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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Persia & Mesopotamia||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins of Persia and Mesopotamia

Also included on this page are coins minted under Persian rule in other regions of the Persian Empire.

Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C.

|Macedonian| |Kingdom|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |III| |Arrhidaeus| |and| |Alexander| |IV,| |323| |-| |317| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
Struck in the name of King Philip III Arrhidaeus, Alexander the Great's half-brother, under the regent Perdikkas. Philip III and Alexander's infant son, Alexander IV, were made joint kings after Alexander's death. Philip was the bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa. Alexander the Great's mother, Olympias, allegedly poisoned her stepson Philip III as a child, leaving him mentally disabled, eliminating him as a rival to Alexander. Neither Philip III nor Alexander IV was capable of actual rule and both were selected only to serve as pawns. The regents held power, while Philip III was actually imprisoned. In 317, Philip was murdered by Olympias to ensure the succession of her grandson.
GS94468. Silver tetradrachm, Price P182, Müller Alexander P103, Demanhur 4601, SNG Munchen 969, SNG Cop 1077, SNG Saroglos –, EF, superb style, high relief, lamination defect on reverse, weight 17.153 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 0o, Mesopotamia, Babylon (Hillah, Iraq) mint, c. 323 - 317 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress, forelegs tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne, bare to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right foot drawn back, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, ΦIΛIΠΠOY downward on right, 3 vertical lines left, ΣI under throne; $450.00 SALE |PRICE| $405.00
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312 - 281 B.C., Babylonia, In the Name of Alexander the Great

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Seleukos| |I| |Nikator,| |312| |-| |281| |B.C.,| |Babylonia,| |In| |the| |Name| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great|, |tetradrachm|
Price dates this type 311 - 305 B.C. Houghton dates it 311 - 300 B.C. Houghton notes that Kritt down-dated the chronology due to the complexity of the emissions and that two hoards independently support the revised dating.
GS91298. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber I 82(3)e, Price 3761b (same rev. die), SNG Munchen 796 (same), Müller Alexander 748, HGC 9 10f, SNG Cop -, SNG Alpha Bank -, gVF, well centered, bold strike with high relief dies, speckled toning, tiny edge splits, weight 16.865 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 30o, Mesopotamia, Babylon (Hillah, Iraq) mint, 311 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress forelegs tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, MI over rudder left, MYPT monogram (no pellet in P) in wreath below throne, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) in exergue; $315.00 SALE |PRICE| $284.00
 


Kingdom of Persis, Darios (Darev) II, 1st Century B.C.

|Kingdom| |of| |Persis|, |Kingdom| |of| |Persis,| |Darios| |(Darev)| |II,| |1st| |Century| |B.C.|, |drachm|
Persis was located in what is now southern Iran. "Persians" settled the area as early as the 8th century B.C. From the time after its conquest by Alexander the Great, Persis was most often quasi-independent, under the hegemony of a Seleukid or Parthian king. Immediately following Alexander's death, Persis was subject to the Seleucid Kingdom. About 290 B.C., Persis regained independence. The coins produced during this period were Greek-inspired, but inscriptions were Aramaic, symbolic of Persis' rejection of the Greek ruling class. Sometime between c. 250 and 223 B.C., the Seleucids regained control. Mithradates II later incorporated Persis as a sub-kingdom of Parthia. Under Parthian domination, the coins and appearance of the kings depicted on them assumed the Parthian style. The last King of Persis, Artaxerxes, defeated the Parthians and founded the Sassanian Empire.
SH92774. Silver drachm, Sunrise 590, Klose-Müseler 4/4, Alram 564, Tyler-Smith -, VF, well centered and struck on a tight flan, light toning, weight 4.027 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 315o, Persepolis (Fars Province, Iran) mint, 1st century B.C.; obverse bearded bust left, wearing diadem and Parthian-style tiara with three rows of pellets surrounding crescent; reverse Aramaic inscription: King Darev son of King Vadfradad, king on right, standing left, holding scepter, facing altar on left; ex Harlan J. Berk; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $225.00
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C.

