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The establishment of the Mongolian Empire in the early 13th century was the work of Genghis Khan (ca. 1162–1227), one of the greatest chiefs of all time. During his lifetime, he divided the state between his four sons. The westernmost part of the empire, known as the Golden Horde (or traditionally the Ulus of Jochi), included vast territories of Eastern Europe and northern Central Asia. The Golden Horde (1242–1502) flourished the most in the first half of the 14th century, but its downfall began just around a dozen years later. In the 15th century, the Crimean Peninsula, which had been its integral part for two centuries, passed into the hands of an autonomous dynasty of the Girays, who established the independent Crimean Khanate (1441–1783).
Coins of the Golden Horde khans, dominated by silver (dirhams, dangs) and copper (pulas) denominations, were in circulation in their subject areas. They feature religious inscriptions, names of khans, tamgas (family seals) and place and year of minting. We can also observe a similarity to the Golden Horde’s issues on coins struck by the rulers of the Crimean Khanate, who considered themselves direct descendants of the Horde.
The exhibition is complemented by coins minted by Russian principalities subjected to the Golden Horde, coins of Genoese colonies in the Crimea and Ottoman Turkey, which in 1475 occupied the Crimea, becoming the principal of the Crimean Khanate.
The coins on display come mostly from Sławomir Liszewski's private collection, as well as from the collections of the National Museum in Kraków.