Santa Brought Me A Persian Coin!!!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ancientnoob, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. Ancientnoob

    Ancientnoob Money Changer

    Merry Christmas to all!
    Santa delivered me this...

    An interesting Sassanian coin for sure. This coin is quite unusual because Varhran II (Bahram II) decided to issue a special drachm with his Queen (and cousin) Shapurdukhtak and his heir apparent, Varathragna (often described as Anahita and Prince 4.) I don't fully understand what the reason behind the various attributions is. There are several versions of this coin with the Queen and Prince wearing various animal head crowns, and variations with different attendants and attendants facing different directions.

    The coin was at auction with a partial attribution and some horrid photos, so I went for it, sniping it from a bathroom stall at Cabela's Store, and the rest is ancient history.
    Some quick background on the Shah, Varhran II was the grandson of the Great Shapur. Initially he ruled with an iron fist, referred to as a tyrant by the Persian nobility. After some soul searching he ruled the rest of his days as a pius and wise leader, only part taking in the usual ancient behavior of persecuting those Christians. He fought a civil war against Hormizd and while the battle raged, the Roman Emperor Carus made his move and invaded Persia.

    Carus penetrated deep into Sassanian territory and took the capitol city of Ctesiphon. Varhran II was unable to defend the frontier as he was preoccupied in the east(Sakastan). There was unsuccessful Persian resistance in Afghanistan, but the Persians could not stop the Romans. Carus sought to avenge the numerous defeats in previous decades. He earned the title Persicus Maximus.

    An oracle told Varhran that the Roman Emperor would die unexpectedly and victory would be his. It is said that Carus was struck by lighting and died. This stalled the Roman advance and ended the war.

    The Roman emperor Diocletian aided Armenia that was in rebellion late in Varhran's reign. After the destruction of two of his armies at the hands of Armenian and Roman troops, Varhran II died a broken man.

    Varhran II left to us his theological thoughts and teachings and carved in stone at Kerman. In 2011 Iranian state television reported that vandals had destroyed the inscriptions and sculptures with hammers, a shame of the worst kind.

    Varhran II (274-293 AD)
    AR Drachm 28 mm x 4.18 grams
    Uncertain mint
    Obverse: Crowned winged bust of Varhran II, Queen Shapurdukhtak wearing Griffin head crown, vis-a vis bust of Varathragna wearing Horse head Crown. Pahlavi Script -Varhran King of Kings of Iran and Aniran
    Reverse: Two Crowned attendants flanking Zoroastrian Fire alter. Diadem symbol in upper left field.
    Ref: Gobl SN IXv/2 (plate IV 64v.)(?)
    Bahram II_opt.jpg
     
    chrsmat71, spirityoda, Eng and 4 others like this.
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  3. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Wow, that's a beauty, and a cool bathroom sniping story :D.
     
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  4. Ancientnoob

    Ancientnoob Money Changer

    Figured it was worth mentioning. :eek:
     
  5. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    You know I don't know or collect these, but this looks like a beautiful piece with lots of detail. Congrarulations.
     
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  6. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Nice, these are hard to come by with the wife. Im jealous & congrats!
     
    Ancientnoob likes this.
  7. Ancientnoob

    Ancientnoob Money Changer

    I would say hard to come by at a price I can afford with faults I can live with.
     
  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Thanks for the great write up of a very nice coin. These usually have faults worse than this one. I am unclear on how many different kids are shown on the various issues. Mine has different animal crowns and different faults as well as reverse attendants facing the opposite ways. There is a lot we don't know about these but the triple portraits make them about the most popular Sasanians. oa0590bb2599.jpg
     
  9. Ancientnoob

    Ancientnoob Money Changer

    I notice on your reverse, the two attendants appear to be a male and female, king and queen? Priests? On mine they look like Kings. Fascinating.
     
  10. Eng

    Eng Senior Eng

    Santa brought you an awesome coin Masternoob, very cool reverse. great info..
     
    Ancientnoob likes this.
  11. Andy Kim

    Andy Kim Member

    Santa brought you a really really nice coin. CONGRATZ!
     
    Ancientnoob likes this.
  12. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES! Supporter

    [​IMG]

    i LOVE that coin!
     
    spirityoda, Ancientnoob and stevex6 like this.
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