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Early Parthians I


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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.

73 files, last one added on Sep 08, 2016

Middle Parthian Period II


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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


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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.

79 files, last one added on Jan 15, 2017

Late Parthians I


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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.

55 files, last one added on Sep 29, 2016

Late Parthians II


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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.

72 files, last one added on Jan 15, 2017

Eastern Parthians


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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 todayís 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

Elymais


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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 Achemenides 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

 

11 albums on 1 page(s)

Last additions - Schatz's Gallery
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Elymais -- Orodes I., late 1st to early 2nd cent. AD18 viewsAE tdr., 15,61gr, 27,44mm;
mint: Susa (?)
Vanít 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 ĎOrodesí; dotted border 10 - 12h;
rev.: head, left, w/diadem surrounded by 4 lines of blundered letters;

plate coin in: Parthia.com; in: P.A. Van't Haaff, Catalogue of Elymaean Coinage, p. 92, type 11.1.1-1a;

ex: CNG, Triton VII, # 532, ex: Bellaria Collection; ex: CNG 60, # 1041; ex: Gorny and Mosch 96, # 252.
1 commentsSchatzApr 08, 2017
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Elymais -- Unknown ruler, uncertain date11 viewsAE 8, hemidrachm, 1,14gr;
Vanít Haaff 21.1-1, Alram --;
obv.: primitive head/bust, left, w/diadem; large fish eye; short beard cons. of 4 spikes, hair in back of head also represented by spikes (5);
rev.: anchor w/single bottom cross bar;

ex: J. Elsen, BEL.
SchatzApr 08, 2017
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Elymais -- Unknown Ruler, uncertain date10 viewsAE 9, hemidrachm, 1,23gr;
Vanít Haaff 21.1-1, Alram --;
mint: unknown, axis: 12h;
obv.: bust, left, w/diadem, loop (?); top hair consisting of 1 row of curls, large bun in the back of the head, mustache, med.-long beard; collar or necklace;
rev.: anchor w/single upper bar;

ex: J. Elsen, BEL.
SchatzApr 08, 2017
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Elymais -- Prince B, 3rd cent. AD12 viewsAE12, 2,41gr, 12,12mm;
Vanít Haaff 20.1.1.-1A, Alram - ;
mint; Susa/, axis: 13h;
obv.: bust, left, w/large 2-strand diadem and 2 loops; top hair tied to a mushroom like bunch, 2 floating ribbons, another large rolled up bun in the back of the neck, mustache, med.-long, fringe like beard; necklace (?); collar of tunic/cuirass and shoulder pad; dotted border 6 - 8:30h;
rev.: Athena, right, w/lance in right hand, left hand resting on shield; 2-part garment w/front flaps; dotted border 13 - 19h;

ex: J. Elsen, BEL.
SchatzApr 08, 2017
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Elymais -- Prince B, 3rd cent. AD10 viewsAE 13, 2,88gr., 12,68mm;
Vanít Haaff 20.1.1-1-2, Alram - ;
mint: Susa, axis: 12h;
obv.: bust, left, w/2-strand diadem; top hair tied to a mushroom like bunch, 2 floating ribbons, another bunch of equal size in the back of the neck, mustache, med.-long beard; necklace; collar of tunic/cuirass, shoulder pad; in left field half anchor w/1 upper and 1 lower crossbar, crescent and dot on top rim of coin; dotted border 7-11;
rev.: Athena, left, w/helmet and lance in right hand, left hand resting on shield; wearing 2-part garment w/2 flaps on the upper part; dotted border 10 - 12, 12:30 - 16h.

ex: J. Elsen, BEL.
SchatzApr 08, 2017
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Elymais -- Prince B, 3rd cent. AD,10 viewsAE 13, 2,72gr, 13,42mm;
Vanít Haaff 20.1.1-1Ab, Alram - ;
mint: Susa, axis: 15h;
obv.: bust, left, w/2-strand diadem; top hair tied to a mushroom like bunch, 2 floating ribbons, another, smaller size bunch in the back of the neck, mustache, med.-long beard; collar of tunic/cuirass and shoulder pad; partial anchor in right field; dotted border 7 - 10h;
rev.: Athena, right, w/helmet/headdress, spear in right hand, leaning on shield in left hand; garment w/2 front flaps; dotted border 14 - 21h;

ex: J.Elsen, BEL.
SchatzApr 08, 2017
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Elymais -- Prince A, late 2nd to early 3rd cent. AD12 viewsAE hemidr., 1,47gr;
Vanít Haaff 19.1 type, Alram - ;
mint: Susa, axis: 12h;
obv.: male bust w/2-strand diadem and ribbon; top hair consisting of 1 row of dots, bun in back of neck, side whiskers 1 row of dots, med.-long beard 2 rows of dots, mustache; necklace; dotted border 8 - 11h;
rev.: Artemis (?) w/headgear and bow in extended left hand while reaching w/right arm over right shoulder for arrow; upper garment consisting of
4 flaps, lower garment of 3 large flaps.

