World of Coins

Ancient coins => Other ancients => Sassanian empire => Topic started by: CameronK on July 09, 2018, 11:27:41 PM

Title: ID Assist - Sasanian Coin - Dirhem/Dracham ?
Post by: CameronK on July 09, 2018, 11:27:41 PM
My first Sasanian coin! It came to me ID'd as Khorsu II... and I used a great online resource to guess at the date (yr 35 - 624/25) and mintmark (AW - Erankhvarrah-Shapur).

Could someone review my ID and let me know if I got it right? I look forward to adding more of these to my collection now that I know a little about them!

It's 4.1 g/ 31 mm. I've seen it alternately ID'd as a Dirhem/Dirham or Drachm. Can anyone offer insight on that too?

Thanks!

Title: Re: ID Assist - Sasanian Coin - Dirhem/Dracham ?
Post by: Figleaf on July 16, 2018, 12:17:51 PM
Can't tell you anything about your id, but I can at least clear up the denomination. The two words are the same. Drachmes came to the area with Alexander the Great, while dirham or dirhem comes from Arabic writing. Remember that vowels mostly don't show in Arabic script, so dirhem would look like drhm, close enough to drachme.

Similar transformations in Arabic are denarius - dinar and groschen - guerch / girsh / ghurush / kurush.

Peter
Title: Re: ID Assist - Sasanian Coin - Dirhem/Dracham ?
Post by: CameronK on July 17, 2018, 03:30:03 AM
Thanks for the details!
Title: Re: ID Assist - Sasanian Coin - Dirhem/Dracham ?
Post by: Manzikert on July 17, 2018, 09:49:59 AM
They are definitely two different denominations though, the Sasanian drachm being struck at the Greek drachma standard of just over 4 grams whilst the dirhem is a new standard, just under 3 grams.

Alan
Title: Re: ID Assist - Sasanian Coin - Dirhem/Dracham ?
Post by: EWC on July 18, 2018, 12:53:42 PM
They are definitely two different denominations though, the Sasanian drachm being struck at the Greek drachma standard of just over 4 grams whilst the dirhem is a new standard, just under 3 grams.

Well, that improves on Peter's effort I think, but I judge it is still misleading  My account of late Sasanid standards (which seem not to be Attic) and early post reform dirhems (which it seems were not 2.97g) is found in here:

https://www.academia.edu/6882687/Coin_Weight_and_Historical_Metrology

I rather hoped you might have a well thumbed copy of my 2009 book on this Alan   ;)

Mistakes on these matters are widespread though due in part to the influence of very prominent opinion formers.  Aristotle seems to have greatly misrepresented the origins of Attic weight, just as Ibn Khaldun seems to misrepresent the reformed Umayyad dirhem.

Things got even worse in the 20th century though:  Keynes studied ancient metrology and then set out to undermine rationality itself (as he very clearly stated!).

Sigh.  What to do?

Rob

Title: Re: ID Assist - Sasanian Coin - Dirhem/Dracham ?
Post by: Figleaf on July 19, 2018, 11:00:32 AM
Can you comment on this question?

Peter

My first Sasanian coin! It came to me ID'd as Khorsu II... and I used a great online resource to guess at the date (yr 35 - 624/25) and mintmark (AW - Erankhvarrah-Shapur).

Could someone review my ID and let me know if I got it right?