عنوان مقاله [English]
Coins are among the most precious material for the study of the economic, political and cultural structure of societies during the different historical periods. Numismatic studies are used as a complementary science for historical studies. So often that, applying the numismatic has been proofed by archaeologists, historians, history of art’s researchers and other related sciences. Although historical sources represent a vague image of Alexander, the plenty of Alexander’s issues give us significant information concerning Alexander and his period. Therefore, his coinage is considered first-hand sources in archaeological and historical researches. Many studies regarding Alexander’s coinage have been published abroad for more than a century. However, Alexander’s coinage studies have some deficiencies in Iran. According to this research, the mints of Alexander’s coinage, based on Alexander’s drachms at Falak-ol-Aflak Museum in Khorram Abad, will be introduced for the first time. 20 drachms were identified in this collection. The descriptive-analytical method is applied at the present study, and the data has collected by library and field studies. Studying weight, legend, symbol, and badge showed Alexander’s drachms at Falak-ol-Aflak Museum were produced in Asia Minor’s mints such as Lampsacus, Abydus, Colophon, Mylasa, Sardes and Magnesia. All of the six mints were considered as the most important mints which were responsible for struck alexander’s drachms. The mints started to produce drachms just several years after the conquest of Alexander in Asia Minor. Issues were minted between 323-297 BC., and are produced from the last year of Alexander’s life to the last battles of his successors. The presence of these coins in Luristan might be related to several reasons such as the political events during these periods especially for the consecutive wars of Alexander’s successors. On the other hand, Alexander’s drachms might through trading arrived in Luristan.
Keywords: Alexander, Coinage, Mint, Falak-ol-Aflak Museum, Luristan.
Numismatic studies played an important role to detect the political and economic situation of various historical periods, especially when we have a shortage of archaeological materials and ancient sources. Sometimes a coin is all of what we have can transfer the information concerning political, cultural, social and religious situations of the cities. Although many studies of Alexander coinage have been done abroad, our knowledge from Alexander’s issues and his successors’ coinage is scanty in Iran.
23 Alexander’s drachms are at the numismatic collection of Falak-ol-Aflak Museum. All but three were identified. Even if tetradrachms are the majority of coins among the collections of museums in Iran, Khorram Abad collection keeps numerous Alexander’s drachms. Probably this group of Drachms can be considered as the major collection of Alexander drachm in the west of Iran, which is in-depth the richest of any such group of drachm yet reported in Iran. The collection can improve our knowledge regarding Alexander coinage specially drachm issues in Iran. However, the collection has not been studied before.
In this paper will pay to several matters; first, Falak-ol-Aflak Museum in Khorram Abad briefly will be presented. Second, the coinage of Alexander’s time and his successors will be discussed. Third, coins of this research and their mint will be introduced. Forth, the attention will be paid to the reasons of drachm minting at these workshops; and five, finally, the probable reasons for the presence of Alexander’s drachms in Luristan will be examined.
What we are trying to answer in this paper is a range of demands such as: how was the coinage minting during Alexander and his successors periods? Which are the mints that have produced the drachms in this research? What was the reason for striking drachms and what were the mints which produced drachms? And why were these drachms found in Luristan?
Greek and Roman sources, different catalogues and library studies have been used in this research. For the identification of drachms, the main catalogues were utilized such as Alexander’s Drachm Mints I: Sardes and Miletus”, “Alexander’s Drachm Mints II: Lampsacus and Abyadus” by Margaret Thompson, “Five Alexander Hoards in Afyon Museum” by Richard Ashton and “The Coinage in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus” by Robert Price. The inventory numbers of drachms are preserved for the authenticity of drachms. For having easy access to the catalogues, the abbreviations of catalogues have been written in the “Notes” section at the end of this paper.
Scholars such as Muller, Newell, Mørkholm, Thompson Bellinger and Price had widespread studies on Alexander’s coinage. Their results have been published for more than a century. However, the study of Alexander’s issues and Iran during his period is really poor in Iran.
Falak-ol-Aflak Museum, Khorram Abad
Falak-Ol-Aflak Fortress stands a top hill at the center of the city of Khorram Abad. The original building is attributed to the Shapur the First Sasanian Empire, in the third century A.D. (fig.1-2). Important past uses of the fortress included a treasury, the seat of government and a military base and political prison. The fortress constructed in to the first and second courtyards with their different sections. Falak-ol-Aflak Museum is situated in the second yard. It consists of Archaeological and Anthropological sections (Sajjadi & farzin, 2003: 18). 23 drachms of Alexander are kept at the collection of this museum that made this museum as an important collection in Iran,
Coinage is one of the significant materials for archaeologists, historians and numismatists. Numismatic studies are applied for the study of societies’ structure in the past. Whenever the archaeological materials are scanty the numismatic evidence play an important role. From the conquest of Alexander to conquer of Parthians is a gap or a dark part of Iran archaeology. Alexander’s issues contain significant information might be considered as vital sources for the historical and archaeological researches. In this research, in accordance with Alexander’s drachms at the museum of Falak-ol-Aflak, the coinage of Alexander had been studied for the first time. The results showed the issues were struck at Asia Minor mints such as Lampsacus, Abydus, Colophon, Mylasa, Sardes and Magnesia. These mints are among the mints were responsible minting the drachms for Alexander and his successors. The issues mainly were struck for paying the soldiers and mercenaries. Drachms were produced from 323 to 297 B.C. the existence of these coins might be in relation to the Cossaeans’ presence in the army of Alexander and later Seleucus’s army. According to Greek and Roman sources, Alexander and Antigonus one-eyed refused to pay “safe road tax” to Cossaeans when they passed from the land of Cossaeans. If we accept it, therefore, these issues could not arrive to this area by receiving the tribute. On the other hand, the drachms may have entered to Luristan though trading with neighbours like the “Greater Media”.