This important hoard was found in 1959 at or near Agrinion in western Aetolia and offered to the American Numismatic Society in the following year. A photographic record was made shortly thereafter but the coins themselves were not acquired until the summer of 1962, by which time it had become apparent that the deposit had significant chronological implications and merited full publication. 1
As reported in a preliminary note in the 1962 Numismatic Chronicle, 2 the Agrinion Hoard now consists of 1,340 silver coins:
|179||autonomous drachms and hemidrachms of various mints in the Peloponnese and Central Greece|
|39||tetradrachms of Athens|
|1||tetradrachm of Cyme|
|151||hemidrachms of Megalopolis|
|834||hemidrachms of the Achaean League|
|97||hemidrachms of Aetolia|
|39||denarii of the Roman Republic|
In view of the controversial chronology of several coinages represented in the hoard, it will be well to emphasize at the start that we are dealing with a deposit which has not been adulterated in modern times. A green copper encrustation was present on numerous specimens of all series listed above, even on the single tetradrachm of Cyme, and many pieces were also heavily coated with a distinctive dark accretion. 3 Beyond any question the coins are from a single burial.
Adulteration in antiquity is a possibility which cannot be ruled out, but there is no cogent reason for supposing that it took place. In its basic composition the Agrinion Hoard is comparable with other deposits in which autonomous issues of the fourth and third centuries are combined with second century strikings of Megalopolis, Aetolia and the Achaean League. 4 It differs from the other hoards in containing tetradrachms of Athens and Cyme and denarii of the Roman Republic. 5 This admixture of coinages is, however, entirely plausible in the light of the Aetolian provenance of the hoard. The Athenian and Cymean material is contemporary with the bulk of the Federal money and the chronological problems presented by the denarii do not seem serious enough to necessitate the segregation of the 39 Roman coins and the assumption that they were added at a later date to the 1301 Greek coins of an earlier hoard.
In the catalogue which follows, the arrangement is roughly chronological: the early series and the miscellaneous coinages of second century date preceding the large issues of Megalopolis, the Achaean League and Aetolia, which comprise the bulk of the hoard. The denarii and their special problems are treated in an appendix. It has seemed worthwhile to divide the Achaean money into early and late groupings in an effort to show when the various cities were active and the extent and character of the coinage at different periods. This distribution of issues involves a degree of confusion, especially in the case of cities represented by autonomous strikings as well as by early and late Federal emissions. The geographical and alphabetical listing on page 5 summarizes the contents of the hoard for more convenient reference.
The entries of the catalogue are by obverse and reverse dies within each issue, with transfers within and between issues noted. Die axes have been given throughout but they establish little more than the lack of adjustment at most mints. The tetradrachms of Athens and those of Cyme, as we know from other evidence, show a consistent relationship of dies (↑↑) and several issues of Chalcis in the present hoard have a uniformly horizontal adjustment (↑←). For all other mints providing sufficient material for evaluation, the positions are erratic (↑,↓,←,→). 6
Since the Agrinion coins will some day be useful for die studies of individual mints, a record of practically all obverse and reverse dies is to be found on the plates. 7 In the case of several examples of the same pair of dies, the illustrated coin is the one listed first, unless otherwise indicated.
Throughout the publication there is frequent reference to the studies of Clerk and Weil and to four hoards, comparable in date and composition to that of Agrinion. The bibliography is as follows:
Clerk—M. G. Clerk, Catalogue of the Coins of the Achaean League, London, 1895.
Weil—R. Weil, "Das Münzwesen des Achäischen Bundes," ZfN 1882, 199–272.
Caserta Hoard—A. Löbbecke, "Ein Fund achäischer Bundesmünzen," ZfN 1908, 275–303.
Arcadia Hoard—M. Crosby and E. Grace, An Achaean League Hoard, NNM 74, 1936.
Western Greece Hoard—M. Thompson, "A Hoard of Greek Federal Silver," Hesperia 1939, 116–154.
Olympia Hoard—This is an unpublished hoard now being studied by Margildis Schlüter who has made photographs of the coins available. Another Olympia Hoard, published by Newell in Numismatic Notes and Monographs 39, is also mentioned in the commentary on the Agrinion Hoard. To avoid confusion this earlier find is referred to as the Olympia 1922 Hoard.
|1||This study has been greatly facilitated by the assistance and cooperation of a number of colleagues, to whom I am deeply grateful. A preliminary photographic record of the hoard was made by George C. Miles and the late William P. Wallace. The onerous task of cleaning the coins was undertaken by Persy Coronis; the subsequent photography for the plates is the work of Peter Berghaus. Margildis Schlüter provided prints of a large Achaean League hoard found at Olympia, which she is publishing, and has been most generous in sharing her information and tentative conclusions. When she first suggested the possibility of common mints and a second century beginning for the Achaean coinage, I was somewhat skeptical but study of the Agrinion material has convinced me that she is right. Rudi Thomsen and Michael Crawford have devoted a great deal of time to analyzing the Roman material and preparing the Appendix, and Charles Hersh has supplied helpful data on the Roman series as a whole. The publication in its final form owes much to the careful checking of Joan E. Fisher.|
|2||"Athens Again," NC 1962, 320–322.|
|3||According to Hansjörg Bloesch, who saw the coins before they were cleaned, this is sulphuric oxide with limestone encrustation. In order to preserve the record of the two types of deposit, a small group of coins has been left uncleaned as noted in the catalogue.|
|4||The Caserta, Western Greece, Arcadia and Olympia Hoards cited on page 4 and throughout the publication.|
|5||The Abruzzi Hoard (NC 1962, 312–313) apparently contained Athenian tetradrachms and denarii associated with Achaean League hemidrachms but the circumstances of its accumulation are so obscure that it cannot be considered a reliable parallel for the Agrinion Hoard.|
|6||Minor deviations from these positions have not been recorded. Even coinages with adjusted dies show variations resulting from different points of alignment. See W. P. Wallace, The Euboian League and its Coinage, NNM 134 (New York, 1956), 89–90 and G. Le Rider, Suse sous les Séleucides et les Parthes (Paris, 1965), 20–21.|
|7||The few omissions, due to exigencies of space, are noted in the catalogue.|
|locri opuntii||p. 11|
|Early League||p. 10|
|Late League||p. 13|
|Early Achaean||p. 45|
|Late Achaean||p. 56|
|Late Achaean||p. 63|
|Late Achaean||p. 60|
|Early Achaean||p. 41|
|Early Achaean||p. 28|
|Late Achaean||p. 68|
|Late Achaean||p. 55|
|Late Achaean||p. 59|
|Early Achaean||p. 20|
|Late Achaean||p. 64|
|Early Achaean||p. 30|
|Late Achaean||p. 62|
|Early Achaean||p. 38|
|Late Achaean||p. 53|
|Late Achaean||p. 58|
|Early Achaean||p. 48|
|Late Achaean||p. 52|
|Early Achaean||p. 31|
|Late Achaean||p. 68|
|Early Achaean||p. 22|
|Late Achaean||p. 61|
|Late Achaean||p. 58|
|Late Achaean||p. 57|
|Early Achaean||p. 21|
|Late Achaean||p. 65|
|Early Achaean||p. 48|
Obv.: Σ I Chimaera l.
Rev.: Dove flying l.; usually some marking in field.
Obv.: Forepart of wolf l.
Obv.: Female head l.
Rev.: XAΛ Eagle flying l., holding serpent; symbol in field.
Obv.: Female head r.
Rev.: XAΛ Eagle flying r., holding serpent; symbol or monogram in field.
Obv.: Head of Maenad r.
Rev.: IΣTI Bull walking r.; behind, vine with two bunches of grapes; symbol or monogram in field.
Obv.: Boeotian shield.
Rev.: Λ Ω Amphora in incuse square. 8
Obv.: Boeotian shield
Rev.: BO IΩ Cantharus; above, club. All in shallow incuse square.
Rev.: BO IΩ Cantharus; above, fulmen.
|8||Babelon (Traité II.3, 275–276) regards the Λ Ω as a mint designation and suggests that the issue was struck by Larymna-Lorymna. Newell in the Olympia 1922 Hoard (NNM 39, 18–19) discusses an analogous striking with Δ I and follows Head and Imhoof-Blumer in interpreting the letters as a magistrate's initials.|
Obv.: Bull's head facing.
Rev.: Legend illegible. Female head r. within incuse square.
Obv.: Head of Persephone r.
Reo.: OΠONTIΩN Fighting Ajax r.
Obv.: Head of Athena r., wearing crested Corinthian helmet.
Rev.: ΛΟΚΡΩΝ Fighting Ajax r.; sea-horse in shield; trident r.
Obv.: Laureate head of Zeus l.
Rev.: ΑΙΝΙΑΝΩΝ Warrior hurling javelin r.
Obv.: Head of young Dionysus l., wearing ivy wreath.
Rev.: ΛΑΜΙΕΩΝ Amphora; above, ivy leaf; to r., prochous.
Obv.: Head of lion l.; in mouth, spear-head.
Rev.: [ΟΙΤΑΩΝ] Herakles facing, holding club.
Obv.: ΛΥΛ behind laureate head of Zeus r.
Obv.: Laureate head of Poseidon r. Border of dots.
Rev.: ΒΟΙΩΤΩΝ Nike standing l. with wreath and trident; monogram or symbol in field.
Rev.: Incuse square divided into five compartments; in one section, two globules.
Obv.: Head of Athena Parthenos r. Border of dots.
Rev.: Α Θ Ε Owl r. on amphora; various monograms or names, symbols, amphora letters and control combinations. All within wreath of olive.
|162.||Rudder. 16.76 ↑ Τ. 28 (new reverse) 9 190/89 b.c.|
|163.||Nike; star above owl. 16.70 ↑ Τ. Not (new obverse and reverse) 189/8|
|164.||Trophy. 16.32 ↑ Τ. 41 (new reverse) 188/7|
|165.||Trophy. 16.61 ↑ Τ. 44 (new reverse)|
|166.||Grain-ear. 16.69 ↑ Τ. 55 (new reverse) 187/6|
|167.||Cicada; Η on amphora. 10 16.73 ↑ Τ. 71a 185/4|
|168. 11||Serpents; Ḳ on amphora. 16.45 ↑ Τ. 83d 184/3|
|169.||Serpents; Ν on amphora. 16.64 ↑ Τ. 84 (new reverse)|
|170.||Herm; Γ on amphora. 16.66 ↑ Τ.88 (new reverse) 183/2|
|171.||ΠΟΛΥ-Τ||Palm behind owl;? on amphora; Η l. field. Uncleaned. 16.36 ↑ Τ. 106d 181/0|
|172.||ΠΟΛΥ-Τ||Palm behind owl; ṂẸ on amphora; l. field. 12 16.76 ↑ Τ. 110a|
|173.||ΑΜΜΩ-ΔΙΟ||Cornucopiae; ΠΡ l. field. 16.59 ↑ Τ. 114 (new reverse) 180/79|
|174.||ΑΜΜΩ-ΔΙΟ||Cornucopiae; ΜΗ l. field. 16.30 ↑ Τ. 114 Χb|
|175||a. ΑΜΜΩ-ΔΙΟ||Cornucopiae; ΠΡ l. field. 16.70 ↑ Τ. 117 (new reverse)|
|b. ΑΜΜΩ-ΔΙΟ||Cornucopiae; ΕΥ l. field. 16.68 ↑ Τ. 117 (new reverse)|
|176.||ΑΜΜΩ-ΔΙΟ||Cornucopiae; ΕΥ l. field. 16.47 ↑ Τ. 118 (new reverse)|
|177.||ΧΑΡΙ-ΗΡΑ||Cock; marking uncertain. 16.55 ↑ Τ. 130 (new reverse) 13 178/7|
|178.||ΧΑΡΙ-ΗΡΑ||Cock; ΠΡ l. field. 16.25 ↑ Τ. 131d|
|179.||ΧΑΡΙ-ΗΡΑ||Cock; ΠΡ l. field. 16.41 ↑ Τ. 132a|
|180.||ΧΑΡΙ-ΗΡΑ||Cock; Ω 14 below. 16.73 ↑ Τ. 134 (new reverse)|
|181.||-ΛΥΣΙΑ||Forepart of horse; Ζ on amphora; ΣΦ below. 16.63 ↑ T. 167h|
|182.||-ΛΥΣΙΑ||Forepart of horse; ? on amphora; ΑΡ l. field. 16.79 ↑ T. 169 (new reverse)|
|183||a.||Filleted thyrsos; ? on amphora; ΜΕ below. 16.76 ↑ T. 177 (new reverse) 176/5|
|b.||Filleted thyrsos; ? on amphora; ΕΥ below. 16.59 ↑ T. 177d|
|184.||ΔΗΜΗ-ΙΕΡΩ||Helmet; Α on amphora; ΜΗ/ΘΥ 15 below. 16.70 ↑ T. 202d 174/3|
|185.||ΔHMH-IEPΩ||Helmet; A on amphora; ΘE 16 below. 16.78 ↑ T. 206 (new reverse)|
|186.||Eagle; A on amphora; EY below. 16.62 ↑ T. 228c 173/2|
|187.||Eagle; H on amphora; ΣΦ below. 16.57 ↑ T. 236 (new reverse)|
|188.||Aplustre;? on amphora;? below. 16.54↑ T. 257b 172/1|
|189.||Aplustre; K on amphora; ΠP below 16.22 ↑ T. 258a|
|190.||KTHΣI-EYMA||Nike; H on amphora; EN below Uncleaned. 16.71 ↑ T. 271 (new reverse) 171/0|
|191||a. KTHΣI-EYMA||Nike; M on amphora; ΠP below. 16.49 ↑ T. 277 (new reverse)|
|b. KTHΣI-EYMA||Nike; M on amphora; EYMA ΠP l. field. 16.56 ↑ T. 277 (reverse of 278h)|
|192.||KTHΣI-EYMA||Nike;? on amphora; ME l. field. 16.76 ↑ T. Not (reverse of 277k)|
|193.||KTHΣI-EYMA||Nike;? on amphora; EN below. 16.60 ↑ T. 281|
|194.||ΓΛAY-EXE||Helios bust;? on amphora; HP l. field. 16.73 ↑ T. 300 (new reverse) 170/69|
|195.||MIKI-ΘEOΦPA||Nike in quadriga; E/Δ (?) on amphora; ME/AP below. 16.69 ↑ T. 318c 169/8|
|196.||ΠOΛYXPAM-NIKOΓ-ΘEMIΣTOKΛH||Caduceus; I on amphora; Δl below. 16.80 ↑ T. Not (reverse of 378f) 165/4|
|197.||ΘEOΦPA-ΣΩTAΣ-ΠEIΣΩN||Fulmen; Δ on amphora; ME below. Uncleaned. 16.79 ↑ T. 407 (new reverse) 162/1|
|9||References are to M. Thompson, The New Style Silver Coinage of Athens, NS 10 (New York, 1961).|
|10||This better-preserved example of Thompson 71a resolves the uncertainty as to the amphora letter.|
|12||The marking in the left field presents a problem. On the specimens of the Athens corpus (No. no) it was read as Μ and interpreted as a month letter but this must now be corrected from the evidence of the Agrinion coin, which shows a loop to the right of the Μ. Until we have a reverse on which the amphora lettering is clearer than it is on any recorded specimen, it will be well to reserve judgment on the meaning of the combination of markings.|
|13||Doublestriking makes identification of the obverse die difficult. It seems to be T.130.|
|14||This new reverse provides a new control combination for the issue, one which is found in the contiguous emission of Adei-Helio.|
|15||A coin from the Meletopoulos Collection (Athens 202d) probably has the same recutting of the control combination. Its reverse is not clear.|
|16||The new reverse die adds still another control combination to the thirteen already listed for this issue and confirms Svoronos' record of the combination (see Athens, p. 86).|
Obv.: Head of Amazon Cyme r.
Rev. KYMAINΩN Horse r.; below, cup. All within wreath of laurel.
Obv.: Laureate head of Zeus l.
Obv.: Laureate head of Zeus l.
Rev.: Pan seated l. on rocks, holding lagobolon; eagle on his knee.
|17||Die linkage between Nos. 218–219 is illustrated on Plate XVII; the coins of the four other instances of transferred dies are grouped at the bottom of Plate XIX for convenient comparison.The location of the breaks on the later specimens is as follows: on No. 219 small flaws by the nose, the termination of the wreath, and the long lock of hair behind the neck line; on No. 222 around the nose; on No. 223 around the crown of the head; on No. 230 before the face.|
Obv.: Laureate head of Zeus r.
