While there is no period of antiquity of which we have complete knowledge, in the case of some periods and some places, we know very little indeed. One such place is the Thraco-Macedonian coastal and hinterland area; one such period is practically all the time before the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War. Of Macedonia itself, even the boundaries are uncertain; the inhabitants are scarcely more than a name; the kings, until the end of the sixth century, are a legend.
Geyer and Hoffman (RE, s.v., Makedonia) have done all that is possible with the early history, topography and ethnology of the area. 1 The literary sources 2 are extremely unrevealing, and archaeological investigations have been so few in number as to provide indications of associations in lieu of concrete evidence. 3 The Thraceward region was connected by tradition both with the Peloponnese and with Asia Minor. Archaeological evidence furnishes some Minoan and some later Greek artifacts, in addition to material with Danubian affiliations, which do not particularly concern us here. Tradition connects the Bacchiad family of Corinth, in the eighth century, with Lyncestis and even with the mines used later by Damastion; Periander, about the end of the seventh or the beginning of the sixth century, is the reputed founder of both Apollonia and Potidaea, the former at the western end of the later Via Egnatia, the latter beyond its eastern termination. Tradition likewise connects the Eretrians with Edessa, saying that they settled here on their return from Troy. 4 They may have transformed themselves into that native tribe of Chalcidians whom colonists from Euboea met when first they ventured to Chalcidice to settle. Pisistratus, in the middle of the sixth century, must have known something of the country to which he fled.
From the time of Homer, there has been traditionally a close relationship between Asia Minor and northern Greece. The Thracians, Bryges, and Phrygians 5 were settled on both sides of the Aegean. Rhoesus came from Thrace with his miraculous steeds to aid the Trojans. The story of the garden of Midas was localized on both sides of the sea. The numismatic evidence which confirms this tradition is presented in Chapter II. Herodotus (VI,47) states that Thasos was colonized by those who came with Cadmus from Phoenicia, five generations from Herakles. We know from Archilochus' shameless boast of his unmilitary attitude that it was recolonized from Paros in the seventh century. 6 Abdera, in legend founded by Herakles, was first settled from Clazomenae in the middle of the seventh century and from Teos about a century later. 7 Histiaeus' choice of Myrcinus, in the heart of the metal-producing region, was certainly based on some knowledge of the country. 8
Of the people of Macedonia and their nature and name, there is an exasperating lack of knowledge. The earliest references are in Herodotus. Whether or not it be of any significance, he uses the form "Makednon" in references to the people in general; speaking of the country and the kings, he uses "Makedonia;" the kings' subjects, from the end of the sixth century, are "Makedonoi." 9 In Book I, 56 ff., where he discusses early racial and tribal movements and locations in Greece, he mentions the Pelasgians as driven out of Histiaiotis (in northwest Thessaly) to dwell in Pindus in a section "called Makednon." 10 In Book VIII, 43, describing the composition of the Greek fleet before Salamis, Herodotus lists the Sicyonians, Epidaurians, Troezenians and Hermionians, "these being, except for the Hermionians, a Doric and Makednon race." 11 The kings, from the time of Alexander I, based their claims of Greek descent on their legendary association with Argos, 12 but the legend makes no mention of any Macedonians but the kings coming from there. No other ancient writer says anything about the people.
The extent of the kingdom of Macedonia is as ill-defined as its history is fragmentary. Thucydides, II, 99, describes certain tribal areas as being part of it, but gives no fixed geographical boundaries. He seems to make a distinction between the upper country, whose tribes — Lyncestians, Elimiotes and others — were allies and subject, though they had their own kings, and the lower country, ή παρά ϑάλασσαν νῦν Maϰεδονία, which Perdikkas ruled at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War and which Alexander and his forefathers had accumulated. It is possible to interpret some rather loose statements of Herodotus by means of this chapter of Thucydides, statements which are hard to reconcile with one another since the "Father of History" uses the words Thrace, or Thracians and Macedonia, or Macedonians, confusingly in his account of the events before and during the Persian Wars. If a distinction is made between the extent of the kingdom at the beginning of the fifth century and at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War (or at the time Herodotus was writing his history) many difficulties are resolved. See below, pp. 8, 10-12.
Herodotus, VIII, 137-139, is the chief source for the legendary history of the kings. 13 His account makes no mention of two oracles (or two versions of one oracle), 14 which can therefore be presumed to be of later date, since surely he would not fail to mention a current oracle. Justinus, VII, 1-4, epitomizing Pompeius Trogus, supplements the legend of Herodotus by including some of the subject matter of the oracle and enlarging upon it. Satyrus (frag. 21; F. H. G. III, 164) gives a variant list of the mythical kings; Theopompus (frag. 30; F. H. G. I, 283) places Temenus, the Argive ancestor of the kings, eleventh in descent from Herakles. Demosthenes, (Phil. III, 31) dismisses all the genealogies with the statement that Philip is no Hellene, has no kinship with any, and is not even a respectable barbarian. Other fourth century and later references to the legendary history may be disregarded as biased by the sympathies of their authors. It is only the account of Herodotus which has any claim to authority; in view of the increasing proof of the credibility of Herodotus, it is safe to accept the essential core of the story: the departure from Argos, the danger on the way, and the final establishment of a dynasty in Macedonia. (See also note 12.)
The legend Herodotus recounts of the founding of the Macedonian kingdom is in his best vein as a story-teller. Three brothers of the house of Temenos of Argos left home, went to Illyria and thence to an unknown Lebaea (probably in upper Macedonia), where they hired out as herdsmen to the local king. The eldest brother tended the horses, the next the cattle, and the youngest, Perdikkas, had the care of what was left, the sheep and the goats. The king had little money (as was often the case with kings in those days, according to Herodotus), so that his wife needs must cook for the herdsmen. She noticed that when she set bread to rise, the loaf intended for the youngest brother always grew twice as large as that for the others and she mentioned the fact to her husband. He decided that it was time to get rid of them. As they, about to leave, asked for what was due them, the king pointed to the circle of sunlight coming through the smoke-hole of the roof, and said, "There it is." Little Perdikkas whipped out his knife, marked the circle of the sunlight on the ground with it, gathered the sunlight up into the fold of his garment and thanked the king. Thereafter, the brothers departed. Upon reflection, the king did not like the implication - presumably, that Perdikkas had thus symbolically claimed all of the land which the sun shone on, and he sent his men to pursue and slay the brothers. They, after crossing a river, had stopped to sacrifice to it; 15 the river then rose so that the pursuing horsemen could not cross to capture them. The three fugitives finally reached the land of Macedonia, close by the gardens of Midas, son of Gordias, where the marvellous roses grew, and where the Silenus was captured "as it was said by the Macedonians, just under Mt. Bermaios; starting from there they overcame the rest of Macedonia." Then follows a list of the seven kings, Perdikkas I to Alexander I. Justinus, in using the subject matter of the oracle, gives the additional detail of their following a goat and settling where the goat indicated that they should, at a place called Edessa, the name of which was then changed to Aegae. Justinus makes Karanos (as in the oracle) 16 the leader and the first king, Perdikkas I, the second. Perdikkas decreed that all of the royal family should be buried at Aegae to insure the retention of their power. Justinus takes pains to point out that Alexander III was the first to be buried elsewhere, leaving the moral to reveal itself. He continues with details of the reign of each of the kings, curiously reminiscent of the Roman kings. This tale cannot be considered evidence for the early history of Macedonia, and it occurs nowhere else. The chief value of the legend, aside from the fact that it was apparently believed by the judges at Olympia who allowed Alexander I to compete in the games, 17 is the time involved, and the geography. If one may allow about three generations to a century, the Macedonian kings entered the country at the beginning of the eighth century, just about the time the Bacchiads of Corinth penetrated hither. The account of the route followed seems to be a reminiscence of the association of Macedonians with the territory north and west of Thessaly along the Pindus (cf. note 10), and to indicate that there was a central strip of Greece, from the Peloponnese to the Macedonian highlands, associated with these people. Further, the legend confirms the statement of Thucydides (II, 99) that the highland interior had been the original Macedonia; that the lower country, the Macedonia of his time (see above, p. 3), a later acquisition.
The first really historical references to Macedonia and its kings appear in Herodotus' account of the westward advance of the Persians; even these are of such a secondary nature that they cause more confusion than they resolve. In a digression on the end of the tyranny in Athens (V, 94), he says that Amyntas, father of Alexander I, offered Anthemus to Hippias as a refuge about 509. If Anthemus, which is located in the area south of Therma, southeast of the Cissus mountains, and on the north edge of Chalcidice, was part of the kingdom of Macedonia at that time, Herodotus' own statements (VII, 123) that the Axius is the boundary between Mygdonia and Bottiaea 18 and later (VII, 127), that the encampment of Xerxes extended from the city of Therma to the Lydias and Haliacmon rivers, which formed the boundary between Macedonia and Bottiaea, are manifestly in error. Thucydides (II, 99) confirms Herodotus' contention that the Macedonians held Anthemus, having driven out, among other tribes, the Bottiaeans to dwell on the borders of Chalcidice. In Book VIII, 127, Herodotus further states that the Bottiaeans, driven from the Thermaic Gulf by the Macedonians, possessed Olynthus in 479, when Artabazus besieged it. Since Thucydides puts no date to the Macedonian conquest of the Bottiaeans, and since the only real date obtainable from Herodotus is that of the presence of Bottiaeans in Olynthus in 479, the suggestion might be made that the expulsion of the Bottiaeans from the Thermaic Gulf did not take place until the confused period of the retreat of Xerxes after Salamis. Such a solution is impossible, however, because the evidence from the South Hill 19 at Olynthus points to a pre-Persian occupation of the area for a considerable period of time by a homogeneous population. The question must be left for the time being, pending a consideration of other Herodotean references to Macedonia. As regards the actuality of Amyntas' offer to Hippias, we know nothing of the circumstances. Perhaps the Macedonian kings had been in communication with the Pisistratids ever since Pisistratus' first visit to the north in the middle of the sixth century.
Herodotus' casual, off-hand manner of referring to Macedonia before and during the Persian Wars never makes quite clear the relations between Macedonia and Persia. As a result, the same volume of the Cambridge Ancient History 20 contains such irreconcilable statements as that of Cary, who says that Megabazus did not succeed in capturing Macedonia (ca. 514-510), and that of Munro, who speaks of Mardonius' (492) recapture of Macedonia. Herodotus omits also to define the limits of Macedonia. Aside from the brief resume of Thucydides (II, 99), we have only the statement of Strabo (VII, 7), that the territory around Lynkos, Pelagonia, Orestis, and Elimeia (i. e. upper Macedonia) was also called "free" Macedonia, to indicate the area ruled by the Macedonian kings when first they appeared on the world stage. The confusion engendered by Herodotus' lack of precision is reduced, if not quite completely removed, by the interpretation that he refers in one place to the kingdom of Macedonia at the time of the Persian Wars and in another to the geographical extent of Macedonia at the time at which he was writing. An examination of the passages involved indicates that much or most of later Macedonia was enslaved by the Persians, but that the original upland kingdom remained largely free of Persian influence.
The contact between the Persians and the Macedonians begins in a dramatic fashion. Shortly after the return of Darius from his Scythian expedition, Megabazus sent an embassy to Amyntas demanding earth and water. 21 At the feast which Amyntas provided, the Persians insulted their hosts by asking for the Court ladies who graced the banquet. Amyntas, secretly troubled by the request, which was virtually a command, temporized, but finally was ready to comply. The young crown prince, Alexander, 22 hotly indignant, prevailed upon his father to let him take charge, without enlarging upon his plans. By a ruse he got the ladies out of the room for a time, long enough to put some of the royal guards into feminine attire. The "ladies" returned, each taking "her" place (no doubt coyly) beside a Persian. At a given signal, each lady disposed of her companion. All the Persian attendants were then slain. When the Great King, through Megabazus, sent out in search of his missing embassy a short time later, 23 Alexander (not Amyntas) avoided punishment by paying a sum of money and giving his sister Gygaea in marriage to one of the Persians, Bubares. 24 Mention of this indemnity is the only specific reference to a monetary transaction between Persian and Macedonian although Herodotus does include Macedonia as tributary to Persia. 25
Nothing more is heard of the Macedonians until the Ionian Revolt had been quelled and Darius was planning to punish the Europeans for their aid to the rebels. According to the Kings' list, 26 Alexander was king at the time when Mardonius went over into Europe to prepare the way for the Persian punitive expedition, but he is not mentioned by Herodotus until much later, shortly before Thermopylae. In the abbreviated account in VI, 44-47, Herodotus recounts the actions of Mardonius - how he first subdued the Thasians; next, how with the land army, he made the Macedonians slaves, in addition to those he already had, while the navy was going from Thasos to Acanthus. When Mardonius was in Macedonia he was attacked, and very nearly defeated, by the Bryges of Thrace, whom he later subdued. In Mardonius' own description of these acts, when he is urging Xerxes to make the expedition (Herod. VII, 9), he makes use twice of the phrase μέχρι Mαϰεδονίης, as far as Macedonia. The passage in VI, 44-47, "he made the Macedonians slaves" is taken by Geyer 27 to presuppose a refusal to pay tribute, by Grundy 28 to mean contradictory things. On p. 145, he states that ca. 493 "Thrace and Macedonia had thrown off the Persian yoke," although by his own previous statement (p. 68), only the coast of Thrace as far as Mt. Pangaeus had been conquered; on p. 147 he again mentions the "reconquest" of Thrace and Macedonia; on p. 150, the words of Herodotus in VI, 44, mean that with the army "he added the Macedonians to the number of those in servitude." Herodotus, himself, in VII, 108, adds to the confusion in describing Xerxes' march from Doriscus by saying that, as he had already pointed out, "all the land as far as (μέχρι) Thessaly had been enslaved and was tributary to the king, conquered by Megabazus and later by Mardonius." Three chapters before (105), Xerxes was reported as leading his army "through Thrace into Greece," by a route which lay close to the sea although the army marched in three divisions. From Doriscus he went to Acanthus, from there across the top of the Chalcidic peninsula to Therma, where he met the fleet and stayed some time, his encampment reaching (VII, 127) from Therma to the Lydias and Haliacmon rivers - the boundary between Macedonia and Bottiaea. After his review of the troops he proceeded over the "Macedonian mountain" to arrive at Perrhaibia (VII, 131). How and Wells, ad loc., 29 conclude that this mountain is really the series of hills in the coastal section known earlier as Pieria, a conclusion which is indicated by the statement earlier in the same chapter that Xerxes passed some days in Pieria.
The description of Xerxes' retreat and of Mardonius' whereabouts during the following winter (Herodotus, VIII) includes similar vague references to Macedonia. In chapter 115, Xerxes left some of the sick in Siris of Paeonia and in Macedonia; he asked of the Paeonians the chariot and horses which he had left in their care. They replied that the upper Thracians, about the sources of the Strymon, had taken the chariot and driven off the horses. In 126, Mardonius was wintering "about Thessaly and Macedonia," while, in 131 and 133 only Thessaly is mentioned as his winter quarters. If the irreconcilable statements of Herodotus be taken as referring to two different concepts, a measure of clarity results; Mardonius' admission that he went only as far as Macedonia (VII, 9) should be construed as referring to the independent kingdom (Strabo's free Macedonia), while the majority of the other references are to the territory known to Herodotus' audience as Macedonia in their time, the ή παρά ϑάλασσαν νῦν Mαϰεδονία of Thucydides, (II, 99). But even this interpretation leaves unsolved the question of the date of the expulsion of the Bottiaeans from territory under control of the Macedonian Kings (cf. supra, pp. 7-8).
Herodotus' reference to, and his failure to mention, Alexander at certain significant points confirm an interpretation along the lines suggested. In all the contacts between Persian and Macedonian following the arrival of Mardonius in Greece, Alexander does not appear. In VII, 22, Bubares, son of Megabazus, who is probably the brother- in-law of Alexander (cf. Herodotus, V, 22), is one of the two overseers of the construction of the canal across Athos. Perhaps the omission of reference to Alexander here is of minor importance, but why does not Xerxes during his stop at Therma (VII, 127) summon the ruler of the Macedonians before him? While Xerxes was still at Abydos (VII, 174), Alexander had warned the Greeks at Tempe of the size of the army and navy of the enemy and had advised them to depart. Since "the Macedonian seemed kindly disposed to them" they (the Greeks) took his advice, although Herodotus believes that the reason for their departure lay in their learning of the existence of the route into Thessaly from upper Macedonia through Perrhaibia to Gonnus, by which the army of Xerxes was marching. 30 It seems obvious that the Greeks learned of the two possible westward entrances to Thessaly from Alexander. While the most westerly route is close to the territory of Elimeia, according to Kiepert 31 and others, the boundaries of the district are not precisely defined, and perhaps were fluid.
There is silence concerning Alexander's activities until after Thermopylae, when the section of the Persian army under Xerxes entered Boeotia on its way to Athens (VIII, 34). "The whole lot of the Boeotians Medized; some of the cities Macedonian men, sent by Alexander, διατεταγμένοι, saved. They saved them for this reason (or in this way), wishing to make clear to Xerxes that the Boeotians were kindly disposed toward the Medes." The participle, modifying the "Macedonian men" is ambiguous: it can mean "drawn up in battle array" or, as How and Wells, ad. loc., "dispositi per urbes." The passage is generally taken as a guarantee by the Macedonians of Boeotian support for Xerxes. This is the simplest interpretation, but erroneous, as I think, because there is no evidence that Alexander himself Medized. It is possible that he somehow put up a front for disaffected Boeotian cities and disarmed Persian suspicion of them. The significance of the word "saved" is uncertain: did he save them from destruction by the Persians or did he, by a ruse, save them intact to join the defenders of Greece when they could? Since it appears to be a voluntary act on the part of Alexander, similar to his visit to the Greeks at Tempe and his appearance in the Greek camp at Plataea (Herod. IX, 44-45), and not a mission such as that entrusted to him officially by Mardonius (VIII, 136), it would seem more logical to construe it as an act friendly to the Greeks than to the Persians.
In the following year (479) when Mardonius was in sole command in Greece, after consulting various oracles in Greece, he sent Alexander to Athens (VIII, 136) to win over the Athenians to the Persian side, in accordance with the recommendation of the oracles received. In his appearance before the Athenians, Alexander made a very dispassionate speech, as the mouthpiece of Mardonius who was carrying out an order from Xerxes. After transmitting the message he urged the Athenians to accept the offer in view of the terms; his exhortation is prefaced by "I shall say nothing about my existing goodwill toward you (for you are not now learning of it for the first time)." Alexander here is a diplomat and while he must, as Persian envoy, make a gesture toward forwarding the Persian cause, he is able to make the Athenians aware that he does not really advocate their joining the Persians. The Lacedaemonian embassy, calling Alexander a tyrant who joins with tyrants (VIII, 142), says to the Athenians all the things Alexander cannot say officially. The offer is refused by the Athenians, who surely must have been grateful to Alexander for enabling them to strengthen their position in the Greek world by their refusal. In their reply to the Spartans, they use it as a means of pressing the Lacedaemonians to send troops at once.
This choice of Alexander as envoy was made for two reasons (136). He was related to the Persians, for his sister had married Bubares 32 and he was proxenus and euergetes. Herodotus does not say "of the Athenians;'' presumably a word has dropped out here, for in chapter 143 the Athenians themselves call him proxenus and friend. 33 He had been allowed to set up a gold statue in Delphi beside that of the Greeks after Salamis (Herod. VIII, 121). The language in Herodotus, indeed, does not state that Alexander's statue was set up at the same time as was that of the Greeks; confirmation comes from Demosthenes, (XII, 21), where in speaking of Philip's claim to Amphipolis, he says that Philip's ancestor Alexander first possessed that place whence he dedicated a golden statue at Delphi as a tithe from the conquered Medes. It must have been set up after Salamis or after Plataea.
Alexander's final appearance on the pages of Herodotus is as dramatic as his first. On the eve of the battle of Plataea (IX, 44-45), he made his way secretly to the Greek lines 34 and when accosted by the Athenian sentries he demanded to be taken before the generals, whom he designated by name. 35 He told the Greeks that Mardonius was planning to attack the following day without waiting for favorable omens and that if the attack were delayed it could not be for long because the supply problem was growing difficult for the Persians. He concluded by saying that if the war ended favorably for them (the Greeks), let them remember that it was necessary to save him, too, who for the sake of the Greeks, from sheer goodwill, had done such a bold thing. This episode has been variously construed. Woodhouse 36 believes the story to be "full of improbabilities and without any claim to retention;" How and Wells, ad loc., think the visit is "open to suspicion;" Macan, 37 ad loc., believes that probably there was some communication and collusion between the Athenians and Alexander; 38 Geyer 39 accepts the story, pointing out that there is no hint of linguistic difficulties. The account of this mission to the Greeks is hard to assess: among the various criticisms, the most important is that of Alexander's estimate of Persian supplies. It is indirect contradiction to Artabazus' report to Mardonius, 40 made shortly before. Alexander must have been with the Persian host, probably only after Mardonius was in sole command, and proved himself on the occasion of his embassy to Athens, as well as at Plataea, a most reluctant ally. In the account of the arrangement of troops (IX, 31), Macedonians and dwellers about Thessaly were among those facing the Athenians (to whom Alexander made his way), but these forces are not mentioned in the actual battle. Alexander's actions are aimed at aiding the Greeks, but his relations with the Persians are not clear.
When Xerxes went home, he gave the Macedonians the whole mountain land between Olympus and the Balkans, as far as the Strymon. 41 Although the King's title to the land at this time certainly lent a precarious flavor to the gift, at least Alexander must have been in a position to be the recipient. The following year, during the retreat of Artabazus (Herod. IX, 89), his army was beset by Thracians. Demosthenes (XXIII, 200) states that Perdikkas, whom he elsewhere confuses with Alexander, destroyed the Persians and made final the defeat of the King. Since the story of the gift from Xerxes comes only from a later source and is not mentioned by Herodotus, the truth of it may be questioned. Consideration of only the evidence of Herodotus and Thucydides, with a measure of confirmation from Demosthenes and Strabo, makes it possible to arrive at a working hypothesis. Upper Macedonia, the original home land, remained untouched by the advance of the Persians. Alexander, who had possibly inherited a larger territory through the efforts of his predecessors, but a territory not thoroughly assimilated, retired to the uplands and avoided submission to the Persians. 42 Since he relinquished the land in the path of the Persian army, some who were nominally Macedonians and others who later became Macedonians were enslaved by the Persians; as soon as the enemy retreated, Alexander reclaimed much of his former kingdom and added to it later. Such an hypothesis lends credence to his reference to his own boldness in coming to the Athenian camp at Plataea (he was in but not of the company of the Persians), and to his action in "saving" the Boeotian cities.
