Alexander hoards

Newell, Edward Theodore, 1886-1941
Numismatic Notes and Monographs
American Numismatic Society
New York
Worldcat Works




Open access edition funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Humanities Open Book Program.


Table of Contents




By Edward T. Newell

This small but interesting hoard is stated to have been found near Andritsaena in the Peloponnesus and was offered for sale by an Athenian antiquity dealer early in March of 1923. How long before this it had been found, we do not know. It was entirely due to the interest and active intervention of Mr. Sydney P. Noe, who chanced to be in Athens at the time, that the Philip and Alexander portion of the find was secured intact, as well as casts of many of the remaining Bœotian, Æginetan, Sicyonian, and Olympian staters.

No further particulars concerning the hoard, or the circumstances surrounding its discovery, are at present available. As it had passed through at least two hands before reaching the Athenian dealer, it was found impossible to secure any further information. All we can definitely state is that it was certainly found in the Peloponnesus and that all the specimens offered to and secured by the dealer have been seen. Whether the find was originally larger is not definitely known, but the person from whom the dealer acquired his portion is said to have made the vague statement that he believed there were a few more pieces. None, however, were seen in Athens before the end of May, 1923. As the contents of the hoard make a well rounded out whole, it is quite possible that we possess it in its entirety. At any rate, it is well worth publishing.

As a whole, the coins in this hoard are exceedingly well preserved. Not only was their original owner apparently very particular with regard to the condition of the pieces which he added to his savings, but time also has dealt kindly with the little treasure entrusted to its not always tender care. When found, the majority of our coins were but slightly oxidized, some not at all. This oxidiza- tion has proved easily removable, as has also the fawn-colored earth or clay which originally encrusted all of the coins. With three exceptions, reserved for possible future reference, all of the Philips and Alexanders have now been cleaned. The weights of the Bœotian, Æginetan, Sicyonian, and Olympian staters were not ascertained, but those of the remainder are given below.

PHILIP II OF MACEDON, 359–336 b.c.

Mint of Amphipolis.

1 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Laureate head of Zeus to r. Rev. ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟϒ. Youthful rider wearing fillet and holding palm branch. on horseback to r. Beneath foreleg. rose.

Müller, No. 75. VG. gr. 14.47.

2 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. Beneath horse, bee and stern.

Müller, No. 197. F. gr. 14.32.

3 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. Beneath horse, bee and double head.

Müller, No. 270.1 F. gr. 14.435. Plate I.

4 Tetradrachm.

Similar to the preceding.

F. gr. 14.38.

5 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. Beneath horse, double head.

Müller, No. 269. VF. gr. 14.535.

6 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. Beneath foreleg, double head.

Müller, No. 269. VG. gr. 14.375.

7 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. Beneath foreleg, stern.

Müller, No. 210. VG. gr. 14.22.

Mint of Pella.

8 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟϒ. The king in kausia and mantle, right hand raised, advancing to 1. on horseback. Beneath horse, HM.

Müller, No. 297. G. gr. 14.26. Plate I.

9 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Youthful horseman to r. as on No. 1. Beneath horse, thunderbolt In exergue, N.

Müller, No. 11. VG. gr. 14.33. Plate I.

Posthumous issue of circa 325 b.c.

10 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar, but of later style.

Rev. Similar, but of later style. Beneath horse, flying bee.

Variety of Müller. No. 191. VF. gr. 14.31. Plate I.


Mint of Amphipolis.

Group A, circa 336–334 b.c.

11–12 Tetradrachms.

Obv. Head of young Heracles to r. Rev. ΑΛΞΑΝΔΡΟϒ. Zeus ætophor seated to 1. on throne. In front, prow Müller, No. 503. G. gr. 17.07. F. 17.09.

Group B, circa 333 and 332 b.c.

13 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, bunch of grapes.

Müller, No. 306. F. gr. 17.15.

Group D, circa 330 and 329 b.c.

14 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, club and image

Variety of Müller, No. 138. F. gr. 17.095.

15 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, horse’s head.

Müller, No. 528. VF. gr. 17.145.

16 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, dolphin.

Müller, No. 539. G. gr. 17.20.

Group E, circa 328 and 327 b.c.

17 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, herm.

Müller, No. 366. VF. gr. 17.24.

18 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, cock.

Müller, No. 392. VF. 16.945.

Group F, circa 326 b.c.

19 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, bow and quiver

Müller, No. 591. VF. gr. 17.15.

