KINGS OF ARMENIA MINOR. Aristobulus, 54-71/2. Oktachalkon (Bronze, 25 mm, 11.66 g, 12 h), with Nero (54-68). Chalcis (?), RY 13 = 66/7. BACIΛEΩC APICTOBOYΛOY ET IΓ Diademed and draped bust of Aristobulus to left. Rev. NEPΩ/NI KΛAY/ΔIΩ KAIΣA/PI / ΣEBAΣTΩ / ΓEPMANI/KΩ within laurel wreath. Kovacs 299. RPC I 3839 corr. (date). Very rare. A beautiful example of this very important issue with an excellent portrait. Very light doubling on the obverse, otherwise, very fine.
From an important collection of Armenian coins.
Aristobulus is certainly among the most fascinating of the numerous 1st century Roman client kings. Born the son of Herod of Chalcis and the great-grandson of Herod the Great, and appointed by Nero to King of Armenia Minor in 54, his life is closely entwined with Roman, Jewish and Armenian history. The most famous event in his life, however, revolves around the infamous Jewish princess Salome, whom Aristobulus married in 34 (for a longer note on Salome, see below, lot 565).