Having in mind the cheapest and most effective way how to publish quite a large number of coins with brief descriptions and high quality photographs and trying to have it available for as much as users possible, Dr V. Novák has decided to apply for a grant announced by the Czech National Grant Agency in 1996. He succeeded in 1997 with a project called Numismata Orientalia Regni Bohemiae - Corpus Sasanicus. In the same year J. Militký joined the project. Creation of such a corpus of Sasanian coins represents now the first larger part of a more complex wide-range and long-term project (Numismata Orientalia Regni Bohemiae) which is aimed as electronic processing and publication of Oriental coins from the Czech collections.


Why Sasanians

Scholarly activities in history and culture of the most powerful Middle-Iranian empire of the Sasanids appear to be the key subject of the Near Eastern studies for the period between the 3rd and the 7th centuries AD. This region is very strong by its cultural, political and economic influences on other civilizations and periods. There are numerous important sources for these Iranian studies - besides inscriptions and other literary sources, coins (as well as seals) represent the most typical material objects serving as numismatic, epigraphic, iconographical, historical and geographical evidence. From the technical point of view, Sasanian coins historically represent the first significantly large and compact group of Oriental coins on the Czech territory suitable for such a project.

Sasanian Coins in the Czech Collections

There are quite numerous series of the Sasanian coins on the territory of the Czech Republic. Unfortunatelly, up to date, Czech scholars paid little attention to publication and deeper scientific analysis of these coins. A small part of the Náprstek Museum collection was published in 1971 during a special exhibition of the Iranian coinage [1]. Some Sasanian specimens from European hoards have been published in the 1960's and recently one smaller institutional collection has been listed [2]. The largest collection of these coins is preserved at the National Museum - Náprstek Museum in Prague (over 300 specimens). Another significant collection is deposited at the Moravian Land Museum in Brno (over 100 specimens) and several smaller series are in other institutional collections (state-owned castles, regional museums). Beside all these state collections, there is a significant group of important private collections. The total number of coins processed under this project reached 823 specimens.

Equipment, Know-How and Image-Processing

A powerfull desk-top PC and photo-scanner (Practica Color Scan) have been bought with the financial support of the Czech National Grant Agency. A cooperation started between the Numismatic Dept. of the Náprstek Museum and the Ancient Near East Institute of the Faculty of Philosophy at the Charles University in Prague (Dr P. Vavroušek, Dr P. Zemánek). These university scholars have already had relevant experience with digitalization of cuneiform tablets [3]. Black and white digital images of coins have been taken in form of unified 10x10 cms original image matrix with resolution of 300 dpi (approx. 1.5 MB per photo in TIF format). Four halogen 36 W tubes have been used for lighting. All these images have been stored on 18 GB HD or JAZ and CD media alternatively, to be prepared for any possible printed publication in the future. Since the beginning of the project, non-destructive plasmo-chemical fluorescence analysis (XRFA) of coin metal has been systematically performed (Dr J. Frána at the Nuclear Fysics Institute in Řež) in all cases where the particular owners had agreed with.

Methods and Methodology

All material in the corpus is basically divided into two sections - coins without provenance (nos. 1-801) and coins from hoards (nos. 802-6); both of them typologically listed. Modern forgeries are represented by nos. 807-23.

All coins appear on the CD-ROM in a text-image database which contains the following information:

ruler (ruling period) name (AD XXX-X)
type according to Göbl 1971 [4] Göbl No./X-No.
mint-mark (alphabetical order; in Latin) = location [5] XXX=name
regnal year (ascending sequence; in Arabic numerals) [6] numeral
metal + denomination AR, AE or BILLON + denomination term
weight [7] X.XXX g
diameters (width/height on obv.) X.X/X.X mm
die axis (in hours) X h
metal composition (%)[8] X.X Cu; X.X Au; X.X Pb; X.X Ag +
remarks concerning obverse [9] (code plus words alternatively)
remarks concerning reverse [10] (in words)
general notes (in words)
references [11] (in words)
collection code + serial number [12] XX(X) No.

