Oriental Numismatic Society Events        News        Members articles
Publications        Book reviews        Site search        Internet
Membership        About ONS
Celil Ender. Karesi, Saruhan, Aydin ve Mentese Beylikleri Paralari (Nümismatik Yayinlari No.2)
Garo Kurkman and Celil Ender. Coins of the Fourteenth Century Aegean Anatolian Begliks: 700-829AH / 1300-1425 AD (Ege Beylikleri Sikkeleri - 14 yüzyil - Karesi, Saruhan, Aydin, Mentese Beylikleri)

Celil Ender, Karesi, Saruhan, Aydin ve Mentese Beylikleri Paralari (Nümismatik Yayinlari No.2)

Turkish text, 224 pages, map and bibliography, 19 plates of coin photos. With 6 colour plates of monuments, mosques and inscriptions. The catalogue portion, profusely illustrated by accurate line drawings. Card covers, 61/2 x 9 inches. ISBN 975-93806-0-9. Published by the author, Istanbul, 2000 (Posta Abone Kutusu 76,81062 Erenkoy, Istanbul, Turkey).

Garo Kurkman and Celil Ender, Coins of the Fourteenth Century Aegean Anatolian Begliks: 700-829AH / 1300-1425 AD (Ege Beylikleri Sikkeleri - 14 yüzyil - Karesi, Saruhan, Aydin, Mentese Beylikleri)
Text in Turkish and English, 254 pages, bibliography, 28 plates of coin photos in enlargement. Catalogue portion illustrated with hundreds of enlarged line drawings. Well bound, 8 x 111/2 inches. Published by Kurkman in a limited edition, Istanbul, 1998; released in April 2001 by the author (P.K.121, Tesvikiye, 80212, Istanbul, Turkey).

