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KHWAREZM SHAHS

'Ala al-Din Muhammad II
AH 596-617 / AD 1200-1220


                AR Dirham (3.11 g, 17mm, 8). Citing Abbasid caliph al-Nasir.

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Ref:
Ghazna (Ghazni).
Undated.
Kufic legend:
         'Ala al-Dunya | wa al-Din Muhammad | bin al-Sultan
         (same)
Kufic legend:
         al-Nasir | al-Din Allah | amir al-mu'minin
         (al-Nasir | al-Din Allah | Commander of the faithful)
Tye 207; SNA Tübingen XIVd, 608 var. (field marks); Album 1721.
Notes: 'Ala al-Din Muhammad was arguably the greatest of the leaders of the Khwarezm empire, which reached its greatest extent under his rule. In his campaigns, he defeated the Seljuk Turks and the Kara-Khitay, ousting them from Persia. By 1212, his empire extended from the river Jaxartes to the Persian Gulf. In light of these accomplishments, he proclaimed himself shah, and demanded recognition from the Abbasid caliph al-Nasir. Upon al-Nasir's refusal, Muhammad proclaimed one of his nobles to be the new caliph, and raised an army to overthrow the Abbasids. Unfortunately for him, his forces were decimated by a blizzard while crossing the Zagros Mountains, and the whole endeavor was lost. Shortly thereafter, in 1218, an emissary arrived from the Mongols, whose own empire had spread west, and was now on the border of Khwarezm. Underestimating the nascent Mongol state, Muhammad killed the diplomats, and sent their heads back to Chingiz Khan. This fateful event was the catalyst for the great Mongol invasion that eventually swept across the Middle East to the eastern border of Europe. Unable to resist the approx. 120,000-man Mongol army, Muhammad fled west and soon died in exile on an island in the Caspian Sea.

This particular coin type was the prototype for a silver issue of Chingiz Khan that was struck in Ghazna during the Mongol pursuit of Muhammad's son, Jalal al-Din Mangubarni, who fled south towards India (see the Great Khans section of this collection for an example of this type).



                AR Double Dirham (6.71 g, 29.5mm, 6). Citing Abbasid caliph al-Nasir.

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Ref:
Pedig:
Farwan.
Dated 617 (AD 1220/1).
Central Kufic legend:
         Farwan | la ilah illa Allah | Muhammad rasuluallah | al-Nasir li-Din Allah | amir
         (Farwan | There is no diety except God | Muhammad is the messenger of God | al-Nasir li-Din Allah | amir)
Uncertain marginal legend.
Central Kufic legend:
         [Farwan] | al-Sultan [al-a'zam] | 'Ala al-Dunya | wa al-Din Muhammad | bin al-Sultan
         ([Farwan] | most mighty sultan | 'Ala al-Dunya | wa al-Din Muhammad | bin al-Sultan)
In margin, Naskh legend:
         [...] | sanat seb' | 'ashtrat wa [sitt | mi'at ...]
         ([...] | struck seven | teen and [six | hundred ...])
Tye 207; SNA Tübingen XIVd, 608 var. (field marks); Album 1721.
Ex William F. Spengler Collection (Classical Numismatic Group Electronic Auction 400, 28 June 2017), lot 712.
Notes: Coins of Farwan are fairly common for year 614, but very rare for 617. None are recorded in Zeno.ru, and there are none in CoinArchives.

This coin was struck during the pivotal final year of the war between the Khwarezmian Empire and the Mongols of Chengiz Khan, when 'Ala al-Din Muhammad was in his last year, an exile on an island in the Caspian Sea. His son, Jalal al-Din had mustered an army in Afghanistan, and defeated the Mongols at the Battle of Parwan in 1221, to the west of Kabul. It was the first major defeat of the Monogls during their initial invasion into Southwest Asia. It is likely that this coin was struck during the preparations for this coming battle, perhaps to finance the army that Jalal al-Din had assembled to face the Mongols..


Jalal al-Din Mangubarni
AH 617-628 / AD 1220-1231


                AR Dirham (3.06 g, 17mm, 11). Citing Abbasid caliph al-Mustansir.

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Ref:
Pedig:
Ghazna (Ghazni).
Circa AH 623/4-628 / AD 1226-1231.
Kufic legend:
         Jalal al-Dunya wa | al-Din Mangubarn[i] | bin al-Sultan
         (same)
Above, Kufic legend Mangbr in two diagonal lines
Kufic legend:
         al-Mustansir | billah al-amir | al-mu'minin
         (al-Mustansir | billah al-amir | Commander of the faithful)
Cf. Tye 306/308 (for similar obv./rev. type); SNA Tübingen -; Album 1745.1 var. (caliph cited).
Ex Classical Numismatic Group Electronic Auction 297 (27 February 2013), lot 525
Notes: This unpublished dirhem was struck at Ghazni following the withdrawal of Chingizid forces in AH 623/4 / AD 1226. Although Mangubarni was never present in the region during the time frame this coin was struck, the cities reverted their loyalty to the Khwarezmshah after the Mongols departed. The presence of part of Mangubarni's name, in two lines (Man to right of gbr), is enigmatic, given that his name is already in the legend.


temp. Jalal al-Din Mangubarni
AH 654-663 / AD 1256-1265


                Æ Jital (2.53 g, 19mm, 7).

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Ref:
Kurzuwan.
Dated Rabbi II AH 618 (June AD 1221).
Kufic legend:
         Kurzuwa[n] | la ilah illa Allah | Muhammad | rasulu- | allah
         (Kurzuwa[n] | There is no deity except God | Muhammad is the messenger of | God)
Central Kufic legend, floral ornaments above and below:
         al-Malik
         (The prince)
Marginal Kufic legend:
         ta'rikh rabi' [al-akhar sanat] thaman 'ashar wa sitt mi'at
         (Date Rabi' [al-Akhar year] eighteen and six hundred)
Tye 324.1; Nyamaa 31; Album 1971.


                Æ Jital (3.19 g, 21mm, 9).

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Ref:
Kurzuwan.
Dated Jumada I AH 618 (June-July AD 1221).
Kufic legend:
         [Kurzuwan] | [la ilah] illa Allah | [Muham]mad rasulu- | [a]llah
         ([Kurzuwan] | [There is no deity] except God | [Muham]mad is the messenger of | God)
Central Kufic legend, floral ornaments above and below:
         al-Malik
         (The prince)
Marginal Kufic legend:
         [ta'rikh] jumada al-ula sanat [thaman 'ashar wa sitt mi'at]
         ([Date] Jumada al-Ula [year eighteen and six hundred])
Tye 324.2; Nyamaa -; Album 1971.