Corinth 6 coins (part)
Sicyon 17 coins (part)
Corinth and Sicyon each produced a single issue during the early period of the Achaean League coinage. 19 Neither seems to have been a large emission. More than three times as many obverse dies have survived from the Sicyonian striking as from that of Corinth, but our record is very likely incomplete for both mints. 20
|Coins||Obverse Coins||Coins||New obverse dies|
Patras 124 coins (part)
Assignment of these six issues to Patras represents a radical departure from tradition. Earlier publications attribute Issue 1, and sometimes Issue 3 as well, to Ceryneia on the basis of Weil's reading of the monogram as KAPY. 22 The other trident strikings are given to Mantinea or Troezen, and the dolphin issue is listed as the output of Dyme or an uncertain mint. There are, however, valid grounds for associating the emissions and attributing them to the city of Patras.
Taking the trident coinage first, it is evident that it forms an indivisible sequence. Die linkage between Issues 1 and 2 (Nos. 259–262) proves that the strikings belong together and that it is the trident and not the lettering in the field which indicates the minting authority. Even without this concrete evidence of transferred dies, one would be justified in associating the five trident issues, which not only share a symbol but show a marked homogeneity in the rendering of the compact, heavy heads in high relief.
Within the large ΔI issue there is both stylistic diversity and deterioration, ending in the crude obverses of Nos. 295–297. This is clearly the last trident striking, preceded by Issue 4 with -ΔI. Whether Issue 3 belongs after the EY emission or at the beginning of the sequence is somewhat uncertain. Its reverse dies are cut with care. The trident is more elaborately delineated than on other strikings and in this issue alone a prominent pellet marks the junction of the diagonals of the League monogram. This evidence of painstaking workmanship suggests the initial stages of a coinage but there are considerations which indicate a later date. In Issue 1 the wreaths of the reverse are tied above and the trident prongs point left; in Issues 2, 4, and 5 the wreaths are tied below and the prongs point right. Issue 3 with ties below and prongs right would seem to belong after rather than before Issue 1. A later placement of Issue 3 also derives some support from the style of the obverse heads. They are very similar to those of the first issue of Elis and the Elean mint was almost certainly opened some years after the trident coinage started, which again implies that Issue 3 was not the first emission.
The trident mint contributed more coins to the Agrinion Hoard than any other Achaean League mint except Antigoneia and only Antigoneia and Megara surpass its record of obverse dies. Obviously the coinage was heavy and this is an important consideration in determining its origin. In attributing the trident issues, one must look for a mint likely to have produced a very substantial coinage and one for which the trident would have been the equivalent of a mint signature.
Ceryneia is improbable on both counts. It was an inland site of minor importance, known to have produced one issue of League bronze but no autonomous coinage. Mantinea, to which some of the trident issues are often attributed, was at this period 23 called Antigoneia and we have a large League coinage marked AN. Apart from the chronological difficulty, the assignment of the coins to Mantinea on the basis of the trident symbol is not convincing. Poseidon and the trident play an insignificant role in the repertory of Mantinean coin types; the bear and the acorn are the common devices of the autonomous silver. It is in the highest degree improbable that the trident alone would have identified the coinage as that of Mantinea. A much stronger case can be made out for Troezen where the trident was the distinctive civic badge, used almost exclusively on autonomous silver and bronze. There are, however, objections to the Troezenean attribution. It is doubtful, as Miss Grace points out, that Troezen under the League was of sufficient size and importance to have produced a very large coinage, considerably larger, it might be noted, than that of Argos itself, the chief city of the Argolid. Furthermore, as we shall see later in the discussion of the League coinage as a whole, there seems to have been during this early period a rather clear-cut distribution of mints on a geographical basis. Two mints within the Argolid area is a definite deviation from the pattern. Finally, if the trident mint is Troezen, one might expect some stylistic similarity between its issues and those of nearby Argos. This is not the case. The trident issues bear no relationship to the contemporary issues of Argos. No one of these factors is in itself conclusive but taken together they cast doubt on the Troezenean origin of the trident series.
The arguments advanced against Troezen are the ones which speak most persuasively for Patras as the mint of the trident coinage. In concept and in execution the trident obverses show a pronounced stylistic affinity with those of Sicyon, Elis and Megara. 24 It would seem to be somewhere in the northern or northwestern section of the Peloponnesus that the trident mint should be located. It is there, too, that one finds a surprising gap in the list of active League mints. During this early period there is coinage from the Corinth-Sicyon-Megara area, from Elis, from Arcadia, Messenia and the Argolid. There is apparently nothing from Laconia or Achaea. In the case of Sparta this is understandable; in the case of Achaea it is puzzling. At a later date several Achaean communities produce League silver and one of them, Patras, strikes extensively. That there should be no earlier coinage from Achaea is very peculiar, particularly since there are no autonomous emissions to help account for the absence of League issues. Assignment of the trident series to Patras explains the stylistic parallels with northern mints and rounds out the numismatic picture. Achaea, the homeland of the Federation, did assume its share of financial responsibility through the substantial coinage of one of its major cities.
That the trident coins have never been attributed to Patras is undoubtedly due to the fact that the symbol on the later issues of that mint is the dolphin. Actually the two symbols are synonymous; either would be a suitable device for a seaport where the cult of Poseidon was strong. 25 Nor is the change in symbol unparalleled in the League series. As will be seen later, Dyme uses an Athena head on her first Federal issue and then replaces it with a fish.
Whatever reservations one may have about the source of the trident coins, Issue 6 with ΛY-AP and dolphin certainly belongs to Patras. Earlier attributions to Dyme were based on a misreading of the ΛY as ΔY by Weil and Löbbecke and on a misinterpretation of the symbol as a fish. As Miss Grace points out in connection with the Arcadia Hoard, the symbol is a dolphin and this being so, the mint is Patras which placed a dolphin on later Federal issues inscribed with the ⊓A ethnic.
Issue 6 is of special interest in that two of its three dies were used for coins of Elis. This phenomenon is discussed at some length in the commentary on the League coinage as a body, but it might be noted here that it probably explains the striking difference in style between the trident obverses and those of the dolphin issue. If the dolphin coins of Nos. 298–300 were not actually struck at Elis, their obverse dies were surely cut there.
The record of surviving material provided by the Agrinion Hoard and other sources is as follows: 26
|Coins||Obverse dies||Coins||New obverse dies|
|EY||16||9 (2 carried over)||14||3|
Argos 20 coins (part)
In the Argive series the symbol rather than the lettering serves as the major control. The coins which are earliest in style and most worn in all hoards are those with the wolf's head device, usually combined with . 28 Next come the harpa specimens with IΩ, or . 29 Finally, at a later period, the club appears with and possibly A (see p. 68, n. 75).
For the first time in the League issues there is deviation from the standard representation of the obverse type. The Zeus head sometimes faces left instead of right in both the wolf's head and harpa emissions.
On the basis of the existing evidence the early Federal coinage of Argos seems to have been confined to two distinct issues of rather small size:
|Coins||Obverse dies||Coins||New obverse dies|
Corone 6 coins
This issue has been assigned to Messene, to Megalopolis and to Corone (?). 30 The last attribution is almost certainly correct. An association with Messene (or Megalopolis) is based on the rather tenuous grounds of style and recurrence of the letters ΞE. The combination, however, is found at other League mints (see p. 117) and a similarity of style between issues of Corone and Messene is scarcely surprising in view of the geographical proximity and political ties of the two towns.
The strongest argument against the Messenian attribution is the absence of M or , invariably present on issues of that mint. Unless one assumes that the ΞE-KO striking belongs with the very few examples of League money without clear indication of the issuing authority, 31 one or the other combination must denote the mint. Since ΞE cannot be the beginning of an ethnic, the possibilities are Corinth, Corone or Cortys (Gortys). The first has two series of Federal currency, marked with a koppa or a Pegasus, and these bear no stylistic relationship to the KO emission. Cortys cannot be ruled out but her insignificance as a mint is underscored by the fact that the only record of coinage is League bronze. Corone, which struck a fairly substantial amount of autonomous silver and bronze 32 as well as League bronze, is surely the obvious source of this KO issue.
|Coins||Obverse dies||Coins||New obverse dies|
Messene 67 coins (part)
The series of M-: coins here attributed to Messene must be considered in relation to the coinages of Megalopolis and Pagae-Megara since some or all of the issues have in the past been assigned to those mints. 34
Within the Achaean League series there are three issues which are indubitably strikings of Megalopolis: our Nos. 466–467, 472–474 marked with a pedum and M, a syrinx and M, and a syrinx alone. The attribution of these issues to the Arcadian city has never been disputed. A fourth issue, with M or over a fulmen (our 471) is given to Megalopolis by Weil, Löbbecke and Crosby-Grace; to Messene by Clerk. On Plates XXXVIII-XXXIX (471–474) the fulmen issue and the second syrinx striking of Megalopolis are shown in juxtaposition. The four obverse dies are unmistakably from the same hand and the two issues are further connected by the ΞB or BΞ control combination which appears on the reverse of the fulmen coins and on the obverse of those with syrinx. Clerk's separation of the two issues is not supported by the numismatic evidence.
The four emissions with symbols belong to Megalopolis, but what of the M- strikings without symbols. Before discussing these as a group, it will be well to dispose of the Pagae-Megara mint to which one issue is given by Clerk 35 and Crosby-Grace, a striking with ⊓ A or A ⊓ to left and right and M below. The attribution is based on an interpretation of the lettering as referring exclusively to the striking authority, but this is dangerous ground. Is it any more likely that ⊓A-M stands for Pagae-Megara than that FA-AN, for example, denotes Elis-Antigoneia and AIΓI-KO Aegium and Corinth or Corone? The assumption that in the case of Pagae-Megara alone there is a joint emission with the name of the second mint replacing the usual control combination is on the face of it a dubious premise and one which is not substantiated by the coinage.
To argue that Megara already has an extensive coinage marked with a cithara and bearing no stylistic similarity to the ΠΑ-Μ issue is not conclusive for the coins might have been struck at Pagae and M instead of the cithara used to distinguish them from the normal Megarian emissions. Far more significant is the connection between the ΠΑ-Μ striking and other M issues which cannot come from Pagae-Megara. On the coins here assigned to Messene there are various combinations (ΠΑ, ΠΔ, ΠΑ or ΑΠ) associated with M or . Of these, the first two must be control combinations; there is no reason to suppose that the third is anything else. Furthermore, coins with ΠΑ and ΠΑ are linked by a transferred obverse die (Plate XXVI, A and B), and Obverse 320 of the ΠΑ striking is so close in style to Obverse 322 of the ΝΦ-Μ issue as to be attributable to the same hand. The three emissions are from the same mint and that mint cannot be Pagae.
It remains to determine the origin of the series without symbols. Apart from the Pagae-Megara attributions already mentioned, Löbbecke and Crosby-Grace give all issues to Megalopolis; Clerk calls them Messenian except for the ΝΦ-Μ striking which he lists under Megalopolis; Weil assigns the group as a whole to Megalopolis with the exception of an example of our first issue which he lists under Messene. Whether right or wrong, the arrangement of Löbbecke and Crosby-Grace has the merit of consistency, and it seems to me that their basic premise is correct. The issues belong together. Either they are all part of the Megalopolitan sequence or they are all the output of a second M mint, which must be Messene. 36 Allocating some to Megalopolis and some to Messene, as Clerk and Weil do, introduces an element of confusion into the otherwise orderly pattern of the Achaean League coinage. Once symbols and letters or monograms appear on the coins, the issuing authority is explicitly defined by these markings. 37 To assume that M or alone was used by both Megalopolis and Messene implies that no effort was made to distinguish the issues of the two mints and this represents such a striking deviation from standard procedure as to be implausible. If Messene produced no League silver during this early period, as Miss Grace suggests, the designation of some Megalopolitan issues by a simple M or : would create no problem of identification. The crux of the matter is whether or not the M issues, with and without symbol, can be related as a single series.
All known varieties of the coinage without symbols are found in the Agrinion Hoard. 38 They seem to form six distinct issues. The initial striking uses in various combinations and positions ΞΕ, ΠΛ and X as control marks. Although the pattern is erratic (ΠΛ alone or with ΞΕ,Ξ orΞΕ or ΞΕΝΩ alone, and ΞΕ with X) and three different obverse styles are represented, die linkage and the recurrence of ΞΕ point to a single issue. Within the second issue there is some variation in reverse markings: Δ or ΠΔ. Since ΠΔ must be taken as two separate controls and not the first two letters of a word, it is reasonable to assume that Δ was first used alone and later combined with Π.
As noted above, the third issue is linked with the second by a die not represented in the Agrinion Hoard, the transfer illustrated on Plate XXVI. A (from Paris 2.48 gm. →), has ΠΔ on the reverse while B (No. 138 of the Arcadia Hoard, now in the ANS Cabinet) is inscribed ΠΑ.
One reverse of the fourth issue has Φ alone; all others are marked ΝΦ, again two separate controls. An obverse die of this issue is almost identical in style to one of the third emission (Nos. 320 and 322). The first obverse of the fifth issue is from the same hand as No. 323 but a circle of dots now frames the head. A second die of very similar style shows the head to the right instead of left and this position is maintained through the emission for heads of gradually reduced size. An obverse die is shared by Nos. 325 and 326, thus linking the two issues.
This coinage without symbols, despite its early irregularities, reveals a basic unity. At least five of its issues are related and in all probability are fairly close in time. Can the four Megalopolitan strikings be inserted into the sequence?
The coins with pedum, syrinx or fulmen are illustrated on Plates XXXVIII-XXXIX. It is immediately apparent that they fall into two groups. Nos. 466–467 (Plate XXXVIII) are extremely close in style, as are Nos. 471–474 (Plates XXXVIII-XXXIX). The earlier obverses are also fairly close in style to one die of the NO issue (Plate XLVIII 321 and 467 a). It would be possible to insert these two issues of Megalopolis into the series without symbols between Nos. 320 and 321, even though this means separating by at least two years Obverses 320 and 322 with their marked stylistic relationship and assuming that the mint interpolated two strikings with symbols in the middle of a coinage without symbols.
Nos. 471–474 with fulmen or syrinx are later than Nos. 466–467 on the evidence of style and of wear on the hoard coins. The obverse dies with their very low relief and sharply delineated heads are unlike anything in the coinage without symbols. Moreover, the last three issues of the latter series, with their stylistic homogeneity and die linkage, cannot be separated. If this is all one coinage, the only place for the fulmen and syrinx issues would be after the emission (Nos. 326–329), postulating a time interval to account for differences in style and wear. There is, however, a grave objection to this arrangement. The issue and its die-linked predecessor have obverse heads surrounded by a circle of dots; the fulmen and syrinx coins have no dots. Throughout the early stages of the Achaean League coinage the obverses are undotted. About 170 b.c. or slightly later (see p. 88) the circle appears, and from that time on the striking mints use this decorative feature. The one exception is Megalopolis. No obverse in either the Arcadian or Achaean coinage which can definitely be attributed to that mint has a dotted border. The crucial point is that once the convention of dots was adopted at a given mint, it was observed consistently. 39 Two issues without dots following two issues with dots at one and the same mint is perhaps not impossible but it is in the highest degree unlikely. On the evidence of the dots alone there is a strong case for assigning the fulmen and syrinx issues to a different workshop.
Other considerations support the attribution to Messene of this Achaean League series with alone. She was a League mint at a later period, for there is at least one issue, with ΜΕΣ, which can belong nowhere else, and it is noteworthy that her late Federal money and a contemporary autonomous issue (Nos. 606–609) are in the same stylistic tradition as the last of the issues under present discussion. In view of her political and economic importance in the second century it would be surprising if Messene had no earlier League money. Miss Grace's hypothesis that Messene was "too incoherent to coin before 182" and after that date "too unimportant a state to strike federal silver" is contradicted by an extensive series of autonomous hemidrachms with tripod type and ΜΕΣ legend which prove more conclusively than any Federal coinage that Messene was a powerful state during the last decades of the League's existence. 40
The present division of the sequence between Megalopolis and Messene is in accord not only with the numismatic evidence but also with what we know of the coining history of the two mints. At the time that Messene began her League issues, Megalopolis was producing money of the old Arcadian type (see pp. 83–84). M or M: was sufficient identification of the Messenian source of the new Federal money. When Megalopolis at a later date put out her first issues of League silver, she had no choice but to add a symbol to the M mint mark to distinguish her coinage from that of Messene, and this basic distinction between the two coinages continued to be observed for subsequent issues.
