Featured Bizarre Parthian Mash-Up

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Bob L., Oct 6, 2019.

  1. Bob L.

    Bob L. Well-Known Member

    A couple of years ago, on an April 1st morn, I posted some silly mash-up’s of coins that included the following:


    This morning there was a thread over at CCF concerning a rather manly looking rendition of Tyche on a Provincial AE. It reminded me of an actual mash-up on a coin from Parthia. Thought I’d repost my contribution to that thread here:

    On the Parthian tets of Phraates II (138-127 BC), die engravers referenced the Tyche reverses of Demetrios I Soter and the Zeus reverses of Alexander I Balas, both of the Seleukid Empire. The Parthians had supplanted the Seleukids in that part of Western Asia but, at least early on, tried to copy the regional Greek archetypes for the coinage. The models for the reverse are:

    Dem tet tyche.jpg
    Balas tet Nike.jpg

    Well, note what happened on the unique reverse of Phraates II's tetradrachms:

    s 17.1.jpg
    tyche mashed.jpg

    As Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis points out in Religious Iconography on Ancient Iranian Coins, "The religious iconography of the Hellenistic Tyche figure was clearly unfamiliar to the Arsacid court and the (Parthian) die engraver at the end of the second century BC, as otherwise the attributes of a female goddess would not have been used for a clearly male figure."

    As CNG states it, "The god depicted on the reverse of these tetradrachms appears on no other Parthian coin, and apparently nowhere else...Such a representation of a transgender pantheistic deity is very unusual in ancient art. One wonders if the artist...simply misunderstood the types he was copying."

    Mine: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/ga...74/Sellwood_17_1v_Phraates_II_tetradrachm.jpg
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  3. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Neat coin, Bob. Not something I would have noticed very much.

    Maybe the god is a far off descendant to the bearded lady.

  4. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    A Transgender Athena Nikephoros, that's very interesting @Bob L., thanks for sharing.
  5. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    What an interesting detail and anecdote!
  6. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Fascinating coin! Thanks for the writeup. I'd buy that Septimius Domna, too. :D
    Bob L. and Roman Collector like this.
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