Type description is based on standard works in typology (R. Göbl, R. Gyselen, M. Alram, R. Linke, M. Schreiner)[13] .

Proper names, general words and mint abbreviations on coins in Pahlevi are read according to the MacKenzie's codification [14]. Mint-marks are accompanied with geographical localization as recently published by Gyselen and Malek [15]. Comparative tables with alternative reading of other authors are attached [16]. All publications used as references are fully listed separately, as well as list of collection code concordances exists. It is possible to reorganize the whole data-base using first four categories of description for filtrating. The data-base is also accompanied with relevant article written by the cooperating scholar, Dr J. Frána (statistics on metal analysis, plus interpretation).
Because of the fact, that some special font characters such as

are not directly transferable into the text-image data-base functioning on the ISO standard, different font characters have been used there instead (Á, á, É, é, Í, í, Ó, ó, Ú, ú and Sh, sh, Ch, ch). The data-base is intended to be serving as a primarily source for the future printed publication and there, all special font characters will be easily inserted by simple operation.
For some editorial reasons and because of certain design characteristics, there is also a conventional word-processed version of the data-base published on this CD ROM (see attachment DOC.VERSION). The special font characters have been inserted there.

V. N., J. M.

[1] Štěpková, J., 2500 let íránského mincovnictví/The Coinage of Iran throughout two and a half Milleniums, Prague 1971 (exhibition catalogue, English resumé).

[2] Štěpková, J., 'The Islamic Silver Hoard from Wischendorf (Wismar)', Annals of the Náprstek Museum, 1 (1962), pp. 131-58 and Novák, V., 'Sbírka mincí - Sásánovci/Sasanian Coin Collection', Ze sbírek bývalého Kondakovova institutu. Ikony, koptské textilie/Former Kondakov Institute Collection. Icons and Coptic Textiles. Ed. Hlaváčková, H., Praha ÚDU AV ČR/Art History Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences 1995, pp. 105-8 (exhibition catalogue, English resumé).

[3] Vavroušek, P., 'Digitalisierung von Keilschrifttafeln', Studia Iranica, Mesopotamica et Anatolica, 3 (1997), pp. 139-45.

[4] See data-base attachment TYPOLOGY BY R. GÖBL.

[5] See data-base attachment MINT-MARKS, YEARS AND MAP (there with 'š' and 'č' font characters).

[6] Absolutely clear reading inserted. If ambiguous or unclear (e.g. 11 and 13 or 31 and 33), see general notes.

[7] For technical reasons not always given in three digits (similarly in case of diameters). In the attached document containing full-text information of the data-base differently arranged; weights in italics mean the fact, that the particular coin lost some of its ideal weight because of various reasons (wearing, clipping, etc.).

[8] See also data-base attachment METAL COMPOSITION ANALYSIS.

[9] Alternatively starting with code describing dress and breast ornaments (D XX / B XX) - see additional plates in data-base attachment TYPOLOGY BY R. GÖBL, designed by J. Militký.

[10] Where mint-mark in non-standard position (vertically r.), there commented.

[11] Refecences should follow the closest analogies published. Coins without mint-mark and year have references listed only in case where typological analogies exist. Coins with mint-mark and year have references related to analogies by the particular Göbl's type, mint-mark and year. Where cf. is inserted, there is a typological similarity only. For abbreviated references see data-base attachment BIBLIOGRAPHY. Where no reference appears, there is no information available in the literature, mentioned under BIBLIOGRAPHY.

[12] See data-base attachment COLLECTIONS. Basically DOC.VERSION corresponds with actual form of collection code and data-base uses modified codes when necessary because of technical reasons (NMH1, NMH5 vs. NM1H, NM5H).

[13] Göbl, R., Sasanian Numismatics. Manual of Middle Asian Numismatics. Volume I (Braunschweig 1971) and Alram, M., Gyselen, R., Linke, R., Schreiner, M., 'Sylloge Nummorum Sasanidorum. Die Münzen der Sasaniden aus der Bibliothèque Nationale de France, dem Münzkabinett der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin und dem Münzkabinett am Kunsthistorischen Museum in Wien', Anzeiger der philosophisch-historischen Klasse 134 (1997-9), pp. 15-41.

