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Early Parthians I


Silver tetradrachms, drachms, bronzes, and fractions from Arsakes I to Bagasis, with the attributions of David Sellwood, the Coinage of Parthia, Farhad Assar, and Fred Shore, Parthian Coins and History. Attributions of Parthian coins are in flux now. For convenience's sake I will stick with the Sellwood system for my gallery.

54 files, last one added on Dec 26, 2016

Early Parthians II


Silver and bronze tetradrachms, drachms and chalkoi from Artabanos I. to the end of the reign of Mithradates II. I follow the David Sellwood attributions from 1980 regarding the sequence of the rulers. Fred Shore and Farhad Assar are also consulted for attributions. Deviations from Sellwood are noted in the description of the coins.

78 files, last one added on Jan 15, 2017

Parthian Dark Age I


The period of about 90 BC (the end of the reign of Mithradates II.) and circa 57 BC (the established rule of Orodes II.) is referred to as the 'Dark Age' because of the number of rulers, co-rulers, an sub-kings and shifts of territory. Attributions are uncertain, new theories and sources are currently published. Again, for reasons of convenience, the Sellwood system ist used as a guide line, but other interpretations are mentioned in the descriptions of the coins.

54 files, last one added on Sep 13, 2016

Parthian Dark Age II


Drachms and bronzes of Dareios of Media Atropatene, Phraates III., and one of his sons and killers, Mithradates III. to the time of the latter's death at the hands of his brother, Orodes II. in ca. 54 BC. An S. 44.1 tetradrachm which belongs most likely to the coinage of Mithradates III. is shown under the heading of Orodes II. in the following album to remain consistent with David Sellwood's attributions.

41 files, last one added on Jan 15, 2017

Middle Parthian Period I


I begin with Orodes II., victorious over the Romans at Carrhae, Phraates IV., the usurper Tiridates, and Phraatakes, the latter famous for having married his mother. Patricide, fratricide, and filicide are rampant. The coin quality begins to deteriorate, metallurgically and artistically, and correct Greek legends become the exception. Only few drachms reach the Attic weight standard any longer. Phraatakes' drachms from eastern mints have cartoon-like obverses and reverses that no longer have identifiable letters.
Little did I realize how many Orodes coins had accumulated over the years, so I will break up the period into as many albums as I need. Middle Parthian Period II picks up with Phraates IV.

74 files, last one added on Feb 04, 2018

Middle Parthian Period II


Middle Parthian Period II opens with Phraates IV, and continues with Tiridates, Phraatakes, and Phraatakes and Musa. Coin quality is in rapid decline, most of the Eastern mints appear to have no skilled celators. Artistically, the tetradrachms still stand out as do a few drachm issues mainly from Ekbatana and Rhagai.

70 files, last one added on Sep 11, 2016

Middle Parthian Period III


This section begins with Orodes III (6-8 AD) and shows the ever deteriorating coinage of the following rulers until Pakoros II (78 - 105 AD). On the drachms, the portraits consist more and more of straight lines and dots. The tetradrachms are really made of billon metal, no longer of high grade silver. The Eastern mints put out greater quantities of drachms, albeit usually of low quality metal and design. Copper drachms appear, always from Eastern mints. New attributions are mentioned, but the old Sellwood system is maintained for the time being.

80 files, last one added on Feb 04, 2018

Late Parthians I


Find tetradrachms, drachms and some fractions in these two sections that begin with Pakoros II. and end with the last Parthian kings Artabanos IV. and Vologases VI. and a presumed prince named Tiridates. Most of these coins no longer bear any resemblance to the fine design and workmanship of the Early Period that was dominated by Greek artisans. Their quality is a reflection of the problems of the empire and its rulers, the shaky alliances and costly conflicts with Rome, ongoing internecine struggles, and sales and losses of territory. One notes flickers of quality in the drachms and bronzes of Osroes I., Vologases V., Artabanos IV., and Vologases VI. before the Parthian Empire collapses around 228 AD and is taken over by an indigenous Iranian power, the Sassanians under Ardashir I.

56 files, last one added on Feb 04, 2018

Late Parthians II


The drachms of Mithradates IV. lead the second part of this last section of my Parthian coins. They still show some quality of metal and design, but the steep downward curve continues with most of the tetradrachms of Vologases IV., and all of those of Vologases V. and VI. In some of the late drachms, again, we can still find artistic skill, especially with Vologases V., VI., Artabanos IV., and the mysterious Prince Tiridates.

