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An attractive silver dirham of the Seljuks of Rum


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Seljuks of Rum. AR dirham. Kayka'us II, first sole reign (1246-1249 CE). Obverse: Inscription within square. Reverse: Inscription within square. Album 1223.1. This coin: Frank S. Robinson Sale 1123, lot 378 alternate (January 23, 2024).

(Sorry the historical section is short, I don't have the time now to understand and explain the complex history of the Seljuks of Rum in general, and Kayka'us II in particular.)

The Seljuks of Rum were an offshoot of the Seljuks Turks who ruled an area in central and eastern Anatolia starting in 1077 CE. In 1243, they were defeated by Mongol forces in battle and were only able to continue as vassals to the Ilkhans (Mongols of Persia). Kayka'us II succeeded his father Kaykhusraw II in 1246, and ruled alone for several years before placing parts of his domain under the rule of his two younger brothers Qilij Arslan IV and 'Ala al-Din Kayqubad II. His later life involves fights with his Mongol overlords and his brother Qilij Arslan, flight to the Byzantines under Michael VIII Palaiologos, an attempt to betray Michael, and eventually exile to Crimea (under the Golden Horde) where he died in exile.  

This coin appealed to me as a very aesthetically pleasing piece. The form of calligraphy and its arrangement is harmonious, and the coin itself is strongly struck and well-centered. Please post your coins of Kayka'us II, or whatever else is related. (I will be disappointed if I don't see some of the lion-and-sunface dirhams of his father Kaykhusraw II!)

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That’s a pretty coin. I don’t know much about these coins or the history around tum but do have one contribution from a little earlier in time.


SELJUQS of RUM. Rukn ed-Din Suleiman, 1196-1204 AD. AE Fals, AH 595. Horseman riding with mace / Arabic legends. Album.1205.2. Mit.963

I posted about this coin on FORVM years back and had a good back and forth with a member who was very generous with his time, walking me through the legend. I think he may be a member here too but under a different name. 

Edited by Orange Julius
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That's a fantastic coin with gleaming surfaces @Parthicus! I am a fan of the caligraphy on these Seljuk coins.  Here's the Lion and Sun, გურჯი-ხათუნი issue of Sultan Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn Kayḵosrow, first reign, AH 634-644 / AD 1237-1246, Dirham, from Sivas


I have a writeup of the story of this coin with some of my other favorites from the children of Sultan Ḡīāṯ-al-Dīn Kayḵosrow here:




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19 hours ago, Parthicus said:

I will be disappointed if I don't see some of the lion-and-sunface dirhams of his father Kaykhusraw II!

Disappointment no more!  Here is my favorite Kaykusraw II lion and sun dirham, Album-1218, from the Konya mint (one star below lion).  To me there is something compelling and evocative about this obverse design.  


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I love the imagery on Seljuq coins, especially the lion and sun as on the coins shown by @Sulla80 and @Bailathacl! My one Seljuq coin is the same as that of @Orange Julius, but I do not speak Arabic, and have not attempted to read the date on it myself yet.


Sultan Rukn al-Din Sulayman II; Seljuqs of Rum; 1196 – 1204 AD; AE fals; 30mm, 8.41 grams.; Obv: Horseman advancing right, holding mace, star left. Rev: Arabic legend citing sultan name, mint and AH; M-964; A-1205.2; ex. James Theselius Collection. ex. Wayne G. Sayles.

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On 3/9/2024 at 8:21 PM, Parthicus said:

I will be disappointed if I don't see some of the lion-and-sunface dirhams of his father Kaykhusraw II!)

Well, I don't want to disappoint you:


Seljuq Sultanate of Rum, Kaykhusraw II, citing caliph al-Mustansir, AR dirham, 1241–1242 AD (639 AH), Qunya (Konya) mint. Obv: Kufic legend citing caliph: "al-imam al-mustansir billah amir al-mu'minin;" lion r. with sunface above. Rev: name and titles of Kaykhusraw II in Naskh: "as-sultan al-azam / ghiyath al-dunya wa ud-din / kay khusraw bin kay qubadh;" around, mint and date: "duriba bi-quniyat / sanat tis' / thel[athin] sittm'iat." 23mm, 2.97g. Ref: Album 1218.


Seljuq Sultanate of Rum, Kayaka'us II (1st reign), citing caliph al-Musta'sim, AR dirham, 1248–1249 AD (646 AH), Qunya (Konya) mint. Obv: kalima and citation of caliph: "la ilah illa allah / muhammad rasul allah/ al-imam al-musta’sim / billah amir al-mu'nimin," in square; date 646 AH in margins. Rev: name and titles of Kayaka'us II: "as-sultan al-azam / zill allah fi al-alam /'izz al-dunya wa ud-din / kay kawus bin kay khusraw," mint formula for Qunya around. 22.5mm, 3.03g. Ref: Album 1223.1.


