My first and only Parthian coin

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Orielensis, Oct 19, 2020.

  1. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    This is my latest purchase – a very unusual coin for me:
    Orient, Antike – Parher, Vologases IV Tetradrachme.png
    Parthian Empire, under Vologases IV, AR tetradrachm, SE 464, month Apellaios (November 152 AD), Seleukeia on the Tigris mint. Obv: Diademed and draped bust l., wearing tiara; B behind. Rev: [SEΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ / Β]ΑΣΙΛΕΩ[Ν - ΑΡΣΑΚΟY / O]ΛΑΓΑΣΟ[Υ - ΔΙΚΑΙΟY - Ε]ΠΙΦΑΝΟY[Σ / ΦΙΛΕΛΛΗΝΟΣ], date: ΔΞY – ΑΠΕΛΑΙΟΥ; Vologases seated l. on throne, Tyche standing r. before him, presenting a diadem. 27mm, 13.81g. Ref: Sellwood 84.13.

    So, why did I buy this? First of all, I consider my Greek and "Eastern" collection to be more or less the size I want it to be, and I have stopped adding bargain coins to it. Yet, there is a carefully compiles wish list of coins that I would like to permanently house in my trays. The third item on that list read "a really nice Parthian silver coin" – checked off, I'd say!

    This is my first and (so far) only Parthian coin, and I doubt that I'll start to seriously collect in this field soon. Yet, I wanted to have at least one coin to represent this great empire and foe of Rome. Vologases IV, the only Parthian ruler to declare war against Rome and not vice versa, thus seemed a fitting choice to me. Also, the chunkiness of a tetradrachm in hand is something special, and I really like the grim portrait and Tyche reverse on my example.

    Please show your Parthian coins, "one of a kind" purchases, or anything else you deem relevant!
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  3. Roerbakmix

    Roerbakmix Well-Known Member

    Nice coin and nice photo. I have exactly one Parthian coin:
    Mithridates II.jpg
    KINGS OF PARTHIA, Mithridates II. Denomination: AR Drachm, minted: Ecbatana(?); ca. 96-93 bc
    Obv: Long-bearded bust left wearing tiara (T28ii) with six-point star; torque end single or double pellet; circular border of pellets
    Rev: Beardless archer wearing bashlyk and cloak seated right on throne, holding bow in right hand; no border; five-line Greek inscription = ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΥ ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ ([Of the] Great King of Kings, Arsaces, the Noble)
    Weight: 3.98g; Ø:1.9mm. Catalogue: Sellwood 28.2. Provenance: Ex. private collection; acq.: 04-2019
    Mithridates II (Parthian: Mihrdāt) King of Parthian Empire from 124 to 88 BC. He was already known as ""the Great"" in antiquity. He is the first Parthian ruler to regularly use the title of ""King of Kings"", thus stressing the Parthian association with the Achaemenid Empire. Considered one of the most prominent monarchs of the ancient East, his reign marked the rise of the Parthians as a superpower.He spent most of reign consolidating his rule in the Near East, successfully re-conquering Babylonia, and turning the kingdoms of Armenia, Adiabene, Characene, Gordyene, and Osrhoene into vassal states. He also captured Dura-Europos in Syria, and restored Parthian authority in Sakastan, which was given as a fief to the House of Suren. During the last years of his reign, however, his empire fell into disarray, with the Parthian nobility having enough authority to challenge the Parthian king periodically, including a rival-monarch named Gotarzes I (r. 90 – 80 BC), who claimed the throne. Following Mithridates II's death in 88 BC, Gotarzes ruled Babylonia, while Orodes I (r. 90 – 80 BC) ruled the eastern territories of the empire separately.
  4. Edessa

    Edessa Well-Known Member

    Parthia. Mithradates II, 121-91 BC. AR Drachm (20mm, 3.98g, 12h). Rhagai mint. Struck circa 109-96/5 BC. Obv: Diademed bust left with long beard, earring visible. Rev: BAΣIΛEΩΣ BAΣI ΛEΩN MEΓAΛOY, APΣAKOY EΠIΦANOYΣ; Archer (Arsakes I) seated right on throne, holding bow. Ref: Sellwood 27.1; Sunrise 293; Shore 85. Ex-CNG.

