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After Alexander: Central Asia before Islam$
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Joe Cribb and Georgina Herrmann

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263846

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263846.001.0001

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Religious Iconography on Ancient Iranian Coins

Religious Iconography on Ancient Iranian Coins

(p.412) (p.413) 20 Religious Iconography on Ancient Iranian Coins
After Alexander: Central Asia before Islam


British Academy

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

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