Despite the diversity of reverse markings and the number of surviving coins, Messene's output of early Federal silver was not unduly large. Nineteen obverse dies are listed below and the high ratio of coins to dies in every issue but the second indicates that the record is substantially complete.
|Coins||Obverse dies||Coins||New obverse dies|
|ΑΠ||7||1||14||1 (carried over)|
|17||4 (1 carried over)||38||–|
Elis 73 coins (part)
The early coinage of Elis consists of five issues if the ΣΩ combination added to some dies of the ΛY emission is considered a secondary control rather than indication of a separate issue. Two obverse dies (Nos. 343–344 and 348–349) are used with both forms of the reverse. 41
Style and special features determine the sequence. The ΛY issue with a circle of dots around the Zeus head clearly comes at the end, preceded by the AN striking; the large flat heads of the two emissions are similar in treatment. An eagle appears as the symbol on one striking which must be early in view of the condition of the coins. The logical explanation of this unusual issue is that it represents a brief experiment at the very beginning of the coinage. There is no certainty as to the relative position of the CΩCΙAN and ΦI issues.
This is apparently a coinage of modest size. The 152 coins listed below were produced by 26 obverse dies, giving an overall ratio of about 6 coins per die and an even higher ratio for each of the last three issues. Our record of the obverse dies used for the early League coinage of Elis may be nearly complete.
|Coins||Obverse dies||Coins||New obverse dies|
Antigoneia 185 coins
All known varieties of the Achaean League money of Antigoneia are included in the Agrinion Hoard. 42 Although the catalogue follows general practice in dividing the AN-EY and EY-AN coins, it is almost certain that this is a single emission and that Antigoneia struck only three distinct issues of League coinage.
The issues, furthermore, are contemporary. Even without the conclusive proof of die linkage, this would be apparent from the condition of the Agrinion coins, all showing signs of considerable wear, and from stylistic parallels. Two distinctive types of Zeus head dominate the coinage. The first, found on practically all obverses of the issue, on Nos. 393–394 of the CΩ issue, and on Nos. 413–419 of the EY issue, shows a large head with rather loose treatment of the hair and a peculiar rendering of the eye which gives the impression of sleepiness. The second style, characteristic of most obverses of the Cft and EY issues, is neater and more compact. Toward the end of the coinage a third style appears, illustrated by Nos. 420–422.
Die links provide evidence for both contemporaneity and sequence. The obverse die of Agrinion 369, with reverse, is found in the Arcadia 1929 Hoard with a CΩ reverse; 43 the obverse dies used for Agrinion 392, 393 and 394 in the CΩ issue carry over into the EY emission, the last used with both AN-EY and EY-AN reverses. 44
Although short-lived, the coinage of Antigoneia was abundant. The following tabulation establishes this clearly:
|Coins||Obverse dies||Coins||New Obverse dies|
|EY||64||25 (1 carried over)||35||7|
At least 85 obverse dies were used for the three issues of Antigoneian coinage and the ratio of known coins and dies is so low for all issues that one must assume many more obverses were originally employed.
Megara 58 coins (part)
Seven issues of Megarian money are here assigned to the early period of the Achaean League coinage. 45 The reasons for dividing the emissions at this point are discussed in the commentary on the first section of the coinage (pp. 87–88). Four of the strikings are large. The other three are known from very few specimens, that of ΔΙО from a single coin of the Agrinion Hoard, and it is probable that they were produced during relatively short periods of minting.
Issues marked HPO and ΠΥΘΟ are joined by a transferred obverse die. The one coin of ΔΙϹ is so close in style to No. 450 of HPO, and No. 465 of ΠΕΛΑ so close to Nos. 463–464 of ΠΥΛΑ as to establish the sequence of the last four issues. Of the first three emissions, ΘΟΚΑ would seem to belong at the end since two of its dies (Nos. 447–448) foreshadow the coarse style characteristic of the HPO and later strikings. Recutting apparently determines the relative position of the ΜΕΓΩ and ΔΩΡΟ issues. 46
The workmanship of this Megarian series is very poor. Dies are inferior in style, often clumsily executed, and there is a considerable degree of doublestriking. This probably reflects the hasty production of a bulk coinage, for it is evident that Megara struck a great deal of League money during this period. Fifty-four obverse dies are on record for 101 coins, a ratio of under two coins per die. It would be hazardous even to estimate the number of dies originally in use but it must have been a very high total.
|Coins||Obverse dies||Coins||New obverse dies|
|ΠΥΟ||2||2 (1 carried over)||3||2|
Megalopolis 13 coins (part)
Coins from these two issues of Megalopolis show a near identity of obverse heads and a marked similarity in state of preservation. The strikings are undoubtedly contemporary. Minor variations of the syrinx issue exist but they are from the same obverse die as our 467. 47 It seems in fact almost certain that Megalopolis employed only two obverse dies for this coinage; including the Agrinion material, there are 18 coins of the first issue on record and 47 of the second, all from the same two dies.
Sparta 5 coins
Sparta struck very little early Federal silver. The five coins of the Agrinion Hoard and seven of eight other recorded specimens are from the same obverse die. A variant in Clerk (325) from the Athens Cabinet shows a club below the monogram but it, too, shares the die of our 468.
The same die was used for an issue with Y above, Ε Α to left and right and E below, not represented in the Agrinion lot but illustrated on Plate XXXVIII (D) by a coin from the ANS Collection. 48 Clerk attributes this AA-EY emission to Epidaurus, citing in his introduction (p. vi) the correspondence of lettering between this issue and one with Λ above, Y A to left and right and a cupping vase below. From Clerk's illustrations (pl. VII, 17–18) the symbol is by no means certain on the first coin but in any case the obverse heads are totally dissimilar in style. The issues cannot be brought into temporal relationship and any significance which might otherwise be attached to the repetition of ΛΑΥ is greatly diminished by the fact that the coin with E must have been struck at a considerably earlier date than the one with the "cupping vase." Since the E coin shares an obverse die with our Spartan issue, it is very probable that the ΛΑ and not the E indicates the mint.
Extensive die breaks below the chin on the ANS coin with AA-EY establish the sequence. It would seem that Sparta marked her first League issue with A A plus a symbol or a combination of symbols. On a contiguous striking and on another of somewhat later date, 49 the AA alone is used. At the end of the League period the symbol of the caps of the Dioscuri again appears on the coinage.
Uncertain 2 coins
No. 469 is another example of Clerk's 327–8 from an uncertain mint. In his introduction (p.vi) Clerk describes the coins as having a monogram standing for ΓΑ or ΑP to left, I or a pillar above, Y to right and A below. The lambda is taken to be the mint mark, indicating Leontion or Lepreon.
Our Agrinion piece is from the same obverse die as Clerk's 328 and probably from the same reverse die as his 327. On all three specimens the area above and to the left of the League monogram is very obscure. 50 There is, however, a well-preserved coin in the ANS Collection (Plate XXXVIII, E) 51 which gives us for the first time a clear impression of the entire reverse field. The marking to the left is peculiar in that it consists of a large A, formed in part by the upper left segment of the League monogram, to which is attached the I of the upper field. Either ΑΙ in ligature or AN in monogram would seem to have been the diecutter's intention. 52
Since there is no symbol on the coins, the clue to the striking authority must be provided by a letter or combination of letters. As noted above, Clerk selects the lambda in the lower field as the crucial letter and identifies the mint as Leontion or Lepreon. It cannot be said that this is impossible, although it might be argued that Lusi is a stronger candidate than either of the other Λ mints, 53 but there are two considerations which cast doubt on Clerk's attribution. In the first place, an identification of a mint by a single letter is very unusual in the Achaean League series. 54 Furthermore, it is noteworthy that it is not the lambda which is emphasized on the reverse but the AI or AN combination. The pronounced differences in size of the two sets of letters points to AI (AN) as the mint and ΛΥ as a control combination.
The possibilities are three: Aegira, Aegium and Antigoneia. 55 Of the two AI mints, Aegium seems the more likely. No early League coinage is known for either town, which is particularly strange in the case of Aegium, one of the centers of the Federation. At a later period both strike but Aegira consistently identifies her money by the forepart of a goat alone while Aegium uses AI or ΑΙΓΙ in addition to a fulmen symbol. On some issues (Clerk, pl. II, 1–2) the AI is rendered in ligature, and on the earliest of the issues which can be definitely ascribed to Aegium (our Nos. 544–549) there is a circular legend. The arrangement of the lettering on No. 469 is not strictly circular but it does have to be read around the reverse field instead of across as is normally the case.
In style, however, the ΛΥ issue has its closest relationship with a different region. The obverse die of the ANS coin resembles some in the AN striking of Elis (for example, Plate XXVIII, 341); the obverse of No. 469 is very similar to certain Messenian and Argive dies (Plate XLVIII, 307, 323c, 324b). Its orientation, too, is significant. In the early period of the coinage the only mints which show Zeus heads facing left are Megalopolis with her Arcadian issues, Corone, Argos and Messene. At both Argos and Messene, as at the ΛΥ mint, there is within a single issue a change in direction: some heads left, others right. At the northern mints the heads invariably face right. These considerations would link the ΛΥ issue with the southern section of the Peloponnesus and make Antigoneia the most likely source of the coinage. That the striking was actually done at Antigoneia is less probable. The problem created by the close stylistic relationship between issues of different cities and the possibility of common workshops are discussed at some length in the commentary on the coinage as a whole (pp. 101 f.). Without going into details at this point, one might suggest that the mint of Antigoneia was closed after the brief period of concentrated coining which produced the large , CΩ and ΕΥ issues and that at a later date a small emission in the name of Antigoneia was struck elsewhere, perhaps at Messene.
No. 470 looks barbaric and is possibly a copy of the pedum issue of Megalopolis. The head is sketchily rendered and the reverse marking, except for the M below, is unintelligible.
|18||The reader is reminded that the Achaean League coinage has been divided into early and late groupings (see p. 3 supra); the notation "(part)" after the record of coinage for a given mint means that there are issues in another section of the catalogue. The tabulation on p. 5 gives exact locations.In the commentaries on the various mints the record of known coins and obverse dies for the issues of the Agrinion Hoard is supplemented by other material. This is by no means an exhaustive compilation. It includes illustrations in readily-available publications and sale catalogues, photographs of part of the Olympia Hoard, and the Messenian and Megalopolitan hemidrachms of the Paris, London, Cambridge, Berlin and Leningrad Cabinets. Photographs and casts of the coins of the two cities were collected by James Dengate for a study of the money of Megalopolis ( ANSMN 13 , 57–110) and were thus at hand for die comparisons.|
|19||As is the case at other mints, insignificant variations occur within the issues, notably in the form of the Corinthian monogram and the arrangement of the Sicyonian letters.|
|20||Evaluations throughout of the degree of completeness of our record of obverse dies and hence of the size of individual coinages are based on the statistical survey of Francis Marriott (discussed in Athens, 711). The operative premise is that an average of six or more coins per obverse die per issue indicates that very few dies are unknown while lower ratios imply that there were originally more dies than we now know.|
|21||The undertype is very similar in size and shape to the obelisk on Victoriates of Ambracia (as BMC Thess., pl. XVIII, 1) of the late third and early second century. Official clipping might account for the reduced flan and lighter weight of the Agrinion coin.The monograms on the reverse are uncertain due to the overstriking. A well-preserved coin from the Arcadia Hoard (NNM 74, No. 11) is from the same obverse die as No. 271 and has the reverse lettering of our 270.|
|22||ZfN 1882, 245.|
|23||The change of name occurred ca. 222 b.c.; our trident issues belong to the second century (see pp. 89–90). Miss Grace (NNM 74, 13–19) was the first to recognize that they must be dated after 222, but she tried to reconcile this with a Mantinean attribution by postulating a "factional upheaval" ca. 190–185 which left a numismatic record in the series of coins with a trident and M or for Mantinea. This is purely hypothetical, as Miss Grace admits, and the coinage cannot be said to support the hypothesis since the M or is almost certainly an indication of the issue and not the mint and the trident symbol has no close connection with Mantinea.|
|24||Plate XLVII, Nos. 244a and 255b; 270b and 331a; 424 and 273a; 433, 291 d, 282b and 442. Plate XLVIII, 449 and 294.|
|25||The Imperial issues of Patras frequently use as reverse type a standing Poseidon with trident and dolphin, a representation of the statue by the harbor mentioned in Pausanias VII. 21. 7 (Imhoof, "A Numismatic Commentary on Pausanias," JHS 1886, 84–85). Smaller bronzes show a trident alone.|
|26||Some of Clerk's entries need to be checked. The description of No. 184 is dubious but the coin is not illustrated; No. 186 is from a known die (our 272) which has no lettering on the obverse. The six varieties of the K monogram probably include misreadings but the plates are too poor to permit accurate corrections. M as well as may exist in Issue 4; on all specimens I have seen, the cross-stroke is present although sometimes carelessly executed.|
|27||The undertype is uncertain.|
|28||If Clerk's No. 137 is accurately described, the wolf's head symbol is combined with A (or ) as well as with .Other entries in Clerk can be corrected. The monograms throughout are and . No. 138 is from the same reverse die as our 305b with above and repeated in the left field; No. 140, if correctly reported, probably has the same combination. The Ξ of No. 148 a is almost certainly I. Die breaks are responsible for what seem to be letters in the field of No. 150, and Clerk's record of markings in the field of No. 151 is not supported by the description of the coin in the Hunterian Catalogue (p. 131, 17).|
|29||The stylistic similarity and limited number of obverse dies in the harpa series point to a single emission rather than three separate issues.|
|30||Clerk, No, 312 and page v; ZfN 1908, 291; NNM 74, 26; Hesperia 1939, 151. The usual assignment is either Messene or Corone (?). Miss Grace gives the striking to Megalopolis in line with her reattribution of a number of Messenian issues. Objections to her arrangement are outlined in the commentary under Messene (pp. 33–37).|
|31||These are very few indeed. Among the uncertain coins of the standard publications, No. 329 of Clerk and Nos. 146–148 of Crosby-Grace can be assigned to Patras on the evidence of the dolphin symbol. Clerk's 331a is surely Antigoneia with AN below and E Y to l. and r.; his 331 and No. 145 of Crosby-Grace, with trident below and ⊏ Y to l. and r., are simply variants of Issue 2 of the sequence assigned to Patras in the preceding pages. Our 469 and Clerk's 327–328 have Λ below and Y to r. They may be coins of Antigoneia on the evidence of a good coin in the ANS Cabinet which shows that was also present on the reverse die (p. 50).There remain Clerk's 330, which seems to have ΛY above and A A to l. and r., and his 222, with E Y to l. and r., as examples of legible coins carrying no precise indication of origin. On all other issues the mint is identified by a symbol or letters. Although we sometimes have difficulty in interpreting the mint marks, there is no reason to suppose that the users of the currency found them ambiguous.|
|32||Three hemidrachms in good condition were in the Olympia Hoard, indicating contemporaneity with the late Federal issues of that deposit. The appearance of these autonomous issues in the hoard might be said to strengthen the case for the attribution of League silver to Corone since all other autonomous coins of second century date found in the Olympia Hoard and in similar Achaean League hoards come from mints which produced Federal silver.|
|33||The marking below the League monogram is not certain on 317 a and b, but a hemidrachm in Leningrad with Δ to l. has the monogram below.It is often difficult to determine whether or M is the intended form due to careless execution of the mint mark. Variations of given by Clerk and others are very likely either misreadings or the result of sloppy workmanship.|
|34||Clerk, 9, 13, 18 f.; Weil, ZfN 1882, 262, 268; Löbbecke, ZfN 1908, 294 f.; Crosby-Grace, NNM 74, 25–27. The attribution of issues in the Western Greece Hoard (Hesperia 1939,148ff. ) corresponds with that proposed in the present study.|
|35||Clerk's attribution is tentative; in his introduction (page v) he suggests the possibility of a Messenian origin. Two other issues listed under Pagae-Megara by the same writer have no connection with the ⊓A-M striking. No. 133 is another example of our 313 a and from the same obverse die, while 134 is a variant of the same issue, like the Olympia Hoard specimen cited below (note 38). In both cases ⊓Λ has been read as ⊓A.|
|36||Only two other League mints begin ME: Megara, already provided with a homogeneous series of cithara coins, and Methydrium, a small community unlikely to have been the source of a silver coinage of this size and variety.|
|37||For the few instances of imprecision, see p. 30, note 31.|
|38||Minor variants of the first issue exist: above and Π Λ to l. and r. in the Olympia Hoard; above, ΞΕ to l. and r., ΝΩ below in Berlin; above, ΠΕ to l. and r., below in Leningrad; ΞΕ to l. and r., below in the Western Greece Hoard.Clerk's list adds little, if anything, to the record. His 298–299 are examples of our 317; Δ (not A) is clear on the plate. No. 308 is a misreading of a reverse with the inscription of our 313 b, and No. 296 is from the same obverse die as our 315 and seems to have more lettering than Clerk describes, but the coin is in bad condition. No. 305 is something of a problem. It is from the same obverse die as our 321 and the two reverses are probably identical, with 321 the later stage. There is no trace of ΞΕ on the Agrinion specimen.|
|39||An occasional die may lack the circle, as in the case of one Argive piece (No. 601), but this can be nothing more than a diecutter's error since all other dies of the same issue have dots.|
|40||The issues occur in good condition in the Olympia, Western Greece and Caserta Hoards and must be contemporary with the late Federal coinage.|
|41||Variant readings, especially in the CΩCΙAN series, are found in published studies. No. 22 of the Arcadia Hoard was acquired by E. T. Newell; it is inscribed CΩA/ (not CΩN) below the League monogram. Clerk's Nos. 284–289 cannot be accurately checked due to the poor quality of the plate but I doubt there are any versions of the inscription not recorded in the present catalogue. A definitive correction of Clerk's 279, a very worn coin, is also difficult; it probably has ΛY above the monogram.|
|42||The twelve entries in Clerk include a number of misreadings. Nos. 195, 196, 202, 203 (illustrated on his plate VIII) are all marked ; what is taken to be a different monogram below a Π on No. 203 is merely an elaborate wreath tie under the standard monogram (the reverse is our 3561).Variations such as and and the addition of Π or to the CΩ control have no significance in terms of separate issues. The presence of ΛY on one reverse of the EY striking would seem to be nothing more than a diecutter's error.|
|43||NNM 74, No. 70.|
|44||In the case of the obverse die used for Agrinion 392 and 395, a diebreak in front of the brow establishes the sequence. The die of Agrinion 393 is found in the Olympia Hoard with a reverse marked AN-EY and that of Agrinion 394 with both AN-EY (Rosenberg LXIX, 1930, 2350) and EY-AN (ANS-ETN, Plate XXXV, C; 2.39 gm. →).|
|45||A variant of one of these issues (Clerk's 123 with H PO to l. and r. and NY below) is dubious. The plate shows no trace of letters under the League monogram.|
|46||Two reverse dies of ΘΟΚΑ (Nos. 442–443) show a recutting of letters. On the first, the theta seems to be a reshaped delta, which would provide a firm connection between Issues 2 and 3.|
|47||ΒΙ above, Λ Ε to l. and r., M and syrinx below in the Western Greece Hoard; syrinx above, Ε Λ to l. and r., M over B below in the same deposit; B above, Λ Ε to l. and r., syrinx below in the Hermitage.|
|48||This is No. 26 of the Arcadia Hoard. On pl. II of NNM 74 the obverses of Nos. 26–27 have been transposed.|
|49||Clerk 326 with Λ Α to l. and r. and below. The obverse head is of later style than that of our 468 but less crude than those of the last League emissions of Sparta.|
|50||On No. 469 the obscurity is caused by a defacement of the coin.|
|51||The coin is from the same reverse die as No. 469 and possibly from the same obverse as Clerk's 327. Weight 2.02 gm. ↑|
|52||Clerk's interpretation of the cutting in the left field as a monogram to be read Δ Α or ΔΡ is not likely; the first combination would be rendered more intelligibly as and the second as or . It is barely possible that the marking is simply a rho with an angular loop derived in part from the line of the League monogram, but I do not think this was the intent. The excessive prolongation of the initial stroke of the letter can be logically explained only as an effort to make the two diagonals of the A equal in length. What results is a well-proportioned A, comparable in scale to the I in the upper field.|
|53||There is Federal silver and bronze of Lusi but no evidence that Leontion or Lepreon struck either.|
|54||All other mints used two or more letters or a monogram. The one partial exception is Messene which placed M alone on some of her issues but this was a later development. Her first strikings have the monogram.|
|55||Alipheira, a small Arcadian town for which a single issue of Federal bronze is known, might be added to the list, assuming that stands for ΑΛΙ, but it seems improbable that Alipheira would have identified her money thus imprecisely by a combination which ostensibly reads AI or AN.|
Obv.: Laureate head of Zeus r. Circle of dots.
