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Islamic Volga Bulgar Imitation dirham

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Dear colleagues,

Islamic Volga Bulgar Imitation dirham, Help of identify

There is a very big discussion about this kind of dirhams in all the world for who belong, the title/ name inscription has always been a problem. In the course of more than 200 years, several variant readings have been suggested, e.g. al-Amir al-Hamid (Adler), al-Amir Barmal (Aurivillius, Tormberg, Grotzfeld, Fomin), al-Amir Brşal (Janina), and al-Amir Barman (Frähn, Barthold, Dorn, We- lin, Granberg, Hovén, Rispling, etc). 

I think  this dirham could not be for Almish Yiltawar as the said most of the researchers (Barman) because in the Arabic Language he has more than one name:
1. Ālmash ibn Yiltawar                المش بن يلطوار
2. Ālmas ibn Shalki Yiltawar  المش بن شيلكي يلطوار        
3. Also has one name mentioned in Arabic Sources like al-Hasan 
    ibn Yiltawar         الحسن بن يلطوار
4. when he became Muslim he has got the name Jaʿfar ibn 
   ʿAbdallah.             جعفر بن عبد الله          
None of the names mentioned can read on the dirhams in the Arabic language.

Thank you in advance for your help,




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11 minutes ago, planar73 said:

Hi, Sulayman! Welcome to RASMIR.

I'll move your topic to english-speaking section.

Interesting coin, interesting question. We can see what a сolleagues says about that.


Dear Вадим, 

Thank you very much.  

Edited by Sulayman Al Halabi
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Перевод, если потребуется:


В 17.01.2021 в 14:35, Sulayman Al Halabi сказал:

Уважаемые коллеги!

Просьба помочь в идентификации волжского (булгарского) подражания.

Повсеместно ведутся дискуссии об этих подражаниях, о том, кто их выпускал, о прочтении имен и титулов в легенде.
За более чем 200 лет было предложено несколько вариантов прочтения, например:
- аль-Амир аль-Хамид (Адлер),
- аль-Амир Бармал (Ауривиллиус, Тормберг, Гроцфельд, Фомин),
- аль-Амир Баршал (Янина) и аль-Амир Барман (Френ, Бартольд, Дорн, Велин, Гранберг, Ховен, Рисплинг и др.).

Полагаю, этот дирхам не мог принадлежать Алмышу Йилтавару, как утверждало большинство исследователей (Бармен).

Известно несколько вариантов его имени:
1. Алмыш ибн Илтавар     المش بن يلطوار
2. Ильмас ибн Шалки Илтавар    المش بن شيلكي يلطوار        
3. Также есть одно имя, упомянутое в арабских источниках, например, аль-Хасан ибн Илтавар     الحسن بن يلطوار
4. По принятию ислама он получил имя Джафар ибн ʿАбдаллах        جعفر بن عبد الله   

Ни одно из упомянутых имен не прочитывается в легенде на этом дирхаме.

Просьба высказать свои мнения.

Заранее благодарен за помощь.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Dear Sulayman Al Halabi, I can hardly answer your question satisfactorily, but I will tell you everything I know. Now it is customary to read this line as "al-amir Yaltawar" after G. Rispling:

Rispling G., 1990. The Volga Bulgarian immtative coinnage of al-Amir Yaltawâr ('Bârmân') and Mîkâ’îl b. Ja’far // Sigtuna Papers: Proceedings of the Sigtuna Symposium on Viking-age Coinage 1–4 June 1989. Commentationes de Nummis Saeculorum IX–XI in Suecia Repertis. Nova Series 6. Stockholm; London. 1990. P. 275–282.

There are two dies with this line:

d2330_K101-R27.gif.1f42c7667f2612d21c1840a6fa1d03c6.gif    GGI-d2330 (Rispling K101-R27) and

d427_K102-R37.gif.34324bf92e90e328c36a3880ee098d23.gif    GGI-d427 (Rispling K102-R37).

Many coins minted by them are published here:


I do not undertake to judge with what historical person this name (or title?) Is associated, and I do not think that a sufficiently reliable answer can be given to this question. The beginning of the use of these dies is dated no later than 323 AH (tpq of the Huszt hoard). The most recent works on the issuers of the Bulgarian name-bearing coins (in Russian):

Гоглов С.А., Големихов А.В., 2017-1. О монетном чекане Волжской Булгарии X в. // РЛО. Вып. 3. Минск. С. 40–63.
Goglov S.A., Golemikhov A.V., 2017-1. O monetnom chekane Volzhskoi Bulgarii X v. (About the coinage of Volga Bulgaria in the 10th century) // RLH. Issue 3. Minsk. P. 40–63.

Кулешов В.С., 2019. Фрагменты генеалогии правителей Волжской Булгарии X века [Fragments of genealogy of Volga-Bulgarian rulers of the 10th century] // Вспомогательные исторические дисциплины в современном научном знании: Материалы XXXII Международной научной конференции. Москва, 11–12 апр. 2019 г. М. С. 235–238.

I would be grateful for the provenance and metrology of the coin shown by you for its inclusion in our database.

Best regards, Alexey Golemikhov.

Edited by GolemXV
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Dear Alexey Golemikhov, 

Thank you very much for your response. I am really grateful for your help. The Russian articles you sent helped me a lot, as well as your opinion of the name inscription was very important on this imitation Islamic silver dirham. 
During my research I found that the logic is that dirhams belong to "al-amir Yaltawar", According to Ibn Fadlan In 922 AD when The Volga Bulgar adopted Islam Khan Almas was the only ruler in that region who has been recognized as an Islamic ruler under the auspices of Baghdad.  In accordance with his status as a Muslim leader, Khan Almas changed his name to Amir Jaʿfar ibn ʿAbdallah. After the caliph of Baghdad’s name. 
I am also agree with your opinion, but I am confuse a little of the title inscription, the big question for me is that if he has his own die which is the name Yaltawar could be clearly readable Arabic, why should have two dies with different names? 
The dirham belong to the Huszt hoard found in 1904 in Máramaros county, in the north-eastern part of historic Hungary, the territory is now in north-western Romania and western Ukraine. 2.35 g. 2.25 mm.  

Best wishes, 

Sulayman Al Halbi

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Thank you very much for the information about the coin. It turns out that this is #251 of the Huszt hoard: GGI-1438-021 (C1-d426-d427), Rispling K102-58/R37. Dies angle 4°. (The links will start to work correctly tomorrow afternoon) It was known to us from such a wonderful photo. :)


In general, your coin is the first imitation of this important complex, which can somehow be discerned. If you are going to publish other images of those coins in any way, I would be grateful for a reference to your work.

At this stage, I have not yet analyzed the correlation between the chronicle data and numismatic material. The results of such a correlation seem to me to go beyond the minimum level of reliability at which I am still ready to work. Perhaps you will be better at it. I would be happy to discuss any questions related to Kufic imitations.

Best regards, Alexey ([email protected])

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