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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, Hormizd IV, 579 - 590 A.D.

|Sasanian| |Empire|, |Sasanian| |Empire,| |Hormizd| |IV,| |579| |-| |590| |A.D.||drachm|
Hormizd IV (also spelled Hormozd IV, Hormadz IV, or Ohrmazd IV) was noted for religious tolerance, declining appeals by the Zoroastrian priesthood to persecute Christians. He slaughtered the high aristocracy and Zoroastrian priesthood, and elevated the landed gentry. He faced constant warfare including an indecisive war with the Byzantine Empire begun under his father. His general Bahram Chobin defeated the Turkic Khaganate. Instead of rewarding him, Hormizd IV had him disgraced and dismissed. Bahram rebelled. Another faction led by his brothers-in-law deposed, blinded, and later killed Hormizd IV. His son Khosrow II was made the new shah.
WA95891. Silver drachm, SNS Iran 1333, Göbl SN I/1, Mitchiner ACW 1090, SNS Israel -, VF, rainbow toning, flaw center obverse (also seen on some SNS Iran specimens), weight 4.102 g, maximum diameter 32.7 mm, die axis 270o, WCHC (Fars?) mint, year 7, 585 A.D.; obverse Pahlavi legend: Hormazd may his glory increase, cuirassed bust right, wearing tall cap and crenelated crown, diadem and earring, short beard, hair ball behind, two dots on chest, star upper left, star within cresent upper right, three stars within crescents outside the border; reverse fire altar, flanked by facing attendants, star inner upper left, crescent inner upper right, regnal year left, mint signature right; $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00

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

|Sasanian| |Empire|, |Sasanian| |Empire,| |Ardashir| |I,| |224| |-| |241| |A.D.||tetradrachm|
SH46230. Billon tetradrachm, Göbl 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

Islamic, Tabarestan, Abbasid Governor Suleiman, 788 - 789 A.D.

|Islamic|, |Islamic,| |Tabarestan,| |Abbasid| |Governor| |Suleiman,| |788| |-| |789| |A.D.||dirham|
Tabaristan, on the Southern coasts of Caspian sea, roughly corresponded to the modern Iranian provinces of Mazandaran, Golestan and northern Semnan. It was one of the last parts of Persia to fall to the Muslim Conquest, maintaining resistance until 761. Even afterward, Tabaristan remained virtually independent of the Caliphate. By the 770s, the Dabuyan dynasty of Tabaristan was prosperous enough to mint coins under Umar ibn al-Ala (771 - 780).
IS60712. Silver dirham, Sasanian type; SIC Ashmolean 434, SNS Israel 272, Mitchiner WOI 280, Album 65, gVF, weight 1.706 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 315o, Tabaristan mint, 28 May 788 - 27 May 789 A.D.; obverse AFTZWT GDH left, Arabic name "sulayman" right, Sasanian style crowned bust but face replace by diamond enclosing the Arabic word "bakh," APD (excellent) and NWKW (good) with stars and crescents in margin outside border; reverse fire altar with two attendants; HPTSYYST (year 137 of the Post-Yazdegard Era) and TPURSTAN (mint), stars, crescents and groups of pellets outside border; SOLD



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Alram, M. Iranisches Personennamenbuch: Nomina Propria Iranica In Nummis. (Wien, 1986).
Baratova, L., N. Schindel, E. Rtveladze. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum Usbekistan: Sasanidische Münzen und ihre Imitationen aus Bukhara, Termes und Chaganian. (Vienna|, 2012).
Curtis, V.S., et al. Sylloge of the Sasanian Coins in the National Museum of Iran (Muzeh Melli Iran), Tehran. Vol. 1: Ardashir I - Hormizd IV. (London, 2010).
Cribb, J. "Numismatic Evidence for Kushano-Sasanian Chronology" in Studia Iranica 19 (1990).
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Gyselen, R. ed. New Evidence for Sasanian Numismatics: The Collection of Ahmad Saeedi. (Leuven, Belgium, 2004).
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).
Schindel, N. Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum Israel: The Sasanian and Sasanian-Type Coins in the Collections of the Hebrew University. (Jerusalem, 2009).
Tsotsella, M. History and Coin Finds in Georgia: Sasanian coin finds and hoards. Moneta 30. (Wetteren, 2003).

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