ex: J. Elsen, BEL.
SchatzMar 26, 2017
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Elymais -- Prince A, late 2nd to early 3rd cent. AD11 viewsAE 14, 2,31gr,;
Vanít Haaff 19.1.1-1Ae-h; Alram - ;
mint: Susa, axis: 12h;
obv.: male bust w/2-strand diadem; top hair consisting of 2 rows of dots and a small tuft in the front, side whiskers and med.-log beard consisting of 2 rows of dots, small bun in the back of the neck, mustache; necklace or collar of tunic; dotted border 9 - 14:30h;
rev.: Artemis (?) with large head gear, wearing long tunic; right arm reaching over shoulder for arrow; in left field crescent;
black patina on obv. and rev.;

ex: J. Elsen, BEL.
SchatzMar 26, 2017
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Elymais -- Prince A, late 2nd to early 3rd cent. AD12 viewsVanír Haaff 19.1.1-1Ba, Alram - ;
mint: Susa, Axis 13h;
obv.: male bust w/diadem, loop, and 2 ribbons; top hair consisting of 1 row of dots, 1 rolled-up bun of hair in the back of the neck, side whiskers consisting of 1 row of dots, med.-long beard of 2 rows, mustache; tunic/cuirass w/shoulder pads; in right field anchor w/1 upper and 1 lower cross bar, crescent above on rim; dotted border 16 - 18h;
rev.: Artemis (?), right, w/bow in extended left hand while reaching over right shoulder for arrow with the right hand; wearing long tunic w/vertical stripes; in front of bow horizontal dash;
black patina on obv. and rev.;

ex: J. Elsen, BEL.
SchatzMar 26, 2017
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Elymais -- Prince A, late 2nd to early 3rd cent. AD5 viewsAE 13, 2,72gr, 13,4mm;
Vanít Haaff 19.1.1-1Ai, Alram - ;
mint: Susa, axis: 14h;
obv.: male bust, left, w/2-strand diadem, loop, and 2 ribbons; top hair consisting of 1 row of dots and a small tuft in the front, a large rolled-up bun in back of neck, no side whiskers,, med.-long beard consisting of 2 rows of dots, mustache; collar of tunic; dotted border 8 - 14h;
rev.: Artemis (?) w/elaborate head dress and bun of hair in the back of the neck; 3 dots in front of face; wearing belted tunic and holding bow in outstretched left hand while the right is reaching over the shoulder for an arrow; exergual line;
black patina on obv. and rev.;

ex: J. Elsen, BEL.
SchatzMar 26, 2017
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Elymais -- Prince A, late 2nd to early 3rd cent.AD7 viewsAE 14, 2,60gr;
Vanít Haaff 19.1.1-1B, Alram - ;
mint: Susa, axis: 12h;
obv.: male bust, left, w/2-strand diadem, loop, and 2 ribbons;flat top hair (just 1 row of dots above diadem), rolled up bun in back of neck, mustache, side whiskers, med.-long beard consisting of 2 rows of dots; earring, necklace; cuirass; in right field anchor w/1 upper and 1 lower crossbar; above head cescent; dotted border 7 - 12:30 h;
rev.: Artemis (?)w/some kind of head dress in belted tunic, standing right holding bow in outstretched right hand, reaching over her shoulder w/left arm for arrow; dot in right field; dotted border 14 - 18:30 h;
black patina on obv. and rev.;

ex: J. Elsen, BEL.
SchatzMar 26, 2017
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Elymais -- Orodes V., late 2nd to early 3rd cent. AD9 viewsAE 13, 2,04gr, 12,53mm;
Vanít Haaff 18.1.1-2a-d, Alram 490;
obv.: male bust, left, w/2-strand diadem, loop, and 2 ribbons; top hair on a stilted bun, 2 ties floating in the back, mustache, short, pointed beard; necklace; tunic; dotted border 12:30 to 16:30h;
rev.: female bust (Artemis?) w/diadem, loop, and 2 ribbons; double necklace w/center medallion in the lower ring, earring; tunic w/shoulder pad;
black patina on obv. and rev.;