The date of hisaccession to the throneis variously given, from 498 to 492; it depends on the Kings' lists 43 which assign him a rule of 43 or 44 years. Since the first fixed point in fifth century Macedonian history is the accession of Archelaos in 414/13, 44 the forty years assigned to Perdikkas II bring the end of Alexander's reign in 454/3, and its beginning in 497/6. The words of Herodotus (V, 22) laying on Alexander the responsibility for the settlement with the Persians after his murder of the embassy, have led some to suggest that Alexander was king ca. 514. 45 This suggestion is quite unwarranted, if we believe the statement of Herodotus that Amyntas offered Anthemus to Hippias ca. 509. The coins throw some light on the question of the regnal years of Alexander; the matter is further discussed in chapters three and five.
Other modern works on Macedonia, such as Hoffmann, Die Makedonien, Paribeni, R., La Macedonia sino ad Alessandro Magno , and Geyer, Makedonien bis zur Thronbesteigung Philipps II, add nothing new or different.
Herodotus, Thucydides, and Strabo contain the most valuable material. Demosthenes contributes occasional incidental information; Justinus, who epitomized Pompeius Trogus, is of some importance when he confirms another author, but useless as an independent authority.
See Casson, Macedonia, Thrace and Illyria, passim.
Eretrians at Edessa: cf. CAH III, 651.
Thracians, Phrygians, and Bryges: CAH II, 12, 17, 284, 490; Myres, Who Were the Greeks?, 343, 441.
Anthologia Lyra Graeca, I (Diehls), 213, no. 6; cf. Thuc., IV, 104.
In this case we have a double association, since Herakles was the Dorian hero par excellence.
Herod., V, 11.
The form "Makednon" is used only by Herodotus; μαϰεδνός is used by Homer (Od. VII, 106) with the meaning "tall, lofty" - can this reflect the physique of the Macedonians? Hesiod (frag. 3, Loeb Classical Library) states that Zeus was the father, by Thyia, of two sons, Magnetes and Makedon. The latter may be the eponym of the Macedonians.
The legendary descent from the Temenid house at Argos was accepted by the Hellanodicae to whom Alexander "proved" that he was an Argive; he himself competed in a footrace, running a dead heat. There is no record of his having run the deciding heat, but perhaps these details were given Herodotus inaccurately. The tribe to which the kings belonged was called the Argeadae (Strabo, 329, fr. 11); Appian (Syr. 63) states that their name came from Argos in Oresteia. The fact that a section of upper Macedonia, in which there was a town Argos, was called Orestis, points to a Peloponnesian connection. The district lies in the region to which, according to legend, the founders first came from the south. It is to be noted that the connection with Argos applies only to the kings and does not include the people themselves.
Cf. Thucydides, II, 99 and V, 80.
The older oracle is given by the Scholiast to Clement of Alexandria, Protrepticon, II, 11P: "Take heed, godlike Caranus, and store up my word in your mind. Leave Argos and Hellas of the fair women, and go to the springs of Haliacmon. There when first you see goats grazing, it is your fate to dwell much envied, you and all your family." The second oracle, or a revised version of the first, is given by Diodorus Siculus, VII, 16, 1: (it was addressed to Perdikkas) "There is a royal might over a wealth-producing land for the reverend sons of Temenus. For aegis-bearing Zeus gives it. But go in haste to the Bottiaean land of many flocks. There if you see gleaming-horned, snow-white goats sunk in sleep on the floor of that ground, sacrifice to the blessed gods and found the fortress of a city." Parke, History of the Delphic Oracle, 65-66, whose translations I give, points out that, aside from the recipient of the prophecy, the two oracles have practically the same content except for the one item which serves to indicate which is the earlier. If it be remembered that Philip transferred the capital of Macedonia from Aegae to Pella, it is immediately apparent that the second version must have been current after that change. The first, which prophesies that the royal house will always have its seat at Aegae may go back to the fifth century. Parke would connect it with the time when Alexander I had received recognition in Greece and'had dedicated his golden statue at Delphi: "Delphi returned the compliment by providing a document in support of his genealogy." I believe it cannot be dated to a time when Herodotus was writing, but it may go back to the fifth century.
The whole tale is rich with the trappings of folklore; the sacrifice to rivers is common in various places, so that this touch may be an aetiological legend to explain a ritual in connection with a river in upper Macedonia. Cf. Herod. VII, 113.
Cf. CAH II, 528 for the interesting similarity between Coronus, son of Caenus,a Lapith king with whom the Dorians fought in northern Greece, and Caranus, father of Coenus.
Cf. note 12.
How and Wells, ad loc., suggest that the statement refers to an earlier period than the one under discussion.
Robinson, Excavations at Olynthus, IV, 2.
CAH IV, 214 (Cary) "Megabazus failed to reduce Macedonia"; 230 (Munro) "reconquest of Thrace and Macedonia." Westlake, JHS, 56 (1936), 13 "Thrace and Macedonia, tributary vassals since 513 temporarily regained their independence (500) so that they had later to be reconquered by Mardonius (Herod. VII, 108)." Cf. also 14.
Herodotus, V, 18-21. How long after 514 this took place is uncertain.
The word used by Herodotus is ὕπαρχος, which is translated "viceroy" by Godley; however, this is reading more into the text than is there. Herodotus does use the word to mean satrap in speaking of the organization of the Persian empire, but it is a word of general meaning for a second in command. H. Cary in Harpers Classical Series (1859) translates it "prince" which is its logical meaning here, I believe. This episode is of considerable importance for the relation of Macedonia to Persia. The envoy, in making his demand for the ladies, says to Amyntas, "since you are giving earth and water;" Geyer (RE, s. v. Makedonia, col. 702) concludes that Macedonia was a subject state of Persia. Grundy, The Persian Wars, 68, concedes a doubtful submission but "it is a doubtful question whether the submission was very real;" on 71 he states that "Megabazus' operation convinced Amyntas of the advisability of submitting to Persian suzerainty." The evidence does not warrant concluding that Macedonia became a dependency of Persia: the envoys to whom earth and water were given were dead when the search party came to Macedonia, and Alexander seems to have negotiated a compromise. It was a bold deed that the young heir to the throne perpetrated (How and Wells suggest that he may have been on the throne at this time, which is unlikely in view of Amyntas' offer to Hippias in 510 or 509) and one that marks him a man of swift decision and prompt action. These traits are likewise revealed in his later actions, not alone against Persia, but against any one who interfered with his plans. He is a worthy ancestor of the enterprising Philip and Alexander III.
The search must have been made before Megabazus left Thrace to report to Darius at Sardis. Cf. Herodotus, V, 23.
He is probably the son of Megabazus who was one of the overseers of the canal at Athos (Herod. VII, 22).
III, 96 and VII, 108.
Cf. Beloch, Griechische Geschichte, III, 22, 49 ff.
RE, s. v. Makedonia, col. 702. The Macedonians listed as among the Persian host (Herod., VII, 185) are probably those dwelling near the Strymon and near Acanthus whom Mardonius conquered, i.e., people who were included in the kingdom of Macedonia at the period when Herodotus was writing.
Grundy, The Persian Wars, 145-150. Cf. 68.
It is another instance of the anachronistic use of the term Macedonian.
Xerxes' army, one third of which "'cleared the Macedonian mountain," is reported as going directly to Perrhaibia (Herod., VII, 131); the route is uncertain. The effect on the Greeks at Tempe would be the same whether the Persian army reached Gonnus by the Pass of Petra or by the more westerly route from the upper valley of the Haliacmon, west of the Cambunian mountains to the headwaters of the Europus, the Pass of Volustana. Even this route would be below "free" Macedonia. Cf. Westlake, JHS 56 (1936) 12-24, "The Medism of Thessaly," particularly pp. 16-20. He believes that Alexander really warned the Greeks against the Aleuadae and that Herodotus' informant was unaware of the exact warning.
Kiepert, Atlas Antiquus, V, Cc.
Subsequently, a little Amyntas grew up in Caria, at Alabanda, but nothing more is known of him. Grundy, The Persian Wars, 436-7, thinks that Herodotus got the story of Alexander's mission from the Athenians rather than from Alexander, partly because of the "Attic flavor" of the story and partly because of the mistaken forecast of Alexander about the invincibility of the Persians.
Demosthenes, XXIII, 200, although he confuses Alexander with Perdikkas, says that the Athenians granted him citizenship; in XIII, 24, it is ateleia, not citizenship, which is granted him.
Herodotus says that he came on horseback when all the rest were sleeping, and only here calls him king (general also, but the regal title is the more important.)
Plutarch, Aristides, 15, embroiders the story to flatter his hero. Alexander asks for Aristides. Woodhouse, JHS 18 (1898), 33-59, confuses the Herodotean account with that of Plutarch when one of the criticisms of the story is the absurdity of Alexander's revelation of his name to Aristides "who must have become familiar in Athens with the face, figure, and tones of the Macedonian king." It is hard to understand the statement, unless he is referring to Alexander's embassy to the Athenians earlier in the same year.
See note 35.
Macan, Herodotus , VII-IX.
The Macedonians (but cf. also note 27) were stationed opposite the Athenians (Herod., IX, 31).
Geyer, Makedonien bis zur Thronbesteigung Philipps II, 33.
Herod. IX, 41, where he states that there are provisions and fodder in Thebes.
Justinus, VIII, 4, and Geyer, RE, col. 702.
Herodotus (VIII, 116) tells of a king of the Bisaltians and Crestonians (Thrax, or a Thracian) who refused enslavement to Xerxes and fled up-country to Mount Rhodope. I believe that Alexander did the same.
Cf. note 26.
He is known to have died in the same year as Socrates. A fourteen-year reign by him must have begun in 414/13.
Cf. How and Wells, at Herodotus, V, 21.
It has long been recognized that the coins of the Thraco-Macedo- nian area embody a complex problem because of the variety of their weights. 1 The Macedonian regal coinage epitomizes that complexity, for there is no apparent relation between the weights of the octa- drachms and tetradrachms, and the smaller coins are fractions of one or the other large denomination. In other words, it appears that Alexander, and Perdikkas, struck silver coins on two standards simultaneously. These are the approximate norms: 2
|1. octodrachms||- 28 + to 29 +|
|2. tetradrachms||- 13 + or -|
|3. octobols||- 4 +|
|4. tetrobols||- 2.40 +|
|5. triobols||- 2.10 +|
|6. small issues||- 1.80 + or -|
|7. fractions||- down to .54|
Nos. 1, 4, and 6 have a common denominator and Nos. 2, 3, and 5 are similarly related. It is noteworthy that all these weights are found, along with still others not used by the Macedonian kings, in the Thraco-Macedonian tribal coinage. Head (see note 1) and others have assigned those sixth century tribal coins weighing ca. 9+ to the "Babylonian" standard and those of 28 + to 29 + to the Phoenician standard, both of which assignments are plausible, but no one has satisfactorily explained the tetradrachms of 13 + or -. Coins of this weight were struck over a long period of time for they were used from the sixth to the fourth century, when they composed the bulk of the coinage of Damastion. 3
Because the weights used by Alexander for his coins had been used in the sixth century tribal issues, it is logical to look to them for an explanation of the standard. The data collected by Svoronos 4 are valuable for this search, since they are remarkably complete. Gie- secke 5 has recently used this material in his study of the weight- standards of the Thraco-Macedonian region; and while he saw the original source of the weights, the "Babylonian" mina, he has misunderstood the use to which it was put. Before Giesecke, Head (see note 1) had the key to the solution of the problem of these weights, as had Haeberlin, 6 but neither had studied all the pertinent material. The various weights of the coins assembled by Svoronos must be based upon some common factor, because of the fact that the same type is used on coins of seemingly unrelated weights 7 issued by one agent. That common factor is the fiftieth part of the light Babylonian mina of 491 +.
By one of the fortunate chances of survival, there have been preserved stone and bronze weights giving the value of the light and heavy Babylonian mina. 8 The fact that individual specimens date from 2000 B. C. to 650 B. C. is clear evidence of the fidelity with which the standards were maintained. Both the heavy (505) and the light (491) mina go back to the time of Dungi, of the dynasty of Ur, ca. 2456-2398. 9 As specimens of both standards are inscribed "of the King" (in cuneiform) and "of the country" (in Aramaic), the co-existence of the two standards for all uses is fact, not fancy. The purpose of the two slightly different standards is as yet unknown; however, it is worth remarking that 505 = 491 + 1/36, which calculation implies a tax on the light mina. Lehman-Haupt and Haeber- lin 10 were in possession of these facts and from them went on to fanciful suppositions. They hypothecated additional taxes of various proportions, proposed precious metal minas which were 50/60 of the weight minas, and finally ended with four minas: a common and a royal gold mina and a common and royal silver mina. By taxing these minas they were able to account for all Asiatic Greek weight- standards, as well as that of the coins under consideration. Lehman- Haupt identified this latter standard as the fiftieth part of the "Light Babylonic Weight-Mina of the Royal Norm heightened by 1/24." Viedebantt 11 has pointed out the folly of such theorizing and has maintained that the weights, as preserved, need no "adjusting." In my estimation, however, he conjectures too low a weight for both minas (489.5 and ca. 502); he is therefore forced into questionable calculations, the discussion of which would go too far afield from the purpose of this study. If one takes as the norms for the two minas those usually given (491 and 504 +, or preferably 505), one can extract from them the norms for the staters of all Greek weight-standards.
By the Oriental system of division, one finds the norms used by Croesus, by the Persians and the Euboeans, and by some Ionian coastal cities.
|1/30 16.36||(Ionian cities, Ainos, Cyzicene electrum)||16.83|
|1/45 10.91||(Croesus, gold and silver)||11.22|
|1/60 8.18||(Croesus, gold)||8.42||(Persians, gold, and Euboeans, silver)|
|1/90 5.45||(siglos?)||5.61||(siglos? = Persians, silver)|
|Macedonia under Archelaos|
From these figures several conclusions may be drawn: (1) The light mina was used for coins earlier than the heavy mina. (2) The derivation of the Euboic stater from the heavy mina may be due to some correlation between it and the Homeric talent, which is taken by some to be the source of the Euboic stater. 12 (3) Herodotus (III, 95) was entirely correct in stating that Persian gold was weighed on the Euboic standard; he was speaking in the terms of the familiar rather than the historic. (4) There is no substantiation for the claim that one mina was a gold standard and the other a silver standard, at least outside of Persia. If the siglos weighed 5.45, it could be conjectured that the Persians used the light mina for silver and the heavy mina for gold, but the exchange rate 13 of twenty sigloi for one daric indicates a value for the siglos of ca. 5.60; therefore, even in Persia there were not separate silver and gold standards.
The use of various decimal systems of division produces all other Greek weight standards, except the Attic (and, possibly, the Aegine- tan), which comes from a peculiar source by my reckoning. 14 I do not pretend to be able to give reasons for these divisors, and they may actually have nothing to do with the origin of the weights they reveal.
|1/35 - 14.04||(early Lydian electrum; Ionian Revolt coinage)||14.43||(Phoenician)|
|1/40 - 12.25||12.62||(Aeginetan?)|
|1/50 - 9.82||(Thraco-Mac. stater)||10.10|
|1/70 7.02||(electrum from Artemision?)||7.26||(Phoenician)|
|(electrum from Thraco-Mac.?)|
The suggested Aeginetan weights may not be justifiable; that from the light mina is rather low and the other rather high. The 1/100 division of the heavy mina is rather light for a third of the Chian- Rhodian stater, which actually may be a pentadrachm on the Aeginetan system. 15
The fiftieth division of the lighter mina, 9.82, is the Thraco-Macedonian stater and the source for all the variety of weights in that area. The system is a complex one, extremely ingenious in its use of both the Oriental and the Greek denominations. It should be called Thraco-Macedonian, since it was the creation of the tribes of the region, although, in view of the fact that it was used by the Macedonian kings in the fifth century after tribal issues had ceased, it might justifiably be called Macedonian. 16 In the following chart the weights in the first column are those arrived at by the Oriental system of multiplication and division by thirds and sixths. The second and third columns contain weights formed by applying the Greek drachma andobol system of division. The weights marked * are those used by Alexander, those with ** by Perdikkas as well, and those with + by the Chalcidic League. 17
Of this elaborate and bountiful assortment of weights, the coins collected by Svoronos (see note 4) show the use of all but the one most closely resembling the so-called Phoenician tetradrachms (14.73), 18 although it is represented at Abdera. 19 The evidence for the hemistater is uncertain. There are a few coins of that weight given by Svoronos, but their attribution to the area is uncertain. The octobol of 4.36 (Column 2), a close approximation of the Attic drachma, seems not to have appeared until comparatively late in the series of tribal issues and may plausibly be associated with Pisistra- tus' stay in the north (556-546, but see note 14). A chronological study of the tribal coinage should do much to clarify the growth of the system. The absence of historical records for this region has undoubtedly been a large factor in the neglect under which it has been allowed to languish. The legendary association of the north with both Asia Minor and Greece proper is emphasized by the mixture of Oriental and Greek divisions in these weights.
The coinage of Abdera has quite generally been considered as on the Phoenician standard (see note 19), with various theories to account for fluctuations in weight. No one has yet, however, devised a reason why the people of Teos should have turned to the use of this standard when they settled in the north. 20 It is clear that Abdera merely began coining on the standard already in use, taking the triple stater (Column 1) as an octadrachm (Column 3). The Phoenician standard was a little lighter (14. 43, for the tetradrachm), and it is possible that the fluctuations in the weights of Abderitan coins can be traced to that difference. Roebuck 21 recently, in drawing some very interesting conclusions about trade from the contents of Egyptian coin hoards, makes certain misleading statements about Chios and her relations with the Thraco-Macedonian region. He states (p. 240) that "The symbols on its (Chios') earliest coins, found, significantly enough, in Egypt, are similar to those of the early Thraco- Macedonian group." In a footnote (53) he lists them as sphinx, rosette, cock's head and lotus. This sphinx occurs only on the coins of Abdera. I am not aware of the use of the cock's head as a symbol in the north, although the rosette is common there and elsewhere. If by the "lotus" he means the stylized Pangaean rose, it is the one symbol which was assuredly used in the north. On the same page, his next sentence reads: "Further, when Abdera began to coin after its recolonization by Teos, it did so on a standard related to the Chian, which would indicate one area of Chian influence in this region." It is hard to understand the basis for this statement. The Chian standard of ca. 15.52 has no obvious relation to that of Abdera.
The fluctuation in weight of the tribal issues seems to have little to do with chronology, if that of the coins of Macedonia be any criterion. In the lists of weights of the coins of Alexander and Perdikkas at the end of this chapter, it may be seen how varied are the weights within a denomination and how little this variation has to do with chronology. It would be idle conjecture to devise reasons for the fluctuation; often two coins from the same die or dies will vary widely in weight. Since it is noticeable in all denominations and in coins of all types (i. e., in the tribal issues) it perhaps may be attributed to carelessness resulting from widespread acceptance of the standard. The fact that many of the early coins, and even those of Alexander, found in hoards in remote lands, 22 are slashed or otherwise disfigured can be taken to mean that these coins, accepted "at home" at face value, were only accepted abroad after being weighed and tested for purity. In view of the certainty of the weights for the denominations listed in the chart, it has not been felt necessary to construct frequency tables. Indeed, the meticulous consideration of extant weights in any series is superogatory, since ancient methods of minting and the whole ancient conception of the purpose of coinage differ so greatly from those of the present.
Without a detailed study of all the tribal issues and the directions of northern trade, it is impossible to decide the chronological order of the development. A number of the denominations were comparatively short-lived, particularly the large ones; probably they were too large for convenient use. The triple stater, or octadrachm, was struck by Alexander and by Abdera until the middle of the fifth cen- tury. The tetradrachm of 14.73 used by Abdera, was adopted by the Chalcidic League before the end of the fifth century and was used for the first time in Macedonia by Philip II. The tetradrachm of 13.09, used by Alexander until the middle of the fifth century, was used in the fourth century by the kings of Paeonia and by Damastion. 23
This tetradrachm of 13.09, created by multiplying rather than by dividing or reclassifying, 24 as was the case with the triple stater, has as its point of contact with the original system (Column 1 on the chart) the trite (3.27) of the original stater. The trite was multiplied like a drachma to produce the tetradrachm of 13.09. The earliest such coins have a Pegasus obverse type (often attributed to Therma). 25 They have the very earliest form of irregular incuse on the reverse and must have been struck early in the series of the tribal issues, well before the middle of the sixth century. As a coin of this weight is not readily exchangeable with the other denominations of the Thraco-Macedonian coins, except with its multiple the quadruple stater, its creation would seem to be due to foreign needs.
A search for the possible reason for the evaluation of this denomination led into the baffling realm of electrum. Fraught with peril is a journey thereto. Instead of one Scylla and a single Charybdis, the traveler is beset by monsters more fearsome than Greek or Oriental ever imagined. These monsters are (1) the relative value of gold and silver, at a given time or generally; (2) the consequent relative value of electrum and the other metals; (3) the very nature of electrum, i. e., whether it was a natural or an artificial alloy, or both at different times; (4) the ability of the ancients to determine the proportion of each metal in a given coin; (5) their use of that ability. 26 Although the conclusions reached in the following paragraphs are largely based on probabilities, rather than on actualities, because of the uncertainty as to the true nature of any electrum coinage, it seems not improper to set forth the results of the inquiry into the reasons for the creation of the tetradrachm of 13.09. 27
Electrum as a moneyer's metal, as contrasted with its use for jewelry, should be examined (a) for its weight standard, (b) for its alloy, and (c) for the relation of these two factors to current values of gold and silver. The generally accepted relation of the latter is 13.3-1, a rather awkward figure for the moneyer. 28 It has been suggested that electrum stood in relation to silver as 10-1, actually or as a convenience, 29 i. e., any electrum coin became arbitrarily to be worth ten times its weight in silver, regardless of the alloy. This is a workable hypothesis, for an equation can always be worked out between electrum and some silver issue on this basis. Since we know so little of the direction of trade in antiquity, it is impossible to prove that any such equation was in use in trade - or, equally, that it was not in use.
