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Vologases IV (c. A.D. 147 - 191)

ΟΛΑΓΑΣΗΣ and ΟΛΟΓΑΣΗΣ

The inscription on the bronze Herakles discovered in 1984 shows that Vologases IV was the son of Mithradates IV.1 Vologases IV appears to have succeeded to the throne peacefully. See the genealogy chart.

He was forced to defend Parthia against the Romans beginning in A.D. 155 after tensions over Armenia boiled over. The king is uniformly pictured in a tiara on all denominations and the volume of the coins attests to his long reign and the minor economic impact on Parthia of the war with Rome. Many of the tetradrachms are dated and his reign produced at least 125 different dates on coins. The undated drachms carry his name in Parthian script, and some of the bronzes have a full facing bust or the king astride a horse.

It may be significant that the Greek spelling of Vologases IV, beginning with Sellwood type 84.41, changes from ΟΛΑΓΑΣΟΥ (the genitive case as used on coins) to ΟΛΟΓΑΣΟΥ. Could Vol-a-gases IV and Vol-o-gases IV be different kings? The new "o" spelling is used later for Vologases V and Vologases VI.

Click here to view the inscriptions on this king's coins.

____________________
Notes:
1. See W. I. al-Salihi, Sumer 43 (1984), p. 219 and J. Black, ibid., p. 230.


Coins Attributed to Vologases IV

The attributions and cataloging of Parthian coins used throughout this web site follow David Sellwood's An Introduction to the Coinage of Parthia (1980, 2nd edition) for consistency. The few exceptions to this policy are explained here.

Click on coin images to enlarge:

Sellwood Type 84

See the page describing Vologases III and IV Bronzes with "Tyche Reverse"

Obverse Vologases IV (c. A.D. 147 - 191)  See the fourrée tetradrachm attributed to Vologases IV.

Obverse (36274 bytes)Vologases IV (c. A.D. 147 - 191)
AR Tetradrachm
Mint/ Seleucia, November, A.D. 152
Obv/ cuirassed bust of king left, long tapered beard, wearing tiara. Β behind head
Rev/ king enthroned left, receiving diadem from Tyche. Greek inscription ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ / ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ ΟΛΑΓΑΣΟΥ / ΔΙΚΑΙΟΣ / ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥ ΦΙΛΕΛΛΗΝΟΣ. Between the heads of Tyche and the king is the Greek numeral ΔΞΥ, year 464 of the Seleucid era (A.D. 152). Inner line of inscription at the bottom is ΑΠΕΛΛΙΟΥ, or November
Photo/ by permission Doug Smith's Ancient Greek & Roman Coins
- Sellwood 84.13
- Mitchiner ACW 684 similar

ObverseVologases IV (c. A.D. 147 - 191)
AR Tetradrachm, 14.2 g, 30x26 mm
Mint/ Seleucia, October, A.D. 154
Additional images/ [study image obv]
Obv/ cuirassed bust of king left, long tapered beard, wearing tiara. "B" behind head
Rev/ king enthroned left, receiving diadem from Tyche. Greek inscription ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ / ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ ΟΛΑΓΑΣΟΥ / ΔΙΚΑΙΟΣ / ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥ ΦΙΛΕΛΛΗΝΟΣ. Between the heads of Tyche and the king is the Greek numeral ϚΞΥ, year 466 of the Seleucid era (A.D. 154). Inner line of inscription at the bottom is ΔΙΟΥ, or October
Location/ V. Kucherov collection
Photo/ E. Rtveladze, The Ancient Coins of Central Asia (1987)
- Sellwood 84.17
- Rtveladze 14 (Vologases I) (thiLocation/ V. Kucherov collection
Photo/ E. Rtveladze, The Ancient Coins of Central Asia (1987)
- Sellwood 84.17
- Rtveladze 14 (Vologases I) (this coin)

