REX ARMENIS DATVS
|CNG 84, Lot: 1035. Estimate $750.
Sold for $1000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
AD 138-161. Æ Sestertius (30mm, 26.62 g, 12h). Rome mint. Struck circa AD 141-143. Laureate head right / REX ARMENIIS DATVS, Pius standing left, holding roll and placing hand on head of Armenian king, who raises hand to adjust tiara. RIC III 619; Banti 322. Good VF, brown patina, old cleaning scratches in fields.
As Rome and Parthia (and, later, the Sasanians) vied with one another for control of the border territories in eastern Anatolia and northrn Syria, the kingdom of Armenia became a crucial prize for both. With a client-king installed on its throne, Armenia could serve as an important buffer for either empire. Thus, the appointment of a new ruler to the Armenian throne was an important event. Given that this sestertius was struck during the third consulship of Pius (AD 140-144), the only possible candidate for the new Armenian king represented here is Sohemo (first reign, circa AD 140/44-161).