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Ex Bellaria and Allotte de la Füye

247, Lot: 195. Estimate $500.
Sold for $1100. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of PARTHIA. Mithradates I. 165-132 BC. AR Drachm (16mm, 3.71 g, 1h). Seleukeia on the Tigris mint. Struck circa 141-139/8 BC. Diademed bust right / Zeus Aëtophoros seated left; monogram in exergue. Sellwood 13.6; cf. Shore 38. VF, toned, minor porosity. Very rare.

Ex Bellaria Collection (Triton VII, 14 January 2004), lot 405; Spink 96 (31 March 1993), lot 109; Allotte de la Füye Collection (Florange & Ciani, 17 February 1925), lot 1202.

Dr. G.R.F Assar's comments from Triton VII: "Mithradates I was renowned for prudence and military ability; with his accession, Parthia's true expansion began, and eventually culminated in the formation of one of the most successful oriental monarchies. In a series of campaigns following the death of the Seleukid ruler, Antiochos IV, in November/December 164 B.C., Mithradates extended Parthian frontiers in the east and west. He first took advantage of Bactrian weaknesses, caused by prolonged and violent wars between Eukratides I and Demetrios II, and annexed the two strategically important eparchies of Tapuria and Traxiane sometime after 163 BC. With the eastern frontiers secured, Mithradates turned west and conquered Media Magna and Atropatene. Then, in June/July 141 B.C., his forces overran Mesopotamia and captured Seleucia on the Tigris and Babylon. He minted the S13 tetradrachms and drachms in celebration of his victory after the Seleucid royal mint at Seleucia fell to the Parthians in early July 141 BC. We next hear of Mithradates in Hyrcania, perhaps preparing for the defence of Parthia's northern frontiers against steppe invaders. At the same time it appears that his generals extended his campaigns into Elam and ultimately established Parthian suzerainty over the greater part of that province. Mithradates' last known triumph was against the Seleukid king, Demetrios II, whom he captured and sent off to Media (and later married to his daughter Rhodogune). It is generally believed that Mithradates' latest dated coinage (S13.5 and S13.10) marks the end of his reign before October 138 BC. However, the information in several cuneiform tablets reveals that he was alive until 132 BC. The Seleucia mint coinage of Mithradates I is remarkable for the blatant Greek Hellenistic style of the coinage, both in its portraiture and it's reverse type of Zeus Aëtophoros. This was the only time the Parthian coinage took this character."