Struck in the east during the lifetime of Jesus Christ, this Silver Drachm is in near flawless condition.
Graded Extremely Fine, this coin features the portrait of Artabanus II, who was was “King of Kings” of the Parthian Empire from 12 to 38/41, with a one-year interruption.
When Artabanus became monarch of the Parthian Empire in 12AD, he attempted to depose Vonones I from the Armenian throne and appoint his own son instead. This attempt was instantly opposed by the Romans, who viewed this strategic move as a threat to their interests. Consequently, the Roman emperor Tiberius (r. 14–37 AD) sent his stepson Germanicus to put a stop to Artbanus’ attempt to depose Vonones I. However, the Roman general met no resistance from the Artbanus. Instead, Artbanus and Germanicus reached an agreement to appoint Artaxias III the new king of Armenia, and together renounced their support of Vonones I. This led to the Romans acknowledging Artabanus as the legitimate ruler of the Parthian Empire.
Ambition got the better of Artabanus, and his second attempt to conquer Armenia was met with strong Roman opposition, who, through very dexterous military and diplomatic operations, defeated Artbanus with ease. Artabanus’ followers fled and deserted him – with Tiridates III claiming the Parthian throne.
This only lasted one year, when Artbanus successfully re-gained power and was restored to the Parthian throne until his death a couple years later.
This coin represents a fascinating time in history.