Such reckoning ignored the proportion of gold and silver in any electrum piece, although it is hard to understand how, in the fiercely competitive struggle between coins of different standards, the ancients would be willing to accept at a nominal value a coin, the metal content of which was unknown and unknowable to them. While Pliny 30 states that electrum must be one-fifth silver and four-fifths gold, and that it is a naturally occurring alloy, Hammer 31 has shown that the alloy as found in different parts of the world is very irregular. He concludes that there was available in antiquity electrum of the proportions given by Pliny, but none of the coins which he analyzes has so large a gold content, and in his entire lists the proportions vary greatly. When of the two electrum coins of the same weight, one contains one-third gold and the other two-thirds, how can one say that these coins both equal ten silver pieces of the same weight as the electrum? Theophrastus' description of the touchstone (which he calls the Lydian stone), by which it was possible to "recognize the purity of the gold and silver as well as the amount of copper and how much was mixed in a stater," 32 indicates that it was used for testing electrum coins. The well-known monetary agreement between Phocaea and Mytilene 33 can only be interpreted as referring to an artificial alloy, although, unfortunately, the decree does not name the proportions.
Specific gravity tests applied to electrum coins showed clearly the variant proportions of gold and silver in different coins, often of the same weight. Hammer, in the article cited in note 31, went further than specific gravity tests; he subjected as many coins as possible to chemical analysis, from which it became evident that varying amounts of copper (cf. Theophrastus), and even of other metals, were introduced into the alloy to secure greater hardness. The addition of these metals, hitherto unsuspected, affects adversely the accuracy of the specific gravity figure. Such a test could not be applied to every electrum coin for obvious reasons, but from the number of coins available to him, Hammer has been able to work out a formula to express the relation between the specific gravity finding and the result of chemical analysis. This perhaps is not minutely accurate in every case, but it serves to bring a certain uniformity into the relative contents of the metals in any electrum coin of which the specific gravity is known. Thus it is possible to reach rather sound conclusions as to the standard of electrum coins and their worth. Viedebantt 34 and Gardner 35 have both taken cognizance of the specific gravity of electrum coins in their discussions of them; Giesecke 36 has modified Hammer's figures in his discussion of the place of electrum in ancient economics. At present, there are too few records of the specific gravity of electrum coins to warrant drawing any sweeping conclusions about the use of electrum. In what follows, I have made use of all the data I could find, but they are admittedly incomplete.
In the BMC Ionia, there are listed a number of electrum staters and fractions of varying types and gold content, whose norm appears to be close to 7.02. 37 Their crudity marks them as among the earliest coins struck, but the variety of their types makes it impossible to consider them as a group. Their specific gravity also varies greatly. Some of them: pp. 2 and 3, nos. 2, 4, 5, 6, together with some from Berlin (Hammer, ZfN, 1908, pp. 25-26, nos. 86-89, also cited by Giesecke, AG, p. 24, nos. 5-8) and two from Paris (BT, I, 2, no. 1; Pl. I, 1, and Rev. Num., 1930, p. 153, no. 2, Pl. V, 3) are characterized by a comparatively high gold content, a reverse with a Thraco- Macedonian style of incuse square, generally quartered (BMC, no. 5 has a simple type similar to that of the Gorgoneion stater in the second group of electrum) a spheroid shape, and an obscure obverse type which Svoronos 38 has correctly identified as an ingot, sometimes plain and sometimes variously decorated. 39 Some also have a floral pattern similar to that on some of the tribal issues. (Plate I, a-f, h, i.) The other coins on the same pages of the BMC are nearly lentoid in shape, the obverse type is different although equally obscure, and the gold content is very low. Most of the former coins were said to have been assembled in Saloniki by Kaftanzoglu and they have all been attributed to the Thraco-Macedonian area by Svoronos, chiefly for sentimental reasons. 40 I believe that those with the high gold content are Thraco-Macedonian and that they are to be brought into a close relationship to the earliest of the tetradrachms. Their gold content is two-thirds of the total weight; that of the others is about one-third. These coins are probably slightly later than those from the Artemision base, 41 but they should be dated early in the sixth century. They show some stylistic and technical development. Plate I, a, b, e and h, are earlier than the others, to judge from the crude ingot on the obverse and the irregularity of the incuse. Plate I, c, d, f, and i, have more skillfully cut obverses (f and i are quite elaborate) and their reverses have a more definite form. There are so few of these coins and their weights so irregular that it is hard to determine their standard. 42 It may be 1/70 of either mina; as shown below, the difference is so slight that the equation is not seriously affected. It is useless to try to find the reason why 1/70 should be the division chosen for the early electrum, Lydian, Ionian and Thraco-Macedonian. It was not until Croesus struck his first gold coins that the division of 1/60 was used. The large proportion of gold in the group here considered Thraco-Macedonian gave it a stability which the eastern electrum did not have, 43 for none, as far as I know, has suffered any disfigurement or has been countermarked to guarantee it. The tribes of northern Greece, with their fabulously wealthy gold and silver mines, presumably began coining in electrum, having taken their standard from those moneyers of Asia Minor who struck the earliest coins. When the Thraco-Macedonians began striking in silver, they used a different fraction (1/50) of the mina of 491 for their stater, the trite of which, multiplied into the tetradrachms of 13.09 served to make exchangeable electrum and silver. Because the mina of 491 was the one used for silver, it may be that this early electrum was 1/70 of that same mina. However, I give the equation for both standards.
|Weight of electrum||7.02||7.27|
|Gold 4.68, at 13.3-1||62.24||Gold 4.84, at 13.3-1||64.37|
|Tetradrachm, 13.09 × 5||65.45||Tetradrachm, 13.09 × 5||65.45|
|Electrum, 7.02 × 9||63.18||Electrum, 7.27 × 9||65.43|
|Decadrachm, 32.70 × 2||65.40||65.40|
It will be observed that the accepted rate of 13.3-1 as the relative value of gold and silver was valid in Europe in the early sixth century, but that the value of electrum was 9-1 rather than the conventional 10-1. 44 It will also be observed that the equation is more precise if the weight of the electrum piece be taken as 7.27 instead of 7.02, which would indicate that the mina of 505 was used for the first electrum, although the lighter mina for 491 was used for silver. On the other hand, a consideration of the Lydian electrum and the first issue of Croesean gold leads one to the conclusion that the lighter standard is really the correct one:
|Gold (⅓) 2.34 at 13.3-1||31.12|
|Total: (in silver)||35.80|
|Croesean gold (8.18) in silver (13.3-1)||108.80|
|Electrum, in silver × 3||107.40|
|Electrum, 7.02 × 15.5||108.81|
It can thus be suggested that Croesus struck gold at 1/60 of the light mina to exchange with electrum at 1/70 of the same mina and that the debasement of the electrum led to its abandonment and the substitution of the Croesean silver of 10.90, ten of which would equal a Croesean gold stater. The Thraco-Macedonian electrum would not be exchangeable with the Croesean gold (it probably preceded it) nor with the Lydian electrum. Since we know nothing of trade directions, and since most of the coins here considered Thraco- Macedonian were found near Saloniki, they may only have been used locally for large transactions. The matter cannot be studied here.
A second group of electrum coins to be associated with this area 45 consists of three coins (London, BMC Ionia, p. 13, no. 58; Berlin, Hammer ZfN, 1908, p. 24, no. 55, also cited by Giesecke; Paris, BT I, 2, no. 200, Pl. V, 20). There is no group of Asia Minor coins to associate with these as there was in the previous instance, and the issue is a peculiar one. The obverse type is the Gorgoneion, used on silver by Neapolis-Daton in a style which appears to be slightly later than that of the electrum. The reverse type is four pellets, one in each corner of the shallow incuse, connected diagonally with two lines at the intersection of which there is a fifth pellet. The type seems to have been influenced by the reverse type of Plate I, i, one of the later elements in the first electrum group. Their norm is 8.18, 1/60 of the mina of 491, the weight that Croesus introduced ca. 561 when he struck his first gold. The proportions of gold and silver are the opposite of that in the earlier electrum - ⅓ gold and ⅔ silver. These electrum coins confirm the hypothesis offered earlier, that Pisistratus developed the Attic standard from the northern one, for they are exchangeable with Attic tetradrachms.
|Electrum||8.18 (1/60 of mina of 491)|
|Gold, 2.73, at 13.3 - 1||36.30||(⅓ of stater)|
|Silver||5.45||(⅔ of stater)|
|Attic tetradrachm,||17.44 × 3 = 42.32|
|Tetradrachm,||13.09 × 3 = 39.27|
|Electrum,||8.18 × 5 = 40.90|
Here the equation is not so precise as in the other group; it is very close for the exchange of the Attic tetradrachm with the electrum, but less satisfactory for the tetradrachm of 13.09. I should suggest that this rather short-lived issue of electrum was a first attempt to exchange Attic and tribal issues, but that it was soon abandoned because of the far more exact equation of five tetradrachms of 13.09 (65.45) with four tetradrachms of 17.44 (65.76) It is of some importance, however, to note that the relative value of electrum and silver, 5-1, as used in the above equation can be confirmed by the reverse type of the electrum with its five connected pellets.
If the weights and affiliations of these two groups of electrum issues are carefully considered, it is possible to arrive at rather stable chronology. The first issue, begun shortly after the beginning of the sixth century, on the unit of the earliest electrum, that dated by the Artemision base find to the end of the seventh or beginning of the sixth century, would be contemporary with the earliest coinage in Greece proper; it lasted until Croesus, sometime after 561, introduced gold at 8.18. Shortly after 556, Pisistratus came north, adopted the unit of 4.36 (the octobol of the tetradrachm of 13.09) as his drachma, whereupon the tribes about Neapolis, at least, 46 issued an electrum unit for exchange. This second group of electrum then is to be dated about the middle of the sixth century and probably did not survive the departure of Pisistratus in 546. After this Neapolis struck silver, with the same obverse type, of the weight of the Thraco-Macedonian staters, 9.82. The fortunes of the heavier Attic currency assured the continued value of the tetradrachm of 13.09, even though no further electrum was coined in that area.
There is a single electrum coin, much later in style, which is to be considered a Thraco-Macedonian issue. 47 It was found at Lysimachia in Thrace and its type is distinctly Thracian (Plate I, g). Its style, particularly that of the reverse, points to a close connection with that electrum coinage which Gardner has so convincingly assigned to 500-494, the Ionian Revolt coinage. 48 The Ionian Revolt coinage is characterized by a variety of obverse types, probably representative of the various cities which joined in the issue, an incuse reverse, which is very deeply struck, quartered linearly, as is the Thracian piece. The weight standard is 14.04, 1/35 of the mina of 491, and the gold content is one-third of the total. These coins revive the standard of the earliest Ionian electrum, but are double staters. They were designed to be exchangeable with Attic tetradrachms, 49 since Athens, already a great mercantile city, was looked upon by the Ionians as the mother-city; the coins should cement the bonds and make cooperation easy.
|Gold (⅓) 4.68, at 13.3-1||62.24|
|5 Attic tetradrachms (17.44)||69.76|
|Electrum 14.04 × 5||70.20|
It will be noted that this equation, which is slightly favorable to the Attic currency, used the 5-1 ratio of electrum and silver which was that used for the Gorgoneion type electrum of 8.18 in exchange with Attic currency.
The Thraco-Macedonian coin, wt. 16.36, is a double stater of the weight of Croesean gold, or the Cyzicene electrum stater. The latter contained less gold than the coin here under consideration, if the statement by Xenophon 50 that the Cyzicene stater was the equal in value of the gold daric, 842 (in silver at 13.3-1 = 111.986) be taken as fact, for this coin is nearly 70% gold (64 +). The type of this coin is a modification of one of the tribal Dionysiac types (cf. Chapter III) which was widely used in the area. The centaur and nymph are generally on the verge of or in violent contact with one another, 51 but here the nymph is on friendly terms with the centaur and is apparently enjoying the ride on his back. As was the case with the preceding electrum with the Gorgoneion type, the coin is adapted to exchange with Attic currency and it may have been struck in connection with the revived tribal alliance coinage discussed at the end of Chapter III, for international trade. The equation follows:
|Gold (70%) 11.45 at 13-3-1||152.30|
|Attic tetradrachm, 17.44 × 9||156.96|
|Tetradrachm, 13.09 × 12||157.08|
|Electrum, 16.36 × 9½||155.42|
It will be seen seen that, while the gold rate is constant, as it seems to have been at least until the end of the fifth century, the rate for electrum has increased almost to the conventional 10-1. However, none of the electrum considered can be used at that rate of exchange without doing violence to the well-attested ratio of gold and silver. It is strange that this electrum cannot be used with the Ionian Revolt electrum with which it was contemporary. It must be concluded that both groups of electrum were for the purpose of dealing with Athens rather than with each other.
The first at least of these three series of electrum coins, which shows so clearly the reason for the creation of the tetradrachm of 13.09, is of considerable chronological importance, both for the date of the introduction of the tetradrachm and for the origin of the whole series of Thraco-Macedonian tribal issues. The number of coins adduced as evidence is assuredly small. There exist also fractional pieces whose types and fabric are similar. Since these have not been analyzed, it has seemed unwise to argue from them. Electrum currency probably never played a large part in the monetary affairs of the north; the two later series of electrum just discussed, show that it served for only international trade after the middle of the sixth century. Its chief importance is as the source of the much-misunderstood tetradrachm, the vitality of which is attested by the variety of types (i. e., of issuing tribes; cf. Chapter III), its retention by Alexander, and its much later survival in the coinage of Damastion and the Paeonian dynasts. Its ease of exchange with Attic tetra- drachms, at the rate of four to three, and also with the tetradrachms of Ainos, 52 at the rate of five to four, are reasons for its vitality.
The original stater of 9.82, which is the basis for the luxuriant variety of denominations, disappeared with, or shortly before, the retreat of the Persians, except at Thasos and possibly the mainland directly opposite that island. The Macedonians employed a selection of types and weights from the general supply in the area. Alexander made no change in the denominations after 479, beyond discontinuing the stater, 53 and using its type as a reverse for his tetradrachms and some fractional pieces. The varieties used, with their correlation with other currencies used in the northern Aegean, give some indications of the directions of Macedonian commerce, outside the tribal area.
|1. Octadrachm||29.46 - coins of Abdera|
|2. Tetradrachm||13.09 - Athens and Ainos|
|3. Octobol||4.36 - Athens|
|4. (Heavy) tetrobol||2.45 - Abdera|
|5. (Light) tetrobol||2.18 - Athens|
|6. Triobol||1.82 - Abdera|
The fractional issues smaller than no. 6 are difficult to classify, because of the slight possible variation in weights between the heavy and the light obol. It would be of interest to know the Macedonian names for nos. 3-6. Possibly they were referred to by their types, like Athenian "Owls" or Corinthian "Colts."
In view of the fact that the norms for the denominations used by Alexander have been worked out from the lighter Babylonian mina, it has not been necessary to arrange frequency tables. A list is appended of the weights of the coins of Alexander and Perdikkas, in which the fluctuations are evident. There is no indication of a lowering of the standard, an event which probably occurred much less frequently than supposed. Part of the weight variation may have been caused by wear (this is particularly true in the case of the coins of Perdikkas) and much of it must have been the result of careless preparation of the flans. The two tetrobol denominations show a few wildly aberrant weights in Group I; in Group II, the light tetrobols also show a few, but in later groups this is not the case. I think that the explanation lies in the close approximation in the size of the flans for the denominations. In Group I, there was so much experimentation and change that it is quite possible that workmen got the flans confused; in Group II, some few remaining heavy tetrobol flans may have been carelessly thrown in with the others to be used up, since the heavy tetrobols were not struck during Group II. The variant weights of the tetradrachms defy explanation: some coins struck from the same pair of dies differ widely in weight. I append a list of the weights of all denominations except the small fractions in all groups.
|Octadrachms||Tetradrachms||Heavy tetrobols||Light tetrobols 55|
|Octadrachms||Tetradrachms||Octobols||Light tetrobols 56|
|H Series||H Series|
|Octadrachms||Tetradrachms||Octobols||Light tetrobols 56|
|H Series||H Series|
|Octadrachms||Tetradrachms||Heavy tetrobols||Light tetrobols|
|Series 1||Series 2||Series 3||Series 4|
|Series 1||Series 2||Series 3|
|Series 1||Series 2||Series 3|
Head, HN 2, xli-xliv, 194-214, 253-254, assigns coins to the Babylonian or to the Phoenician standard. Babelon, Traite, I, 2, 1035-6, 1080, 1095-8 (hereafter BT) and Gaebler, Die Antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands, (hereafter AMNG) III, 2, passim, substantially agree with Head. In a series of articles in the Sitz. Ber. Klass. Wiss., Gaebler condemns as forgeries a number of the coins of Alexander partly because he fails to understand their weight. P. Gardner, History of Ancient Coinage, Chap. X, 186-200, distinguishes a Thasian and the Abderitan standard. Svoronos, JIAN, 1919, 1-265, "L'Hellenisme primitif de la Macédoine" (tableau métrologique, at the end), calls the standard Paeonian, although he does not clearly define the relation of the various denominations to one another and has no historical source for the weights he gives as norms. Seltman, Greek Coins, 65 ff., also uses the term Paeonian but his explanation of it is incorrect. Viedebantt, Antike Gewichtsnormen und Münzfüsse, 70-72, (hereafter AGM) is substantially correct in his derivation of the stater used in the Thraco-Macedonian area from the Babylonian mina and his recognition that the large "Phoenician octadrachms" are really triple staters, but (a) he does not account for any of the other weights, and (b) he creates a mina of ninety staters to adapt the stater to the Attic system, even though he is forced to leave open the question of the reason for a mina of ninety staters. Giesecke, Antikes Geldwesen, 39-40, (hereafter AG) accepts a division of the Babylonian mina as a source, but misnames the stater; recently, in Hamb. Beit. z. Num., III (1949), 1-15, he changes the name of the stater, but is still wrong.
Since all the weights recorded and discussed in this study are in grams, it has not seemed necessary to indicate that fact after each weight.
Cf. J. M. F. May, The Coinage of Damastion, pp. 12—17.
This article, already cited in note 1, is of greater value for the data than for the conclusions Svoronos reached from them. References to it in the future will be abbreviated to HPM.
Cf. note 1.
Haeberlin, ZfN, 27 (1909) 1-115, "Metrologische Grundlagen."
Cf. Chapter III.
For a summary of these weights, see HN 2, xxxiv-xxxvii.
CAH, I, 658.
Haeberlin, op. cit. (n. 6); Lehmann-Haupt, RE Suppl. III, cols. 604 ff.
Cf. Gardner, History of Ancient Coinage, 79.
Xenophon, Anab. I, 7, 18.
So far as I know, there is no generally accepted explanation of the source of the Attic standard, usually reckoned as 8.72. It has been attributed to the Egyptian Delta where a kedet of 8.74-9.07 was in use (Gardner, Hist. 157) and it has been associated with certain electrum coins usually attributed to Samos (HN2, 602) and dated to the period of Polycrates, 532-522. Since the Athenian coins on the standard which is undefined are the product of Pisistratus (561-527) Samos cannot be a source for them. The Egyptian kedet is too high in weight. In the course of this study, I have come upon two possible sources for the Pisistratid weight, either of which may be correct and both of which may be wrong. Since, however, the field is still open, I submit my suggestions:
1. Before the time of Croesus (561-546), there had been struck Lydian electrum coins weighing 10.19, 1/45 of the light Babylonian mina (HN2, 644). Pisistratus must have been aware of the Oriental sexagesimal division of the mina, which had long been in use as a weight; from this Lydian electrum (some of the earliest money, probably to be dated about the end of the seventh or the beginning of the sixth century) he may have assumed a mina of 654. 1/75 of this figure is 8.74.
2. If Pisistratus owned mines in the north, he must have been acquainted with the weight system in use there. The octobol in Column 2 of the chart of Thraco-Macedonian weights (4.36) is almost the exact equivalent of the Attic drachma. Gardner, Hist. of Ancient Coinage, 157, has already suggested that Pisistratus got his standard from the north, but he referred it to the stater of that area (9.82), the weight of which he thought was ca. 9.07. As the chart shows, the stater is too heavy to have been the model for the heavier Attic tetradrachm of Pisistratus; the octobol of 4.36 is the more likely source.
Cf. Xenophon, Hel. I, 6, 12 and Gardner, Hist. of Ancient Coinage, 251-252.
Cf. note 1. The name "Paeonian" is misleading because at the time that this standard began to be used Paeonia was not, so far as we know, a unit. Pangaean might be a better term, in view of the major source of metal supply, but Thraco-Macedonian at least has a virtue of exactness of the original place of use.
Robinson-Clement, Olynthus Excavations, IX, 209-210, assume that the League standard was Phoenician although they notice the other names given, but the circumstances of the League's adoption of the Thraco-Macedonian standard are discussed in Chapter VIII, below.
The term "Phoenician" is a misnomer for any standard because the Phoenicians did not strike coins until long after a standard of ca. 14.50 had first been used. A better name would be Milesian.
Cf. Münzer, F. and Strack, M. L., Die Antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands II, Die Antiken Münzen von Thrakien, I, 46-50, dated 512-478. The octadrachms, 43-46, are dated c. 545-512. P. 43, Strack describes the standard as "Phonizische Wahrung in der Erhbhung um 1/36."
The foundation from Clazomenae is dated in the seventh century before the beginning of Clazomenian coinage. The Teans used the Aeginetan standard.
CP 45 (1950), 236-247, "The Grain Trade between Greece and Egypt."
Many have been found in Egypt and Mesopotamia; the most remote find appears to be that in Afghanistan published by Daniel Schlumberger in Mémoires de la Délégation Archéologique Française en Afghanistan , XIV, "Argent grec dans l'empire achéménide." This information was kindly supplied to me by the author, M. Daniel Schlumberger, while the book was in press. I am unable to give the page numbers because I have not seen the volume. The hoard is also discussed by E. S. G. Robinson in Iraq, 12 (1950) 44-51, where he makes the following statement: "We may conclude that coined silver, treated as bullion, was a staple export of Greece to the Persian empire, into which it penetrated early and deep, from the time of Darius I onwards."
Cf. note 3.
The denomination is, of course, technically a division of the quadruple stater, but the existence of the decadrachm (although of rather rare occurrence) points to multiplication of the trite, rather than division of the quadruple stater.
Cf. Svoronos, HPM, Pl. XIV, 4, 6, 7.
Cf. Head, HN 2, xxxix-xli, and under Lydia, 643-646, Ionia, 564-567, as well as under various cities; Gardner. Hist of Ancient Coinage, 31-36, 67-82, 91-108, and passim.
And also, incidentally, of the decadrachm of 32.70, although there do not seem to have been many of this denomination.
Cf. the works cited in note 26, particularly Gardner.
Cf. Head, HN2, 643 and Gardner, Hist., 35.
Pliny, NH, XXXIII, 80.
ZfN (1908) 1-144, "Der Feingehalt der griechischen und römischen Münzen."
