Parthian Kingdom. AR drachm (3.68 g, 21 x 16 mm). Phraatakes (2 BC- 4 AD). Mithradatkart mint. Obverse: Diademed bust left, star and crescent before, Nike with wreath behind. Reverse: Seated archer, blundered pseudo-Greek legend around, Mithradatkart mintmark below. Sellwood 56.6, Shore 317. This coin: Frank S. Robinson Auction 105, lot 99. "There once was a man called Oedipus Rex You may have heard about his odd complex His name appears in Freud's index 'Cause he loved his mother" -Tom Lehrer, "Oedipus Rex" Oedipus, of course, was fictional, but the king who issued this coin really did murder his own father and marry his own mother. To tell his story properly, we need to back up a generation. In 20 BC, the Parthian king Phraates IV and the Roman emperor Augustus made a peace deal. Phraates returned the Roman military standards and prisoners-of-war that had been captured in various previous battles, and as a personal gift Augustus sent Phraates an Italian slave-girl called Musa. Musa, who seems to have been a very beautiful, charming, and ambitious woman, soon bore the king a son called Phraatakes ("little Phraates") and was promoted from concubine to wife. In about 10 BC, she persuaded Phraates to send his older sons off to live in Rome, to learn Roman ways and serve as tokens of Parthian good faith- and not so incidentally to leave Phraatakes the only heir to the throne still in Parthian territory. Early in 2 BC, Phraatakes and Musa poisoned Phraates, and Phraatakes took the throne. This was, sadly, hardly unusual- both his father and grandfather had gained the throne by murdering their own fathers. In 2 AD, however, Phraatakes married his mother Musa. Although marriage between royal brothers and sisters was known among the Parthians, they apparently drew the line at mother/son relations. In 4 AD, a general rebellion broke out, and Phraatakes was forced to flee to Roman Syria, where he was probably murdered shortly afterwards. Musa simply disappears from history at this point- after all, without her husband/son she was only a woman. Coins of Phraatakes from Eastern mints, including Mithradatkart, usually have a low silver content, and this coin is no exception. The quality of the design also shows a decline from his father's issues, especially in the reverse legend which is completely unreadable. This is, however, a well-preserved example of its type. Coins of Phraatakes alone are fairly common; there are also rare issues that portray him with his mother, such as this one that I sold last year: Post your coins of Phraatakes, or whatever related coins you have.