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Ruler: Parthia: Mithradates II
Reigned: 123 BC - 88BC
Denomination: AR Drachm
Mint: Rhagae
Obverse: Mithradates' diademed and cuirassed bust left, with long pointed beard.
Reverse: Archer seated right on throne holding bow. "ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ" above; "ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ" on right; "ΜΑΓΑΛΩϒ" in exergue; " ΑΡΣΑΚΩϒ / ΕΠΙΦΑΝΩϒΣ" on left.
Reference: GCV 7371, BMC 66, Sellwood 27/2
Weight: 4 gms
Diameter: 20.5 mm

MITHRADATES II, king of PARTHIA (reigned 123-88 BC)


Arsacid DYNASTY, also called ARSHAKUNI (247 BC-AD 224), ancient Iranian dynasty that founded and ruled the Parthian empire. The progenitors of the dynasty were members of the Parni tribe living east of the Caspian Sea. They entered Parthia shortly after the death of Alexander the Great (323 BC) and gradually gained control over much of Iran and Mesopotamia until, in AD 224, they were overthrown by the Sasanians, an Iranian dynasty founded by Ardashir I.

The first Arsacid to gain power in Parthia was Arsaces (reigned c. 250-c. 211 BC), but the Iranian plateau was not conquered in its entirety until the time of Mithradates I (reigned 171-138 BC). Two of the dynasty's most powerful rulers were Mithradates II (reigned 123-88 BC) and Phraates III (reigned 70-58/57 BC).

Mithradates II was the son and successor of Artabanus II.

Mithradates recovered the eastern provinces that had been overrun by invading Shaka (Scythian) nomads during his father's reign. In the west he conquered Mesopotamia and defeated the Armenian king Artavasdes, whose son Tigranes (later Tigranes II) became a Parthian hostage and was redeemed only for the cession of 70 valleys. One of the most successful of the Parthian kings, Mithradates concluded the first treaty between Parthia and Rome in 92 BC.

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