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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton VII, Lot: 505. Estimate $400. 
Closing Date: Monday, 12 January 2004. 
Sold For $700. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of PARTHIA. Vologases V. 191-208 AD. AR Drachm (3.65 gm). Ekbatana mint. Diademed facing bust, long pointed beard with vertical lines, hair in bunches above and to sides of head / Degraded legend [but first line: 'King Vologases' in Parthian script], Arsakes I seated right on throne, holding bow; monogram below bow. Sellwood 86.3; Shore 448; BMC Parthia pg. 239, 17 (Vologases IV); MACW 693. Toned, good VF. [See color enlargement on plate 7] ($400)

Ex Classical Numismatic Auctions XXI (26 June 1992), lot 181.

Like his predecessor Vologases IV, Vologases V also had to deal with a large Roman invasion. Two events likely precipitated this. The first was Vologases’ support of the unsuccessful Pescennius Niger against Septimius Severus in the Roman civil war of 193-195 AD. While Niger perished, a number of his subordinates sought refuge with the Parthians. The second was Vologases’ determination to take advantage of the Roman civil war to extend Parthian influence into areas of Mesopotamia occupied by Rome. Seemingly in response, in 198 AD, Severus led a huge army across the Euphrates. Unfortunately, Vologases had been embroiled in a massive revolt in Iran and was unable to adequately prepare a defense. As with the invasion of Verus during Vologases IV’s reign, the Romans eventually captured Seleukeia and Ktesiphon. Little is known of Vologases’ later years.