Religious Iconography on Ancient Iranian Coins


in After Alexander: Central Asia before Islam

Published by British Academy

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780197263846
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734113 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Religious Iconography on Ancient Iranian Coins

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This chapter aims to draw attention to the importance of coin iconography in the Parthian and Sasanian periods and to suggest an alternative approach to the conventional reading of the symbolism. The iconography of Iranian coins after the conquest of Alexander shows similarity with the iconography of Seleucid coins, and in both cases the king on the obverse enjoys divine support. The chapter suggests that the iconography of pre-Islamic Iranian coins must therefore be understood not as part of the Hellenistic tradition but should be seen within its Iranian/Zoroastrian context.

Keywords: coin iconography; Parthian period; Sasanian period; symbolism; Iranian coins; Hellenistic tradition

Chapter.  6203 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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