SASANID Khusrau II 591-628 AD silver drachm year 3 GU mint


SASANID, Khusrau II, 591-628 AD, drachm, year 3 (593 AD), GU mint, Obverse: moustached bust R, fire altar with 2 attendants, date L, mint R, silver, 24-30mm, 4.13g, XF-AU

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Khusrau (Khusru, Xosroes, etc.) II, called Parviz (Victorious). He came to power as part of a palace coup that took place in the presence of a major rebellion by a Parthian general, Bahram Chpbin. Bahram kicked him out of the country and declared the reestablishment of the Parthian Kingdom. Khusrau, in Byzantine Syria, made a deal with Byzantine Emperor Maurice: land for soldiers. Back in control of Persia but in debt to the Byzantines, Khusrau bided his time. When Maurice was murdered by Phocas Khusrau invaded Byzantine territory as far as Alexandria in Egypt. There were more rebellions, wars with the Turks and Hephthalites in Central Asia, more war with the Byzantines. In the end he was overthrown and murdered by his son, Kavad II.

The Sasanid dynasty grew out of a secession of the district of Persis, more or less the southwestern part of Persia. There was a political aspect: they portrayed themselves as authentic Persians, as opposed to the Parthians against whom they rebelled, who were foreign nomads to the Sasanids. There was also a religious element: the Zoroastrian religion considered itself a distinct, modern, better formulation of religion than the overall jumble of localisms that was the key idea of the pagan world. There was also the anti-Roman thing: the last of the Parthians were either ineffectual or Roman puppets.

Ancient Coins includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.