Jump to content

Parthian experts here? I have questions...


Prieure de Sion
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello, I have two questions about the two Parthian coins pictured, as I am not at all familiar with them.

 

Coin 1
The coin has the reference Sellwood 63.6 (Artabanos II), but is called ARTABANOS IV "everywhere". Here, for example, also at Künker:
https://www.kuenker.de/de/archiv/stueck/261774 

The minting period is given as 10-38 AD. This fits Artabanos II, but not Artabanos IV, who was the last king of the Parthians at the time of Caracalla?

So if the coin is 10-38 AD, it should be Artabanos II. But why is Artabanos IV written there, while the date and the catalogue number fit Artabanos II? I don't understand that.

 

Coin 2
Here it is similarly mixed up. The coin is given with the catalogue reference Sellwood 78.3 (Vologases III) and the time would also fit in this case: 78-120 AD.

But here I also see the designation Pakoros I, but he lived during the time of Marcus Antonius - i.e. BC. 

So who is it? Vologases III or Pakoros I


Thank you for your help!
 

parther 01.jpg

parther 02.jpg

Edited by Prieure de Sion
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, I think I have found a website that brings me a little closer to a solution. Here is a wonderful website about Parthian coins:
http://parthika.fr 

 

Coin #1 (Sellwood 63.6): http://parthika.fr/P6.html#haut

The information provided by some auction houses seems to be wrong. It is Artabanos III not II - and above all I now know why it is III and not II and why some descriptions say something about IV.

Artabanos III - Wikipedia: "Artabanus III, incorrectly known in older scholarship as Artabanus IV..."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artabanus_III_of_Parthia 

So this is probably Artabanos III, which was repeatedly and erroneously also called Artabanos IV.

 

Coin #2 (Sellwood 78.3): http://parthika.fr/P7.html#haut 

On the website, the coin is listed under Vologases III. However, I have now also found this. There are probably one or two experts who see the coin as being issued under Pakoros I.

"We assign this piece to Pakoros I - and not to Vologases III - and thus follow Assar, G. R. F. Iran under the Arsakids, 247 BC - AD 224/227, in: Nelson, Bradley R. Numismatic Art of Persia - The Sunrise Collection, Part I. Ancient - 650 BC to AD 650, Lancaster 2011, p. 150."

 

That's as far as I've got 🙂

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Parthian coinage is a minefield - similar to the coinage of the Cappadocian kings.

Every now and then names change - or reigns change - or coins change 😁

Besides "parthika.fr" I use "parthia.com" as online-reference. But for a non-specialist like me it is nearly impossible to keep track on new findings and to decide on their plausibility.

Just try to live with a little bit of uncertainty and nice coins

Regards
Klaus

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Dwarf said:

Parthian coinage is a minefield - similar to the coinage of the Cappadocian kings.

Every now and then names change - or reigns change - or coins change 😁

Besides "parthika.fr" I use "parthia.com" as online-reference. But for a non-specialist like me it is nearly impossible to keep track on new findings and to decide on their plausibility.

Just try to live with a little bit of uncertainty and nice coins

Regards
Klaus

In the meantime, I have also noticed this this afternoon while reading through specialist literature (!).

Depending on the catalogue, reference or publication, it may be Artabanus II, in which case the date does not fit again, but I have read that it is often confused with Artabanus III, which is also often confused with Artabanus IV. The funny thing is that the predecessor is often given as II, the current ruler as II and the successor also as II - and all with the same name.

It doesn't look any better with Pakoros. First there is Pakoros I before Christ, then Pakoros without a number and then Pakoros II, although one is not sure whether this is Pakoros himself. And actually it is not at all certain which Pakoros is which Pakoros at the end.

I enter the data given in the standard reference "Sellwood" and completely refrain from any speculations and interpretations! I am happy about the beautiful coins and do not give them any more thought 😄 😄 😄 

PS: Thanks for the link!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Qcumbor said:

FYI @Prieure de Sion the website https://parthika.fr/ has been created and is maintained by our own venerable @Alwin

Q

Thank you for the information. I had already written him an email. But maybe he'll get the discussion here too. 

But I will do as @Dwarfsuggested. I'll stay out of it 😄

I have no clue in this area and as he says, it's all more or less a minefield. When real experts already disagree, it's better to stay out of it as a layman. 

