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When Phraates III came to the throne, the Roman general Lucullus was preparing to attack Tigranes the Great, king of Armenia. Since Tigranes had wrested Mesopotamia and several vassal states from Parthia, Phraates declined to assist Tigranes and, in 65 B.C., Phraates III allied with Pompey against Tigranes. As a reward, Rome returned Mesopotamia to Parthia. Pompey soon disregarded the treaty, returned Tigranes to his throne, took the vassal states Gordyene and Osroene for Rome, and denied Phraates III the title of "king of kings." About 57 B.C., Phraates III was murdered by his two sons, Orodes II and Mithridates III. GS96067. Silver drachm, Sunrise 326; BMC Parthia p. 56, 2 (unknown king); Sellwood 35 var. (Darius?); Shore -; Mitchiner ACW -, VF, nice portrait, toned, centered on a tight flan, scratches, marks, weight 3.397 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Ecbatana (Hamedan, Iran) mint, c. 62 B.C.; obverse diademed, draped, bearded bust facing, short beard, wearing necklace with central medallion; reverse archer (Arsakes I) seated right on throne, wearing bashlyk and cloak, bow in right hand, AΓ monogram below bow; squared six-line Greek inscription BAΣIΛEΩΣ / MEΓAΛOY above, APΣAKOY on right, ΘEOΠATOPOΣ / EYEPΓETOY below, EΠIΦANOYΣ / ΦIΛEΛΛHNOΣ on left; from the Robert| L3 Collection; Stack's Bowers Baltimore Auction 159 (2 Apr 2011), lot 10036; rare; $1350.00 SALE |PRICE| $1090.00
Parthian Empire, Vologases V, c. 191 - 208 A.D.
Vologases V supported Pescennius Niger in the Roman Empire's civil war. After defeating Niger, Septimius Severus marched his legions into Babylonia in 198 A.D. While he achieved some success, Severus was forced to withdraw his forces from Parthia.GS96065. Silver drachm, Sellwood 86.3; Shore 448; Sunrise 455; BMC Parthia p. 239, 17, EF, toned, flow lines, die wear, marks, tight flan, edge cracks, weight 3.727 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 0o, Ecbatana (Hamedan, Iran) mint, c. 191 - 208 A.D.; obverse diademed and draped bust facing, oval bunches of hair at sides and on top of head, vertical lines divide the top bunch of hair into thirds, long pointed beard engraved with straight lines; reverse archer seated right, blundered Aramaic and Greek legend forming square around, AT monogram (Ecbatana mintmark) under bow; from the Robert| L3 Collection; ex Ponterio & Associates, C.I.C.F. auction 146 (25 Apr 2008), lot 1310; first specimen of this type handled by FORVM; rare; $900.00 SALE |PRICE| $810.00
Parthian Empire, Orodes II, 57 - 38 B.C.
The severed head of the Roman general Crassus was presented to Orodes II during a performance of Euripides' tragedy, The Bacchae. It was used as a prop, carried by one of the actors in the play. In Rome it was said the Parthians poured molten gold into his mouth as a symbol of his thirst for wealth.GS89569. Silver drachm, Sellwood 47.5, Shore 239, Sunrise -, VF, toned, nice portrait, reverse off center, weight 3.935 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, Ecbatana (Hamedan, Iran) mint, obverse diademed and draped bust left with short beard, top of head flat, torque ending with pellet, no wart, wavy hair covering ear, star upper left, crescent horns up upper right; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ / BAΣIΛEΩN − APΣAKOY − EYEPΓET / ∆IKAIOY − EΠIΦANOYΣ / ΦIΛEΛΛHNOΣ squared legend around, beardless archer (Arsakes I) seated right on throne, wearing bashlyk and cloak, bow in extended right hand, K (mintmark) below bow, squared seven-line legend around; ex Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher); ex Michigan State Numismatic Society Auction (Nov 1998), part of the Parthian Collection lot; first specimen of this type handled by FORVM; $125.00 SALE |PRICE| $113.00
Parthian Empire, Mithradates II, c. 121 - 91 B.C.
Mithradates II was the eighth and one of the greatest Parthian kings. He defeated all Seleukid attempts to reclaim their Eastern territories and made Parthia a formidable, unified empire. He adopted the title Epiphanes, "god manifest" and introduced new designs on his extensive coinage. Late in his reign he exerted influence in Armenia, taking as hostage a prince who would become Tigranes the Great. -- www.parthia.comGB93623. Bronze dichalkon, Sellwood 27.10; Shore 496; BMC Parthia p. 32, 83 ff.; Sunrise -; Mitchiner ACW -, F, centered on a tight flan, porous/rough, weight 3.026 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 0o, Rhagae (Ray, part of Tehran, Iran) mint, c. 109 - 95 B.C.; obverse diademed and cuirassed bust left with long pointed beard, MI over monogram behind (off flan); reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ above, BAΣIΛEΩN downward on right, APΣAKOY / EΠIΦANOYΣ downward on left, MAΓAΛOY upside down below, head and neck of horse right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $60.00 SALE |PRICE| $54.00
Abgarians, M. & D. Sellwood. "A Hoard of Early Parthian Drachms" in NC 1971.
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Sellwood, D. "New Parthian coin types" in NC 1989.
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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).
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