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Seleucia ad Tigrim, Ca. 123-88 BC

Parthian Kingdom, Mithradates II Ar. tetradrachm, Selucia ad Tigrim. Diademed and cuirassed bust left, long curly beard, dotted border. Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΥ ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ; archer seated right on omphalos, holding bow, palm branch in outer right field. Sellwood 24.3; Sear II 7365. 

The Parthian or Arsacid Empire was founded in the mid-3rd century BC following Arsaces I’s secession from Seleucid authority. Following Mithridates I’s conquests of Media, Babylonia, and Elymias in 148 BC, Parthian power over these regions was consolidated by Mithridates II. The king also incorporated Assyria and the territories up to the Syrian Euphrates into the Parthian sphere.

The reverse legend on this coin designates Mithridates II “King of Kings”, a title introduced during his rule that has its roots in the Achaemenid royal titulature. The seated archer reverse also bears similarities to Classical period Achaemenid coins, appropriate as the Parthians ruled over previous Persian territory.

For additional information see: 
Hauser. R. 2013, “The Arsacid Empire”, in Potts, D.T. (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran. Oxford. 1001-19.


SKU: CAT-015
  • Dimensions 

    D: 31mm ; 17.04g


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