Sasanian Kings. Husrav (Khosraw) II. 590-628 AD. NIH Mint. Year 27, or 617/8 AD. AR

Sasanian Kings. Husrav (Khosraw) II. 590-628 AD. NIH Mint. Year 27, or 617/8 AD. AR


Drachm, 4.05g (30mm, 7h). Crowned Sassanian style bust right / Fire altar flanked by attendants; star and crescent flanking flames.

Pedigree: Ex Shanna Schmidt Collection, acquired in the 1980’s

References:  Göbl II/3; MACW 1168

Grade:  Beautiful strike and iridescence. Mint State  (gk1146)

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Khosraw II Parviz (Khosraw the Victorious) was the last of the great Sasanian kings who extended his empire to its limit when he was executed in 628 AD. Shortly after he was defeated in war by the Byzantines he was deposed and executed in his palace by his own men.

Khosraw II entered into his role as king surrounded by murder and family drama. His father, Hormizd IV, was deposed by a revolt led by his own brother in-laws. This resulted in the murder of Hormizd and his father’s general turned against him forcing him to flee to Mesopotamia. It was only with the help of the Byzantine emperor Maurice, and one of his uncles that held the anti-Hormizd contingent back that Khosraw was able to retain his position as king. Upon his reinstatement, Khosraw eliminated all of those that were connected with his father’s murder. This included the very uncle that had helped him secure his post but equally had been complicent in executing his father. His turbulent reign resulted in expansion of the Sasanian empire to its fullest but also culminated in the demise of the empire.

The 12th century poet, Nazami, wrote a fictionalized tale of the love Khosraw had for his beloved wife Shirin. Khosraw might be more well-known for this piece of history rather than his reign as king.