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Parthian Empire

This page includes coins of the Parthian Empire and Roman coins that refer to Parthia.

Click here to read about Parthia in the Historia Numorum and Numiswiki.
Click here for the "Parthian Calendar" article in Numiswiki. 
Click here to go to Parthia.com the best Parthian Empire website.

Parthian Empire, Phraatakes, 2 B.C. - A.D. 4

|Parthian| |Empire|, |Parthian| |Empire,| |Phraatakes,| |2| |B.C.| |-| |A.D.| |4||drachm|NEW
Phraataces was the son of Phrates IV and Musa, a Roman slave girl given in exchange for the Roman legionary standards lost by Crassus at Carrhae in 53 B.C., Saxa in 40 B.C. and again by Marc Anthony in 36 B.C. After sending Phrates' other sons to Rome, Musa poisoned her husband, elevating her son as successor to the Parthian throne unopposed.

Struck about the time of Jesus' birth.
GS97887. Silver drachm, Sellwood 56.13, Shore 319, Sunrise Collection -, BMC Parthia -, SNG Cop -, VF, a little off center and uneven strike, light earthen deposits, weight 3.712 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 0o, Mithradatkart (near Askabad, Turkmenistan) mint, 2 B.C. - 4 A.D.; obverse diademed bust left with short pointed beard, spiral torque, wavy hair covering ear, three diadem ends; star over crescent left; Nike crowning king with wreath right; reverse seven-line blundered Greek inscription, beardless archer (Arsakes I) seated right on throne, wearing bashlyk and cloak, bow in extended right hand, TMΘ (mintmark) below bow, fire altar behind throne; from a Norwegian collection; $140.00 (€114.80) ON RESERVE


Parthian Empire, Mithradates II, c. 121 - 91 B.C.

|Parthian| |Empire|, |Parthian| |Empire,| |Mithradates| |II,| |c.| |121| |-| |91| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Mithradates II was the eighth and one of the greatest Parthian kings. He defeated all Seleukid attempts to reclaim territories and made Parthia a formidable, unified empire. He adopted the title Epiphanes, "god manifest" and introduced new designs on his extensive coinage. The ruins of Seleukeia on the Tigris, where this coin was struck, have been identified at Tell Umar, about 30 km south of Baghdad, and 60 north of Babylon. According to Pliny, the city had 600,000 inhabitants and c. 100 A.D. the city still held some Macedonian customs.
SH86429. Silver tetradrachm, Sellwood 24.4, BMC 3, Boston MFA 2216, Sunrise 284, Shore 67 var., EF, fantastic high relief bust, well centered on a tight flan, radiating flow lines, slightest die wear, slightest porosity, weight 15.696 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 0o, Seleukeia on the Tigris (south of Baghdad, Iraq) mint, c. 119 - 109 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Mithradates to left, long beard, wearing torc and elaborate robes; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ MEΓAΛOY APΣ-AKOY EΠIΦANOYΣ / TY (square clockwise, ending in exergue)), Arsakes I seated right on omphalos, bow in right hand, palm branch right; ex Pars (2008), ex Antiqua Inc. (2000); SOLD


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

|Marcus| |Aurelius|, |Marcus| |Aurelius,| |7| |March| |161| |-| |17| |March| |180| |A.D.||denarius|
The Roman-Parthian War of 161 - 166 was fought between the Roman and Parthian Empires over Armenia and Upper Mesopotamia. In 166, the Romans made successful campaigns into lower Mesopotamia and Media, and sacked Ctesiphon, the Parthian capital. The Romans were be victorious but the returning army brought back a pandemic known as the Antonine Plague. The plague significantly depopulated the entire Roman Empire.
SH76376. Silver denarius, RIC III 163a, RSC II 878, BMCRE IV 406, Hunter II 33, SRCV II 4933, Choice VF, excellent centering and bold strike, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.079 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, summer - Dec 166 A.D.; obverse M ANTONINVS AVG ARM PARTH MAX, laureate head right; reverse TR P XX IMP IIII COS III, Victory standing slightly left, head right, palm frond vertical in right hand, shield inscribed VIC PAR set on palm tree in left hand; from the Scott Collection; SOLD










REFERENCES|

Abgarians, M. & D. Sellwood. "A Hoard of Early Parthian Drachms" in NC 1971.
Alram, M. Iranisches Personennamenbuch: Nomina Propria Iranica In Nummis. Osterreichischen Akademie Der Wissenschaften. (Wien, 1986).
Assar, G. "Genealogy and Coinage of the Early Parthian Rulers, II" in Parthica 6, 2004.
Assar, G. "Genealogy and Coinage of the Early Parthian Rulers, II" in Parthica 7, 2005.
Assar, G. "A Revised Parthian Chronology of the Period 91- 55 BC" in Parthica 8, 2006.
Assar, G. "Recent Studies in Parthian History: Part II" in The Celator 15, No. 1, January 2001.
Busso Peus. Busso Peus Sale 388, Sammlung Dr. Robert Gonnella, November 1, 2006.
Classical Numismatic Group. CNG Auction 36, Fred B. Shore Collection of Parthian Coins, December 5-6, 1995.
Fröhlich, C. Monnaies indo-scythes et indo-parthes, Catalogue raisonné Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Paris, 2008).
Hopkins, E. "Parthia.com: The Coins of Parthia" - www.parthia.com
Nelson, B., ed., Numismatic Art of Persia. The Sunrise Collection, Part I: Ancient - 650 BC to AD 650. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Sellwood, D. An Introduction to the Coinage of Parthia. 2nd edition. (London, 1980).
Sellwood, D. "New Parthian coin types" in NC 1989.
Sellwood, D. "The End of the Parthian Dynasty" in NumCirc June 1990.
Shore, F. Parthian Coins and History: Ten Dragons Against Rome. (Quarryville, 1993).
Sinisi, F. Sylloge Nummorum Parthicorum, Volume VII: Vologases I - Pacorus II. (Wein, 2012).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum. Vol. 7: Cyprus to India. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Wroth, W. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Parthia. (London, 1903).

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