Group G, circa 325 b.c.

20 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar, but inscription: ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔ—P—ΟϒΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ. In field, cornucopia.

Müller, No. 368. VF. gr. 17.22.

Group H, circa 324 and 323 b.c.

21—22 Tetradrachms.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar, but inscription: BAΣIΛΕΩΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟϒ. In field, phrygian cap.

Müller, No. 854. VF. gr. 17.21, 17.16.

23 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, tripod.

Müller, No. 146. VF. gr. 17.20.

Group I, circa 322 and 321 b.c.

24 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, image

Müller, No. 860. VF. gr. 17.125. Plate II.

25–28 Tetradrachms.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, image

Müller, No. 863. F. D. C. gr. 17.18, 17.20. 17.22, 17.27.

Group J, circa 320 and 319 b.c.

29 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, ear of barley

Beneath throne, II.

Müller, No. 570. F. D. C. gr. 17.15.

30 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, laurel sprig. Beneath throne, II.

Müller, No. 560. F. D. C. gr. 17.10.

30 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, crescent (upright). Beneath throne, II.

Müller, No. 261. F. D. C. gr. 17.205.

31 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, crescent (inverted). Beneath throne, II.

Variety of Müller, No. 261. F. D. C. gr. 17.32. Plate II.

Mint of Pella.

Circa 336–320 b.c.

33–35 Tetradrachms.

Obv. Similar, but of different style.

Rev. Similar, but of different style.

Beneath throne, Θ.

Müller, No. 197. VG. to F. gr. 17.12, 17.18. 17.19.

36 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, image

Müller, No. 762. F. D. C. gr. 17.32. Plate II.

37 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. No symbol.

Variety not in Müller. VF. gr. 17.195.

38 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. Beneath throne, bucranium.

Müller, No. 98. VF. gr. 17.17.

Uncertain Mint in Macedonia or Thessaly.

39–40 Tetradrachms.

Obv. Similar to the preceding.

Rev. Similar. In field, helmet. Beneath throne, AΣ.

Müller, No. 1472. F. D. C. gr. 17.14, 17.195.

Mint of Phaselis or Side.

41–53 Tetradrachms.

Obv. Head of fine style to r.

Rev. ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟϒ on r., ΒΑΣIΛΕΩΣ in exergue. Zeus on high-back throne to 1. In field, wreath. Beneath throne, ΔΙ.

Müller, No. 550. F. to F. D. C. gr. 17.00; 17.01; 17.075; 17.10; 17.11 ; 17.12; 17.14; 17.145; 17.15; 17.16; 17.18; 17.22; 17.25. Plate II.

54 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. Beneath throne, ΔΙ.

Müller, No. 216. VF. gr. 17.145.

55 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar, but with ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ above. In field, AI. Beneath throne, BΣ.

Müller, No. 1483. F. D. C. gr. 17.195.

Mint of Tarsus.

Series I, circa 333–327 b.c.

56 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Head of young Heracles of eastern style.

Rev. Zeus, of eastern style, :: enthroned to 1. Below throne, A.

Newell, Tarsos under Alexander, No. 6.

VG. gr. 17.14.

57 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. Beneath throne, Ḃ.

Newell, l. c. No. 10. F. gr. 17.11.

Mint of Salamis.

Series I, 332–320 b.c.

58 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, bow.

Müller, No. 1287. (See also, Newell, Some Cypriote Alexanders, Num. Chron., 1915, No. 7.) VG. gr. 17.12. Plate III.

Mint of Citium.

Series I, 332–320 b.c.

59 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, image

Müller, No. 1294. (See also, Newell, l. c. No. 4.) F. gr. 17.045. Plate III.

Mint of Myriandrus.

Series II, circa 329 b.c.

60 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ on r., ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟ in exergue. In field, image

Beneath throne, image

Newell, Myriandros—Alexandria kat' Isson, No. 20. F. gr. 16.98.

Series III, circa 328–326 b.c.

61 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar, but without the title, and with ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟϒ on r. Same monograms.

Newell, l. c. No. 22. F. gr. 17.035.

Series IV, circa 326–323 b.c.

62 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, image over image

Beneath throne, image

Newell, l. c. No. 28. VG. (not cleaned), gr. 17.24.

Mint of Aradus.

63 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In exergue, ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ, on r., ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟϒ. Beneath throne, image

Müller, No. 1360. VF. gr. 17.07.

