Artabazos of Characene

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Artabazos I of Characene was a king of Characene, a vassal state of the Parthians,[1]<[2] His short reign lasted only from 49/48-48/47 BC.

Characene Map.

Like most kings of Characene, he is known only from numismatic sources,[3]

A unique tetradrachm, is dated DXS (48-47 b.c.) and displays on the reverse an extended Greek inscription basileōs artabazo theopatoros aytokratoros sōtēros philopatoros kai philellēnos translates “of the king Artabazes, of divine descent, ruler in his own right, the deliverer, who loves his father and the Greeks” The square arrangement of this epithet spaced around a typical Greek Heracles, is copied from the conventional style of contemporary Parthian coinage.[4]

Although his name is Persian in origin he appears to have been hellenised as, like his predecessor, his coin described him as Soter(savoir) .

He is perhaps also mentioned by Lucian (Macrobii, 15). According to him he was 86 years when came to power.


  1. ^ Monika Schuol, The Charakene. A Mesopotamian kingdom in Hellenistic-Parthian period. Steiner, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-515-07709-X (Also: Kiel University, Ph.D. thesis, 1998.), pp. 221-222, 303-306.
  2. ^ E. Yarshater, The Cambridge History of Iran, Cambridge University Press page 487
  3. ^ Richard Nelson Frye, The History of Ancient Iran, Volume 3, Part 7. C.H.Beck Publishers page 277
  4. ^ Georges Le Rider Monnaies De Characene. In Syria. volume 36 fascicule 3-4, 1959. page 246.
Artabazos of Characene
Preceded by
Tiraios II
King of Characene
49-48 BC
Succeeded by
Attambelos I