Arab-Sassanian Coin Of Bishr Ibn Marwān - II, 75 AH / 694-695 CE

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First Composed: 31st August 2007

Last Modified: 31st August 2007

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

Arab-Sassanian coin issued by Bishr ibn Marwān in 75 AH.


75 AH / 694-695 CE.


Obverse field: Typical Arab-Sassanian bust, downwards behind the head, in two lines Middle Persian invocation AFZUT / GDH ("May kingship increase!"). Right downwards in front of the head, a legend in Middle Persian in two lines BISHR I / MARWANAN ("Bishr ibn Marwān"). Obverse margin: In an unpointed script bism Allāh Muḥammad / rasūl Allāh ("In the name of God. Muḥammad is the messenger of God").

Reverse field: In the place of the usual Sassanian fire-altar and two attendants, three bearded figures standing, the central one facing with hands raised on either side of his head, in an attitude of prayer, with smaller figures left and right, respectively, having their heads turned toward him. The mint name ‘Basra’ is written on the right in Middle Persian downwards. On the left hand side is the date.


The reverse side of the coin is quite interesting. The central figure, in all probability, represents the caliph, or perhaps the governor, but in origin it probably derived from the "standing caliph" type Arab-Byzantine coin. The raising of hands on either side of the head by the central figure most likely represents an act of worship.

Compare this coin with the one from 73 AH from Bishr ibn Marwān with slightly different legend on the obverse margin.


Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

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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. 107-108 and Plate IX.

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

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