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  • Print publication year: 1983
  • Online publication date: March 2008


This chapter discusses numismatics of the smaller states existing in the shadow of the Arsacid empire in Southern Iran. It considers coinage of minor dynasties include Persis, Elymais and Characene in smaller states. Being significantly different in types and fabric from the rest of the early Persid coinages seem closest to those struck by the Seleucid kings. The metrology of the coinage derived, as did that of the Parthians, from the Attic system was based on the silver drachm. The prince of the "Oborzos" coins may also have been the instigator of a massacre of the local Macedonian garrison. By now Susa itself had become so imbued with Greek ideas that it was scarcely suitable as a residence for Elymaean kings. During the later stages of the period under discussion, a gradual change occurred in the reverses of the Elymaean coinage. The earliest Characenian pieces stem directly in fabric and design from the Hellenistic money circulating in the locality.
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The Cambridge History of Iran
  • Volume 3: The Seleucid, Parthian and Sasanid Periods, Part 1
  • Edited by E. Yarshater
  • Online ISBN: 9781139054942
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