Founder of the Emirate of Aleppo- Sayf al Dawla died today

09 Feb 2021  Tue

Sayf al- Dawla 'Sword of the State' was the Hamanid Emir of Aleppo. He established an emirate based on Aleppo in 945, and quickly emerged as the main Muslim antagonist of the Byzantine Empire on its eastern frontier. His court was a center of culture, but it lost this status after the Byzantine conquest of Aleppo.

Sayf al-Dawla was born Ali ibn Abdallah, the second son of Abdallah Abul-Hayja ibn Hamdan, son of Hamdan ibn Hamdun ibn al-Harith, who gave his name to the Hamdanid dynasty. He was widely celebrated for his role in the Arab–Byzantine Wars, facing a resurgent Byzantine Empire that in the early 10th century had begun to reconquer Muslim territories. The Byzantines annexed Cilicia and even occupied Aleppo itself briefly in 962. Sayf al-Dawla's final years were marked by military defeats, his own growing disability as a result of disease, and a decline in his authority that led to revolts by some of his closest lieutenants.

He died in early 967, leaving a much-weakened realm, which by 969 had lost Antioch and the Syrian littoral to the Byzantines and become a Byzantine tributary. Depicted here is gold Dinar minted at Baghdad in the name and Sayf Al-Dawla. The obverse of a coin depicts Kalima across the field; mint formula and AH date in inner margin. The reverse of a coin engraved Continuation of Kalima across field and legends in outer margin.

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