|Macedonian| |Kingdom|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |III| |Arrhidaeus| |and| |Alexander| |IV,| |323| |-| |317| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
Struck in the name of King Philip III Arrhidaeus, Alexander the Great's half-brother, under the regent Perdikkas. Philip III and Alexander's infant son, Alexander IV, were made joint kings after Alexander's death. Philip was the bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa. Alexander the Great's mother, Olympias, allegedly poisoned her stepson Philip III as a child, leaving him mentally disabled, eliminating him as a rival to Alexander. Neither Philip III nor Alexander IV was capable of actual rule and both were selected only to serve as pawns. The regents held power, while Philip III was actually imprisoned. In 317, Philip was murdered by Olympias to ensure the succession of her grandson.
GS87632. Silver tetradrachm, Price P182, Müller Alexander P103, Demanhur 4601, SNG Munchen 969, SNG Cop 1077, SNG Saroglos –, VF, high relief, centered on a tight flan, rose toning, scratches and marks, some porosity, weight 16.902 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 270o, Mesopotamia, Babylon (Hillah, Iraq) mint, c. 323 - 317 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress, forelegs tied at neck; reverse Zeus seated left on throne, feet on footstool, right leg drawn back, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, ΦIΛIΠΠOY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) in exergue (off flan), M left, B under seat above strut; struck under Archon, Dokimos, or Seleukos I; $230.00 SALE |PRICE| $207.00
 


Cilicia, Persian Rule, 4th Century B.C.

|Cilicia|, |Cilicia,| |Persian| |Rule,| |4th| |Century| |B.C.|, |obol|
Cilicia extended along the Mediterranean coast east from Pamphylia, to the Amanus Mountains, which separated it from Syria.
SH95333. Silver obol, SNG BnF 482, SNG Levante 232, Göktürk -, Troxell-Kagan -, gVF, dark tone, tight oval flan, some porosity, tiny edge split, weight 0.702 g, maximum diameter 11.8 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain mint, 4th century B.C.; obverse crowned and bearded head (of Persian Great King?) right; reverse forepart of Pegasos right; very rare; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00
 


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

|Mesopotamia| |&| |Babylonia|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.,| |Carrhae,| |Mesopotamia|, |AE| |20|
This coin may refer to an eclipse at Carrhae on 4 September 164. Carrhae is the Haran of the Bible. Crassus was defeated and killed by the Parthians near Carrhae in 53 B.C. Emperor Galerius was defeated on the same site in 296 A.D.
RP92089. Bronze AE 20, RIC IV-3 Online T8037 (2 spec.), BMC Arabia -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, aF, earthen encrustations, scratches, weight 6.171 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, die axis 0o, Carrhae (Altinbasak, Turkey) mint, 164 - 169 A.D.; obverse AYT KAI[...], laureate head left; reverse KARHNWN ΦIΛOPWMEW, crescent horns upward, resting on a globe with fillets hanging from each side, star with six points above between the horns; ex Gerhard Rohde (9 Feb 2010); extremely rare; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $152.00
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C., Struck in the Name of Alexander the Great

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |III| |Arrhidaeus| |and| |Alexander| |IV,| |323| |-| |317| |B.C.,| |Struck| |in| |the| |Name| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great|, |tetradrachm|
This coin was struck in Bablylon, not long after Alexander the Great died in that city. Alexander was succeeded by the joint reign of his mentally disabled half-brother, Philip III, and his infant son with Roxana, Alexander IV. Traditionally coins naming Alexander, even posthumous issues, have all been attributed to Alexander III the Great. This exact same type with the same control symbols was, however, also struck in the name of Philip. Undoubtedly the Alexander named on this coin was the infant son of Alexander the Great and Roxana, Alexander IV. The two were made joint kings by Alexander's generals who only intended to use them as pawns. Philip III was imprisoned upon his return to Macedonia and in 317 B.C. was executed under orders from Olympias. Alexander IV and his mother Roxana were executed in 311 B.C. by the boy's regent, Kassander.

