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Manquso 12 ­ Octubre 2020

          The jund, garrisoned military administrative areas, were established, it seems, very early in the Arab conquest,
          some sources attribute it as early as the short period of Abū Bakr 11­13/ 632­634, but with more probability they
          were first initiated in the time of ´Umar b. al­Khattāb 13­23/634­644. From their respective allocated areas of control
          each jund drew pay, provisions and were implicated, at least as an ominous coercive force, in the collecting of due
          taxation. Qinnasrīn was the northernmost jund just below the long frontier zone, Thughur al­Sham, this last being
          more usually than not a militarily active, embattled and variable frontier zone facing the Roman/Byzantine Empire.

          The Greater Syria region, al­Sham, had five jund areas each having a coastline with the Eastern Mediterranean.The
          exact map of each jund is impossible to delineate with any precision except as a general area. From south to north,
          was first the jund of Filistīn (Palestine) whose capital was Ramla and whose territory also included Illyá (Roman
          Jerusalem), next right on its north was that of al­Urdun which extended from the coast to the east of Tabariya up to
          the sea of Galilea. Next, further up, was the largest jund, that of Damascus, it also contained the capital of the vast
          Umayyad empire, as a dominant jund it extended south all along the east of the Jordan river down to the Red sea. It
          had to its north the jund of Hims and above that of Hims was that of Qinnasrīn.The Jund of Qinnasrīn seems to have
          been detached or formed latter than the others during the period of Yazid I 60­64 /680­683.

          It is interesting to note that these Jund struck large quantities of fiduciary coper coinage, fals, in multiple name
          places. A type of small value coinage probably used, at least in part, for their own immediate intendancy needs.

          The second word in the center is arḍ,    , that is “land of” of Qinnasrīn,   . The expression arḍ, is also
          the word that precedes the similar lead seal of al­Urdun,     and Filistīn (Palestine),         , both
          contained in the aforementioned Guossous Collection. The term also appears in very different Umayyad seals of
          Ba´albak,         , and from the Iberian Penisula/ al­Andalus in the form of the “peace treaty of the land of Jayan”
          (Jaen),                       , these last are probably near contemporaneous in epoch to the three previously
          discussed. The use of the term arḍ,  ,  seems to precede, time wise, that of iqlīm,  or the other Arabic
          synonyms for province or region.

          The starting word has reasonably been read in both the Goussous seals referred to and in the present one as
          .       9 and is best defined in that text and dictionaries, somewhat vaguely, as “the leader of his clan”,  .
          .           .   So the tentative translation of the seal could then be, “for the leader of his clan in the land of
          Qinnasrīn” or, if plural, “for the leaders of their clans in the land of Qinnasrīn” . The tribally structured jund would
          necessarily have to function with an internal top to bottom command structure, at this early stage it would still be a
          rather flexible, one very much structured as in the semi egalitarian pre­imperial Arabian mala`. A type of
          configuration that could at times prove to be quite turbulent and difficult to manage, but one that would necessarily
          need to be reestablished to become operational.

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