KINGS OF ARMENIA. Artaxias III, 18-34. Tetrachalkon (Bronze, 22 mm, 12.95 g, 9 h), Artaxata, RY 4 (?) = 21/2. ΘЄOIC CЄBA[CTOIC KAICA]PI KAI IOYΛIA Five-pointed Armenian tiara to left; to lower left, Δ; to right, star. Rev. BAC APTAΞIOY TOY ЄB B ΠΟΛЄ KAI ΠYΘOΔωPI Horse standing left. Kovacs 191. Extremely rare. An unusually complete example of this interesting issue with an attractive dark patina. Die break on the obverse, otherwise, very fine.
From an important collection of Armenian coins, ex Gorny & Mosch 212, 5 March 2013, 2264 (misdescribed).
Artaxias III was the son of the Pontic King Polemo I (circa 37-8 BC) and his wife Pythodoris, who are both named on the reverse of this interesting issue. The fact that the obverse refers to Divus Augustus and Livia makes it likely that the coin was struck as a commemorative issue after Artaxias' mother Pythodoris had deceased, which, if the Δ is not a value mark (for tetrachalkon) but a regnal year, would have been in 21/2. If this is true, the issue hails the deceased parents of both Artaxias III and his Roman overlord Tiberius and goes along nicely with the King's Octachalkon (Kovacs 189), which portrays Tiberius and Artaxias together on the obverse.