Tehran museum publishes book on Sassanid coins

January 25, 2022 - 18:53

TEHRAN – Bank Melli Iran Museum has published a book on coins and coinage during the Sassanid era (224–651).

Co-authored by senior researchers Daryoosh Akbarzadeh and Nikolaus Schindel, the book titled “Catalogue of the Sassanian Coins” turns the spotlight on the precious Piruzan Collection, which is kept at the major museum in downtown Tehran.

Around 220 CE, the Sasanian dynasty of Iran introduced the concept of thin flan coins, issues that were struck in relief on both sides. In order not to produce intolerable stresses in the dies, since the thinner the material the more force necessary to make it flow into the recesses of the die’s design, the depth of relief on such coins was of necessity much shallower than with earlier currency.

Moreover, such techniques spread by way of Byzantium to northern Europe, where the emperor Charlemagne struck thin flan deniers (small silver coins), or pennies, which became characteristic of both his own and neighboring kingdoms.

Iran under the Sassanian rule witnessed tremendous achievements in many ways. Equally, Sasanian art reached great heights of perfection. Artists excelled in such minor arts as metalwork, seals, and striking coins. The wealth of Iran was never greater than at that time. The Sasanian culture and art, that had emerged as a result of active interactions of various ethnocultural traditions, have long outlived the Sasanian state, deeply affecting the cultural development of various peoples of the East and West in the subsequent period. The economic and political institutions and cultural traditions that were formed played an important role in history and were preserved for many centuries. The Sasanian period can be regarded as an important stage in the history of the Transcaucasian peoples.

It should be noted that all Sasanian rulers are known to have struck coins, the principal denomination being the silver drachm. Gold, obols, and bronze issues are found only on some specimens and they were less in circulation.


Leave a Comment

9 + 8 =