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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.

Judean Kingdom, Mattathias Antigonus (Mattatayah), 40 - 37 B.C.

|Mattathias| |Antigonus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Mattathias| |Antigonus| |(Mattatayah),| |40| |-| |37| |B.C.||eight| |prutot|
Parthia took Judaea in 40 B.C. and made Mattathias Antigonus their vassal King. After Antigonus bit off his ears to render him ineligible for High Priest, Hyrcanus II was sent to Babylon in chains. Herod fled to Rome but returned with Roman support and took Jerusalem in 37 B.C. Dio Cassius says Antigonus was crucified but most accounts say he was beheaded.
JD98148. Bronze eight prutot, Meshorer TJC 36; Hendin 6197; Sofaer 418; BMC Palestine p. 212, 2; SNG ANS 183; SNG Cop 64; HGC 10 646 (S), aF, earthen deposits, weight 12.536 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 40 - 37 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Mattatayah the High Priest and Council of the Jews, around and between the horns of a double cornucopia; reverse BACIΛEΩC ANTIΓONOY (of King Antigonus), ivy wreath tied at the top with ribbons hanging down; from an Israeli collection; scarce; $150.00 SALE PRICE $120.00


Parthian Empire, Vologases VI, 208 - 228 A.D.

|Parthian| |Empire|, |Parthian| |Empire,| |Vologases| |VI,| |208| |-| |228| |A.D.||drachm|
Soon after Vologases VI succeeded his father to the throne, his brother Artabanus V rebelled against him and became master of the greater part of the empire. Vologases VI retained a part of Babylonia. Meanwhile, in 224, Ardashir I, the founder of the Sassanid Empire, defeated and killed Artabanus V and conquered the eastern provinces. Over the following years, Ardashir I expanded his new empire, and must have defeated Vologases VI in 228 or 229.
GS96048. Silver drachm, Sellwood 88.18; Shore 455; BMC Parthia p. 243, 20 (Vologases V); Sunrise 459 var. (monogram variant); SNG Cop 246 var. (same, Vologases V), gVF, toned, flow lines, off center, weight 2.983 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Ecbatana (Hamedan, Iran) mint, 208 - 228 A.D.; obverse bust left with long pointed beard extending past beaded border, wearing tiara with ear flaps, crest of dotted lines, dotted lines to left of line down side, abbreviated king's name in Aramaic lↄ (wz = Wlgy= Vologases) upper right; reverse archer (Arsakes I) seated right on throne, bow in extended right hand, cross under legs, (Ecbatana control monogram) below bow, squared five-line legend around, Aramaic Wlgy MLK' (King Vologases) at the top, the other four lines blundered Greek; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $120.00 SALE PRICE $96.00


Judean Kingdom, Mattathias Antigonus (Mattatayah), 40 - 37 B.C.

|Mattathias| |Antigonus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Mattathias| |Antigonus| |(Mattatayah),| |40| |-| |37| |B.C.||prutah|
Parthia took Judaea in 40 B.C. and made Mattathias Antigonus their vassal King. Antigonus bit off Hyrcanus II's ears to render him ineligible for High Priest and sent him to Babylon in chains. Herod fled to Rome but returned with Roman support and took Jerusalem in 37 B.C. Dio Cassius says Antigonus was crucified but most accounts say he was beheaded.

On this type the inscription is almost always retrograde. The Paleo-Hebrew inscription reads, in two retrograde lines, from left to right: MTT/(YH) (Mattatayah). On this coin the last two letter, the second line, is ligate (combined like a monogram). See Reading Judean Coins in NumisWiki.
JD97659. Bronze prutah, Meshorer TJC 40a, Sofaer 444, HGC 10 649, Hendin 6199, SNG ANS 192 var. (same), BMC Palestine p. 219, 57 var. (same), F, highlighting earthen deposits, a little rough, reverse off center, weight 1.655 g, maximum diameter 12.6 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 40 - 37 B.C.; obverse retrograde Paleo-Hebrew inscription in two lines: MTT/(YH) = Mattatayah (last two letters ligate), surrounded by wreath and border of dots; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, barley ear between horns, border of dots; from an Israeli collection; rare variant; $120.00 SALE PRICE $96.00


Judean Kingdom, Mattathias Antigonus (Mattatayah), 40 - 37 B.C.