71 files, last one added on Jan 15, 2017

Eastern Parthians


As far as I know, three Parthian kings had bronze drachms minted in Areia and Margiane when they held or were confined to the eastern provinces of the Parthian Empire. Some other rulers minted the odd bronze drachm, but their number is negligible. The bulk of these coins were issued by Artabanos II., 10 - 38 AD, Vardanes I., 40 - 45 AD, and Vologases III., 105 - 147 AD. These drachms are of lesser artistic value; nevertheless, they are of some numismatic and historical interest. One can speculate why these rulers issued AE drachms: Was silver so rare in the East, were they in such dire streets that they could not afford silver, or were the lesser drachms meant to be an interim solution. The die cutters were certainly not first rate, and all of their products seem to have been made in haste.
The Sanabares on my AE drachms is most likely a Parthian prince or sub king who ruled in one of the Eastern provinces of the empire in what is now Turkmenistan (Margiane = Merv) around 125 AD. He is probably not identical with an Indo-Parthian ruler of the same name who struck coins in Seistan ( = Sakastan in Eastern Iran) and Arachiosa (in today’s Afghanistan) and belongs to the Gondopharan dynasty. There is great confusion in the literature, some authors think that there was just one Sanabares from the Gondophares line, an Indo-Parthian, in the province of Seistan. Dates are uncertain, too, they range between the first and third century AD.

55 files, last one added on Nov 06, 2016



This semi-independent state frequently under Parthian domination existed between the second century BC and the early third century AD. It was located in southwestern Persia in what the Achaemenides called Khustestan. Strabo describes its inhabitants, the 'Elymaei', as one of the four predatory tribes of the region. As capitals the cities of Susa and Seleukia on the Hedyphon took turns. According to Le Rider, the Elymaean king Kamnaskires I. (Soter) established himself as ruler of Susiana during a period of diminished Seleukid control. He was followed by Kamnaskires Nikephoros, usurpers like Okkonapses, Tigraios, and Dareios, and the Parthian viceroy Phraates II. At around 82/81 BC the Later Kamnaskirids take over with Kamnaskires III. and his queen Anzaze. Their beautiful tetradrachm (which, unfortunately, I do not own) was minted in Seleukia on the Hedyphon. During the reign of Kamnaskires IV. (63/62 - 54/53 BC) the quality of the silver coins deteriorates drastically. The Greek legends of his successor, Kamnaskires V., are illegible. Bronze drachms begin to replace silver in around 60 AD, dates are no longer used, and reverses begin to show mere dashes. At around that time, a new dynasty, which is believed to be Parthian, appears with Orodes I. His drachms still show a Greek legend which is gradually abandoned under his son, Kamnaskires Orodes, in favor of Aramaic. His successor, Phraates (early mid-second cent.), is the last ruler that can be dated with a measure of certainty. He is followed by Osroes, Orodes III., Orodes IV., Orodes V., Prince A and Prince B, and an even less known Unidentified King (Van't Haaff). In 221 AD, the Sassanian king Ardashir conquers Khusestan and puts an end to Elymaean coinage.

59 files, last one added on Apr 08, 2017

Parthia Related Coins I


This group consists of coins that existed in and around, before and after the Parthian Empire. They include currency from the Achaemenid Empire (1), Persis, Charakene, the Roman Empire, an intriguing group of 5 Daoi (Dahai) hemidrachms and obols, Kushans, Iranian Huns, as well as Indo-Parthians with a batch of copper drachms presumably from the Jammu/Kashmir region. Unfortunately I do not have any Seleukid coins.

The Achaemenid Empire (7th to 4th cent. BC) was one of the greatest empires in ancient history. During its largest expanse it reached from the Aegean coast to the Hindukush, from the Central Asian steppes to the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. As there was no prevailing coin economy outside the Aegean provinces no currency system was developed in the Iranian heartland where the simple lumpy gold and silver coins showing a running king were minted at Sardes.

Persis was the province of Fars in the southeast of today’s Iran and politically and strategically rather unimportant during Parthian times, which is why it retained a relative autonomy. Coins made from the early 3rd cent. BC to the end of the 2nd cent. AD were probably only intended for local use. Three distinct periods of coin production with intermittent suspension of coinage can be seen: phase 1 begins with the death of Seleukos Nikator around 280 BC and ends around 220 BC with the invasion of Antiochos III in Media; phase 2 begins with the defeat of Antiochos III in 190 BC and ends with the Parthian conquest of Mesopotamia and Susiana in 140 BC; phase 3 begins in the 90s BC and lasts until the accession of Papak’s sons, Shahpur and Ardashir, to the throne and the defeat of the Parthian Empire in 228 AD. Ardashir becomes the first Sassanian king thus re-establishing Iranian rule over areas that used to be the Achaemenid Empire.

The Daoi, or Dahae in Latin, were a confederation of three Indo-European, possibly Skythian, but not Indo-Iranian, tribes, one of which were the Parni located in what is today’s Turkmenistan. They took to the road in the 3rd cent. BC and moved to the southwest, invaded and settled the Persian province of Parthava whence they took their name as they usurped more and more territory of the crumbling Seleukid Empire. Their leader Arshak (Gr. Arsakes) became the first Parthian king after a revolt against the Seleukid Emperor Antiochos II.Theos. 5 of these coins, originally thought to be Daoi coinage, seem to be from Sogdiana, more specifically from Samarkand, and minted at a much later date, between the 4th and 5th cent AD. Perhaps the last word has not been spoken on their attribution.