This coin was struck under one of the Macedonian satraps in Babylon: Archon, Dokimos, or Seleukos I. Perdiccas suspected Archon of colluding in the theft of Alexander's corpse and, in 321 B.C., sent Dokimos to replace him. Archon was defeated and died from battle wounds. Seleucus, made satrap by Perdiccas' rival Antipater, arrived in Babylon in October or November 320 B.C. and defeated Dokimos.
GS94463. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3692, Müller Alexander 1272, Demanhur 4479 - 4525, VF, well centered, high relief, rough, weight 16.439 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 45o, Mesopotamia, Babylon (Hillah, Iraq) mint, c. 323 - 317 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, M lower left, ΛY under throne above strut, AΛEΞ/θ>AN∆POY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩN in exergue; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C.

|Macedonian| |Kingdom|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |III| |Arrhidaeus| |and| |Alexander| |IV,| |323| |-| |317| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
Struck in the name of King Philip III Arrhidaeus, Alexander the Great's half-brother, under the regent Perdikkas. Philip III and Alexander's infant son, Alexander IV, were made joint kings after Alexander's death. Philip was the bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa. Alexander the Great's mother, Olympias, allegedly poisoned her stepson Philip III as a child, leaving him mentally disabled, eliminating him as a rival to Alexander. Neither Philip III nor Alexander IV was capable of actual rule and both were selected only to serve as pawns. The regents held power, while Philip III was actually imprisoned. In 317, Philip was murdered by Olympias to ensure the succession of her grandson.
GS94466. Silver tetradrachm, Price P181, Müller Alexander P99, Demanhur 4562, SNG Alpha Bank 869, SNG Munchen 782, SNG Saroglos 872, HGC 3.1 973f, SNG Cop -, VF, well centered, attractive style, rough and porous from light corrosion, weight 16.322 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 270o, Mesopotamia, Babylon (Hillah, Iraq) mint, c. 323 - 317 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress, forelegs tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne, feet on footstool, right leg drawn back, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, ΦIΛIΠΠOY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) in exergue, M left, ΛY under seat above strut; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00
 


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

|Parthian| |Empire|, |Parthian| |Empire,| |Orodes| |II,| |57| |-| |38| |B.C.|, |drachm|
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.
GS89569. Silver drachm, Sellwood 47.5, Shore 239, Sunrise -, VF, toned, nice portrait, reverse off center, weight 3.935 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Ecbatana (Hamedan, Iran) mint, obverse diademed and draped bust left with short beard, top of head flat, torque ending with pellet, no wart, wavy hair covering ear, star upper left, crescent horns up upper right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ / BAΣIΛEΩN − APΣAKOY − EYEPΓET / ∆IKAIOY − EΠIΦANOYΣ / ΦIΛEΛΛHNOΣ squared legend around, beardless archer (Arsakes I) seated right on throne, wearing bashlyk and cloak, bow in extended right hand, K (mintmark) below bow, squared seven-line legend around; ex Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher); ex Michigan State Numismatic Society Auction (Nov 1998), part of the Parthian Collection lot; $125.00 SALE |PRICE| $113.00
 


Persian Empire, Lydia, Anatolia, Darius II - Artaxerxes II, c. 420 - 375 B.C.

|Persian| |Lydia|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Lydia,| |Anatolia,| |Darius| |II| |-| |Artaxerxes| |II,| |c.| |420| |-| |375| |B.C.|, |1/4| |siglos|
This type was minted in Lydia, Anatolia, while under Persian control, prior to Alexander the Great's conquest. The Persian or Achaemenid Empire (c. 550 - 330 B.C.) was the largest empire in ancient history extending across Asia, Africa and Europe, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine and Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and much of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya.Persian Empire
GS94117. Silver 1/4 siglos, Carradice type IV; BMC Arabia p. 167, 143, pl. XXVI, 27; Rosen 679, F, toned, porous, round flan, weight 1.176 g, maximum diameter 8.5 mm, probably Sardis (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 420 - 375 B.C.; obverse kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, drawing bow, bearded, crowned, quiver at shoulder; reverse square incuse; very rare; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 




  



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REFERENCES|

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