De Lapidibus, 46, followed by Pliny, NH, XXXIII, 43.
Michel, Recueil des inscriptions grecques 3, 4, no. 8.
Viedebantt, Antike Gewichtsnormen und Münzfüsse, 40, 44 ff., 159-60.
Gardner, Hist. of Ancient Coinage, 34-35.
Giesecke, Antikes Geldwesen, 80-83.
For the latest discussion of the Artemision Base coins, see E. S. G. Robinson, "The Coins from the Ephesian Artemision Reconsidered," JHS 71 (1951) 156-l67.
Svoronos, HPM, 192.
This type anticipates that of the later drachms (3.26) of Damastion; May, Coinage of Damastion, 37 and Pl. XII.
Svoronos, HPM, 155. I have been unable to learn whether the Kaftanzoglu Collection is still in Athens, where it was once reported to be.
Cf. note 37.
The weights of the early Lydian electrum range from 6.85 to 7.12.
Cf. Head, HN 2, 646: "The electrum currency, owing perhaps to its uncertain intrinsic value, appears to have fallen somewhat into discredit, if we may judge from the multiplication of private merchants' or bankers' countermarks on many of the specimens assigned to Gyges or his successors; and it would seem that Croesus soon found it necessary, not only to introduce a new and distinctive type, but to reorganize the coinage of his empire on an entirely new basis... "
Giesecke, throughout his study Antikes Geldwesen, assumes; but not convincingly, the relative value of 6-1 for electrum and silver.
Both Svoronos, HPM, 204-206, and Giesecke, AG, 57 assign this group to the Thraco-Macedonian region.
Neapolis is located slightly east of the Pangaean mountain district, a location which makes the assignment of these coins to that city the more probable, for it would be in communication and, possibly, in trading relations with Pisistratus and his group near Mt. Pangaeum.
Many towns and tribes used centaur, or satyr, and nymph types, among them the Orrheskians, Zaeelians, as well as others not yet identifiable.
Proc. Brit. Acad. III (1908); JHS 31 (1911), 151-160; Hist, of Ancient Coinage, 91-101.
Gardner's suggestion (Hist. 94-95) that they were designed to exchange with Persian darics, seems to me to be most unrealistic; one does not design a currency to exchange with that of one's chief enemy.
Anab. I, 3, 21. He states that the daric or the Cyzicene stater was the soldier's monthly rate of pay on that expedition.
Cf. the illustrations cited in note 47.
J. M. F. May, Ainos, its History and Coinage, 265-269.
The probable date of the cessation of the goat staters of Aegae is discussed below in Chapter III.
The weights are listed following the order of the coins in the catalogue.
It is possible that some of these were struck on triobol (1.83) flans, for not even the lightest shows excessive wear.
In this group, the light tetrobols which are much below the norm are very worn.
In this group many coins are very worn; the weights are the result of that fact rather than of mistaken use of flans.
A survey of the coinage attributed to Alexander, the first coins in that long series of Macedonian regal issues, reveals a decided difference between them and the coins of the majority of the Greek city- states. Nearly all Greek cities displayed extreme conservatism as regards types, which were few and essentially only variants of one major theme, and denominations, which likewise were few and obviously related to one another. Alexander's coins display as wide a variety of types as of denominations and the variety is as incoherent as the denominations are. The seemingly abrupt appearance of Macedonian regal currency early in the fifth century does not mean that it was the result of spontaneous generation; it is rooted in the past and represents an inheritance from the sixth century tribal issues, long known for their variety of types and incomprehensible weight standard. As Alexander used certain denominations used earlier by the tribes, so also he used some of their types.
For a century or more before the advent of the signed currency of Alexander, the whole Thraco-Macedonian coastal and hinterland area had produced a rich and diversified series of coins. These have been studied painstakingly by Svoronos in the article already cited, 1 but his assignments of the various types have not been generally accepted, nor are they all acceptable. Nevertheless, his collection and illustration of the varieties classed as "uncertain, probably Thraco-Macedonian" and homeless, lo, these many years, make it possible to survey the group in its approximate entirety. By considering the coins as a homogeneous group, one is able to see clearly a pattern in which three major religious or mythological types are associated with certain denominations, each of which is issued by one or more tribes. No tribe seems to have used all the types and all the denominations: some used several of each; some confined themselves to one. The three types are associated respectively with Dionysus, Ares, and Apollo-Hermes. 2
The types involving oxen, their driver, caduceus, and rose or other solar symbol 3 are those of Apollo-Hermes; the horse, alone, attended, being mounted or ridden, and the dog, possibly the lion, allude to Ares. Dionysiac types are more varied - nymphs, satyrs, centaurs and the vine. There are some additional types: Pegasus, Gorgoneion (see note 3), Herakles, and various animals, which do not fall into these categories. The pattern, reduced to its simplest terms, is this:
|Triple stater||Apollo-Hermes; Ares|
|Tetradrachm||Apollo-Hermes; Ares; Pegasus|
|Stater||Apollo; Ares; Dionysus;|
|Herakles; Gorgoneion; animals.|
The fractions smaller than the stater continue these types in a more complex pattern, study of which would surely clarify much that is obscure in the arrangement of the coins. The reverses, with their various sorts of incuse and subsequent types, should also prove enlightening in the final attribution of the coins and the location of their issuing agents. Inscriptions seem to have been used first on the obverse and to have been considered originally as symbols; 4 later, they become so complete as to compare favorably with those on Hellenistic coins. The archaic form of some of the letters appearing on the tribal issues is retained on the earliest inscribed coins of Alexander.
The types most generally used (those of Apollo-Hermes, Ares, and Dionysus, as well as the somewhat less frequently occurring Herak- lean types) have a natural association with the area. Tradition and common consent localized the myth of Hermes and the cattle of the Sun in the north, 5 where Apollo was pre-eminently a sun-god. The Pangaean rose, the extraordinary beauty of which was mentioned as late as Pliny, 6 has the same applicability as a solar symbol as the canting type of Rhodes, the connection of which with Helios or Apollo is generally recognized. It is quite possible that the "dotted theta" was originally a stylized version of this rose. The rose, or an unidentifiable flowering plant, appears as a symbol with nearly every type and in nearly every denomination. As far as I am able to determine, the caduceus is used as a symbol only in Macedonia; e. g., as a brand on horses (see Plate II, 5); 7 in the hand of Hermes, it appears in other sectors. All signs point to Apollo as the more important of the two divinities: the legend itself, which makes Hermes' stay in the neighborhood brief and not particularly honorable; the types, which as frequently show the oxen drawing a cart as being led off by an attendant who is presumed to be Hermes even when he lacks the caduceus; and the more frequent use of various solar symbols.
Ares and Dionysus, who were always a bit embarrassing to the Greek Pantheon, were at home in the north. Ares is associated with the man-eating steeds of Diomedes of Thrace and with the supernatural horses of Rhoesus. Later, the "Thracian rider" or eques Romanus of many reliefs attests the relation. Recently, Jean Babelon 8 has attempted to give a name to this divine rider, but so much conjecture is necessary in any such essay that it is better simply to say that he is to be connected with the cult of Ares. Whether he be warrior or hunter is difficult to determine; his attire, on the coins, is that of a hunter while the use of the helmet as symbol or reverse type shows that the arts of war are somehow involved. In the catalogue of the Macedonian coins, where a rider is the type, I have used the term "warrior-hunter" because a decision is impossible. Later reliefs show the rider clad sometimes as a hunter and sometimes as a warrior. Dionysus spent his childhood on Mt. Pangaeon. Brought up by Nys(s)a, he rollicked there with all his merry crew- nymphs, satyrs, centaurs - and his worship was conducted by the Bessi. 9
The appearance of the hero Herakles as a type on the tribal issues is quite wide-spread and is explained by his deeds in the north. He captured the horses of Diomedes and then founded the city of Abdera, establishing games there in honor of his friend Abderus, who was killed while helping him secure the horses. It may be mentioned in passing that the later use of Herakles or his equipment as a type by the Macedonian kings seems to originate not so much in this natural association of the hero with the area as from the legend which traced the ancestry of the kings to Argos, whose hero Herakles was. 10
Of the animals which are used as types, the goat and the cow with suckling calf, while they are not so obviously appropriate to this area, have some justification. The goat is the canting type of Aegae, and may have a remote reference to Apollo, since in the legend of the coming of the Macedonian kings, the sunlight was their heritage and a goat marked their destination. 11 The cow r., with suckling calf, 12 although its significance is uncertain, can plausibly be associated, as a member of the genus bos, with the Apollo-Hermes group of types in this area.
The remaining types which appear in the pattern on page 44 the Gorgoneion and Pegasus, are apparently intrusive (but cf. note 3). They may legitimately be considered together on the basis of their blood relationship. Medusa, and Pegasus, are so closely connected with Corinth that there is every likelihood that their use as cointypes in the north arose from the early connection of Corinth with the north. (Cf. Chapter I.) Likewise, some significance may be attached to the fact that the Pegasus type is used on the tetradrachm, the denomination created to be used with the electrum, since the forepart of a Pegasus is one of the obverse types used on the eastern affiliates of the third group of electrum coins. The Gorgoneion appears on the electrum of the second group, 13 in a form stylistically earlier than that employed for coins in the Thraco-Macedonian area. Thus, their source may be either Corinth or Asia Minor.
The pattern of type distribution indicates some sort of monetary convention among the issuing agents. The survey made possible by Svoronos' collection of material reveals that obverse types were constant for certain denominations, whoever issued the coins, and that some tribes (e. g., the Orrheskians) issued inscribed coins in all three major types in some, but not all, of the denominations devoted to those types. From the extant coins there is no evidence that any one tribe used all the denominations above the stater as well all all the types. Some tribes apparently confined themselves to one type and one denomination, disregarding the fractional pieces. The preponderance of coins with Dionysiac types makes them, at first glance, seem the more important. However, the restriction of these types to the staters, and the use of the other types in the larger denominations, can well be taken to mean that the metal was apportioned in fairly equal quantities among the types characteristic of the three divinities, and that commercial or other considerations determined the amount to be used in various denominations. This hypothesis perhaps is over-complex; the assumption that these "rude and barbarous" tribes were capable of establishing and enforcing any such ingenious monetary convention as this may be difficult to accept. Let it be remembered that modern ignorance of these tribes does not prove their barbarous estate. All the evidence of the coins themselves, the variety of types and denominations, the vigor of the art and its stylistic development, indicate that the issuing agents have long been under-estimated because of absence of information about them. It is quite possible that detailed study of the coins would result in considerable modification of the suggestions made here. Such examinations as has been possible shows clearly the absence of hazard and the presence of design in their minting. 14
See Chapter II, note 1.
Cf. Herodotus, V, 7, where he states that the gods of Thrace are Ares, Dionysus and Artemis, and that the princes worshipped Hermes especially of the gods, claiming him as their ancestor. Cf. also Pindar, Pyth. 4, lines 178-180, who gives the names of two sons of Hermes and Antianeira, Echion and Erytus, who grew up near Mt. Pangaeum.
The whole matter of solar symbols is too complex for discussion here. The dotted theta and the Gorgoneion have both been so considered.
The symbols occurring on these coins are so varied and open to so many interpretations that it has seemed unwise to become involved in them in this study. It must be noted, however, that a consideration of them would surely be necessary in the final disposition of these coins.
Cf. the Homeric Hymn to Hermes; Shelley's translation is delightful.
Pliny, NH, XXI, 10, 17.
It is impossible to say if this points to an association or an amalgamation of the Apollo-Hermes and the Ares types.
Rev. Num. (1948), pp. 1-26.
Herod. VII, 111; the Bessi were the servants of the oracle of Dionysus for the Satrai.
See infra p. 60. This conclusion is to be drawn from the fact that during the period of the tribal alliance, Heraklean coin-types were not used in Macedonian territory and likewise from the fact that when Alexander revived the alliance (cf. Chapter VI) the lion type was not used on his coins.
Cf. Chapter I.
This type is a survival of a favorite Minoan motif and appears also on other coins in the north which are not on the standard of the tribal coins. Cf. Cambridge, SNG, III, pl. 34, 1901. Its use on tribal coins is always marked by the orientation of the cow: standing r., with head reverted; on coins of another standard, the direction is left. The type was used early by Corcyra, and in the fourth century by Carystus. It may be that a common motif, a familiar survival from a period of which the sixth century tribesmen knew little, was used because those worshippers of Apollo and Hermes interpreted the representation in terms of their own. religious beliefs.
Cf. Chapter II.
It does not lie within the scope of this study to investigate in detail the issuing agents of the mass of tribal coinage. However, two groups of coins which show a clear relation to the regal Macedonian issues must be examined in some detail. They will be seen to be the precursors of Alexander's coins and to furnish an explanation for the variety of his coin-types. They are the goat staters of Aegae and certain octadrachms and tetradrachms with types of Ares: horse and attendant, and horse and rider.
The goat staters are quite generally assigned to Aegae. 15 Svoronos' assignment of them to the Derronians, 16 among whom the goat type has no recognizable meaning, is erroneous. The monogram on which he bases the attribution is that of Edessa, the older name for Aegae. 17 The fourth century coin of Lykkeios of Paionia 18 which has the inscription ΔEPPONAIOΣ indicates that that tribe is to be located at some distance from the Thermaic gulf; the succeeding monograms on the goat staters and have nothing to do with the Derronians, while a city monogram preceding a personal one is perfectly acceptable. The type is of purely local significance, a canting type which may have given rise to the fictitious oracles (see Chapter I). The quadripartite linear square on the reverse shows the development common to coins of the Thraco-Macedonian area: the earliest examples (Plate I, 1) are rude and irregular; the latest are precisely formed (Plate I, 5-8). The development is closely paralleled by that of the tetradrachms of Acanthus, 19 the different stages in each series being marked by similar symbols or monograms on their obverses.
The eight staters on Plate I show the various stages through which these coins developed. The earliest had no symbol or letter in the field. If one judges from the style of the reverse, the technique of the obverse, and the coins of Acanthus, the first added symbol was the flower, possibly the Pangaean rose. Only with this symbol is the goat represented as advancing left, with head reverted. The next symbol was the dotted theta, which may have been intended to represent a stylized flower or a solar symbol, or both. It was followed by a circular theta with a dot in the center, an obvious technical advance over the variety made by the drill alone. Then came the monogram and, finally, the first two letters of Alexander's name, in regular or reverse order. 20 On the coins of Acanthus in Desneux' catalogue, his order of nos. 1-92, includes successively those with no symbol, the flower, no symbol, the flower, dotted theta, circular theta, pecten shell, and finally A or AKAN in the field. This group of coins he dates before 480/79; the next series, with AKANΘION on the reverse, he dates after that time, on the analogy of the coins of Alexander., He places the earliest issue ca. 530 B.C., a date which is probably too low, although the paucity of specimens would seem to justify it were it not for the fact that the 92 die combinations include 88 anvil and 81 punch dies. In other words, there must be a great many missing die combinations.
Of the coins which he assigns to the years 480-450 (or possibly a little later, although he is uncertain about an interruption of Acanthian coinage following the promulgation of the Athenian currency decree), there are 23 combinations of 22 anvil and 21 punch dies: again many die combinations must be missing. To be ultraconservative and take the number of extant dies as a close approximation of the total used during the thirty (or more) years, the resultant calculation suggests that the life of a die was a little over a year. On that basis, the dies for coins, nos. 1-92 in his catalogue should cover a period not less than 81 years (the number of surviving punch dies) and the beginning of the coinage of Acanthus should be placed ca. 560. The exact time of origin of the whole series of Thraco- Macedonian coins is uncertain, but for stylistic, metrological and typological reasons it should be placed early in the sixth century, if not at the end of the seventh. The survival of so many (92) die combinations for the early Acanthian coins and the parallelism between the progress of symbols on those coins and on the goat staters are indications that both series of coins began well before the middle of the sixth century. 21 Since we do not know the date of the accession of Amyntas, it cannot be said that he inaugurated the Macedonian coinage, or at what point he continued it if it had been begun before his time.
Turning to the latest of the goat staters, those with or in the field, we may conclude that they were struck after 498, the earliest probable date for the accession of Alexander. Possibly those with the monogram should likewise be assigned to that king. The whole series of coins, judged by published specimens, is rather small. It is questionable whether, on this account, one may argue that the monogram group is to be assigned to Alexander,even though there are so few surviving staters (and one of these plated!) with his own initials. The following list of goat staters and their fractions is not intended to be exhaustive; it contains only already published specimens in their relative chronological order. The larger proportion of surviving coins is in the monogram group, which may represent the issue of Amyntas. At all events, the indications both from the coins of Acanthus, where the floral symbol and the dotted or circular theta occur on so many surviving dies, and from the coins of Aegae, where nearly half the surviving dies are those of the monogram group, are that both series were begun before the middle of the sixth century. Beyond such an approximate date it is not possible to conjecture.
The fractional issues (Plate I, 9-12) of the same type as the staters, have most frequently two pellets which are surely marks of value, since the coins are diobols. One coin (Plate I, 11) has the dotted theta; there are a few others with the first two letters of Alexander's name, always retrograde (Plate I, 12). The following is not a complete catalogue, but it should serve to indicate that the stylistic development of the goat staters is a close parallel to that of the tetradrachms of Acanthus.
|1. No symbol||Weber Coll., 1837||9.56|
|Naville, 1922, 429 (Plate I, 1)||9.56|
|2. Flower||B.B. II, p. 166, 12 Plate I, 2)||9.57|
|Hunter Coll., I, p. 267, 1||9.37|
|3. Dotted theta||Naville, 1927, 624||8.62|
|Naville, 1925, 388 (Plate I, 3)||9.78|
|Egger, 1914, 461||9.20|
|4. Circular theta||McClean Coll., II, 3098 (Plate I, 4)||9.15|
|Weber Coll., 1839||9.18|
|B.B. II, p. 166, 10||9.40|
|BT I, 2, 1546||9.20|
|5. Monogram||Gillet (Jameson, 1836) (Plate I, 5)||9.27|
|Locker-Lamson Coll., 152 (Plate I, 6)||9.31|
|Berlin, AMNG III2, p. 19, 6||9.40|
|Hirsch, 1933, 968||9.24|
|BMC Mac., p. 37, 1||9.48|
|Weber Coll., 1840||9.30|
|B.B. II, p. 166, 11||9.30|
|BT I, 2, 1540||9.41|
|6. Initials||BMC Mac. p. 37, 2 (Plate I, 7)||9.10|
|B.B. II, p. 166, 13 (plated)||8.61|
|7. Initials||Berlin, AMNG III2, p. 19, 5 (Plate I, 8)||9.28|
|1. Pellets||Naville, 1928, 416 (Plate I, 9)||.93|
|May Coll. (Plate I, 10)||.87|
|Delepierre 2323 (pierced)||.95|
|2. Dotted theta||Naville, 1921, 695 (Plate I, 11)||1.11|
|3. Initials||Berlin, AMNG III 2, p. 20,16 (Plate I, 12)||.90|
|London, NC 1892, pp. 5-6||1.07|
Cf. Head, HN2, 198-199; Babelon, Traité, I, 2, 1095-1104. Gaebler, AMNG, III, 2, 18-20.
Svoronos, HPM, 6 and 7.
Cf. Babelon, Traité, I, 2, 1095 and Strabo, X, 1, 15.
Cf. Gaebler, AMNG, III, 2, pl. 37, 5.
Desneux, Les Tétradrachmes d'Acanthos, reprinted from Rev. Beige de Numis- matique, (1949), 5-122, with magnificent illustrations.
The order of the letters is of no assistance for purposes of dating the coins. The light tetrobols of Group I (nos. 38 and 39 in the catalogue) show the two letters retrograde.
I have made no attempt to assemble a complete corpus of the goat coins.
In the general survey of the types used in the north, those portraying a horse were considered as referring to Ares. Among them distinctions are to be made if one is to assign coins to their issuing agents. In addition to those coins which show the horse alone as type, those which have the horse and man together show three varieties. The first, which has two poses, occurs on octadrachms and fractions, the second on staters, and the third, also with two poses, on tetradrachms only. Scant attention has been paid to the difference of treatment and style in these types, and consequently careless attributions have been made.
The octadrachm type is always a horse with attendant holding the reins and two spears; in both poses, the frequent occurrence of a curious error is noteworthy: the attendant's legs are apparently detached from his body, or he is to be visualized as crouching behind the horse. (See Plate II, 1-4.) One variant of the type, which nearly always bears the Bisaltian ethnic, with curious letter forms, shows the attendant's upper body frontally, although his legs are in profile. (Plate II, 1-3.) In some cases, notably Plate II, 2, the proportions of the horse are unnatural. The coins show extensive use of the drill and a general heaviness of musculature in both animal and man. The style of the coins improves considerably, culminating in the piece in the Hunter Collection (Plate II, 3) where the drill has been little used or its traces skilfully masked by reworking. The fractions of this type are illustrated on Plate II, 14 and 15. The other variant (Plate II, 4-6), which is never inscribed and which often shows traces of the caduceus as a brand on the horse's rump (see Plate II, 5, 6), always has the attendant completely in profile to the right. The design is smaller than the other and fits well within its border; the absence of an inscription gives these coins an uncluttered appearance which is pleasing. The drill is used chiefly for decorative effect, since its marks are most often toned down by reworking at the joints, but left untouched for tail, border and exergual line. 22 The body and musculature of the man are less heavy than in the former variety and the proportions of the horse are in most cases more realistic. A curious exception is Plate II, 6, where the horse's left foreleg is very badly done; this bears a close resemblance to an inscribed coin of Alexander bearing the same fault. (Plate III, 5.) The fractions of this variant are similar to the octadrachms (Plate II, 18).
The stater type (Plate II, 10, 11, 13) is that of a man subduing or mounting a horse, which may be facing in either direction. The horse is spirited, in contrast to the quiet horse of the octadrachms. He is slim and wiry; as he struggles against the restraint of his master, his legs are bent almost double. The man, bareheaded (Plate II, 10) helmeted (Plate II, 11), or wearing a hat (Plate II, 13), 23 is clad in a short chiton; frequently, we see his back rather than his profile. The whole design is fine and sharp; the horse's mane has a pattern somewhat similar to the stylized mane of the second octadrachm variant. On the obverse, these staters bear the ethnic of the Ichnaians (if this be a name of a tribe rather than of a city), the Tyntenians, or the Orrheskians. The reverse of the first two have a wheel as type, one with four spokes, the other with six; the Orrheskian coins have a mill-sail reverse, or one quartered diagonally. The form of the horse on these staters recurs on coins of Alexander struck after 476. 24
The third type is that of the mounted warrior-hunter, occurring on tetradrachms and fractions. On those tetradrachms, 25 which are inscribed Sermylia, or a variant thereof (Plate II, 12), the horse is like that of the staters in breed; he is, however, galloping along vigorously while the rider brandishes his spear. The mane pattern is similar to those just described. The reverse is at first a rough incuse; on the later coins, the four-part incuse is curved to the semblance of a clover leaf within the lines. The obverse of the fractions, either a galloping riderless horse or one with a rider, may be seen on Plate II, 16, 17. The flower in the field of no. 16 is similar to that on the goat staters and on the coins of Acanthus. The other tetradrachms which employ the warrior-hunter type (Plate II, 7-9) in style, technique and design are very like the second octadrachm variant, in spite of the fact that the horse has a rider. The animals are in the same quiet pose, merely lifting a forefoot. These tetradrachms are never inscribed, but have the anonymous four-part linear square within the incuse on the reverse. A few dies are too large for the flans, as in the first octadrachm variant, but they are in the minority.
