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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Parthian and Other Eastern Coins (Moderator: Howard Cole)  |  Topic: Persis 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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AlexB
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« on: January 10, 2005, 11:32:53 pm »

Hi all

I have been looking at the coins of Persis but am confused over the dating of them. I see in some references that the first Kings of Persis were issuing coins circa. 285BC (King Bagadat) and later but others that say early-mid 2nd centuy BC.

Im guessing that there isnt anything definitive?

Specifically I'd like to know about 'King' Varbharz.

Alex
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Howard Cole
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2005, 03:29:21 am »

Here is what Mitchiner says about Persis in his The Ancient & Classical World;

Quote
During the Parthian period Persis was the most important of the three Persian Gulf pricipalities, a favoured position it owed partly to tradition and partly to its rank as religious centre of Mazdaism.  Persis originally rose to importance as the homeland of the 'Persians' who settled there under the sceptre of Elam in the eighth century BC and later founded the Achaemenid Empire.  The persians of Parsumash (in the mountains east of Shustar and Susa), who were fist mentioned by Hulanimmena of Babylon (c.692-699 BC), consolidated themselves under Teispes (c.675-640 BC) 'King of the city of Anshan', who succeeded in throwing off the suzerainty of his more powerful neighbours of Elam and Media, then weakened by conflict with Assyria.  After his death the kingdom of Teispes was divided between his two sons, Ariaramnes (c.640-590 BC) 'Great King, King of Kings, King of the land of Parsa' and Cyrus I (c.640-600 BC) 'Great King of Parsumash'.  According to surviving tablet of Ariaramnes 'This land of the Persians which I possess, provided with fine horses and good men, it is the Great God Ahuramazda who has given it to me.  I am the king of this land'.  But it was Cyrus' branch of the family that acquired dominance and this was confirmed when Cambyses, King of Parsumash, Anshan and (probably already) Parsa, married the daughter of his overload, Astyages, King of Media.  Their offspring, Cyrus the Great (549-530 BC) 'Great King, the Achaemenian', united Iran and founded the Achaemenid Empire, the classical kingdom of the Persians.

The chief cities of the Persian Empire remained concentrated in the south-west at Pasargadae and Persepolis in Iran, at Susa in Elam and at Babylon, together with the old Median captial of Ecbatana (Hamadan), which lay a little further north.  The satraps of Persis, wher the Achaemenid summer capital was situated, continued to enjoy the privileged position in the Persian Empire.  And even after the demise of the Persian Empire the dynasts of Persis retained a substantial degree of local autonomy engendered by their accepted religious role as the priesthood of the traditional Persian religion, Mazdaism.  These dynasts retained the right of striking silver coinage for local use and one may note that a high proportion of the designs on their coins show Mazdaean religious symbolism.  The Kings of Persis struck local coinage from the period of Seleucid decline during the 180's BC, throughout most of the Parthian period, until the time when one of their number, Ardeshir (Artaxerxes), founded the Sassanian Empire.


Next Mitchiner divides the coinage into three periods.
Pre-Arsacid Period: circa 180's - 140's BC
Early series of Arsacid inspired coinage: circa 88 BC - AD 40
Later series of Arsacid inspired coinage: circa AD 50 - 226

Vahukhshar is listed as the son of Darius II.  He is the third ruler in the Early series of Arsacid inspired coinage.

Just looked in Sear's Greek coin book and he list Vahukhshar as Oxathres, as far as I can figure out.  
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Howard Cole
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2005, 03:35:05 am »

Sorry, wrong king.  Mitchiner list Vahubarz right after Bagadat I, in the Pre-Arsacid Period.  He just says he is the son of Frada.

Sear happens to mention that it difficult to interpet the legends on the coins of Persis, which has lead to problems in attribution and that any chronology is just conjectural.
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AlexB
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2005, 04:04:07 am »

Thanks!

Bagadat seems to be generally 'accepted' as circa 285BC and therefore at odds with Seleucids and Bactrian Greek kings?

Does this mean Varbharz is circa mid 3rd C BC?

AlexB
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Howard Cole
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2005, 01:59:49 pm »

It depends on your source.

Sear says mid-3rd century.

Mitchiner says after 180 BC.

Tom Mallon-McCorgray at his web site has 175 BC.
http://www.grifterrec.com/coins/persis/persis.html

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AlexB
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2005, 06:42:25 pm »

Thanks again Howard. However...

Your quote:

'Sorry, wrong king.  Mitchiner list Vahubarz right after Bagadat I, in the Pre-Arsacid Period.  He just says he is the son of Frada.'

Isn't pre-Arsacid pre 250BC ie, Arsaces I of Parthia broke away same time as Diodotos of Bactria? Or haver I got this confused  Huh

Later you say Mitchiner says 180BC....

That aside, looking at the fabric and style of the Bagadat/Varbhurz type coins they seem very pre-200BC. However, I am comparing to my knowledge of fabic types etc of Alex III tets so this may be misleading?

AlexB
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2005, 07:48:44 pm »

The Parthian Kingdom started in 238 BC with Arsakes I.  But it must be remembered that it started small and slowly expanded.  Arsakes II was even obligated to submit to Seleukid authority under Antiochos the Great, who was defeated by the Romans in 190 BC.  

It was under Mithradates I (171-138 BC) that the Parthian territory was greatly expanded.  According to Shore, Mithradates I defeated the king of Media in 148 BC.  Elam was defeated after 141 BC, and Parthia established control over Elam and Persis at this time.  Mithradates' I gains were not consolidated until the rule of Mithradates II (123-88 BC).

