Hulagu, Mongol Ilkhan of Persia AH 654-663/AD 1256-1265

Diler H-19; A 2121.1, Extremely Fine

Type of Baghdad mint, citing the Great Qa’an Möngke as overlord and Hulagu as Ilkhan whose titles include malka ruqab al-ummam, “posssessor of the necks of the people”. Same dies as Morton and Eden Auction 52, lot 1095, on which the mint name Baghdad is fully legible.


Hulagu Khan (AH 654-663/ AD 1256-1265) was a grandson of Ghengis Khan. Hulagu conquered much of Western Asia and founded the Mongol Ilkhanate of Persia. The title Ilkhan means “subordinate khan” in deference to the Great Khan of the Mongols. Hulagu’s brother Möngke Khan had been installed as Great Khan in 1251. In 1255, Möngke charged Hulagu with leading a massive army to subjugate or destroy the remaining Muslim states in southwestern Asia. Hulagu’s instructions were to treat those who submitted with kindness and to utterly destroy those who resisted. Following the destruction of the Lurs in southern Persia and the surrender of the Assassins at Alamut, Hulagu set out for Baghdad. Hulagu demanded surrender but the ‘Abbasid Caliph al-Musta’sim refused. In response, the Mongols laid siege to Baghdad. Within two weeks, the city surrendered. The Mongols swept into the city on February 13, 1258 and began a week of unparalleled destruction. The Grand Library of Baghdad, one of the great libraries of the medieval world, was destroyed and the Tigris is said to have run black from the ink of countless books. 200,000 inhabitants or more may have been killed. The Mongols first looted and then destroyed. Mosques, palaces and hospitals were razed.