Featured Indo-Parthian of Sanabares

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Parthicus, Dec 15, 2019.

  1. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    One more coin to post before I get to my November Baltimore show acquisitions:
    Indo-Parthians. Margiana mint. AE drachm. Sanabares (possibly c.50-65 AD, or else c. 125 AD). Obverse: King's head right, hair in distinct waves, crescent and star before. Reverse: Archer seated right, Margiana mint-symbol below bow, somewhat blundered Greek legend around "Basileos Sanabares" (Of the King Sanabares). Sellwood 93.1, Shore 477, Sunrise 503, Koch Group 8 or 9. This coin: Frank S. Robinson Auction 110, lot 111 (October 29, 2019).

    This coin type is the last one listed in the late David Sellwood's catalogue of Parthian coins, and after I tried to do some more research I can see why he shoved these troublesome coins into the back of the book. It was struck in Margiana, an area in the eastern Parthian kingdom in what is now eastern Uzbekistan, in the name of "King Sanabares" Traditional scholarship has placed Sanabares as a rebel against the Parthians and assigned him to roughly 50-65 AD. However, a 1990 ANS monograph by Heidemarie Koch, "A Hoard of Coins from Eastern Parthia" reaches a different conclusion. Based on careful analysis of a hoard of 266 copper coins in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Koch divided the Sanabares bronze coins into a number of subtypes, issued over a period of many decades, and assigned the type seen here to the period c.125 AD, suggesting it was issued by a "Sanabares II". Her conclusions, however, don't seem to have been generally accepted, as neither Sellwood (1993) nor R.C. Senior in the Sunrise Collection (2011) cite her dates for the Sanabares bronze coinage. The situation, as far as I can tell, is even less clear than usual for Parthian numismatics. Perhaps someone will unravel the mystery in the future. Until then, please post your coins of Sanabares, other Indo-Parthians, or whatever else you can justify.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
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  3. Bob L.

    Bob L. Well-Known Member

    Gladly!: I'm into Parthians!
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  4. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    D'oh! Stupid auto-correct! I went back and changed "Into-Parthians" to "Indo-Parthians". But thanks for the joke.
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  5. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    Mine is fairly ordinary. You will see much more interesting examples at https://www.zeno.ru/showgallery.php?cat=3000

    Gondopharid Dynasty. Sanabares or Sanabares II. Usurper, Local ruler of Merv, circa 50-65 AD or 2nd century AD. Æ drachm, 13mm
    Mint: Margiane, undated
    Obv: bareheaded bust left, tapering beard, hair billowing but no distinct waves or symbols; wears diadem.
    Rev: archer seated right with bow, behind thrown symbol/tamgha of Vologases.
    Shore 477-483. Sellwood 93. cf. http://www.parthia.com/sanabares.htm
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  6. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Very nice bronze, Parthicus.
  7. Bob L.

    Bob L. Well-Known Member


    Oh! Sanabares. Well. That's very different.


    (A little holiday humor - with apologies to Parthicus)
  8. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Nice example!

    I do have one; it was mixed in with a job lot of mostly Elymaean coins - I can understand the confusion.

    Sanabares drachm.jpg
  9. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES!

    That's a neat coin you got there @Parthicus !

    Here's a little Gondophares with Athena AE.

    Johndakerftw, Parthicus and TIF like this.
  10. markw

    markw Junior Member

    I love those things...I'm trying to accumulate a few. Here are some reverses.

    Attached Files:

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