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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Hellenistic Monarchies ▸ Parthian EmpireView Options:  |  |  |   

Parthian Empire

This page includes coins of the Parthian Empire and Roman coins that refer to Parthia.

Click here to read about Parthia in the Historia Numorum and Numiswiki.
Click here for the "Parthian Calendar" article in Numiswiki. 
Click here to go to the best Parthian Empire website.

Parthian Kingdom, Gotarzes II, 40 - 51 A.D.

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Gotarzes II ruled as the Parthian king intermittently between 40 and 51 A.D. When his brother Vardanes I succeeded to throne, Gotarzes II rebelled. He went to Hyrcania and gathered an army from Dahae nomads. War between the two kings was ended by a treaty. Gotarzes II returned to Hyrcania, but when Vardanes I was killed in about 47, Gotarzes II was acknowledged as king of the whole empire. He then added to his coins the usual Parthian titles, king of kings Arsaces the benefactor, the just, the illustrious (Epiphanes), and the friend of the Hellenes (Philhellenes). Gotarzes II was detested for his cruelty. Among many other murders he even slew his brother Artabanus and his whole family. His cruelty prompted a request to the Roman emperor Claudius to release from Rome an Arsacid prince, Meherdates, who lived there as a hostage. Meherdates crossed the Euphrates in 49, but was beaten and taken prisoner by Gotarzes II, who cut off his ears. Soon afterwards Gotarzes II died, according to Tacitus of an illness; Josephus says that he was murdered. His last coin is dated from June 51. .
SL70892. Silver tetradrachm, Sellwood 65.14, Cohen DCA 631, Shore -, Sunrise -, NGC Ch VF, Strike 4/5, Surface 4/5 (2490208-002), weight 14.49 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 45o, Seleukeia mint, May 46 A.D.; obverse bearded, diademed and cuirassed bust left; reverse BACIΛEWC BACIΛEWN APCAKOY EYEPΓATO ∆IKAIOY EΠIΦANOY ΦIΛEΛΛHNOΣ, king enthroned left, receiving wreath from Tyche standing left holding cornucopia, HNT (Seleucid Era year 358) above, ∆AIΣIOΣ (Parthian month = May) below; ex Forum (2014), ex Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection, ex CNG auction 317, lot 140; $270.00 SALE PRICE $243.00

Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.

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This type commemorates Septimius' great victory in Parthia when, in 197, the Roman legions looted the royal palace at Ctesiphon and captured an enormous number of the city's inhabitants as slaves.
RS77582. Silver denarius, RIC IV 295, RSC III 744, BMCRE V 365, Hunter III 101, SRCV II 6372, Choice VF, well centered on a full flan, mint luster, flan cracks, weight 2.843 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 202 - 210 A.D.; obverse SEVERVS PIVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse VICT PART MAX, Victory walking left, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00

Parthian Empire, Orodes II, 57 - 38 B.C.

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The severed head of the Roman general Crassus was presented to Orodes II during a performance of Euripides' tragedy, The Bacchae. It was used as a prop, carried by one of the actors in the play. In Rome it was said the Parthians poured molten gold into his mouth as a symbol of his thirst for wealth.
WA72038. Silver drachm, Sellwood 45.21; Shore 230; Sunrise 366 var. (KP monogram mintmark); BMC Parthia p.75, 51 (Orodes I); SNG Cop -, VF, toned, crowded flan, some die wear, tiny flan defect reverse outer left, weight 3.803 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Kangavar (Iran) mint, c. 55 - 44 B.C.; obverse diademed bust left with short beard, torque ending with pellet, wavy hair covering ear, three diadem ends; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ / BAΣIΛEΩN − APΣAKOY − EYEPΓET / ∆IKAIOY − EΠIΦANOYΣ − ΦIΛEΛΛHNOΣ, beardless archer (Arsakes I) seated right on throne, wearing bashlyk and cloak, bow in extended right, K (mintmark) below bow, squared seven-line legend around; scarcer mint; $130.00 SALE PRICE $117.00




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).

Catalog current as of Saturday, October 22, 2016.
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Parthian Kingdom Greek Coins