Countermarked Parthians
In Sakastan between the 1st cent. BC and the 1st cent. AD, a number of genuine and imitation Parthian drachms, primarily of Gotarzes, Orodes I., Orodes II., and Phraates IV. were countermarked with a stamp in the shoulder area of the host coins. These marks were either integrated in the die or applied to the outside of the host coin’s flan - a glance at the reverse of the coin will tell which it is.The images on the countermarks are of Tanlis Mardates or unknown rulers.

Charakene (gr. Χαρακήνη) - IMHO there is no need to transcribe a Greek κ into English c as the English language has the letter k - was located to the southwest of Elymais on the Persian Gulf and up the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to Apameia. It was a part of the Parthian Empire, how independent is difficult to say for an almost total lack of literature leaves us without any clues. In 228 AD it became part of the Sasanian Empire.

The Indo-Parthian Empire: This section includes drachms and tetradrachms from the Gondopharid dynasty. Actually, the Sanabares AE drachms should have been placed here, but their number persuaded me to list them separately in an earlier chapter, ‘Eastern Parthians’. The group of coins referred to as Indo-Parthians covers a large area from Sakastan (Seistan/Sistan) and Arachiosa on the eastern border of today’s Iran up to Jammu in India’s Himalaya region and Sindh on the Indus river in Pakistan in the 1st cent. AD. The Indo-Parthians had defeated the Indo-Greeks and Indo-Scythians and were then, at the end of the 1st cent. AD, defeated by the Kushans.

Turan, located in western Iran bordering today’s Afghanistan and Pakistan, was a Sasanian vassal. Again, not much is known about this kingdom or principality.

29 files, last one added on Nov 20, 2017

Parthia Related Coins II


The Kushan Empire
was the result of the southwest migration by one of the five Yuezhi branches at the beginning of the 1st cent. AD from the Ganzou province in western China to what used to be Bactria. Their territory expanded quickly and included most of today’s Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Northern India. The multi-cultural and multi-religious nature of the empire is reflected in the lettering and symbolism on the coinage. In the 3rd cent. the empire broke up into several parts and was finally conquered by the Sasanians who invaded from the west.

The Roman Empire
Not surprisingly the ascending power in the East, the Parthian Empire, became a thorn in the flesh of the established power in the West, the Roman Empire. Hostilities began at the end of Mithradates II reign (the mid-nineties BC) when the Parthians were embroiled in Seleukid civil wars. During the reign of Phraates III (70-57 BC), Rome was at war with Pontos and Armenia, and Phraates was unable to remain neutral. In the ensuing conflict, he lost some territory to the Roman general Pompey. His two sons, Mithradates III and Orodes II killed him in 57 BC and set an example that would bedevil the Parthians throughout their history which abounds in patricide, fratricide, and other types of murder for power.
Mithradates III lost Seleukia to his brother in 54 BC and was killed by him. Orodes II’s general Surena inflicted the most painful defeat on the Romans under Crassus at Carrhae in 53 BC. Not only did the Romans lose 30,000 troops in dead and captured soldiers but they also lost their Legionary Eagles, a devastating moral blow. Marcus Crassus and his son Publius both wound up with their heads cut off. The famous Parthian general Surena did not fare much better: His king, Orodes II, was madly jealous of Surena’s success and had him killed.

At times Parthian troops served as mercenaries for the Romans, e.g. in the power struggle after Caesar’s assassination. The Roman rebel general Labienus and Orodes II’s son Pakoros joined forces in Syria and Asia Minor, but by 38 BC they were defeated and dead. Orodes II is said to have lost his mind about the demise of his favorite son and picked his successor from the dozens of remaining sons: Phraates IV who immediately killed his father, his brothers and their families. Perceiving this as an opportune moment, Mark Antony embarked on a hasty Parthian invasion planning to attack the capital of Media with over 100,000 soldiers. Phraates surprised him from the rear with 40,000 horsemen and killed about 10,000 Romans. Mark Antony retreated. In the ensuing peace negotiations, the Parthians refused to return the Roman legionary standards captured at Carrhae. No treaty was reached, and Mark Antony withdrew after having incurred a loss of 35,000 troops on this ill-fated expedition. In the year 20 BC, the Romans were finally able to celebrate the return of the Legionary Eagles and the remaining Roman prisoners in exchange for a son of Phraates and an Italian slave girl named Musa. Emperor Augustus counted this a a major diplomatic triumph and issued a series of commemorative coins.

In the following decades there were frequent confrontations between the Romans and the Parthians, usually about Armenia which was claimed by both parties. On the whole, the Parthian Empire remained intact though its military leadership was often distracted by trouble in the East, e.g. rebellious Hyrkania, or the growing threat of the Kushans. Then something like a peace between the two foes came about during the reign of Emperor Nero. Things began be be stirred up again with the accession of Trajan to the Roman throne in 98 AD. He led many invasions against the Parthians using Armenia as an excuse and made Armenia a Roman province, occupied Mesopotamia, Babylonia, and Adiabene and progressed all the way to the Persian Gulf. The Parthian king during that time, Osroes I, was too busy with internal strife to assemble an effective army. Eventually he succeeded in doing so and forced the overstretched Romans to withdraw. In 116 AD Trajan had installed a Roman puppet king, Parthamaspates, on the Parthian throne in Ktesiphon. After having been repelled at Hatra, Trajan was preparing for another campaign against the Parthians when he died in 117 AD. His successor Hadrian reversed this policy and abandoned occupied Parthian territory. Rome continued to try and assert its influence by supplying or supporting compliant Parthian throne pretenders who generally did not last long.

