persische Münze mit einem Männerkopf
© SKD, Foto: Hartwig Hotter

Governors, rebels and kings. The coins of Persepolis from Alexander the Great to the Sassanians

This exhibition, which was previously on display in Munich at the Staatliche Münzsammlung München, presents nearly 200 coins minted under the regional rulers of Persis (now the province of Fars) around the ancient city of Persepolis in the heartland of Iran during the period known as the five “dark centuries” from the 3rd century BCE until the early 3rd century CE. These exceptional holdings consist largely of a collection that was donated to the museum.

  • DATES 31/03/2012—04/11/2012


Persepolis, the “City of the Persians”, was founded by Darius I (522-486 BCE), the Great King of the Achaemenian Empire. On a terrace measuring approximately 15 hectares, he and his successors erected numerous palaces and other buildings, including the Audience Hall (Apadana) with its impressive decorative reliefs. The burning of the city ordered by Alexander the Great (336-323 BCE) caused widespread destruction throughout the complex. Despite not establishing an Empire themselves, the rulers who subsequently governed Persis nevertheless kept up the old Iranian tradition and created the preconditions for the establishment of the new Persian Empire of the Sassanians on the basis of that tradition more than 500 years later.

persische Silbermünze mit der Abbildung eines Mannes vor einem Tempel
Persis, Baydād (1. Hälfte 3. Jh. v. Chr.), Tetradrachme, Rückseite Silber, Durchmesser 28,5 mm, 16,78 g


These rare coins are by far the most important source of knowledge about the period of the governors, rebels and kings of the central Iranian territory of Persis. They provide an insight into a largely unknown realm, far removed from the more familiar world of Greek and Roman antiquity.

weitere Ausstellungen

Further Exhibitions


im Residenzschloss

Münzen, Medaillen und Orden

Grünes Gewölbe

im Residenzschloss


im Residenzschloss

Portrait eines Mannes mit Hut und Vollbart


im Residenzschloss

Rüstung in Silber, Bauch und Arme
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