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Time of Darius I - Xerxes II
ACHAEMENID PERSIAN EMPIRE. Time of Darius I - Xerxes II Circa 485-420 B.C.E. AV daric. 16mm, 8.36g. O:Persian king or hero in kneeling-running stance right, holding spear and bow. R: Incuse punch. Carradice Type IIIb A/B (pl. XIII, 27).

In 550 BC Cyrus the Great founded the Achaemenid Persian Empire by amalgamating the Iranian tribes of the Medes and the Persians. Cyrus then looked to the west. His army defeated the Lydians and their king Croesus in 547 BC and in the following year the Persian army marched into the kingdoms of Ionia, Caria and Lykia, on what is now the west coast of Turkey.

It was there that the Persians first came into contact with coinage. From here it spread over the next century throughout the Persian Empire as far as Afghanistan and Egypt. After conquering Lydia in 547 BC, the Persians adopted the Lydian tradition of minting coins. Soon the local 'lion and bull' croesid coins were replaced by a new Achaemenid coinage.

The gold daric, named after the Persian king Darius I (521-486 BC), and the silver siglos (or shekel) were the main denominations. An archer, representing the Persian king, appeared on the obverse (front) of the coin. The reverse consisted of a rectangular punch. These coins were minted in the western part of the Achaemenid Empire. Their production continued long after the death of Darius, until the conquest of Persia by Alexander the Great at the end of the fourth century BC. (Comments from britishmuseum.org)

After the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah, the Jews were taken into the seventy-year Babylonian captivity. When ancient Persia took control of Babylon, Haman, the royal vizier, convinced King Ahasuerus to destroy all the Jews. Esther, Ahasuerus's queen and, unknown to him, a Jew, interceded on behalf of her people. By law the King could not rescind the order to slaughter the Jews, so he issued a second decree that permitted the Jews to defend themselves with armed force.

The King replaced Haman with Mordecai, a palace official, cousin and foster parent of Esther. The Jews defeated Haman, killing his ten sons that were leading the attacks, and then hanged Haman. The day after the battle was designated as a day of feasting and rejoicing. Scholars identify King Ahasuerus as the historical king Xerxes I, 486 - 465 BCE. Xerxes is the Greek version of his name but the Babylonians knew him as Khshayarsha. The Hebrew name Ahasuerus, appears to be derived from Khshayarsha, with the letter A added at the beginning.
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Album name:Nemonater / Persian Empire
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Date added:Jun 29, 2013
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rover1.3  [Jun 29, 2013 at 08:12 PM]
Great coin.
Aarmale  [Sep 01, 2013 at 07:51 PM]
Really nice
Sosius  [Nov 15, 2013 at 02:03 PM]
Cool. It must feel surprisingly heavy for its size.