The next Roman emperor (or, co-emperor in this case) to be heavily embroiled in battles with the Parthians was Lucius Verus (161-169 AD). He repelled a Parthian invasion of Armenia and Roman Syria, crossed the Euphrates and sacked Ktesiphon and Seleukia. The Romans withdrew but Northern Mesopotamia remained under their rule. Vologases V of Parthia tried to retake it but a revolt by the Iranians in his empire distracted him. In 198 AD Septimius Severus crossed the Euphrates and took Ktesiphon and Seleukia but failed to conquer Hatra. He was forced to withdraw. Vologases’ two sons Vologases VI and Artabanos IV weakened the empire with their never-ending fight for the throne. They were only united in their disdain for the Roman emperor Caracalla. Artabanos IV took a strong army into Roman Mesopotamia and defeated Caracalla’s successor, Macrinus, near Nisibis and extracted an enormous sum from the Romans for a truce. The deeply embarrassed Macrinus had coins minted declaring himself the winner. But the Parthian triumph did not last long. A few years later, in 228 AD, the Parthian Empire was overthrown by its Iranian subjects, the Sasanians.

21 files, last one added on Dec 03, 2017

Parthia Related Coins III


The Sasanian Empire
existed from 224 AD (the downfall of the Parthian or Arsacid empire) to 650 AD (the Arab invasion). Constant internal and external warfare and a catastrophic outbreak of smallpox had weakened Parthia and its last rulers, the brothers Artabanos IV and Vologases VI. The Roman emperor Caracalla made inroads into Armenia and Media and did his best to further the strife between the brothers. At the same time a Persian family from the region north of Persepolis exploited the Parthian decline by increasing its own power. Their leader, known as Lord Sasan, the custodian of the Zoroastrian fire temple of Anahita at Istakhr killed the local king with the encouragement of his ambitious son Papak and grandsons Ardashir and Shahpur. In 212 AD Ardashir rebelled openly against the (non-Iranian) Parthians claiming that he was the true heir of the Iranian Achaemenids. Shahpur succeeded his father Papak as king in Istakhr but was accidentally killed in Persepolis. Ardashir succeeded Shahpur and within the next 12 years conquered much of Fars and the neighboring regions. In the battle of Hormzdagan on May 28, 224 AD he defeated the Parthian king Artabanos IV and took the title ‘King of Kings of Iran’. Seeing himself as the heir to the Achaemenids, he laid claim to the eastern provinces of the Roman empire and fought successfully against Alexander Severus. During his reign (224-242 AD) he created a powerful second Persian empire - the first having been the Achaemenid empire - a bulwark against invasions from the Central Asian steppe, became a founder of cities, an administrative reformer and modernizer of the military. Sasanian coinage, silver drachms and gold dinars, became famous for the extravagant hairstyles of the rulers depicted on the obverse. The reverses show a fire holder on a platform, usually flanked by two attendants.

Ardashir’s son Shahpur I became sole ruler in 240. He expanded and secured the empire’s western border against the Romans and managed to take the Roman emperor Valerian and his army of 70000 prisoner near Carrhae. All captured soldiers and civilians were deported to Iran and settled there. The empire became multi-national and multi-religious - many of the Sasanian kings exercised tolerance, especially vis-a-vis Jews and Christians. But under Shahpur II the Christians were persecuted as traitors and allies of Rome, now a Christian empire. The Zoroastrian Canon became the state religion. Under Shahpur’s successors the empire was torn by civil strife until 530 AD. The nobility and the clerics had gradually secured considerable prerogatives while the kings were preoccupied with inroads by Hunnic tribes in the east and northeast. The kings Kavad I and Khusrow I managed to re-establish the power of the crown and secure the southern and western borders against the Arabs, Byzantines (502-506) and Romans (527-531). Khusrow I (531-579 AD) fought several wars against Justinian of Byzantium, then concluded a comprehensive peace treaty in 562 AD which enabled him to focus on the northeastern border and defeat the Hephthalite Huns and the Khazars, stop the advance of an emerging power, the Turks, and conquer Yemen. Apart from having devised a new tax system, he was renowned to be a lover of literature and an avid student of philosophy. The historian Nöldeke called him ‘one of the most efficient and best kings the Iranians have ever had’.

