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500486.

KINGS of PARTHIA. Phraates II. 132-126 BC. AR Drachm (20mm, 4.06 g, 12h). Ekbatana mint. Struck circa 128-127 BC. Diademed bust left; A behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ MEΓAΛOY to right, APΣAKOY ΘEOΠATOPOΣ to left, archer (Arsakes I) seated right on omphalos, holding bow. Assar, Genealogy, fig. 8; Sellwood 16.3; Sunrise 270; Shore 43. Good VF, lightly toned. Fine style. Rare issue from Ekbatana.


The Sellwood type 16 drachms were struck in the last years of Phraates' reign, culminating in the issues bearing various mint names. The mints named are all from the eastern part of the Parthian realm, and were certainly involved in providing coins to finance the campaign against the Sakae. Additionally, their metal content and style are relatively poor, suggesting they were struck in a more careless fashion; a common characteristic of wartime issues. On the contrary, the issues of the western Parthian mints, such as Ekbatana, have a refined style, and are composed of higher-quality metal. As expected, the western issues are much rarer in comparison to the plentiful coins of the wartime issues in the east.