I took the data from the standard reference and entered it into my database. And enjoy the coins. All other considerations are too dangerous for me 😄

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Attributing Parthian coins can be challenging and confusing, of course. You may find the Attribution Correlation Chart developed by Chris Hopkins at Parthia.com to be helpful:

https://parthia.com/parthia_corr.htm

 

G. R. F. Assar's work over the past two decades, which was widely distributed across periodicals/journals prior to being consolidated in his essay "Iran Under the Arsakids" in the Numismatic Art of Persia: The Sunrise Collection (2011) is the most recent research. It is common, when cataloging, to list Sellwood's attribution alongside Assar's - and often Fred Shore's (from Parthian Coins & History: Ten Dragons Against Rome) as well. In many instances these three specialists agreed on attributions. But in some cases, obviously, they did not. 

 

 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The main point has been said above. The most important is to find the correct Sellwood number, when it exists, and therefore as much as possible the correct period of issue of the coin. If you see Artaban II, III or IV for the same coin, it is not necessarily a mistake, it is simply that the seller (or the author of the publication) is not using the same specialist reference. These differences are here: http://www.parthika.fr/Chronologie.html
As I assume you are a German speaker, you will find many answers to these questions in this article:
https://www.academia.edu/38903221/Hauser_2016_Münzen_Medien_und_der_Aufbau_des_Arsakidenreiches?email_work_card=title

 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Prieure de Sion said:

And thanks for the link - I will download and read it.

I failed to mention that I do not share all the conclusions drawn in this article!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes this is such a problem I refer to my Parthian coins by Sellwood number rather than ruler. But often when I list the king (people like monarch names) it's a different one to Sellwood as he isn't always the most up-to-date. So I have Sellwood's numbers and the ruler listed by whoever seems to make most sense!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can imagine that someone interested in picking up Parthian drachms, but fearful of the associated attribution challenges, might read this thread and wonder how they can find out the Sellwood type (#) of a coin-in-hand (if it wasn't provided by the seller), prior to referencing one of the correlation charts to see if there is a more currently accepted ID.

 

For those folks who may not know about this, there is a brilliant and free online tool, launched a few years ago, for identifying Parthian drachms in accordance with Sellwood. By answering a few simple questions about a Parthian drachm - based on simple observation of the coin's iconography - a Sellwood type is provided. Then, armed with the Sellwood attribution, the collector can consult one of the correlation charts for the current (Assar 2011) attribution.

 

The Parthian Drachm Identifier is here: https://mrcollector.eu/parthia/

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

32 minutes ago, Kamnaskires said:

I can imagine that someone interested in picking up Parthian drachms, but fearful of the associated attribution challenges, might read this thread and wonder how they can find out the Sellwood type (#) of a coin-in-hand (if it wasn't provided by the seller), prior to referencing one of the correlation charts to see if there is a more currently accepted ID.

 

For those folks who may not know about this, there is a brilliant and free online tool, launched a few years ago, for identifying Parthian drachms in accordance with Sellwood. By answering a few simple questions about a Parthian drachm - based on simple observation of the coin's iconography - a Sellwood type is provided. Then, armed with the Sellwood attribution, the collector can consult one of the correlation charts for the current (Assar 2011) attribution.

 

The Parthian Drachm Identifier is here: https://mrcollector.eu/parthia/

 

You might even want to do this if the seller has provided a Sellwood number, since it's quite easy to get attributions wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Thank you all for your dedicated help! For me, it will remain with these two Parthian coins for the time being - there are other coins on my wish list first - but you never know 🙂 ... such a beautiful Mithridates head on a Parthian coin looks great. But these two should stay for now. I think 🙂

But your information helped me a lot. And maybe this great information will also help other silent readers with their Parthian coins. It was all very informative. 

Edited by Prieure de Sion
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are Cappadocian coins a nightmare?   The interesting interplay of Mithradates Eupator and his son with the Cappadocian throne and Ariobarzanes 1 make it a very interesting time , viz a viz The  jockeying for power in that region, Pontus, Paphlagonia, Bithynia, Armenia, Cappadocia.Pre 1st Mithradatic war.

 

NewStyleKing =  John

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...