Arab-Sassanian Coin Of Yazīd Ibn Al-Muhallab - II, 82 AH / 701 CE

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First Composed: 31st August 2007

Last Modified: 31st August 2007

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Arab-Sassanian coin issued by Yazīd ibn Muhallab in 82 AH.


82 AH / 701 CE. The date is based on the fact that Yazīd succeeded his father al-Muhallab in 82 AH as governor of the province of Khurasan.


Obverse field: Typical Arab-Sassanian bust, but with a new type of head-dress with a top like weather-vane. On the right hand side of the bust is Arabic letters in Kufic script, downwards, in two lines, Yazīd bin al-Muhallab. Obverse margin: bism Allāh / al-ʿAẓīm ("In the name of God, the Mighty").

Reverse field: In place of the usual Sassanian fire-altar and two attendents, a standing figure, facing, in armour, wearing helmet with "weather-vane" like that on the obverse side and holding in his left hand a spear, while grasping with his right hand a sword in its scabbard. The name of mint is Khurasan written in Middle Persian. Reverse margin: Contains both Ephthalite (Greek) and kufic scripts. The kufic script says duriba jizya bi-al-Jūzjān ("struck for tribute in al-Juzjan").


This remarkable trilingual coin is the first known specimen of Yazīd's coinage, as well as being issued in the year before Yazīd was deposed by the caliph on the advice of Yazīd's brother-in-law Hajjāj ibn Yūsuf. The mention of al-Juzjan, a western district of the Balkh quarter of the province of Khurasan, is the earliest record of the place on coins.


Not known.

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[1] J. Walker, "Some New Arab-Sassanian Coins", The Numismatic Chronicle And Journal Of The Royal Numismatic Society, 1952, Volume XII, Sixth Series, pp. 108-110 and Plate IX.

[2] S. Nebehay, "Frühislamische Bildermünzen", Numismatische Zeitschrift, 2005, Volume 113/114, p. 268 and p. 270.

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