Arabian Nights: Coin of Harun al-Rashid
One Thousand and One Nights or Arabian Nights, as it's better known in English is collection of Middle Eastern folk tales. Among its many famous stories are "Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp," "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves," and "The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor." The framing device of a narrator (Scheherazade) relating a series of stories was the inspiration for Canterbury Tales and the Decameron, among countless other works.-Nights integrates imaginary characters with real people. By far the most prominent of the latter is Harun al-Rashid, the fifth and greatest Abbasid caliph, who appears in most of the tales set in Baghdad, his capital. His reign, from 786-809, is widely considered the zenith of the Islamic Golden Age. The first known version of Nights dates to the ninth century, possibly during the reign of Harun al-Rashid.-This is a silver dirham struck at the Baghdad mint during the reign of Harun al-Rashid, "The Right-Minded." In deference to the Islamic prohibition on graven images, the coin features no portrait. Kufic script, the oldest form of Arabic writing, adorns both obverse and reverse.