[14] MacKenzie, D. N., A Concise Pahlevi Dictionary (Oxford 1971).

[15] Gyselen, R., 'Ateliers monétaires et cachets officiels Sasanides', Studia Iranica 8/2 (1979), pp. 189-212 and 'Un trésor iranien des monnaies sassanides (Ve-Vie siècles)', Revue numismatique 23 (1981), pp. 133-41 and 'Un trésor des monnaies sassanides tardives', Revue numismatique 32 (1990), pp. 212-31 and Malek, H. M., 'A Survey of research on Sasanian numismatics', Numismatic Chronicle 153 (1993), pp. 227-69.

[16] Except above mentioned Göbl 1971, Gyselen 1979 and 1990 and Malek 1993, see also Paruck, F. D. J., Sasanian Coins (Bombay 1924) and Simon, H., 'Die Sasanidischen Münzen des Fundes von Babylon. Ein Teil des bei Koldeweys Ausgrabungen im Jahre 1900 gefunden Münzschatzes', Acta Iranica Varia 5 (1976), pp. 149-337 and Mochiri, M. I., Etudes de numismatique iranienne sous de Sassanides et Arabe-Sassanides. Tome I (Teheran 1972) and Etude de numismatique iranienne sous de Sassanides. Tome II (Teheran 1977) and Mitchiner, M., Oriental Coins and their Values. The Ancient and Classical World 600 B.C. - A.D. 650 (London 1978).



Dr VLASTIMIL NOVÁK (1964), Deputy Director and Curator of Oriental Coins at the Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Civilizations - a branch of the National Museum in Prague (since 1989). Student of late Dr J. Štěpková, specialized in Islamic coinage (num.npm@aconet.cz).

1983-8 Arabic and Oriental Studies at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Charles University in Prague (diploma work title: Internal Political Process in Lebanon 1976-83).

1990 PhDr. at the Faculty of Philosophy at the Charles University in Prague.

1998 PhD dissertation Fatimid and post-Fatimid Glass Jetons in the National Museum, Prague at the Faculty of Philosophy at the Charles University in Prague.

1995-2000 preparation of a catalogue of Islamic coins at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Publication activities in fields of the Sasanian and post-Sasanian numismatics:

'Sásánovci a jejich mincovnictví/The Sasanids and their Coinage', Nový Orient (New Orient, Prague) 48 (1993), pp. 187-9; 'Some Notes to the Dating of Hephtalite Coins', Zafar náme. Memorial Volume of Felix Tauer, eds. Veselý, R. and Gombár, E. (Prague 1996), pp. 225-30; 'Sbírka mincí (Sásánovci)/Sasanian Coins', Ze sbírek bývalého Kondakovova institutu. Ikony, koptské textilie/Former Kondakov Institute Collection. Icons and Coptic Textiles, ed. Hlaváčková, H. (Prague ÚDU AV ČR/Art History Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences 1995), pp. 105-8 (exhibition catalogue, English resumé); 'Mince íránských Sásánovců/Coins of Iranian Sasanids', Starožitnosti a užité umění/Antiquities and Applied Arts, Prague 7-8 (1995), pp. 16-7; 'Evidence of the Islamic Coins in Early Medieval Middle and North Eastern Europe', Ibrahim ibn Yaqub at-Turtushi: Christianity, Islam and Judaism Meet in East-Central Europe, c. 800-1300 A.D. Proceedings of the International Colloquy 25-29 April 1994, eds. Charvát, P. and Prosecký, J. (Prague OÚ AV ČR/Oriental Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences 1996), pp. 74-7.

