Coinage of Ghiyath ad-Din Keyhusrev

01 Jul 2020  Wed

Ghiyath ad-Din Keyhusrev bin Kayqubad was the sultan of the Seljuqs of Rum from 1237 until his death in 1246. He ruled at the time of the Babai uprising and the Mongol invasion of Anatolia. He led the Seljuq army with its Christian allies at the Battle of Kose Dag in 1243. He was the last of the Seljuq sultans to wield any significant power and died as a vassal of the Mongols.

Between 638 and 641 A.H., a series of remarkable silver Dirhams were struck in Keyhusrev’s name at Sivas and Konya depicting a lion and sun. While coins with images are not unknown in Islamic lands, particularly in the centuries following the Crusades, some Islamic traditions forbid representations of living things.

Several explanations of the lion and sun have been offered. One suggests that the images represent the constellation Leo, the astrological sign of Keyhusrev's beloved Georgian wife Tamar. Another says that the lion represents Keyhusrev and the sun Tamar.

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