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Vologases III (c. A.D. 105 - 147)

ΟΛΑΓΑΣΗΣ

Vologases first presented himself as a claimant for the Parthian throne around A.D. 105, near the end of the reign of Pacorus II, and he continued as a rival for the throne through the reign of Osroes I (c. A.D. 109 - 129). After the death of that king, Vologases was able to rule the greater part of Parthia until his death.  Subsequently he had to contend with raiders from the north as well as several usurpers in Iran, including Mithradates IV (c. A.D. 129 - 140) and Unknown King III (c. A.D. 140).

His coinage was prolific, perhaps the most common of all the Parthian rulers, indicating a long rule and probably a vibrant economy.

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

See the genealogy chart.


Coins Attributed to Vologases III

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 78

ObverseVologases III (A.D. 105-147) Modern Forgery
Click the image at left to see the forgery of a Sellwood type 78 coin

ObverseVologases III (A.D. 105-147)
AR Drachm
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Additional images/ [large obv & rev]
Obv/ bare-headed bust left with medium length beard wearing diadem with loop at the top and three ends; earring visible; border of dots
Rev/ archer seated right on throne holding bow, below bow monogram 26; archer's seat omitted; blundered Greek legend
Photo/ by permission Smithsonian Institution, National Numismatic Collection
- Sellwood 78.2

ObverseVologases III (A.D. 105-147)
AR Drachm
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Additional images/ [large obv & rev]
Obv/ bare-headed bust left with long, pointed beard wearing diadem with loop at the top and three ends; earring visible; border of dots
Rev/ archer seated right on throne holding bow, below bow monogram 26; archer's seat omitted; blundered Greek legend
Photo/ by permission Frank S. Robinson
- Sellwood 78.3

ObverseVologases III (A.D. 105-147)
AR Drachm, 3.68 g, 20 mm, die axis = 1h
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Obv/ bare-headed bust left with long, pointed beard wearing diadem with loop at the top and three ends; earring visible; border of dots
Rev/ archer seated right on throne holding bow; archer's seat omitted; blundered Greek legend; monogram Shore 73 below bow
Photo/ by permission Thomas K. Mallon, The Coins and History of Asia
- Sellwood 78.3
- Shore 413

ObverseVologases III (A.D. 105-147)
AR Drachm
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Obv/ bare-headed bust left with long, pointed beard wearing diadem with loop at the top and three ends; earring visible; border of dots
Rev/ archer seated right on throne holding bow; archer's seat omitted; blundered Greek legend; monogram Shore 73 below bow
Photo/ by permission
- Sellwood 78.3

ObverseVologases III (A.D. 105-147)
AR Drachm
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Additional images/ [large obv & rev]
Obv/ bare-headed bust left with long, pointed beard wearing diadem with loop at the top and three ends; earring visible; border of dots
Rev/ archer seated right on throne holding bow, below bow monogram 26; archer's seat omitted; blundered Greek legend
Photo/ by permission Smithsonian Institution, National Numismatic Collection
- Sellwood 78.3

No image availableVologases III (A.D. 105-147)
AR Drachm
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Obv/ bare-headed bust of king facing left, with long pointed beard and an earring visible, wearing a diadem with a loop on the back of the head and three ends; border of dots
Rev/ legend surrounding enthroned archer, and monogram 26
- Similar Sellwood 78.3 and 78.4 ; the coin appears to mix the legends from these two types, but it also has an extra dot under the archer.

