ABBASID Al Mahdi dirham 161 AH (778 AD) Madinat Al Salaam


ABBASID, Al Mahdi, 775-785 AD, dirham, 161 AH (778 AD), Madinat Al Salaam, silver, 24mm, 2.84g, A215.1, cleaned aVF

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Al-Mahdi became caliph when his father, Al-Mansur, died. He worked on subduing the eastern provinces, had good relations with the Byzantines and later turned into fighting. He died either of poison or by falling off his horse while hunting.

The Abbasid revolution was a response to the nepotic corruption of the Umayyad government, which annoyed the disfavored elements of society to the extent that rich and poor united to throw the bums out. As always in that era the complaints were couched in religious terms, but it was about bad government.

The term “Islamic coins” refers to coins made by Muslim governments from the time of the first caliphs to an end point in time that varies with the particular country being considered, but is generally some time from the 17th to 19th century. There is a geographic exclusion: India and points east are generally considered separately. The main reference used here is “Checklist of Islamic Coins,” by Stephen Album.