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Vardanes II (c. A.D. 55 - 58)

ΒΑΡΔΑΝΗΣ or ΟΥΑΡΔΑΝΗΣ

See the genealogy chart.

On the tetradrachms of Vardanes II, the character tr_sqStigma.gif (14x15 -- 883 bytes) is a stylized form of Greek letter tr_Stigma.gif (14x15 -- 887 bytes) stigma1 and tr_sqStigma-X-T.gif (44x15 -- 949 bytes) (see detailed image) is 366 (Seleucid era, A.D. 54/5)2. Thus the earliest known tetradrachm of Vardanes II is tr_sqStigma-X-T.gif (44x15 -- 949 bytes) ΡΑΝΗΜΟΥ (June A.D. 55), not tr_Z-X-T.gif (44x15 -- 933 bytes) ΑΠΕΛΑΙΟΥ (November A.D. 55) as given by Sellwood [1980, type 69.1]. There are 26 known examples with the tr_sqStigma-X-T.gif (44x15 -- 949 bytes) year date which may be viewed at Vardanes II Tetradrachms Dated 366.

The drachms of Vardanes II have five pendants from the king's diadem while similar portraits on Vardanes I drachms only have three pendants.

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


Coins Attributed to Vardanes II

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 69

PDC 5854Vardanes II (c. A.D. 55 - 58)
AR Tetradrachm, 13.97 g
Mint/ Ecbatana, September, A.D. 54
Obv/ bust left with very short beard wearing diadem and spiral torque; four waves in hair cover ear, hair above diadem as ringlets; wart on forehead is visible; circular border of dots
Rev/ male wearing diadem seated left on throne, extending right hand, grasping hilt of sword in left; to his left, Tyche stands right presenting diadem in right hand, and holding scepter in left; above diadem, Greek letters tr_sqStigma-X-T.gif (44x15 -- 949 bytes); in exergue, Greek letters ΥΠΕΡΒ; seven-line Greek inscription [ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ ΕΥ]ΕΡΓΕΤ[ΟΥ] ΔΙΚΑΙΟΥ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟ[ΥΣ ΦΙΛΕΛΛΗΝΟΣ] , year = 366 Seleucid era
Photo/ by permission Classical Numismatic Group
- CNG E-Auction 4, lot 59563 (this coin)
- Sellwood 69.1-6 variant (year 366, month ΥΠΕΡΒ)
- Shore 382 variant (year, month)

PDC 4787Vardanes II (c. A.D. 55 - 58)
AR Tetradrachm, 14.48 g
Mint/ Ecbatana, A.D. 55/56
Obv/ bust left with very short beard wearing diadem and spiral torque; four waves in hair cover ear, hair above diadem as ringlets; wart on forehead is visible; circular border of dots
Rev/ king on throne left, receiving a diadem from Tyche with scepter; Greek legend [ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ ΕΥ]ΕΡΓΕΤ[ΟΥ] ΔΙΚΑΙΟΥ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥ[Σ ΦΙΛΕ]ΛΛΗΝ[ΟΣ] ΥΠΕΡΒ, year ΖΞΤ = 367 Seleucid era
Photo/ by permission Dr. Busso Peus
- Peus 363, lot 5178 (this coin)
- Sellwood 69.1-6 (month off flan)

PDC 72Vardanes II (c. A.D. 55 - 58)
AR Drachm, 3.64 g, 21x17 mm
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Obv/ bust left with semicircular bottom to beard wearing diadem and three-band spiral torque with no visible end; medium length hair wavy with earring visible; diadem pendants shown as five lines; circular border of dots
Rev/ beardless archer wearing bashlyk and cloak seated right on throne, holding bow in right hand; below bow, monogram [monogram 26]; seven-line Greek inscription (L69ii); no border
Photo/ by permission Thomas K. Mallon, The Coins and History of Asia
- Sellwood 69.13
- Shore 384

PDC 571Vardanes II (c. A.D. 55 - 58)
AR Drachm
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Additional images/ [large obv & rev]
Obv/ bust left with semicircular bottom to beard wearing diadem and three-band spiral torque with no visible end; medium length hair wavy with earring visible; diadem pendants shown as five lines; circular border of dots
Rev/ beardless archer wearing bashlyk and cloak seated right on throne, holding bow in right hand; below bow, monogram [monogram 26]; seven-line Greek inscription (L69ii); no border
Photo/ by permission Smithsonian Institution, National Numismatic Collection
- Sellwood 69.13
 

______________________
1 The identification of the Greek letter stigma on coins of Vardanes II was originally proposed in private correspondence from an amateur numismatist and collector in April, 2001, who has requested his name not be used.
2 See the discussion on digamma and stigma at Greek Letter Stigma.


This page last updated 16 Dec 2009

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