A comparison of these latter tetradrachms and the second octadrachm variant with the coins of Alexander shows clearly that they are Macedonian. Compare, for example, Plates II, 6 and III, 5; II, 7, 8, and III, 3; II, 9 and IV, 11, 12. The spears may be held in either hand. When they are held in the outer (right) hand, the elbow is drawn back (Plate II, 7 and III, 1-4); when held in the concealed hand, the right arm is straight from the shoulder (Plate II, 8, 9, and III, 6). The Alexander tetradrachms, Plate IV, do not always continue the practice: cf. Plate IV, 8a and 11a; but it is in evidence on the tetrobols, cf. Plate V, 23a-33c, as well as on the octadrachms. In spite of the fact that the horse and attendant type does not appear on Alexander's octadrachms before Group II (see Plates VI and VII), the close association of the uninscribed coins with those of Group I is self-evident; it is also to be noted that the caduceus as brand, which appears on some of the anonymous octadrachms (Plate II, 5 and 6), occurs on some of Alexander's octadrachms, e. g. Plate III, 5. 26 That these coins are Macedonian rather than Bisaltian cannot be gainsaid; the fractional issues (Plate II, 18-21) with types both of the octadrachms and of the tetradrachms, show their kinship to the larger coins here attributed to Macedonia and their lack of affinity to the Bisaltian and Sermylian coins (Plate II, 14-17). Their anonymity is disconcerting, for there is no apparent reason why the Macedonians should not have used the ethnic as the other tribes did.
Various factors indicate that these coins should be dated rather late in the series of tribal issues: the close similarity in style to Alexander's first inscribed coins, the regularity of the quadripartite linear square on the reverse (not shown on the plates), and the absence of such stylistic development as is seen on the goat staters. 27 It must be concluded that Macedonia, though it struck its earliest coins (the goat staters) on the Thraco-Macedonian standard, did not join the monetary alliance of the tribes until rather late. The list which follows, and which lays no claim to completeness, has been arranged in the relative order of striking on the basis of style. The most that can be said from the coins is that on the Brussels coin (Plate II, 9) and the one in the McClean Collection, the obverses are very like the tetradrachms of Group I, and the reverses resemble those on the goat staters with Alexander's initials.
|G. AMNG III2||p. 49, 6; pl. XII, 1.||27.10|
|A. M. Newell Coll.||(Plate II, 4)||27.92|
|Svoronos, HPM,||p. 109, 17; Pl. XII, 1||( Weber Coll. 1847)|
|(Plate II, 5)||28.58|
|p. 108, 16a; Pl. XII, 2 (London)|
|p. 108,16c; Pl. XII, 4||(Jameson Coll. 938)||27.80|
|p. 108, 16d; Pl. XII, 6||(BT. I, 2, 1496)||28.07|
|Boston, Warren Coll., 554||(Plate II, 6)||28.47|
|Gans Collection (from A die of Plate II, 7)||12.97|
|G. Falsch.||p. 198, 2c; ANS - ETN||12.70|
|p. 198, 2a; Pl. II, 7 (BT. I, 2, 1513b)||13.06|
|p. 198, 2b; Pl. II, 8 (BT. 1, 2, 1513a)||(Plate II, 7)||12.58|
|p. 200, 4b; Pl. II, 11 (Munich)||(Plate II, 8)||12.17|
|Petsalis Coll., 79|
|p. 200, 5b (Copenhagen, SNG, 477)||13.22|
|p. 201, 7a (Brussels)||(Plate II, 9)||12.81|
|p. 201, 7b; Pl. II, 16 (McClean Coll., II, 3102)||13.42|
The similar use of the drill on the coins of Acanthus for decorative effect has been discussed by Desneux.
The variety of his head-gear makes it impossible to call him either warrior or hunter - he is ambiguously dressed.
Cf. Chapter VI.
These coins are on the Euboic standard; i. e., Sermylia was not a member of the monetary convention, although the town must have been near members of it. This conclusion must be valid because of the similarity of the horse, and the type, to those of Orrheskians, etc. who were members of the alliance.
The caduceus is used as a reverse symbol on some few tetradrachms of Alexander and on a considerable number of the heavy tetrobols of Perdikkas.
The finest example of the series is shown in the sale catalogue of the A. N. A. Convention, 1952, p. 30 and pl. II, no. 925. Mr. Edward Gans was kind enough to send it on to me for examination before the sale.
There can be no doubt that the coins of Group I, struck after 480/79, which abandon the anonymity of the Ares-type coins just discussed, are not the beginning of Macedonian regal currency. In view of the initials of Alexander on some of the goat staters, they cannot even be termed the first inscribed Macedonian regal issues. However, the date 480/79 is still to betaken as having some significance for Macedonian regal coinage, since it marked the freedom of Alexander from whatever form of restraint the proximity of the Persians imposed upon him. Therefore, it must be the terminal date of the two earlier groups.
The goat staters have been roughly dated from ca. 560 to some time after 498 (supra pp. 50 and 51); further study of all the tribal issues in the Thraco-Macedonian area is necessary before any more precision is to be attained about this series of coins. In the case of the octadrachms, tetradrachms, and fractions attributed here to the Macedonians, one can be more definite. Their terminal date has already been given as 480/79 - which may likewise be the terminal date of the goat staters, although the latter issue may have been discontinued somewhat earlier. In the fragmentary history of Macedonia as we know it, two dates may have some significance for the Ares-type coins. They are 514/3, the date of the first recorded embassy of the Persians to the Macedonians, the embassy executed through the ruse of Alexander, 28 and 492, the time of the first expedition of Mardonius to Thrace in preparation for the invasion of Darius. 29 The activities of the Persians in the Thraco-Macedonian area must have inclined those tribes which had long been party to the monetary convention to a greater common effort. When the Macedonians came in contact with the Persians, inamicably, as we see from Herodotus, the occasion arose for them to unite to some degree with the other tribes, from whom they had hitherto held themselves aloof, except insofar as the goat stater and its fractions were based on the weight standard used by the tribes. When suddenly the Macedonians began using Ares-type octadrachms, 30 tetradrachms and their fractions, it is safe to conclude that a common military danger had compelled them to participate in an alliance of which the only historical record exists in the coins themselves. Between the two dates, 514/3 and 492, the probabilities incline toward the latter. The chief indication is the close similarity of style between the anonymous coins and those of the first group signed by Alexander, which would preclude the hypothesis of a long period of striking these coins. The fact that some of the goat staters bear Alexander's initials shows that they were struck later than 514/3, since Alexander was not ruling so early. The military danger was not so great in 514/3 as in 492, when some Macedonians were enslaved by Mardonius in the course of his subjection of territories in the path of the Great King. Mardonius' defeat at the hands of the Bryges of Thrace may mark the first united activity of tribes in that area: the monetary alliance had become a military one. The circumstances surrounding Macedonian participation in the alliance provide ample reason for Alexander's choice of Ares- types. It therefore seems logical to suggest that the anonymous Macedonian coins were struck between 492 and 480/79. The goat staters may be dated in either of two ways: if Alexander struck those with the monogram (the series with the most dies known to me) as well as those with his initials, those with the monogram would date from his accession, 498, to 492; and those with his own initials would be contemporaneous with the anonymous Ares-type coins. If Alexander struck only those with his initials, very likely they were struck between 498 and 492. In view of the fact that after 480 Alexander suddenly emblazoned his name on the octadrachms and their fractions, and used the goat's head as a reverse type on some of his tetradrachms and their fractions, I believe that he continued the goat staters during the period when he was also striking alliance coins. However, it may equally well be argued that he deliberately abandoned the goat staters during the period when he was working with the alliance to indicate his complete adherence with the tribes. At present, it is impossible to decide the date.
Cf. Chapter I, p. 9.
Cf. Chapter I, pp. 10-11.
The Apollo-Hermes types all seem to appear on coins of an earlier period than the beginning of the fifth century, with the sole possible exception of those of Getas, king of the Edonians (cf. Gaebler, AMNG, pl. 27, 29. The caduceus symbol (cf. supra, n. 26) is used for a longer period. I believe that the choice of Apollo for the sole obverse coin type of the Chalcidic League is to be associated with the Apollo-Hermes type on the tribal issues, rather than that the choice was made because at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War, the Chalcidians looked to Sparta instead of Athens. The suggestion was made by Kleiner in his article "Der Olynthische Apollon und der Philippische Heracles," p. 188, in Studies Presented to David Moore Robinson, II, pp. 187-196.
Cf. Babelon, Traité I, 2, 1037, who says, "Il faut aussi reconnaître que ces monnaies des différentes tribus thraco-macédoniennes ont quelque chose de commun et d'international..... Ces tribus s' empruntent mutuellement leurs types monétaires."
The illusion of great variety caused by a casual glance at the Alexandrian issues is dispelled by finding the roots of his coinage. The main type is that of Ares, similar to that used by other members of the Thraco-Macedonian monetary alliance; the caduceus (which is also used by Perdikkas) is the symbol of Apollo-Hermes (cf. note 28); the goat is the local canting type. Dionysiac types are not used, unless the very infrequent leaf as a symbol be a vine leaf (Plate IV, 15a). One new element is added: the heavy tetrobols have as their reverse type the forepart of a lion. One thinks immediately of the impressive lions on the coins of Acanthus, of the monumental lions of Amphipolis and Chaironeia, of coin types from Samos or Miletus, and of the various types of Herakles and the lion in the Thraco-Macedonian area. If Ionian or Aegean types were to influence coins in this area, they should have done so a century before. 31 The monumental lions are much too late. 32 The origin of the lion type at Acanthus 33 is as yet unexplained. We know from Herodotus (VII, 125) that lions were common enough and bold enough to attack the camels of Xerxes' supply train in Macedonia, but that is scarcely a reason for using them as a coin type. Perhaps the best case can be made out for a connection with Herakles, for Heraklean types were used in the north during the period of the tribal issues; the legendary association of that hero with the area provided sufficient reason for it, particularly in the case of Abdera and Thasos. As regards the Macedonians, the position of Herakles as ancestor of the Temenid house of Argos is a more valid source for the use of a type referring to him, since the locale of Heraklean exploits in the north was beyond the sphere of Macedonian influence. The king's efforts to be recognized as Greek might well include this allusion to Herakles on his coins. It should be observed that the types of Macedonian coins after 480/79 are exclusively regal; the ethnic is never used. The comparative anonymity of the lion is not relieved until the end of the fifth century, when Herakles' club, quiver and bow appear as a reverse type on a few of Perdikkas' fractional issues (Plate XI, f, with Herakles' head as obverse). In the fourth century, the lion is accompanied by a variety of Heraklean types and symbols.
See Chapter II for the possible relation between the Thraco-Macedonian tribal coinages and those of Asia Minor.
Cf. O. Broneer, The Lion Monument at Amphipolis.
Cf. Desneux, Les Tétradrachmes d'Acanthos, 7-23.
Before a discussion of the coins, their arrangement, and their chronology, some observations may be made upon the technique and procedure of the Macedonian mint. These observations are culled from the various groups into which the coins have been divided and from the patterns of their die sequences. The die sequences for all groups are to be found at the end of this chapter.
Whatever the method of preparing the flans, it seems not to have changed throughout the fifth century. There is no apparent variation in the size of the coins; there are no residual protuberances on the edges of the coins, such as serve to indicate that the flans were cast in a series of moulds; there is likewise very little evidence of insufficient heating of the flans at the time of striking, for the edges of most of the coins are quite regular. The slight difference in the sizes of the flans for the light and the heavy tetrobols indicates that mint officials were able to determine quite accurately the amount of metal necessary for coins weighing within a gram of one another. Where the coins in a comparatively few cases (see pp. 39-40) show very irregular weights, I should prefer to attribute them to carelessness in the selection of flans, rather than to inability to prepare them properly.
The dies and their size and form may be reconstructed from the coins. In Group I (Plates III-V), both dies are smaller than their flans and considerable care has been taken to center them in most cases. With the beginning of Group II, both anvil and punch dies increase in size, except those for the octadrachms (Plates VI-IX). Here, the border of the obverse and the corners of the incuse on the reverse are frequently off flan. There is evidence (see below Chapter VI) that in Group II other than Macedonian die-cutters worked in the mint. It is impossible to do more than suggest that these outsiders were responsible for the change. Whatever its cause, once made the charge was permanent. There is an apparent exception in the case of the heavy tetrobols: these were not struck in Group II, and the few specimens which remain in Group III do not show much increase over those of Group I. However, the heavy tetrobols of Group IV, struck by Perdikkas, show an increase in the size of both dies (see Plates XIII-XV). 1
Macedonian coins exhibit a phenomenon which, so far as I can ascertain, is not characteristic of other ancient coins and which is to be explained partly by the design and construction of the dies and partly by the size of the dies in relation to the flans. Because of the pressure applied directly to the punch in the ancient method of striking coins, in most issues more punch than anvil dies are necessary. The opposite is true of these Macedonian coins: there are more signs of die damage on the obverse than on the reverse, most often beginning at the edge of the die. The obverse dies are in much higher relief than the reverses, in each denomination; the punch itself was considerably larger than the die contained in it and flat, rather than beveled away from the die. 2 The actual size of the punch cannot now be discerned, for its edge is not visible on any of the coins catalogued here. In some cases, one can make out the edge of the anvil die, which seems to be very little larger than the border of the design. (See Plate III, 2, left side, and Plate VI, 48a, upper left.) These are both octadrachms, which were the only coins not to show an increase in the size of the anvil die. In the other denominations, the anvil die is so much larger than the flan that part of the design is left off. These technical details indicate that the pressure of the blow from the hammer would fall not only on the rather shallow die, but rather on the whole large area of the punch. In the case of the obverse dies, some of the pressure would fall on the die itself, outside the edges of the slightly smaller flan. Since the higher relief of the die rendered it the more fragile originally, direct pressure without the flan to act as cushion would make it suffer damage. This is not to imply that no punch die shows signs of damage; some do so, and that fact has been noted in the catalogue. Several punch dies, notably T P 17, (cf. Plate IX, 62b and 63a) and H P 26e (cf. Plate XIV, 216-218) show signs of an original miscutting and of use with more than one anvil die without either repair or damage. The example on Plate IX, of a goat type reverse, which is in the highest relief of any reverse type, is a good illustration of the salutary effect of the pressure distribution over a punch larger than its die by which the life of these punch dies is prolonged. The following list of known dies shows how constant is the larger number of anvil than punch dies.
When the figures are given by denominations rather than by groups, there is a slight change.
From this chart, it will be seen that there are fewer octadrachm obverse dies (the only ones which did not increase in size) and only two more tetradrachm obverse than reverse dies. Since the extant die combinations in these denominations are so few (22 octadrachms and 28 tetradrachms) the evidence from the smaller denominations, of which there are many more die combinations, is more valuable.
The pattern of die sequences makes it possible to draw some conclusions about Macedonian minting practices. In every group, in one or more denominations, three obverse dies are used with one reverse. 3 In Group I, this arrangement occurs in the heavy tetrobols; in Group II, in the octobols and both series of light tetrobols; in Group III, in the tetradrachms; in Group IV, in both the light and heavy tetrobols. Without the appearance of this procedure in the case of the tetradrachms in Group III, it would not be possible to generalize; the manner of producing small denominations might well differ from that for large coins. The evidence, however, allows one to conclude that regular mint activity consisted in using three obverse dies, all probably set in one anvil, 4 with one punch die. The fact that the octadrachms do not survive in sufficient numbers to show this procedure cannot be taken as a sign that it was not used in all denominations; so few octadrachms have survived that it is clear that we know only a few of their dies. 5 It is worth noting that the coins from Olynthus which immediately precede the League coinage, as well as the League tetradrachms and tetrobols, also show this use of one punch with three anvil dies.
Elaborations of this pattern occur at two points in the series of coins, once under Alexander, in Group II, where there are other signs of increased mint activity and once under Perdikkas, in Group IV, when the mint output is quadrupled. In Group II, the A series of light tetrobols (Plate VIII, 76-95) shows the use of one punch die with five, and another with six obverse dies. In both cases, some of the obverses are used with other punch dies; probably production was doubled by the use of twice the normal number of obverse dies. In Group IV, among the heavy tetrobols, there is a confusing pattern of seven punch dies in use at once, with at least eighteen obverses. Additional charts following the diagrams of die sequences at the end of this chapter show their ramifications. They are discussed in greater detail in Chapter VIII.
The use of three punch dies with one obverse does not appear before Group II, where it occurs once in the octadrachms, nos. 49-51, Plate VI (the obverse die shows hard use) and twice in the H series of light tetrobols, nos. 99-101 and 103-105, Plate IX. In Group III, it occurs once in the heavy tetrobols, nos. 118-120; and in Group IV, once in the first series of light tetrobols, nos. 138-140, Plate XI, and seven times in the heavy tetrobols, nos. 176-178, 186-188, 189-191, 204-206, 221-226, 228-230, Plates XIII-XV. This is not the normal replacement of worn dies, as would be the case if one obverse die were used with two reverses, or vice versa. The absence of this pattern from Group I may be fortuitous, but its use may rather be associated with the need for increased mint output. Group II shows various signs of abnormal mint activity. In Group III, the striking of heavy tetrobols is recommenced after a lapse of about fifteen years; a need may have been felt for more than normal quantities of them. In the light tetrobols of Group IV, the pattern appears at a time when that denomination was the sole product of the Macedonian mint. Of the seven instances of it among the heavy tetrobols of the same group, three are near its inception, when that denomination is struck again after a period of about twelve years; four are during the period when the mint was issuing great numbers of these coins. In the last series of Perdikkas' coins, there is no sign of it. Given the normal mint activity of three obverse dies with one punch, production would have been tripled when three punch dies were used simultaneously; presumably, that would indicate the use of nine obverses, although there is as yet no concrete evidence for it. The heavy striking of light tetrobols in Group II, when five or six obverse dies were used with one punch, and of heavy tetrobols in Group IV, when seven punches were used at once with at least eighteen obverse dies, points to very extraordinary demands for coinage at those times. In each case, the political situation will be seen to afford a reason.
Robinson and Clement, Olynthus Excavations IX, The Chalcidic Mint, 126, point out the similarity in fabric between the earliest Chalcidic League tetrobols and the Macedonian. Unfortunately, they chose to illustrate that similarity by a comparison of the League coins with light tetrobols from Group II (those with A above or below the horse, my cat. nos. 76-95) and suggested that in spite of the A those coins were struck by Perdikkas. They must, however, be dated some thirty years earlier than the League tetrobols, although their fabric is the same. Their choice of these earlier coins to illustrate the similarity of fabric between Macedonian and Chalcidic highlights the immutability of the fabric of the Macedonian coins from 476/5 until the end of Perdikkas' reign, when he issued some plated coins. In the discussion of Group IV, the reason for the likeness of the early League tetrobols to the Macedonian coins is explained.
For an illustration of the various types of punch die, see G. F. Hill, Num. Chron., 1922, 1-42, "Ancient Methods of Coining," p. 31, fig. 2 (center).
It is possible to associate this practice with the fragility of the obverse dies.
Such a series as nos. 49-51 (Plate VI) which shows an obverse die, used with three different punches, becoming very damaged before being discarded, may be taken as an indication that the three obverse dies in simultaneous use were sunk in one anvil. As long as the other two obverse dies were in good condition, the unit would be kept in service.
The two most recently appearing Alexander octadrachms, from a hoard found in Afghanistan and published in Mémoires de la Délégation Archéologique Française in Afghanistan , XIV, add to the list at least one new obverse die, that of the coin in the Lambe Collection (no. 52, below). The other coin, which I understand is in the Pozzi Collection, I have been unable to see. The Lambe coin shows the use of the punch die P 13 (the one used with the worn obverse die mentioned in the preceding note O A 10, no. 51) with a hitherto unknown obverse die.
The following system of numbering dies and their combinations has been adopted for the catalogue. On the plates, the catalogue numbers of the die combinations have been used for easier identification. Specimens marked * in the catalogue are illustrated. Die combinations have been numbered consecutively throughout the coinage of both kings. Thus, the first die combination of Alexander's coins is no. 1, the first of Perdikkas no. 131. The fractional issues have not been given catalogue numbers, although they have been included at the end of the Group with which they are to be associated, because the number of specimens of each type variety is very small and it is well-nigh impossible to determine the denomination of the coin, in most cases. The difference in weight between fractions associated with the tetradrachms and those with the octadrachms is so slight to begin with that nothing is to be gained by dissecting the very irregular fractional issues.
Instead of continuous die numbers from the first octadrachm to the last tetrobol, each denomination has its own continuous die numbers throughout the coinage of both kings. The preceding letter indicates the denomination, as:
OP 1 = first octadrachm punch die
OA 1 = first octadrachm anvil die
TP 1 = first tetradrachm punch die
TA 1 = first tetradrachm anvil die
HP 1 = first heavy tetrobol punch die
HA 1 = first heavy tetrobol anvil die
LP 1 = first light tetrobol punch die
LA 1 = first light tetrobol anvil die
SP 1 = first octobol punch die (special issue of Group II)
SA 1 = first octobol anvil die
This system seems better suited to the coins, since thereby the proportionate number of dies in the various denominations is readily apparent. It also seems better to continue consecutively with this numbering system in the catalogue of the coins of Perdikkas, since recommencing with HP 1 and HA 1 etc., might cause confusion in discussing dies.
In order to avoid useless repitition in the catalogue, the basic types for obverse and reverse are described here. Since they are constant for all four groups only the identifying letters will appear in the catalogue, single for obverses and double for reverses, with individual differences of style, symbols and letter forms specified. The fact that there are only three obverse and four reverse types should make it simple to keep their identifying letters in mind. In Group IV, which contains a great many die combinations and a number of symbols, the system has been elaborated to include the major variants for obverse and reverse types in both denominations. The key for Group IV immediately precedes its catalogue.
