Go to home page
Prior Page Page Up Next Page

Later Parthian Drachms with "Square Beards"

Identifying Look-alike Parthian Drachms

Here we consider as "square beards" those with shapes that are square, rectangular, or tapered but square-cut. The three groups can be immediately separated based on hairstyle and earring of the obverse portrait. The drachms of Vologases I are identified by five distinct waves in the hair, the second group all have straight or nearly straight hair with an earring, and group three drachms have straight hair with no earring.

Five waves in hair Straight hair with earring Straight hair, no earring
PDC 6724 PDC 420 PDC 24834

Group I: Hair has five distinct waves
Group II: Hair is straight or nearly so with an earring
Group III: Hair is straight or nearly so with no earring


Group I: Differentiating the Drachms of
Vologases I (c. A.D. 51 - 78)

There are two types within this group, both characterized by a tapering but square cut beard and hair with five distinct waves. Both types have a wart on the forehead and an earring.


Group II: Differentiating the Drachms of
Artabanus II (c. A.D. 10 - 38)
Gotarzes II (c. A.D. 40 - 51) and
Artabanus III (c. A.D. 80 - 90)

Case 0. Debased silver drachms
Case 1. Differences between types 63 and 65
Case 2. Differences between types 63 and 66
Case 3. Differences between types 63 and 74
Case 4. Differences between types 65 and 66
Case 5. Differences between types 65 and 74
Case 6. Differences between types 66 and 74

In An Introduction to the Coinage of Parthia (1980), Sellwood notes the close resemblance between the drachms of types 63, 65, 66 and 74. There are some very obvious and some not-so-obvious differences between these drachms. Since we are dealing with four types, we have to consider the following permutations:


Group III: Drachms of Artabanus II (c. A.D. 10 - 38)
with no earring


This page last updated 13 Apr 2008

Prior Page Page Up Next Page
Home Site Index Site Map Feedback New Items Tech Info Search

Online since 28 March 1998
Copyright ©1998-2012 Edward C. D. Hopkins, all rights reserved

    Click button to validate this page as HTML 4.01 compliant Click button to validate this page as CSS compliant