64–66 Tetradrachms.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, Σ. Beneath throne, image

Müller, No. 1364. F. and VF. gr. 17.03; 17.105; 17.195. Plate III.

67 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, ΣΩ. Beneath throne, image

Müller, No. 1363. F. gr. 17.23.

Mint of Byblus.

Monogram of King Adramelek.

68 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar, style early. In field, image

Müller, No. 1375. G. gr. 17.015.

69–71 Tetradrachms.

Obv. Similar, but of later style.

Rev. Similar, but of Müller’s style IV.

In field, image

Müller, No. 1375. F to F. D. C. gr. 17.095; 17.10; 17.19. Plate III.

Mint of Ake.

Series I, circa 332–328 b.c.

72 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. Beneath throne, M. Newell, The Dated Alexander Coinage of Sidon and Ake, No. 2. VG. gr. 17.14.

Series III, circa 326–320 b.c.

73 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, image (year 23 = circa 323 b.c.).

Newell, l. c. No. 18. VF. gr. 17.07. Plate IV.

Mint of Babylon.

Series II, circa 329–326 b.c.

74 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Head of Heracles to r., of “Babylonian style.”

Rev. Zeus enthroned to 1. Beneath throne, image and M. (Symbol originally in the exergue is "off flan.")

Müller, No. 670. F. gr. 17.20.

75 Tetradrachm.

Obv. From same obverse die.

Rev. Similar, but with back to throne. In field, thunderbolt. Beneath throne, image and M.

Müller, No. 679. VG. gr. 17.12.

76 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, wreath. Same monogram and M beneath throne. Variety not in Müller. VF. gr. 17.09.

77 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, cantharus. Same monogram and M beneath throne Variety not in Müller. F. D. C. gr. 17.18.

78 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, rose. Same monogram and M beneath throne. Variety not in Müller. VF. gr. 17.225.

Series III, circa 326–324 b.c.

79 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar. In field, bunch of grapes and M. Same monogram beneath throne.

Müller, No. 692. VF. gr. 17.155.

Series IV, circa 323–320 b.c.

80 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar, but of more advanced style (Müller's style IV). In field, M Beneath throne, Λϒ.

Müller, No. 1272. VF. gr. 17.115.

81–82 Tetradrachms.

In name of Philip Arrhidæus (after 323 b.c.).

Obv. Similar.

Rev. Similar, but inscribed, ΒΑΣΛΕΩΣ ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟϒ. In field, M. Beneath throne, Λϒ.

Müller, No. 99. VF. gr. 17.09; 17.115.

After 317 b.c.

83 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Heracles' head of fine style to r.

Rev. Zeus enthroned to 1. In exergue, ΒΑΣΛΕΩΣ; on r., ΑΛΕΣΑΝΔΡΟϒ

In field, image in wreath. Beneath throne, MI.

Müller, No. 734. F. D. C. gr. 17.115. Plate IV.

Ancient Imitation of the Alexander Coinage.

84 Tetradrachm.

Obv. Head imitated from Babylonian issues.

Rev. Seated Zeus imitated from Cypriote or Phoenician issues. On r., ΑΛΕΗΑΝΔ. On 1., AΣBA. .A.

Not cleaned. VG. gr. 16.52. Plate IV.


Period 379-338 b.c.

85 Stater.

Obv. Bœotian shield.

Rev. Amphora between ΔΙ—Ω.

Brit. Mus. Cat. p. 82. No. 134. Somewhat worn.

86 Stater.

Obv. Bœotian shield.

Rev. Amphora between KA—BI.

Brit. Mus. Cat. p. 83. No. 150. Somewhat worn. Plate V.

Period 338—335 or later.

87 Stater.

Obv. Bœotian shield.

Rev. Amphora between BO—ΙΩ. bunch of grapes above.

Brit. Mus. Cat. p. 36. No. 42. Somewhat worn. Plate V.


Period 550-456 b.c.

88-972 Staters.

Obv. Sea-turtle.

Rev. Incuse square divided by bands into a conventional pattern of five compartments.

Brit. Mus. Cat. Pl. xxiv, Nos. 1, 2. All very much worn.

Period 404–350 b.c., or later.

98–105 Staters.

Obv. Land-tortoise (testudo græca). Rev. Incuse square divided by bands into a conventional pattern of fivė compartments.

Brit. Mus. Cat. Pl. xxiv. Nos. 10–12. F.-VF. Plate V.

