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    Description

    Magnificent Shapur I Gold Dinar

    SASANIAN KINGDOM. Shapur I the Great (AD 240-272). AV dinar (22mm, 7.42 gm, 3h).  Mint I ("Ctesiphon"), Phase II, circa AD 260-272. Bust of Shapur right, wearing mural tiara with korymbos and long ear flap, large floriate brooch on left shoulder / Large flaming fire altar flanked by two attendants, both wearing mural crowns and holding scepters, pellets above each. Sunrise 739 variant (single pellet on reverse). Cf. SNS type 11C/1b. Göbl type 1/1. Rare, with an outstanding portrait and lustrous fields. Choice Mint State.

    The second king of the Sasanian dynasty, Shapur I's long and energetic reign raised Persia to glories it had not known since the heyday of the Achaemenid Kingdom eight centuries before. After suffering reverses to Rome under Gordian III (AD 238-244), Shapur waited until the Romans were preoccupied with internal civil wars before launching a devastating attack in AD 253. He captured and sacked Antioch, the third greatest city of the Roman Empire, forcing the newly installed Emperor Valerian to assemble a large task force and move east to confront the rampant Persians in about AD 257. Shapur withdrew before the advancing Romans, drawing them into a perfect trap and capturing Valerian and his entourage alive, the greatest feat of arms yet by a Sasanian monarch and the worst humiliation ever suffered by a Roman emperor. A famous rock-carved relief in Naqsh-e Rustam shows Shapur seizing Valerian by the arm while another Roman Emperor (Philip) kneels before him in supplication. His military exploits enriched the treasury and enabled him to engage in stupendous building projects. A devout Zoroastrian, he was nevertheless tolerant of other faiths and is warmly mentioned as a just king in Jewish writings. Like many Sasanian kings, his silver coinage is vast while gold is exceptionally rare. This lovely gold dinar is one of the finest gold coins of Shapur ever brought to market. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    9th-14th Thursday-Tuesday
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