ISLAMIC, Mongols. Ilkhanids. Hulagu, AH 654-663 / AD 1256-1265. Dirham (Silver, 20 mm, 3.10 g, 8 h), struck during the occupation of Syria in AH 658. Dimashq, AH 658 = AD 1260. 'Allah / la illah illa / Muhammad rasul Allah / duriba bi-Dimashq sana / thaman wa-khamsin / wa-sittami'a' in six lines in Arabic. Rev. 'al-a'zam / Munaka qa'an / wa-b 'adatihi fatih al-basita / akhuhu Hulagu / zayyadat azamatuhuma' in five lines in Arabic. Album 2124. Diler H-20. Extremely rare and of great historical interest, a lustrous and exceptional example. Minor areas of weakness and with a flan fault on the reverse, otherwise, extremely fine.
From the Tabib Collection, formed over the past 40 years.
The reverse legend of this highly interesting issue reads: 'Möngke Qa’an the Great, and by his grace the conqueror of the coast, his brother Hulagu'. The coast ('al-basita') mentioned in the reverse legend is none other than the Levantine coast of the Mediterranean Sea, which Hulagu and his Mongols planned to conquer following their capture of Syria. However, six months after the Mongol army, which was supported by Crusader forces under Bohemund VI of Antiochia and an Armenian army under King Hetoum I, had captured the city of Dimashq on the 1st of March 1260, Hulagu's general Kitbuqa was utterly defeated by the future Sultan of Egypt, the infamous Baibars, in the Battle of Ayn Jalut ('Spring of Goliath' in Arabic). The Mamluk victory brought to an end the hitherto unstoppable conquests of the Mongols and deprived the remnants of the once mighty Crusader states of their last hope in their struggle for survival against the forces of Islam. On the other hand, many Christians had not forgotten the terrors of the Mongolian invasion of Europe in 1241, and Pope Alexander IV had in fact forbidden to form an alliance with the dreaded Asian warrior horde. In any case, the Mongolian defeat at Ayn Jalut resulted in their withdrawal from Syria and in the rise of Baibars, who killed the Mamluk Sultan Qutuz soon after the battle and succeeded to the throne.