Ancient Coin - Khusaro II - AR Drahma - Mounted in Sterling Silver wrap - Circa 580-628 AD

Denomination:  AR Drachm                                                 

Date: 580-628 AD

Description:  Khusaro II. The obverse depicts the King wearing a winged crown with three merlons, three short diadem ties behind, a crescent in front surmounted by star and crescent. The reverse of the coin shows the common theme of two attendants (or guards) flanking a flaming altar inside a triple dotted border with crescents and stars at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock, a scene symbolic for the Zoroastrianism religion the Sassanians followed.

History: This coin was minted during the reign of King Khusro II (sometimes spelled Khosrau), the Sassanid King of Persia and son of King Hormizd IV, whom he succeeded, and grandson of Khusro I.

Khusro II came to power after his father was killed during a palace revolt. A rival to the throne in the form of general Bahram Chobin proclaimed himself King taking the name Bahram VI. In a vulnerable position with a powerful rival Khusro II had to deal with this threat before he could turn his attention to concluding the ongoing war against the Byzantine Empire. Bahram was soon defeated and fled into exiled to be killed by his hosts and Khusro quickly made peace with Constantinople.

Khusro II ruled during the meteoric rise of early Islam and is remembered as one of the powerful kings of the Persian Empire to whom Mohammed sent messengers with the word of Islam. He is said to have torn up the message and insulted the messenger. Ironically it would be these forces that would soon destroy the Persian Empire as a united Islamic army and religion rapidly spread from the Arab Peninsula to engulf much of the east.