The conquest of Cyrus in the Lydian Kingdom in the 540s B.C. and in Babylonia in the 539s B.C. extended the area of his power enormously beyond Iran. His son, Cambyses II( 530-522 B.C.) didn’t stop conquering other areas: he conquered Cyrene, Egypt and parts of Nubia.
Picture here on the left:
Siglos Carradice – Achaemenid empire
Weight: 5.42 g – Diameter: 16.00 mm
Under Darius the Great (522-485 B.C.) the Achaemenid Empire reached from the Indus River in the east, to Thrace and Macedonia in the Northwest, and from Syr Darya in Central Asia to Nubia in Africa.
The coins of the Persian empire appeared in their own style for the first time before 500 B.C.
Here below another coin of the Persian empire:
Greek Persia – Darius II – Artaxerxes II.
423 – 359. AV Daric, about 400 BC. King with a lance and bow r. / irregular incusum
They probably adopted the whole idea of coins from the Lydian Kingdom who invented coinage as we know it in the western world. They converted this Lydian invention to their own traditions. Two main denominations appeared: the silver Sigoloi and the gold Darics. The coins of the Persians are very typical in their design. On their static iconography you can see the king himself in a variety of warlike poses. Nevertheless, it must be remind that these coins weren’t the only coins which circulated in the Persian empire. One of many examples is that there is evidence that on Persian authority imitations of the well-known Athenian tetradrachm are minted.1
1 Weisser, B. (2006). “Herrscherbild und Münzporträt in Kleinasien.” In Historisches Museum der Pfalz Speyer: 71–85.
The Great King kneeling r., holding bow and spear
Written by Joël van Dam, Owner of Joëlnumismatics.
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