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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:29 PM   #1
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Parthian coins use Greek letters inscription?


Why? Why don't use Persian inscription? Parthians have their own writing system, why do they use foreign alphabets? Anyone have an idea? This is really strange.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 10:47 PM   #2

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Parthians were a legacy of Alexander the Great.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 10:47 PM   #3

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Their capital, Ctesiphon in Iraq, was founded by the Greeks of Alexander.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 10:50 PM   #4

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The coins are inscribed with both languages. Greek was used because of the Diadochoi.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 12:39 PM   #5

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First of all, see this: Parthian Empire - History and Coins of Ancient Parthia
This is a very good recource about the Parthian history and archaeology which focuses almost exclusively on Parthian numismatics, because of the fact that Parthian coins are the only feasible method of reconstructing the Parthian dynastic history and validating Roman accounts.

Regarding your question I should say that Parthians for a long time regarded themselves as the successors of Alexander and patrons of the Greek culture. On many of their coins they frequently use the title "philellēnos" which seems to have been at least a socially obligatory thing for the legitimacy of the Arsacid rule.

Just like the Bactrian Kings, the language of the common subjects finally became their court language and this was when a shift to the Parthian language happened, which was rather early. By 200 AD, coins with Aramaic inscriptions (in Parthian language) start to appear within their kingdom. Of course the spoken language was never Greek, it was at first a variety of the Saka language and after that the Parthian vernacular, but we can assume that during a large part of the Parthian era Greek was used to write down records and probably histories in the Parthian court.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 06:49 PM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazratemahmood View Post

Regarding your question I should say that Parthians for a long time regarded themselves as the successors of Alexander and patrons of the Greek culture. On many of their coins they frequently use the title "philellēnos" which seems to have been at least a socially obligatory thing for the legitimacy of the Arsacid rule.

Just like the Bactrian Kings, the language of the common subjects finally became their court language and this was when a shift to the Parthian language happened, which was rather early. By 200 AD, coins with Aramaic inscriptions (in Parthian language) start to appear within their kingdom. Of course the spoken language was never Greek, it was at first a variety of the Saka language and after that the Parthian vernacular, but we can assume that during a large part of the Parthian era Greek was used to write down records and probably histories in the Parthian court.
Not to mention the Greek gods that feature on Parthian coins even as far away as Bactria, Arachosia and Gandhara again and again.
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