Ardashir I, Sasanian King AD 223/4 – 240
, Almost Extremely Fine
Mint B – Hamadan (also known as Ahmadan and mentioned in Bible related literature as Ekbatana), currently located in the north-west Iran.
Gold Dinars of Sasanian monarchs are exceedingly rare and few have survived in the course of the last 15 centuries. This Dinar style, similar to the silver drachms of Ardashir, shows the ruler in a close fitting headdress with “korymbos” (globe-like element) and ear flap. There is a pellet behind the headgear, between two sets of flowing ribbons. The exact meaning of the pellets is not fully known, however they appear singly or in groups of two or three on various Sasanian coins. The reverse shows the Zoroastrian fire alta with a legend in Pahlavi script reading counter-clockwise “Illumination of (by) Ardashir”. The Zoroastrian religion was established by Zoroaster, also known as Zarathustra. It became the dominant religion of Persia through most of its history, prior to the Arab invasion and conversion to Islam in the 7th century AD. The Zoroastrian god is Ahuramazda, the god of good, is locked in eternal battle with the supreme force of evil known as Ahriman. These names have been mentioned in European and American literature as symbols of good and evil. The Zoroastrian concept of duality of good and evil influenced Christianity, Islam and many other religions. Today, Zoroastrians are a small and highly respected community in Iran and also have a community in India known as the Parsees. Among many works influenced by this Persian religion are Fredrich Nietzsche’s “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” and Richard Strauss’s 1896 musical masterpiece of the same name that became the main theme of the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”. Rudolf Stienr, the Austrian philosopher and architect wrote extensively on Zoroastrianism and designed two major structures called Goetheanum I and II based on the core beliefs of this religion. In addition, Zoroaster has been the inspiration for several classical music work such as Jeam Philippe Rameau’s overture named “Zoroastre (1749 AD). Freddie Mercury, the Artist and brilliant lead singer of the famed rock group Queen was born in a Parsee family with the name Farrokh Bulsara.