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Books

The Coinage Reforms of Khusru II and the Revolt of Vistāhm

Tyler-Smith, Susan. 2017. The Coinage Reforms (600-603) of Khusru II and the Revolt of Vistāhm. (Royal Numismatic Society Special Publication 54). London: Royal Numismatic Society.

One of the most intriguing literary passages relating to Sasanian coins is in al-Tabari’s, famous History. A number of questions about his ‘evil conduct’ are put to the former king of kings, Khusru II, shortly after his overthrow in 628. One concerns Khusru’s methods of tax gathering and his harsh treatment of his subjects. Khusru’s reply is important to numismatists as it contains the comment that he ordered ‘the engraving of new dies for coins, so that we might give our orders for beginning the minting of new silver [drachms] with them’. Khusru adds that he gave this order ‘at the end of year thirteen [602/3] of our reign’. The meaning of this passage and the remarkable coinage reforms of the early seventh century are explored in depth.

Khusru II’s long reign and the numerous mints operating under him ensure that his drachms are the commonest in the Sasanian series. Over 90% of the enormous ‘Shiraz’ or ‘Year 12’ hoard was probably formed of Khusru’s coins dating between 591 and 602. A parcel of 562 coins from this hoard forms the springboard for the current study. This establishes the precise sequence of the types, the date of the introduction of the enigmatic apd legend and discusses the subsequent hoarding of Khusru’s coins. The latest mint attributions are discussed.

By contrast the coinage of Khusru’s contemporary and rival, the usurper Vistahm, is scarce. Its numerous varieties, from two mints, contrast with Khusru’s centralised minting system which produced a highly standardised, tightly controlled, coinage. Vistahm’s coins are the subject of a special study with all the known dies illustrated.

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Articles

Figures of two kings on a late Sasanian coin

Shavarebi, Ehsan. 2016. “Eine spätsasanidische Münze mit zwei Prägeherren“, Schweizer Münzblätter (Gazette numismatique suisse/Gazzetta numismatica svizzera) 66 (263), 63-66.

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Books

Central Asia and Iran: Greeks, Parthians, Kushans and Sasanians

Dabrowa, Edward (ed.). 2016. Central Asia and Iran: Greeks, Parthians, Kushans and Sasanians (Electrum 22). Krakow: Jagiellonian University Press.

This volume contains 12 studies on political, social, economic, and religious aspects of the history of Central Asia and Iran in the period from the fourth century B.C.E. to the fifth century C.E. by leading specialists in the field. They interpret and reconstructing the region’s past based on various kinds of evidence, including literary, archaeological, linguistic, and numismatic. Some papers present the findings of recent archaeological excavations in Old Nisa and Uzbekistan for the first time.

Table of Contents

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Books

The Parthian and Early Sasanian Empires: Adaptation and Expansion

Pendleton, Elizabeth,  Touraj Daryaee, Michael Alram & Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis (eds.). 2016. The Parthian and Early Sasanian Empires: Adaptation and Expansion. Proceeding of a Conference Held in Vienna, 14-16 June 2012.  Oxbow Books.

Although much of the primary information about the Parthian period comes from coins, there has been much new research undertaken over the past few decades into wider aspects of both the Parthian and Sasanian Empires including the  Arsacid Parthians, and their material culture. Despite a change of ruling dynasty, the two empires were closely connected and cannot be regarded as totally separate entities. The continuation of Parthian influence particularly into the early Sasanian period cannot be disputed. An historic lack of detailed information arose partly through the relative lack of excavated archaeological sites dating to the Parthian period in Iran and western scholars’ lack of knowledge of recent excavations and their results that are usually published in Persian, coupled with the inevitable difficulties for academic research engendered by the recent political situation in the region. Although an attempt has been made by several scholars in the west to place this important Iranian dynasty in its proper cultural context, the traditional GrecoRoman influenced approach is still prevalent.  The present volume presents 15 papers covering various aspects of Parthian and early Sasanian history, material culture, linguistics and religion which demonstrate a rich surviving heritage and provide many new insights into ideology, royal genealogy, social organisation, military tactics, linguistic developments and trading contacts.

Table of Contents

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Articles

A Hoard of Silver Rhyta of the Achaemenid Circle from Erebuni

Treister, Mikhail Yu.2015. A Hoard of Silver Rhyta of the Achaemenid Circle from ErebuniAncient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia 21 (1), 23-119.

This paper is devoted to a treasure found in 1968. The hoard in “a large jug”, consisting of three silver rhyta, a silver goblet and a fifth, now missing object, was found during construction works at the foothill of the Erebuni citadel. The silver vessels were preserved in a jug in a flattened condition. Every piece of the Treasure is discussed in detail. Descriptions of the vessels are provided in a catalogue section. The results of our analysis do not contradict the suggestion that the Treasure was possibly hidden in ca. 330 bc, thus assigning it a date more or less the same as that of the hoard from Pasargadae, which was also hidden in a clay vessel and most probably, like the Erebuni Treasure, coincided with the fall of the Achaemenid Empire.

