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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Tigranes IV with Augustus

CNG 96, Lot: 650. Estimate $3000.
Sold for $12000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of ARMENIA. Tigranes IV, with Augustus. Second reign, circa 2 BC. Æ (24mm, 14.18 g, 12h). Diademed and draped bust of Tigranes right, wearing Armenian tiara / Bare head of Augustus left. Kovacs, Armenia II 3; CAA 167; AC 184; RPC I 3841. Near VF, olive–green patina, light scratches. Very rare.

Situated between the two major powers of the day, Armenia could not remove itself from the frequent Romano–Persian conflicts. We are told that anti–Roman sentiment in Armenia was high during the reign of Tigranes IV, with the king supporting Parthia until he was eventually forced to ally with Rome to maintain his throne. His decision to do so must have proved unpopular in the kingdom, and it is possible that the battle in which Tigranes lost his life was an internal one aimed at quelling a rebellion.