|Mattathias| |Antigonus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Mattathias| |Antigonus| |(Mattatayah),| |40| |-| |37| |B.C.||prutah|
Parthia took Judaea in 40 B.C. and made Mattathias Antigonus their vassal King. Antigonus bit off Hyrcanus II's ears to render him ineligible for High Priest and sent him to Babylon in chains. Herod fled to Rome but returned with Roman support and took Jerusalem in 37 B.C. Dio Cassius says Antigonus was crucified but most accounts say he was beheaded.
JD97662. Bronze prutah, Meshorer TJC 40, Hendin 6199, Sofaer 437, SNG ANS 192, HGC 10 649, SNG Cop -, gF, dark patina with highlighting light deposits, obverse off center, double thickness with seam and sprues as usual for the type, weight 2.241 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 40 - 37 B.C.; obverse retrograde Paleo-Hebrew inscription in two lines: MTT/YH (Mattatayah), surrounded by wreath and border of dots; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, barley ear between horns, border of dots; from an Israeli collection; scarce; $90.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


Judean Kingdom, Mattathias Antigonus (Mattatayah), 40 - 37 B.C.

|Mattathias| |Antigonus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Mattathias| |Antigonus| |(Mattatayah),| |40| |-| |37| |B.C.||prutah|
Parthia took Judaea in 40 B.C. and made Mattathias Antigonus their vassal King. Antigonus bit off Hyrcanus II's ears to render him ineligible for High Priest and sent him to Babylon in chains. Herod fled to Rome but returned with Roman support and took Jerusalem in 37 B.C. Dio Cassius says Antigonus was crucified but most accounts say he was beheaded.

On this type the inscription is almost always retrograde. The Paleo-Hebrew inscription reads, in two retrograde lines, from left to right: MTT/YH (Mattatayah). The last letter blundered. See Reading Judean Coins in NumisWiki.
JD97660. Bronze prutah, Meshorer TJC 40, Hendin 6199, Sofaer 437, SNG ANS 192, HGC 10 649, SNG Cop -, gF, dark patina with highlighting buff earthen deposits, reverse off center, clear pre-strike casting seam and sprues (as usual for the type), weight 1.655 g, maximum diameter 12.6 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 40 - 37 B.C.; obverse retrograde Paleo-Hebrew inscription in two lines: MTT/YH (Mattatayah), surrounded by wreath and border of dots; reverse double cornucopia adorned with ribbons, barley ear between horns, border of dots; from an Israeli collection; scarce; $80.00 SALE PRICE $64.00


Parthian Empire, Vologases VI, 208 - 228 A.D.

|Parthian| |Empire|, |Parthian| |Empire,| |Vologases| |VI,| |208| |-| |228| |A.D.||tetradrachm|
Soon after Vologases VI succeeded his father to the throne, his brother Artabanus V rebelled against him and became master of the greater part of the empire. Vologases VI retained a part of Babylonia. Meanwhile, in 224, Ardashir I, the founder of the Sassanid Empire, defeated and killed Artabanus V and conquered the eastern provinces. Over the following years, Ardashir I expanded his new empire, and must have defeated Vologases VI in 228 or 229.
GS96047. Billon tetradrachm, Sellwood 88.13; BMC Parthia p. 243, 12 (Vologases V); Shore -; Sunrise -; SNG Cop -, aF, rough, corrosion, edge lamination flaws, weight 10.885 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, die axis 30o, Seleukeia on the Tigris (south of Baghdad, Iraq) mint, 218 - 219 A.D.; obverse diademed bust left, wearing tiara, B behind; reverse BACIΛEWC BACIΛEWN APCAKOY OΛOΓACOY ∆IKAIOY EΠIΦANOYC ΦIΛEΛΛHNOC, king enthroned left receiving diadem from Tyche standing right, ΛΦ ([Seleucid Era year] 530) above center, Greek month in exergue (off flan); from the Errett Bishop Collection; $60.00 SALE PRICE $48.00







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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.
Cohen, Ed. Dated Coins of Antiquity: A comprehensive catalogue of the coins and how their numbers came about. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Curtis, V., Magub, A., Pendleton, E. & Hopkins, E. Sylloge Nummorum Parthicorum, Volume II: Mithradates II. (Vienna, 2020).
Frhlich, C. Monnaies indo-scythes et indo-parthes, Catalogue raisonn Bibliothque nationale de France. (Paris, 2008).
Hendin, D. Guide to Biblical Coins. (New York, 2010).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of the Southern Levant: Phoenicia, Southern Koile Syria (Including Judaea), and Arabia, Fifth to First Centuries BC. HGC 10. (Lancaster, PA, 2010).
Hopkins, E. "Parthia.com: The Coins of Parthia" - www.parthia.com
Meshorer, Y. A Treasury of Jewish Coins from the Persian Period to Bar Kokhba. (Jerusalem, 2001).
Meshorer, Y., et al. Coins of the Holy Land: The Abraham and Marian Sofaer Collection at the American Numismatic Society and The Israel Museum. ACNAC 8. (New York, 2013).
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. (Vienna, 2012).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 7: Cyprus to India. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 6: Palestine - South Arabia. (New York, 1981).
Wroth, W. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Parthia. (London, 1903).

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