Other numismatic publications:

'Find of a Piaster of the Ottoman Sultan Mustafa II in Prague-Suchdol Quarter', Archív Orientální 64 (1996), pp. 395-8; with Chaloupka, D.: 'Unusual Composition: A Textile of Islamic Provenance as a Part of a Torah Curtain', Archív Orientální 65 (1997), pp. 271-4;'Fatimid and Post-Fatimid Glass Jetons in the National Museum, Prague', Numismatic Chronicle 157 (1997), pp. 89-132; 'Islámské ražby ve sbírce mimoevropských mincí Náprstkova muzea/Islamic Coins in the Collection of non-European Coins at the Náprstek Museum', Z pokladnice Národního muzea 1918-1998/From the Treasury of the National Museum (Prague National Museum 1998), pp. 44-5 (exhibition catalogue); 'Political Oscillation under Pressure: a Kakuyid Billon Dirham of Faramurz acknowledging the Buyid Ruler Abu Kalijar', Numismatic Chronicle 158 (1998), pp. 165-72; 'Non-European Numismatics: The Collection of Coins from the Orient, Colonies and Overseas at the Náprstek Museum', Annals of the Náprstek Museum 19 (1998), pp. 99-104; 'A Unique Samanid Fractional Dirham', Proceedings of the XIIth International Numismatic Congress, Berlin 1997, Vol. II, eds. Kluge, B. and Weisser, B. (Berlin 2000), pp. 1282-4; with Militký, J., 'Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic Coins excavated by Bedřich Hrozný in the Middle East (1924-5)', in print.

JIŘÍ MILITKÝ, MA (1969), Curator of Early Medieval Archaeological Collections of the National Museum in Prague (since 1999) (militky.jiri@seznam.cz).

1987-1992 Studies of pre-history and achaeology at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Charles University in Prague (diploma work title: Settlement of the Barrow Middle-Bronze Culture in West Bohemia).

1992-1999 South Bohemian Museum, Budweis (archaeologist).

Participation in projects:

1996- Corpus der römischen Funde in Barbaricum (EC International Project)

Selected numismatic bibliography:

'Nálezy keltských a antických mincí v jižních Čechách/Finds of Celtic and Classical Coins in Southern Bohemia', Zlatá stezka (Sborník Prachatického muzea) 2 (1995), pp. 34-67, Pls. 1-3; Keltské mince ve sbírkách Jihočeského muzea v Českých Budějovicích/Celtic Coins in Collection of the South Bohemian Museum, Budweis', Numismatické listy 51 (1996), pp. 85-90; 'Depot mincí z počátku třicetileté války z Trhových Svinů, okr. České Budějovice/Hoard of Coins from the Beginning of the Thirty Years War found in Trhové Sviny, Budweis Distr.', Archeologické výzkumy v jižních Čechách 10 (1997), pp. 107-32, 170-2; 'Hromadný nález raně novověkých mincí z Mečichova, okr. Strakonice/Group Hoard of Early Modern Coins from Mečichov, Strakonice Distr.', Zlatá Stezka (Sborník Prachatického muzea) 4 (1997), pp. 125-64; 'Nálezy mincí při archeologických výzkumech v Bechyni, okr. Tábor/Coin Finds from Archaeological Excavations in Bechyně, Tábor Distr.', Výběr 34 (1997), pp. 331-3; 'Nález středověkých mincí v Jakuli u Nových Hradů, okr. České Dudějovice/Hoard of Medieval Coins in Jakule near Nové Hrady, Budweis Distr.', Výběr 34 (1997), pp. 233-45; 'Depot mincí z počátku 17. století ze Starých Prachatic/Hoard of Coins from the beginning of the 17th century found in Staré Prachatice', Zlatá Stezka (Sborník Prachatického muzea) 5 (1998), , pp. 169-96; 'Zajímavá úprava mince Constantina I./Interesting Modification of Coin struck under Constantine I', Numismatické listy 53 (1998), pp. 8-9; 'Nález mincí z počátku 19. století ze Skočic/Hoard of Coins from the beginning of the 19th century found in Skočice', Výběr 35 (1998), pp. 59-60; 'Několik nálezů jednotlivých mincí z jižních Čech/Several Coin Single Finds from Southern Bohemia', Výběr 35 (1998), pp. 128-31; 'Doplněk k nálezu středověkých mincí ze Svatonic, okr. Písek/Addenda to the Hoard of Medieval Coins from Svatonice, Písek Distr.', Výběr 35 (1998), 131-4; 'Nález utrechtského dukátu ve Valtínově, okr. J. Hradec /Find of Ducat struck in Utrecht from Valtínov, J. Hradec Distr.', Výběr 35 (1998), pp. 220-2; 'Doplněk k nálezu z Chelčic/Addenda to the Hoard from Chelčice', Muzejní a vlastivědná práce 37, Časopis přátel společnosti starožitností 107 (1999), pp. 103-6; 'Zlomek depotu pozdně středověkých mincí z okolí Prachatic (N 4305)/Fragment of Hoard of Late Medieval Coins from Prachatice Surroundings (N 4305)', Zlatá stezka (Sborník Prachatického muzea) 6 (1999), pp. 255-60; with Dohnal, M. and Korený, R., 'Soubor mincí z archeologických výzkumů v historickém jádru Sedlčan, okr. Příbram/Corpus of Coins found during Archaeological Excavations in Historical Centre of Sedlčany, Příbram Distr.', Archeologie ve středních Čechách 3 (1999), pp. 557-68.; with Ernée, M. and Nováček, K., 'Vítkovci a těžba drahých kovů v Českém Krumlově, Příspěvek ke studiu středověkého hutnictví v Čechách/The Vítkovec Dynasty and Precious Metals Mining in Český Krumlov. Contribution to Studies in Czech Medieval Metallurgy', Mediaevalia Archaelogica 1 (1999 Praha - Wroclaw), pp. 209-33; 'Nálezy tzv. barbarských napodobenin pozdně římských solidů v Čechách (Příspěvek k problematice nálezů zlatých mincí z období stěhování národů)/Finds of the so-called Barbarian Imitations of the Late Roman Solidi in Bohemia (Contribution to Problems of Finds of Gold Coins from the Period of the Peoples Migration)', Sborník Národního muzea v Praze 54 (2000), A series, pp. 129-40; 'Dva nové jednotlivé nálezy početních peněz z jižních Čech/Two New Single Finds of Calculation Coins in Southern Bohemia', Muzejní a vlastivědná práce 38, Časopis přátel společnosti starožitností 108 (2000), pp. 33-6; 'Keltské mince ve sbírce Západočeského muzea v Plzni/Celtic Coins in Collection of West Bohemian Museum, Pilsen', Numismatické Listy 56 (2000), pp. 73-9; 'Nálezový (?) soubor antických mincí ze Strážného (?), okr. Prachatice/Hoard (?) Corpus of Classical Coins from Strážný, Prachatice Distr.', Archeologické výzkumy v jižních Čechách 13 (2000), pp. 87-96; with Kopová, E., 'Soubor mincí objevený při archeologickém výzkumu hradu v Písku/Corpus of Coins found during Archaeological Excavations at Písek Castle', Archeologické výzkumy v jižních Čechách 13 (2000), pp. 151-4; with Marešová, D., 'Soubor mincí ze záchranného archeologického výzkumu v Praze 2 - Novém Městě, Na Rybníčku čp. 536/II/Corpus of Coins found during Archaeological Excavations in Prague 2 - Nové Město, Na Rybníčku St., no. 536/II', Archaeologica Pragensia 15 (2000), no. 72, pp. 185-98; with Veselá, A., 'Raně středověké pohřebiště v Tuchoměřicích - Kněžívce (okr. Praha - západ) s nálezem denáru Břetislava I./Early Medieval Cemetery in Tuchoměřice - Kněžívka (Prague-West) and Find of Denarius struck under Břetislav I', Archeologie ve středních Čechách 4/2 (2000), pp. 291-300; 'Géto-dácká tetradrachma z Nového Sedla, okr. Louny/Geto-Dacian Tetradrachm from Nové Sedlo, Louny Distr.', in print; 'Dva pozdně středověké depoty mincí z východních Čech. (Nález Kostelecké Horky a Choceň)/Two Late Medieval Coin Hoards from Eastern Bohemia (Kostelecké Horky and Choceň Hoards)', in print; 'K otázce oběhu importované fenikové mince 1. poloviny 14. století v jižních Čechách/Contribution to Problems concerning Circulation of imported Pfennig Coins in the first half of the 14th century in Southern Bohemia', in print; 'Hybridní pražský krejcar Ferdinanda II./Hybrid Prague Kreutzer struck under Ferdinand II', in print; 'Nový nález jednotlivých mincí z hradu Zvíkov/New Single Coin Finds from Zvíkov Castle', in print; 'Zapomenutý nález středověkých mincí z Olešníku, okr. České Budějovice/Forgotten Hoard of Medieval Coins from Olešník, Budweis Distr.', in print; 'Fragment pozdně středověkého depotu mincí z Netolic, okr. Prachatice (N 1855 + 2352)/Fragment of Late Medieval Coin Hoard from Netolice, Prachatice Distr. (N 1855 + 2352)', in print; with Novák, V., 'Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic Coins excavated by Bedřich Hrozný in the Middle East (1924-5)', in print.

