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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Asian Coins| ▸ |Sasanian Empire||View Options:  |  |  | 

Coins of the Sasanian Empire, 224 - 651 A.D.

With the overthrow of the Parthians in 224, Ardashir I founded the Sasanian Empire which was for over four centuries, alongside the Roman-Byzantine Empire, one of the main powers in Western and Central Asia. At its greatest extent, the Sassanid Empire encompassed all of today's Iran, Iraq, the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Israel), the Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Dagestan), Egypt, parts of Turkey, much of Central Asia (Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan), the Persian Gulf countries, Yemen, Oman and Pakistan. It was overthrown by the Rashidun Caliphate in 651. Much of what later became known as Islamic culture in architecture, poetry, etc. was conveyed to the Muslim world by the Sassanids.

Sasanian Empire, Khusro II, Occupation of Egypt, 618 - 628 A.D.

|Sasanian| |Empire|, |Sasanian| |Empire,| |Khusro| |II,| |Occupation| |of| |Egypt,| |618| |-| |628| |A.D.||12| |nummi|
During his temporary domination of Egypt, 618 - 628 A.D., Khusru allowed the Alexandria mint to continue issuing the normal Byzantine coinage, but substituted his portrait for the Byzantine emperor's. The sun and moon replaced the obverse legend, just as on contemporary Sasanian coinage. It may seem strange that a Persian king would wear a crown surmounted by a cross; however, his wife Sira was a Christian, he was a benefactor of the church of St. Sergius in Edessa, he honored the Virgin, and he sometimes wore a robe embroidered with a cross which he had received as a gift from the Emperor Maurice Tiberius. The Byzantine emperors resumed the imperial coinage of Alexandria after their recapture of Egypt in 628 A.D.

The corrosion on this coin looks like bronze disease but this is an old collection coin, we have had it for two years now, and the corrosion does not appear to be active.
BZ93527. Bronze 12 nummi, DOC II-1 192; Hahn MIB 202a; Wroth BMC 276; Tolstoi 107-8; Ratto 1314-5; Morrisson BnF 10/Al/AE/30; SBCV 856; Sommer 11.93, VF, well centered, corrosion, weight 14.900 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria mint, 618 - 628 A.D.; obverse bust of the Sassanid King Khusru II wearing a crown with pendilia and surmounted by a cross within a crescent, star left, crescent moon right; reverse large I B with modified cross potent on globe between, AΛEZ in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $28.50 (28.78)


Sasanian Empire, Shapur I, 241 - 272 A.D.

|Sasanian| |Empire|, |Sasanian| |Empire,| |Shapur| |I,| |241| |-| |272| |A.D.||tetradrachm|
In 260 A.D., after four years of war the Roman emperor Valerian arranged for peace talks with Shahpur. He set off with a small group to discuss terms with the Sasanian emperor and was never seen again. In Rome it was rumored that Shahpur was using his stuffed body as a footstool.
WA93631. Billon tetradrachm, SNS I type IIc/1a, Gbl SN I/1, Saeedi 82, Sunrise -, Mitchiner ACW -, VF, dark toning, broad flan, edge crack, punches below altar on reverse, weight 13.465 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 270o, Mint I (Ctesiphon) mint, phase 2, c. 260 - 272 A.D.; obverse Pahlavi legend: Mazda-worshipping, Lord Shapur, King of Kings of the Iranians, whose image is from the Gods, bust right, bearded, wearing diadem and mural crown with vertical earflaps and topped with a korymbos, curly hair in a ball behind the head; reverse Pahlavi legend: Fire of (on left) Sabuhr (on right), fire altar flanked by two attendants facing outward, wearing mural crowns; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; SOLD


Sasanian Empire, Ardashir I, 224 - 241 A.D.

|Sasanian| |Empire|, |Sasanian| |Empire,| |Ardashir| |I,| |224| |-| |241| |A.D.||tetradrachm|
SH46230. Billon tetradrachm, Gbl SN II/5 and pl. 1, 7; Mitchiner ACW 784 - 786, VF, porous, weight 12.263 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 270o, Ctesiphon mint, obverse Pahlavi legend, "MaZDISN BaGi ARTaHShATER MaLKAN MaLKA AIRAN" (of the Worshipper of Mazda, the Divine Ardashir, King of Kings or Iran); cuirassed bust of Ardashir right with long beard, Parthian-style headdress with ear flaps; reverse Pahlavi legend, "NURA ZI ARTaHShaTR" (Fire of Ardashir), fire-altar without attendants; rare in this condition; SOLD







