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Sylloge Nummorum Parthicorum

14 Oct 2015 (ver. 1220.116)

Modeled on Michael Alram and Ryka Gyselen's highly successful Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidarum, the Sylloge Nummorum Parthicorum (SNP) will document the internationally important collections of Parthian coins in the cabinets of Berlin, London, New York, Paris, Tehran and Vienna in a nine-volume catalogue. Additionally, the sylloge will include coins from the private collection of noted author David Sellwood and coins from other sources where needed to complete a comprehensive reconstruction of the Parthian coinage. It will provide the documentary basis for the largest study of Parthian coinage ever attempted.

The project is being conducted jointly by the Numismatic Commission, Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Department of Coins and Medals, British Museum.

  • The Austrian Academy of Sciences, Centre for Ancient World Studies will publish a series of monographs edited by Michael Alram and Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis, in collaboration with the following seven institutions:
    • American Numismatic Society
    • Bibliothèque nationale de France
    • British Museum
    • Institut für Numismatik und Geldgeschichte, Vienna University
    • Kunsthistorisches Museum
    • National Museum of Iran
    • Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Also supporting the SNP Project are The British Institute of Persian Studies and the Istituto Italiano per l'Africa e l'Oriente.
  • The series of catalogues will be produced at the Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, Vienna, with financial contributions from all institutions involved. The Austrian Academy of Sciences will coordinate production of the entire series.
  • The following chronological subdivision has been agreed and the authors designated:
    • Vol. I - Arsaces I, Arsaces II, Mithradates I, Phraates II, Artabanus I (c. 238-124 BC) [J. Gaslain]
    • Vol. II - Mithradates II (c. 123-88 BC) [V. Sarkhosh Curtis / E. Pendleton / A. Magub / C. Hopkins]
    • Vol. III - Parthian "Dark Age": Gotarzes I – Phraates III (c. 95-57 BC) [D. Akbarzadeh / K. Basseri / M. Alram / V. Sarkhosh Curtis]
    • Vol. IV - Mithradates III, Orodes II, Pacorus I (c. 57-38 BC) [V. Sarkhosh Curtis / E. Pendleton]
    • Vol. V - Phraates IV, Tiridates, Phraataces, Orodes III (c. 38 BC-AD 6) [F. Sinisi/T. Stingl]
    • Vol. VI - Vonones I, Artabanus II, Vardanes I, Gotarzes II, Vonones II (c. AD 8-51) [F. Sinisi]
    • Vol. VII - Vologases I - Pacorus II includes Son of Vardanes, Vologases II & Artabanus III (c. AD 51-110) [F. Sinisi] Available
    • Vol. VIII - Vologases III, Osroes I, Parthamaspates, Mithradates IV, "Unknown King" (c. AD 105-147) [B. Woytek]
    • Vol. IX - Vologases IV, Osroes II, Vologases V, Artabanus IV, Vologases VI (c. AD 147-228) [M. Alram / W. Szaivert]

The project was formally announced in a presentation given by Fabrizio Sinisi and Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis at the XIV International Numismatic Congress held in Glasgow, 31 August to 4 September 2009. Sinisi also presented "The Sylloge Nummorum Parthicorum (SNP) project: Some remarks on Arsacid issues of the 1st century AD."

Joint-directors Dr Michael Alram and Dr Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis introduced the presentation on SNP Volume II (Mithradates II) at the XV International Numismatic Congress held in Taormina, 21-25 September 2015. Alexandra Magub updated progress on Volume II noting points of interest the editorial team observed, and highlighted the more complex aspects of the coinage masked by the surface of Hellenistic motifs. She specifically addressed the challenge of interpreting Hellenistic-inspired designs against the backdrop of Parthia’s own innovative coin iconography and accompanying ideology. Magub's presentation also explained how the coins of Mithradates II are studied using a custom-built database that allows objects to be organised and analysed in new ways.