At least three and probably more of these eight staters, all in the finest condition, were of the later type with narrow bands, spread fabric, and tortoise of later style.


Period 400–300 b.c.

106 Stater.

Obv. Chimæra to 1. Beneath, ΣE. Rev. Dove flying to 1. in wreath.

Brit. Mus. Cat. Pl. vii. No. 17. Somewhat worn.

107 stater.

Obv. Chimæra to r. Beneath, ΣΙ.

Rev. Dove flying to r. in wreath. Somewhat worn. Plate V.


Period 421-365 b.c.

108 Stater.

Obv. On boss of a round shield, eagle to 1. devouring serpent.

Rev. Thunderbolt between F—A.

Seltman, Nos. 162-6 (die BV). Much worn and covered with punchmarks.

Period 343–323 b.c.

109 Stater.

Obv. Laureate head of Zeus to r.

Rev. Eagle standing to r. on Ionic capital. In field, thunderbolt and serpent.

Seltman, Nos. 207-12 (die CT). Somewhat worn.

Period 363–323 b.c., or later.

110 Stater.

Obv. Head of Hera to r. wearing Stephanos inscribed faaeiωn. In field, F (A).

Rev. Eagle standing to 1., head to r. and wings spread. The whole in olive wreath.

Seltman, No. 344 (dies FG-ιψ) VF. Plate V.

One of the principal reasons impelling the writer to publish this little find (be- fore other more important ones) is that, small though it is, it furnishes a very typical specimen of the kind of hoards buried in Hellas during the last quarter of the fourth century b.c. The usual contents of such deposits may be summarized briefly as follows: a large proportion ofAlexander’s tetradrachms in which Macedonian issues predominate; a smaller but not at all negligible number of the issues (both contemporaneous and posthumous) of Philip II; and, finally, a scattering number of such local and autonomous issues as were still being struck in the larger cities or were still generally current—though their original mints had been closed. Furthermore, from the standpoint of the Alexander series, the Andritsaena hoard is interesting as representing the Greek counterpart, in everything but size, of the great Egyptian find of Demanhur. With one important exception all of its varieties are to be found in the Demanhur deposit. And this one exception, No. 83, enables us to place the probable burial date of the Andritsaena hoard within rather narrow limits.

It is to be noticed that not one of our Alexander coins was struck after the death of Philip Arrhidæus, excepting only No. 83. Now this piece represents the first issue immediately following the series current in Babylon at the time of his death.3 With them this coin is closely bound by great similarity of detail, style, and fabric. As these very soon change, it must have been struck early in the course of the new issue. It cannot therefore have appeared much after the commencement of 316 b.c., for Philip was assassinated early in November of 317 b.c.4 This hoard cannot, then, have been buried earlier than the year 316. As this particular Babylonian coin is in such perfect condition it could have seen but little, if any, circulation. In our calculations, however, we must allow a certain time for its long journey from the plains of Babylonia to the mountains of the western Peloponnesus. This will of necessity bring us to the end of 316, or even well into the year 315 b.c. as the only possible date at which the Andritsaena hoard could have been buried. The total absence of so many very common coins struck in the last years of Philip Arrhidæus or in the first years of Alexander IV forbids setting the burial at a later date. This is further corroborated by the uniformly brilliant condition exhibited by all the coins in the hoard which date after about 320 b.c. Thus, on the sole evidence of the coins in this find, we seem amply justified in fixing on the year 315 b.c. as the probable time at which they were buried.

And this date would seem to fit in remarkably well with certain political events which took place in the Peloponnesus at this time, and which might have induced the former owner of our hoard to consign it to Mother Earth. We know that after the successful conclusion of Antigonus’ campaigns against Eumenes in the east, he moved his army from Babylon to Cilicia, where he went into winter quarters. This was in the late autumn of 316 b.c. At this time he found himself threatened by a powerful coalition of the remaining satraps, Cassander of Macedon, Lysimachus of Thrace, Assander of Caria, and Ptolemy of Egypt. To hold Cassander in check while he settled with the remainder, Antigonus now sent his trusted friend, Aristodemus of Miletus, with one thousand talents to the Peloponnesus with instructions to raise an army of mercenaries and, especially, to win Polysperchon for his cause. The latter had, since 318 b.c., been waging desperate warfare against Cassander, and now found himself in the possession of a large portion of the Peloponnesus. By the beginning of 315 b.c., Aristodemus had accomplished all his objects and, together with Polysperchon, was at the head of a considerable army.

