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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 Parthia.com the best Parthian Empire website.


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D.

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The Roman–Parthian War of 161 - 166 was fought between the Roman and Parthian Empires over Armenia and Upper Mesopotamia. In 166, the Romans made successful campaigns into lower Mesopotamia and Media, and sacked Ctesiphon, the Parthian capital. The Romans were be victorious but the returning army brought back a pandemic known as the Antonine Plague. The plague significantly depopulated the entire Roman Empire.
SH76376. Silver denarius, RIC III 163a, RSC II 878, BMCRE IV 406, Hunter II 33, SRCV II 4933, Choice VF, excellent centering and bold strike, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.079 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, summer - Dec 166 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG ARM PARTH MAX, laureate head right; reverse TR P XX IMP IIII COS III, Victory standing slightly left, head right, palm frond vertical in right hand, shield inscribed VIC PAR set on palm tree in left hand; from the Scott Collection; $450.00 (€396.00)
 


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; $145.00 (€127.60)
 


Parthian Empire, Vologases III, 111 - 146 A.D.

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Vologases III claimed the throne near the end of the reign of Pacorus II. After Osroes' death he ruled most of Parthia. He had to cope with raiders and with usurpers in Iran, including Mithradates IV and Unknown King III. His coinage is perhaps the most common of all the Parthian rulers, indicating a long rule and vibrant economy.

References for this type are very specific regarding the archer's seat. The seat on Sellwood type 78.5 is a horizontal line, on 78.6 it is two dots, on type 78.7 it resembles Π. This variety, Sellwood 78.4, has no seat.
GS71611. Silver drachm, Sellwood 78.4, Shore 413, Sunrise -, aEF, crowded flan smaller than the dies as invariable for the type, tiny edge cracks, contact marks, weight 3.712 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Ecbatana (Hamedan, Iran) mint, 111 - 146 A.D.; obverse bust right with long pointed beard, three waves in hair, diadem three bands, loop and three ends, earring and wire necklet; reverse archer seated right holding bow, cross below legs, AT dot monogram below bow, no seat, seven line blundered Greek legend forming a square around; $135.00 (€118.80)
 




  



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REFERENCES

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 Tuesday, May 03, 2016.
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Parthian Kingdom Greek Coins