The 3rd Assemani Symposium was dedicated to the transitional period
of Islamic coinage, aiming at putting in context the Umayyad numismatic
materials. The bulk of the papers published in these Proceedings is therefore
focused on this theme, but the contributions also take into account
Arab-Sasanian and Arab-Byzantine issues, as well as early Umayyad coins
from various regions of the Dār al-Islām (Transoxiana, Sogdiana, Libya,…).
Other papers throw light on different periods and objects of Numismatic
interest (seals, glass stamps, history of collecting), as the vocation of this
Symposium is to be the occasion of a wide-range scientific exchange on Arabic and Islamic Numismatics.
Bruno Callegher: His scientific interests can be defined with in two major
research ambits, one relating to Roman coin finds in North-Eastern Italy,
the other regarding Byzantine coinage. He has been Keeper at the ‘Museo
Bottacin’ in Padua and since 2006 associate professor of Numismatics
at the University of Trieste.
Researcher of Arabic Language and Literature at the
Institute of Oriental Studies, Sapienza – University of Rome. Her domains
of research are Islamic Numismatics and Arabic manuscripts.
Monnaies et sources littéraires nous apprennent que la réforme monétaire
islamique commença progressivement au premier siècle de l’hégire depuis le
califat d’'Umar b. al-Khittab'. Elle fut achevée sous le calife umayyade ‘Abd al-
Malik b. Marwan dans la partie orientale du monde islamique. Quant au
Maghreb islamique la réforme ne s’atteignit que deux décennies après la date
de l’arabisation finale en 77 H. C’est en effet, vers la fin du I/VII s. et le
début du II/VIII s. que l’arabisation et l’islamisation complètes du système
monétaire ifriqiyen s’aboutirent. Nous possédons un témoignage numismatique appartenant à cette conjoncture et constitue l’objet essentiel de la présente étude; c’est un fals frappé en 100 H./718 au nom d’Atrabuls (Tripolis).
Ce fals est, fort probablement, rare, puisque nous n’en connaissons que trois autres exemplaires: l’un publié par Lane Poole, le deuxième par Ostrup et le troisième par Walker. Étudier ce fals convenablement à la lumière des données textuelles et archéologiques à la disposition des chercheurs notamment les données numismatiques fournies essentiellement par le nombre très réduit de fals
portant le même toponyme est l’objectif de la présente contribution.
The paper wants to pick out one of the probable sources of the passion for
Numismatics of Simone Assemani. His great granduncle, Giuseppe Simonio
Assemani is likely to have excited this passion on him.
Giuseppe Simonio Assemani became famous as great scholar of manuscripts of
many oriental languages: Coptic, Etiopic, Arabic, Persian, Turkish and, above
all, Syrian. He was dispatched by the Pope Clement XI to Egypt and to the
neighbouring countries in order to search those manuscripts. For his reputation,
he became Prefect of the Vatican Library in 1739. Generally, we know
nothing about his particular interest for ancient Numismatics, interest arisen
during his prefecture at the Vatican Library. In those year, in fact, very famous
collections of coins and medals entered the Library: 328 Greek and Roman
Medallions of the collection owned by the cardinal Alessandro Albani, the
collection of medallions, coins and medals of the cardinal Gaspare Carpegna,
with 4.000 pieces; the famous collection of 6.666 casts in sulphur of cameos and
carvings of Pier Leone Ghezzi, the extraordinary collection of more than 5.000
pieces of papal coins of Saverio Scilla. Giuseppe Simonio Assemani was
responsible for arranging and ordering a catalogue of those big collections:
When he died, a great number of Greek and Roman coins was found in his
apartment, together with medals and carvings, collection that shows his private
interest for Numismatics. For these reason, probably he passed this interest on
his great grandchild Simone Assemani, when he was still a child.
Questo saggio si propone di illustrare 22 sigilli di piombo di età aghlabita di
provenienza siciliana1. Gli esemplari presi in esame, sebbene inediti, afferiscono
ad una tipologia già delineata in due studi precedenti dei quali il primo,
a firma di P. Balog, risale al 1979 e il secondo, pubblicato da chi scrive, risale
al 2003. I sigilli pubblicati dall'autrice, a differenza di quelli illustrati dal
Balog e dei nuovi che qui mi accingo ad illustrare, costituiscono il frutto di
una campagna di scavo ufficiale condotta nell’area archeologica di Milena
(Sicilia: provincia di Caltanissetta) e hanno dunque, rispetto a tutti gli altri, il
pregio di provenire da un sito studiato a fondo dagli archeologi, il che – come
il lettore si renderà conto presto – avrà importanti refluenze sulla discussione
intorno all’uso di questi manufatti.
Both history sources as well as archaeological objects tell us about the past of
The writing of the Islamic history started already during the third quarter of
the seventh century by Syrian writers who wrote about the Islamic conquests.
But those books have been lost, and they are only mentioned in treaties written
in the 9th and 10th centuries (ELAD 2003). Historical sources writing about Umayyad Palestine are non-existing except for one Samaritan source that was written in Arabic in 1355 C.E. This source
only seldom writes about other communities other then the Samaritans.
The present paper tries to provide a rough overview over lead coins roughly
dating to the Umayyad period (ca. 700-750 AD). Lead coins can be either issued
alongside copper coins like in Baalbek or Jurjan as part of the regular petty
coinage, they can be a local currency like in the Persian Gulf region, or they can
have been produced in unofficial local workshops as a remedy against a need
for petty cash. Some examples for these three categories are presented and