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Books

Studies on the Pre-Islamic Iranian World

Krasnowolska, Anna & Renata Rusek-Kowalska (eds.). 2015. Studies on the Iranian World I. Before Islam. Krakow: Jagiellonian University Press.
This volume is the proceedings of the Seventh Conference of Iranian Studies of the Societas Iranologica Europaea (ECIS7), organized by Societas Iranologica Europaea (SIE), which took place in Cracow, September 7-10, 2011. The first of the two volumes of the ECIS7 proceedings is dedicated to the pre-Islamic Iranian studies.
Table of Contents
Linguistics:
  • Maria Carmela Benvenuto, Flavia Pompeo: “The Old Persian Genetive. A Study of a Syncretic Case
  • Saloumeh Gholami: “Nominal Compound Strategies in Middle Iranian Languages”
  • Paolo Ognibene: “Alan Place-names in Western Europe”
  • Christiane Reck: “Work in Progress: The Catalogue of the Buddhist Sogdian Fragments of the Berlin Turgan Collection”
  • Arash Zeini: “Preliminary Remarks on Middle Persian <nc> in the Pahlavi Documents”
Literature:
  • Elham Afzalian: “Autoritäten im Mādayānī Hazār Dādestān”
  • Iris Colditz: “Two Snake-Brothers on their Way — Mani’s Scripture as a Source of Manichaean Central Asian Parabels?”
  • Seyyedeh Fatemeh Musavi: “Fictional Structure of the Middle Persian Ayādgār ī Zarērān
Religion:
  • Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst: “Aspects of Hymnology in Manichaean Community in Turfan”
  • Raffaella Frascarelli: “Arǝdvī Sūrā Anāhitā: Considerations on the Greek ἀρχἡ”
  • Judith Josephson: “Ohrmazd’s Plan for Creation according to Book Three of the Denkard”
  • Götz König: “The Pahlavi Translation of Yašt 3″
  • Kianosh Rezania: “On the Old Iranian Social Space and its Relation to the Time Ordering System”
History:
Archaeology:
  • Alireza Askari Chaversi: “In Search of the Elusive Town of Persepolis”
  • Jukian Bogdani, Luca Colliva, Sven Stefano Tilia: “The Citadel of Erbil. The Italian Archaeological and Topographic Activities”
  • Carlo G. Cereti, Gianfilippo Terribili, Alessandro Tilia: “Pāikūlī in its Geographical Context”
  • Niccolò Manassero: “New Sealings from Old Nisa”
  • Vito Messina, Jafar Mehr Kian: “The Hong-e Azhdar Parthian Rock Relief Reconsidered”
 About the Editors:

Anna Krasnowolska is a professor at the Institute of Oriental Studies, Jagiellonian University.

Renata Rusek-Kowalska is an assistant professor at the Institute of Oriental Studies, Jagiellonian University.

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Articles

A hoard from the time of the collapse of the Sasanian Empire

Heidemann, Stefan. 2014. A hoard from the time of the collapse of the Sasanian Empire (AD 638–9). Part II: Analysis of the minting system of Ardashir III. The Numismatic Chronicle 174. 333–351

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Books

Along the Sasanian Tradition

Gyselen, Rika (ed.). 2014. Documents, argenterie et monnaies de tradition sassanide. (Res Orientales 22). Bures-sur-Yvette: Groupe pour l’Étude de la Civilisation du Moyen-Orient.
 This volume consists of four articles, studying most notably some objects, many of which can be defined as being part of the Sasanian “tradition”; that is to say they share the elements and spirit of Sasanian objects, without having made directly during the Sassanid era.
ToC:
  • Maryse Blet-Lemarquand; Rika Gyselen; Florian Duval: “Sur la composition élémentaire de quelques monnaies de cuivre arabo-sassanides”
  • Philippe Gignoux: “Une archive post-sassanide du Tabaristān (II)”
  • Rika Gyselen: “Inscriptions en moyen-perse sur la vaisselle d’argent sassanide: quelques nouvelles données”
  • Dieter Weber: “Arabic Activities Reflected in the Documents of the ‘Pahlavi Archive’ (late 7th and early 8th centuries)”
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Articles

A coin of Shāpūr I

Shavarebi, Ehsan. 2014. Some remarks on a newly-discovered coin type of Shāpūr I. Studia Iranica 43(2). 281–290.

In this paper a unique gold coin of Shāpūr I, first published by Michael Alram, is reexamined from some iconographic details as well as from an epigraphic point of view, comparing the legend of the coin’s obverse with the Sasanian royal inscriptions.

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Events

B.D. Kochnev Memorial Seminar

coinB.D. Kochnev Memorial Seminar in Central Asian and Middle Eastern Numismatics

Seventh Meeting, March 14, 2015
Hofstra University, Calkins Hall 206

Seminar is free and open to public
Please RSVP to Aleksandr.Naymark@hofstra.edu

Session 1
10:00 – 11:00 am

Dmitrii Markov (New York), Aleksandr Naymark (Hofstra University)
“A Hoard of Archaic Greek Coins from the Banks of Amu-Darya. Preliminary Report”