Featured Persian siglos from the Wars Against the Greeks

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Parthicus, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    Here's my latest treasure, from Vauctions/ Pegasi Sale 330:
    Achaemenid Darius I.jpg
    Achaemenid Persian Empire, Sardis mint. AR siglos (5.30 g). c. 510- 480 BC (temp. Darius I- Xerxes I). Obverse: Persian King kneeling right, drawing bow. Reverse: Incuse punch mark. Carradice Type II, Sunrise 21. This coin: Vauctions/Pegasi Sale 330, lot 174.

    This coin dates to a time and place where Greek and Persian civilizations clashed, in a series of battles that were critical in shaping the course of ancient history. The history of this time is well-documented by both ancient and modern historians, and my very brief summary below is only meant to goad you to seek out the full story. Read Herodotus, and then read one of the modern historical retellings of the story, which incorporate additional ancient documents and archaeological findings. (The movie "300" is entertaining, but not a very accurate retelling of events.)

    Darius I became King of Kings of the Persian Empire in 522 BC. Darius was an energetic military campaigner, and he crushed revolts in many parts of an empire that spanned three continents, from Thrace to Asia Minor, Egypt, the Levant, Mesopotamia, Iran, and east to the Indus River. He also fought against the nomadic Scythians in eastern Europe, and led a punitive expedition as far as the banks of the Volga. Within the empire, he initiated a vast system of roadways to link the empire, created a system of satraps to rule the enormous expanse of territory in his name, ordered construction of many new temples and other buildings, and issued a uniform coinage of gold darics and silver sigloi from the mint at Sardis in Lydia, where the Persians had apparently been introduced to the concept of coinage by the kings of Lydia. He was a devout worshipper of the Zoroastrian deity Ahura Mazda, but was tolerant of the many other religions in the empire and allowed them to flourish, even taking part in their rituals when doing so would not be considered impious by their adherents.

    At the start of the 5th century BC, some of the various city-states of Greece, led by Athens, were making trouble at the western edge of the empire, encouraging their fellow Greeks in Asia Minor to rebel against the Persians. This culminated in the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC, where a vast Persian army was defeated by a Greek force led by Athens. Darius began planning a follow-up invasion but died in 486 BC, leaving the second part of the war to his son and successor, Xerxes I aka Xerxes the Great. After crossing the Hellespont on a pontoon bridge, the Persian army fought the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. Here, a small Greek force led by King Leonidas of Sparta was able to bottleneck the Persians for a while, but was ultimately defeated. Most of the population of Athens evacuated, leaving a skeleton force behind in the Acropolis that was soon overcome, and the Persians destroyed the city. However, at the Battle of Salamis the Greek fleet defeated the Persian navy, and Xerxes withdrew the bulk of his troops back to Asia Minor, perhaps fearing that the Greek fleet would try to destroy the pontoon bridge at the Hellespont and thus leave the Persian troops trapped. The remaining Persian troops in Greece were defeated the next year at Plataea, and the Persians made no further attempts to invade mainland Greece.

    Silver sigloi (and gold darics) were issued by the Achaemenid Persians for over two centuries, with only a few basic designs. As the coins lack inscriptions, they can only be dated approximately, usually overlapping two or more reigns. This type of siglos, with the full-length king drawing a bow, is attributed to the period 510-480 BC. It is noticeably scarcer than the two other main types, king with bow and spear/king with bow and dagger, which date to later periods. This is somewhat worn, but still a very collectible and historical coin. Post your Achaemenid coins here.
    Sardar, Nemo, Loong Siew and 30 others like this.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Nice thick silver. Love it.
  4. David@PCC

    David@PCC allcoinage.com

    Nice Siglos and write up!
    Total fiction but I do like the movie 300
  5. Alegandron

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

    Fantastic capture @Parthicus ! Great write-up and cool History!

    I have Sigloi / Fractional Sigloi spanning the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia.

    Here is my Achaemenid from the same time period as yours. It is one of those tough to find little fractional - kinda like a Tetartemorion, and one of my smaller coins:

    Persia Achaemenid Empire Darius I 510-486 BC AR 0.11g 5mm 1/32nd Siglos Persian hero-king in running incuse Klein 758 Rare
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
  6. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    I have the common type, a last -day purchase at my first coin show. At some point after spending some time learning more about the timeline and variations of issues, I'd like to get more of these historically significant coins.

  7. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    a nice addition!.. fat siglos collection plate 001.JPG
  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I have two from opposite ends of the Type II spectrum: The siglos has always been one of my favorite coins and special for showing the fancy shoe.