Megalopolis 43 coins (part)
As noted above in the discussion of the Messenian series, these strikings of Megalopolis are closely related in style and further united by the repetition of the ΒΞ control combination. 56 Like the two earlier issues of the same mint (Nos. 466–467), they are small emissions:
|Coins||Obverse dies||Coins||New obverse dies|
Elis 43 coins (part)
A sharp contrast in condition and in style separates these coins from the earlier League strikings of Elis (Plates XXVII-XXIX). Five issues are listed but it is possible that is a single emission with three secondary controls: Γ, Ι, and A. The fact that the three obverse dies on record here for ↙ coins were used for Γ reverses as well proves the contemporaneity of these two strikings.
There is a marked similarity in obverse style throughout the series with the exception of Nos. 489–495 in the -A issue, which are clearly from a different hand or hands. They may belong at the end of the sequence but the present arrangement seems more likely in that it places the I issue with its single control before those with double markings, unites the three strikings and brings together the two issues in which very small heads appear.
In state of preservation the five emissions are closely comparable. Deteriorating dies and weak striking are responsible for the worn appearance of Nos. 490–491; other coins of the same issue show no evidence of excessive circulation.
|Coins||Obverse dies||Coins||New obverse dies|
|2||2 (both carried over)||5||(1 other die carried over from Γ)|
Caphyae 5 coins
Caphyae's League coinage was apparently limited to three issues: the one above, another with the monogram , and a third with . 60 Of these, the first two have obverses of very similar style and would seem to be roughly contemporary strikings; the last is a later issue, represented by one example in the Western Greece Hoard and one in Clerk. Although coins of Caphyae do not appear in the other large Achaean hoards, the first emission at least seems to have been of fair size. The Agrinion Hoard has five hemidrachms from four obverse dies and two additional obverse dies are found on the nine other recorded specimens.
Megara 41 coins (part)
Except for the HPA and ΔΙΦ issues which are linked by a transferred die, the sequence of these six Megarian strikings is tentative. The coins show little difference in wear and the heads are generally similar in style, but those of the MAT and ΣΩΚΡΑ emissions are coarser than those of the other four series.
Two variants of the ΣΩΚΡΑ issue are given in Clerk: No. 129 with СωΚΡ to left and right and No. 132 with ΣΩ . Not even the cithara is certain on the obscure reverse of the first coin and the second piece is not illustrated. It is probable that its monogram has been misread.
|Coins||Obverse dies||Coins||New obverse dies|
|ΔΙΦ||11||5 (1 carried over)||9||2|
Pheneus 4 coins
The caduceus symbol identifies this EY issue as Federal silver of Pheneus. Clerk's attribution of a second issue with EY alone (his 222) to the same mint is questionable. EY is a very common control combination in the Achaean League series and there is no stylistic similarity of obverse heads to link the two strikings.
Although limited to one issue, Pheneus' coinage was probably more extensive than the number of surviving specimens would suggest. Four obverse dies were used for the four Agrinion pieces and one of the two other recorded coins was struck from a fifth die.
Pellene 4 coins
Pellene, like Pheneus, seems to have struck only one issue of League silver. The four coins of the Agrinion Hoard and six recorded elsewhere are from six obverse dies. No. 90 of Clerk and two specimens from the Western Greece Hoard are described as having a vase below the Achaean monogram, but this is an error. Pellene consistently used the chelys as a symbol.
Epidaurus 5 coins
Twenty-one entries are listed under Epidaurus by Clerk. Of these, some are doubtful 62 and others merely record different arrangements of the same control letters. Still other entries can be brought together on the basis of recurrent major controls. 63 There would seem to be only eight distinct issues with the snake symbol and two with the cupping vase. Stylistic similarities and die links provide additional evidence of contemporaneity. The issues represented by Clerk's Nos. 154 and 162 share an obverse die and another obverse is used for Nos. 156, 157, 164 and probably 160. All of this suggests a diversified coinage extending over a relatively short period.
|Coins||Obverse dies||Coins||New obverse dies|
|Cupping vase ΣΩ-ΔΑ||2||2||3||2|
Cleitor 1 coin
Aegium 9 coins
During the late period of the League series, Aegium produced five or six issues of silver. 65 The first two, represented by the coins of the Agrinion Hoard, combine an abbreviated ethnic with KO or ΓA in a circular arrangement which is difficult to read. Obverses are marked or and EY TEI. One of the EY TEI coins in Clerk (No. 40), with above and AI Γ I to left and right, seems to mark the transition from the peculiar circular legend to the conventional arrangement.
The next two or three issues have AI above and various combinations to left, right and below: O-TEI, ΛE-ΔI, and possibly A-Δ. A final issue has AIΓI∈ωN in full on the obverse and APICTOΔAMOC on the reverse.
The two Agrinion strikings are close in style and condition. They are earlier than the other issues but the interval between is probably not extensive.
|Coins||Obverse dies||Coins||New obverse dies|
Patras 20 coins (part)
The two ΞE strikings of Patras are joined by a common obverse die and the AN-TEI issue must be contemporary to judge from the condition of the coins and the similarity of the Zeus heads. In the AΓI issue the obverses are executed in higher relief and in somewhat heavier style and the reverses have a single control combination and the symbol above instead of below. These differences may indicate a break in the sequence after the first issue but there is no reason to suppose that it was of long duration.
|Coins||Obverse dies||Coins||New obverse dies|
|ΞE-ΘE||6||4 (1 carried over)||10||–|
Dyme 6 coins
This issue is given to Caphyae by Clerk (No. 178), presumably because its reverse dies have the same symbol as those of the Arcadian mint. There are, however, distinct differences in the two coinages, differences in the rendering of the Athena head, in obverse style and in lettering. The three issues of Caphyae are clearly identified by the first two letters of the ethnic, KA, in the field to left and right. The present issue has EN in the same position and ΔY above. Were it not for the symbol, the obvious attribution would be to Dyme.
It is the evidence of the obverse dies that seems conclusive. On Plate XLIII coins of the Athena head - ΔY issue are shown with coins of Patras. The similarity in style of the Zeus heads is striking. Even more decisive is the close stylistic relationship between the obverses of our Nos. 564–567 and that of a coin in Clerk (No. 56, pl. III, 6) which is clearly the first fish issue of Dyme. 66 The Athena head - ΔY striking, linked as it is in style with issues of Dyme and of the neighboring mint of Patras, must be just what it says it is, the coinage of Dyme. It is the ΔY and not the Athena head which is significant.
Dyme apparently began her League silver at about the same time as Caphyae (p. 93). Both mints chose an Athena head as the symbol for their coins. Since the first letters of their respective ethnics were also placed on the dies, there should have been no confusion as to the issuing authority, but for some reason the duplication of device proved undesirable. After one emission Dyme replaced the Athena head with the fish, a coin type of her earlier autonomous money.
|Coins||Obverse dies||Coins||New obverse dies|
Aegira 28 coins
Issues of ΓΛΑΥ and ΑΛΚΙ are united by two transferred obverse dies with the sequence established by die breaks. 67 The two other strikings of the Agrinion Hoard and some ten or eleven issues known from different sources 68 complete the record of the League silver of Aegira. Die linkage 69 and a homogeneity of style within this later series bring a number of issues into close relationship and point to a coinage of comparatively short duration.
|Coins||Obverse dies||Coins||New obverse dies|
|ΑΛΚΙ||22||6 (2 carried over)||17||–|
Corinth 11 coins (part)
There is a considerable interval between the koppa emission of Corinth (Nos. 240–242) and these die-linked strikings. 70 Like other mints, Corinth produced an early and a late League coinage in silver, limited in this case to the three issues of the Agrinion Hoard. 71
|Coins||Obverse dies||Coins||New obverse dies|
|ΚΑΣ||5||3 (1 carried over)||9||3|
Sicyon 25 coins (part)
The pattern of coinage at Sicyon is very similar to that at Corinth, one early and two late issues, but a basic difference in mint organization is revealed by the coins of this second period. Whereas the Corinthian strikings use a single control combination ( or ΚΑΣ), those of Sicyon employ both principal and secondary controls: ΝΙ with , ΔΙ, or ; with ΔΕ, Μ (or M), and variants, ΑΓ, ΕΙ or . 72 Many of these secondary controls are linked by transferred obverse dies. For the ΝΙ issue, where our record of obverse dies would seem to be nearly complete, the linkage is comprehensive: Within the issue there are fewer connections 73 but the low ratio of known coins and dies for this striking implies that our record is fragmentary.
It seems clear that the late Sicyonian coinage comprised two distinct issues with an elaborate system of minor controls. That these controls were more or less contemporaneous and not spaced over any extensive interval is attested by the pattern of die linkage and by the hoard evidence. The 25 coins of the Agrinion Hoard are not only similar in style but closely comparable in condition.
|Coins||Obverse dies||Coins||New obverse dies|
Argos 10 coins (part)
The late coinage of Argos combines a club symbol with the monogram of earlier emissions (Nos. 301–306 and 308). 75 Twenty coins, ten from the Agrinion Hoard and the same number from other sources, provide a total of six obverse dies, apparently the work of a single engraver.
Messene 3 coins (part)
|56||Clerk gives the obverse reading as ΒΙ (see his list of corrections) and Crosby-Grace as BI but the form is ΒΞ on all legible specimens.One coin of Clerk's catalogue (No. 213) has the standard reverse of our 472–474 coupled with a head of crude style facing left. If the obverse-reverse combination is correct and if this is an official issue, it would seem to be an isolated precursor of the late Arcadian issues of Megalopolis (Plate XLIX, J).|
|57||A die break across the reverse field makes the letter, if any, above the fulmen uncertain.|
|58||Even allowing for the double impression, it is difficult to account for the confused state of this reverse.|
|59||Clerk's 238 with ΙΑ above is from the same reverse die as our 497; the I is a die break. A few other corrections in Clerk's record should be noted: 230 and 240 have Ι above and are examples of the first issue of the present series; 234 and 235 are from the same Ι striking with traces of the I after the monogram visible on the reproduction of the first coin.|
|60||The of Clerk's 174 is a variant of our monogram. His 177 and a coin in the Western Greece Hoard have beside the Athena head and a second monogram in the upper field, obscure on the hoard specimen and almost entirely off flan on Clerk's coin. No. 178 of Clerk is an issue of Dyme (see our 564–567).|
|61||Although the circle of dots is not visible on the Agrinion coin, it was part of the die for it can be seen on other coins from the same obverse stamp. On a number of Megarian hemidrachms of this period the dotted border is only faintly discernible due to poor workmanship and weak striking.|
|62||Nos. 170–172 are discussed under Sparta (p. 49); their attribution to Epidaurus is questionable. On No. 169, not illustrated, the ΘΑ is probably a misreading of the usual ΔΑ. No. 166, also without illustration, is very likely a poorly-preserved example of the Patras striking with ΘΕ above and dolphin below (our 560–563). The letters beneath the League monogram on No. 160 are difficult to make out; from the plate they seem to read .|
|63||Nos. 156–7, from the same obverse die, with ΟΛ and EY or ΣΩ Nos. 158 and 161, from the same obverse die, with ΣΩ (ΦΑ) and ΣΙ or ΚΛ.|
|64||In this blundered legend the ΓA may be a mistake for ΓA.|
|65||The only uncertain entries in Clerk's list are his 36, an example of the KO issue with ΞE on the obverse in addition to the usual A , and 34 with AI above and A Δ to left and right. There is no illustration of the second piece and the reproduction of the first shows no trace of the Ξ E.|
|66||The workmanship of both obverse and reverse is definitely superior to that of the other issues of Dyme reproduced on Clerk's plate.|
|67||A break just behind the forelock can be seen clearly on 571b but not on 569; one extending out from the bridge of the nose is visible on 572 a but not present on 570.|
|68||From the plate Clerk's 24 seems to have the same reading as our 577 and may be from the same reverse die. His 26 and 27 have the same inscription: ΝΙ. Coins in the ANS and Copenhagen Cabinets provide a more complete version of the name, ΝΙΚΟ (Ξ), and add two issues to Clerk's list: ΦΙ ΛΟ (ANS) and Χ ΑΙ (Copenhagen).|
|69||The ΛΑ, ΗΑΡ, ΗΓΝΩ and ΑΡ strikings are connected by common dies.|
|70||The die of 582 is breaking down badly by the time it is used for the ΚΑΣ coin.|
|71||Clerk's 112 with Pegasus and koppa is from the same reverse die as our 581. The marking seems to be a poorly-cut kappa rather than a koppa.|
|72||Again some corrections in Clerk's list can be noted. From the plate his 91 reads ΑΓ and not ΑΤ to l. and r. Both 98 and 99 have ΝΙ to l. and r.; a die break is responsible for what seems to be a monogram on the first coin. No. 100 is almost certainly another example of our 595. No. 105 conceivably has the ΜΕ-ΝΙ combination but one cannot be sure in the absence of illustration. For the same reason it is impossible to check No. 106 with Σ above and dove below. No. 107 with Σ Ι to l. and r. and dove flying left below is rendered in very crude style. If not barbaric, it represents a final late issue of the Sicyonian mint.|
|73||I have noted only three: ΔΕ and ΕΙ, Μ and , ΑΡ and Μ.|
|74||The circle of dots is not visible on this obverse.|
|75||Clerk lists under Argos three entries with club and different markings. No. 143a is not illustrated but is described as having in the right field. This is probably nothing more than a misreading of the standard monogram on a poorly-preserved coin. Nos. 145 and 146 are more difficult to explain. The first has Α to left and club below. It may form part of the present issue, despite its dissimilar obverse style, in which case there is a repetition of the formula of an earlier Argive issue in which the symbol is combined with more than one control mark (our 307 and 308). No. 146 with or above and a club below is a much cruder piece. It may represent a token contribution by Argos to the final output of League silver. Both coins have the wreath tied below instead of above, but this is probably not significant since No. 308 of the hoard also deviates from standard Argive practice.|
Obv.: Laureate head of Zeus r. Border of dots.