In the meanwhile Apollonides, Cassander’s general stationed in Argos, had been able to hold his own until his master’s arrival, and even to seize the town of Stymphalus. Having recruited a fresh army in Macedonia, Cassander, in the spring of 315 b.c., marched south through Thessaly and Bœotia, secured Corinth’s harbor Kenchreæ,5 and pushed on into Arcadia. He seized Orchmenus and staged an ambitious raid over into Messenia. As, however, he found the city of Messene too strongly held by Polysperchon to warrant an attempt at assault, he returned to Arcadia. Leaving Damis as military commander of the district, Cassander went to Argos and celebrated here the Nemean Games. These are reckoned by Droysen6 to have been held in the first year of the 116th Olympiad, or August of 315 b.c. Soon after he returned with his army to Macedonia, Cassander’s opponents, immediately improving upon this opportunity, again overran all the Peloponnesus, chased the garrisons from town after town, and soon were in undisturbed possession of practically all of the peninsula.

Thus ended the campaign of 315 b.c. Although the fighting was resumed with the spring of 314, it was principally con- fined to northwestern Elis (about Kyllene) and to the province of Achaia, leaving the district about modern Andritsaena quite untouched. This state of affairs, so far as we can gather from our ancient sources, also held true for the ensuing years. In other words, it would appear that only in 315 b.c. was the country, within a radius of twenty miles of Andritsaena, disturbed by actually contending armies so that life and property would not be safe.7 At that time the hills about Andritsaena lay but a little to one side of Cassander’s direct route from Orchomenus to Messene. He would probably at least have sent raiding parties into the hills during his advance southwards, if only to protect his flank, as well as his line of supplies and retreat, against any sudden attack. Cassander’s campaign appears to have been merely a tour de force, in the course of which he held only the places actually occupied by his soldiers. All the remaining portions of the Peloponnesus and all but a few of the large cities (such as Argos, Stymphalus, Orchomenus, and possibly Epidaurus) were in the hands of Polysperchon, his son, Alexander, Aristodemus, and their allies. The latter, however, did not once dare to meet Cassander’s, veteran forces in open battle, but contented themselves with holding the walled cities, and undoubtedly the mountains to either side of his advancing forces. Guerilla warfare was apparently the order of the day.

No wonder then that in such troublous times, and well within the zone of active operations, the former owner of our hoard decided to place his savings in as safe a place as possible. Why he was never able to remove them later is, of course, open to many conjectures. To attempt a solution would be futile.

With the sole exception of No. 83, the Philip and Alexander coins in the Andritsaena hoard call for but little comment. The issues of Amphipolis, the largest of all the Alexander mints, outnumber those of any other one mint, as is only natural for a hoard found in a country enjoying close and constant communications with Macedonia. This was even the case with such a distant hoard as that of Demanhur (q. v.). On the other hand it is interesting to observe that, if taken together, the Asiatic Alexander issues by far outnumber (43 as against 30) the European ones. This is not usually the case with hoards found in Europe and dating from the last quarter of the fourth century b.c.8 In this case, however, there may be an easy solution. It will be remembered that in 316 b.c., or just the year before the probable burial date of our hoard, Aristodemus was sent by Antigonus to the Peloponnesus with a thousand talents with which to raise troops.9 Again, early in 315 b.c., Diodorus states10 that Polysperchon’s son, Alexander, returned from a short visit to Antigonus in Cilicia with a further sum of five hundred talents. These huge sums were undoubtedly in the form of coined money. There were no facilities in the southern Peloponnesus to convert so much bullion into ready money, and the all-important time was lacking. It would obviously have been far more expedient for Antigonus merely to turn over already coined money furnished him by the many active mints at his command in the east. Furthermore, we may gather from Diodorus 11 that his recent successful campaigns in the east had been most lucrative.

Antigonus at this time was assembling a great army in Cilicia for the coming expedition against Syria and Egypt. For this purpose he had probably seen to it that the satrapal coffers should be well filled with the “sinews of war” in an immediately available form. Any coins Aristodemus, and later, Alexander, had brought with them from Asia would soon be certain to find their way throughout the length and breadth of the southern Peloponnesus. The newly hired soldiers would be only too ready to spend the first instalments of their pay. Their commanders, because of political conditions, had only the immediately surrounding countryside from which to draw their supplies. These would probably not be all commandeered. In a poor country like this, Polysperchon and his allies had to depend too much upon the good-will of the inhabitants—ever ready to welcome a change—to risk not paying for at least some of the supplies requisitioned for the support of their armies. Thus, very soon, probably a considerable number of Alexander coins from eastern mints was in circulation among the people of Messenia, Laconia, southern Elis, and southern Arcadia. It is possible, also, that many of the earlier eastern issues had already found their way to the Peloponnesus (as to the rest of Hellas) in the hands of returning veterans from Alexander's armies.

