Also included on this page are coins minted under Persian rule in other regions of the Persian Empire.
Seleucid Kingdom, Antiochus I Soter, 280 - 261 B.C.
Antiochus faced a formidable task holding the empire together. Revolt broke out in Syria almost immediately after his father's death. He earned the title Soter (savior) for victory over hordes of Gauls that attacked Anatolia. Elsewhere, he had little success. He was forced to abandon Macedonia, Thrace, Bithynia, and Cappadocia and to execute his eldest son for rebellion.
SH63912. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber I 379.3, Hoover Syrian 128g, cf. Newell ESM 149, aVF, marks, scratches, small edge flake, weight 15.312 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 270o, Seleucia on Tigris mint, 280 - 261 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Antiochus I right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY, Apollo seated left on omphalos, examining arrow in right hand, resting left on grounded bow, monograms outer left and outer right; $245.00 (€183.75)
Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonus I Monophthalmus , as Satrap of Babylonia, 317 - 311 B.C.
A raredenomination struck only at the Babylon mint.
When Alexander's empire was divided, his general Seleucus received the satrapy of Babylonia. From about 317 to about 311 B.C., however, Antigonus I Monophthalmus (The "One-Eyed") took over as ruler of all Mesopotamia. Seleucus took refuge with Ptolemy of Egypt and with his aid was able to reenter Babylon in 312 B.C. In 306 Antigonus became the first of the Macedonian generals to take the royal title. In 301 he was defeated and killed by the combined armies of Seleucus and Lysimachus.
GS68012. Silver 1/30th tetradrachm, Price 3729, Müller Alexander -, VF, reverse scuff, uneven toning, weight 0.530 g, maximum diameter 8.92 mm, die axis 0o, Babylon mint, 317 - 311 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse MYP monogram in wreath over XA monogram on left, club, bow and quiver; $215.00 (€161.25)
Parthian Kingdom, Vardanes I, 40 - 45 A.D.
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. Billontetradrachm, 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)
Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Darius II - Artaxerxes II, c. 420 - 375 B.C.
Minted in Lydia, Anatolia while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest.
GA56981. Silver siglos, CarradiceType IV (middle) B, Carradice Price p. 73 and pl. 19, 217 ff.; SNG Kayhan 1033; SGCV II 4683, aVF, weight 5.468 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, obverse Kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, dagger in right, bow in left, quiver on right shoulder, crowned, waist indicated, pellets on sleeves; reverse irregular oblong punch; $125.00 (€93.75)
Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Carrhae, Mesopotamia
Caracalla was assassinated near Carrhae on 8 April 217, while urinating on a roadside. When his escort gave him privacy to relieve himself, Julius Martialis, an officer of his personal bodyguard, ran forward and killed Caracalla with a single sword stroke. Martialis fled on horseback, but was killed by a bodyguard archer. Herodian says Caracalla had executed Martialis' brother a few days earlier on an unproven charge. Cassius Dio says that Martialis was resentful at not being promoted to the rank of centurion. Macrinus, the Praetorian Guard Prefect, who succeeded him as emperor, may have arranged the assassination.
RP67880. Bronze AE 20, cf. BMC Arabia p.85, 16 ff.; SNG Hunterian 2485 ff.; SNG Cop 176 ff., F, nice green patina, flan crack, weak legends, weight 4.254 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 180o, Carrhae mint, obverseM AVR ANTONINVS P F AVG, laureate head right, with short beard; reverse COL MET ANTONINIANA, turreted, veiled, and draped bust of Tyche right; $80.00 (€60.00)
Parthian Empire, Orodes II, 57 - 38 B.C.
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.
GS69914. Bronze chalkous, cf. Sellwood 47.36, Fair, weight 1.819 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 180o, Ecbatana mint, c. 57 - 38 B.C.; obverse diademed bust left with short pointed beard, star before, crescent behind; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ BAΣIΛEΩN APΣAKOY EYEPΓET ∆IKAIOY EΠIΦANOYΣ ΦIΛEΛΛHNOΣ (or similar), uncertain object (Nike walking right?), AT monogram on right; rare; $75.00 (€56.25)
Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Nisibis, Mesopotamia
Nisibis is the city of Netzivin in the Talmud. The Jews of Nisibis resisted the Roman conqueror, Trajan, to maintain Parthian rule. The city was taken only after a lengthy siege. After the it fell, Nisibis was laid waste and the massacre was so great that the houses, streets, and roads were strewn with corpses.
