Gold 1/4 dinar and a tari of Roger II


British Museum

British Museum

The island of Sicily first came under Muslim rule in AD 827. In the tenth century it came under the sway of the North African Aghlabid dynasty, and then the Fatimids in 909 who installed the Kalbid emirs to rule it as governors (948-1053). This quarter dinar coin was struck during the reign of the Fatimid caliph al-Mustansir (1036-94). It has a characteristic design of radiating lines. Arab domination of the island ended following the conquest of Sicily by the Normans in 1091, and the establishment of the Norman kingdom. However, the Arabs were encouraged to remain, and many artisans and craftsmen did so. The resulting blend of Arab and Norman styles is evident, particularly in the architecture of the capital, Palermo. Sicily also became an important centre for the diffusion of Islamic culture into Europe. The Norman king of Sicily, Roger II (reigned 1130-54) struck gold coins known as tari (from the Arabic meaning 'pure') based on the earlier Fatimid quarter dinars. The Islamic Hijra date (AH) was maintained and the legends are both in Latin and Arabic.

Show lessRead more


  • Title: Gold 1/4 dinar and a tari of Roger II
  • Date Created: 1142/1142
  • Physical Dimensions: Weight: 0.810g
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Registration number: 1860,0703.23
  • Production place: Minted in Palermo
  • Material: gold
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Authority: Ruler Roger II
  • Acquisition: Donated by de Salis, John Francis William


Translate with Google