ex: J. Elsen, BEL.
SchatzMar 26, 2017
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Elymais -- Orodes IV., 2nd half of 2nd cent. AD4 viewsAE dr, 3,32gr,
Vanít Haaff 17.3.1-2Bb, Alram -;
mint: Susa, axis: 12h;
obv.: bare-headed male bust, facing, w/2-strand diadem and 2 ribbons over right shoulder; mustache, med.-long beard consisting of 2 rows of dots, 2 large curly buns consisting of dots on either side, top hair 1 row of dots above the diadem whose lower strand appears to have a center medallion; necklace; tunic; parts of Aramaic lettering (YUX ...) in right field;
rev: 1- crossbar anchor surrounded by wreath or diadem.
SchatzMar 26, 2017
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Elymais -- Orodes IV., 2nd half of 2nd cent. AD6 viewsAE 14, 2,78gr, 13,9mm;
Van't Haaff 17.2.1-2, Alram - ;
mint: Susa, axis: 13h;
obv.: bare-headed bust, facing, w/1-strand diadem, 2 loops, and 2 ribbons over right shoulder; mustache, med.-long beard consisting of 4 dots, 2 large curly buns represented by dots, top hair 2 rows of dots; necklace; tunic; dotted border11 - 14:30, 15 - 19h;
rev.: bust of Artemis, left, w/helmet or tiara, dotted crest; necklace; garment collar consisting of dots; small anchor in right field (?); dotted border16 - 18h;

ex: G. Clark, VA.
SchatzMar 26, 2017
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Elymais -- Orodes IV. and Ulfan, 2nd half of 2nd cent. AD10 viewsAE 13, 2,85gr, 12,58mm;
Vanít Haaff 17.1.1-2c, Alram 488/9;
obv.: head, left, w/ 2-strand diadem and 2 ribbons; hair tied in a large bun on top, side hair brushed back, mustache and beard off flan;
rev.: female bust, left, w/curly hair and long braid; necklace; garment w/shoulder pad; lettering in left field;
black patina on obv. and rev.;

ex: G. Clark, VA.
SchatzMar 26, 2017
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Elymais -- Orodes IV. and Ulfan, 2nd half of 2nd cent. AD5 viewsAE 13, 2,64gr., 12,5mm;
Vanít Haaff 17.1.1-2b, Alram 489;
mint: Susa, axis: 12h;
obv.: head, left, w/2-strand diadem and 2 ribbons; hair tied in a large bun on top, side hair brushed back, mustache, med.-long beard, all hair represented by dots; necklace; in left field anchor w/1 upper and 1 lower crossbar;
rev.: female bust w/hair tied in a long braid; necklace; garment w/shoulder pads; in left field traces of Aramaic lettering; dotted border 2 - 7h;
black patina on both sides;

ex: Jean Elsen, BEL.
SchatzMar 26, 2017

Random files - Schatz's Gallery
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Phraates III., 70 - 57 BC3 viewsAR dr., 4,08gr, 19,3mm; Sellwood 38.13, Shore 176,177 (monogram), Sunrise 338;
mint: Artemita; axis 12h;
obv.: bare-headed, left, w/diadem, knot and 3 ribbons ending in 3 dots of border; long hair in 5 waves, mustache, long pointed beard; multi-turn torque w/animal finial; cuirass w/star on chest; dotted border 12 to 17:30;
rev.: archer, right, on throne, w/bow in one hand; monogram below bow; 6-line legend: BΛCIΛEΛ(C) MEΓΛΛoV ΛPΣΛKo(V), the bottom line is rather willfully composed and illegible, EΠIΦΛNoV(Σ) ΦIΛEΛ(ΛHNoVΣ);

ex: H. Hass, Germany.
Schatz
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Phraates IV., 38 - 2 BC4 viewsAE 11, 1,37gr., 10,52mm;
Sellw. 52.47var., Shore 543;
mint: Ekbatana ?, axis: 12h;
obv.: bare-headed, left, w/broad diadem and ribbons; hair in waves, mustache; dotted border 7 - 13h; strike very off-center;
rev.: humped bull, right, traces of 3 lines of legend visible; parts of monogr. 88 in upper left field;

ex: art-archaic, NED.
Schatz
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Elymais -- Phraates, early to mid 2nd cent. AD20 viewsAE 14, 3,33 gr.,
Vanít Haaff 14.7.2-1c
mint; Susa, axis: 12h;
obv.: bust, left, w/anchor adorned tiara, 2-strand diadem, knot, and ribbon; mustache, long beard; earring; in right field anchor w/1 upper and 1 lower crossbar, crescent and pellet above;
rev.: field of vertical dashes;

ex: Jean Elsen, BEL.
Schatz
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Artabanos I., 127 - 124 BC9 viewsAR tdr., 16,02gr., 28,9mm;
Sellw. 21.2, Shore --, Sunrise 275-277var.;
mint: Seleukia, axis: 13h;
obv.: bare-headed, right, w/ diadem, knot, and 2 ribbons; short, cap-like hair, mustache, med.-long pointed beard; earring, multi-turn torque w/flattened end; cuirass; reel-and-pellet border 7 - 13h;
rev: goddess, left, on throne, cornucopia cradled in left arm and winged goddess w/diadem on extended right hand; right and left 2-line legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ APΣAKOV; below goddessí right arm monogr. Θ, in outer left field composite monogr., in exergue HΠP (year 125 BC);

ex: CNG Auction 103, # 441.
Schatz