Rev.: ΜΕΣ in laurel wreath.
Nos. 607–8 represent an issue which has been assigned to Sicyon by Weil (ZfN 1882, 248 f.), to Messene (?) by Poole (BMCPelop., 7) and to Hermione by Clerk and Crosby-Grace. Of these, the Hermione attribution seems the least plausible. The tripod symbol has no connection with that mint and the monogram is only one of four combinations of letters placed on the reverse dies. 76 Sicyon did use the tripod on her autonomous money but it would be very difficult to bring our tripod issue into any reasonable relationship with the homogeneous sequence of dove issues produced by Sicyon in the later Achaean League period. Poole's Messenian assignment is almost certainly correct. Nos. 607–8 are similar in style to the earlier League strikings of Messene (Nos. 325–329) and very close to later issues with ΜΕΣ (Nos. 606 and 609 on Plate XLVI). Although the tripod symbol does not appear on any other Federal coins of Messene, it is prominently featured on her autonomous silver and bronze from the fourth century down to Imperial times.
The Agrinion Hoard provides two specimens of an autonomous issue which is apparently unpublished (Nos. 609 a and b). Except for the absence of the League monogram, this striking is closely comparable to No. 606 and a common obverse die establishes the contemporaneity of the two issues. 77
The output of late Messenian silver would seem to have consisted of League and autonomous issues with ΜΕΣ, one League issue with tripod symbol, and finally a series of autonomous hemidrachms with tripod type and ΜΕΣ legend, alone or combined with magistrates' names (BMCPelop., pl. XXII, 8–9). Many of these last are of poor style and inferior workmanship. 78
|Coins||Obverse dies||Coins||New obverse dies|
|ΜΕΣ||1||1||10||1 (used for autonomous silver with ΜΕΣ)|
|76||Furthermore it is not given a position of prominence as is usually the case with letters or monograms indicating the mints. There is indeed a possibility that the two monograms flanking the tripod should be read together as a name beginning EPMA...|
|77||A hemidrachm in the Paris Cabinet (Plate XLVI, F; 2.36 gm. ↑) is from the same obverse die as Nos. 609 a and b.|
Obv.: Head of Aetolia r., wearing kausia.
Rev.: ΑΙΤΩΛΩΝ above Calydonian boar r.; spear-head in exergue.
|78||The names of only four magistrates are found on the material I have examined, suggesting a short period of emission.|
|79||The A is off flan on the Agrinion coin. Its presence on the die is attested by a Paris specimen.|
|80||Upon rechecking, this coin proves to be from the same pair of dies as the two preceding entries and is, therefore, a third example of No. 618. The correction does not seem important enough to necessitate the rearrangement of the catalogue and plates.|
|81||A die break above the kausia establishes the order of Nos. 646–647. The same obverse die is combined with ona coin in the Munich Collection.|
|82||Die breaks in the region of the neck establish the order of Nos. 648–649. The obverse die is also combined with .|
|83||The form of the monogram may be but what seems to be a horizontal stroke is probably the remains of an earlier monogram.|
|84||No. 665 is the last stage of the die.|
|85||On the Agrinion coin the Ω is off flan. An Oxford hemidrachm provides the complete reading.|
Obv.: Helmeted head of Roma r.; X to l.
Rev.: ROMA Dioscuri riding r.
About twelve per cent of the Agrinion coins antedate the burial of the hoard by several centuries. The oldest piece, a hemidrachm of Phocis (No. 134) belongs to the fifth century; all other coins of this first group are fourth century strikings, with the possible exception of some Argive issues and the Aeginetan drachm (No. 161) which may be slightly later. The same high proportion of early coinage is found in other hoards of the period, notably in those of Olympia, Arcadia and Western Greece. 86 A fifth hoard, that of Caserta, has comparatively little early material. All five deposits, moreover, show a striking similarity in composition. In each case the bulk of the early coinage derives from the mints of Chalcis, Sicyon, Argos, Locris and Boeotia. Coins of Histiaea, Phocis, Aenianes, Lamia, Oeta and Aegina are included in more than one find. The Olympia Hoard has a single hemidrachm of Thessalian Thebes. No other mint of Greece proper is represented.
Since the Agrinion Hoard is the first deposit of the second century b.c. to be discovered in Aetolia, 87 its evidence for monetary circulation in that area is of considerable importance, and it is interesting to note how consistent the pattern is on both sides of the Corinthian Gulf. Down to the beginning of the second century, in Aetolia and in the Peloponnesus alike, the need for fractional silver was apparently satisfied by the fourth century drachms and hemidrachms of a limited number of mints in Central and Southern Greece. After that date, these early coins continued to circulate as a supplement to the new Federal issues. Why other fourth century coinages are missing from the hoards and why there is little, if any, third century money are problems not easily answered. 88 Where are the coins of Elis, 89 Athens, Alexander? They appear in Peloponnesian hoards of earlier date. 90 Is their absence from the second century deposits purely fortuitous or does it indicate that they never circulated in the region in anything like the abundance of the issues represented in the hoards?
A few individual coins are noteworthy. Nos. 59 and 60 with their common obverse die establish the contiguity of the Chalcidian issues with bucranium and rose symbols. No. 145 is remarkable for its state of preservation. Despite its age, this fourth century hemidrachm shows little evidence of wear and serves as a reminder of the hazards of basing chronological conclusions on the condition of one or two hoard coins. Another well preserved example of an early striking is the drachm of Aegina, No. 161. This Aeginetan issue with two pellets or globules on the reverse is of special interest for it alone appears in the Achaean League hoards. The Olympia Hoard has four specimens, Arcadia and Agrinion one apiece. Since this is not the latest issue of Aeginetan silver, 91 it is difficult to understand why it should be the only one present in the hoards.
|86||Arcadia has about the same percentage as Agrinion, Western Greece better than sixteen per cent, Olympia a very substantial proportion.|
|87||To the best of my knowledge the only other Aetolian finds are those of Naupactus (S.P. Noe, NNM 78, Nos. 731, 732) which are earlier.|
|88||Until definitive studies of the autonomous Argive and Sicyonian series have been made, it is impossible to divide the issues with magistrates' names between the late third and the second centuries. Most of the strikings included in the Caserta and Western Greece Hoards, and to a lesser extent in that of Olympia, probably belong to the second century.It was formerly thought that the small change of the third century was largely composed of hemidrachms of the Achaean and Aetolian Leagues. Very few of the issues, however, can be dated before 200 b.c. (pp. 89–90, 106). The great bulk of the Federal money comes from the second century, which makes the scarcity of autonomous issues in the hoards all the more puzzling.|
|89||A single hemidrachm of Elis of the third century is in the Olympia Hoard.|
|90||Epidaurus, Olympia 1922 and Sophikon (Noe 392, 754, 997).|
|91||On the evidence of fabric and hoard contents, it comes before the series with Al, ΑΙΓ or ΑΙΓΙ. This inscribed group is discussed by E. T. Newell in his publications of the Andritsaena and Olympia 1922 Hoards (NNM 21, 31–37 and NNM 39, 16–17) where he suggests that the minting of Aeginetan silver staters did not stop in 348 b.c. but was resumed at a later date with Macedonian sanction. It is possible that the issue with globules has also been dated too early.|
Both coinages are dated 196–146 b.c. in the standard catalogues. There is not enough material in the Agrinion Hoard for anything more than a few general observations on chronology. The Thessalian coin with ΠΟΛΥ is very worn and may be assumed to have been struck in the early years of the Federation. Of the four Boeotian drachms, the first is also poorly preserved and the second shows considerable wear while the other two, from a common obverse die and with a common symbol, are of later style and in excellent condition. They are, in fact, among the best preserved coins of the Agrinion Hoard. Although the testimony of so few specimens cannot be regarded as conclusive, it suggests at least that a considerable interval, perhaps as much as a half century, separates Nos. 158 and 160 and that the trident pieces belong to the final period of Boeotian League coinage.
The Athenian material includes an almost unbroken sequence of issues, beginning in 190/89 b.c. and ending in 169/8. Two coins from the slightly later strikings of 165/4 and 162/1 are also present. As a group these tetradrachms show a considerable degree of wear, attesting a fairly long period of circulation. This evidence of extensive use is the more reliable for being supported by a substantial number of specimens. More than half of the issues are represented by at least two coins and some by four or five. Eleven tetradrachms, about one-third of the lot, belong to the five years between 173/2 and 169/8 and are thus near enough in time to be considered contemporary strikings. As one can readily see from the illustrations (Nos. 186–195 on Plates XII-XIV), they are closely comparable in condition. Long handling has smoothed over the contact areas of obverses and reverses, obscuring or obliterating the amphora letters, the feathers of the owls and the details of the helmets.
Nos. 196 and 197 are in a far better state of preservation, so much better in fact that they would seem to be separated from the earlier issues by more than four and seven years. It is, however, well-nigh impossible to break the succession of emissions for this section of the Athenian coinage. Die links and stylistic considerations determine the order from Miki-Theophra through Theophra-Sotas, and Glau-Eche is related to Miki-Theophra on the evidence of the Salonika Hoard. Furthermore, the material of the Salonika Hoard and the late strikings of the Kessab Hoard cover roughly the same period as the last four issues of Agrinion, 170/69–163/2, and the condition of the coins of those deposits is compatible with their chronological range. 92 One must assume that the preservation of Nos. 196–197 is the result of an abnormal pattern of circulation, as in the case of No. 145 of Locris and No. 161 of Aegina. A possible explanation may be found in considering the relationship of this Athenian money with historical events in Aetolia.
In a recent article Luis A. Losada 93 discusses the reason for the presence of a substantial number of New Style tetradrachms in Aetolia, as indicated by the contents of the Agrinion Hoard. He concludes that the influx of Attic money reflects the terms of the treaty imposed by Rome in 189 b.c. compelling Aetolia to pay 200 talents immediately and 50 talents per annum for the next six years, this indemnity to be in coinage of Attic weight and quality. 94 Since Aetolia produced no coins of Attic standard during the second century and is unlikely to have had a reserve of third century tetradrachms sufficient to meet the Roman demands, 95 the only solution would have been to obtain foreign currency. The obvious source was Athens.
On several occasions Athens had interceded with Rome on behalf of Aetolia and the terms of the treaty of 189, hard as they were, might have been even more stringent had it not been for the pleading of an Athenian envoy. 96 Clearly the relationship between the two Greek states was a close and friendly one; turning to Athens for help in meeting the payments to Rome would have been the natural course for Aetolia to take. The Athenian coins of the Agrinion Hoard indicate that aid was provided.
Losada makes the interesting suggestion that the wording of the peace treaty, which practically calls for payment in Athenian tetradrachms, was a deliberate move on Rome's part to reward Athens for support in the war with Antiochus 97 and also to orient Aetolia's economy toward Athens and away from Macedon. The policy seems to have been successful for Athenian tetradrachms continued to flow in quantity into Aetolia until the end of the Third Macedonian War.
After Pydna Aetolia had no political or economic importance. Her own fractional silver all but stopped and there would have been no need and no resources for the importation of larger denominations from Athens or anywhere else. What large coins did come into the region were probably brought by returning mercenaries. One assumes that they were valued highly at a time when new tetradrachms were in short supply. The condition of the two latest Athenian pieces and those of Cyme testifies to long hoarding before final burial.
|92||See Athens, 307–309 and 475–477 for the sequence and hoards.|
|93||"The Aetolian Indemnity of 189 and the Agrinion Hoard," Phoenix 1965, 129–133.|
|95||During the second half of the third century Aetolia did strike tetradrachms on the Attic standard. Only seven obverse dies are known and there is considerable die-linking of issues, indicating a very small coinage of limited duration. The wear on coins in hoards from Corinth and elsewhere places their emission within the period 230–215 b.c. (Losada, 130; Noe, "The Corinth Hoard of 1938," ANSMN 10 , 30–31). It is improbable that these tetradrachms would have been available in quantity in 189 b.c.|
The exact date of this coin is uncertain but it was very likely struck in the late 160's or early 150's. In style, fabric and general composition the Cymean series of spread-flan tetradrachms is closely related to issues from the nearby mints of Aegae, Myrina and Magnesia. The strikings are undoubtedly contemporary.
Coins of this group are not present in the large Latakia Hoard of 1759 buried ca. 165 b.c. They are common in seven Syrian hoards, some published and others recorded by Henri Seyrig, which were interred ca. 150–140 b.c. on the evidence of dated Seleucid material. 98 Of these the Haiffa Hoard is the most significant for it is partially illustrated in the Dupriez Sale of December 12, 1906. The find included 12 coins of Myrina with nine different monograms, 3 of Magnesia with three magistrates, and 14 of Cyme with four magistrates. All are classified in the catalogue as good or very good and the plates bear out the estimates of condition for the illustrated pieces. The latest coin is a tetradrachm of Demetrius II dated 146/5, which led Regling (ZfN 1928, 95) to place the burial ca. 145–140 b.c.
Since tetradrachms of this type seem to have made their first appearance in Syria after 165 but before 150 and since a number of specimens turned up in the Haiffa Hoard of ca. 145–140 in uniformly good state of preservation, a reasonable date for the coinage would be ca. 165–155 b.c., allowing time for the various emissions to travel to Syria and to acquire a degree of wear in the course of their circulation. In this connection it should be noted that the Agrinion example with the name of Metrophanes is closely comparable in condition to the one Metrophanes coin illustrated by Dupriez; it has experienced some but not extensive handling. 99
No. 198 and its elusive companion piece reached Aetolia after Pydna. In the absence of any historical link between Aetolia and Asia Minor at that time, it is probable that they, like the two late Athenian tetradrachms, came in with discharged mercenaries.
|97||As Losada points out, Athens no doubt profited handsomely from her business transactions with Aetolia, which could scarcely have failed to stimulate the Athenian economy. Indeed it is possible that the size of the early New Style coinage (Athens, 713–714) is in part explained by the Aetolian indemnity payments.|
It has been evident for some time that the Arcadian-type coinage, here assigned to Megalopolis, belongs to the second rather than the third century and hence cannot be connected with the Arcadian League. This was pointed out by Crosby and Grace in their public- ation of a small hoard from Arcadia 100 and by the writer in a study of a similar find from Western Greece. 101 In both hoards the condition of the "Arcadian" coins could not be reconciled with the early date of the standard catalogues. More recently James A. Dengate has made a die study of over 700 examples of the series and has come to definite conclusions about their sequence and chronology. 102
The style and wear of the various Agrinion strikings support Dengate's general arrangement: issues with no eagle on the knee of Pan, issues with eagle and miscellaneous controls, four linked issues with eagle and ΔΛ or Δ as the control marking, issues with eagle but no controls, and finally issues with eagle and miscellaneous controls supplemented by the inscription ΜΕΓ. These last strikings are not in the Agrinion Hoard. The presence of the ethnic on the one group of emissions provides proof of the origin of the earlier issues with identical types.