PDC 4798Vologases III (A.D. 105-147)
AR Drachm, 3.76 g
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Obv/ bare-headed bust left with long, pointed beard wearing diadem with loop at the top and three ends; earring visible; border of dots
Rev/ archer seated right on throne holding bow, below bow monogram 26; archer's seat omitted; Greek legend ii
Photo/ by permission Dr. Busso Peus Auktion 363, Lot 5189
- Sellwood 78.4

ObverseVologases III (A.D. 105-147)
AR Drachm, 3.58 g, 18 mm, die axis = 12h
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Obv/ bare-headed bust left with long, pointed beard wearing diadem with loop at the top and three ends; earring visible; border of dots; border of dots
Rev/ archer seated right on throne holding bow; archer's seat represented as horizontal line; blundered Greek legend; monogram Shore 73 below bow
Photo/ by permission Thomas K. Mallon, The Coins and History of Asia
- Sellwood 78.5
- Shore 415

ObverseVologases III (A.D. 105-147)
AR Drachm
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Obv/ bare-headed bust left with long, pointed beard wearing diadem with loop at the top and three ends; earring visible; border of dots
Rev/ archer seated right on throne holding bow; archer's seat represented as horizontal line; blundered Greek legend; monogram Shore 73 below bow
Photo/ by permission Jim Farr
- Sellwood 78.5
- Shore 415

ObverseVologases III (A.D. 105-147)
AR Drachm, 18x20 mm
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Additional images/ [large obv & rev]
Obv/ bare-headed bust left with long, pointed beard wearing diadem with loop at the top and three ends; earring visible; border of dots
Rev/ archer seated right on throne holding bow; archer's seat represented as horizontal line; blundered Greek legend; monogram Shore 73 below bow
Photo/ by permission David Garstang
- Sellwood 78.5

ObverseVologases III (A.D. 105-147)
AR Drachm
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Obv/ bare-headed bust left with long, pointed beard wearing diadem with loop at the top and three ends; earring visible; border of dots
Rev/ archer seated right on throne holding bow, below bow monogram 26; archer's seat two dots; blundered Greek legend
Photo/ by permission Old Tenor
- Sellwood 78.6

PDC 4799Vologases III (A.D. 105-147)
AR Drachm, 3.64 g
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Obv/ bare-headed bust left with long, pointed beard wearing diadem with loop at the top and three ends; earring visible; border of dots
Rev/ archer seated right on throne holding bow, below bow monogram 26; archer's seat two dots; blundered Greek legend
Photo/ by permission Dr. Busso Peus Auktion 363, Lot 5190
- Sellwood 78.6

PDC 5244
Vologases III (A.D. 105-147)
AR Drachm, 3.4 g, 19 mm
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Obv/ bare-headed bust left with long, pointed beard wearing diadem with two loops, triple three pendant ends; earring visible
Rev/ beardless archer seated right on throne holding bow, monogram 26 below bow; archer's seat omitted. Blundered Greek legend
Photo/ by permission Steve Wilson
- Sellwood 78.8 variant (without the "+" above bow)

ObverseVologases III (A.D. 105-147)
AR Drachm, 3.72 g, 19 mm, die axis = 12h
Mint/ Ecbatana, undated
Obv/ bare-headed bust left with long, narrow pointed beard wearing diadem with loop at the top and three ends; border of dots; crude style
Rev/ archer seated right on throne holding bow; no archer's seat; pellet below; blundered Greek legend; monogram Shore 73 below bow
Photo/ by permission Thomas K. Mallon, The Coins and History of Asia
- Sellwood 78.11 variant
- Shore 419 variant

ObverseVologases III (A.D. 105-147)
AE Chalkous, 1.24 g, 13 mm, die axis = 12h
Mint/ unknown, undated
Obv/ bare-headed bust left with long, narrow pointed beard wearing diadem with loop at the top and three ends; border of dots
Rev/ bull facing, running right; crescent (?) above
Photo/ by permission Thomas K. Mallon, The Coins and History of Asia
- Sellwood 78.21
- Shore 611

Sellwood Type 79

See the page describing Vologases III and IV Bronzes with "Tyche Reverse"

ObverseVologases III (A.D. 105-147)
Billon Tetradrachm, 13.92 g
Mint/ Seleucia, A.D. 121/122
Obv/ bust left with short beard; wearing tiara with hooks on crest, three turns of torque; behind, sequence letter Γ; border of dots
Rev/ king enthroned left with scepter, receiving diadem from Tyche standing right; between heads, date ΣΚΥ (S.E. 433), month (probably ΠΕΡΙΤΕΙΟΥ) in exergue off flan; border of dots; inscription [ΒΑΣΙ]ΛΕΩ[Σ Β]ΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ / [ΑΡ]ΣΑΚΟ[Υ] ΟΛΑΓΑΣΟ[Υ] / [ΔΙΚΑΙΟΥ] / ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟ[ΥΣ [ΦΙΛ]ΕΛ[ΛΗΝΟΣ]
Photo/ by permission Jean Elsen, S.A.
- Sellwood 79.4

