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a Parthian with a neat hat & 'unknown' king


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I changed things a bit this time and after listening to the So You Think You Can Rule Persia? podcast I bought some Parthians two buys ago.  Aside from a very early acquisition in 1993 and  a couple of uncleaned drachms purchased earlier this year, I had no other Parthians, and no nice ones.

Zurqieh is good for buying cheaper middle eastern stuff, but comes with the price of having barebones descriptions in most cases.  I don't have any Parthian reference books.  Any help in discovering more information, especially for the 'unknown' king coin, would be appreciated.  I also got a Sasanian filler.  I was actually intrigued by the green encrustations on a silver coin.  Any date/mint help would also be appreciated.


The appetizer:



Other than c. 2nd c. BC and 13MM . 0.30GM, I have no information about this coin. (anyone?)  I don't usually go for tiny coins but the funky flan and cheap price made it a no-brainer addition. It's also pretty nice for 20 bucks.

And now for the main coin of the buy:


Sinatrukes, c. 93-69.  21mm . 3.88gm

The theory is that Sinatrukes was that he maintained a rebel kingdom for some years (or theory two was that he was a sub/joint king), before acquiring all of the empire towards the end of his reign.  Any mint info would be appreciated.

My first Parthian, from Allen Berman, a coin which I haven't looked at in many years and I'm working from memory, has a similar bust with a similar tiara, I believe without the stags. It has a black hoard patina.

The stag tiara is what made me want this coin.  The rest of the order was built around it.

I really wish there were some podcasts about Parthia and the Sasanian empire. So You Think You Can Rule Persia? is starting to cover the Parthians, but they're only up to 38 B.C.


Unknown King II (c. 80-70 BC). AR drachm (20mm, 3.92g). Ekbatana mint. Bearded and diademed bust l./ Parthian archer seated r. on throne, testing bow. Sellwood 30.15; Shore 132.

This is a Zurqieh rarity, fairly full information.  One can never tell from Zurqieh silver pictures what the toning (or lack thereof) situation will be.  It's lighter than the picture but I'd say that the coin has some pleasant cabinet toning.  The Sinatrukes is lighter than the Unknown king but also has some decent toning.

I have zero information about Unknown king II.  I just liked the coin.  Is this a coin possibly a coin of a known king or was this some distinct individual?

The Parthian coins which I tend to like are from the earliest to mid period, culiminating in the two guys with flying eagles.  The coins become too stylized for my personal tastes in the A.D. period.



Khrusru II, 33mm, 3.88g.  I would assume by the style that it's from early in the reign.  I was intrigued by the green enctrustations on a silver coin.  Sasanian AE's are pretty scarce.  I wonder how that happened?

Feel free to share any pertinent coins from the same eras and regions.

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Wait... a Parthian thread, and I didn't start it?😀 My quick thoughts on the OP coins:

Coin #1 is from Persis, Pakor II (1st century AD), from the size probably an obol.

Coin #2 is either Sellwood 33.4 or 33.6- the only difference between the two types is in the legend, and it is extremely similar between the two and I can't see which is yours. No mintmark on the coin, Sellwood attributes it (whether 33.4 or 33.6) to Rhagae.

Coin #3: Assar states in Sunrise "The prince responsible for Orodes [I]'s demise [and who issued this coin]was Arsakes XVI (78-77- 62/61 BC in Parthia, Mar./Apr. 75- 67/66 BC in Babylonia) whose name is not preserved in the contemporary and later sources."  Note that Arsakes XVI simply means that he was the 16th king in the Arsakid line, and even Assar won't hazard a guess as to his personal name.  Arsakes XVI overlapped partially with Sinatrukes as rivals, and his wife was named Piruztana.  Assar says some more, maybe I'll have time later to list it.

Coin #4 is indeed Khusro II, bust looks like the earlier style, mintmark might be BYN which is an unknown location ("not in Kirman, Khurasan, or Sistan"), can't read the date.

I have some related coins, but that would basically mean posting about half of my collection.


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Thanks for the info!

Whoops, I forgot to add Persis to the obol's listing.

The obol is larger than most obols, because of the super-thin flan.

Super cool, I have a mini-Sinatrukes set of sorts.  I believe Arsakes XVI was mentioned in the Sinatrukes episode.

When did Khrusru II change to the cool, skeletal style?  Those are the ones I like.  I only bought this one because of the encrustations (and it was a cheap add-in).




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