       Two acknowledged Turkish experts on Islamic coinage collaborated in the past decade to write an up-to-date history of the four Anatolian Turkish principalities and describe as many of the coins attributed to the Karasi, Sarukhan, Aydin and Mentese beyliks examined in museums in London, Berlin, Rome, Paris, Oxford, New York, Washington DC, Tubingen and Graz, as well as the important collections in Turkey (Bursa, Ephesus, Istanbul, Manisa, Milas, Odemis and Tire) plus specimens from the collections of Etker, Olcer, Kabaklarli, Yardas, YapiKredi, Erel, Sengun, Webdale, Erek and the authors themselves.
       In both editions the two pages of abbreviations are included which show the initials of the source collections of the coins catalogued. Ender, however, has omitted 97 of the collectors' own numbers which fortunately are printed in Kurkman's volume. It is of intereset to realise that approximately half of the coins catalogued were once in the collections of two numismatists: Webdale and Olcer.
       The publication of their work was first announced for release by EREN in Istanbul but was cancelled after there was an abrupt termination of the authors' joint venture in 1998. Fortunately, the major part of the work had been completed and one of the authors, Celil Ender, published his copy of the manuscript in Turkish in July 2000 and added a few coins he had discovered later. The fact that he had unfortunately omitted the name of his co-author, Garo Kurkman, resulted in the publication of a limited but superior edition of the work with both of the authors' names mentioned, with an English translation included, with all the line drawings (Mr Kurkman's work) and enlarged coin photos. This edition was released in Istanbul in April this year, but bears the date of 1998 on the title page, although his preface is dated September 2000.
       This means that the work is essentially the same in both volumes, the text and catalogue portions being well organised as follows:
       KARASI BEYLIK: 697-761 / 1297-1360
       The two pages of text provided by the authors mention the fact that the history of this beylik is derived from contradictory accounts and from the tombstones in the Tokat Museum. The best account is Elizabeth A. Zachariadou's article in the 1991 Symposium volume ("Halcyon days in Crete 1") 1993.
       In the catalogue section there are descriptions of six coins minted in the name of the Ilkhanid ruler, Uljaitu, followed by 22 coins struck in silver and copper by Demirhan Beg in Balikesir and Yahsi Han Beg and Beylerbegi Celebi, who ruled in Bergama.
       SARUKHAN BEYLIK: 700-814 / 1300-1411
       Three pages are devoted to the history of this beylik. The contribution by Zachardiadou in the Encyclopedia of Islam, 1995, is a necessary source for further study especially since the authors raise the question of the death of Ishak Beg and which of the two sons succeeded him. Moreover, the evidence of recently discovered copper coins dated 814 shows that Ishak Beg had another son named Sarhan, which Kurkman discussed in an article in the Turkish Numismatic Society Bulletin, 1986.
       The genealogical table of the rulers of the beyliks shows a serial number beside the name which relates to the catalogue portion. This makes it very easy to refer to the pages and find the coins for each ruler. No coins have been found belonging to Saruhan Beg and his successor, Ilyas Beg, and it is pointed out that the coin Erel attributed to Ilyas was an error for a coin of Leys Beg, the last Menteshe ruler.
       Ishak Beg coins without dates, similar to Ilkhanid types, total nine. There are two with the word sultan. Those dated 776 and with the earliest known tughra device total 11, of which four are illustrated. There are 13 with halledehu / ishak on the obverse and hallada allahu / mulkehu on the reverse and a metrological list. The next ruler, Hizir Shah Beg , is represented by 8 silver coins and a similar number of copper coins. For Orhan Beg 4 silver coins with a tughra device on the obverse and dated 807 are shown. These were well discussed by K. Zhukov in the Rethymon Symposium volume, 1993, and are followed by 13 copper coins dated 806 and 807. Two recently found copper coins dated 814 provide evidence of the existence of the second Saruhan Beg's rule. Six coins of Ishak Beg II are described and two copper coin types illustrated. (An unpublished paper by Zhukov read at a conference in Cesme, 1997, discussed these interesting coins in detail).
       The catalogue portion of the Sarukhan coins concludes with 22 anonymous copper coins of three types. There are many such coins in the museums of the Aegean region. They are difficult to assign to the beyliks covered in the present study and only a limited selection has been made.
       AYDIN BEYLIK: 707-829 / 1307-1426
       There are 11 pages devoted to the history of this important beylik, which has been well covered by Uzuncarsili in his Anadolu Beylikleri (pages 104-20) and by Melikoff in the Encyclopedia of Islam. The present authors have included the full text of the early treaty between Giovanni Sanudo, Duke of Candia, and Hizir Celebi, the Emir of Aydin, 9 May 1337. They point out that it is curious that such a treaty should have been signed by a lower ranking emir than Umur Beg during his lifetime (one of the great Turkish naval commanders), his brother being a far less capable leader. When Sultan Bayezid led his armies against the principalities, Isa Beg pledged his allegiance but he was forced to live in Tire by the Ottoman sultan, which resulted in the beylik going into abeyance for 15 years. After the battle of Ankara, the beylik was restored by Timur under Isa Beg's sons, Musa and Umur. The authors agree that much more remains to be discovered about the history of this principality. They add that, on the evidence of the coinage, Umur Beg II had a son named Mehmed.
       The catalogue section is organised as follows. Two coins are listed for Ibrahim Bahadur Beg, the third son of Mehmed Beg, the founder of the dynasty. One coin is described of Suleyman Sah Beg, one of the five sons of Mehmed Beg, who received the lands around Tire. Fahreddin Isa Beg, the fifth and youngest son of Mehmed Beg, remained with this father in Birgi. More of his coins exist than for any of the other Aydin emirs. The catalogue shows several types: 18 coins with a square cartouche on the obverse, three with a double ring intersected by the "knot of bliss" motif, two with the names of the four caliphs around the Kalima, one with the names around a hexagon. There are also two coins with the mint-name of Ayaslug. One silver coin is attributed to Musa Beg, who may have fought with Timur at Ankara, but nothing is known about his brief reign.
