Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Elymais coin recovered in Iran

NUMISMATIC APPREHENSION: Elymais coin found in southwestern Iran (Tehran Times).

The coin is unremarkable. I mention it because it has a nice connection with a story in the Old Testament Apocrypha.

Elymais was a region in the Parthian empire. It is mentioned in 1 Maccabees 6:1. The passage says that Antiochus IV Epiphanes noticed a wealthy city in Elymais whose riches seemed worth plundering. This did not go well for him.

Note that, contra the English translation linked to above, the better Greek reading in the verse says that the city was in Elymais, not that the city was Elymais. Elymais was a region not a city.

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