Phraatakes and Musa, 17mm drachm
Diademed and draped bust of Phraatakes l. flanked by two wreath-bearing Nikes
Draped bust of Musa r. wearing diademed tiara
Sear GIC-5763 Shore 324 ex. Najaf Chalabiani
Barbarians like myself who aren't usually connoisseurs of Parthian coins tend to find them a little repetitive and difficult to attribute. This might lead one to think less of the skills of their celetors. This coin proves that the Parthians could show wonderful portraits when allowed to. It must have been a welcome break from beards and royal warts. Exactly 2.000 years after being struck this coin still shows a strong and willful woman. With a lot of jewels.
Phraatakes died shortly after being deposed but Musa simply disappeared from history. But she possessed a character which was sturdy if not admirable. I like to think she prospered. She was still a fairly young woman and had a few husbands left in her. It is people like her that make history enjoyable, and she will be remembered long after the William III's and the James Buchanan's have faded from the record.