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    PARTHIAN KINGDOM. Parthamaspates or Sanatrukes (AD 116). AR drachm (3.79 gm). 'Ecbatana.' Diademed bust left, with short beard, wearing domed tiara with ear flap / Archer seated right, examining bow. Sunrise 449 (Sanatrukes). Sellwood 81.1 (Parthamaspates). Shore 423 (same). NGC AU? 5/5 - 5/5.

    Ex Glendining's (London, 5 October 1987), lot 192. 

    This scarce drachm type, depicting a Parthian ruler with an unusually short, stubbly beard, has traditionally been assigned to Parthamaspates, a Parthian exile in the Roman Empire who was briefly set up and supported by Trajan as a client king in AD 116, but who was soon ousted when the Romans withdrew. New research by Dr. G.R.F. Assar, summarized in the Sunrise Collection catalog, tentatively assigns them to his brother, Sanatrukes, who had initially seized the throne as the Romans advanced, but was assassinated and deposed in Parthamaspates' favor. Dr. Assar argues that, as Sanatrukes controlled the eastern mint of Ecbatana while Parthamaspates did not, the issues more likely belong to the former. Others have pointed out the Ecbatana mintmark had become rote by this time and was likely employed by several mints; also, the unusual iconography depicting a nearly clean-shaven Parthian ruler must be explained if the coins do not belong to a ruler who had lived among the Romans for many decades. 


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    September, 2015
    17th-22nd Thursday-Tuesday
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