9. Fils, post-1497 CE

The copper or possibly bronze fils (pl. fulūs) mentioned in these sixteenth-century accounts was known by a vast array of alternative labels around the early modern Mediterranean. Among Francophone merchants in the Ottoman Empire they were bourbes, bulbes, or forles, while Ottoman imperial subjects referred to them as jadīd (Arabic), mangır, and pul (Ottoman Turkish) [1]. Beginning in the the 1350s, under the second reign of the Mamlūk Sultan al-Nāṣir Ḥasan (1354-1361CE), Egyptian fulūs were minted at the weight of a mithqāl (~ 4.25 grams) after centuries of production at the conventional weight of 3 grams [2]. This shift led to the label "al-fulūs al-judud" (the new fulūs) and the shorthand jadīd across the late medieval centuries into the Ottoman period. The mention of half a Spanish escudo (or perhaps an excelente) in a nearby entry (ונוץ קרונה) pictured in this fragment makes it possible to date these accounts as post-1497 CE .

[1] André Raymond, Artisans et commerçants au Caire au XVIIIe siècle, vol. I (Damascus: Institute Français, 1973), 36-37.

[2] Warren C. Schultz, "Mahmûd Ibn 'Alî and the 'New Fulûs': Late Fourteenth Century Mamluk Egyptian Copper Coinage Reconsidered," American Journal of Numismatics 10 (1998): 134.

"Accounts," upper right excerpt of CUL: T-S Ar.34.344v, 16th-century, Judaeo Arabic.

Image provided by Cambridge University Library

Right account entry:

1 Delayed [payment] in hand | יתאכר בידי בידי מן

2 from R. Shelomo al-Dayyan | מן ר׳ שלמה אדיין

3 fulūs | פלוס

4 twelve | יב

(ed. Matthew Dudley)

Mangır from the Princeton Numismatic Collection (Coin: 16624)

Denomination: mangir

Metal: Bronze

Region: Ottoman Empire

State: Diyarbakır

City: Amid

Date: 1444 to 1688

Obverse Figure Description: Ornamental design, composed of flowers

Reverse Legend: [ضرب في [اميد

References: Album 1390MNOM 73var.

Size: 23mm

Die Axis: 12

Weight: 8.10 in grams

Shape: round

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