Seljuq Sultanate of Rum, under Kayka'us II, Qilij Arslan IV, Kayqubad II ("the three brothers"), citing caliph al-Musta'sim, AR dirham, 1249–1250 AD (647 AH), Siwas mint.  Obv: kalima and citation of caliph "la ilah illa allah / muhammad rasul allah al-imam / al-musta'sim billah amir al-mu / 'minin;" afterwards mint and date formula for Siwas 647 AH. Rev: names and titles of the three brothers: "al-salatin al-a'azim / 'izz al-dunya wa ud-din kay kawus / wa rukn al-dunya wa ud-din qilij arslan / wa ’ala al-dunya wa ud-din kayqubad / ibn kay khusraw barahin amir al-mu’minin." 23mm, 3,02g. Ref: Album 1227.


Seljuq Sultanate of Rum, Ghiyas ad-Din Kaykhusraw III, AR dirham, 1276–1277 AD (674 AH), Ma'dan Lulueh mint. Obv: “al-mulk lillah” (‘sovereignty belongs to God’) within polylobe; around, mint and date formula for Ma’dan Lulueh 674 AH. Rev: name and titles of Kaykhusraw III: “al-sultan al-azam / ghiyath al-dunya wa al-din / abu al fath kay khusraw / ibn qilij arslan.” 24mm, 2,93 g. Ref: Album 1232; Mitchiner 1001.

(That's a neat coin you have there, by the way!)

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Lion and Sun-face challenge accepted. 

Seljuks of Rum, Ghiyath al-Din Kay Khusraw II AR Dirham. Siwas mint, unclear date, AH 639(?).  Lion advancing to right, crescent and three stars around; personification of sun above / Name and title in four lines; mint and date in outer margins. Album 1218; cf. Broome 272, type D(ii). 3.00g, 22mm, 5h.

Paired above left with an Armenian Takvorin of Levon III 1301-07 AD.   I cannot help but think the Armenian lion was inspired by the Seljuk coin.  



Lastly an uncommon Seljuk coin which just happens to have the most spectacular toning.  Kilij Arslan IV, Sivas mint.  Previously posted.

Several fascinating features on this coin.  The old ticket says it was the only coin of the group with facial features.  The archer has clear stirrups.  The arrow has a crescentic head, and he is holding two more arrows in his right hand as he draws, a hallmark of rapid shooting.   The crescentic arrows may have been for bringing down birds on the wing, thus a subtle boast of the archer’s expertise.  

Kilij  Arslan IV was strangled in 1265 AD at the instigation of Pervane, a powerful Persian noble who had facilitated Qilij Arslan’s rise to power, but subsequently feared he might turn against Pervane.  

Sivas, formerly Sebasteia or Sebaste, was the home of 40 legionary soldiers martyred by Licinius image.jpeg.70558e3b59fac9159ef0b0431b192264.jpegin 320 AD, and the site of martyrdom for Saint Blasius.image.jpeg.9d3e3ef790f45ab63ad8ce281b1ee4da.jpeg It was also the first major city in Asia Minor plundered and its inhabitants slaughtered by the Seljuks in 1059 AD, before the battle of Manzikert where Romanus IV image.jpeg.794551a0e5cc9a9afa377e9e1c35cd74.jpeg  Was defeated in 1071 AD.   Later, with Iconium, the city served as a Seljuk capitol. 

Citing the Caliph al-Mustasim,image.jpeg.fba5c82179bc83703afc23beef72c3cb.jpeg who was soon killed by the Mongols in 1258 AD.  

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46 minutes ago, Hrefn said:


Lion and Sun-face challenge accepted. 


You crushed that challenge!

While not a lion & sun design this time, I will offer up a “Lion/Sun adjacent” AV Dinar, from the Three Brothers reign (1249-59 AD), 4.49g, Album-1227, struck AH 648 at the Konya mint.  Nicer in hand than the photo fully suggests, strongly and evenly  struck with consistent luster and no wear evident.  IMG_4347.jpeg.3476a1a802b276e381fab113fe3509b9.jpeg(One can almost hear the whirling Dervish music playing if one listens carefully.)


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At the local coin shop where I grew up, I got one of these dirhams of Kaykhusraw II.  Nearly half a century ago; ridiculously cheap, even with inflation and on my budget.  Access kick-self mode: it's long gone.

This is the nearest I can get these days.


Mamluks (contemporaneously in Egypt and Syria, with expansion into the Frankish Levant).  Baybars I, 658-676 AH /1260-1277 CE.  AR dirham, also (with contemporary Seljuqs) following the module of Ayyubid issues.  Album, 2nd ed. (1998), 883, noting that "[w]ell-struck examples of this [...] type are remarkably scarce."  Most of them I've seen online don't have this much of the lion.

...Somewhere, in print (don't have the book), I read that, at least for the Mamluks, the lion was effectively a heraldic insignia for the dynasty.  

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17 hours ago, JeandAcre said:

Thanks All the way Back At you!  :<} 

...Hoping you get an honest minute to post more.

I plan to. I am in the process of adjusting to retirement and life changes. I plan to finally execute my project of thoroughly cataloging and reshooting my collection. Going to redo my office for my collection projects. I may even look to sell some of my lower interest categories in 2025… dunno yet.

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