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Gold dinar of Harun al-Rashid


Diameter: 1.800 cm
Weight: 4.200 g

CM BMC OR 1 no. 142

Coins and Medals

    Gold dinar of Harun al-Rashid

    cAbasid dynasty, AH 171 / AD 787
    Modern Iraq

    A coin issued by a fabled ruler

    The cAbasid caliph of Baghdad, Harun al-Rashid (reigned AD 786-809) ruled when the caliphate was at the peak of its prosperity and splendour. He was a fabled patron of the arts and literature, and is recalled as the ideal ruler in The Thousand and One Nights. His wife, Zubeyda, is equally famous for her pious works, particularly for the building of numerous pilgrim stations along the pilgrim route from Kufa (Iraq) to Mecca (Saudi Arabia). Harun al-Rashid is said to have exchanged ambassadors with Charlemagne, king of the Franks, and it is during his reign that Islamic silver coins started to find their way to Europe. This gold dinar is inscribed with the name Musa, a governor and finance director, at the base of the reverse area.

    M. Broome, A handbook of Islamic coins (London, 1985)