Dr JAROSLAV FRÁNA (1934), physicist, working at the Nuclear Physics Institute in Řež near Prague, specialized in nuclear spectroscopy (1957-1970), and analysis of lunar soil and rock samples (1970-1980), recently focused on development and application of radio-analytical methods in various scientific disciplines (geology, geochemistry, agriculture, archaeology) (frana@ujf.cas.cz).

1952 - 1957 studies of experimental physics at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University Prague

1967 PhD at the Charles University in Prague

Participation in projects:

1991-1993 Metallurgy of non-ferrous metals and its cultural significance in the prehistory of Bohemia (funded by the Grant Agency of the Czech Academy of Sciences)

1992-1994 Das prähistorische und keltische Gold im bayerisch-bömischen Raum: Metallurgie und Herkunft (funded by the Volkswagen Scientific Foundation)

1994-1996 Prehistoric Bohemia in the context of Central European metallurgical province (funded by the Czech National Grant Agency)

1996-1998 Bohemia in the time of the King Marbud in the light of analysis of the Dobřichov-Pičhora burial site (funded by the Czech National Grant Agency)

Selected bibliography:

With Jiráň, L., Maštalka, A. and Moucha, V., 'Artifacts of copper and copper alloys in prehistoric Bohemia from the viewpoint of analyses of element composition', Praehistorica Bohemica 1995, Památky archeologické - Supplementum 3 (Prague 1995), pp. 125-296; 'Das prähistorische Gold in Bayern, Böhmen und Mähren: Herkunft - Technologie - Funde', Praehistorica Bohemica 1997, Památky archeologické - Supplementum 7, eds. Lehrberger, G., Fridrich, J., Gebhard, R. and Hrala, J. (Prague 1997); with Jiráň, L., Moucha, V. and Sankot, P., 'Artifacts of copper and copper alloys in prehistoric Bohemia from the viewpoint of analyses of element composition', Praehistorica Bohemica 1997, Památky archeologické - Supplementum 8 (Prague 1997), pp. 1-220; with Jiráň, L., 'Vorgeschichtliche Erzeugnisse aus Kupfer und dessen Legierungen in Böhmen'. In: L'Atelier du Bronzier en Europe du 20-e au 8-e siècle avant-notre ère, Tome I. Proceedings: Colloquie International "Bronze '96", Neuchâtel et Dijon (Paris 1998), pp. 215-21;'Metallanalysen der germanischen und römischen Gegenstände aus Dobřichov-Pičhora'. In: Droberjar, E., Dobřichov-Pičhora. Ein Gräberfeld der älteren römischen Kaiserzeit in Böhmen, Fontes Archaelogici Pragenses 23 (1999), pp. 185-94.


With financial support of the Czech National Grant Agency (GA CR)
Database Processing & Design & Code © ACON s.r.o. 2000