Obverse (36274 bytes) Vologases IV (c. A.D. 147 - 191)
AR Tetradrachm
Obv/ cuirassed bust of king left, long tapered beard, wearing tiara. "B" behind head. More barbarous than preceding example.
Rev/ king enthroned left, receiving diadem from Tyche. Greek inscription ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ / ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ ΟΛΑΓΑΣΟΥ / ΔΙΚΑΙΟΣ / ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥ ΦΙΛΕΛΛΗΝΟΣ. Between the heads of Tyche and the king is the Greek numeral ΘΠΥ, year 489 of the Seleucid era (A.D. 177). Inner line of inscription at the bottom is ΑΠΕΛΛΙΟΥ, or November.
- Sellwood 84.57
- Mitchiner ACW 684 similar

Obverse (36274 bytes) Vologases IV (c. A.D. 147 - 191)
AR Tetradrachm, 13.34 gm, 26 mm, die axis = 12h
Mint/ Seleucia, April, A.D. 181
Additional images/ [large obv] [large rev]
Obv/ bust left with long, tapered beard with square cut end; wearing tiara with hooks on crest, horn on side and long, curved earflap. Lock of hair representing royal wart on forehead; earring visible, Β behind head. Diadem with loop at top and four ends
Rev/ king seated left on throne; Tyche standing right before him, giving him diadem and holding scepter. Greek legend
Photo/ by permission Thomas K. Mallon, The Coins and History of Asia
- Sellwood 84.89
- Shore 432 variant


Drachma

ObverseVologases IV (c. A.D. 147 - 191)
AR Drachm
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Additional images/ [large obv & rev]
Obv/ bearded bust of king left, wearing diademed tiara with ear flap and hooked appendages, diadem ends as three lines; border of dots.
Rev/ beardless archer, wearing kyrbasia and cloak, seated right on throne, left foot appears as an X; in right hand, bow; in front, pellet above bow, below bow monogram 26; Pahlavi inscription 2: VoLGaŠI MaLKa, blundered Greek inscription
Photo/ by permission Smithsonian Institution, National Numismatic Collection
- Sellwood 84.127


ObverseVologases IV (c. A.D. 147 - 191)
AR Drachm
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Additional images/ [large]
Obv/ double strike. Bearded bust of king left, wearing diademed tiara with ear flap and hooked appendages, diadem ends as three lines; border of dots.
Rev/ double strike. Beardless archer, wearing kyrbasia and cloak, seated right on throne; in right hand, bow; in front, no pellet above bow, below bow monogram 26; Pahlavi inscription 2: VoLGaŠI MaLKa, Greek inscription
- Sellwood 84.128

ObverseVologases IV (c. A.D. 147 - 191)
AR Drachm, 3.9 g, 19.5 mm, die axis = 12h
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Additional images/ [large obv] [large rev] [study image obv] [study image rev]
Obv/ bearded bust of king left, wearing diademed tiara with ear flap and hooked appendages, diadem ends as three lines; border of dots
Rev/ beardless archer, wearing kyrbasia and cloak, seated right on throne; in right hand, bow; in front, no pellet above bow, below bow monogram 26; Pahlavi inscription 2: VoLGaŠI MaLKa, Greek inscription 3.
Photo/ ex collection Dr. Atiyah, 1955
- Sellwood 84.129
- SNG Cop Volg. III, 240
- BMC Parth Volg. III, 58

ObverseVologases IV (c. A.D. 147 - 191)
AR Drachm, 3.81 g
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Obv/ bust of king left with rectangular beard, wearing diademed tiara with ear flap and hooked appendages, diadem ends as three lines; border of dots.
Rev/ beardless archer, wearing kyrbasia and cloak, seated right on throne; in right hand, bow; in front, no pellet above bow, below bow monogram 26; Pahlavi inscription: VoLGaŠI MaLKa, Greek inscription is Sellwood iv
Photo/ by permission Pegasinum
- Sellwood 84.131

