Numi Cufici Regii Numophylacii Holmiensis. Quos Omnes in Terra Sueciae Repertos.

TORNBERG, Carolus Johannes.

Book ID: 18992


4to. lxxxviii, 315 pp., 14 b/w plates, Latin & Arabic text, uncut, half title, contemporary hard back boards, title printed in black on spine & front cover, index, Excudebant Leffler et Sebell, Upsala, 1848.


First edition of a work on Kufic coins, written by the Swedish orientalist and numismatic Carl Johan Tornberg (1807-1877). The work catalogues all the early Arabic coins found on Swedish soil, now residing in the Kungliga Svenska Myntkabinettet (Swedish Royal Coin Collection), Stockholm. The descriptions note where and under whose rule the coins were minted. Tornberg also gives a transcription of the coin’s text in Arabic and a short note on its appearance and rarity. Among the earliest coins are those from the Ummayad caliphate around the year 63 (684-685), followed by coins from the Abbasids, the Ummayads in Spain, up to the Hamdanids and Marwanids. Tornberg studied Arabic and Persian, and became professor of Oriental languages at the University of Lund, Sweden. The present work is the second catalogue of the Myntkabinettet: the first treated the collection’s Anglo-Saxon coins, described by B.E. Hildebrand and published in 1848.
Tomberg was a Swedish Orientalist, numismatist and university teacher. For his scientific work, he made foreign trips to different countries in 1856, 1863 and 1865 and studied the rich oriental handwriting treasures in Paris, London and Berlin. The significant collections of such manuscripts that exist in Upsala and Lund in Sweden were first scientifically arranged and described by Tornberg. In addition he published this work on Islamic silver coins found in Sweden; these are old Arabic coins with inscriptions in kufic (developed in the city of Kufa in Iraq). Gold coins (dinars), silver coins (dirhams) and copper coins (fels) have usually no image, only writing on them. In the early Middle Ages, these were an important means of payment – also in Europe, and many discoveries have been made in the Nordic region. This is an overview of Swedish findings. Coin discoveries are an important source of understanding the trade history of the 800-900s.
Bibliographic references: Lipsius-L. I, 141; “Cufic coins in the Stockholm mint collection.” Mayer 1806.

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