The further adventures of a guy who seeks scarce Parthian mintmarks

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Parthicus, May 28, 2023.

  1. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    Orodes II Laodicea.jpg
    Parthian Kingdom. AR drachm (20 mm, 3.51 g). Laodicea mint. Orodes II (57-38 BCE) . Obverse: Diademed bust of king left, crescent behind, star before. Reverse: Seated archer surrounded by standard seven-line Greek legend, lambda (Laodicea mintmark) above, no mark below bow. Sellwood 47.17, Shore 246. This coin: Zurqieh, May 2023.

    Orodes II was a son of the Parthian king Phraates III (c.70-57 BC). In 57 BC, Orodes and his brother Mithradates (called Mithradates III in older references, now believed to be IV) conspired to kill their father and take over the throne. The two brothers seem to have shared power for a short while, but soon quarreled, and within a couple of years Orodes killed Mithradates to become sole ruler. Orodes had several fights with the Romans, most notably at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC where the Parthians wiped out a large Roman force led by the triumvir Crassus. In 38 BC, his favorite son Pakoros was killed in battle in Roman Syria, forcing the distraught Orodes to choose a new heir. Unfortunately, the son he chose, Phraates IV, was quite bloodthirsty and promptly killed his father and other brothers to consolidate his grasp on power.

    As I've stated many times before, one think I enjoy is seeking out Parthian coins from scarce mints that have been overlooked by sellers. This coin bears the mintmark of Laodicea, which is one of the scarcer Parthian mint marks. There were several cities in the ancient world called Laodicea, the most famous of which was in Phrygia and is mentioned in the New Testament. However, this coin was struck at Laodicea in Media, which became Nihavand in Sasanian times and is still an inhabited city in Hamadan Province, Iran. At $59.50, I wouldn't really call this a steal, but I was happy to find it nonetheless. Please post whatever related coins you have.
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  3. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

    Interesting coin!

    I only have a few Parthenian coins, and only one for Orodes II. This is a tetradrachm struck following the death of his brother Mithradates IV. This coin has been struck over a previous coin, possibly Mithradates IV, as part of an effort to eradicate his legacy in the eyes of the public, but I cannot conclusively say that this is the case for this coin.

    This coin was purchased post auction, Roma E-Sale 68.

    Orodes II Tetradrachm, Roma 68.jpg
    paschka, Homer2, Marsyas Mike and 5 others like this.
  4. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I have to say I haven't really looked at my Parthian material in quite some time. Your posts always make me feel guilty about that. I never advanced far enough to mintmarks, but have most rulers I believe. Parthians are one of quite a few collections I lean in and out of, apparently for no apparent reason.
    paschka and Ryan McVay like this.
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