A: Mounted warrior-hunter, holding reins and two spears, wearing chlamys and petasus; on exergual line.
A I: A with dotted circular border.
A II: A with linear circle.
a: spears hidden by horse.
b: spears across body of horse.
This type is used for octadrachms of Groups I and III, tetradrachms of Groups I, II, III, and for heavy tetrobols of Groups I, III, IV.
B: Horse and attendant r., attendant always behind horse, holding reins and two spears, wearing chlamys and petasus; on exergual line.
B I: dotted circular border.
B II: no circular border.
This type is used for octadrachms and octobols in Group II.
basic type: C: Horse unattended r., unless otherwise specified.
C I: in dotted circular border.
C II: in linear circle.
This type is used for all light tetrobols.
basic type: AA: AΛE|ƗA|NΔ| PO in incuse around quadripartite linear square.
This type is used for octadrachms and octobols.
BB: Forepart of lion in incuse square, r., unless otherwise specified.
BB I: head and one paw.
BB II: forepart and one paw.
BB III: forepart and two paws.
This type is used only for heavy tetrobols.
basic type:CC: Head or forepart of goat in incuse square.
CC I: head only.
CC II: forepart, r.
CC III: forepart r., with head reverted.
a. dotted square border.
b. linear square border.
This type is used for tetradrachms and light tetrobols.
basic type: DD: Crested helmet in incuse square.
DD I: nose, neck and cheek pieces; eye often indicated.
DD II: cheek and neck pieces only.
This type appears on tetradrachms and light tetrobols.
Tetradrachms (helmet reverse type)
Tetradrachms (goat's head reverse type)
Light Tetrobols (goat's head reverse type)
Light Tetrobols (helmet reverse type)
Light Tetrobols, A series
Light Tetrobols, H series
GROUP IV LIGHT TETROBOLS*
* The numbers in parentheses above the line refer to the Series within the group.
GROUP IV HEAVY TETROBOLS
Details of die sequence in Group IV heavy tetrobols, Series 2, nos. 195-233.
Beginning with no. 195 there is a period of abnormal mint activity, marked by a change of obverse type. The walking horse is supplanted by a prancing horse. Eight A dies of the walking horse type are used with seven P dies which are also used with ten prancing horse A dies. These latter A dies are also used with six other P dies, which are then used with other A dies of the prancing horse type. The dies involved have been numbered and lettered:
P 24, followed by a letter (a-g), is a die used with both styles of horse.
A 26, followed by a letter (a-h), is a walking horse A die used with a P 24.
A 27, followed by a letter (a-j), is a prancing horse A die used with a P 24, and in most cases with a P 25 (plus letter, a-h).
A 28, followed by a letter (a-g) is the next series of prancing horse A dies, used with P 25 (a-h) and with P 26 (a-b).
The combinations with P 24 must be regarded as simultaneous, with an abrupt abandonment of the walking horse dies, since none of those dies (A 26 +letter) is worn. With the use of A 27 (a-j), more than the seven P dies used at the time of the shift are involved. The following charts show the interlocking dies at this point.
PATTERN OF DIE SEQUENCES, SERIES 2, HEAVY TETROBOLS
Obverse A I b: Mounted warrior-hunter, wearing chlamys and petasus, r., 2 spears in r.h., reins in l.h., in dotted circular border.
A I a: Same type with spears in l.h., reins in r.h.
Reverse AA: AΛE/ƗA/NΔ/PO in incuse around four-part linear square.
|OP||1||1. Obv. AIb; tail cuts border; spears parallel, no exergual line.|
|A||1||Rev. AA; linear square not well centered; letters crudely cut.|
|*a. Paris (BT, I, 2, 1517)||28.60|
|Deep slash below horse; die slipping visible at bottom on obverse.|
|OP||2||2. Obv. AIb; die of no. 1.|
|A||1||Rev. AA; condition of coin too poor to allow die identification|
|Die slipping visible on upper left of obverse; die damaged at area of r. elbow, spears, and horse's back.|
|OP||3||3. Obv. AIb; spears at angle; double exergual line.|
|A||2||Rev. AA; Δ at angle across corner (cf. Acanthus R106); crossbar of linear square extends to edge of incuse at left.|
|*a. Brussels (slashed)|
|OP||4||4. Obv. AIb; pose rigid; spears parallel under arm which is held close to body; enormous frog below horse.|
|A||3||Rev. AA; first A tilted, letters small.|
|*a. Hunter Coll. I, p. 283, 2||26.44|
|Large piece cut off accounts for low weight.|
|OP||5||5. Obv. AIb; caduceus' head on horse's rump; hound leaping up before horse; dotted exergual line.|
|A||4||Rev. AA; A, A, Δ tilted at corners; letters large and inner square granulated.|
|*a. Gillet Coll.||28.19|
|ex Jameson Coll. 907; ex Warren Coll. 122.|
|OP||6||6. Obv. A I a; spears at angle; double exergual line.|
|A||5||Rev. AA; inner square slightly granulated.|
|*a. A. M. Newell Coll.||27.84|
|ex Hess, 1929, 209; ex Egger, 1912, 541; ex Hirsch, 1908, 414.|
|7. *Copenhagen, SNG, 493, wt. 28.64, is clearly a forgery in spite of its acceptance by the Copenhagen authorities. Gaebler (AMNG III, 2, p. 215, 69) is correct in his condemnation of the piece. A comparison between it and the genuine octadrachms on Plate III shows readily how "out of tune" it is with the others. The conscious archaizing of the musculature and eye is apparent; the die cutter used for the mounted man the frontal torso of the attendant on the Bisaltian coins (cf. Plate II, 1-3). He erred in mixing two types. The reverse is betrayed by the form and arrangement of the letters, as well as by the kneeling goat which completely lacks the rude vigor of the goats on the staters. Traces of an earlier striking are faintly visible around the edges of the obverse, in the cast; an examination of the coin itself would be necessary to determine whether they actually are what they appear to be. It may be that the flan is ancient.|
|7a. A coin in Paris (BT, IV, 2, 786; pl. CCCIII, 1) wt. 26.35, obverse an imitation of no. 5, with attenuated dog and spears reversed, unintelligibly draped garment; reverse with sunken, granulated four-part linear square in incuse, quite unlike the regular type, must be classed as a forgery.|
Obverse AI: Mounted warrior-hunter, holding reins and two spears, wearing chlamys and petasus, in dotted circular border.
A I a: spears in back of horse.
AIb: spears across body of horse.
Reverse CCI: Head of goat in incuse square.
CC I a: in dotted square border.
CC I b: in linear square border.
DD I: Crested helmet with nose, neck, and cheek pieces, in incuse square.
|TP||1||8. Obv. A I a, right, on exergual line.|
|A||1||Rev. DD I, right, in dotted square.|
|*a. Copenhagen, SNG, 484||12.60|
|ex Wellenheim, 2396 (G. Falsch. p. 203, 11; Pl. III, 3) Damage to A die at rider's back and horse's body.|
|TP||2||9. Obv. A I a, right, on exergual line.|
|A||2||Rev. DD I, right, in crooked dotted square.|
|a. Ratto, 1911, 251||14.97|
|ex Sotheby, 1909, 102; ex Hirsch (Rhousopoulos) 1905, 1041 (G. Falsch. p. 203, 12b; Pl. III, 4).|
|Incrustation on both sides may account for abnormally high weight.|
|TP||3||10. Obv. A I a, right, on double exergual line.|
|A||3||Rev. DD I, right, in dotted square.|
|*a. McClean Coll. II, 3273||12.21|
|ex Hirsch (Rhousopoulos) 1905, 1042 (G. Falsch. p. 203, 12a; Pl. III, 4).|
|TP||4||11. Obv. AIb, right, on exergual line.|
|A||4||Rev. DD I, right, in granulated incuse square.|
|*a. Weber Coll. 2010||12.80|
|ex Lambros, 1895 (G. Falsch. p. 202, 8; Pl. II, 17).|
|TP||5||12. Obv. AIb, right, on exergual line.|
|A||5||Rev. DD I, right, in linear square within granulated incuse square.|
|*a. ANS - ETN||12.83|
|ex Cahn, 1928, 383|
|de Luynes, 1926, 1577 (G. Falsch. p. 202, 9; Pl. II, 18). A die damaged at 1. forefoot and in field below horse's head. b appears to have been retouched after striking, which may account for weight.|
|TP||6||13. Obv. AIb; die of no. 12.|
|A||5||Rev. DD I, right, in linear square.|
|b. Naville, 1931, 826||12.58|
|ex Hirsch (Rhousopoulos) 1905, 1040 (G. Falsch. p. 203, 10; Pl. III, 1, 2; he does not list c).|
|c. Empedocles Coll.||12.67|
|A die more damaged at forefoot and also at tail.|
|TP||7||14. Obv. A I a, left, on dotted exergual line.|
|A||6||Rev. CC I a, right, edge of neck dotted, dotted square.|
|a. Hunter Coll. I, p. 284, 1||12.52|
|*b. Sotheby, 1909, 419||13.12|
|ex Hirsch (Rhousopoulos) 1905, 1037|
|c. Larosière Coll.||11.89|
|ex de Nanteuil, 1925, 788; ex Weber Coll. 2020, ex Naville, 1922, 446; ex Sotheby, 1894, 103; ex Hoffman, 1882, 779 (G. Falsch. pp. 204-5, 14, a, b, c; PI. III, 9).|
|P die broken at horn and dotted square.|
|TP||8||15. Obv. A I a, left, on dotted exergual line.|
|A||7||Rev. CCI b, left, edge curved, but not dotted; behind head, reversed caduceus; below chin, ivy or vine leaf.|
|ex Egger, 1912, 545; ex Egger, 1906, 238; ex Hirsch (Rhousopoulos) 1905, 1038.|
|b. Berlin (Löbbecke)||13.13|
|(G. Falsch. p. 205, 17; Pl. III, 12 b; 13 a).|
|A die break at r. foreleg; b shows P die wear at lower r. linear square and incuse.|
|TP||9||16. Obv. A I a, left, on dotted exergual line.|
|A||8||Rev. CC I b, right.|
|*a. Dewing Coll.||13.15|
|TP||9a||17. Obv. A I a (die of no. 16).|
|A||8||Rev. CC I b, right, with upright caduceus at left. (Die of no. 16, with caduceus added.)|
|*a. Paris, pierced||13.10|
|ex de Luynes, 1926, 1576|
|ex Welzl, 1844, 2405|
|c. Hamburger, 1930, 17, pierced||11.35|
|d. London, (BMC Mac., p. 158, 1), pierced||12.44|
|e. Naville, 1923, 681||13.19|
|ex Hirsch, 1909, 463; ex Hirsch (Rhousopoulos) 1905, 1036. (G. Falsch. p. 205, 15; Pl. III, 10.)|
|P die shows increasing wear at edge of incuse until it meets linear square.|
|TP||10||18. Obv. A I a, left, on dotted exergual Une.|
|A||9||Rev. CC I b, left, reversed caduceus at right.|
|a. McClean Coll. II, 3276||12.61|
|(G. Falsch. p. 205, 19; Pl. IV, 3.)|
|A die broken at hind feet and tail.|
|TP||11||19. Obv. A I a, left, in poor style, spears not parallel, exergual line not dotted.|
|A||10||Rev. CC I b, left, reversed caduceus at right.|
|a. Weber Coll. 2018||12.68|
|ex Sambon, 1899, 265 (G. Falsch. p. 206, 20; Pl. IV, 4).|
|Obv. shows traces of die slipping.|
|TP||12||20. Obv. A I a, left, on dotted exergual line.|
|Rev. CC I b, left.|
|a. Paris (BT, IV, 2, 808)||12.70|
|(G. Falsch. p. 205, 18; Pl. IV, 1 b, 2 a).|
|A die broken at horse's tail.|
|TP||13||21. Obv. A I a, right, dotted exergual line.|
|A||12||Rev. CC I b, right, reversed caduceus at left.|
|a. Boston, P 144||13.33|
|*b. Copenhagen, SNG, 492||13.24|
|ex Hirsch, 1913, 628; ex Hirsch, 1909, 464|
|(G. Falsch. p. 204,13; Pl. III, 8 b; he does not list a).|
|A die broken at horse's head and tail.|
|22. (a and b) Two tetradrachms must be put on the doubtful list. The one (G. Falsch. p. 205, 16; Pl. III, 11) is a Paris specimen with rider left and goat's head right, wt. 10.30; the other is in the Empedocles Collection, same types, wt. 10.70. The reverse die is the same in both cases, but the obverses are different. The Empedocles coin is certainly plated; the Paris coin, which is not listed by Babelon, looks as though it may be, though Gaebler does not say so. The weight would make it probable. The existence of plated coins of Perdikkas from official dies is known (see Group IV, light tetrobols, Series 4). In their case it has been possible to establish die identity with unplated coins; these tetradrachms are unique, although they are very like known dies. If these coins are forgeries, they are probably ancient ones.|
Obverse A I a: Mounted warrior-hunter, wearing chlamys and petasus, r., 2 spears in r.h., reins in l.h., in dotted circular border.
AIb: Same type with spears in l.h., reins in r.h.
Reverse BB I: Head and one paw of lion r., in incuse square.
BB II: Forepart and one paw of lion r., in incuse square.
|HP||1||23. Obv. A I a.|
|A||1||Rev. BB I, in linear square around which traces of letters, poorly cut and very small; head too large for space.|
|*a. Boston, R 620||2.49|
|ex Warren Coll.|
|HP||2||24. Obv. AIb.|
|A||2||Rev. BB I, in linear square, around which AΛEƗ ANΔOO (sic)|
|*a. SNG, Lockett Coll. 3, 1382||2.20|
|ex Naville, 1923, 682|
|HP||2||25. Obv. A I a, spears at an angle.|
|A||3||Rev. BB I; die of no. 24.|
|a. Schulman, 1927, 90||2.10|
|b. Paris (BT, I, 2, 1537) pierced||2.24|
|c. Berlin, pierced|
|*d. Berlin (von Sallet, ZfN, III, 52)||2.04|
|P die shows wear at lower r., paw and linear square, beginning at b.|
|HP||2||26. Obv. A I a.|
|A||4||Rev. BB I; die of no. 24.|
|HP||3||27. Obv. AIb.|
|A||5||Rev. BB I.|
|*a. Empedocles Coll.||2.10|
|b. Naville, 1925, 421||2.08|
|HP||4||28. Obv. AIb.|
|A||6||Rev. BB II.|
|*a. Hess, 1926, 165||2.45|
|HP||4||29. Obv. AIc, dotted exergual line.|
|A||7||Rev. BB II; die of no. 28.|
|*a. Hirsch (Rhousopoulos), 1905, 1048||2.53|
|b. Calm, 1928, 386||2.46|
|HP||5||30. Obv. A I a, dotted exergual line.|
|A||8||Rev. BB II.|
|HP||6||31. Obv. A I a.|
|A||9||Rev. BB II, edge a row of dots.|
|*a. ANS - ETN||2.29|
|P die damaged at top.|
|HP||6||32. Obv. A I a, dotted exergual line, spears crossed.|
|A||10||Rev. BB II; die of no. 31.|
|a. Athens (slightly off flan r.)||2.15|
|*b. Cahn, 1933, 235||2.44|
|ex Rosenberg, 1932, 311; ex Hamburger, 1930, 21.|
|P die shows further damage, break at r.|
|HP||6||33. Obv. A I a, dotted exergual line.|
|A||11||Rev. BB II; die of no. 31.|
|a. Cambridge SNG, IV, 3, 2002||2.21|
|b. Boston, P 143||2.19|
|ex Warren, 1900|
|*c. Berlin (Löbbecke)||2.33|
|(G. AMNG, III, 2, p. 152, 27)|
|d. Yale Coll.||2.28|
Obverse CI: Horse, unattended, r., on dotted exergual line, in dotted circle.
Reverse CCI: Goat's head r., in linear square within incuse square.
DD I: Crested helmet with nose, neck and cheek pieces, in incuse square.
|LP||1||34. Obv. C I, bridled.|
|A||1||Rev. CC I.|
|a. Berlin (B.B. II, p. 180, 112)||1.92|
|*b. Berlin, Imhoof, (G. AMNG, III, 2, p. 151, 25)||2.06|
|LP||2||35. Obv. C I, bridled.|
|A||2||Rev. DD I, r., in dotted square.|
|*a. Copenhagen, SNG, 485||2.05|
|ex Wellenheim, 2389|
|LP||2||36. Obv. C I, bridled.|
|A||3||Rev. DD I; die of no. 35.|
|a. Berlin (B.B. II, p. 179, 108)||2.66|
|b. Berlin (G. Falsch. p. 204, C; Pl. III, 7)||1.92|
|LP||3||37. Obv. C I, bridled.|
|A||4||Rev. DD I, l., in linear square.|
|a. Windisch Grätz, Athens||1.98|
|LP||4||38. Obv. C I, unbridled; in field above.|
|A||5||Rev. DD I, r., in linear square.|
|a. Berlin (B.B. II, p. 182, 5) pierced||2.00|
|b. Weber Coll. 2013, pierced||2.05|
|ex Rhousopoulos, 1897|
|c. Paris (BT, I, 2, 1524)||2.06|
|*d. Berlin (B.B. II, p. 183, 6)||1.83|
|e. Mavrogordato Coll. (HPM, p. 23, 5 a)||2.32|
|A die damaged between letters and horse's back; P die broken in upper l. corner and increasingly worn between incuse and linear square.|
|LP||5||39. Obv. C I; die of no. 38.|
|A||5||Rev. DD I, l., in linear square.|
|A die damage no greater.|
|LP||5||40. Obv. C I, unbridled.|
|A||6||Rev. DD I; die of no. 39.|
|a. Empedocles Coll.||2.12|
|b. Helbing, 1930, 177||1.95|
|ex Naville, 1928, 455|
|*c. London (BMC Mac., p. 159, 4)||1.93|
|LP||6||41. Obv. C I, unbridled.|
|A||7||Rev. DD I, r.; cheek piece overlaps linear square.|
|*a. London (BMC Mac. p. 159, 5)||2.00|
|b. Cambridge, SNG, IV, 3, 2008||1.63|
|c. May Coll.||1.68|
|A die broken at 1. hind foot; P die edges broken down.|
|LP||7||42. Obv. C I, unbridled.|
|A||8||Rev. DD I, r., in linear square.|
|*a. Dewing Coll.||2.11|
|ex Robinson, VIII, 1941; ex Hoffman, 1909|
|b. Cahn, 1952.|
|LP||7||43. Obv. C I, unbridled.|
|A||9||Rev. DD I; die of no. 42.|
|*a. ANS - ETN||2.09|
|P die worn at top edge of incuse.|
|LP||8||44. Obv. C I, unbridled.|
|A||10||Rev. DD I, r., in linear square.|
|*a. May Coll.||2.39|
|P die badly broken.|
There is no reason for questioning the commonly accepted date, 1 480/79, for the beginning of Alexander's epigraphically or otherwise identifiable coinage. Whether the coins appeared first after Salamis or after Plataea, it is impossible to determine. The sophisticated complexity of Alexander's issues can only be the result of a carefully thought-out plan; his use of types and denominations shows clearly that neither the early staters of Aegae, nor his own octadrachms, tetradrachms and fractional issues in the monetary alliance (see Chapter III) were adequate for his purposes. In this first national coinage, three aims were embodied: (1) it was to be readily exchangeable with the most influential currencies of the Aegean area (see Chapter II); (2) it was to be readily recognized as Macedonian; (3) it was to be unmistakably a regal issue.
The coins themselves fall naturally into three groups, as an examination of the octadrachms on Plates III, VI, and X will make clear. The smaller coins follow the style of the larger ones. Since there are no magistrates' symbols, or other means of ascertaining dates for these groups, the dates given below are not absolute in all cases. Historical lacunae make it necessary to rely on the coins themselves for information. The date of the end of Group I has been determined by the content of Group II, whose commencement is shown clearly by the coins to be 476/5. The date of the end of Group III is, of course, coincidental with the death of Alexander. This is usually given 2 as 454, but the coins indicate that he ruled some years longer, probably to 451. These then are the suggested dates for the coins of Alexander I:
Group I: 480/79-477/6
Group II: 476/5-ca. 460
Group III: ca. 460-451
Group I consists of four major denominations, two large and two small, in addition to fractional pieces whose weights are difficult to classify. The stater (9.82), with the obverse canting type of a goat, is no longer in use; its weight was unsuited to that of other currencies in the Aegean area. The coins struck are octadrachms, with a derived tetrobol, and tetradrachms, with a derived tetrobol. The weight norms for these denominations are:
The various ways in which such coins could be integrated into other currencies have been discussed in Chapter II. The passing of the stater, the original one-hundredth division of the Babylonian common mina on which all the Thraco-Macedonian tribal coinage was based, has been the source of the difficulty of classifying the weights of the fifth century coinages in the area. It had served its term of usefulness and was no longer to have a part in ancient commerce.
Before discussing the types and their implications, it must be pointed out that the mass condemnation of the tetradrachms of this and subsequent groups by Gaebler 3 cannot be endorsed. It is unnecessary to refute his arguments one by one. His misunderstanding of their weight has already been mentioned. His pronouncements on style and technique are unjustified on comparison of these coins with others in Group I, as well as with those tetradrachms immediately preceding it (Plate II, 7-9); his remarks on their color are not corroborated by such coins as I have been able to see. His theory that the reverse type of two of the light tetrobols (nos. 34 and 35, Plate V) provided a modern forger with models is a misinterpretation. The same Macedonian(s) did the work on all of these coins. A great many of these coins were collected by Rhousopoulos, 4 some in a hoard or hoards, under circumstances which leave their authenticity unquestionable. In the catalogue these coins have been indicated by the insertion of Rhousopoulos' name as their source. Likewise the coins condemned by Gaebler have been indicated in the catalogue. No. 22 (a and b) lists two possible forgeries, one known to Gaebler; the defects of these coins have been discussed at their catalogue entry. Since Gaebler uses the same type of argument, equally unwisely, in his "exposure" of tetradrachms in Groups II and III, no further reference to his conclusions is necessary.
