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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Armenia||View Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Coins of Armenia

Historic Armenia, at the crossroads of the three continents, is a land of snow-clad mountains and deep valleys. Like most mountainous countries, Armenia was destined to be a poor land whose inhabitants survived solely through their courage. It was not until the twentieth century that history of Armenia was subjected to serious study. Until quite recently very little material was available for research or collecting.

Kingdom of Armenia Minor, Uncertain King, c. 2nd Century B.C.

|Armenian| |Kingdom|, |Kingdom| |of| |Armenia| |Minor,| |Uncertain| |King,| |c.| |2nd| |Century| |B.C.||AE| |12|
The legend on the reverse is blundered, probably Aramaic, though some have identified it as pseudo Greek. In any case, it is illegible on all of the, about a dozen, examples known to FORVM. Without a legible inscription, the king and his queen are unidentified and likely to remain so.
GB98190. Bronze AE 12, Unpublished, Kovacs -, et al. -, VF, dark patina, well centered, uneven strike with bottom weak on both sides, weight 1.067 g, maximum diameter 11.6 mm, die axis 0o, c. 2nd century B.C.; obverse head of Armenian king left, wearing bashlyk tied with a diadem, uncertain Aramaic legend around; reverse draped bust of uncertain queen to right; about a dozen known to FORVM; $280.00 SALE PRICE $252.00


Armenian Kingdom, Tigranes II the Great, 95 - 55 B.C.

|Armenia|, |Armenian| |Kingdom,| |Tigranes| |II| |the| |Great,| |95| |-| |55| |B.C.||chalkous|
Tigranes was called "Tigranes the Great" by Plutarch. The "King of Kings" never appeared in public without having four kings attending him. At its height, Tigranes' empire extended from the Pontic Alps to Mesopotamia and from the Caspian to the Mediterranean. In 83 B.C., the Syrians offered him the crown and after conquering Phoenicia and Cilicia, he effectively ended the Seleucid Empire. His southern border reached as far as Akko-Ptolemais. The first Armenian ruler to issue coins, he adopted the Seleucid tradition and struck coins at Antioch and Damascus during his occupation of Syria from 83 to 69 B.C. In 66 B.C., Pompey advanced into Armenia with Tigranes' own son as an ally. Tigranes, now almost 75 years old, surrendered. Pompey treated him generously and returned part of his kingdom in return for 6,000 talents of silver. His unfaithful son was sent back to Rome as a prisoner. Tigranes continued to rule Armenia as an ally of Rome until his death in 55 B.C.
SH71010. Bronze chalkous, Nercessian AC 51, Bedoukian CCA 92, MDHRAC 24 (Nercessian and Bedoukian list as a tetrachalkon), VF, nice green patina, overstruck (commonly on a coin of Arados), weight 6.568 g, maximum diameter 21.3 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, c. 70 - 66 B.C.; obverse bust right wearing Armenian tiara, five-pointed tiara ornamented with star between two eagles, top extends outside of dot circle; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ − BAΣIΛEIΩN / TIΓPANOY, Tyche seated right on rocks, turreted, holding palm frond in right, half-length figure of river-god Orontes swimming right at her feet below, no letters or monograms in fields; SOLD







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REFERENCES

Babelon, E. Les Rois de Syrie, d'Armnie, et de Commagne, Catlogue de monnaies grecques de la Bibliothque Nacionale. (Paris, 1890).
Langlois, V. Numismatique de l'Armnie. (Paris, 1859).
Bedoukian, P. "Coinage of the Armenian Kingdoms of Sophene and Commagene" in ANSMN 28 (New York, 1983).
Bedoukian, P. Coinage of the Artaxiads of Armenia. RNS Special Publication Number 10. (London, 1978).
Gardner, P. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, The Seleucid Kings of Syria. (Forni reprint, 1963).
Kovacs, F. "Additions and corrections to Armenian coins and their values" in Armenian Numismatic Journal 30/3 (2004).
Kovacs, F. Armenian Coinage in the Classical Period. CNS 10. (Lancaster, PA, 2016).
Kovacs, F. "Tigranes IV, V, and VI: New Attributions" in AJN 20 (2008).
Mousheghian, A. & G. Depeyrot. Hellenistic and Roman Armenian Coinage (1st c. BC - 1st c. AD). Moneta 15. (Wettern, 1999).
Mousheghian, K., et al. History and Coin Finds in Armenia: Coins from Duin, Capital of Armenia. Moneta 18. (Wetteren, 2000).
Nercessian, Y. Armenian Coins and Their Values. Armenian Numismatic Society, Special Publication No. 8. (Los Angeles, 1995).
Nercessian, Y. "Coinage of the Armenian Kingdom of Sophene (ca. 260-70 B.C.)" in Armenian Numismatic Journal 37.3 (Sep 2011).
Nercessian, Y. Silver Coinage of the Artaxiad Dynasty of Armenia. (Los Angeles, 2006).
Nercessian, Y. "Silver Coins of Artavasdes II of Armenia" in Armenian Numismatic Journal 29-1 (March 2003).
Nercessian, Y. "Silver Coins of Tigranes II of Armenia" in Armenian Numismatic Journal 26-3 & 4. (December 2000).
Nercessian, Y. "Tigranes the Great of Armenia and the Mint of Damascus" in Armenian Numismatic Journal 22-1 (March 1996).
Vardanyan, R. "A Dated Copper Coin of Artaxias II: Evidence on the Use of the Pompeyan Era in Artaxata" in Armenian Numismatic Journal XXVII (2001).

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