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4 What Happened in 155 / 771–72? The Testimony of Lead Seals

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the lead tax seals from the reign of the second ʿAbbāsid caliph, Abū Jaʿfar al-Manṣūr, dating to 155/771-72, as well as references to the repetition of the same regnal year in a historical text. The caliph Abū Jaʿfar al-Manṣūr made two visits to Ilīyā, the religious center of Bilād al-Shām. Seals bearing the name Ilīyā can be either round or square in shape. The components of the inscription appear on one side of both round seals and square seals. The second type of seal dated to the year 155 A.H. is known from only one example, and mentions Ṭabariyyā. The seal is a square pendant with a tunnel on the back, to hold the chain or thong from which it was suspended. The inscription appears only on one side of the pendant. The lead seal of iqlīm Ṭabariyyā belongs to ʿUbayd Masāmā or to 'the treasurer'.

Keywords: ʿAbbāsid; ʿUbayd Masāmā; Bilād al-Shām; caliph Abū Jaʿfar al-Manṣūr; Ilīyā; lead tax seals



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