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Research Coins: Printed Auction


Āzarmīg-duxt From Shiraz Mint

Triton XX, Lot: 441. Estimate $10000.
Sold for $8000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SASANIAN KINGS. Āzarmīg-duxt (Āzarmīdokht). AD 631. AR Drachm (32mm, 3.97 g, 3h). ŠY (Shiraz) mint. Dated RY 1 (AD 631). Bearded bust right, wearing mural crown with frontal crescent, two wings, and star-in-crescent, ribbons and crescents on shoulders; stars flanking crown; GDH monogram and ’pzwt’ in Pahlavi to left, ’wtwrmigduht in Pahlavi to right; star-in-crescents in margin / Fire altar with ribbons; flanked by two attendants; star and crescent flanking flames; ’ywky (RY date) in Pahlavi on left, šy (mint signature) in Pahlavi downward to right; star-in-crescents in margin. SC Tehran –; Mochiri 443 = 508 (same obv. die); Sunrise –; SNS Schaaf 702 = Zeno 100487. VF, toned, areas of darker toning at edge, some hairline striking fractures, minor edge chip at 10 o’clock on obverse. Evidence of undertype in right wing of crown. Extremely rare.

Because of the loss of his power and prestige due to the victories of the Byzantine emperor Heraclius, in AD 628, Husrav (Khosrau) II (and eighteen of his sons) was assassinated by his son and successor, Kavad (Kvadh) II. Over the next few months, Kavad attempted to initiate peace negotiations with the Byzantine emperor, but the Sasanian king’s death only a few months into the new reign precipitated a period of civil war. Kavad’s son and co-ruler, the seven-year-old Ardaxšīr (Ardashir) III, was killed by the Husrav’s former general, Shahrbaraz, but he too was soon removed. This vacancy on the throne was filled by two daughters of Husrav II, each of whom ruled for about a year, whether on their own, or as possible regents for Husrav (Khosrau) III. The first, Boran, attempted to restore stability to the Sasanian empire by making peace with the Byzantines, reducing taxation, and revitalizing the governmental infrastructure, including restoring a general sense of justice. All of these moves did little to restore the power of the central government. Her sister and successor, Āzarmīg-duxt (Āzarmīdokht), reigned for only a few months. According to the ninth-century Persian historian, al-Tabari, the general Farrokh sought her hand in marriage (and, thus, a link to the throne), but she had him murdered. In retaliation, Farrokh’s son, thought to be Rostam Farrokhzad, had her blinded and subsequently killed after she was captured at Ctesiphon.