       There is an interesting commentary on Mehmed Beg II, who ruled from 807 / 1406 (?) and 10 dated and undated copper coins are attributed to him. These are followed by the coins of Mustafa Beg. There are two silver ones dated 834 expressing allegiance to the Karaman sultan, Mehmed Beg II, and two in his own name. These latter were once attributed to the Ottoman ruler, Mustafa Sehzade (Kucuk).
       Fifteen pages of this catalogue section cover the copper and small number of silver coins of this Beylik which lack either the ruler's name or mint.
       In the Aydin genealogical table, Cuneyd Beg is listed as the son of Ibrahim Bahadur (son of Mehmed Beg). A separate two-page history is devoted to this intriguing person, who was a member of the Aydinoghullari dynasty and not an outsider. This only emerged from examination of the vakf records and the evidence of the coins. He had three reigns: 866-9 (1403-6), 813-6 (1410-13), 825-9 (1422-6). During the struggle between the Ottoman princes for the accession (i.e. the interregnum period), Cuneyd Beg backed Isa Beg against Mehmed Celebi. When Mehmed defeated Isa, Cuneyd asked for a pardon and swore allegiance to Mehmed Celebi, who granted him the title Aydin Begligi. Two types of coins of Cuneyd are described and illustrated, the first with a confused and semi-literate declaration of faith and the names of the four caliphs around. Three specimens are shown. The reverse is divided into four segments with mehmed (b...) bayezid in the upper segment, ghazi cuneyd in the lower segment, hallada at the right, and mulkehu at the left. Turkish written sources report that Mehmed Celebi forced Cuneyd Beg to recognise his suzerainty and his right to strike coins (Mordtmann in EI). The second type, of which 9 examples are described, has the ruler's tughra on the obverse.
       MENTESE BEYLIK: 700-829 / 1300-1435
       The history of the Mentese-Oghullari has been studied by many scholars, with P. Wittek's "Das Furstentum Mentesche", 1934, reprinted in Turkish translation after 1944, and E. Mercil later (1991) article in EI both being standard references. The authors have made good use of them and give the details of the treaty concluded between the Duke of Candia, Morosini, and the Emir Orhan (13 April 1331). After the death of Ibrahim Beg, the beylik was split into three. Musa took Balat and Milas, Ahmed Gazi became ruler of Fethiye, and Mehmet Beg ruler of Mugla and Cine. This period is well covered in the text. Ender's Turkish edition includes a genealogical table, but this was omitted in error from Kurkman's superior publication.
       The first coins were struck during the reign of Masud Beg in 702 in Milas, in the name of the Seljuk sultan, Masud II, as recorded by J.C. Hinrichs in his study of the Seljuks (1990). Three specimens are listed in the catalogue. Thereafter, coins of the three sons were struck and examples of these are described. Three types of silver coins of Ahmed Gazi are represented as are undated copper coins. Coins of the next ruler, Ilyas Beg, are discussed - 16 silver coins minted in 805 and 10 without date. Six more silver coins and two half-denomination coins, dated 818, demonstrate that he paid allegiance to the Ottoman sultan, Mehmed Celebi. Coins of the last ruler, Leys (Uveys), the son of Ilyas Beg, are represented by two undated silver coins and 14 akches and half akches dated 823, 824 and 825. Finally the authors have added four silver coins which they state are probably struck by Ahmed Beg II (823-7), the other son of Ilyas Beg.
       In Kurkman's edition of the work there is a three-part survey of the gigliati type coins struck by the Latin colony, the first being those struck during the first half of the 14th century AD. These were the founding years of the Sarukhan beylik in which there were no coins either in the name of the Ilkhanids or of the Islamic type. This may have encouraged the striking of gigliati-type coins. Schlumberger's explanation of these coins is included, and the only coins catalogued are also taken from his work (reprinted in Graz in 1954) and show the mint of Manglasi. The second part concerns the imitations of the gigliati struck in Naples around 1300 AD which were assumed to have been struck by the Sarukhan and Mentese beyliks. The authors point out that errors occurred in the writings of P. Lambros in which Magnesia de Spil was confused with Magnesie de Meandre, near Ephesus, which was part of the Sarukhan beylik. They also mention the erroneous attribution of such coins to Umur Beg by such eminent numismatists as Karabecek and referred to by Uzuncarsili in his Anadolu Beylikleri (page 119) and Ibrahim Artuk (no. 1486 in his Istanbul catalogue). Sixteen silver and one gold coin (not in Schlumberger) are listed here from the mint of Theologos.
       The last part of this section is devoted to the silver gigliati- type coins struck by the Latin Colony during the time of Sucuaddin Orhan Beg (720-45 / 1320-45) of the Mentese beylik. It is the firm view of both authors that none of these gigliati type coins were struck by the beyliks. In fact, Mr Ender assumes that they were illegally minted by the Venetian and Genoese merchants in their own mints set up in Miletos and Agios Theologos (Ayasluk).
       One of the features of the Ender edition is a six-page coloured supplement, with 14 photos of monuments and inscribed stonework, and mosques relevant to the history as outlined in the text. Some of these appear in the Kurkman volume in black and white on the appropriate pages of Aydin and Mentese history. In both volumes, the photos of the coins are extremely well printed and excellent for study along with the superb line drawings.
       This reviewer has no hesitation in recommending the purchase of one or both volumes by historians and numismatists interested in the subject since the work is unlikely to be superseded for some time, perhaps only when Dr Konstantin Zhukov publishes the revised edition of his Egeiskii Emirati v. xiv-xvvv (The Aegean Emirates in the 14th and 15th centuries), Moscow 1988, which he is currently working on.

       Kenneth M. MacKenzie

© 1999-2010 ONS