Arab-Sassanian Coin Of Bishr Ibn Marwān - I, 73 AH / 692 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 73 AH.


73 AH / 692 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 MRWANAN ("Bishr ibn Marwān"). Obverse margin: In an unpointed script bism Allāh / lā-ilaha il-Allāh / waḥdahu Muḥammad / rasūl Allāh ("In the name of God. There is no god but God alone. 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 Azerbaijan is written on the right in Middle Persian downwards. On the left hand side is the date.


Another Arab-Sassanian coin from Damascus with the same legend on the obverse margin also comes from 73 AH. However, the reverse side of both are coins is completely different. The one from Damascus sports a typical Arab-Sassanian fire-altar with attendants, whereas the one above has three figures standing.

The interesting part of this coin is the reverse side. 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 coins. The raising of hands on either side of the head by the central figure most likely represents an act of worship.


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, p. 106 and Plate IX.

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