Egyptian medallion

This image of a medallion was sent in by a visitor to Omniglot. Can you decipher the writing on it?

Egyptian medallion with unknown writing on it

This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions, Writing.

7 Responses to Egyptian medallion

  1. evans says:

    the first and third lines appear to begin with “السلطان” but it seems like there’s a د instead of a ن .

  2. TJ says:

    I can speculate about the meaning although the letter Nun (ن) here is weird and never seen like it before in the calligraphic styles I do remember so far. It will help a lot if I can see a larger version (“a” for the right, and “b” is for the left):

    1a. سلطان البر
    2a. وخاقان البحر
    3a. السّلطان محمد
    4a. عز نصره

    1b. ضرب
    2b. فــــي
    3b. —
    4b. (date)

    1a. Sultan of the land.
    2a. Khaqan of the sea.
    3a. Sultan Mohammed.
    4a. Glorified is his victory.

    1b. Minted.
    2b. In.
    3b. —
    4b. (date).
    Generally, the style of the medallion is like the previously posted on Omniglot quite often, and most of them are related to the Ottoman era. As for the date and the place of mintage, it is just a matter of observing closely the letters and numbers. I have to say the hard angles in this calligraphy style is weird and usually in such medallions, the style is softer. The letter (Nun: ن) here is specifically strange and never seen it before. The definitive article (AL: الــ) in the beginning of some words is either omitted for a) linguistical reasons related to Turkish, or b) Abbreviated, or c) they might not be omitted but it is just the time passage that made them illegible clearly here. Another possibility about the AL part, that it might be just the calligraphic style used here to merge the dot of Nun with the following Alef-Lam of “AL”.

  3. TJ says:

    for 1a and 2a, the words might be as well “البرين” and “البحرين” respectively, meaning “the two lands” and “the two seas” respectively. I’ve noticed after some search that most Turkish “coins” include this version instead of a singular noun.

  4. Jerry says:

    Very interesting. Those medallions must be priceless!

  5. Carol says:

    Thank you everyone for your help in the translation. However, it the writing Arabic or Ottoman Turkish?

  6. lukas says:

    The two lands being Europe and Asia, the two seas the Mediterranean and the Indian.

  7. TJ says:

    @Carol: The general words and language here is Arabic, but Arabic was used in some areas of life at the Ottoman time, but the general life was in Turkish. The title “khaqan” is mainly Turkish and it is always connected to the “sea” so I take it as that it is the Turkish equivalent of “admiral”.
    The word “Admiral”, by the way, is said to be a derivation from the Arabic phrase “أمير البحر” [Amír ul-baħr] meaning “prince of the sea”.

%d bloggers like this: