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Shapur I? Sasanian Advice Needed

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Author Previous TopicReplies: 6 / Views: 284Next Topic  
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26 Posts
 Posted 12/04/2021  05:24 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Quintillius to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Guys I have for long wanted a coin from the Persian arch enemy of Rome. Shapur I is by far one of the worst enemies Rome faced.
By undertaking multiple expeditions he was able to penetrate deep in Syria, sacking Antioch and ultimately defeating and capturing emperor Valerian.

There is finally a coin in good condition available for sale by a French known numismatic seller.

So my question so far is, is this a genuine coin from Shapur I? Can we know that? Is ancient Persian language still readable for us?

This is the description from the seller:

Quality: AU/XF | Abbreviations
Catalog: Göbl23 Sellwood23 Sellwood23 Mit.813 SMS.28
Material: Silver
Weight: 3.59 g
SASANIAN - SASANIAN KINGDOM - SHAPUR I Drachme c. 241-272 Undetermined workshop R1 silver
Obverse: Legend in pehlvi Bust of Sapor I (Chapour) on the right, wearing his crown
Reverse: Legend in pehlvi Bust of Sapor I (Shapur) above the pyre (fire altar); flames rise above the table, supported by a central pillar, ribbons hanging outside; on the column the word (correct); on each side of the altar, a servant
Commentary: Centered coin presenting a pretty bust. Fine regular wear. Gray patina
Atelier indéterminé c. 241-272 (26mm, 3,59g, 3h)

Edited by Quintillius
12/04/2021 05:30 am
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United Kingdom
248 Posts
 Posted 12/04/2021  7:18 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add JohnConduitt to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
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23658 Posts
 Posted 12/04/2021  7:47 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The coin appears to be genuine and is in nice condition.
New Member
26 Posts
 Posted 12/05/2021  06:00 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Quintillius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you all!
I have a hard time reading Pahlavi, but I'm pretty sure it's Shapur I !!

Any Pahlavi experts here helping me out ? It's cool if I can write down the exact symbols and their meaning on cards.
Edited by Quintillius
12/05/2021 06:01 am
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 Posted 12/05/2021  07:49 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes very nice coin!
It's Shahpur I as he always has ear flaps on the crown.
Here's an excellent site...

And here gives you a translation of the legend.
Edited by Palouche
12/05/2021 07:50 am
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26 Posts
 Posted 12/05/2021  10:20 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Quintillius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice site, thanks!
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 Posted 12/08/2021  07:07 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Quintillius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I've bought it and now it is time to write down the full story.

Shapur I - 241 - 272 AD
Drachm - AR - 3,6g - 26mm
Göbl 23, Sellwood 23, Mit.813, SMS.28

Lang.	Pahlavi (Middle Persian)
Obv.	[ Mazd-esn bay Sabuhr sahan sah Eran ke cihr az yazdan ]
        (The Mazda worshipping Lord Shapur, King of Kings of the Iranians, 
        whose lineage is of the gods)
        Bust of Shapur I right, wearing crenellated crown with earflap and        
        diadem, globe; tied beard, large ball of hair, moustache.
Rev. 	[ Nourazi Shapoheri ] (Fire of Shapur)
        Fire altar and two armed attendants leaning on long staff, looking         
        away from altar, crenellated crowns. Crescent symbol above left     
        attendant's head.

Shapur I, Second Sasanian King Of Kings Of Iran, Nemesis Of Rome

Together with his father Ardashir he helped him invading Roman
territory. He destroyed the city of Hatra and seized Nisibis and
Carrhae. A hefty sum of 500.000 aurei was paid for a peace treaty
by Philip the Arab as he needed to strengthen his position.

The political turmoil and quick successions of Roman emperors
however resulted in a second expedition deep through Roman land. A
Roman force of 60.000 men was defeated and completely annihilated.
Now nothing stood in the way of the invading armies. The great
city of Antioch was captured and sacked. Its inhabitants were
deported to populate the new city of Gundeshapur, later a famous
center of scholarship. Now Emperor Valerian personally marched
against Shapur and had recovered much of the land. In the battle
of Edessa however the Romans were defeated and captured in their
entirety by Persian forces. Valerian was taken prisoner, an
unprecented disaster.

Following the defeat, Shapur took the city of Caesarea and
deported 400,000 citizens to southern provinces of the Sasanian
Empire. However, the Persians were later defeated by the Roman
officer Balista and the lord of Palmyra Septimius Odaenathus, who
captured the royal harem. Shapur plundered the eastern borders of
Syria and returned to Ctesiphon, probably in late 260.In 264
Odaenathus reached Ctesiphon, but failed to take the city.

There are varying accounts as to Valerian's fate following his
capture at the hands of Shapur. Some sholars claim that Valerian
was sent to Bishapur where he lived in relatively good conditions.
According to another source, Shapur humiliated Valerian, using the
former emperor as a human stepping-stool while mounting his horse.
He was reportedly kept in cage and was humiliated for the Persian
Emperor's pleasure, according to Aurelius Victor. Upon his death,
Valerian's body was allegedly skinned and stuffed with, depending
on which account, manure or straw, to produce a trophy of Roman
submission preserved in a Persian temple.

However, there are also accounts that stipulate he was treated
with respect, and that allegations of torture may have been
fabricated by Christian historians of the Late Antiquity to show
the perils that befell persecutors of Christianity.

Shapur did not seem interested in permanently occupying the Roman
provinces, choosing instead to resort to plundering and pillaging,
gaining vast amounts of riches. He was also the first Persian
monarch to use the title of 'King of Kings of Iranians and non-
Iranians'. He had adopted the title due to the influx of Roman
citizens whom he had deported during his campaigns. The artisans
and skilled workers would revitalize Iran's domestic commerce.

Edited by Quintillius
12/08/2021 07:10 am
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