TIMURID Shah Rukh 1405-1447 AD tanka Lahijan mint 821 AH


TIMURID, Shah Rukh, 1405-1447 AD, tanka, 821 AH (1418 AD), Lahijan mint, Obverse: kalima in square in ornamented quadrilobe, Reverse: legend in dodecalobe, silver, 20mm, 5.05g, A2403, F

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It was said of Shah Rukh that his father, Tamerlane, didn’t approve of him because he balanced ruthlessness with mercy. Shah Rukh came to power after some of the normal fratricidal succession wars, and proceeded to rule with a rather reduced level of violence and oppression for the time.

Timur was a distant relative of Chingis Khan serving as chief minister to the Chagatay Khan, one of the rulers of the dissolving Mongol empire. He consolidated his position in Uzbekistan, then expanded southeast into Afghanistan and Pakistan, then west into Iran, Iraq, and Syria. He seems to have had relatively modern ideas about bureaucracy and what we might today call transnational governance, and to have thought of his subjects as perhaps more than just raw material. Most of what he did, though, was war. He and several of his successors were notable patrons of the arts.

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.