Of the 151 "Arcadian" coins of Agrinion, 103 come from the linked issues with ΔΛ or Δ as a control. Twenty-two obverse dies are represented and the pattern of transfers is significant. Die breaks (p. 19, note 17) establish the position of -Δ after and of Α-Δ after -Δ. They also place Λ-Δ after which means that Λ-Δ and -Δ are strictly contemporary strikings. As Dengate suggests, the strong probability is that all four issues with their extensive die linking were put out at roughly the same time. Some indication that and Λ-Δ continued to be struck longer than the other emissions is to be found in the style of Obverses 217–220 of those issues. They are very different from the other obverses of the linked group but quite similar in treatment to the obverses of the issue without controls.
Certain dies of the "Arcadian'' series are close in style to obverses of the Achaean League coinage. These relationships with their chronological implications are discussed in the commentary on the Achaean section of the hoard.
|98||The published deposits are those of Latakia (Noe 603), Haiffa (Noe 475) and Zahle (Athens, 523). Suggested burial dates are those of Seyrig.|
|99||The same is likely true of the tetradrachm which disappeared just after the hoard was discovered. At least it is hard to believe that a man selecting one coin to keep or sell would pick anything but a fine, perhaps the finest, specimen.|
|100||NNM 74, 6–12.|
|101||Hesperia 1939, 142–144.|
|102||"The Triobols of Megalopolis," ANSMN 13 (1967), 57–110.|
One of the major contributions of the Agrinion Hoard is the evidence it provides for the chronology and character of the Achaean League coinage. No other deposit of its kind, with the exception of the enormous Zougra Hoard, makes as much material available. 103 In addition to the 834 hemidrachms of Agrinion, 985 specimens from other hoards and public collections have been included, for purposes of comparison, in the present analysis. This is a substantial body of coinage but it falls far short of a corpus and die study of the League issues. Until such a study has been made, any theories and conclusions based on the partial record must be regarded as tentative. Their chief value lies in indicating significant points of departure for future research.
The evolution of the Achaean series is analogous to that of other large Hellenistic coinages. Obverse and reverse types remain constant but there is an increasingly extensive use of adjunct markings. The earliest issues are anepigraphic or inscribed with a single letter in the reverse field. 104 Later reverses indicate the minting authority by a symbol or an abbreviated ethnic and also include a single or double control in the form of one or two letters or a monogram. Lettering appears very occasionally on the obverses. The final stages of the coinage are marked by a complicated system of primary and secondary controls, by more specific designation of the mints and by the common occurrence of letters or full names on the obverses.
We are not concerned here with the anepigraphic issues. They seem to have been small emissions produced over a limited period, 105 but in the absence of a die study, there is no firm foundation for an evaluation of their size and chronological span. They do not appear in the Agrinion Hoard, which comprises only issues bearing mint and control markings. It is this body of material which has been divided into early and late groups.
Before attempting to determine how early and how late the coins are, it will be well to consider the nature of the coinage as a whole. One important feature is immediately apparent: this is not a regular sequence of annual issues but a coinage with clearly-defined points of concentration.
The first section of the catalogue consists of 576 hemidrachms which on the evidence of style and wear are earlier than the other coins. Every known early issue of what may be called the civic coinage, to distinguish it from the anepigraphic issues, is represented. 106 Eleven mints are active but their output varies considerably. Corinth, Sicyon, Corone and Sparta strike single emissions; Elis, Patras, Messene and Megara produce five to seven issues. Many are contemporaneous on the evidence of die links and close stylistic parallels. Antigoneia, for example, contributes more coins (185) and more obverse dies (68) to the Agrinion Hoard than any other mint, but the coins all belong to three die-linked issues. This is the entire Achaean coinage of Antigoneia unless No. 469 of the catalogue represents a small, later striking of that mint. Furthermore, there are instances of stylistic similarities between the issues of different mints, which imply chronological proximity and help to establish the overall pattern of the coinage. These relationships can best be brought out by taking the issues in what seems to be their chronological order, with references to Plates XLVII-XLVIII where stylistic comparisons are illustrated. 107
A very early, and perhaps the first, Achaean issue with clear indication of minting authority is the striking of Corinth. Its obverses are of good style and rather similar to those of the anepigraphic series (Plate XLVII, G, in the Berlin Cabinet [2.56 gm. ↓], and 241a). The wreaths of some reverses are tied above, which again relates the issue to the anepigraphic coinage. There are only three obverse dies on record and even allowing for missing material, the issue cannot have been a large one.
At about the time Corinth is putting out the emission, Sicyon, Patras and Argos are striking. The earliest hoard coins of those mints show a great deal of wear and the wreaths of the reverses are consistently tied at the top. Obverses of Sicyon and Patras (Plate XLVII, 244a, 255b) are related in style: small heads in high relief with short locks and beards. Those of Argos face left instead of right and are in a quite different stylistic tradition: large heads with a loose rendering of long hair and beards. It seems likely that the Argive style derives from the early Arcadian issues of Megalopolis (Plate XLVII, 204a, 302a).
The single issue of Corone has obverses similar to those of Argos, as does the first issue of Messene (Plate XLVII, 311a, 313a) and one notes that the same control combination (ΞE) is found on coins of both Messenian mints. Meanwhile in the north Corinth and Sicyon have stopped striking, but Patras continues and Elis puts out an initial issue very close in style to the third issue of Patras (Plate XLVII, 270b, 331a).
The next section of the early coinage seems to consist of two issues of Elis, three of Antigoneia and possibly one each of Patras and Megara. The obverses of the CΩ(CIAN) emission of Elis are extremely close to some dies of the Antigoneia sequence (Plate XLVII, 335, 360b), so close in fact that a common place of minting, or at least a common diecutter, is probable. The one obverse of the ΦI issue of Elis is also linked by style with other obverses of Antigoneia (Plate XLVII, 336, 388, 406a). Clearly there was a strong bond between the two mints. To this period, or to the beginning of the next, may be assigned the MEΓΩ coins of Megara and the -ΔI coins of Patras, which have a certain stylistic similarity (Plate XLVII, 424, 273a).
In its final stages the early coinage shows greater diversity. Messene resumes minting with the ⊓Δ, A⊓, NΦ, ΞE-OP and emissions, a sequence linked by transferred dies and style. Striking resemblances exist between the obverses of the Φ-NΦ issue of Messene and those of several other coinages: the two very small issues of Megalopolis with pedum and syrinx symbols, the coins of Argos with harpa and IΩ or , and the ΛY issue of Antigoneia (?); while the ΞE-OP coins of Messene and the harpa- coins of Argos have obverse dies which are almost identical despite the different orientation of the heads (Plate XLVIII, 321, 467a, H[ANS., 2.47 ↑], 307, 323c, 469, 308, 324b).
Six issues of Megara probably belong to this period. Individual heads of the ΔΩPO and ΘOKΛ issues are similar to some found in the large ΔI issue of Patras (Plate XLVII, 433, 291d, 282b, 442). The AN issue of Elis is linked stylistically with the Arcadian sequence of Megalopolis with ΔΛ and Δ controls (Plate XLVII, 232a, 341d, 210b). Late dies of Megara, Patras and Megalopolis (Arcadian issues) are comparable in the coarseness of their execution (Plate XLVIII, 217a, 237, 449, 294, 295, 464). Nos. 217a and 464 show a certain resemblance to Nos. 308 and 324b of Argos and Messene. At the end of the period one encounters the small neat heads of some of the coins of Messene, the die-linked issues of Elis and Patras and the ME striking of Sparta, the first emission of that mint (Plate XLVIII, 328c, 468b, 345f, 299b, 347a, 300f). These are the final issues of the early sequence. After their striking there is a definite break in the coinage; issues of many of the same mints are represented in the second part of the catalogue but the coins are of quite different style and in better condition than these earlier pieces.
A noteworthy feature of the last section of the Early Period is the circle of dots framing the obverse heads and although it cannot be assumed that the change occurred at all mints at exactly the same time, it is a criterion for relative chronology. Dotted obverses are found on three strikings of Megara, on two of Messene and on single emissions of Patras, Elis, Argos and Sparta. The Arcadian coins have no dots but in this case there can be no chronological significance for Megalopolis never employs the convention. Even her late Arcadian issues with MEΓ have undotted obverses.
The tabulation on pp. 116–117 summarizes the data of the preceding paragraphs. Solid lines represent die links, broken lines show stylistic relationships within and between coinages. The number of known obverse dies, in parentheses after each issue, gives some indication of the size of the individual issues and of the activity of the various mints at various periods. 108 A vertical arrow below an issue or group of issues means that emission may have extended over some time to judge from the size and stylistic heterogeneity of the coinage.
The chronology of this Early Period, as indicated in the tabulation, depends on the history of Elis and Messene and to a limited extent on hoard evidence. In 192–191 b.c. the Achaeans, who had supported the winning side in the struggle of Rome against Antiochus and Aetolia, were able to incorporate Sparta, Messene and Elis into their League. 109 Sparta was from the beginning a recalcitrant member and a source of trouble until her formal reunion with the League in 182. Messene was not enthusiastic about her new status but there is no record of overt hostility until the revolt of 183 which led to the invasion of Messene by the League. Elis apparently was willing to join the Federation and created no difficulties.
It was only after 191 that these three states could have struck Achaean League issues. It is highly unlikely that Sparta availed herself of the opportunity for some time. Messene and Elis may have been more amenable to providing financial support for the League but it is doubtful that they struck immediately after their admission. The crucial point is that they did not do so before 191 b.c. at the earliest. In the Agrinion Hoard there are no League coins which look more worn than those of the first issues of Elis and Messene, and there are none which are earlier in style, with the possible exception of the Corinthian pieces. One cannot, of course, equate condition to the year but it seems almost certain that the first civic coins of the League and the first issues of Elis and Messene are close in time. The early strikings of Patras, Sicyon, Argos and Corone on the one hand and those of Elis and Messene on the other are too homogeneous in style and condition to be separated by more than a decade at the outside.
If these observations are valid, the entire body of Achaean League coinage with mint markings was produced during the second century; there was no League money of the third century except the scanty anepigraphic issues. A more precise date for the inception of the civic series can be suggested with reference to the events of the 190's. The Achaean League had in 198 joined the Roman alliance against Philip V, despite the disapproval of some member states: delegates of Dyme, Megalopolis and Argos walked out before the vote was taken and Argos in particular was sympathetic to Macedon. The decision proved a wise one, for the Roman victory at Cynoscephalae, followed by Flamininus' proclamation of the freedom of the Greek cities, marked the beginning of a period of consolidation and expansion for the Achaean League. Corinth was set free in 196 and handed over to the Achaeans. In 195 Argos, which had been threatened with "liberation" by Sparta, was rescued by Rome and reunited to the League. Sparta, Messene and Elis were added in 192–191 and at about the same time Megara, which had earlier entered the Boeotian League of necessity and with the consent of the Achaeans, expressed a desire to rejoin the Achaean Federation. Corone may have been admitted even before the annexation of Messene and she would have been a particularly welcome member because of her strategically-located port. 110
It is possible that the new League coinage started on a small scale as early as 195, after the freeing of Corinth and Argos, but it seems more likely that the bulk of it represents a war coinage, put out to pay the Achaean troops who fought against Antiochus and Aetolia in 192–189. Achaean money was provided by Corinth, Sicyon, Patras, Argos and possibly Corone, while Megalopolis made a distinctive contribution in the form of Arcadian hemidrachms. Single small issues were struck by Messene and Elis a few years after their incorporation in the League.
There seems to have been some coinage in the 180's, possibly to be connected with Spartan unrest and the invasion of Messene by the League, but the next mass output is to be dated somewhat later and most plausibly associated with the Third Macedonian War. The issues of 175–168 in the tabulation of the coinage form a tightly-knit group of strikings related by die linkage, style and condition in hoards. Within individual issues there is evidence of the simultaneous employment of diecutters of varying ability, an indication of hasty production over a limited period. Everything suggests a concentrated and extensive coinage. We know that the Achaeans sent 1,000 troops to Chalcis in 172. What further contributions of men and money they made is uncertain, but in 169/8 the League voted to send its entire military levy to Thessaly and was disposed to respond favorably to an appeal for 5,000 soldiers to serve in Epirus. These measures were not carried through but the fact that they were seriously contemplated would have been sufficient reason for striking the large coinage necessary to implement them.
Two hoards are ostensibly relevant for the chronology of the Early Period: the Arcadia Hoard published by M. Crosby and E. Grace (NNM 74) and the Oreus Hoard published by Svoronos (JIAN 1902, 318–328). The burial of the first is put ca. 185–182 b.c., a date which depends on the interpretation of the Federal coinage of Elis as a long series of annual issues filling the period between 191 and the dissolution of the Federation in 146 b.c. Under the assumption that the seven issues of Elis in the hoard, plus two early issues not included, represents the first strikings of that mint, the deposit would have been interred in the late 180's. If the date were firm, the Arcadia Hoard would provide an important record of the Achaean coinage before 182 b.c., but unfortunately the basic premise of its chronology is shaky. If Elis struck a regular sequence of annual issues, she was the only League mint which did so, and when one analyzes the Elean coinage as a body, it is evident that it is not a continuous series of annual emissions but a coinage concentrated at certain periods. As we shall see later, many of the strikings which are classified as separate issues are in reality sections of the same issue differentiated by secondary controls. A very great deal of the coinage belongs to the last years of the Federation and is surely money minted in preparation for and during the war with Rome. It is quite impossible that all the Elis issues in the Arcadia Hoard, much less all its other Achaean coins, were struck before 182 b.c. If the Arcadia Hoard is an intact find, its burial is probably twenty to twenty-five years later than the date proposed in the publication. A more serious consideration involves its integrity. A European numismatist, who was present when the coins were offered for sale, has expressed doubts that the material escaped adulteration while it was being marketed, and this possibility makes its evidence suspect. Under the circumstances one cannot safely base chronological conclusions on the contents of the Arcadia Hoard.
The Oreus Hoard is more reliable but it, too, has its elements of uncertainty. Originally it was a very large deposit of some 1300 silver coins, of which about half disappeared before the material was seen and published by Svoronos. Nine tetradrachms and one didrachm of Perseus in excellent condition are the latest coins on record and since these date from the earlier years of Perseus' reign, Mamroth in his study of the coinage of Perseus 111 places the Oreus burial ca. 173 b.c. In a more recent publication P. R. Franke 112 argues that later issues of Perseus may have been among the lost coins and that Svoronos' burial date of ca. 171 is more plausible from the historical point of view since it connects the interment with the attack by Perseus on the Roman fleet lying at anchor near Oreus. 113 An even later burial, ca. 169 b.c., seems not beyond possibility for it was then, according to Livy, 114 that Marcius Figulus brought a part of the Roman navy to Oreus to use the city as a base for forwarding supplies to the armies in Macedonia and Thessaly. If Svoronos is justified in his interpretation of the Oreus Hoard as money brought into the region at the time of Perseus' victory in late autumn 171 and turned over to a pro-Macedonian citizen, the actual burial may well have taken place a few years later when anyone with Macedonian sympathies must have viewed with alarm the return of the Roman fleet. In any case a burial date ca. 171–169 b.c. is probable for the Oreus Hoard.
It contained three hemidrachms of the Achaean League: single coins of Patras, Antigoneia and Megalopolis. 115 These and associated issues must antedate 171–169. There is no evaluation of the condition of the three Achaean coins and the Megalopolis piece is the only one illustrated. From Svoronos' plate it seems to be in good state of preservation. The issue to which it belongs is placed, on the evidence of stylistic parallels, toward the beginning of the third section of the early coinage, some years before the issues with small heads and dotted obverses which are clearly the last strikings of the 175–168 period. The chronological arrangement of the tabulation derives some support from the Oreus Hoard but since a single coin is involved, its testimony cannot be considered weighty.
