Wikipedia is a good introduction: Characene (Ancient Greek: Χαρακηνή), also known as Mesene (Μεσσήνη) or Meshan, was a kingdom founded by the Iranian Hyspaosines located at the head of the Persian Gulf. Its capital, Charax Spasinou (Χάραξ Σπασινού), was an important port for trade between Mesopotamia and India, and also provided port facilities for the city of Susa further up the Karun River. The kingdom was frequently a vassal of the Parthian Empire. Characene was mainly populated by Arabs, who spoke Aramaic as their cultural language. All rulers of the principality had Iranian names. Members of the Arsacid dynasty also ruled the state. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Characene By NordNordWest - self-made, usingGTOPO-30 Elevation Data by USGS, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5829256 The Wikipedia article on the capital city Charax Spasinu (what a cool name!) contains an interesting anecdote involving Trajan: "In AD 116, the Roman Emperor Trajan visited Charax Spasinu – his most recent, easternmost and shortest-lived possession. He saw the many ships setting sail for India, and wished he were younger, like Alexander had been, so that he could go there himself." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charax_Spasinu As for the coin, I hit the jackpot on information - Ed Dobbins published a paper "Countermarked Characene Tetradrachms of Attambelos IV", in the American journal of Numismatics. no.7-8 1995-1996 and available here for free, thanks to the Hathi Trust: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt...p&seq=91&q1="american journal of numismatics" Dobbins' article is terrific - not only for the coins, but the historical background was informative and interesting. The Characene kingdom was in a constant squeeze with Elymais, Parthia, the Seleucids, Rome, and Petra. Little is known of Attambelos IV, but given the number of coins he issued, he seems to have reigned during a time of prosperity. (Note that a lot of IV's coins were attributed to Attambelos III - so there is some confusion - at least I was confused - in attributions for these) Here's mine - it is a bit crude, but after looking at a bunch of them on acsearch, this one isn't too bad - if nothing else, it is one of the few with (most of) the date on the flan. The Characenes used Seleucid dating, so things are very specific chronologically. Dobbins examines hoards of these and even comes up with a pretty specific dating system for the countermarks found on these as well. That's Herakles on the reverse, holding his club on his knee. Many of them are found countermarked, as this one is. The countermarks are carefully placed so as not to encroach on the king's face, making it likely they were official Characene issues (per Dobbins' article). It is possible mine has a second countermark by the king's brow - or it is a random pit. Kingdom of Characene Æ Tet. Attambelos IV SE 371 (59-60 A.D.) Charax-Spasinu Mint Diademed, bearded head right /[BAC...] ATTA[M...], Herakles seated left on rock, holding club; monogram (5/6) above, B (sym. 7) above knee; TOA (date) in ex. cf. BMC 7; DCA 490. (15.34 grams / 23 x 21 mm) Countermark: Monogram in 4 mm x 4 mm square. Dobbins No. 1. "The three monogram countermarks 1, 2 and 3 were added sometime after 112 A.D." (Dobbins) Well, that's the extent of my cut 'n' paste knowledge via Wikipedia and Ed Dobbins' article via the Hathi Trust. I'd love to see more of these if they are out there. As always, corrections welcome - this is all brand new to me.