Persis, a kingdom contemporary with the Parthians

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Valentinian, Nov 19, 2020.

  1. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    I am announcing a minor educational web site on the coins of Persis:

    Numerous coins are illustrated there. Here is one:


    A silver drachm of King Vahsir (a.k.a. Oxathres), son of Darius II. First century BC.
    22-17 mm. 4.01 grams.
    Bust of king left.
    Inscription in square around king on left standing and holding up a scepter(?) and facing an altar.

    van't Haaff 582/585.

    By the way, the main reference work for the coins is available for free in pdf from CNG. The link is given at that page.
    DonnaML, Pellinore, eparch and 13 others like this.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Massive thanks, @Valentinian, for the mind-expanding coin and writeup, along with the link from CNG. ...And Woops (this is close to real time), your website is Heartily Endorsed!!!
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
    Pellinore and John Conduitt like this.
  4. John Conduitt

    John Conduitt Well-Known Member

    Really helpful, thank you! I will bookmark it. I have a bit of a Parthian collection building and Persis is often the adjacent category in auctions, quite often with very similar coins! No doubt I will be tempted to stray.

    Parthian king Pacorus I (or perhaps II, or even Vologases III), drachma, 105-147AD, Ekbatana (Sellwood 78). Not to be confused with Pakor I, king of Persis, who used the same hairstyle on his coins as Phraates III, Pacorus I's 3x great grandfather.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
    ominus1, Quant.Geek, Spaniard and 5 others like this.
  5. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Persis is the punishment given to those of us who complained about the complexity of Parthian. I only have a couple and will look them up (someday?) to see if I can find them in vH. Who is handling the pre-publication revisions and numbering?
    op0500bb3013.jpg op0550bb3225.jpg op0600bb3064.jpg
    DonnaML, ominus1, Quant.Geek and 4 others like this.
  6. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Scott vanHorn who works at CNG.
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.
  7. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Excellent, vH & vH!
    Pellinore, Valentinian and Quant.Geek like this.
  8. Alegandron

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

    Thank you, @Valentinian ! Great site, and helps me better understand this area.

    I captured this one from Frank Robinson a few years ago. I did not have any from this area of the world. I believe this is the first King of Persis.

    Here is the listing that I won:

    PERSIS, Darius I, 2nd cent BC, Obol, King’s hd r in satrapal head-dress topped by eagle (much scarcer than with crescent)/ Fire altar, etc, S6200; Choice VF, well centered, good metal, nice portrait in high relief.
  9. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    Thanks @Valentinian for that page, it looks like a useful resource. I find Persis interesting for how it maintained the Persian culture (including Zoroastrian religion) during the Parthian period, and I think they often don't get enough recognition for this. Here's a couple of my Persis coins of types not shown in this thread yet:

    A hemidrachm of Ardashir IV (late 2nd-early 3rd century AD) with the bust of his father Minuchtir IV on reverse:
    Persis Ardashir IV.jpg
    An obol of Ardashir V of Persis (c.205-224 AD), before he became Ardashir I, the first Sasanian king. Reverse depicts Papak (or Papag), who was either the father or grandfather of Ardashir. Note the combination of Parthian-style tiaras and Sasanian-style long, flowing hair.
    Ardashir Papak obol.jpg
  10. Quant.Geek

    Quant.Geek Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot @Valentinian! I, currently, don't have a catalog for either Elymaean nor Persis coinage and this free book will come in handy. I don't have many, but the ones I do have came from the Sunrise Collection that I bought a few years ago when it went on the auction block. Here are some of them, the others are on my FORVM Gallery:


    Kingdom of Persis: Artaxerxes II (ca. 1st Century BCE) AR Hemidrachm (Sunrise-595; Klose & Müseler 4/12b; Alram 571; Tyler-Smith 42-6)

    Obv: Small bust of Artaxerxes II left, with short beard, wearing diadem with three ties, torque with three segments, and mural crown; no symbol behind
    Rev: King standing left, holding scepter and sacrificing before altar to left

    Kingdom of Persis: Artaxerxes II (ca. 1st Century BCE) AR Hemidrachm (Sunrise-599; Klose & Müseler 4/12a; Alram-574; Tyler-Smith 68-9)
    Obv: Large bust of Artaxerxes II left, with short beard, wearing diadem with two ties, torque with three segments, and mural crown, symbol behind
    Rev: King standing left, holding sceptre and sacrificing before altar to left


    Kingdom of Persis: Artaxerxes III (ca. 1st to 2nd Century CE) AR Hemidrachm (Sunrise-656; Klose & Müseler 5/8; Alram-630)

    Obv: Bust of Artaxerxes III left, wearing diadem, crescent (with star?) to right
    Rev. Radiate bust of Mithra left, wearing diadem


    Kingdom of Persis: Autophradates IV (ca. 1st Century BCE) AR Hemidrachm (Sunrise-587; Klose & Müseler 4/2; Alram 562)

    Obv: Bearded bust of Autophradates IV right, wearing diadem, crescent above
    Rev: Fire temple, Ahura-Mazda above, to left, king standing right, raising arms, to right, column surmounted by eagle


    Kingdom of Persis: Kapat (ca. 1st Century CE) AR Hemidrachm (Sunrise-638; Alram-613; Tyler-Smith 194-5)

    Obv: Bearded bust of Kapat left, wearing diadem and Parthian-style tiara with two rows of pellets and central pellet-in-crescent, pellet border
    Rev: Bearded bust of king left, wearing diadem


    Kingdom of Persis: Nambed (ca. 1st Century CE) AR Hemidrachm (Sunrise-625; Klose & Müseler 4/40; Alram 601)

    Obv: Bearded bust of Nambed left, wearing diadem and mural crown
    Rev: King standing right, star in crescent to right
    DBDc80, Ed Snible, +VGO.DVCKS and 7 others like this.
  11. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @Quant.Geek, these Parthian hemidrachms are really compelling, at least for how cool they are in general (novelty value included), and for the hint (maybe from late Seleucid tetradrachms?) of scyphate reverses.
    ...From here, this has to evoke the less ambiguously scyphate Himyarite drachms and hemidrachms, c. 2nd c. CE. Sorry I can't track down the .jpg of my only example, but other people here have better ones. ...One other cool detail of the Himyarite issues is that they have profiles on both sides, a motif that's appropriated by the earliest Aksumite issues, c. the 3rd or 4th quarter of the 3rd c. CE.
    ...Right, the whole metro Mediterranean area is full of this sort of thing, where a given coin can influence anything, going in any geographic direction, from weight and composition to module and motif,
    Pellinore and Valentinian like this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page