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Home     Ancient Persia, Parthian Empire, Orodes II, AR Drachm
Ancient Persia, Parthian Empire, Orodes II, AR Drachm

Ancient Persia, Parthian Empire, Orodes II, AR Drachm



Ancient Persia, Parthian Empire, Orodes II, AR Drachm

Period: 57-37 BC

Silver drachm of Orodes II, king of the Parthian Empire (57 - 37 BC), Mithradarthkart mint.

Obverse: Diademed and cuirassed bust of Orodes II with short beard and royal wart on forehead. Star before face, crescent behind head.
Reverse: Arsaces as archer, seated right on throne, holding bow, 7 lines of Greek text.

The dot on his forehead is the so-called "royal wart" which was regarded as a physical token of true Parthian nobility.

Sellwood 45/9. BMC 23.74

Article code: 14-2705

Available: 0


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The Parthian Empire (also known as Arsacid Empire) was a Persian dynasty which came between the Achaemenid and Sassanian Dynasties of Persia (present-day Iran). It was founded by Mithridates the Great in 171 BC and lasted for nearly 400 years until its final demise at the hands of Ardashir I, the first Sassanian Persian king, between 206-224 AD.
The Parthian empire was located on the Silk Road trade route between the Roman Empire and the Empire of China and became a center of trade and commerce. Native Parthian sources, written in Parthian, Greek and other languages are scarce. Apart from some cuneiform tablets, rock inscriptions, drachm coins and some parchment documents, much of Parthian history is only known through external sources. Trade developed greatly under the Parthians and many of their coins and art objects have been found as far away as in Volga, the Caucasus and other sites in south Russia as well as in Chinese Turkestan.

It was generally believed that the Parthians only had the means and resources to start minting coins from the 2nd century BC. Since the discovery of the hoard at Seleucia in 1968 it is now accepted that coins were already minted by Arsaces I, and that during the reign of Mithradates I (171-138 BC) the first tetradrachms were struck. Parthians and Sasanians refined silver to mint coins and to make luxury items and decorations.

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