DELHI, Muhammad III, 1325-51 AD, 32 rati


DELHI, Muhammad III, 1325-51 AD, 32 rati, no mint, Obverse: 3 line legend: ALLAH AL-HAKIM BI-‘AMR, in circle, Reverse: 3 line legend: AHMAD A AL-‘ABBAS BU, in circle, billon, 14mm, 3.45g, GG-D464, F

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Muhammad III bin Tughluq was one of those conquering type rulers who liked to go out and fight the neighbors just because they were there. His continuous warmaking bred more warmaking, which messed up the economy.

Dehli is how Delhi is written in Arabic. The Dehli Sultans, or “slave kings of Delhi,” started out as Turkish slave soldiers (mamluks). As mamluks were often given positions of responsibility by their owners, there was a tendency for them to usurp power and establish dynasties, and that’s what happened in Delhi. The reference used for the coins is “The Coins of the Indian Sultanates,” by Goenka and Goron.

The earliest ancient Indian coins were the “bent bar” punchmarked silvers of the Achaemenid Persians occupying Gandhara in northwest Pakistan. By the 3rd century BC coins were in general use in most of India and Ceylon, and in subsequent centuries struck round coins in gold, silver, and copper came into use throughout the subcontinent and beyond to Southeast Asia and Pacific islands to Java and beyond.