After his death chaos and internal strife took over again. Khusrow II (590-628) is said to have amassed immense riches and lived a life of luxury and decadence. To avenge his Byzantine protector Maurice’s murder, he sent his troops as far as Jerusalem and close to Constantinople (616 AD) and all the way to Egypt. Rejecting a peace offer by the new Byzantine emperor, Heraclius, Khusrow’s fortunes turned and after defeats on all fronts against Heraclius, Khusrow’s demoralized troops mutinied and deposed and executed him. His son Kavad II ascended the throne and made peace with Byzantium but began to kill off all his potential rivals. In the ensuing utter chaos and disintegration of the empire, aggravated by a devastating outbreak of the plague, which also killed the king, the end was near. The last king, Yazdegerd III was installed at the age of 8 and was forced to flee from one hiding place to another. Emboldened, external enemies attacked the empire. The Turks, the Khazars, and the Arabs were ravaging the country. Subjugating local rulers, the Islamic Arab armies destroyed the Sasanian empire by 650 AD, Yazdegerd was murdered in hiding.

7 files, last one added on Dec 18, 2017

My Ugliest Parthians


When you collect Parthian coins you know that they cannot stand up to the gorgeous Greek drachms and tetradrachms as far as beauty is concerned. You are intrigued by the mystery that surrounds this coinage of wild horsemen from the steppes of Central Asia who, after more than 450 years after their appearance in Persia seem to have disappeared from the face of the earth when they lost their empire to the Iranian Sasanians in 242 AD. Yet sometimes you wonder at the sheer ugliness of some of the obverse portraits on their coins. Was their concept of beauty so different from ours or did they just not care about attractive features of their rulers? And did the rulers not care how they were represented on their coinage? Granted, they probably were not aware that 2000 odd years later collectors all over the world would bend over their portraits and shake their heads. Still, some of these coin obverses must have looked a bit off even to a Parthian warrior.

Here are some examples of what I am taking about.

33 files, last one added on Feb 05, 2018

Plate Coins


16 files, last one added on Jul 05, 2018

My Parthian Tetradrachms

0 files


17 albums on 1 page(s)

Last additions - Schatz's Gallery
Pakoros II., 77/78 - 105 AD16 views
AR dr., 3,42gr, 20,74mm; Sellwood 73.13, Shore 397, Sunrise-, Sinisi Type Vb, p. 89;
mint: Court at Ekbatana; axis: 12h;
obv.: bare-headed, left, w/ 4-strand diadem, 2 loops and 3 ribbons; medium-long hair in 3 waves, beardless; earring, 3 layer necklace; in upper right field above loops the Aramaic letters for pk; tunic border in fishbone pattern; dotted border 9 to 16h;
rev.: archer, right, on throne, w/bow in one hand and monogram below bow; left lower leg missing; 7-line legend: OΛIIΛE OΛIIΛTΛN NIΛNOO ΛXIOV ΠNPΛII (last two to be read from the inside), EΠΦΛNOC ΦIAH ... (blurred letters);

ex: New York Sale XXXIV (2015), Baldwin’s Auction, #452 (The David Sellwood Collection). A Sellwood plate coin: David Sellwood, An Introduction to the Coinage of Parthia, Second Edition, Spink 1980, plate 73.13.
SchatzJul 05, 2018
Artabanos III., 80 - 90 AD39 viewsAR tdr., 13,48gr, 26,6mm; Sellwood 74.3, Shore -, Sunrise 441 (Artabanos V, 79/80-ca.85) AD); Sinisi Type I, p.104
mint: Seleukia; axis: 12h; date: November (?) 80 AD
obv.: bare-headed, left, 4-layer broad diadem, 1 loop and 2 broad ribbons; medium-long hair in 4 waves, mustache, med.-long beard gently rounded off; earring, 3-layer necklace; tunic w/ornamental fishbone border;
rev.: king, left, on throne, facing goddess w/staff or sceptre offering untied diadem in right hand; dagger on left side(?); 6 lines of legend visible: (B)ACIΛ(EΩN) (PTA)BAN(OY) ΔIKΛIOY (A)ΠE (ΛAIOY?) EΠIΦΛNOYC (ΦIΛEΛΛHNOC); year between the heads BΦT (80/81 AD); exergual line;

in: Fabrizio Sinisi, Sylloge Nummorum Parthicorum, Oesterreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien, 2013, cf. Plate 50, Artabanos III Type I/1(1), #844A.
2 commentsSchatzJun 07, 2018
Elymais -- Orodes I., late 1st to early 2nd cent. AD11 views
AE tdr., 15,61gr, 27,44mm;
mint: Susa (?)
Van’t Haaff 11.1.1-1a (this coin), Alram p. 146, #466, NB3;
obv.: bare-headed bust, left, w/2-strand diadem, loop, 2 ribbons; straight top hair running across head, side hair combed backwards, mustache, long pointed curly beard, multi-turn torque ending in pellet; cuirass w/shoulder pads; in right lower filed anchor w/2 upper and 2 lower cross bars, crescent and pellet above; in lower left field Aramaic legend ‘Orodes’; dotted border 10 - 12h;
rev.: head, left, w/diadem surrounded by 4 lines of blundered letters;