  5. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Nice addition

    AR Tetradrachm
    O: Diademed bust left, wearing long beard, earring, and tiara decorated with “hooks”; B to right; all within pelleted border.
    O: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ ΟΛΟΓΑΣΟΥ ΔΙΚΑΙΟΣ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ ΦΙΛΕΛΛΗΝΟΣΣ) (month) in exergue.king enthroned to right receiving diadem from Tyche holding sceptre.
    Dated 495 ΕϘΥ ΑΠΕΛ (183 AD)
    Seleucia mint
    Sellwood 84.96-103 cf. Shore 432.
  6. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Wow, with a name like @Orielensis , with the name "orient" seems to be inferred, I would have pegged you as an Eastern collector myself. :)
  7. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Congrats, @Orielensis !

    PARTHIA Orodes II 57-37BC AR Drachm 18mm 3.3g - Crassus gold - Ekbatana mint stars crsnt Arsakes on throne bow anchor Sellwd48.9

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @Orielensis, it's too early over here to think of something fast. But for a one-off Parthian, that one's absolutely brilliant. The esthetics are great, but the convergence of the relative lateness, and inherent drama of the reign are really cool.
    finny, Orielensis and thejewk like this.
  9. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    Nice! I have always loved that these Parthian tets have a date down to the month (can't even get that with modern coins!), but I have never owned any.

    My Parthian collection is pretty small, more like a type set.

    An early type (Mithradates I?) with Bashlyk
    Early Parthian drachm phriapatros mithradates I.jpg

    Mithradates II, the greatest and most important (and founder of the silk road)
    Parthia Mithradates II drachm.jpg

    Mithradates III, nice Tiara bust
    Parthia Mithradates III drachm.jpg

    Orodes II
    Parthia Orodes II drachm.jpg

    Phraates IV, I liked the bird
    Parthia Phraates IV drachm.jpg

    Vonones, the only one to break the pattern of seated Arsakes as the reverse motif for drachms, and the only one to use his name on the obverse
    Parthia Vonones drachm.jpg

    Pakoros, I like the schematized art style and the disappearance of the reverse legend as the engravers forgot how to read Greek
    Parthia Pakoros II drachm.jpg
    And Vologases VI, the last in the dynasty. Parthia Vologases VI drachm.jpg
  10. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Supporter! Supporter

    I too have only one Parthian coin. Ever ince I had first seen this type I have always been impressed. I think it is perhaps one of the best compositions on any coin that I have ever seen. Mithradates II Ar Tetradrachm Sellwood 24.5 119-109 BC Obv Bust of Mithradates II left. Rv Seated archer right Seleukia on the Tigris Mint 15.93 grms 31 mm Photo by W. Hansen PKmithradatII-3.jpg
  11. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    Parthians, Parthians,... Nope, never heard of them sorry. ;)

    Since everyone else has been posting silver, I guess I should share some of the joys of Parthian bronze coinage:

    Mithradates II:
    Mithradates II Pegasos.jpg
    Orodes I:
    Orodes I anchor.jpg
    Phraates III:
    Phraates III facing AE.jpg
    Phraates IV:
    Phraates IV Mithradatkart AE.jpg
    Orodes II:
    Orodes II stag.jpg
    Vologases IV:
    Vologases IV AE.jpg
  12. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @Parthicus, Thank you for your valued perspective! ...Needing (no, metaphorically) your facing portrait of Phraates III.
  13. Alwin

    Alwin Supporter! Supporter

    The first step is taken, no turning back possible!:)
    +VGO.DVCKS and Orielensis like this.
  14. DBDc80

    DBDc80 Numismatist

    So true....ive added 50 in the last 3 years! :woot:
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  15. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    Orielensis, Congrats on scoring your 1st Parthian Tet :D. At one time I had some choice Parthian coins, but sold most of them when I decided to narrow my collecting interests. One coin I really miss is pictured below.
    100_5907 (2).JPG 100_5909 (2).JPG
    CNG did a short historical article on this coin, see the link below :).
  16. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Nice looking coin @Orielensis......
    I only have one Parthian coin at the moment too..
    Vardanes I (40-47 AD)
    AE Chalkous 11mm/1.8gr..
    Obverse- Bust left with short beard, wearing diadem and spiral torque; hair in three distinct waves with earring visible; diadem pendants shown as three lines; circular border of pellets.
    Reverse- Monogram ΜΤΘ; legend as dashes
    Mint- Mithradatkart-Near modern Askabad in Turkmenistan.
    Ref- Sellwood 64 type variant (ΜΤΘ monogram) This is quite a rare type
    vard black.jpg
  17. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks for the compliments, everyone!

