Diameter: 2.300 cm
Weight: 5.640 g
CM OR.7274 (BMC 475)
Coins and Medals
Dinar of Sultan Al-Malik al-Zahir Baybars
Mamluk dynasty, AH 667 / AD
Struck in Alexandria, Egypt
Al-Malik al-Zahir Baybars (reigned 1260-77) was a sultan of the Bahri line of the slave dynasty known as the Mamluks. Ruling in Egypt and Syria, the Mamluks ousted the Ayyubids in 1250 and remained in power until they themselves were overthrown by the Ottomans under Selim I ('the Grim') in 1517. The Mamluks were the only power in the central Islamic lands strong enough to resist the Mongols, halting their advance at the battle of Ayn Jalut in 1260 shortly before the accession of Sultan Baybars. In a campaign that lasted six years, Baybars finally eliminated most of the Crusader domains.
The Mamluk era in Egypt and Syria was a high point in the cultural achievements of the region particularly as regards art and architecture with the sultans being active patrons. In terms of the coinage, the sultans coined in all three metals, gold, silver and bronze. Baybars' coins are characterized by the symbol of the prancing lion, his heraldic emblem, which can also be seen on buildings commissioned by him.
P. Balog, The coinage of the Mamluk sult (New York, 1964)