Parthia, Vonones I
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.