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A portrait of Pharnabazus or Ares ?


Kosmas
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Is this a portrait of Pharnabazus or Ares ?

On this staters the aramaic letters are describing the character that is depicted on the coin . 

From the one side we see the Baaltars with the letters saying the same . So the same thing also applies to the other side ?

440px-Coin_depicting_Pharnabazus_II,_Persian_satrap_and_military_commander.jpg

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6 minutes ago, Kosmas said:

Is this a portrait of Pharnabazus or Ares ?

On this staters the aramaic letters are describing the character that is depicted on the coin . 

From the one side we see the Baaltars with the letters saying the same . So the same thing also applies to the other side ?

440px-Coin_depicting_Pharnabazus_II,_Persian_satrap_and_military_commander.jpg

"So the same thing also applies to the other side ?" - There are other examples of this where we know that the legend doesn't necessarily correspond to the figure, even though it does on the other side. For example, much of Mazaios's coinage, a former satrap of Tarsos (like Pharnabazos), has Baaltars on the obverse with the BLTRZ legend, and then on the reverse they have various designs such as a lion/stag, lion/bull, or lion by itself, all with the Mazaios MZDY legend. Of course, the lion/stag/bull can't be Mazaios himself so we know that for Tarsiote staters the legend is not necessarily related to the figure depicted.

But perhaps the nail in the coffin is the fact that Pharnabazos' successor, Datames, used the same reverse as found on these staters but with a legend inscribed in his own name. The helmeted figure is of course too similar to that of Pharnabazos' coins to say that they might be depicting different people, we really have to conclude it is the same figure depicted on both sets of coinage. So, to me, Ares makes the most sense but it may also be a generic bearded figure of a soldier as well. Moysey, whose study of this coinage is oft used and cited, only mentions it being possibly either Ares or a soldier, if I recall correctly. I don't think he even for a moment consider it might be Pharnabazos.

It does seem that Datames depicted himself on at least one of his coins, the Baal/Ana type, where he is shown standing next to Ana. Possibly also on his Baal/seated Satrap coin, though that is less certain. But what is different for Datames is that around the time he was issuing these coins, he was in open revolt against the Achaemenid empire so he had political and propagandic reasons to display his likeness on his coins, whereas for Pharnabazos that would've been a risky manoeuvre. Speaking about Datames' depicting himself on the Baal/Ana type, Moysey says: "It is hard to imagine a loyal satrap portraying himself so presumptuously on coinage minted under the king's auspices", this being in regards to the particular attire he is wearing in the depiction.

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7 minutes ago, Kaleun96 said:

"So the same thing also applies to the other side ?" - There are other examples of this where we know that the legend doesn't necessarily correspond to the figure, even though it does on the other side. For example, much of Mazaios's coinage, a former satrap of Tarsos (like Pharnabazos), has Baaltars on the obverse with the BLTRZ legend, and then on the reverse they have various designs such as a lion/stag, lion/bull, or lion by itself, all with the Mazaios MZDY legend. Of course, the lion/stag/bull can't be Mazaios himself so we know that for Tarsiote staters the legend is not necessarily related to the figure depicted.

But perhaps the nail in the coffin is the fact that Pharnabazos' successor, Datames, used the same reverse as found on these staters but with a legend inscribed in his own name. The helmeted figure is of course too similar to that of Pharnabazos' coins to say that they might be depicting different people, we really have to conclude it is the same figure depicted on both sets of coinage. So, to me, Ares makes the most sense but it may also be a generic bearded figure of a soldier as well. Moysey, whose study of this coinage is oft used and cited, only mentions it being possibly either Ares or a soldier, if I recall correctly. I don't think he even for a moment consider it might be Pharnabazos.

It does seem that Datames depicted himself on at least one of his coins, the Baal/Ana type, where he is shown standing next to Ana. Possibly also on his Baal/seated Satrap coin, though that is less certain. But what is different for Datames is that around the time he was issuing these coins, he was in open revolt against the Achaemenid empire so he had political and propagandic reasons to display his likeness on his coins, whereas for Pharnabazos that would've been a risky manoeuvre. Speaking about Datames' depicting himself on the Baal/Ana type, Moysey says: "It is hard to imagine a loyal satrap portraying himself so presumptuously on coinage minted under the king's auspices", this being in regards to the particular attire he is wearing in the depiction.

Is it true that some of this coins were minted to pay the greek mercenaries of iphicrates after the failed campaign in egypt ? 

There is also this coin that has the same rumor 

image00254.jpg

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10 hours ago, Kosmas said:

Is it true that some of this coins were minted to pay the greek mercenaries of iphicrates after the failed campaign in egypt ? 

There is also this coin that has the same rumor 

image00254.jpg

Moysey's article talks a lot about this, you can find it here (you may need to register for a free account if you don't have one):

https://www.jstor.org/stable/43573706

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