The chosen few: Sasanian, Arabo-Sasanian and Tabaristani coins found in Denmark

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Sasanian, Arabo-Sasanian, and Tabaristani coins (3rd–9th century) form a small but significant group among the earliest Oriental coins to reach Northern Europe. They stand out above all from the more common Cufic dirhams by their easily recognizable figurative motifs, which continue the iconographic tradition from the ancient Greco-Roman world. Dating, mint, and authority (governor, etc.) are often indicated, thus providing good opportunities for precise dating of well-preserved specimens. In this article, the Sasanian types will be looked at more closely from the perspective of the recipient. I will review the finds of Sasanian and Arabo-Sasanian coins from modern Denmark. The coins’ find circumstances, their chronological and material context, as well as the traces
of use on the coins themselves, will be analysed with a view to decoding the use of the coins with the figurative motifs in a south Scandinavian context.
Furthermore, I will look at the relationship between the different Sasanian types
in the Danish finds. It turns out that there are in some cases major discrepancies in the relations between Persian, Umayyad and Abbasid coins of Sasanian type when comparing the Danish finds with finds from other areas. The differences will be described and discussed. Proposals will be presented as to how these discrepancies may have arisen.
Translated title of the contributionDe få udvalgte: Sassanidiske, arabo-sassanidiske og Tabaristan mønter fundet i Danmark
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom Hoard to Archive : Numismatic Discoveries from the Baltic Rim and Beyond
EditorsE. Russow, V. Dāboliņš, V. Lang
Number of pages25
Place of PublicationTartu
PublisherUniversity of Tartu Press
Publication date2023
ISBN (Print)978-9916-27-205-3
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Cite this