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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton VII, Lot: 444. Estimate $150. 
Closing Date: Monday, 12 January 2004. 
Sold For $220. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of PARTHIA. Mithradates IV. 58/7 - 54/3 BC. AR Drachm (4.09 gm). Rhagae mint. Diademed bust left / BACILEWC MEGGALOU(sic) [A]PC-AKO[U] DIKAIOU EPIFANOUC QEOUEUPATOROU FILELLHNO[C], Arsakes I seated right on throne, holding bow; monogram below bow. Sellwood 40.6 var. (legend); Shore -; BMC Parthia pg. 62, 9 var. (same); MACW -. Toned EF. ($150)

Ex Peus 337 (3-9 November 1993), lot 204.

Of the two sons of Phraates, the first to mount the Parthian throne was Mithradates IV. However, his authority was soon disputed by Orodes II, whose illustrious general, Surena, eventually defeated and captured Mithradates. We are told by Justin (42.4.4) that charged with conspiracy against Parthia for seeking Roman assistance, Mithradates was at once executed on the order of Orodes.

Dr. Assar has taken the S44 tetradrachm type with the epithet KTISTHS “the Founder” as the initial coinage of Mithradates, marking the beginning of his rule in Babylonia. This was followed by S40 and S41 drachms in Parthia and ended with the S41.1 tetradrachms and S41.17 drachms with his personal name on the former and the unusual epithet “also called (or nicknamed) son of Phraates” on the latter. It is possible that of the two brothers, Mithradates was an adopted son while Orodes was the natural son of Phraates III.