ObverseVologases IV (c. A.D. 147 - 191)
AR Drachm
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Additional images/ [large obv & rev]
Obv/ bearded bust of king left, wearing diademed tiara with ear flap and hooked appendages, diadem ends as three lines; border of dots.
Rev/ beardless archer, wearing kyrbasia and cloak, seated right on throne; in right hand, bow; in front, no pellet above bow, below bow monogram 26; Pahlavi inscription: VoLGaŠI MaLKa, Greek inscription is Sellwood iv
Photo/ by permission Frank S. Robinson
- Sellwood 84.132

ObverseVologases IV (c. A.D. 147 - 191)
AR Drachm, 3.81 g
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Obv/ bearded bust of king left, wearing diademed tiara with ear flap and hooked appendages, diadem ends as three lines; border of dots.
Rev/ beardless archer, wearing kyrbasia and cloak, seated right on throne; in right hand, bow; in front, no pellet above bow, below bow monogram 26; Pahlavi inscription: VoLGaŠI MaLKa, Greek inscription is Sellwood iv
Photo/ by permission Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.
- Sellwood 84.132
- Shore 434

ObverseVologases IV (c. A.D. 147 - 191)
AE Tetrachalkous?, 7.04 g
Mint/ Edessa, undated
Obv/ bust left with long, rectangular beard; wearing tiara with hooks on crest, horn on side and long, curved earflap [this type usually has Β behind head]
Rev/ large monogram 43, Pahlavi (?) legend Sellwood vi, wreath around
Photo/ by permission Jean Elsen, S.A.
- Sellwood 84.134
- Mitchiner, ACW 436
- BMC 96

PDC 7277Vologases IV (c. A.D. 147 - 191)
AE Dichalkous, 3.57 g, 15 mm
Mint/ Seleucia, A.D. 154/155
Obv/ Bust facing with long, tapered beard with square cut end; wearing tiara with hooks on crest, horn on side and long, curved earflap; to right, Seleucid date ϚΞΥ (= 466 Seleucid Era)
Rev/ Nike seated left on column; palm in left field
Photo/ by permission Thomas K. Mallon, The Coins and History of Asia
- Sellwood 84.142

PDC 8077Vologases IV (c. A.D. 147 - 191)
AE Dichalkous, 2.7 g, 15 mm
Mint/ Seleucia, date unreadable
Obv/ bust left with long, tapered beard with square cut end; wearing tiara with hooks on crest, horn on side and long, curved earflap; in front, date unreadable off flan
Rev/ bust of Tyche right, in front monogram Shore 53
Photo/ by permission Doug Smith's Ancient Greek & Roman Coins
- Sellwood 84.144-153

PDC 2456Vologases IV (c. A.D. 147 - 191)
AE Dichalkous
Mint/ Seleucia, date unreadable
Obv/ bust left with long, tapered beard with square cut end; wearing tiara with hooks on crest, horn on side and long, curved earflap; in front, date unreadable
Rev/ bust of Tyche right, in front monogram Shore 53
Photo/ eBay auction
- Sellwood 84.144-153

PDC 5348Vologases IV (c. A.D. 147 - 191)
AE Dichalkous, 3.89 g
Mint/ Seleucia, A.D. 168/169
Obv/ bust left with long, tapered beard with square cut end; wearing tiara with hooks on crest, horn on side and long, curved earflap; in front, date ΠΥ (= 480 Seleucid Era)
Rev/ bust of Tyche right, in front monogram Shore 53
Photo/ by permission Jean Elsen 62, Lot 412
- Sellwood 84.146
- Shore 633 variant

ObverseVologases IV (c. A.D. 147 - 191)
AE Dichalkous, 2.78 g, 14 mm, die axis = 12h
Mint/ Seleucia, 174 A.D.
Obv/ bust left with long, tapered beard with square cut end; wearing tiara with hooks on crest, horn on side and long, curved earflap; in front, Greek numeral ϚΠΥ, year 486 of the Seleucid era (A.D. 174)
Rev/ Nike seated left on column with palm
Photo/ by permission Thomas K. Mallon, The Coins and History of Asia
- Sellwood 84.157
- Shore 633 variant

This page last updated 16 Dec 2009

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