Silver Tetradrachm of Tigranes II

2019-06-14 Fri

This silver tetradrachm is a fine example of pre-Christian Armenian coin which was issued by the Armenian Emperor Tigranes the Great.

Tigranes the Great or Tigranes II was the emperor of Armenia under whom the country became, at the time, the strongest state east of the Roman Republic. He was a member of the Artaxiad Royal House. Under his reign, the Armenian kingdom reached its historic zenith, allowing Tigranes to claim the title King of Kings.

Tigranes conquered Judea and Jerusalem, making them a part of Armenian domain. Besides, the kings of Atropatene (Azerbaijan), Gordyene and Adiabene, and Osroene became his vassals. He also annexed northern Mesopotamia, and in the Caucasus, the kings of Iberia and Albania accepted his suzerainty.

Tigranes took the title “king of kings” and built a new royal city, Tigranocerta, on the borders of Armenia and Mesopotamia. The city was believed to hold great amounts of treasure. The treasure of Armenia does not only contain the amount of gold but also the coins issued by this great king.

Shown above, is the Silver Tetradrachm issued by Tigranes II which is one of the fine examples of the coinage of Armenia. The coin depicts a Bust of Tigranes facing right wearing a tiara with pyramidal points on the obverse.

On the other hand, the reverse depicts Tyche of Antioch seated on a rock facing right holding branch; below him is the river-god Orontes swimming towards the right. They are flanked by Greek Legend “BASILEWS” on the right and “TIGRANOU” on the left.

Image Courtesy: https://www.peopleofar.com