While the denominations and the main outlines of the typological content of the coins had been determined upon at the time that the coins of Group I appeared, the actual type distribution among the denominations betrays some indecision at first. Combinations are tried out and discarded for others which, at the end of Group I, become constant for the denominations and remain unchanged thereafter. The metrological relation of the heavy tetrobols to the octadrachms and of the light tetrobols to the tetradrachms is clearly marked by stylistic details. The obverse type of all denominations is from the Ares-type of the monetary alliance: horse, horse and rider, horse and attendant. In Group I all obverse borders are dotted; subsequently, the dotted circle is retained on the octadrachms and heavy tetrobols, while on the other two denominations it gives way to a linear circle. These latter show on both obverse and reverse an uncertainty of orientation which persists even on the coins of Perdikkas; the others do not.
The reverses show plainly the conscious association of types with denominations. The octadrachms always have the king's name around a four-part linear square in the incuse. The heavy tetrobols, which introduced the lion type, 5 attempted to carry the inscription of the octadrachms also. Fortunately, this attempt was soon abandoned (two dies are known Plate V, nos. 23-26), for of all the poorly executed lions of Group I, these are the worst. The design is small; the die- cutters were working with an unfamiliar type; the space available for the inscription was microscopic. The letters themselves are illegible on the first die (no. 23) and almost as bad on the second. The tetradrachms and light tetrobols, although they have different obverse types (the obverse of the tetradrachms is the same as that of the octadrachms and heavy tetrobols), share an uncertainty as to reverse type and both show a tendency to replace the dotted square by the linear, which is uniformly used on both denominations in the later groups.
These reverse types reveal two different elements in Alexander's coinage. The goats, used first on the light tetrobols and then on the tetradrachms, were taken, in abbreviated form, from the staters; no inscription was necessary on a coin bearing this type. The helmets, first on the tetradrachms and finally on the light tetrobols, are new to Macedonian coins, but cannot be considered a new type since many of the tribal issues had a helmet as symbol or reverse type. 6 It is possible that this adoption of the helmet as a reverse type is proof that Alexander conquered at least one of the tribes which he has been credited with subduing and whose coinage he supplanted. The Orrheskians, among others, used the helmet as a reverse type; their staters have already been included among the Ares types having some similarity to the early Macedonian coins (Chapter III and Plate II, 13). Nothing is known of their location. 7 They may have been a tribe incorporated into Alexander's kingdom, but of sufficient size and importance to have their tribal integrity preserved by the use of one of their types. The helmet continued as a reverse type through the coinage of Perdikkas on the light tetrobols. The goat disappeared finally at the end of Alexander's reign when Perdikkas discontinued the denomination bearing it.
Symbols are used only occasionally and with no evident purpose. The octadrachms show one anvil die with a leaping hound in front of the horse (Plate III, 5). This is the anvil die which appears to be by the same hand as one of the anepigraphic series (Plate II, 6). One hound, however, is not quite assurance that the rider should be called a hunter rather than a warrior. No. 4, an octadrachm, has a huge frog below the horse. It is without precedent and is never repeated. Its significance is unknown; though there are a few coins, of Aeginetan weight, attributed to an indefinite Aegean island, 8 which have as type a swimming frog, it seems impossible to connect them with this coin. The same anvil die which has the hound also has a caduceus on the horse's rump. This symbol is a reference to the Apollo-Hermes type and had already appeared on some of the earlier, tetradrachms, also as a brand. It keeps recurring in various positions throughout the reigns of Alexander (as a reverse symbol on tetradrachms and small issues) and of Perdikkas (as a reverse symbol on the heavy tetrobols). One tetradrachm reverse die (no. 15) has a leaf, also used on some fractions, below the goat's chin. It has more resemblance to an ivy leaf than to a vine leaf, and it cannot be associated with the flower which appears on the early goat staters and later on Perdikkas' heavy tetrobols. During Alexander's reign, the small coins have no symbols; in Group I, the first two punch dies for the heavy tetrobols and one anvil die for the light tetrobols have inscriptions or monograms. Types alone were considered sufficient for these pieces, as well as for the fractions. It is not until the time of Perdikkas, when there were no large denominations, that the small coins carried symbols. As Group I remains, it cannot be said that the symbols have any major significance; they afford no help in arranging or dating the coins.
Even a cursory glance at Plates II, IV, V, shows the homogeneity of Group I, and, in the case of the large denominations, their immediacy of succession upon the octadrachms and tetradrachms of the anonymous coins attributed to the Macedonians. 9 The small pieces are the stylistic counterparts of the larger ones. A glance at Plates VI-IX shows the marked difference in style of Group II. The arrangement of the coins in the various denominations within the Group is dependent upon factors that are susceptible of criticism; therefore, a justification of the methods employed to arrive at the present catalogue order is necessary.
A. The octadrachms (Plate III) furnish no clue from the obverse to the order of their striking. The one die link (the A die of nos. 1 and 2) is of no value, since it may very well be that no. 2 is only another specimen of no. 1. The condition of the reverse is so poor that, while the legible portion is almost exactly similar to the reverse of no. 1, the condition of the rest makes it impossible to say that the die is the same. On the other hand, the letter forms and their arrangement on the P dies show changes which furnish some basis for their sequence. P 1 (No. 1) has for A and for P; both of these forms occur on tribal issues. P 3 10 (no. 3) has for A, but P is regular; the A is tilted across the corner like the A on some Acanthus coins. 11 P 4 (no. 4) has both A and P in regular form, but the initial A is tilted in the corner. P 5 (no. 5) has both A's and the Δ tilted in the corners (again, similarly to some Acanthus coins) and some granulation within the four-part square. P 6 (no. 6) has a fine regular inscription with no tilted letters; there is a trace of granulation within the square. It is logical to conclude that the order given here is close to that in which they were struck. The obverses are very little different from those on the anonymous coins; the die-cutters worked in accustomed forms. The letters were something new and the coins show some uncertainty until P 6 is reached. Here, the letter forms are as good as those in the next Group.
B. The heavy tetrobols (Plate V) are the only coins in the group which arrange themselves with something approaching finality. As with the octadrachms, the evidence lies in the reverses rather than in the obverses, since the latter show little stylistic progress. The six punch dies show increasing ability on the part of the artists to master this new type, after the pathetic attempts to include the inscription. Die sequences, of which there are three, are marked by wear and the break in HP 6, which occurs after its first use in no. 31 and is greater in no. 33 than in no. 32. The order of this denomination can be regarded as secure.
C. The tetradrachms and the light tetrobols (Plates IV and V) are susceptible of two different arrangements: the one actually used in the catalogue and another that has been ignored because of the ambiguity of the evidence of the light tetrobols. The difficulty is caused by the duplication of reverse types in the two denominations; each uses both the helmeted head and the goat's head. The arrangement that has not been used would involve the simultaneous use, in both series, of these two reverse types. Stylistically, this is quite possible; TP 1, TP 2, TP 3 (nos. 8-10) and TP 7 (no. 14) seem equally early, likewise TA 5 (nos. 12 and 13) and TA 12 (no. 21) are close in style. The fact that there are six TP dies with the helmet and seven and one half 12 with the goat's head, taken in conjunction with the appearance of six punch dies each for the octadrachms and heavy tetrobols, hints that a figure near that number is the total for each denomination of Group I. Thus, there would be two series of tetradrachms, each equalling in volume the other denominations. Unfortunately, the lack of corroboration for this from the light tetrobols casts light on its validity. There, only one LP die (no. 34) has a goat's head, while all seven others have the helmet. Both types seem contemporaneous on both denominations.
It is attractive to suppose that LP 1 is the sole survivor of a group of six or seven punch dies of that type, particularly in view of the seven helmet type LP dies. If that could be assumed, then there would have been two issues of both tetradrachms and light tetrobols in Group I. But such speculation is too dangerous; one must confine himself to the extant material. Therefore, the catalogue arrangement has been based on the fact that subsequent Groups show as standard types the rider r., and goat's forepart for the tetradrachms and the horse and helmet for the light tetrobols. The orientation of the riders on the obverse of the tetradrachms affords some evidence that the catalogue arrangement is correct: the obverses of the helmet series all face right; the earlier of the obverses of the goat's head series all face left. The last one (no. 21) which has the best goat's head, has the rider of the obverse facing right, a position which is unchanged thereafter. The catalogue order is admittedly unsatisfactory, since there is no conclusive evidence to justify either the arrangement used or the one discarded.
The artistic skill of the makers of the dies of Group I has already been mentioned casually. It deserves some special attention, in view of the signs of vigor and ability of the artists. Their mistakes are as revealing as their successes. There is no need to reproach them further for the first sorry lion reverses on the heavy tetrobols. One difficulty they never succeeded in overcoming (this is true even in Group III) 13 appears on those obverses where the rider is carrying his spears on the outside (that is, in his right hand if he is facing right, and vice versa). All their skill in differentiating planes and indicating depth was not sufficient to make the spears appear separate from the body of the horse; they curve around it in most unconvincing fashion. (See Plate III, 1, 2, 4 and 5, and Plate IV, 11). A touch of realism on those riders facing left appears in their costume. The chlamys normally was fastened at the right shoulder, thus leaving the right arm free for action; the artist remembered, in showing the other side, that the chlamys covered his left arm completely and he indicated the folds. On the dies where the rider is facing left, the spears are held in the right hand, which is free. This touch of realism raises the question how such a rider managed his reins (held in the left hand) and how the riders facing right, who hold the reins in the right hand, managed to keep both spears in the closely wrapped left hand. These artists never resort to the device used elsewhere (and in Macedonia on the coins of Archelaos) of having the chlamys hang free from the shoulders to enable the wearer to use both arms.
All the artists, and it is possible to distinguish the work of individuals, indulged in freedom in details: the angle of the horse's foreleg, the shape and size of the petasus, the length of the chlamys, and the pattern of its folds, are individual matters. One trait they had in common was the decorative use of the drill. The matter of the dotted borders has already been remarked. Dots are used for the exergual line, for the horse's tail, and sometimes for the edge of the lion's or goat's body. Some dies, notably the obverse of No. 5 (Plate III) and of nos. 16 and 17 (Plate IV), show an incomplete masking of the original use of the drill along the upper part of the outer hind leg of the horse. In most cases, however, traces of the drill are blotted out unless they are to serve as decoration.
The helmets present peculiarities of detail. The form of the crest is different from that on most other coins; in fact, many helmets on the tribal issues have no crest at all. Such helmets as have been recovered from excavations in Thrace and Macedonia 14 do not have crests. Their material is of course so much more perishable than that of the helmets that their non-survival is not surprising; it is in some cases impossible to tell whether the helmets recovered had a device to which a crest like that of the Macedonian could be attached. At any rate, the Macedonians had a crested helmet; it is not safe to call it either Corinthian or Attic. The shape of the bowl itself has its counterpart on sixth century vases, 15 but the shape of the crest and its close attachment to the bowl can be paralleled only by some of the helmets used as a reverse type or as a symbol on some of the tribal issues. 16 These helmets, as well as those of Group II, have a nose piece as well as cheek and neck pieces. The artists in all cases inserted a dot for the eye, although there is no other evidence that a helmeted head, rather than simply a helmet, was the type. There is no bit of the neck visible, either below or in the space between neck and cheek pieces. Since it is hardly conceivable that an eye shield was intended, the appearance of the dot for the eye may be considered a bit of archaic attention to detail such as is often evident on early vases.
Since the period of Group I is precisely defined, between 480/79 and 477/6, the extant dies and their combinations furnish indications of length of use of the dies. It will be remembered that in Chapter IV evidence was cited for concluding that normal procedure in the Macedonian mint involved the use of three anvil dies with onepunch. While many dies are lacking from Group I, particularly of the octadrachms, helmet series tetradrachms, and goat series light tetrobols, the survival rate of die combinations and specimens in the heavy tetrobols, the goat series tetradrachms, and the helmet series light tetrobols, makes it possible to draw some conclusions about the original number of dies in use and of the number of dies normally used per year in the Macedonian mint.
|Denomination||P Dies||A Dies||Combinations||Specimens|
|Light tetrobol (goat)||1||1||1||2|
The numbers six, seven, and seven and a half (the half indicates that a die was used first without a symbol and later recut with a symbol: possibly the number should be eight) for P dies and seven, nine, and eleven for A dies lead one to believe that nearly all the punch dies survive. For a period of four years, the rate of two punch dies would demand eight P dies for Group I; any other calculations would not account for the proportion of die combinations to extant specimens in Group I.
If three A dies were used with each P die, the maximum number of A dies for the four-year period would be twenty-four; this would be the case if no A die was used with more than one P die. The die sequence charts (pp. 69-70) show, however, that this was not the case. Every series except the heavy tetrobols shows one A die link. Since three A dies were in use at once with one P die, the minimum number of A dies for the four-year period would be twelve; eleven of the number survive in the heavy tetrobol series, which is the only series not to show A die links. Therefore, the number must be fifteen, eighteen or twenty-one A dies for the four-year period. Fifteen would not be sufficient to compensate for the lack of A die links in the surviving heavy tetrobol combinations; twenty-one is an unnecessarily large figure - possible but larger than survivals from this Group or any other warrant. It seems reasonable to posit eighteen A dies for this four year period, making the life of the three A dies used at one time about two-thirds of a year.
The two series of tetradrachms present as great a problem in this connection as in the matter of their arrangement. There are enough surviving P dies in each to lead to the conclusion that both series were being struck at the same time, and the total number of A dies is only one more than in the heavy tetrobols. Unfortunately, the only A die links (see p. 70) are within each series, not between them. Here, the question of wear on the dies has some bearing. Nos. 12 and 13 use the same A die. In the first specimen of no. 12 (Plate IV), the beginning of a break at the right foreleg is barely visible; in the second (wt. 10.80) there appears to be repair on the coin itself, a cutting away to sharpen the outline of the leg to such a degree that the weight of the coin has been affected. In no. 13 (not illustrated), there are three specimens, showing an increase in the size of the break at the forefoot and another at the tail. The P die used in no. 12 shows no sign of deterioration in either specimen; therefore, the P die used in no. 13 was not a replacement for a worn die. Much the same facts appear from an examination of nos. 16 and 17a (Plate IV). There the anvil die shows no more wear in one than in the other; the order of striking could not be determined if the P die of no. 17 were not that of no. 16 with the caduceus added. In the five specimens of no. 17, the P die shows progressive wear at the edges of the incuse and linear square and the sharpness of the outline of the A die is reduced after no. 17a. It is conceivable that the six (?) missing anvil dies for the tetradrachms would provide links between the two series to show that they were struck simultaneously, for a year or two at least.
The light tetrobols have only one surviving goat's head reverse die, which makes it rash to believe that the two series in this denomination ran concurrently, even though they may have done so in the tetradrachms. Until more dies turn up, the arrangement of the two denominations must be left uncertain; there is no conclusive evidence pointing in one direction. At least it can be said that in the helmet series of light tetrobols and in the heavy tetrobols, a total of eight P dies and eighteen A dies was used for the four years; the same is probably true for the tetradrachms and may be true for the octadrachms, although here few anvil dies survive.
One other factor must be taken into consideration: the relation of the weights of the coins to those of communities with which Alexander came in contact. In the Thraco-Macedonian area, the weights of his coins were the same as those of other issuing agents. Greece proper, with which he sought to unite himself during the Persian Wars and with which he hoped to cooperate subsequently, had no coinage with which the octadrachms (wt. 29.46) were readily exchangeable. It may be that a smaller number of coins of this denomination was struck. The tetradrachms exchanged with Attic tetradrachms at the rate of four to three (13.08 × 4 = 52.32 and 17.44 × 3 = 52.32), a heavy tetrobol and a tetradrachm together equalled a Chian-Rhodian tetradrachm (15.52) and the light tetrobol was exactly equivalent to an Attic tetrobol. Therefore, the numbers of coins struck in all but the largest denomination would be consequent on a far larger trade potential than would the octadrachms.
Cf. Head, HN 2, p. 218; Babelon, Traité, I, 2, p. 1080; Gardner, Hist. of Ancient Coinage. pp. 194-195.
Cf. Beloch, Griechische Geschichte, III, 22, pp. 49 ff, where the variant ancient accounts which are the sources of our knowledge of the regnal years of the kings of Macedonia are brought together.
Gaebler, "Fälschungen Makedonischer Münzen," I, in Sitzungsberichten d. Preuss. Akad. d. Wiss. Phil.-Hist. Kl. XII (1931), pp. 1-23 (Hereafter, G. Fälsch.)
I am indebted to Dr. Jacob Hirsch of Geneva and New York for this information.
Cf. Chapter III for a discussion of the meaning of this type.
Cf. Svoronos, HPM, Pls. I, 11-14; II, 1-4, 7-11; V, 22, 24; VI, 2, 3.
Cf. Head, HN 2, 194; Babelon, Traité, II, 1, pp. 1057-1058; Svoronos, HPM, pp. 52-55.
Wroth, W., Num. Chron., 3rd Ser. XVIII (1898), pp. 120-121; Pl. IX, 1, calls it a toad - which this also may be - and cites the literature.
Plate II, 4 and Plate III, 4, Plate II, 6 and Plate III, 5, Plate II, 9 and Plate IV, 12 and Plate II, 8 and Plate IV, 8 may be mentioned particularly.
Because of the condition of no. 2, there is no justification for including P 2 in the discussion.
Cf. Desneux, Les Tétradrachmes d'Acanthus, no. 118, R 106.
P 9a (no. 17) is P 9 (no. 16), with the caduceus added.
The first octadrachm of Group III, no. 108 (Plate X) shows how far from success they remained.
See Filow, Die Archaische Nekropole von Trebenischte am Ochrida See, pl. XV. These helmets have a channel in which a crest presumably was fitted. The general shape is similar to that of the helmets on the coins, but the nose piece is lacking. Filow considers the Trebenischte helmets to be a development of the Corinthian in the sixth and fifth centuries.
B. Schröder, JDAI, 1912, pp. 317-344, "Thrakische Helme," has classified helmet types on vases as well as surviving helmets. None of his groups corresponds exactly to the helmets on these coins.
Cf. note 6.
There are a number of small coins of various recognizably Macedonian types which are of the same fabric and style as the catalogued pieces in Group I and must therefore be considered a part of that Group. The main varieties are illustrated on Plate V, a-e. All but one have the anonymous four-part linear square in the incuse on the reverse; one has a goat's head right. The first four might be considered as belonging in the period of the uninscribed Macedonian coinage discussed in Chapter III, and, indeed, there is no certainty as to their date, except that they cannot be later than Group I. All obverses show a horse, its forepart, or its head in a dotted circular border. The small size of these coins makes it almost impossible to say that they are or are not stylistically contemporaneous with Group I, since we have already noticed the close similarity in style between the uninscribed earlier octadrachms and tetradrachms and those of Group I. Plate V, a and e, are particularly nondescript.
It is well-nigh impossible to give a name to the majority of these fractions, or to assign them to the standard of the octadrachms or the tetradrachms, for two reasons: (1) The extant weights have no correspondence with the types, and (2) the original difference in the norms is in itself very slight. Given ancient irregularities of striking, one cannot distinguish denominations. The norms are as follows:
|Octadrachm Standard||Tetradrachm Standard|
The weights of the coins illustrated on Plate V are: a, .46; b, 2.22; c, 1.03; d, 1.05; e, .85. It will be noticed that b could be a light tetrobol, or even a heavy tetrobol, for the list appended at the end of Chapter II shows some specimens of both denominations which weigh less than Plate V, b.
The types do not afford a criterion for determining denominations. The difference in weight between b and c - more than a gram - although both coins have the same type, makes it difficult to believe that they were intended to represent the same value. It might be conjectured that b is a light tetrobol of the period before Group I, but the style of its reverse is finer than most of the coins of that time. The forepart of a horse on the obverse of d contradicts its weight, by which it should be the same denomination as c, possibly the diobol on the tetradrachm standard, but such a conclusion leaves out of account the difference in type. Plate V, d and e, both with the forepart of a horse, should be fractions of something - of a light tetrobol and a light triobol? But here again is a duplication of obverse type of coins of two different denominations. The reverse type on e, the forepart of a goat, is stylistically contemporaneous with the tetradrachms (see Plate IV) and one light tetrobol (Plate V, no. 34) of Group I. Plate V, a, wt. .46, is obviously an obol, but with the difference in the norms only .07, it is impossible to say which obol this coin is intended to be.
There are other coins, as yet unassigned, which have the forepart of a horse on the obverse and a kneeling goat on the reverse (Gaebler, AMNG III, 2, pl. XXVII, nos. 2-5) and one (pl. XXVII, no. 6) with the same type of goat on the obverse and horse's forepart on the reverse. The weights range from 1.00 to 1.78. These coins may be Macedonian, struck ca. 492 when the Macedonians under Alexander joined the tribal alliance against the Persians. It is as difficult to determine their denominations as to explain the reversal of obverse and reverse types.
Obverse B I: Horse and attendant r., on exergual line; attendant wears chlamys and petasus, holds reins and carries two spears; dotted circular border.
Reverse AA: AΛE/ƗA/NΔ/PO in incuse square around four-part linear square.
|OP||7||45. Obv. B I; spears parallel, horse's tail wavy.|
|*a. Hunter Coll. I, p. 283, 1||29.01|
|Obv. slashed at l., A die has slipped at tail and border.|
|Rev. damaged between A and N.|
|OP||8||46. Obv. BI; spears reversed, garment long and elaborate; horse rigidly posed.|
|A||7||Rev. AA; letters crude; extra linear square at edge of incuse.|
|*a. Boston, R 615||26.10|
|ex Warren, 1904|
|A die damaged at r. hind foot and border.|
|OP||9||47. Obv. BI; spears broken, garment long as in no. 46, but style as good as no. 45.|
|A||8||Rev. AA; letters heavy, A awkwardly placed.|
|a. Ravel Coll., 1934.|
|OP||10||48. Obv. B I; spears loosely held.|
|*a. London (BMC Mac. p. 156, 2)||28.66|
|A die damaged at spear-heads and border, at 1. forefoot, below horse's head. P die poorly cut at edges of incuse.|
|OP||11||49. Obv. B I.|
|A||10||Rev. AA; fine letters.|
|*a. Paris (BT, I, 2, 1500)||28.77|
|OP||12||50. Obv. B I; die of no. 49.|
|A||10||Rev. AA; incuse deeply cut at corners.|
|*a. London (BMC Mac. p. 156, 1)||28.98|
|b. Dewing Coll.||28.85|
|ex Spink, 1944, 27756|
|A die damaged at tail, at l. foreleg and border, at horse's head and border; P die worn at top bar of Ɨ and incuse.|
|OP||13||51. Obv. B I; die of no. 49.|
|A||10||Rev. AA; letter space slightly curved as on some Acanthus coins; inner squares lightly granulated.||5|
|*a. Naville, 1921, 815||28.64|
|A die damage much greater; crown of hat also affected.|
|OP||13||52. Obv. B I, without exergual line.|
|A||11||Rev. AA; die of no. 51.|
|a. Lambe Coll.||25.13|
|ex Afghanistan Hoard|
|Coin clipped at left side of obverse; slash across shoulder of horse; letters damaged on reverse.|
|OP||14||53. Obv. B I; spears broken; man much shorter than horse.|
|A||12||Rev. AA; A, A, and A tilted across corners.|
|*a. London (BMC Mac. p. 157, 3)||25.92|
|b. Petsalis Coll. no (very worn)|
|OP||15||54. Obv. B I; waning moon in upper l. field.|
|a. McClean Coll. II, 3274||29.10|
|ex Sotheby, 1904, 50; ex Sotheby, 1896, 206|
|OP||16||55. Obv. B I; waning moon in upper l. field.|
|A||14||Rev. AA; edges of incuse ragged.|
|*a. Paris (BT, I, 2, 1501)||29.00|
|OP||17||56. Obv. B I; die of no. 55.|
|OP||18||57. Obv. B I; waning moon in upper l. field.|
|A||15||Rev. AA; letter space slightly curved.|
|Edge of A die almost as badly damaged as A 10 in no. 51.|
Obverse A II a: Mounted warrior-hunter r., holding reins in r.h., spears in l.h., wearing chlamys and petasus, exergual line and linear circle.