    Well, the nickname is a bit of a pun refering to a place I was living at when I made my account. It's rather random.

    Yet, there are indeed some other "Eastern" coins in my collection that I like a lot – most of them are medieval and none of them is Parthian, though:
    Orient, Antike – Achämeniden, Siglos, Carradice IV C.png
    Artaxerxes II – Darius III, Achaemenid Empire, fourrée siglos, ca. 375–336 BC. Obv: Great King kneeling left, holding dagger and bow, three pellets on chest. Rev: irregular punch. 14.4mm, 4.92g. Ref: Carradice 1987, type IV C (prototype).

    Orient, MA – Chalukya von Gujarat, Gadhaiya Paisa, Exemplar 2.png
    Chalukyas of Gujarat, AR “Gadhaiya paisa” (copying earlier Sasanian drachms), c. 1030–1120 AD. Obv: stylized portrait of ruler r. Rev: stylized fire altar. 17mm, 4.01g. Ref: Deyell 158; Mitchiner NI 427.

    Orient, MA – Rumseldschuken, Kaykhusraw II, AR dirham, 1241–1242, A-1218.png
    Seljuq Sultanate of Rum, Kaykhusraw II, citing caliph al-Mustansir, AR dirham, 1241–1242 AD (639 AH), Qunya (Konya) mint. Obv: Kufic legend citing caliph: "al-imam al-mustansir billah amir al-mu'minin;" lion r. with sunface above. Rev: name and titles of Kaykhusraw II in Naskh: "as-sultan al-azam / ghiyath al-dunya wa ud-din / kay khusraw bin kay qubadh;" around, mint and date: "duriba bi-quniyat / sanat tis' / thel[athin] sittm'iat." 23mm, 2.97g. Ref: Album 1218.

    Orient, MA – Ilkhanat, Arghun, AR dirham, Falke:Sonne, Astarabad, A-2149.2..png
    Ilkhanate, under Arghun with Ghazan as viceroy, AR dirham, 1291–1292 AD (690–691 AH), Astarabad mint. Obv: Uyghur protocol in three lines, two above hawk and one below: "[qaghanu]/ nereber/ deletkeguluksen(?)" ('of the Khaqan / in the name of / struck'); Arabic name of the ruler Arghun in central l. field; citing his heir Ghazan in r. field; hawk r., sunface rising behind. Rev: Shiite kalima in three lines in square: "la ilah illa allah / muhammad rasul allah / ali waliun allah", partial mint and date formula for Astarabad in margins. Ref: Album 2149.2. 17.5mm, 2.93g.

    Let's see... After your reading all your posts, I at least had to think about whether also adding an earlier seated archer drachm wouldn't be a good idea. Maybe at some point!
    panzerman, Edessa, DBDc80 and 6 others like this.
  18. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter


    No WART on THIS guy!
    Parthia Mithradates III 58-55 BCE AR Drachm 3.9g 20mm Rhagae mint star archer bashlyk throne bow Selwood 41-12

    Parthia 177-138 BCE AR Drachm Diademed draped Mithradates I left bashlik - archer seated on omphalos Sellwood 10.1
    panzerman, Orielensis, Edessa and 6 others like this.
  19. Orielensis

    Orielensis Supporter! Supporter

    I did it again. After seeing your guys' wonderful Parthian coins, I couldn't resist when a trusted dealer offered me this Mithradates II drachm for a good price. That's my second Parthian coin. Now it has to be enough!

    Orient, Antike – Parther, Mithradates II, AR Drachme.png
    Parthian Empire, under Mithradates II, AR drachm, 123–88 BC, Rhagae mint. Obv: long-bearded bust l. wearing tiara with eight-point star; griffin-ended torque. Rev: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΥ ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ; beardless archer wearing bashlyk and cloak seated r. on throne, holding bow in r. hand. 19mm, 3.91g. Ref: Sellwood 28.7.
    Sulla80, Edessa, +VGO.DVCKS and 6 others like this.
  20. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Congrats! Hope you will add many more! I recently got my first coin grom CNG. 381_1.jpg
    Sulla80, Edessa, +VGO.DVCKS and 7 others like this.
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