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Sassanian - Hormozd

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White Huns - Hephtha

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White Huns - Hephthalite

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Registered: August 2005
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 2,356
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HEPHTHALITE, c. 475-576 AD, bust R with bull head crown, Napki Malka in Pahlavi / fire altar, Kabul/Zabul region.
480 CE is when the Hephthalites conquered Sogdia. The Hephthalites were nomads of uncertain ethnicity. There is controversy regarding their origin, perhaps they were related to people called Hsiung Nu by the Chinese, who might have been related to the people the Romans called Huns. They are also referred to as Chionites and White Huns. Some of their coins have the word "Hono” on them, others have the word "Alchon.” But there is no consensus regarding who they were. Their art shows men with big moustaches, looking more "Turk" than "Mongol” or "Persian.”
They came from the northeast, like all of the nomads, and took all of the eastern regions of Sasanian Persia: western Afghanistan, Sogdia, Khwarezm (western Uzbekistan), Turkmenistan. But the Kushans, in Pakistan, held them off for the time being. This was about 350-450 CE.
Hephthalite coins work like this: In the 350s CE the Hephthalites conquered Bactria and issued imitations of Sasanian silver drachms of Shapur I, also imitations of Kushanshahr gold coins. In southern and eastern Afghanistan we have Sasanian-style coins featuring men, some of them with elongated foreheads that have made some people wonder if they practiced cosmetic head binding. Reverses of these coins are often extraordinarily crude. They are silver and billon, have
various sizes, and various legends or none. They have been in the market.
In 469 CE the Hephthalites captured the Sasanian King Peroz and ransomed him for millions of Sasanian silver drachms, which they proceeded to circulate in commerce.
As the coins deteriorated from wear and clipping, local Hephthalite authorities started countermarking them to guarantee their value (and collect a small fee.)
As the original supply became depleted they started making imitations of progressively more debased alloy and countermarking them, because countermarks had become normal in the markets. Eventually, they made copies with imitation countermarks engraved in the original dies.
Various series based on style and location developed in Afghanistan and Pakistan and on into India. The later issues are generically described as"Indo-Sasanian."
For Bactria and neighboring Sogdia a series of Sasanian-style billon drachms appeared around 475 CE, continuing perhaps a century. They are generically called “Napki Malka” coins, though now I think people prefer to read that legend as Nezak Malka, and some of the coins read Sri Shaho, Holy King. As a series, they are not uncommon.
The Hephthalites were, in their turn, ousted by Turks starting in the sixth century CE. It was different people but the same process. Something went wrong in northern Xinjiang and Siberia
and vast hordes of people started to move southwest. [WCN - Bob Reis, May 2020]
· Date: February 23, 2014 · Views: 3,525 · Filesize: 100.2kb · Dimensions: 860 x 438 ·
Keywords: White Huns Hephthalite Nezak
Additional Categories: Hephthalites (White Huns)


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