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REFERENCES|

Album, S. A Checklist of Islamic Coins. (Santa Rosa, CA, 1998).
Album, S., R. Gyselen, et al. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum Paris - Berlin - Wien. (Wien, 2003 - 2012).
Alram, M. Iranisches Personennamenbuch: Nomina Propria Iranica In Nummis. (Wien, 1986).
Cribb, J. "Numismatic Evidence for Kushano-Sasanian Chronology" in Studia Iranica 19 (1990).
Gbl, R. Mnzprgung des Kusanreiches. (Wien, 1984).
Gbl, R. Sasanian Numismatics. (Braunschweig, 1971).
Grierson, P. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection: Vol. 2. (Washington, D.C., 1968).
Gyselen, R. ed. New Evidence for Sasanian Numismatics: The Collection of Ahmad Saeedi. (Leuven, Belgium, 2004).
Malek, H. "A Survey of Research on Sasanian Numismatics" in NC 153 (London, 1993).
Malek, H. "History and coinage of the Sasanian Queen Boran (AD 629-631)" in NC 158 (1998), pp. 113 - 129.
Malek, H. "The coinage of the Sasanian king Kavad II (AD 628)" in NC 155 (1995), pp. 119 - 129.
Malek, H. The Dabuyid Ispahbads and early 'Abbasid governors of Tabaristan: History and Numismatics. RNS Special Publication 39. (London, 2004).
Malek, H. "The Sasanian King Khusrau II (AD 590/1-628) and Anahita." in Name-ye Iran-e Bastan 2.1 (2002): pp. 23 - 40.
Mitchiner, M. Oriental Coins and Their Values: The Ancient and Classical World. (London, 1978).
Mitchiner, M. Oriental Coins and Their Values: The World of Islam. (London, 1977).
Mitchiner, M. Oriental Coins and Their Values: Non-Islamic States & Western Colonies. (London, 1979).
Pottier, H. Le monnayage de la syrie sous l'occupation perse (610-630). Cahiers Ernst-Babelon 9. (Paris, 2004).
Tsotsella, M. History and Coin Finds in Georgia: Sasanian coin finds and hoards. Moneta 30. (Wetteren, 2003).
Walker, J. A Catalogue of the Muhammadan Coins in The British Museum, Vol. 1: A Catalogue of the Arab-Sassanian coins (Umaiyad governors in the East, Arab-Ephthalites, 'Ablasid governors in Tabaristan and Bukhara). (London, 1941).

Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum
SNS I. Album, S. & R. Gyselen. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum Paris - Berlin - Wien, Band I: Ardashir I - Shapur I. (Vienna, 2003).
SNS II. Alram, M & R. Gyselen. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum. Paris-Berlin-Wien, Band II: Ohrmazd I - Ohrmazd II. (Vienna, 2012).
SNS III. Schindel, N. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum Paris - Berlin - Wien, Band III: Shapur II - Kawad I. (Vienna, 2004).
SNS Iran I. Curtis, V.S. et al. A Sylloge of the Sasanian Coins in the National Museum of Iran (Muzeh Melli Iran), Tehran. Vol. 1: Ardashir I - Hormizd IV. (London, 2010).
SNS Iran II. Curtis, V.S. et al.  A Sylloge of the Sasanian Coins in the National Museum of Iran (Muzeh Melli Iran), Tehran. Vol. 2: Khusrau II Yazdgard III. (London, 2012).
SNS Iran Orumiyeh. Schindel, N. & D. Akbarzadeh. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum Iran A Late Sasanian Hoard from Orumiyeh. sterreichischen Akademie Der Wissenschaften. (Vienna, 2017).
SNS Israel. Schindel, N. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum Israel: The Sasanian and Sasanian-Type Coins in the Collections of the Hebrew University. (Jerusalem, 2009).
SNS Schaaf. Schindel, N., M. Alram, R. Gyselen, & R. Schaaf. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum - The Schaaf Collection. sterreichischen Akademie Der Wissenschaften. (Vienna, 2014).
SNS Uzbekistan. Baratova, L., N. Schindel, & E. Rtveladze. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum Usbekistan: Sasanidische Mnzen und ihre Imitationen aus Bukhara, Termes und Chaganian. (Vienna, 2012).

Catalog current as of Saturday, November 26, 2022.
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