    The 1/3 siglos is much more rare but it is a fourree,
  9. Alegandron

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

    I have a QUARTER-Siglos:

    Persia Achaemenid Type IV dagger quiver running Darius I to Xerxes II 455-420 BCE AR QUARTER-Siglos 1.35g 8mm Incuse rev

    And a FOURREE that impressed me on how early people were will to forge counterfeit coinage (yeah, I know, folks were cheating coinage a day after the FIRST coin was struck...):
    Persia Achaemenid Empire 4th C BCE FOURREE 15mm Siglos Persian hero-king in running incuse.JPG
    Persia Achaemenid Empire 4th C BCE FOURREE 15mm Siglos Persian hero-king in running incuse
  10. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    I love these Siglos. Nice examples everyone!

    Persian Empire
    Xerxes II to Artaxerxes II,
    AR Siglos, Mint in Asia Minor, struck ca. 420-375 BC
    Wt.: 5.4 g
    Dia.: 16 mm
    Obv.: Persian king / hero wearing kidaris and quiver, kneeling-running right holding spear and bow
    Rev.: Incuse punch
    Ref.: Carradice Type IIIb C

  11. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..i have a quarter between two siglos..:p
    TIF, Ryro and Alegandron like this.
  12. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Great coin and strong write up! I love reading and hearing about this period in history:woot: I need more of these. But here is my "King of kings" with some test cuts and a bonus counter mark:cigar:.
    CollageMaker Plus_201846185627474.png
    500-380 BCE Siglos, silver
    ("dagger type"). AR 16 MM5.52
    g. The Great King running r.,
    wearing kidaris, holding bow in
    his outstretched l. hand, dagger
    in his r. hand.
    Rv.Countermarked Rectangular
    incuse. Babelon, Perses pl. 2,
    26. SNG Cop. 284.Rare.
    Previous: Savoca Coins
    dlhill132, chrsmat71, Ajax and 9 others like this.
  13. FitzNigel

    FitzNigel Medievalist Supporter

    Anc-04-PA-fbe-Darius I-SIG-Sardes-3428.jpg
    Persian Empire
    Darius I to Xerxes II, r. 485-420 B.C.
    Sardes Mint, AR Siglos, 15.87mm x 5.6 grams
    Obv.: King running right holding spear and bow
    Rev.: Incuse punch
    dlhill132, chrsmat71, Ajax and 9 others like this.
  14. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    Persian Siglos 001.JPG Persian Siglos 002.JPG
    dlhill132, chrsmat71, Ajax and 8 others like this.
  15. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

  16. philologus_1

    philologus_1 Well-Known Member

    I love these Achaemenid types. Attached is a write-up re: my Carradice Type II example (a one-quarter siglos).

    Attached Files:

  17. NormW

    NormW Student Of Coinology Supporter

    This one weighs 5.5 grams. Does it look like a full length king drawing a bow, to you all? Like Parthicus' example above?

    dlhill132, Curtisimo, Ajax and 6 others like this.
  18. H8_modern

    H8_modern Attracted to small round-ish art

    My only example is pretty rough but also weighs 5.5g
    dlhill132, Ryro, Curtisimo and 5 others like this.
  19. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    yup.. i can see it..edited: well, what i see really is a figure kneeling holding a bow...
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  20. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Definitely not. You coin shows a vertical bow string at rest while type II coins show it drawn back on an arrow. Your coin is a type IV like Ryro's with the rear hand and dagger off flan. Mine is a 1/12. g71700bb0580.jpg
    NormW, dlhill132, Nemo and 5 others like this.
  21. Alegandron

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

    I love these coins. I will toss out a few others from my Achaemenid Hoard:

    Not a Siglos or fraction, rather a Tetartemorion:
    CILICIA Uncertn Early-mid 4th C BCE AR Tetartemorion 5mm 0.17g Persian king running dagger and bow - Crowned hd Achaemenid king CNG E239 Troxell Kagan 4

    Again, not a Siglos, rather an AE from a very famous Satrap from the last of the Achaemenids:
    Persia Spithridates Achaemenid satrap of Sparda-Lydia and Ionia- 334 BCE AE10 1.20g wearing Persian headdress - Forepart galloping horse r Klein 367, Cop 1538

    This would be the LAST of the Achaemenid series of Siglos:
    Persia Achamenid Type IV Artaxerxes II to Daris III 375-336 BCE AR siglos 15.2mm 5.45g running stance r daggar bow incuse BMC 172ff rev
    Curtisimo, dlhill132, Ajax and 7 others like this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page