More mints are represented in the coinage of the Late Period but they contribute fewer coins to the Agrinion Hoard. Again one notes stylistic parallels between the issues of different mints, indicating a measure of contemporaneity. The two small emissions of Megalopolis are from four dies, undoubtedly cut by the same hand, and the nervous style of the large heads in very low relief is strikingly similar to that on dies used for the first issue of Elis (Plates XXXVIII-XXXIX and Plate XLVIII, 472k, 475). The coins of Caphyae and those of the next Elean issue are in the same tradition and show almost identical representations of the Zeus heads (Plate XLVIII, 480a, 503b). Smaller heads of somewhat similar type bring together issues of Patras, Dyme and Aegira (Plate XLIX, 553b, 566, 544a, 574).
Megara at this period produces a series of six issues, of which the first four are close in style and at one point linked by a transferred obverse. The last two emissions have coarser heads, similar to some in the Elis series (Plate XLIX, 500, 529, 490a, 524). Issues of Pheneus, Pellene, Epidaurus and Aegium are related to these late coins of Elis and Megara by the careless and sketchy rendering of the crude heads (Plate XLIX, 489a, 530, 490a, 524, 535, 540, 544b, 549).
Another group of late dies is of better workmanship. Individual heads of Aegira and Sicyon are stylistically close (Plate XLIX, 578, 586c) while other dies of Sicyon are related to those of Argos and Corinth by a delicacy of delineation, particularly noticeable in the treatment of the features and the beards (Plate XLIX, 596, 602b, 579a). The single coin of Cleitor and the few dies of Messene do not fit into any of the above stylistic sequences but they seem to belong to this period of the coinage.
The last section of the tabulation (page 117) shows the stylistic relationships within and between mints and makes it apparent that we are dealing with a coinage of moderate size and considerable diversity but of rather limited duration. These issues, however, are not the last of the Achaean League series and before attempting to fix their chronology, it will be well to take a look at what follows.
In contrast to the record for the Early Period, there are numerous issues of the Late Period missing from the Agrinion Hoard. This is not to say that they are invariably of later date, for chance and other factors are always involved in the composition of a hoard. Three mints are not represented at all: Tegea, Pallantium and Lusi. A single hemidrachm is known for the last town while Tegea and Pallantium struck only three or four issues apiece. In style most, if not all, of this material seems to belong to the period of the final issues of Agrinion. The same is true of the issues of Epidaurus absent from Agrinion, and other strikings will almost certainly be found to be roughly contemporary when a definitive study of the coinage has been made.
One large body of material is indubitably later than the Agrinion issues. This consists of extensive coinages from Sparta, Elis, Dyme, Patras and Megalopolis, supplemented by a less abundant output from Aegira and Aegium and perhaps by isolated issues from three or four other mints. Leaving aside the MEΓ coins of Megalopolis, which have been dealt with by Dengate (ANSMN 13 , 57–110), and some of the minor coinages, let us consider the pattern at the four mints producing the largest amount of very late Achaean money.
The strikings of Dyme, Patras and Sparta are obviously contemporary on the evidence of condition in several hoards and of the remarkable similarity of their degenerate heads. 116 Clerk's list includes some twelve entries for Dyme, eighteen for Patras and ten for Sparta. If these are annual issues, the coinage of the three mints would cover ten to eighteen years, but analysis of the entries gives a quite different picture. What we have is a pattern of coining similar to that established for Sicyon (p. 67) in which the issue is designated by a single primary and a varying number of secondary controls. At Patras the emissions of the Agrinion Hoard are followed by four distinct issues with diverse subsidiary controls:
A with EY, AX or ΓA
Dyme seems to have produced the same number of very late issues:
At Sparta the data point to a single issue. All coins have above the League monogram, combined with seven subsidiary controls: ⊓Y, ΘE, , , ω, EY,
The latest coinage of Elis is considerably more complicated. Clerk lists thirty-nine entries but again this does not mean thirty-nine separate issues. Nos. 274–275 are identical except that the obverse head faces left on one coin and right on the other. Nos. 255–256 are described as having different monograms in the upper field but the plate shows that the marking is in reality the same. Nos. 252 and 254 have the same combination of monograms. Nos. 273 and 275 are from the same reverse die; the control in the upper field is in one instance given as and in the other as Θ. Other misreadings due to die breaks, careless diecutting or the poor condition of the coins almost certainly exist. One suspects that 248 and 261 have the same monogram in the upper field and that 262, 264, 265 and 293 are identically inscribed, but 248 and 293 are not illustrated and the area above the League monogram is obscure on both 262 and 265. A comprehensive study of the League silver of Elis will surely make a substantial reduction in Clerk's list. 117
For the moment the important fact is that the remaining entries, like those of Sparta, Dyme and Patras, can be grouped on the basis of primary and secondary controls. There are perhaps ten or eleven primary marks, of which the most common ( and ) are combined with five or six subsidiary monograms, while others are coupled with only one or two. This is still a substantial number of issues but far less than one would assume from a cursory glance at Clerk's catalogue.
How much time should be equated with an issue is highly uncertain. The strikings have none of the earmarks of a regularly spaced coinage. Individual issues include dies of fairly good and extremely bad style. The work of a single diecutter can often be traced through a series of issues, side by side with the output of other engravers linking still other issues. The lettering of the obverses introduces further confusion. On the coins of the large issue one finds five monograms or names behind the Zeus heads: , , ΚΑΛΛΙ⊓⊓ΟΣ, ΘΡΑΚΥΛΕωΝ, Α⊓ΟΛΛΩΝΙΟС. The Caserta Hoard contains 75 examples of these issues, of which 72 are classified as in good condition; there is little difference in wear among the specimens of the same strikings in the Western Greece Hoard. In all of this there is the strong implication of a mass coinage put out over a relatively short period. It seems very likely that these late degenerate emissions of Patras, Elis, Sparta and Dyme, as well as the MEΓ issues of Megalopolis, represent for the most part the money which supported the war against Rome and that they may be assigned to the last, turbulent years of the League's existence ca. 151–146 b.c.
The sequence at Aegium is helpful in relating the latest Agrinion coins to the still later issues discussed in the preceding pages. Five or six emissions seem to comprise the entire Achaean coinage of Aegium:
The three obverse styles of these issues can be seen on Plate XLIX (549, L and M from the ANS Collection, 2.41 gm. ← and 2.28 gm. ↑). Issues 3 and 4 have heads very similar in rendering to some found on the latest issues of Patras, Dyme and Sparta, of which one example is illustrated (Plate XLIX, K from the ANS Collection, 2.39 gm. ↑). They are later than the heads of the two Agrinion issues (1 and 2 above) but not much cruder and there is the possibility of a link between the two groups in the repetition of the TEI control. 119 The Aristodamos striking is unquestionably the last of the Aegium series, as is evident from the full name of the mint on the obverse and the excellent condition of the coins in the Caserta Hoard. As Löbbecke points out, this issue, represented by 63 specimens in the hoard, must be considered one of the last emissions of the League. It is interesting to note that its obverses resemble those of the last Agrinion issues of Sicyon, Argos and Corinth in the tightness of the modelling: the compact heads in low relief with carefully-defined wreaths and hair, the beady treatment of the beards and the evenly-spaced border of small dots. A somewhat similar rendering is found on a few of the late Megalopolis coins with MEΓ (Plate XLIX, J from the ANS Collection, 2.32 gm. →). Although the issues of the Late Period of Agrinion include none of the League's final strikings (with the possible exception of the issues of Sicyon, Argos and Corinth), some at least are fairly close in time to the terminal emissions. A general dating of 160–150 b.c. is likely for the group as a whole.
From the literary sources one gets the impression that the period between Pydna and 150 b.c. was a comparatively peaceful one for the League, marred only by border disputes between member states. There is no specific reference to concerted military activity, which might have required a war coinage. Yet two passages in Pausanias seem to imply that the historical record is faulty and that during this period the Achaeans made at least two forays into Central Greece to annex towns under Aetolian control and influence. In 164 b.c. a Roman emissary, C. Sulpicius Gallus, heard the petition of the people of Pleuron for separation from the Achaean League (Paus. 7.11). Some years later, in 147 b.c., L. Aurelius Orestes was sent to Greece with instructions to detach certain important communities from the Achaean League, among them Heracleia by Mt. Oeta (Paus. 7.14). The incorporation of Pleuron must have taken place between 167 and 164; the addition of Heracleia can be set after 155/4 since a decree of that year is dated by local magistrates. 120 It probably occurred before 150, for after that date the League was too deeply involved in preparations for war, first with Sparta and later with Rome, to have embarked on a program of territorial aggrandizement so far from home terrain.
The circumstances under which Pleuron and Heracleia were annexed remain conjectural but it is in the highest degree unlikely that either town joined the League of its own volition. Pleuron's plea for separation in 164 and Heracleia's alacrity in heeding Rome's call for secession in 147 strongly suggest forced membership, and one wonders if this could have been accomplished without a show of military power. In the case of Pleuron this need have been little more than a token force, for in the years immediately after Pydna Aetolia was too weak to put up any effective resistance. An expedition to Heracleia some ten to fifteen years later would have been a different matter. One assumes that a substantial body of troops would have been required to insure the success of the incursion into remote and unfriendly territory, and it is not impossible that Aetolia offered armed resistance to Achaean aggression. The late Achaean League money of the Agrinion Hoard may well have moved north with the men who annexed Heracleia between 155 and 150 b.c.
The problems of the Achaean League series cannot be solved by the evidence of one deposit, or even a group of deposits, but the Agrinion Hoard does point up considerations and possibilities which will be worth testing against a larger body of material. Even this preliminary survey establishes several important facts about the League's fiscal policy. The uniform currency described by Polybius (2.37.10–11) was obviously not intended to replace the autonomous money of member cities. Megalopolis put out exactly four Federal emissions of very small size during the period when she was producing a vast quantity of coins with the old Arcadian types. Sparta, Argos, Corone, Messene, Sicyon and probably other mints as well continued to strike autonomous silver while they were associated with the League and in some cases the civic coinages were more extensive than the Federal. Furthermore, the League does not seem to have demanded of its members any systematic contribution toward administrative expenses. One supposes that these existed but there is no evidence of regular payments into a League exchequer. On the contrary the coinage consists of concentrated emissions in which a varying number of mints participate for varying lengths of time and to varying extents. For the most part, minting activity seems to be related to military activity, and it is surely pertinent that the hemidrachm apparently represented the basic daily wage of a Hellenistic soldier. 121
With reference to the tabulation on page 116, one notes an interesting pattern of distribution during the pre-Pydna period. Eleven mints are productive but not simultaneously. In the northeastern sector of the Peloponnesus, Corinth and Sicyon strike briefly and are then supplanted by Megara as the chief mint of the area. Patras is active throughout most of the period as is Elis after her incorporation in the League. In Arcadia there is a shifting back and forth between the two large cities: first Megalopolis with an Arcadian sequence, then Antigoneia with very heavy Federal issues, followed by Megalopolis again with a scanty striking of Federal coins and a series of large Arcadian issues. Sparta contributes nothing until the end of the period and Argos only two rather small issues at the beginning and the end. In the Messenian area an Achaean mint may have opened first at Corone and then been transferred to Messene after she became a member state. The bulk of the money of the 195–188 period is seemingly supplied by northern mints, notably Patras. Ca. 188–180 it comes from Antigoneia and the importance of the Arcadian mint at this time is understandable in the light of Arcadian leadership in the invasion of Messene and of Spartan truculence which threatened Arcadia more directly than other regions. Financial support for the Third Macedonian War seems to have been chiefly the responsibility of Megara, Patras and Megalopolis and the strategic location of the first two mints with respect to battlegrounds in Thessaly and Aetolia may be significant. For the Early Period at least, it looks as though the production of League money was concentrated in a single mint within each major geographical region, with the activity of various mints at various times bearing some relationship to the movements of the Achaean armies.
For an interval after Pydna there may have been no League silver. Differences in style and in the preservation of the hoard coins assigned here to the Early and Late Periods point to a break in the coinage. When it is resumed, there is greater diversification. Megara, Elis and Patras are still comparatively active but the first seems to have suspended operations in favor of Sicyon and Corinth before the Agrinion series ends. Patras is no longer the only mint of the Achaean district: Dyme, Aegium, Aegira and Pellene make contributions in various degrees. There is a little League money from Messene and Argos and a second Argolid mint, Epidaurus, is now open. In Arcadia, at least six mints—Caphyae, Cleitor, Pheneus, Tegea, Pallantium and Lusi—supplement the small issues of Megalopolis. The final period of League minting involves the extensive output of Megalopolis with Arcadian types and MEΓ legend and the Federal issues of Sparta, Dyme, Patras and Elis with smaller coinages at Aegium, Aegira and perhaps a few other mints. Again it seems significant that many of these cities are in the northern part of the Peloponnesus and hence close to areas of military activity.
This is, of course, only part of the picture. There are contemporary autonomous coinages from some of the same mints and until these have been analyzed and their chronologies determined, no one can say to what extent they supplement or take the place of Achaean emissions. Nor can we be certain that the Federal coinage itself gives a true record of mint activity. There may have been far fewer mints in operation than the symbols and ethnics on the coins imply. What seem to be mint marks may in reality be nothing more than acknowledgements of financial contributions to the League treasury. It is difficult to see in the erratic pattern of the coinage any evidence of efficient minting procedure. One would assume that the expense of opening and staffing a mint for the production of a single issue of silver, or of bronze for that matter, would have been high, yet there are a number of communities which ostensibly stuck only once. Did they strike locally or did they pay over to the Federal exchequer a certain sum in miscellaneous currency which was then turned into Federal money at a central mint or mints?
The available material does not prove that this happened but there are suggestive bits of evidence. In the Agrinion Hoard we have coins of Elis and Patras struck from the same obverse dies (Nos. 345 and 347 of Elis; Nos. 299 and 300 of Patras). In both cases the Patras strikings represent a later stage of the die. 122 It may be that the two dies were sent from Elis to Patras but it seems more likely that the coins were all produced in the Elis mint. The issue of Elis to which Nos. 345 and 347 belong is first inscribed ΛY and later ΛY-ΣΩ, 123 while the Patras coins are inscribed ΛY-AP. A plausible reconstruction of the sequence of emission can be suggested on the basis of these facts. At some time in the 175–168 period, Patras stopped her large ΔI coinage. Elis at about the same time or perhaps slightly earlier had started her AN issue. A few years later Patras made an additional financial contribution to the war effort. The sum involved was not large and rather than reopen the mint for a small issue, it was decided to have the money struck at Elis, then engaged in producing the ΛY issue. The ΛY control was retained for both lots of coinage but that of Patras was marked with the subsidiary AP control and that of Elis with ΣΩ.
The present survey provides no evidence of other dies shared by different mints but they may appear when more material is collected. Meanwhile there are numerous examples of stylistic rapprochements so striking as to imply a common engraver if not a common mint. The small eagle issue at the very beginning of the Elean coinage may have been struck at Patras from dies used for the latter's issue. During the 188–180 period the issues of Elis and Antigoneia are very close in style, some dies unmistakably from the same hand. And again one notes a possibly significant differentiation of control markings: CΩ alone on most dies of an Antigoneia issue but a few with CΩ⊓A, and it is these CΩ⊓A dies which are almost identical in style with those of Elis inscribed CΩCIAN. The stylistic parallels in the 175–168 period have already been stressed. Were the very small Achaean issues of Megalopolis, Antigoneia(?), Argos and Messene the products of a single mint, perhaps Messene which seems to have been the most active? This would not only account for the stylistic similarity of this group of issues but would also explain the stylistic differences within what purports to be the coinage of a single mint. The situation at Megalopolis is especially confusing. Throughout the Early Period the Arcadian city produced a series of large emissions bearing Arcadian types. Two very small issues with Achaean types, of dissimilar workmanship and with heads facing in the opposite direction, are interpolated in the Arcadian sequence. If the Achaean coins were actually struck elsewhere, the anomalies would be understandable. Finally, one wonders if the single small emission of Sparta at the end of the Early Period may not have been minted at Elis.
During the Late Period there are again examples of issues from different mints which show close stylistic relationships, and at this time there are more mints which seemingly produce only one or two issues. Two or three central workshops is a possibility to be tested against a corpus of the coinage. 124
The appearance of the same control combination on coins of Elis and Patras and on those of Elis and Antigoneia has been noted above. Other cases of repetition are apparent from the tabulations on pages 116–117. Was the EY control transferred from Sicyon to Patras and then to Antigoneia in the early stages of the coinage? Did Antigoneia also inherit the control of Corinth? If we knew what the monograms and names signified, a comprehensible pattern might emerge, but the present record gives the impression that duplication is, for the most part, fortuitous.
