5th-4th Century AV Daric MS

ACHAEMENID PERSIA. Time of Xerxes II-Artaxerxes II (ca. 420-375 BC). AV daric (15mm, 8.38 gm). NGC AU ★ 5/5 - 5/5. Persian Great King in kneeling-running position right, wearing kidaris (crown with four points) and kandys (royal robe), holding transverse spear with round end on right hand and bow in left; quiver with three arrows over shoulder / Rectangular incuse punch with rough interior. Carradice Type IIIb, Group C. BMC Arabia pl. XXV, 12; Sunrise 28. The piece was so close to uncirculated it screams WOW.

Artaxerxes II Mnemon (meaning "whose reign is through truth") was the Xšâyathiya Xšâyathiyânâm (King of Kings) of Persia from 404 BC until his death in 358 BC. Artaxerxes defended his position against his brother Cyrus the Younger who, with the aid of a large army of Greek mercenaries, attempted to usurp the throne. Though Cyrus' mixed army fought to a tactical victory at the Battle of Cunaxa in Babylon (401 BC), Cyrus himself was killed in the exchange by Mithridates, rendering his victory irrelevant. Artaxerxes became involved in a war with Persia's erstwhile allies, the Spartans, who invaded Asia Minor in what would become known as the Corinthian War. In 386 BC, Artaxerxes II betrayed his allies and came to an arrangement with Sparta. He is reported to have had a number of wives. His main wife was Stateira, until she was poisoned by Artaxerxes' mother Parysatis in about 400 BC. Artaxerxes II is said to have more than 115 sons from 350 wives.

 


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