Online Collection of Hispano-Islamic Coins: Gold Issues Prior to the Almoravid Conquest

Project leader:

Paula Grañeda Miñón
 

Working group:
• Paula Grañeda Miñón
• Paloma Otero Morán
• Documentation Department
 

Latin dinar from the time of the Muslim conquest

The coins issued in Al-Andalus—a geopolitical concept used to refer to the territory under Muslim rule on the Iberian Peninsula and in North Africa—constitute one of the most important numismatic series in the history of the Spanish Middle Ages, as the different Hispano-Islamic kingdoms struck pieces of immense archaeological and numismatic value for nearly eight centuries.

The museum’s collection of Hispano-Islamic coins is the largest of its kind in the world, comprising nearly 17,000 pieces ranging from the time of the Muslim conquest to the last Nasrid kingdom of Granada. The interest in the history of Al-Andalus is as old as the collection itself: records from 1725 document the acquisition of the Almohad hoard of Priego (Córdoba), which is not only indicative of the concern with recovering archaeological finds that public institutions (in this case the Royal Library) were beginning to express, but also evidences an early interest in medieval centuries at a time when classical Antiquity was still the centre of attention. By the late 19th century, the museum’s collection was already considered the best in its field.
 

Fraction of a dinar of Yahya II al-Qadi

Since 2009, the Online Collection of Hispano-Islamic Coins project has striven to disseminate these important artefacts by applying modern criteria and increasing their online visibility in order to promote and facilitate research into medieval Islamic coinage. Up until now, 502 coins pertaining to the Emirate and Caliphate periods from the former Vives collection were accessible online. This campaign will focus on gold coins (dinars and fractions) minted from the time of the Muslim conquest to the Almoravid period, adding nearly 340 new pieces from the 8th-11th centuries to the catalogue.

 

Related publications

 

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