in: P.A. Van't Haaff, Catalogue of Elymaean Coinage, CNG 2007, p. 92, type 11.1.1-1a; also in:
SchatzJun 07, 2018
Elymais: Orodes I., mid/late 1st cent. AD14 views
AE tdr., 15,61gr., 27,44mm;
Van’t Haaff 11.1.1c (this coin), Alram p.146 #466, pl. 15, NB3;
mint: axis: 12h;
obv.: bare-headed, left, w/2-strand diadem, loop and 2 ribbons; med.-long bushy hair brushed back over the ear, mustache, long tapering beard cut off at the end; earring, multi-layer torque ending in pellet; cuirass; in right field 2-crossbar anchor w/crescent and star above, in left field Aramaic or Pahlavi MLK’ or part of it; dotted border 11 - 13h;
rev.: traces of small portrait surrounded by 4 lines of ‘Greek’ originally being BAΣIΛEΩΣ YPΩΔHΣ;

in: P.A. Van't Haaff, Catalogue of Elymaean Coinage, CNG 2007, p.92, 11.1.1-1c; also in:, Coins of Elymais;
SchatzJun 07, 2018
Phraatakes, 2-4 AD13 viewsBI dr., 3,68gr, 19,02mm; Sellwood 58.12, Shore -, Sunrise -;
mint: Susa?; axis: 12h;
obv.: bare-headed, left, w/diadem and 3 ribbons; med.-long hair in 4 waves, med.- long tapered beard, mustache; in upper right and left fields goddess w/extended arm;
rev.: female head, left, w/turret crown, knot, and diadem w/2 ribbons; long side hair swirled up in a bun over the ear; legends in left and upper right fields: (BΛ)CIΛIC-HC ΘEA(C) MO(VCΛC)
Almost black toning w/small silver areas visible;

in: David Sellwood, The Coinage of Parthia, Spink, 1980, # 58.12
SchatzJun 05, 2018
Phraatakes and Musa, 2-4 AD13 views
BI dr., 3,68gr, 19,02mm; Sellwood 58.12, Shore -, Sunrise -;
mint: Susa?; axis: 12h;
obv.: bare-headed, left, w/diadem and 3 ribbons; med.-long hair in 4 waves, med.- long tapered beard, mustache; in upper right and left fields goddess w/extended arm;
rev.: female head, left, w/turret crown, knot, and diadem w/2 ribbons; long side hair swirled up in a bun over the ear; legends in left and upper right fields: (BΛ)CIΛIC-HC ΘEA(C) MO(VCΛC)
Almost black toning w/small silver areas visible;

in: David Sellwood, The Coinage of Parthia, Spink, 1980, # 5812, The Coinage of Parthia, Spink 1971, # 58/9.
SchatzJun 05, 2018
Pakoros II., 77/78 - 105 AD27 views
AR tdr., 13,44gr, 25,8mm; Sellwood 75.4, Shore -, Sunrise -, Sinisi Type II, p. 86;
mint: Seleukia; axis: 12h;
obv.: bare-headed, left, w/facing torso; 4-layer broad diadem, 1 loop and 2 broad ribbons; medium-long hair in 4 waves of curls, beardless; 3-layer necklace; tunic w/ornamental border; in upper right field Δ;
rev.: king, left, on horseback, facing goddess w/staff or sceptre offering diadem in right hand behind her male figure w/untied diadem(?); 1 line of legend readable: (BACIΛEΩC) (BACIΛEΩN) (APCAKOY) ΠΛKO(POV) (EΠIΦANOVC) (ΦIΛEΛΛHNOC); exergual line; year between the heads and month in exergue unreadable;

in: Fabrizio Sinisi, Sylloge Nummorum Parthicorum, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, p. 60, # 1114.
1 commentsSchatzJun 05, 2018
Vologases II., 77 - 80 AD 11 views
AR diobol, 1,26gr, 11,8mm; Sellwood Num. Chron. 1989, pp. 164, 165, plate 42, Type 3, Shore 390 (this coin), Sunrise-; Sinisi -;
mint: probably Persis; axis: 12h;
obv.: head, left, w/tiara(?) and diadem, 2 loops and 2 ribbons, all w/dotted line in between; 1 row of dots over the crest of the headgear beginning w/1 oversized dot, 1 row of medium-sized dots above and 1 below the crest, mustache, long beard; tunic/cuirass w/ornamental border (row of dots between 2 lines); dotted border 13:30 to 16h;
rev.: archer, right, on throne, w/bow in outstretched hand; degenerate circular legend of rounded letters;

