Special Publication 55 Arab-Sasanian Numismatics and History during the Early Islamic Period in Iran and Iraq: The Johnson Collection of Arab-Sasanian Coins by Hodge Mehdi Malek, Royal Numismatic Society Special Publication no. 55 in two volumes, 832 pages including 130 plates; ISSN 0080 4487; ISBN 0 901405 94 9
This is the first major work to attempt a comprehensive survey of the Arab-Sasanian silver coinage since Walker’s 1941 Catalogue of the British Museum collection. It includes the latest research on the subject, both historical (chapters 1 to 4) and numismatic (chapter 5 to 15). All the coins (over 1,600), both silver drachms and copper fulus, in the Johnson collection are illustrated on the excellent plates. Where the Johnson collection does not have a specimen of an important coin an example is illustrated from another source, making this a truly important work.
The extensive chapters on the persons named on the coins, the mints, and the Pahlavi, Arabic and Sogdian legends, make this an invaluable historical source. Other chapters discuss the copper issues with their varied designs, the eras and dates used, metrology, coins struck in the east in Sīstān and further north by the Hephthalites, and countermarks, as well as the designs found on the silver drachms. All Pahlavi and Arabic legends (mints, persons named, religious and other marginal legends, dates) are written out as they appear on the coins in extensive tables. This makes it possible for a beginner in the series to read these sometimes difficult legends.
About the author: The author has been active as a collector and student of Arab-Sasanian coins since 1970. He published a book about the coinage of Tabaristān (RNS SP 39) in 2004 and has written numerous articles about ArabSasanian coins and the related late-Sasanian series. In this work he has brought together his expertise on the coinage, his knowledge of the Persian language and his experience from visiting many of the mint and other places discussed in the book.
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