Provided that we really have the entire find before us, it is curious, to say the least, to note the entire absence of any of those Alexandrine issues which were first assigned to a mint at Sicyon by M. Babelon.12 The very same phenomenon is also observable in the Kyparissia hoard.13 Of course, in such small hoards chance must needs play a very large part and too much stress must not be laid upon the absence of any one variety, particularly if it be at all scarce.

To the best of the writer’s knowledge the Andritsaena hoard, in point of date, is the earliest (of which we have record) in which posthumous issues of Philip II (No. 10, Plate I) make an appearance. Later these coins become quite common, as in the Megara, Lamia, and other Grecian hoards which it is hoped will be published eventually.

As shown above by the catalogue, included in this find was also an ancient forgery of the Alexander tetradrachm (No. 84, Plate IV). The nature of the coin is indicated by its blundered legends, the dryness of the style, and the fact that its obverse is imitated from genuine Babylonian issues, while its reverse copies certain early Phoenician or Cypriote Alexanders. Furthermore, it is the only coin in the hoard which, in addition to the purple oxide and yellowish dirt which it bears in common with the remaining coins of the fìnd, is also encrusted with thick patches of verdigris. This is a phenomenon frequently observed by the writer in certain hoards which have contained both ancient forgeries and genuine issues. Almost invariably these imitations of the period will be encrusted with spots of verdigris not shown by any of the genuine pieces. This is undoubtedly due to the poorer quality of the silver of which the forgeries are made, the larger amount of copper in their alloy brought to the surface by decomposition, and other chemical changes which have taken place during the long period in which they have lain buried underground. The accompanying genuine coins, having but little, if any, copper in the composition of their metal, will only show the usual forms of decomposition customary for pure silver.

In view of the Peloponnesian origin of our find, it is but natural that coins of Ægina, Sicyon, and Elis should have formed the greater portion of the auton- omous coinages which it contained. It is noticeable, as was also the case with the Kyparissia hoard, that Athenian tetradrachms and Corinthian staters are both absent. The Bœotian, Sicyonian, and Olympian issues call for no special remarks. They are precisely what one would have expected to occur in a hoard of this date and place.

The Æginetan staters, Nos. 98-105, on the other hand, would seem to raise a question of dating. It will be noticed that they are of the Testudo Grœca (land-tortoise) type and belong to the anepigraphic series, now assigned by scholars to the years immediately following the Æginetan restoration of 404 b.c. 14 At least three in our find are of the late, spread-fabric type with thin (instead of thick) bands dividing the incuse of their reverses. All the specimens are in fine condition and could have seen but little circulation. On the other hand, not one of the inscribed varieties, bearing A, AI, ΑΙΓ, or AIΓI, turned up. These are supposed to have been struck during the years immediately preceding 348 b.c. It is curious that these should be missing when the supposedly much earlier series was present not only in goodly numbers but also in such fine condition. It would seem as if the latter (the uninscribed, thin-banded, and spread-fabric type) had been struck but recently, and not at the very commencement of the century.

The writer might not have paid any particular attention to this curious anomaly—in hoards so much is due to mere chance—had it not been for the consideration that another little hoard (or portion of a hoard), brought to his attention in 1921, presented the very same feature. That lot consisted of six Philip II tetradrachms (Müller, Nos. 158, 252, 263, two specimens of 269, 270) ; fourteen Alexander tetradrachms (Müller, Nos. 3, 216, 392, two specimens of 550, var. of 567, 684, 697, var. 704, 853, 860, var. 1302, var. 1342, 1473) ; and three Æginetan staters in fine condition and all of the 404–350 b.c. type occurring in the Andritsaena find. Here, too, in- scribed Æginetan staters are noticeable by their absence.

