Kingdom of Edessa. King Abgar VIII, 177-192 AD


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Edessa( modern day Turkey) was an independent kingdom between the Roman and Parthian Empires. Edessa supported the Parthians on numerous occasions against Rome. King Abgar V, according to legend, wrote to Jesus Christ to ask if He would heal the king from an ailment. King Abgar V even offered Jesus asylum in his small city which was independent at the time from Roman domination. Jesus responded by sending him the "Shroud of Turin" after His resurrection which remained in the city for hundreds of years before going to Constantinople. Edessa may also be the Biblical city of Ur and the home of Abraham.

This coin has King Abgar the VIII on the obverse with a solar eclipse symbol on his head and Emperor Commodus on the reverse. This coin appears to show the Roman geopolitics of war against the Parthian Empire. King Abgar VIII is wearing the solar eclipse symbol and siding with the Romans in their animosity against the Parthians. The Romans interpreted the solar eclipses in the area as justification from their gods to conquer the Parthians. Later Emperor Caracalla had enough of Edessa and their independence. He killed Abgar IX after inviting him to Rome and made Edessa a Roman province. Photo Art Ancient Coins


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