By pre-Arsacid, means before the Parthians dominated Persis and not before the establishment of the Parthian Kingdom.  So the pre-Arsacid period is some time before 140 BC or so, with the Parthians expanded into Persis.
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AlexB
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2005, 08:20:39 pm »

Thanks Howard very clear, appreciate it.  Smiley

I think the fabrics look earlier than 200BC but again this is my interpretation. There is a real 'greek' look to them through Mithridates I to a little later then it clearly changes which may be Parthian influence? Bagadat, Varbharz and a few others are pre-Mithridates would just like to get closer to dates.

Is there anything written  by either Sear or Mitchiner or other that gives 'evidence' for date attribution?

AlexB

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Howard Cole
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2005, 09:26:03 pm »

As Sear said, the chronology of Persis coins is not really known that accurately.  It is doubtful that the Kingdom of Persis struck coins before 190 BC cause of the tight control of this area by the Seluckids.

I have never seen any accurate dating for this series or the Elam series of coins.  The Elam (Elymais) chronology is a little better know, but there are many areas with a lot of uncertainity.


Early Parthian coins also have a very Greek appearance to them.  So, I suspect, just going by the "look" of a coin may not be an accurate way to date it.  

Most of these small Middle East Kingdoms did not leave much in the way of written records.  Without much of a written recond, I don't think you will find any closer dating.
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AlexB
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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2005, 08:36:14 pm »

Well, I bought a Persis coin (tet) I wanted for a price that was OK given rarity.

There is a possibility of it being mid 3C BC or early 2C BC - given that its conjecture (like most of coin collecting) I will put it into my Alexander III and Diadochi Contemporaries gallery.

Nice coin anyway - soft strike and not centered on reverse but try and get one a tet like this (at all) for less than USD2000-USD4000!

 Grin
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2005, 03:03:50 am »

Further Question on this coin - Is it a soft-strike or an overstrike do we think? May explain the odd shape if an older coin was heated up and restruck.

AlexB
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2005, 03:26:22 am »

Hi Alex,

I really don't know if it is either.  You can see some stuff outside the dotted borders at 7 or 8 o'clock on the obverse and at 11 o'clock on the reverse.

It just might have been harssely cleaned too, with the use of acid.  It is really hard to say what has happen to it in its life.
Howard
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AlexB
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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2005, 07:27:51 pm »

Hi Howard

In the hand you would imagine a re-strike (overstrike) on the obverse - the reverse is pretty good  though some slippage of the flan results in the overhang you can see.

Guess there were different levels of prep. in restriking. You could  reheat the coin until malleable enough to strike or melt down completely or somewhere inbetween?
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king derok
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2006, 02:51:03 am »

Hi all
I see you have good conversation about Bagadat's coins let me tell my opinion and knowleage about dating and  identification of this coins. as latest studies show this coins does not belong to persian kings. name Bagadat is really persian origin but it was not used there almost at all.
Bagadat/Bagarat from which was conretased name Bagrat mostly was used in countries lake Georgia and Armenia  and great dynaste of bagrtid\bagrationi cames from man whos name was-Bagadat.
for additional information see  http://www.tsu.ge/geo/personal%20pages%20geo.htm and open-თედო დუნდუა's personal page article-North and South and in what article see chapter-,,Bagrat, Son of Bivrat''



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lv88
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« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2006, 01:53:58 pm »

Dear Darok,

How exactly does a coin from a Persian name Bagadat not belong to a persian king?  Smiley
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AlexB
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« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2006, 11:54:39 pm »

King Derok

Interesting article thanks for sharing it. Basically if I understand correctly your claim is that the Persis tetradrachms of Bagadat/Varbhurz etc are actually of Armenian/Colchis/Iberian (Georgia) region not Persis, east of Babylon?

Further you say that the names extent on the coins, though being Persian in ancient origin, actually were used and can be identified with a line of Kings from the Eastern shores of the Black Sea. These peoples had moved south and come into contact with a resurgent Parthia under Arsaces I. You also claim that the blundered legends on the coins are by Greek celators thus explaining the mistakes.

I am pretty sure that noone claims to be certain of the origin of the coins - Persis or not. Indeed it is considered quite a mystery. It would br helpful if you would post a direct link in this discussion to your english language article for further reading by interested parties.

Thanks again.

Krgds

AlexB
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king derok
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« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2006, 02:40:08 am »


 Hi all
ectualy the article is not mine it belongs to my lecturer and i agree with him that Bagadads coins were struck in post  Achaemenid Persian period but about ,,Bagrat Pharnavaziani, duke of Klarjeti'' i am not sure. i don't think that dukes of Klarjeti may struck such emisions. besides as a article climes that  ,,The coins are not much earlier than Antiochus III'' if it is true then i have no opinion whom this coins may belong but if not true in this case I think the coins must be issued by Bagrat lord(satrap) of cillicia and syria who was apointed there by Armenian king Tigran II the Great[95-56] according to apian roman historian.
and some  about name-Bagadat it's a persian origin and was produced from word Bagat which means favoured by God or Gods mercy. but as I mentioned name was used only Georgia and Armenia. from soursis we dont know nothing about   ,,persian king Bagadat''. with all ensuing consequenses Bagadads coins i think not belongs to persian kings.  Smiley 
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« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2006, 12:44:29 pm »

Hi!

Well, It is impossible these are georgian because style does not match any other Georgian (I use this term loosely, more like colchis, iberia at tihs time), most coins during this period are imitations of Alexandrian coinage.

Armenian, no - no either. All coins in the time of Tigranes was struck in the rulers name, mints qwere unified, and city coinage, as in arados neutralized. No o-called "satrapial coinage, and I have never heard of a Bagrat in Cilicia.

The name sounds the same but I see no relation between Bagadat abd Bagrat, more like a coincedence.

For projects on the coins of Georgia and Armenia see:
http://www.zeno.ru/showgallery.php?cat=1198

Regards,
Levon
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