The reader will forgive a slight digression to allow the discussion of this second “find.” A selection of four typical specimens is given on Plate VI. The coins themselves were shown to the writer in November, 1921, by Mr. A. H. Baldwin of London. According to the latter’s statement, there could be no question but that these twenty-three coins had really been found together. When first offered for sale they had all been covered with an identical type of patina which, as was also the case with the Andritsaena coins, proved easily removable, so that the coins to-day have almost the appearance of having been freshly minted. Mr. Baldwin further stated that the lot had been brought in to him but a short time before by a Greek, a native of the little Peloponnesian city of “Taipoli” (undoubtedly Tripolis, also known as Tripolitsa), who informed him that the coins had only recently been found “in that neighborhood.”

The astonishing similarity in content of this “Tripolitsa” find with what has come to us of the Andritsaena hoard is at once manifest and at least suggests the possibility of a common origin. The Alexander issues in both cover exactly the possibility of a common origin. The same proportion of European to Asiatic issues. As against the 30 European and 43 Asiatic Alexanders of the Andritsaena lot, compare the 5 European and 7 Asiatic in the “Tripolitsa”—the proportion is practically identical. Both hoards contained, in addition, a proportionate number of Philip’s coins and Æginetan staters. The average condition of wear exhibited by the coins in the two lots is also absolutely identical. Furthermore, Tripolitsa, one of the largest towns in the Peloponnesus and the chef lieu of Arcadia, is more or less directly connected with Andritsaena by carriage road via Megalopolis and Karytaena, so that it would not be so very surprising for coins found in the neighborhood of Andritsaena to turn up in Tripolitsa. It is curious, of course, but not entirely without precedent, that so long a time should have elapsed between the appearance on the market of the two lots. In February of 1922, the writer visited Athens and made many inquiries concerning a possible hoard of Alexander’s coins supposedly recently found in the Peloponnesus. On the last day of his stay in Athens a certain dealer15 came to him stating that he had just received word concerning a lot of about a hundred Alexanders from a recent find—but the writer could not ascertain where the find had been made, nor could he delay his departure for the somewhat remote possibility of eventually being able to secure the “find.” Whether this lot had anything to do with the Andritsaena pieces which arrived in Athens a year later, is certainly not at present susceptible of proof. So much for the “Tripolitsa” find. For the time-being nothing more definite can be said concerning its origin, but in studying the Andritsaena hoard we must not lose sight of the cir- cumstance that the “Tripolitsa” lot may also originally have belonged to it.

The apparent absence of any inscribed Æginetan staters in the two lots described above is brought into yet stronger relief by a large hoard of an entirely different character. The writer refers to the great hoard of 1596 Bœotian, Sicyonian, and Æginetan coins found in 1914 in Thessaly and now in the Athens National Collection.16 This remarkable find contained 1078 Bœotian staters from the earliest periods right down to, and including, coins of the period 338–315 B.C. Because of the comparatively large number of this latter class contained in the find, it must have been buried well after the year 338 b.c. Of the accompanying 325 Æginetan staters, 234 bore the sea-turtle as type, and so belong to the sixth and fifth centuries b.c. The remaining 90 specimens have the land-tortoise (testudo grœca) and belong to the fourth century. Again it is to be noted that they include not a single specimen of the type bearing the inscrip- tions A, AI, ΑΙΓ, or ΑΙΓΙ. This fact is all the more noteworthy as the find was a large one, and thus the element of chance is almost entirely eliminated. Can it be that the minting of silver staters at Ægina did not really come to an end with the year 348 b.c.,17 but was again undertaken at a slightly later date and under the ægis of Macedon?

Any detailed discussion, or any tentative rearrangement of the Æginetan series, would be out of place here. That must be left for others to accomplish. Leaving aside the moot question of the real date of the inscribed Æginetan staters, the little Andritsaena hoard has at least sustained the assignment by Fox of the land-tortoise type to the fourth century.



