Vardanes I succeeded his father Artabanus III, but had to continually fight against his brother Gotarzes II to keep his throne. He once lost it to him temporarily. He also prepared for war against Rome, with the aim of reconquering Armenia, but ultimately decided against facing the legions. He was assassinated while hunting and Gotarzes II became King again.
GS66790. Billon tetradrachm, cf. Sellwood 64.28-30 (various months); Shore 352 (month off flan); BMC Parthia p. 156, 23 - 29 (all month obscure or off flan), VF, porous, typical tight flan, weight 13.494 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 0o, Seleukeia on the Tigris mint, 44 - 45 A.D.; obverse bearded, diademed and cuirassedbust left, pointed short beard, ear covered, royal wart on brow; reverse BACIΛEWC BACIΛEWN APCAKOY EYEPΓATO ∆IKAIOY EΠIΦANOYC ΦIΛEΛΛHNOC, king enthroned left, receiving palm branch from Tyche, standing right, cornucopia in her left, ςNT (year 356) between heads, uncertain Parthian month in ex (off flan); $180.00 (€135.00)
Parthian Empire, Vonones I, c. 8 - 12 A.D.
The reverselegend commemorates Vonones' temporary victory over Artabanos, the king who would in time defeat him. Unlike most Parthian coins, the reversetype is not the usual seated archer and the king's personal name appears in the Greek legend.
GS57276. Silver drachm, Sellwood 60.5, Shore 329, SNG Cop 146 - 147, VF, toned, weight 3.626 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Ekbatana mint, c. 8 - 12 A.D.; obverse BAΣIΛEYΣ ONΩNHΣ, diademed head left, medium tapering square cut beard, three diadem ties behind; reverse BACIΛEYC ONWNHC NEIKHCAC APTABANON (King Vonones, conqueror of Artabanos), Nike standing right, extending palm frond in right, wreath in left, Ekbatana mint monogram below palm; $160.00 (€120.00)
Parthian Empire, Phraates IV, c. 38 - 2 B.C.
Soon after Phraates IV was designated the successor to the throne, he murdered his father and all his thirty brothers. In 36 B.C. he was defeated by Mark Antony and lost most of his army, however, Antony had to abandon his conquests to fight Octavian. Tiridates temporarily usurped the throne in 32 B.C., but Phraates soon defeated him. In 20 B.C., Phraates made peace with Rome. He returned the prisoners and eagles taken from Crassus and Armenia was recognized as a Roman dependency. Augustus gave Phraates an Italian concubine, Musa, whom he made his favored wife. She persuaded him to designate their son Phraataces as his successor and to send his other sons to Rome as hostages. With all rivals out of the way, Musa and Phraataces poisoned the king and took the throne as co-rulers.
GS66782. Silver tetradrachm, cf. Sellwood 51, Shore 271, VF/F, reverse double struck, weight 14.118 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 45o, Seleukeia on the Tigris mint, obverse diademed and cuirassedbust left, with royal wart on forehead, beard with somewhat square cut end, plain torque, star emblem on cuirass; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ BAΣIΛEΩN APΣAKOY EYEPΓETOY ∆IKAIOY EΠIΦANOYΣ ΦIΛEΛΛHNOΣ, Phraates seated right, receiving palm from Tyche who is standing left and holding cornucopia, year between the heads obscured by double strike, ∆AIΣI(?) in ex; $160.00 (€120.00)
Abgarians, M.T. & D.G. Sellwood. “A Hoard of Early Parthian Drachms” in NC 1971. Alram, M. Iranisches Personennamenbuch: Nomina Propria Iranica In Nummis. Osterreichischen Akademie Der Wissenschaften. (Wien, 1986). Assar, G.R.F. “Genealogy and Coinage of the Early Parthian Rulers, II” in Parthica 6, 2004. Assar, G.R.F. “Genealogy and Coinage of the Early Parthian Rulers, II” in Parthica 7, 2005. Assar, G.R.F. “A Revised Parthian Chronology of the Period 91- 55 BC” in Parthica 8, 2006. Assar, G.R.F. “Recent Studies in Parthian History: Part II” in The Celator 15, No. 1, January 2001. Busso Peus Sale 388, Sammlung Dr. Robert Gonnella, November 1, 2006. CNG Auction 36, Fred B. Shore Collection of Parthian Coins, December 5-6, 1995. Fröhlich, C. Monnaies indo-scythes et indo-parthes, Catalogue raisonné Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Paris, 2008). Nelson, Bradley R., ed., Numismatic Art of Persia. The Sunrise Collection, Part I: Ancient - 650 BC to AD 650. (Lancaster, PA, 2011). Sear, David. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979). Sear, David. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982). Sellwood, D. An Introduction to the Coinage of Parthia. 2nd edition. (London, 1980). Sellwood, D. “New Parthian coin types” in NC 1989. Sellwood, D. “The End of the Parthian Dynasty” in NumCirc June 1990. Shore, F. Parthian Coins and History: Ten Dragons Against Rome. (Quarryville, 1993). Sinisi, F. Sylloge Nummorum Parthicorum, Volume VII: Vologases I - Pacorus II. (Wein, 2012). Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum. Vol. 7: Cyprus to India. (West Milford, NJ, 1982). Wroth, W. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Parthia. (London, 1903).
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