ObverseVologases III (A.D. 105-147)
Billon Tetradrachm, 11.8 g, 26.5 mm
Mint/ Seleucia, June A.D. 123
Obv/ bust left with short beard; wearing tiara with hooks on crest, three turns of torque; behind, sequence letter Β; border of dots
Rev/ king enthroned left with scepter, receiving diadem from Tyche standing right; between heads, date ΔΛΥ (S.E. 434), month ΠΑΝΗΜΟΥ (June) in exergue; border of dots; inscription [ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ] / [ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ ΟΛ]ΑΓΑΣΟΥ / ΔΙΚΑΙΟΥ / [Ε]ΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ [ΦΙΛΕΛΛΗΝΟΣ]
Photo/ by permission Calgary Coin & Antique Gallery
- Sellwood 79.10

PDC 4800Vologases III (A.D. 105-147)
AR Tetradrachm, 13.55 g
Mint/ Seleucia, A.D. 123/124
Obv/ bust left with short beard; wearing tiara with hooks on crest, three turns of torque; behind, sequence letter Β; border of dots
Rev/ king enthroned left with scepter, receiving diadem from Tyche standing right; between heads, date ΕΛΥ = 435 Seleucid era, month date in exergue off flan; border of dots; inscription [ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑ]ΣΙΛΕ[ΩΝ] / [ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ Ο]ΛΑ[ΓΑΣΟΥ] / ΔΙΚΑ[ΙΟΥ] / ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟ[ΥΣ ΦΙΛ]ΕΛΛΗ[ΝΟΣ]
Note/ Sellwood lists no month for this issue
Photo/ by permission Dr. Busso Peus Auktion 363, Lot 5191
- Sellwood 79.14
- Shore 410 variant

ObverseVologases III (A.D. 105-147)
Billon Tetradrachm, 13.86 g
Mint/ Seleucia, A.D. 124/125
Obv/ bust left with short beard; wearing tiara with hooks on crest, three turns of torque; behind, sequence letter Β; border of dots
Rev/ king enthroned left with scepter, receiving diadem from Tyche standing right; between heads, date ϚΛΥ, month date in exergue off flan; border of dots; inscription [ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ Β]ΑΣΙΛΕ[ΩΝ] / [ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ Ο]ΛΑΓΑ[ΣΟΥ] / [ΔΙΚΑΙΟΥ] / ΕΠΙΦΑΝ[ΟΥΣ ΦΙΛΕΛΛΗΝΟΣ]
Photo/ by permission Henri Delger, Old Roman Coins for Special Collectors
- Sellwood 79.17
- Shore 410

PDC 8078Vologases III (A.D. 105-147)
AE Tetrachalkous, 6.8 g, 18 mm
Mint/ Seleucia, A.D. 111
Obv/ bust left with pointed beard; wearing tiara with hooks on crest, horn on side and two earflaps visible; behind, monogram Shore 53; border of dots
Rev/ Tyche seated left on column; in front, date ΓΚΥ; border of dots
Photo/ by permission Doug Smith's Ancient Greek & Roman Coins
- Sellwood 79.39

ObverseVologases III (A.D. 105-147)
AE Tetrachalkous, 8.68 g, 20 mm, die axis = 12h
Mint/ Seleucia, A.D. 118?
Obv/ bare-headed bust left with pointed beard wearing tiara with hooks on top and horn on side(?).
Rev/ bust of Tyche right; legend ΛΥ (?) in front
Photo/ by permission Thomas K. Mallon, The Coins and History of Asia
- Sellwood 79.43
- Shore 625 variant

This page last updated 16 Dec 2009

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