in: Fred B. Shore, Parthian Coins & History, CNG 1993, p.150, #390.
SchatzJun 05, 2018
Vologases II., 77 - 80 AD28 views
AR dr., 3,53gr, 20.9mm; Sellwood 72.9, Shore 389 (this coin), Sunrise -; Sinisi II.1.4.a, # 1321, (Vologases I), pp. 112, 113;
mint: Ekbatana (?); axis: 12h;
obv.: head, left, w/ tiara, broad 4-layer diadem, double loop and 3 ribbons, on the crest of the tiara a row of 6 hooks and 1 central double hook, diadem w/1 side hook (horn?), side lock (hook) on temple, mustache, medium-long straight pointed beard rounded on the sides; earring, 3-layer necklace; in upper right field the 3 Aramaic letters for mwl; tunic/cuirass w/ornamental border; dotted border 9:30 to 14:30h;
rev.: archer, right, on throne, w/bow in one outstretched hand and monogram below bow; 4 lines of legend readable: OΛIIΛ invertedE(ΛC) OΛIIΛ inverted E Λ(Ͷ) ΠOIXVHOΛO XIVIVVHX;
the style deviates completely from the two former coins, the metal is not silver, it has a distinct bronze sheen. Sinisi lists it under ‘Uncertain Coins and Forgeries’. This coin may be a contemporary imitation;

in: Fred B. Shore, Parthian Coins and History, CNG 1993, p. 150, # 389.
1 commentsSchatzJun 05, 2018
Orodes I. 90 - 77 BC, (Mithradates III)12 views
AR tdr., 16,16gr, 29,4mm; Sellwood 31.1, Shore --, Sunrise 306 (Mithradates III, 87-80 BC);
mint: Seleukia, axis: 12h;
obv.: head, left, w/tiara (3rows of pellets, 6-point star as side decoration, long ear flaps) and diadem w/knot and 2 ribbons; mustache, medium-long beard; earring, torque w/single pellet finial; cuirass w/star on chest; dotted border almost complete;
rev.: archer, right, on throne, w/bow in right hand; 7-line legend: BΛCIΛEΩΣ MEΓAΛoY ΛPΣΛKoY ΛYToKPΛTo(PoC) ΦIΛoΠΛToPoC EΠIΦΛNoYC ΦIΛEΛΛΗNoC; exergual line;

in: David Sellwood The Coinage of Parthia, Spink, 1980, # 31.1 and 1971, # 31/4; also in:, Orodes I; also in: Michael Mitchiner, The Ancient and Classical World, Hawkins, 1971 p. 112, #531.
SchatzJun 05, 2018
Orodes II., 57 - 38 BC 16 views
BI tdr., 13,92 gr, mm; Sellwood 45.6, Shore 209, Sunrise -;
mint: Seleukia; axis: 12h;
obv.: bare-headed, left, w/broad diadem, 2 broad ribbons; medium-long hair in 4 waves, possibly no facial hair; multi-turn torque ending in something other than pellet; ear ring; cuirass w/star on chest; dotted border 8 to 16h;
rev.: king on throne, left, extending right arm to receive hand of kneeling Tyche; symbol between heads; 7-line legend: BAΣIΛEΩ(Σ) BAΣIΛEΩN APΣAKOY (blurred) EVEPΓETOV ΔIKAIOV EΠIΦANOVΣ ΦIΛEΛΛHNOΣ in exergue: ΠA = Panimou;

in: David Sellwood, The Coinage of Parthia, Spink, 1980, #45.6, and 1971, #45/5); also in:
SchatzJun 05, 2018
Orodes II., 57 - 38 BC (Mithradates IV)9 views
BI tdr., 15,02gr, mm; Sellwood 44.1, Shore - , Sunrise 355 (Mithradates IV);
mint: Seleukia; axis: 12h;
obv.: bare-headed, left, w/ broad diadem, 2 loops and 2 ribbons; medium-long hair in 5 waves, mustache, short beard; multi-turn torque w/pellet finial; cuirass; dotted border 7 to 15h;
rev.: archer, right, on throne, w/bow in one hand; 5-line legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ BAΣIΛEΩN (M)EΓAΛOV APΣAKOV KAI KTIΣT(OV); exergual line; KTIΣTOΣ meaning: founder - S. 44.1 is the only coin using this epithet (to my knowledge);

in: David Sellwood , The Coinage of Parthia, Spink 1980, #44.1
SchatzJun 05, 2018
Unknown King, ca. 80 - 70 BC (Arsakes XVI.)32 viewsAR tdr., 15,82gr., 28,2mm;
Sellw. 30.4, Sh --, Sunrise 312 (this coin)(Arsakes XVI., 78/77 - 62/61 BC);
mint: Seleukia, axis: 12H;
obv.: bare-headed, left, w/diadem, knot, and ribbon; medium h-long hair in 4 waves, mustache, short beard; cuirass; dotted border 18:30 - 13h; young face;
rev: archer, right, on throne, w/bow; monogr. above bow; 7-line legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ MEΓAΛOY APΣAKOY (ΘEO)ΠATOPOΣ (EY)EPΓETOY EΠIΦANOYΣ ΦIΛEΛΛHNO(Σ);

in: Numismatic Art of Persia, The Sunrise Collection, CNG 2011, p.182, #312.