One interesting result of the present inquiry is the light it throws on the financial support given the League by its members. At its height the Achaean Federation included some 60 communities. Of these, only 22 struck or participated in the striking of the silver coinage which supported the League's activities. Many of the mints, moreover, produced very few issues, often of small size. In the case of towns of minor importance this is not surprising but it is hard to explain the comparative inactivity of centers like Corinth, Sicyon and Argos. It may be that their autonomous coins compensated for the scantiness of their League emissions as was certainly the case with Megalopolis. If the interpretation of the money as basically a war coinage is correct, it is also probable that the obligations of membership could be discharged in times of emergency by contributions of either money or men. It seems clear that the source of the monetary contributions was recorded on the coins themselves whether they were struck at local workshops or in central mints. During the last years of the League's life, however, the system apparently broke down for the number of cities involved in the final issues of Federal coinage cannot be reconciled with the extensive public collections recorded for the period. We have, for example, an inscription from Megalopolis, dated 148/7 b.c., 125 giving a list of donors of from one to six staters as a service to the city. In the next year, according to Polybius (38.15), Diaeus' preparations for war included the order for all citizens capable of bearing arms to muster at Corinth and the exaction of contributions from the wealthiest inhabitants, women as well as men, to fill the depleted public exchequers. Polybius goes on to say that there was no choice in the matter, men were forced to give whatever they were assumed to possess and women had to contribute their jewelry and that of their children to a fund which could only bring destruction on them. The implication is that these measures were widespread and that "gifts" came from all member cities vulnerable to "persuasion." If the bulk of the terminal issues of Megalopolis, Patras and Dyme and the tremendous output of Elis 126 are, as seems likely, the fruit of these levies, then it must have proved impossible under the pressure of mass minting to record the specific source of the contributions.
|103||The Zougra Hoard (Noe 1186) is unpublished. Other hoards already cited contain smaller quantities of Achaean money: Caserta 322, Olympia 633, Western Greece 429 and Arcadia 152.|
|104||Examples of this coinage are illustrated by Clerk (pl. I, 1–3).|
|105||Not many coins are known but the few specimens checked show a fair amount of die duplication. Two of Clerk's three coins are from the same obverse die, as is the one London hemidrachm (BMC Pelop., pl. I, 1) and one of four ANS coins. A single specimen in Copenhagen (SNG 227) is from Clerk's second die. The three other ANS pieces are from three different dies.|
|106||The only possible exception is the IΩ and harpa coinage of Argos if this is a separate issue and not, as seems likely, part of an issue which has the harpa as primary control and IΩ, and as subsidiary marks (p. 29).|
|107||Data on die linkage and the sequence of issues at individual mints are given in the commentaries throughout the catalogue.|
|108||The record of obverse dies in the tabulation does not take into account those carried over from one issue to another but the number involved is small and does not significantly affect the picture.|
|109||The historical background in the pages that follow is based on the accounts of Livy, Pausanias, Plutarch and Polybius. Since the events and dates are for the most part familiar ones, citations of chapter and verse are infrequent. When they do occur they refer to the Loeb editions.|
|110||Pausanias (4.34) says that Corone was called "the harbor of the Achaeans."|
|111||"Die Silbermünzen des Königs Perseus," ZfN 1928, 6, note 2.|
|112||"Zur Finanzpolitik des makedonischen Königs Perseus während des Krieges mit Rom 171–168 v. Chr.," Jahr. f. Num. 1957, 35 and 39.|
|113||Plutarch, A em. Paul. 9.|
|115||Although Svoronos' descriptions are faulty, the issues are almost certainly the following: and trident (Patras), AN-EY (Antigoneia) and K-Δ-M and pedum (Megalopolis). It is the last, and not the Antigoneia coin, which appears on Svoronos' plate (XI, 4).|
|116||Clerk's pls. III and IV for Dyme and Patras, XII and XIII for Sparta.|
|117||Some of the corrections noted here and additional suggestions for revision are to be found in Crosby-Grace, NNM 74, 35 f.|
|118||Clerk's readings have in a few cases been corrected from his plates.|
|119||The EY TEI on the obverses may be a single name or a combination. It is perhaps indicative that in the issue immediately preceding some obverses are inscribed A implying a double control. On some dies there is a division of the EY TEI legend with EY behind the head and TEI in front.|
|120||G. Daux, Delphes au IIe et au Ier siècle, 327, note 3.|
|121||References to rates of pay have been assembled and discussed by G. T. Griffith, The Mercenaries of the Hellenistic World (Cambridge, 1935), 294–307. Two texts are of particular relevance. The earlier, ca. 383 b.c., is the mention in Xenophon (Hell. 5.2.21) of an Aeginetan triobol per day per man as the amount to be paid by cities of the Peloponnesian League contributing money instead of soldiers. In 218 b.c., according to Polybius (5.1.11 sqq.; 2.11), the Achaeans agreed to pay seventeen talents a month in wages to Philip's army of 7200, or roughly three obols a day for each soldier.|
|122||No. 299 has die breaks below the hair in the lower left field and between the hair and the top of the wreath; these are not present on No. 345. No. 300 has breaks in the area of the chin not found on No. 347.|
|123||The sequence of controls is established by Nos. 344 and 349 of Elis; the ΛY-ΣΩ coins have die breaks not apparent on the ΛY pieces. This is perhaps true of 343 and 348 as well but the specimens are worn and it is hard to be sure.|
|124||That Messene served as a mint for the League during at least part of the Late Period is suggested by the fact that the same obverse die was used for autonomous and Federal issues (Plate XLVI, F and 609).|
|125||IG V2, 439, and also discussed by Hiller, RE 15, 1932, 138.|
This large series of Federal emissions, like its counterpart in the Peloponnesus, needs to be studied systematically, for only a corpus and die study will provide firm evidence for sequence and chronology. Meanwhile the data of the Agrinion Hoard, supplemented to some extent by other material, help to define the periods of striking with some degree of precision.
The most worn coins of the hoard and the earliest in style belong to a group of issues with three primary controls (A, ΔI and ), usually placed in the exergue, and various secondary controls, usually placed below the boar (Nos. 611–627). 127 Several obverse styles are represented and there is a definite relationship between primary control and obverse style in the case of the A and ΔI emissions. Within the issue there is greater variety. The boars of these early coins are generally shown with heads down, a rendering not found on later strikings, but there are exceptions, especially in the series.
A second and extremely homogeneous group of issues is represented by Nos. 628–667 of the Agrinion Hoard. After the sequence gets under way, all obverse dies can be divided into two basic styles: the first found on Nos. 631–642 and later on Nos. 650–651 and the second appearing with No. 643 and continuing through 649 and then reappearing with the somewhat stiffer and distinctly unattractive heads of Nos. 652–665. Nos. 666–667 are cruder versions of this second style.
On the reverses of Group II the boars, larger and more ferocious than those of Group I, are invariably rendered at bay with heads erect. A few dies show a hindleg extended, giving the animal a peculiar stance. Control marks have been removed from the exergue and are now usually combined below the boar. There are exactly two primary controls: and . Seventeen secondary controls coupled with ΣΩ and five with ΔIΣ are found in the Agrinion Hoard alone and this is by no means the complete record. 128 There is some overlapping: both primary controls are combined with TI, and . There is a very great deal of die linkage. One obverse die is coupled with – , – , – and ⊓–. Another links – , - and ΔAMO-. The instances of two combinations sharing an obverse die are numerous, as can readily be seen from the catalogue. And again it should be stressed that this is a fragmentary record based on a limited amount of material.
The conclusion is inescapable. Despite the diversity of secondary controls, the coins of the ΣΩ and ΔIΣ emissions with their stylistic homogeneity, extensive die linkage and similar state of preservation in the Agrinion Hoard are roughly contemporaneous.
A third and last group of issues (Nos. 668–679) 129 is separated by a fairly considerable interval of time from the strikings of Group II. The coins are well preserved as a lot and some are very sharp. Obverse heads are quite different from those of Group II and much more appealing in their youthful delicacy. There is a uniformity in the rendering, especially pronounced in Nos. 670–678. Nos. 670–679 have a single primary and five secondary controls below the bellicose boars: or EY combined with ΔIΩ, , ΔΩP, and . A transferred die joins the ΔΩP and emissions.
This is a smaller coinage than that of the preceding groups on the evidence of known obverse dies: ten in the Agrinion Hoard as compared with seventeen for Group I and twenty-eight for Group II. It is also a coinage struck over a very limited period on the evidence of condition, the stylistic similarity of obverse dies and the appearance of the same basic control combination on five of the seven emissions.
The Aetolian League coinage resembles its sister currency to the south in consisting not of a succession of annual issues spread over a long period of time but of several groups of large emissions of relatively short duration. Not all known issues are represented in the Agrinion Hoard and the material available provides no basis for the dating of the earliest hemidrachms, but what we do have comprises the great bulk of the coinage and it at least belongs to the second century. The coins of Group I are closely comparable in condition to those of the first period of the early Achaean League series and are very probably to be connected with the war against Rome in the late 190's. In the interval between the settlement of 189 and the beginning of the Third Macedonian War, Aetolia seems to have struck little, if any, silver. The coins of Group II with their evidence for a short period of concentrated coining would belong to the years before Pydna and again the condition of the hoard pieces substantiates the relationship with the pre-Pydna series of the Achaean League.
Of special importance is the evidence from Agrinion for a silver coinage after 168 b.c., the generally accepted date for the dissolution of the Aetolian League. The well-preserved coins of Group III must be roughly contemporary with the last Achaean issues of the hoard and hence datable to the 150's. It seems likely that these hemidrachms reflect a feeble and futile attempt on Aetolia's part to prevent by armed intervention the absorption of Heracleia into the Achaean League. 130
|126||The huge size of the late Elean coinage is best indicated by the infrequency with which duplicate dies are found. In the ANS Cabinet alone there are thirteen coins of the issue from twelve obverse dies and fourteen of the issue, each with a different obverse die. A partial check of other sources turned up seven coins with six new obverse dies and seven coins with seven new dies.|
|127||No. 610 is a single example of a group of still earlier issues with letters on the obverses.|
|128||Coins with and TI, and were in the Western Greece Hoard; combined with KΛEΩ appears in the Olympia Hoard.|
|129||There is no firm evidence for the placement of Nos. 668–669. Their system of control markings does not fit into the pattern of either Group II or III and probably indicates small isolated issues. The obverse heads are somewhat similar to those of Group III and the coins are better preserved than the average of Group II, but only two specimens are available for comparison.|
These coins are discussed in an Appendix by Rudi Thomsen and Michael H. Crawford.
|130||The annexation of Heracleia ca. 155–150 b.c. is discussed on page 98 in connection with the Achaean coinage.|
This has not been easy to determine. If it were a question of the Greek material alone, the Agrinion Hoard would seem to be earlier than the deposits from Caserta, Western Greece and Olympia which have been cited throughout the present study. It contains none of the very late Achaean League coinage of Elis, Sparta, Dyme, Patras and Aegium and none of the final "Arcadian" strikings of Megalopolis—issues which appear in the other three hoards. 131 On the evidence of style and condition the latest Agrinion coins are Achaean issues of Aegium, Aegira, Sicyon, Argos and Corinth 132 and Aetolian issues with EY as a control combination. 133 These strikings apparently belong to the period ca. 155 150 b.c. 134 Although the series show some wear, their general condition is good to very good, 135 and a burial date ca. 150–145 would not only take into account the preservation of the coins but also explain the absence of the last Achaean emissions. Either the issues had not yet been struck or they had not had time to penetrate the remote hinterland of Aetolia before the hoard was interred.
The denarii introduce a complication. The most recent of the Roman coins are in excellent to FDC condition and clearly later than any of the Greek issues. According to Sydenham the sequence begins ca. 150 and extends down to 110–108 but, as Thomsen and Crawford have shown in the Appendix which follows, Sydenham's chronology must be revised. The latest denarii of Agrinion are probably to be dated ca. 135 b.c., at which time or very shortly thereafter, the Agrinion Hoard would have been buried.
Unless the denarii are earlier than Thomsen and Crawford believe, one must either accept this later burial date or regard the Greek and Roman coins as two separate lots of material brought together in antiquity. This last is not a very convincing hypothesis: a hoard of 1301 Greek coins buried ca. 150–145, the cache subsequently disinterred and 39 denarii added to it prior to reburial some ten to fifteen years later. To be sure we know of no other Achaean League hoard with denarii, and this might be considered an argument for division, but the Agrinion Hoard is also unique in including tetradrachms, and the coins of Athens and Cyme are an integral part of the find. 136
It seems likely that the Agrinion Hoard is a currency deposit. Its size, its pattern of wear, its heavy proportion of early coins and its heterogeneous composition point to a collection withdrawn simultaneously from current circulation. The inclusion of Athenian tetradrachms of the pre-Pydna period is in accord with an eastern orientation of the Aetolian economy in the years before the Third Macedonian War; the inclusion of denarii of post-Pydna date is explicable in terms of tighter Roman control after the defeat of Perseus. Against the historical background, there is every reason to regard the admixture of currencies in the Agrinion Hoard as a true reflection of the kind of money circulating in northwestern Aetolia in the middle decades of the second century. This is of some significance, for if we are dealing with a single deposit and if the revised chronology of the denarii is correct, the Agrinion Hoard indicates more clearly than any text the impoverished condition of Aetolia from the late 150's on and the extent to which the region was isolated from the rest of Greece.
|131||Not all coinages are in all hoards but each deposit has a substantial amount of late material.|
|132||Some of the coins are illustrated on Plate XLIX, 549, 578, 586c, 596, 602b, 579a.|
|133||Plate LIII, 670–679.|
|134||For a discussion of the chronology see pp. 97–98, 105–106.|
|135||The Corinthian hemidrachms, for example, are very well preserved. Obverses 581 and 583 look rubbed but this is the result of worn dies; reverses of the two coins are quite fresh.|
|136||Pp. 80–83. Since the Cyme tetradrachms were unquestionably struck before the middle of the century, there is no justification on grounds of chronology or condition for segregating them from the hoard as a whole. This is also true of the Athenian coins; their wear is wholly compatible with a burial in the 140's or 130's. The evidence is the firmer for being provided by two lots of material, for it is surely impossible to divide the two series of tetradrachms, accepting the Cyme pieces as part of the original hoard and rejecting the Athenian as an independent accumulation. These coins of large denomination undoubtedly belong together.As has already been pointed out (NC 1962, 320 ff.), the Agrinion Hoard strongly supports the present chronology of the New Style coinage. On the later dating proposed by David Lewis (NC 1962, 275 ff.) the well-worn tetradrachms, here assigned to 173/2–169/8, would have been struck between 140 and 136 and hence would be contemporary with denarii in FDC condition and at least a decade later than hemidrachms of Corinth in very good condition.|
|Arcadia '29||Caserta||Western Greece||Olympia||Agrinion|
|Dolphin-ΛY, AP||3 c||1 d||7 d||11||17|
|⊓Λ, ΞE, X||–||–||1||2||8|
|Δ, ⊓Δ||2 e||–||3||2||4|
|NΦ||3 e||1 e||6||14||16|
|ΛA-EY||1 j||1 j||–||1||–|
|Cupping vase-PΩ, IA||–||–||–||4||–|
|Snake-ΣΩ, ΣI or K||–||1||–||2||–|
|a||No. 542, an issue of Corinth, is erroneously included in the Antigoneia section.|
|b||Listed under uncertain mints (NNM 74, No. 145). The reverse has ⊏ Y to l. and r.; the other markings, which are taken for letters, are diebreaks.|
|c||Listed under uncertain mint.|
|d||Listed under Dyme.|
|e||Listed under Megalopolis.|
|f||Listed under Pagae-Megara.|
|g||Listed under Hermione. The obverses of Nos. 26–27 are transposed on pl. II of NNM 74.|
|h||No. 542, under Antigoneia, is a coin of Corinth.|
|i||The symbol of this unillustrated reverse is described as a fulmen but this is almost certainly an error.|
|j||Listed under Epidaurus.|
The thirty-nine Republican denarii in the Agrinion hoard are:
|Syd. no. 1||Moneyer||Cat. no. 2|
|Anonymous with Dioscuri||680|
|384||L. Sauf||683, 684|
|386||P. Sula||685, 686|