Arab-Latin Coinage - Bilingual Gold Solidus From Africa, 98 AH / 716-717 CE

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First Composed: 1st February 2015

Last Modified: 28th February 2015

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

Arab-Latin bilingual gold solidus from Africa, 98 AH / 716-717 CE.


98 AH / 716-717 CE.


Obverse field: lā-ilaha il-Allāh ("There is no god but God alone"). Obverse margin: SLDFRTINAFRKANCVIII {= "SoLiDus FeRiTus IN AFRiKa ANno XCVIII"} ("Solidus made in Africa in the Year 98").

Reverse field: Muḥammad rasūl Allāh ("Muḥammad is the Messenger of God"). Reverse margin: INNDNINDSNSSISNDCVNSM {= "IN Nomine DomiNI Non DeuS NiSSI Deus CUi Non SiMilis"} ("In the name of the Lord. There is no god but God, nothing is similar to Him").


Weight = 4.26 gms. These coins were first minted in 97 AH / 715-716 CE. The Latin legend on the obverse gives the mint name and the date, whilst that on the reverse is a translation of the first part of the kalima. This translation demonstrates attempts by the Muslim rulers to communicate in regions where they had to govern but where Arabic was not yet a spoken language. This coin was sold at Baldwin's Auction.[2]Compare this solidus with the contemporary issue from Spain.


Private Collection.

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[1] J. Walker, A Catalogue Of The Arab-Byzantine And Post-Reform Umaiyad Coins, 1956, The Trustees Of The British Museum, p. 79, No. 185.

[2] "The Horus Collection", Islamic Coin Auction - 24, 9th May 2013, A. H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd., Lot 4082. For faster download of this catalogue please click here.

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