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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton VII, Lot: 603. Estimate $400. 
Closing Date: Monday, 12 January 2004. 
Sold For $240. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SASANIAN KINGS of PERSIA. Narse. 293-303 AD. AR Drachm (3.36 gm). Degraded Pahlavi legend, crowned and cuirassed bust right; three pellets behind crown / Degraded Pahlavi legend, fire altar with attendants and ribbon. Göbl I/1; Paruck 163 (Bahram III); Alram 751; MACW 862 var. (no pellets); De Morgan pg. 675, 57 (Bahram III). Lightly toned, good VF. ($400)

Ex Sotheby's (24 March 1983), lot 405.

Narse was the third, and final, son of Shahpur I to succeed to the throne (with Hormizd I and Bahram I before him; see lots 580 and 581, respectively). He began to consolidate power and make inroads to an uprising as early as the reign Bahram I (271-274 AD). He finally acheived his goal in 293 AD after conspiring to overthrow Bahram III, the son and successor of Bahram II. Narse had strong support among the nobility, and was a skilled military leader, having been the governor of the timultuous Armenia prior to his accession. In 296 AD, his military skill was displayed by his defeat of the emperor Galerius and his Roman army. Unfortunately, the following year, Galerius returned with a more powerful army and inflicted a major defeat upon the Sasanians. The result was the cedeing of parts of Armenia to Rome, and the recognition of the river Tigris as the border between the two empires. Internally, Narse reduced the political power of the priesthood and terminated the persecutions against the Manichaens and Christians.