Click here to Register User Services


Products and Services

Historical Article

Persia - Andragoras

There are two individuals named Andragoras in ancient literature who are said to have ruled as satrap in Parthia. Justin 12.4 tells us that Alexander the Great named an Andragoras as satrap during his campaigns in the east, circa 331 BC. This is possibly an error on the part of Justin; he is the only author to mention this Andragoras, and a number of other authors corroborate that Alexander retained the Persian satrap, Phrataphernes, in this position (as Alexander did with a number of other Persian satraps). On the other hand, the name Andragoras may be a Greek form of the Persian name Phrataphernes (see BMC p. clviii, and R. Girshman, “Un tétradrachme d’Andragoras de la collection de M. Foroughi,” Near Eastern Numismatics, Iconography, Epigraphy and History (Beirut, 1974), pp. 1-8). Another Andragoras was satrap of Parthia under the Seleukids in early to mid 3rd century BC (Justin 41.4). While the date of his tenure is uncertain, it is known that he was overthrown by the founder of the Parthian kingdom, Arsakes I, circa 238/7 BC (G.R.F. Assar, “Moses of Chorene and the Early Parthian Chronology,” Elektrum 11 [2006], p. 68). That this coin is of this later Andragoras is also suggested by the weight, style, and fabric of his tetradrachms as well as his three known staters (in the BM and Berlin). In addition to the two tetradrachms in the BM, two others in private collections are published (A. Markov, “Neizdanniia arsakidskiia monety,” Zapisok Vostochnogo Otdeilniia Imp. Russk. Arkheol. Obshch. VI (1982), pl. III, 1 [in Russian]; and R. Girshman, supra, p. 1), and another has appeared at auction (Gemini I, 11 January 2005, lot 223 = Spink 165, 8 October 2003, lot 123).

PERSIA, Alexandrine or Seleukid Period. Andragoras. Satrap of Parthia, circa 331-321 or mid 3rd century BC. AR Tetradrachm (15.85 g, 7h). Turreted head of Tyche right; [monogram behind] / Athena standing left, holding owl, resting arm on shield set on ground below; transverse spear behind. MIG type 20; BMC Arabia p. 193, 4 (same rev. die).