Neglected as a province after the caliphal capital moved from Damascus to Baghdad in the eighth century, by the later ninth century central 'Abbasid authority was waning and Syria was contested between various Muslim rulers such as the Tulunids
, Ikhshidids, and Hamdanids.
The first state founded by the Turks in Africa was the Tulunids
, which ruled today's Egypt in the 9th and 10th centuries.
The practice of hiring mercenaries and armies from peripheral regions, mainly of Turkic origin, eventually proved fatal to the 'Abbasids, as in the case of the Aghalibs, Buyids, and Tulunids
. The Islamic empire of the 'Abbasids eventually fell when the Mongols invaded Baghdad in 1258.
It then began to fragment into regional dynasties: in Spain, the Ummayad, 756-1031 A.D.; in Egypt, the Tulunids
, 868-905 A.D.; the Fatamids, 969-1171 A.D.; the Ayyubids, 1171-1260 A.D.; in Morocco and Tunisia, the Idrisids, 788-922 A.D.; the Aghlabids, 800-909; the Murabits, 10621145; and the Muwahhids, 1145-1223 A.D..
Using this numismatic evidence, from 1956 to 1980 the coinages of three Egyptian dynasties were analyzed in separate and significant monographs: Oleg Grabar's The Coinage of the Tulunids
(New York: American Numismatic Society, 1957); Paul Balog's Coinage of the Mamluk Sultans of Egypt and Syria (New York: American Numismatic Society, 1964); and Balog's The Coinage of the Ayyabids (London: Royal Numismatic Society, 1980).
(81.) On the prestige of the Tulunids
and the attempt of one of their last officers, Ibn al-Khal[i.bar]j, to restore the dynasty, see Wiet, L'Egypte arabe, 113.
And what do we know, in more general terms, about archival and documentary evidence for the history of the Tulunids
in Egypt and Syria?
Here the rise and fall of the first two "independent" Muslim dynasties in Egypt, the Tulunids
(868-905) and Ikhshids (935-969), are carefully charted.
Khaqan was involved at the highest level of politics both in Baghdad and Samarra; Hassan, in his history of the Tulunids
, speculates that Ibn Khaqan represented Ibn Tulun's interests in Iraq, hence his appearance in the company of al-Mu [[blank].sup.[subset]]tamid.
Except for a few issues in the early 9th century, there is no mint activity until the Tulunids
[890 A.D.] and then only at Filistin [Ramla?]."