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Parthia: AR drachm of Vonones I

 
 
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 Posted 01/11/2018  3:36 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Parthia, Vonones I
8-12 AD
AR Drachm
Obv: Bust of king left, Greek ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥΣ ΟΝΩΝΗΣ
Rev: Nike advancing right with palm frond, ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥΣ / ΟΝΩΝΗΣ / ΝΕΙΚΗΣΑΣ / ΑΡΤΑΒΑΝΟΝ



Vonones I enters history when, in 20 BC he along with several of his brothers were sent to Rome as hostages to secure a peace treaty between Augustus and their father Phraates IV. Phraates was murdered in a political scheme by his favorite wife, Musa, and a quick succession of tyrannical Parthian kings ensued. Orodes III was assassinated in 6 AD for his cruelty, and the Parthian court petitioned to Augustus for the release of one of his hostages, so Vonones was sent.

It became quickly apparent that Vonones' upbringing in Rome made him unacceptable; the Parthian court felt they had been sent a Roman, not a Parthian. They sent for the prince Artabanus III, who accepted and began a civil war against Vonones. Although initially successful, Vonones was driven from his office and fled to Armenia, where he was installed as a Roman client king. Still feeling threatened, the Parthians had him removed to Syria as a prisoner, then to Cilicia. Despite the comforts of his captivity, Vonones was killed by guards in 19 AD, while attempting to escape.

Vonones' drachms in particular stand out among the Parthian kings because:
1) He opted to place his personal name on the obverse, and
2) He removed the seated Arsaces from the reverse and replaced him with Nike, reflecting his preference for Greek culture.
New Sale! Inexpensive classic Greek silver, over 2,400 years old!

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 Posted 01/11/2018  3:58 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add scopru to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That is a nice looking coin. Wonderful write up as well. The reverse letters really have held up well over time. great pickup!
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ANA number: 3178122
NTCA number:10118
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 Posted 01/11/2018  4:32 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This issue was a real standout in the Parthian series, for the reasons you elaborate, Steve. Nice example. Well done.
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 Posted 01/11/2018  5:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add moxking to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Gorgeous photos of a great coin. 8 kudos points awarded
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 Posted 01/11/2018  7:32 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Beautiful example, well struck and centered. Even has the full legend on the obverse. Congrats.
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 Posted 01/11/2018  8:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great pick-up!
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 Posted 01/11/2018  8:09 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add MontCollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very nice
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