Agesilaos Antik Sikkeler Nümzimatik

Sasanian Kings Shapur I

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Antik Sikkeler

4 Şub 2022
Shapur I - Σαπώρης Α΄ της Περσίας


The three pellets symbol depicted on the reverse of this rare coin is known on Sasanian coins where it held great significance as an old Persian sacral symbol of power. Such pellets apparently with the same meaning, and are also found on the debased late staters of the Sarmatian king Thothorses of the Bosporos, as well as gold staters of Pharnakes II of Pontos.

In AD 253 Shapur met and annihilated a Roman army of 60,000 at the Battle of Barbalissos, and proceeded then to burn and ravage the Roman province of Syria. Armenia was conquered, and Georgia submitted to Sasanian control. With his northern borders secure, Shapur then led an army which penetrated deep into Syria, plundering all the way to Antioch which quickly fell to his forces. The Roman counter-offensive under emperor Valerian was slow, but by 257 Antioch had been recovered and the province of Syria returned to Roman control. Shapur's speedy retreat caused the Romans to launch a hasty pursuit of the Sasanians all the way to Edessa, where they were severely defeated by the Persians, and Valerian along with the survivors of his army were led away into captivity.

The defeat and capture of Valerian surely marks the greatest achievement in the reign of Shapur, who is also called 'the Great', and the submission of Valerian is commemorated in a mural at Naqsh-e Rustam, which shows the emperor bending the knee before Shapur on horseback. Valerian's army was sent to Bishapur, and the soldiers were used in engineering and development works, such as the Band-e Kaisar [Caesar's dam] near the ancient city of Susa.

Click for more coin images of the king Shapur I.