also in:, Les Différents Types.
2 commentsSchatzJun 05, 2018
Phraates II., 138-127 BC,28 views
AR dr., 3,87gr, 19,4mm; Sellwood 16.13, Shore 53, Sunrise --;
mint: Epardos; axis: 12h;
obv.: bare-headed, left, w/diadem, knot and ribbon; short helmet like hair with curly fringe, longer in neck, short beard consisting of 2 rows of curls; necklace w/opposing pellet finials; dotted border 7:30 to 15h; in right field inside border the letters EΠA;
rev.: archer, left, on omphalos, w/bow in right hand; 2+2 line legend: BAΣIΛEΩ(Σ) MEΓAΛoY APΣAKoY ΘEoΠAToPo(Σ); gide lines and exergual line;

in: David Sellwood , The Coinage of Parthia, Spink 1980, plate coin #16.13.
1 commentsSchatzJun 05, 2018
Artabanos I. 127-124 BC11 views
AR dr., 3.6gr, 19,9mm; Sellwood 19.2, Shore 58 (this coin), Sunrise --;
mint: Ekbatana or Rhagai(?), axis: 12h;
obv.: bare-headed, left, w/diadem, knot and 2 ribbons; cap like hair in 5 waves, long pointed beard; earring, 3-turn torque; dotted border 10 to 17h, test cut at 8h;
rev.: archer, right, on omphalos, w/bow in right hand, 4-line legend in 2+2 format: BAΣIΛEΩΣ MEΓAΛOY APΣAKOY ΘEOΠATOP(OΣ);

in: Fred Shore, Parthian Coins & History, CNG 1993, p. 97, #58.
SchatzJun 05, 2018
Arsakes I., 247-211 BC14 viewsAR dr., 4,24gr., 18mm; Sellwood 1.1, Shore 1, Sunrise 234;
mint: Mithradatkart, axis: 11h;
obv.: beardless bust, right, w/bashlyk, 2 ribbons in back, loose cap tie down the side of the neck; neck hair; earring;
rev.: archer, left, w/bow in right hand; two-line legend: APΣAKOY right, (A)VTOKPATORO(Y) left;

in: David Sellwood, The Coinage of Parthia, Spink 1980, plate coin # 1.1.
SchatzJun 05, 2018

Random files - Schatz's Gallery
Sinatrukes, 77 - 70 BC14 viewsAR dr., 4,11gr, 20,6mm; Sellwood 34.8 (anchor, row of stalks, and fleur de lys erased), Shore 147var., Sunrise --;
mint: Rhagai, axis: 12h;
obv.: head, left, w/tiara (4 rows of pellets) and diadem w/knot an 2 broad ribbons; mustache, short beard; earring, multi-turn torque w/single pellet finial; anchor and tiara decorations were obviously removed from the coin, not the die); cuirass;
rev.: archer, right, on throne, w/bow in right hand; long empty right sleeve; 6-line legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ MEΓAΛ(oV) APΣAK(oV) (EVEPΓ)EToV (to be read from the inside) EΠIΦANoVΣ ΦIΛEΛΛΗNoΣ; exergual line;

In:, Les Différents Types.
Mithradates I., 171-138 BC,24 viewsAR dr., 4,03, 19,6mm; Sellwood 10.1, Shore 12, 13, Sunrise 254;
mint: Hekatomphylos, axis: 12h;
obv.: beardless bust, left, w/bashlyk tied under chin and diadem w/knot and bow, bashlyk squared off at top; 3 forelocks; not a flattering portrait either;
rev.: archer, right, on omphalos, w/bow in right hand; 3-line legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ MEΓAΛoY AIΣAKoY; double strike;

ex: H. Hass, Germany
Roman Empire: Septimius Severus, 193 - 211 AD16 viewsAR denarius, 2,98gr, 17,42mm;
RIC IV, 62 (S), RSC III, 363, BMCRE V, p.40, 118, Hunter III, 14, SRCV II, 6322;
mint: Rome, year: 195 AD, axis: 18h;
obv.: laureate bust, right, w/bow and 2 ribbons; short curly hair, mustache, med.-log beard w/2 twirled ends; legend: SEPT SEV PERT AVG IMPV;
rev.: 2 Parthian captives sitting back to back on round shields, hands tied behind their backs; exergual line; legend: PART ARAB PART ADIAB, in exergue COS II PP;

ex: Forum Ancient Coins.
Pakoros II, 77/78 - 105 AD10 viewsAR diobol, 1,27gr, 14mm; Sellwood Num. Chron. 1989, pp. 164, 165, Type 8, Shore 402/403, Sunrise 436 (Pakoros I, 78-120 AD); Sinisi -;
mint: probably in Persis; axis: 12h;
obv.: head, left, w/tiara and 3-layer diadem, 2 loops and 2 ribbons; 1 row of dots over the crest of the headgear, 7 hooks on top of the tiara; mustache, long pointed beard; 3 or 4 layer necklace; dotted border 7 to 14:30h;
rev.: archer, right, on legless throne, w/bow in outstretched hand and monogram below; degenerate legend mainly of letters H and Λ;