ARSLAN (580 - 597 H. / 1184 - 1201)

    S&S33, Edhem 53

    11.20 grams, 30 mm.


    Dirhem 1201-1239 Islam Artukiden von Mardin Nasr al-Din Artuq Arslan, AD 1201-1239

    9.10 grams


    I really like both coins, the lower one in particular, with centaur firing an arrow at a beast emerging from his tail.
  9. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    Clearly a centaur solution to digestive problems! Or perhaps it’s a sign of paranoia?

    I really like both of your coins too, and Artuqid coins in general. Somewhat crude, but with great variation in themes, and nice style.
    Pellinore likes this.
  10. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    Just found this AE dirham in my old folders. Najm-EL-Din, Artuqid. I was also provided with more info concerning this coin: Halbi Mardin.

    Najmdirham  Artuqid.jpg Najmeddin     Halbimardin.jpg
  11. Pellinore

    Pellinore Supporter! Supporter

    Here Spengler-Sayles is again helpful, for at the end of the book is an overview of all the picture sides of the general types, and it stands out as SS 30.


    You can quite clearly read the name of the caliph Al-Mustanjid on the right side of the second picture of your coin, so it is Type SS 30.1 and dates from 560-566 AH, which is 1165-1171 AD. The book identifies the prototype of the double portrait as a solidus of Justinus II and Tiberius II (578 AD) and that of the double portrait as a Medusa obol of Eastern Anatolia (SS mention Sear 5524, but that doesn't fit with my Sear). Both ancient coins just were used as inspirations for the modern 12th century designer of the coins, what you see isn't Medusa.
    The theory is that this obverse-reverse combination points to astrology: the portrait of Medusa > Virgo, the double portrait > Gemini, being respectively the Night House and the Day House of the planet Mercury.

    We should not underestimate that astrology has been of immense importance to the people of ancient times and the Middle Ages. The planet Mercury probably had special interest for Sultan Najm al-din Alpi.

    The unpublished third volume of the iconography of the Turkoman Figural Bronze Coins probably should have related to these amazing connections. Spengler's death in 2005 was probably one of the reasons why the volume was not published. Sayles (one of the founders of The Celator) is still alive.
    paschka, 7Calbrey and Roman Collector like this.
  12. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    Although I have only two of these coins (the other one written up here: Artuqids of Mardin), I found these interesting enough to buy the book as I was writing up the first coin.
    Nasir al-Din Artuq Arslan.jpg
    Nasir al-Din Artuq Arslan, AE 1/2 Dirham, AH 597-637 (AD 1201-1239)
    Obv: Male head facing slightly left, hair disheveled, garment fastened with a clasp at neckline to the right, surrounded by circular legends in angular transitional Kufic, ﺮﻜﺑﺭﺎﻳﺩ ﻚﻠﻣ ﻥﻼﺳﺭﺍ ﻖﺗﺭﺍ ﻦﻳﺪﻟﺍﻭ ﺎﻴﻧﺪﻟﺮﺻﺎﻧ
    Translation: "Nasır al-Dunya wa al-din Artuk Arslan Malik Diyarbekr"
    Rev: Script in five lines ﺏﻮﻳﺍ ﻦﺑ ﺮﻜﺑﻮﺑﺍ ﻝﺩﺎﻌﻟﺍ ﻚﻠﻤﻟﺍﻦﻴﻨﻣﺆﻤﻟﺍﺮﻴﻣﺍﻪﻠﻟﺍ ﻦﻳﺪﻟﺮﺻﺎﻨﻟﺍ ﺪﻤﺣﺍ ﺱﺎﺒﻌﻟﺍﻮﺑﺍ
    Translation: "Abu 'l-'Abbas Ahmad al-Nasır li-din Allah Amir al-mu'minin al-Malik al-'Adil abu Bakr bin Ayyub"
    Size: 22mm, 6.24g
    Ref: Spengler-Sayles Type 40 p132
    Spengler-Sayles suggest (and stop well short of concluding) that the obverse could be a representation of the sun personified, as the rulers of Mardin had an affinity for solar representations on their coins. Whatever the image represents - this particular seems to me to be well executed, good style, excellent condition with an even dark brown/green patina.
  13. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    Glad to see all these historical coins being classified in details within catalogs issued and revised by renown experts in the field of Numismatics and ancient coins. Here's a second coin I also found in my old folders. The obverse shows an eagle with two heads.It's an AE Dirham struck under Nassir El Din (Artuqid). The photo in the folder is titled Abbasid -Mahmud- Ayyub.

    abasidirham O   NasirDin.jpg abasidayyub R Mahmud.jpg
    paschka, Pellinore and Johndakerftw like this.
  14. paschka

    paschka Well-Known Member

    So I found similar coins in myself, but maybe this is an imitation of those that are presented here by you. 153BEA02-4FA3-4917-BB50-88A19A1023DD.jpeg 153BEA02-4FA3-4917-BB50-88A19A1023DD.jpeg A4767E7B-8914-4D09-BBDB-24E3BBAD362C.jpeg 1EDB3849-BEE3-405A-817D-1A4EB03B09E6.jpeg D93FE3D3-A8A2-4002-A934-02D97166A195.jpeg 0B2E6048-3525-477B-90C3-5E6589D51CAD.jpeg

    Attached Files:

    svessien likes this.
  15. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    I picked up another Artuqid coin recently. I’m really starting to like Islamic coins, which I deemed uninteresting for so many years.
    It’s been good to get some inspiration on this forum.

    Artuqids of Mardin, Nasir al-Din Artuq Arslan (AH 597-637/AD 1201-1239), AE dirham

    Obverse: Draped male bust facing slightly left, stars flanking

    Reverse: Three line Kufic legend citing the ‘Abbasid Caliph al-Nasir and the Ayyubid overlord al-Zahir Ghazi within double hexagram.

    Reference: SS 37, Album 1830.1.

    Weight: 7.20g Diameter: 32mm Condition: good Fine
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
    Pellinore, Parthicus and Sulla80 like this.
  16. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    The interesting designs on Artuqid and some Zengid bronzes make them a good entrée into Islamic coins!

    Screen Shot 2020-08-04 at 6.01.57 PM.jpg
    Artuqids: Husam al-Din Yuluq Arslan (1184-1200)
    Traditionally thought to represent mourning for Saladin, Spengler and Sayles have argued that scene represents Virgo surrounded by planets and relates to an astronomical event of AD 1186 that was thought to portend calamitous events (corroborated by the death of Saladin in 589).

    Screen Shot 2020-08-04 at 6.04.20 PM.jpg
    Zengid: Badr al-Din Lu'lu (1233-1259)
    Mosul was spared destruction in the Mongol invasion (the sack of Baghdad was in 1258) because Lu'Lu' helped Hulagu in his campaigns in Syria.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page