RP59123. Bronze AE 26, BMC Arabia p. 120, 5; SNG Cop 235; SNG Hunterian -; SNG Righetti -; SNG Milan -; Lindgren -, gF, weight 13.783 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 0o, Nisibis mint, obverse AYT KAI MAP AY CE AΛEΞAN∆POC, radiatebust right; reverse CEΠ KOΛO NEΣIBI MHT, bust of Tyche right, turreted, draped and veiled, ram above, stars before and behind; scarce; $75.00 (€56.25)
Parthian Empire, Vologases III, 105 - 147 A.D.
Seleucia, where this coin was minted, stood in Mesopotamia, on the west bank of the Tigris River. Trajan destroyed it in 117 A.D. It was rebuilt after Hadrian ceded the area but destroyed again by the Romans in 164 A.D. Today it lies under a Baghdad suburb.
GB17922. Bronze dichalkon, Sellwood 79.4; Shore 622, aVF, weight 1.106 g, maximum diameter 11.4 mm, die axis 0o, Seleukeia on the Tigris mint, obverse bearded bust left wearing diadem and earring; reverse turreted and draped bust of Tyche right, holding diadem? date before?; nice green patina; rare; $65.00 (€48.75)
Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Edessa, Mesopotamia
Tyche (Greek for luck; the Roman equivalent was Fortuna) was the presiding tutelary deity that governed the fortune and prosperity of a city, its destiny. Increasingly during the Hellenistic period, cities had their own specific iconic version of Tyche, wearing a mural crown (a crown like the walls of the city).
RP56756. Bronze AE 28, SNG Cop 220; BMC Arabia p. 111, 128 ff., F, porous, weight 14.292 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 180o, Mesopotamia, Edessa mint, obverse AYTOK K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassedbust right; reverse MHT KOΛ E∆ECCHNΩN, veiled and turreted bust of Tyche left, a flaming altar below her chin, before her a small figure of Aquarius standing on a pedestal holding a water-skin; $65.00 (€48.75)
Trajan Decius, July 249 - First Half of June 251 A.D., Edessa, Mesopotamia
RB69660. Bronze AE 19, Babelon Edessa 105; BMC Arabia p. 117, 166; SNG Cop 230; SNG Hunterian 2583; Lindgren -; SNG Righetti -, F, obverse pitted, weight 4.652 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 315o, Edessa mint, obverse AYΓ ∆EKIC CEB, laureate bust right, slight drapery on far shoulder; reverse KOΛ E∆ECCA, veiled and turreted bust of Tyche (Cybele) left, small altar left (off flan); from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare; $40.00 (€30.00)
Kingdom of Elymais, Orodes III, 2nd Century A.D.
Elymais was the biblical Elam and home of the magi. With its capitol at Susa, it was a small kingdom in what is now Iran and Kuwait. The Kingdom of Elymais struck coins from the middle of the 2nd century B.C. until their defeat by the Sasanians in 227 A.D.
GB90347. Bronze drachm, vant Haaff 16.4.2-1A; SGICV 5896; BMC Arabia p. 259, 68 ff., (Orodes I), VF, weight 3.121 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, Susa(?) mint, 2nd century A.D.; obverse bearded bust left wearing tiara ornamented with anchor; to right, pellet in crescent above anchor; reversefield filled with parallel dashes; ex Forum (2006); $40.00 (€30.00)
Persian(?), Sasanian(?), Islamic (?), Uncertain Date
A Bulla (plural, Bullae) is a lump of clay or lead molded around a cord and stamped with a seal that identifies the sender. With a bulla in place a container cannot be violated without visible damage to either the bulla or the cord, thereby ensuring the contents remain tamper-proof until they reach their destination.
BZ49891. Lead bulla (tag seal), Lead bulla seal, the bust appears to be too exotic to be Roman or Byzantine, weight 6.832 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, obversebust right, helmeted(?) or crowned(?); reversebust(?); $33.00 (€24.75)
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