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Home     Ancient Persia, Parthian Empire, Vologases III, AR Drachm
Ancient Persia, Parthian Empire, Vologases III, AR Drachm

Ancient Persia, Parthian Empire, Vologases III, AR Drachm



Ancient Persia, Parthian Empire, Vologases III, AR Drachm

Period: 105-147 AD

Parthia, Ancient Persia, silver drachm.
Mint: Ecbatana.

Vologases III ruled from circa 105-147 AD. His coinage was prolific, indicating a long rule and probably a vibrant economy.

Obverse: Bare-headed, diademed bust of king left, with long pointed beard, wearing torque and diadem with loop at the top and three ends; earring visible, dotted border around.
Reverse: Archer seated right on throne holding bow, Greek legend around, monogram below bow.

Article code: 13-9124

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.

Vologases III achieved dominance of the Parthian Empire by 105 AD and reigned relatively long. He had to contend other challengers for his position; many of whom are known to have struck their own coins (Osroes I, Mithradates V and un unknown king).

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