End Notes

Müller, in describing this coin which is in the Paris collection, has mistaken the bee symbol for a “lambda.”
None of these ten coins were actually seen by Mr. Noe, and they have been included only on the strength of a statement made by one of the Athenian coin dealers who saw the hoard before its dispersal. There is no adequate reason why they might not have been contained in the hoard.
At the time the news of Philip’s death was received in Babylon, the coins represented by Müller’s numbers 116, 117 (in name of Philip III) and 1542, 1543 (in name of Alexander IV) were being struck. This conclusion has been reached by the writer in a study of the mint at Babylon which he hopes soon to publish. Unfortunately, we here cannot go into this matter in greater detail.
Droysen, Geschichte des Hellenismus, II, I, p. 241, note 1.
At this time held by Polysperchon’s son, Alexander.
Droysen, l. c. III, 2, p. 37.
It must be remembered that, because of the character of its contents, the hoard could not possibly have been buried previous to the commencement of 316 B.C. Therefore Polysperchon’s campaign against Megalopolis in 318 b.c. and Cassander’s attacks on Tegea in 317 b.c. need not be taken into account. In 316 b.c. Cassander did indeed invade the Peloponnesus and seize Argos. Messene and other cities of the peninsula were “freed,” or voluntarily sided with him. So far as our sources would seem to show, however, the forces nevner came to any actual fighting, for the power of Polysperchon in the Peloponnesus at this time was comparatively weak.
For instance, in the Kyparissia hoard (q. v.) there were 15 European Alexanders, as against only 5 Asiatic. Also in the Lamia hoard (in the Athens National Collection) we have 18 European to II Asiatic Alexanders. The Messene hoard, which the writer hopes soon to publish, represents a special and very interesting case. Here, namely, there turned up 30 Asiatic and only one European Alexander!
Diodorus, XIX, 57, 5.
XIX, 61, 5.
XIX, 56, 2 and 5; XIX, 57, 1, where we also learn that the other satraps were only too anxious to divide the spoils.
Revue Numismatique, 1904, pp. 117-133.
One, however, occurred in the Epidaurus hoard, Ephemeris, 1903, pp. 98-116.
Earle Fox in Corolla Numismatica, pp. 34-46. Head, Historia Numorum, 2nd Ed., p. 397. Head, in the first edition of the Historia and in the Brit. Mus. Cat. Attica, etc., had previously assigned these coins to the impossible date 480-456 b.c. Curiously enough, Babelon has recently followed him in this (Traité, II8, pp. 155-158).
Not the same dealer from whom the Andritsaena pieces were eventually acquired.
Published by J. N. Svoronos, in Arch. Deltion, Vol. II, pp. 273-335.
As both Head and Babelon believe.


Plate I


Plate II


Plate III


Plate IV


Plate V


Plate VI


Numismatic Notes and Monographs

  • Sydney P. Noe. Coin Hoards. 1921. 47 pages. 6 plates. 50c.
  • Edward T. Newell. Octobols of Histiæa. 1921. 25 pages. 2 plates. 50c.
  • Edward T. Newell. Alexander Hoards—Introduction and Kyparissia Hoard. 1921. 21 pages. 2 plates. 50c.
  • Howland Wood. The Mexican Revolutionary Coinage 1913-1916. 1921. 44 pages. 26 plates. $2.00.
  • Leonidas Westervelt. The Jenny Lind Medals and Tokens. 1921. 25 pages. 9 plates. 50c.
  • Agnes Baldwin. Five Roman Gold Me dallions. 1921. 103 pages. 8 plates. $1.50.
  • Sydney P. Noe. Medallic Work of A. A. Weinman. 1921. 31 pages. 17 plates. $1.00.
  • Gilbert S. Perez. The Mint of the Philippine Islands. 1921. 8 pages. 4 plates. 50c.
  • David Eugene Smith, LL.D. Computing Jetons. 1921. 70 pages. 25 plates. $1.50.
  • Edward T. Newell. The First Seleucid Coinage of Tyre. 1921. 40 pages. 8 plates. $1.00.
  • Harrold E. Gillingham. French Orders and Decorations. 1922. no pages. 35 plates. $2.00.
  • Howland Wood. Gold Dollars of 1858. 1922. 7 pages. 2 plates. 50c.
  • R. B. Whitehead. Pre-Mohammedan Coinage of N. W. India. 1922. 56 pages. 15 plates. $2.00.
  • George F. Hill. Attambelos I of Characene. 1922. 12 pages. 3 plates. $1.00.
  • M. P. Vlasto. Taras Oikistes (A Contribution to Tarentine Numismatics). 1922. 234 pages. 13 plates. $3.50.
  • Howland Wood. Commemorative Coinage of United States. 1922. 63 pages. 7 plates. $1.50.
  • Agnes Baldwin. Six Roman Bronze Medallions. 1923. 39 pages. 6 plates. $1.50.
  • Howland Wood. Tegucigalpa Coinage of 1823. 1923. 16 pages. 2 plates. 50c.
  • Edward T. Newell. Alexander Hoards— II. Demanhur Hoard. 1923. 162 pages. 8 plates. $2.50.