Reverse CC II: forepart of goat r., in linear square within incuse square.
|TP||14||58. Obv. A II a.||a. Hirsch, 1908, 1170||11.75|
|A||13||Rev. CC II||ex Ratto, 1896, 917|
|(G. Falsch. p. 209, 21; Pl. IV, 5)|
|TP||15||59. Obv. AII a.||a. London (BMC Mac. p. 159, 2)||12.34|
|A||14||Rev. CC II.|
|TP||15||60. Obv. A II a.||*a. A.M. Newell Coll.||12.61|
|A||15||Rev. CC II; die of no. 59.||b. Naville, 1929, 190||12.67|
|ex Weber Coll. 2017; ex Ready, 1887.|
|c. Berlin (B.B. II, p. 177, 91)||12.46|
|(G. Falsch. p. 210; pl. IV, 6; he admits this is genuine.)|
|d. Berlin, Imhoof||12.14|
|e. Cahn Coll.||12.97|
|TP||16||61. Obv. A II a.||a. SNG Lockett Coll. 3, 1383||12.71|
|A||16||Rev. CC II.||ex Naville, 1921, 821|
|(G. Falsch. p. 210, note 3 a.)|
|TP||17||62. Obv. A II a, with A on exergual line||a. ANS - ETN||12.66|
|A||17||ex Hirsch (Rhousopoulos), 1905, 1039|
|Rev. CC II.|
|d. Six Coll.||12.83|
|ex Hamburger, 1930, 16; ex Sotheby 1911, 83; ex Sotheby, 1904, 139|
|e. Empedocles Coll.||12.56|
|ex Egger, 1912, 546; ex Hirsch, 1909, 465; ex Hirsch, 1904, 98 (G. Falsch. p. 208, note 3 b; his list is rather incoherent, including a specimen from the Hague, 12.22, which may be from these dies.)|
|P die miscut at 1. edge of incuse and linear square.|
|TP||17||63. Obv. A II a, with A as in no. 62.||*a. Paris (BT, IV, 2, 806) No reworking of P die.||12.65|
|A||18||Rev. CC II; die of no. 62.|
|TP||18||64. Obv. A II a, with A as in no. 62.||a. London||12.76|
|A||19||Rev. CC II.||ex Sotheby, 1896, 209|
|TP||19||65. Obv. A II a, with A as in no. 62.||a. Ravel Coll.||12.50|
|A||20||Rev. CC II.||b. Hunter Coll. I, p. 294, 2, pierced||12.72|
Obverse B II: Horse and attendant r., on exergual line; attendant wears chlamys and petasus, holds reins and carries two spears; it is hard to distinguish a border.
Reverse AA: AΛE/ƗA/NΔ/PO in incuse around four-part linear square.
|SP||1||66. Obv. B. II.||a. Helbing, 1913, 280||3.65|
|A||1||Rev. AA; inner squares granulated.||*b. London (BMC Mac. p. 157, 5)||3.96|
|c. Empedocles Coll.||3.99|
|ex Naville, 1921, 816; ex Hirsch (Rhousopoulos), 1905, 1031|
|SP||1||67. Obv. B II.||*a. SNG Lockett Coll. 3, 1381||3.69|
|A||2||Rev. AA; die of no. 66.|
|SP||2||68. Obv. B II; die of no.67.||a. Hunter Coll., I, p. 283, 3||3.85|
|A||2||Rev. AA.||*b. Boston R 616||4.02|
|ex Warren, 1904; ex Moore, 1889, 224; ex Ivanoff.|
|SP||3||69. Obv. B II.||*a. Hirsch, 1909, 461||3.90|
|SP||3||70. Obv. B II.||a. McClean Coll. II, 3275||4.00|
|A||4||Rev. AA; die of no. 69.||*b. Naville, 1921, 817||4.13|
|SP||3||71. Obv. B II.||*a. Gotha||4.05|
|A||5||Rev. AA; die of no. 69.||b. ANS - ETN||4.06|
|ex Cahn, 1928, 384; ex Weber Coll. 2002.|
|d. Berlin (B.B. II, p. 181, 2)||4.03|
|e. Berlin (B.B. II, p. 181, 3)||4.12|
|A die break begins behind rider's body at b; damage to P die at E and edge of incuse increases from no. 69 a to no. 71 e.|
|SP||4||72 Obv. B II.||a. Schlesinger, 1935, 611||4.00|
|A||6||Rev. AA; incuse not quite square, lower edge beveled.||*b. Paris (BT, I, 2, 1502)||4.08|
|c. Copenhagen SNG, 494||4.14|
|ex Argyropoulos, 1880.|
|A die break at tail begins at b.|
|SP||4||73. Obv. B II; garment below horse as in nos. 46, 47.||*a. Vienna||4.15|
|A||7||b. Jameson Coll. 969||4.07|
|Rev. AA; die of no. 72.|
|SP||4||74. Obv. BII; garment as in no. 73.||*a. Berlin|
|A||8||Rev. AA; die of no. 72.|
|SP||5||75. Obv. BII; die of no 74.||a. Walcher de Molthein, 1017 a||3.27|
|A||8||Rev. AA.||*b. London (BMC Mac. p. 157, 4)||4.27|
|c. Naville, 1928, 451||3-96|
|ex Egger, 1912, 542|
|d. Vienna, pierced||3.74|
|P die miscut or damaged between Λ and E, and A and N.|
Obverse C I: Horse unattended r., in dotted circular border.
C II: Horse unattended r., in linear circle.
Reverse DD I: Crested helmet r., with nose, neck and cheek pieces, in linear square within incuse square.
|LP||9||76. Obv. C I.||*a. Helbing, 1929, 2814||2.20|
|A||11||Rev. DD I.||ex Hirsch (Rhousopoulos) 1905, 1043|
|P die damaged or miscut at crest and linear square.|
|LP||9||77. Obv. CI, A below horse.||*a. McClean Coll. II, 3284 (reverse defaced)||1.94|
|A||12||Rev. DDI; die of no. 76.|
|LP||9||78. Obv. CII, A on exergual line.||*a. Hunter Coll. I, p. 284, 5 No apparent wear on P die.||1.76|
|A||13||Rev. DD I; die of no. 76.|
|LP||10||79. Obv. CII; die of no. 78.||*a. Copenhagen SNG, 490||2.09|
|A||13||Rev. DD I.||ex Rollen.|
|LP||10||80. Obv. CII, A above horse.||*a. Berlin||2.03|
|A||14||Rev. DD I; die of no. 79.||ex Weber Coll. 1172|
|LP||10||81. Obv. C II; A on exergual line.||*a. McClean Coll. II, 3285, pierced (Grose's note on no. 3287, which should be transferred to no.3285, says "Λ above incised base line, cut in later".)|
|A||15||Rev. DD I; die of no. 79.|
|LP||10||82. Obv. C II.||*a. Noe Coll.||1.92|
|A||16||Rev. DD I; die of no. 79.||b. McClean Coll. II, 3286||2.49|
|d. Copenhagen, SNG, 486||2.04|
|Both dies show damage.|
|LP||10||83. Obv. C II, A on exergual line.||*a. London (BMC Mac. p. 160, 10)||2.13|
|A||17||Rev. DD I; die of no. 79.|
|LP||11||84. Obv. CII, die of no.83.||*a. ANS - ETN||2.05|
|A||17||Rev. DD I.|
|LP||11||85. Obv. C II.||*a. Vienna, pierced||1.90|
|A||18||Rev. DD I; die of no. 84.||b. Weber Coll. 2012||2.42|
|Exergual line broken at center on b.|
|LP||12||86. Obv. C II.||a. SNG, Newnham Davis, 131||2.30|
|A||19||Rev. DD I.||*b. Munich||2.11|
|A die break between horse's tail and body.|
|LP||13||87. Obv. C II, A above horse.||*a. Copenhagen, SNG, 489||1.97|
|Rev. DD I.||b broken at edge as if in attempt to pierce it.|
|LP||13||88. Obv. C II, A above horse, slightly tilted.||*a. Gotha||2.00|
|A||21||Rev. DD I; die of no. 87.||P die damaged at top of helmet and square.|
|LP||13||89. Obv. C II.||*a. ANS - ETN||2.20|
|A||22||Rev. DD I; die of no. 87.||P die damage increased.|
|LP||14||90. Obv. C II; die of no. 89.||*a. Hamburger, 1930, 18||2.02|
|A||22||Rev. DD I.||P die damaged at upper r. corner of incuse and linear square.|
|LP||14||91. Obv. C II; die of no. 87.||*a. Munich|
|A||20||Rev. DD I; die of no. 90.||Wear obscures damage on P die.|
|LP||14||92. Obv. C II, A above horse.||*a. ANS - ETN||2.09|
|A||23||Rev. DD I; die of no. 90.||Greater damage to P die.|
|LP||14||93. Obv. C II, A above horse.||*a. London (BMC Mac. p. 160, 12) pierced||1.80|
|A||24||Rev. DD I; die of no. 90.||b. Olynthus Ex. VI, 149||2.15|
|P die damage greater.|
|LP||14||94. Obv. C II, A above horse.||a. Brussels|
|A||25||*b. Athens, 1365||1.88|
|Rev. DD I; die of no. 90.||c. London||1.96|
|Condition of coins obscures A on obverse and damage on P die.|
|LP||14||95. Obv. C II, A above horse||*a. London (BMC Mac. p. 160, II)||2.04|
|A||26||Rev. DD I; die of no. 90.||P die damage has extended to crest.|
Obverse CI: Horse unattended r., in dotted circular border.
Reverse DD I: Crested helmet r., with nose, neck, and cheek pieces, in linear square within incuse square.
|LP||15||96. Obv. CI, horse leaping, H below||*a. Berlin||2.10|
|A||27||Rev. DD I.||ex Walcher de Molthein, Renner Cat. 1018.|
|LP||16||97. Obv. CI, horse leaping, H below.||*a. Paris (BT, I, 2, 1523)||1.99|
|A||28||Rev. DD I.|
|LP||17||98. Obv. CI, exergual line.||*a. Glendining, Seaby, 1927, 588||2.14|
|A||29||Rev. DD I.|
|LP||17||99. Obv. CI, exergual line, H above.||a. Weber Coll. 2011 ex Rhousopoulos, 1896||2.24|
|A||30||Rev. DDI: die of no. 98||*b. Paris, pierced||1.76|
|P die worn at crest and top line.|
|LP||18||100. Obv. CI; die of no. 99.||*a. Copenhagen SNG, 491||2.75|
|A||30||Rev. DD I.||ex Ramus|
|LP||19||101. Obv. CI; die of no. 99.||*a. London (BMC Mac. p. 160, 13) pierced||2.07|
|A||30||Rev. DD I.||b. Paris (BT, I, 2, 1522)||2.27|
|LP||19||102. Obv. CI, exergual line, H above.||*a. Athens, pierced||1.96|
|A||31||Rev. DD I; die of no. 101.|
|LP||19||103. Obv. CI, horse leaping, H below.||*a. London (BMC Mac. p. 160, 14)||1.85|
|A||32||Rev. DD I; die of no. 101.|
|LP||20||104. Obv. CI; die of no. 103.||*a. Munich, pierced.|
|A||32||Rev. DD I.|
|LP||21||105. Obv. CI; die of no. 103.||*a. McClean Coll. II, 3289||2.13|
|A||32||Rev. DD I; cheek piece overlaps linear sq.||P die damaged at l. linear and incuse squares.|
|LP||21||106. Obv. CI, exergual line.||*a. Vienna, pierced||1.95|
|A||33||Rev. DD I; die of no. 105.||P die damaged at cheek piece and linear square.|
|LP||22||107. Obv. CI, exergual line, H above.||a. Vienna (very worn)||1.79|
|A||34||Rev. Head r., neck visible below, in crested helmet, end of plume recurving below neck; eye and mouth clearly visible.||*b. Berlin||2.15|
The knowledge that we possess of the kingdom of Macedonia under Alexander after the defeat of the Persians is very scanty, actually not so much knowledge as inference. The events of the "Pentecontaetia" as recorded by Thucydides 1 do not include any action by Alexander, but, since the locale of the earliest action of the Delian Confederacy, the reduction of Eion by Cimon, is close to Macedonia, we may be sure that Alexander was concerned in it. Remembering the king's words to the Athenian generals when he came secretly to them on the eve of the battle of Plataea, 2 we can imagine the eager anticipation with which Alexander awaited the arrival of the Athenian fleet. Plutarch 3 is the only ancient author to mention Alexander in this connection; he says that one of the charges against Cimon in 461 was that he had been bribed by Alexander not to seize Macedonia when he drove the Persians out of Eion. A nice bit of calumny which arose out of events some ten years later than the time to which it was assigned.
The coins given here as belonging to Group II show first the alacrity of Alexander to assist the Athenians and later his determined opposition to them when in 466/5 they made their first attempt to found a city on the site of the later Amphipolis. The changes in denomination, type and style of the coins show that Group II began as an issue designed (a) to exchange readily with Athenian currency, (b) to rally the moribund, if not defunct, tribal alliance to work with the forces of the Confederacy, and (c) to provide an earnest of Alexander's membership in the Hellenic race. A little less than ten years after these changes were made, they were modified in a way that reflects the disillusionment of Alexander about the aims of Athens.
a. The change in denomination was a simple one: for the heavy tetrobols (2.45) was substituted a unique issue of octobols (4.36). This substitution made the exchange between Attic and Macedonian currency a simple affair, for the octobol was the equivalent of an Attic drachma, 4 the light tetrobol was in weight an Attic triobol, and the tetradrachm of 13.09, of the worth of three Attic drachms. The octadrachms, which were not readily exchangeable with Attic currency, were nevertheless retained, even though their fraction, the heavy tetrobol was intermitted. The reason, I think, is not far to seek. Alexander needed to make purchases in the north, possibly of supplies for the Athenian fleet, for which he would need the large denomination in the currency of the region. All the smaller coins struck were, of course, a part of the Thraco-Macedonian system, 5 but they were also Attic in weight. As we do not know the rate of pay at that time for Athenian troops, 6 we cannot assume that the light tetrobols (an unusually heavy issue) and the octobols were designed to help Cimon meet his payroll. It is obvious, however, that these small pieces, as well as the considerable variety of fractional issues (Plate IX, a-e) would facilitate trade by the troops with Macedonian χαπήλοι.
I. The type of the octadrachms is once again the horse and attendant of the anepigraphic octadrachms issued in the late sixth (?) and early fifth centuries. At least one Bisaltian octadrachm of the same type (Plate II, 3, from the Hunterian Collection) must be dated by its style to this same time. 8 The retention of Alexander's name on the reverse shows that he was not merely a participant in the alliance as he had been earlier, but its leader. 2. The tetradrachms, whose type shows no change beyond the substitution of the goat's forepart for its head, have the initial of Alexander's name added to the obverse, at the exergual line, half-way through the series as it now remains. 3. The type of the octobols, obverse and reverse, is the same as that of the octadrachms. This is a major change, for the octobols are metrically related to the tetradrachms, not to the octadrachms. It will be remembered that in Group I (cf. pp. 87-88) the types tended to emphasize the metrological variants. Here, the variants are linked by type. 4. The light tetrobols, while retaining the type which became fixed before the end of Group I (horse-helmet), form two separate series marked by divergencies of style. One series has the letter A above or below the horse on ten of its anvil dies. Five of the other six anvil dies are linked by punch dies with the monogram dies; the sixth shows by its style that it belongs in the A series (A 19, no. 86). The other series has the letter H on five of its anvil dies; the remaining three are linked to them by punch dies. The horse itself on the H series, is not a Macedonian horse (see p. 114). The combination of the "foreign" horse and the letter H, which is hard to connect with Macedonia, 9 are additional indications of the more than national significance of this group. The intermission of the heavy tetrobols leaves their reverse type, the forepart of a lion, unused in Group II. Since this is the only type used by Alexander which did not have a place in the tribal issues, 10 its absence increases the "international" purpose of the Group. The strictly national, or regal, nature of Group I has thus been altered in two respects: (1) exchange with Athens was facilitated and, (2) emphasis was placed on those types which had more than national meaning.
c. A comparison of Plates III, IV and V with Plates VI, VII, VIII, and IX will show clearly the great improvement in style in Group II. Since the group follows immediately upon Group I, the change must be due to a fresh artistic impulse for the origin of which it is natural to look to the south. The greater skill in the execution of the dies is more readily apparent on the octadrachms and tetradrachms. The smaller denominations do not offer quite the scope for beautiful work; the changes, while marked, do not result in such splendid improvement as on the larger pieces. While the interpretation of stylistic change, or variation, is very subjective, 11 it is possible to identify the work of southern artists on some dies. Since the reverses of the octadrachms offer an opportunity for little more than fine letter cutting, the obverses only need be considered. No. 45 (Plate VI) is probably the best and has been put first for that reason. The proportions of horse and attendant are well calculated; their poses are relaxed yet alert; the head (of the attendant), hair and petasus, as well as the upper part of the chlamys, show a skill which is entirely lacking on the octadrachms of Group I. The horse is sleek and subtly modelled, very similar in its restraint and anatomical simplicity to the handsome and spirited bronze horse in the Metropolitan Museum, dated between 490 and 480. 12 Details of mane, hooves and muscles show a close relationship. On the coin, the composition is perfectly adjusted to the available space. Unfortunately, the only specimen is marred by a deep slash at the left side, but the beauty of the piece is still unmistakable. The other octadrachms, except no. 46 show the influence of this one, which surely was made by a Greek, probably an Athenian die-cutter. The smoothness of the musculature, the simplicity of modelling, and the composition of nos. 47-57 (Plates VI and VII) are witness to the ease and speed with which Alexander's die-cutters learned new methods. It is chiefly in the stiffness of the heads of horse and attendant, in the awkwardness of the bunched folds of the chlamys at the neck, and in the proportions of the petasus that these anvil dies fall short of the first one.
The obverses of thetetradrachms (Plate IX) show an improvement over those of Group I (Plate IV) comparable to that of the octadrachms, but there is no anvil die demonstrably superior to the others. As will be seen below, one of the octobol dies enjoys this distinction, which fact leads to the conclusion that an Athenian (or, at least, a Greek) artist made one large and one small die as a model for Macedonian workmen. Every coin in Group II shows this diecutter's influence, for all the dies are marked by a smoothness and "polish" which actually enhances the vitality already evident in the heavy, rather clumsy, horses and riders of Group I. Since Group II follows immediately upon Group I, the improvement cannot be con- sidered as having its source in Macedonia, particularly because of the rather slight advance of the coins of Group I over those of the period just before it, when the Macedonian coins were struck; compare Plates II and III and contrast them with Plates VI, VII and IX. The reverses of the tetradrachms, with the forepart of a kneeling goat, are much more elegant than those of Group I, although, as in the case of the obverses, there is no one die of marked superiority. There is every possibility that one will some day be found, to show that a southern artist made a model for this type also. TP 17, used with two different obverses (nos. 62 and 63, Plate IX) was originally miscut at the left side, but seems to have suffered no subsequent damage in use. There are five specimens of no. 62, among which none shows the A die badly worn; it would appear that TA 17 and TA 18 were in simultaneous use and that the miscut TP 17 was used because of the necessity of heavy striking in this series; production could not be held up while a better die was being cut.
An examination of the light tetrobols shows an advance in style over those of Group I similar to that of the other series, but as in the case of the tetradrachms, there is no anvil or punch die (with the possible exception of LP 22) which shows clearly that it was made by a southern artist. The reverses show a marked variety in the shape of the helmets, which retain the nose piece shown in Group I. In general, it may be said that the chief change is in the elongation of the cheek piece, although one P die in the earlier Group, that of nos. 39 and 40 (facing 1.) anticipates this lengthening. Likewise, in most cases, the bowl is more sharply differentiated from the remainder of the helmet. The helmets themselves retain the close-fitting crests which seem to be exclusively northern; the articulation of the members may possibly represent (at least in some cases) an interpretation of the northern helmet by southern artists, or the form of the helmet itself may have undergone some modification at this time. One LP die, that used on the last coins of the H series (no. 107, Plate IX) deserves special mention. Here, a head, with the neck visible below, is shown in a helmet with a most peculiar crest, curving below the base of the neck. The die is of singular beauty and has no affinities among the reverses of the other light tetrobols. It does not recur in subsequent groups. This may have been the one die where a southern artist used a type of helmet, fanciful or otherwise, which pleased him as an artist, instead of modifying the regular type.
While the horses of the A series of light tetrobols call for no comment beyond the mention above of their advance in style over those of Group I, those of the H series are in a special category. (See Plate IX). They are a slim, wiry breed of horse, not at all like the stocky or rangy horse which is customary on Macedonian coins, with the sole possible exception of No. 44 in Group I (Plate V). Even here the similarity is not great. When in motion, and motion beyond the tentative raising of a forefoot is not characteristic of the horses on Alexander's coins, these horses spring forward in a manner that cannot be described as either prancing or galloping, since all four legs are angularly bent, the foreknees almost touching the chin. On the much later tetrobols of Perdikkas, when the regular Macedonian horses start prancing (Plates XII, 163, 164, 166-9, XIV, passim, and XV), then galloping (Plate XIII, 170-175), they do so in the manner one expects of a horse; these are quite different. Although the action is more violent, the horses themselves bear a close resemblance to those on the earlier staters of the Ichnaians, Orrheskians and Tyntenians (Plate II, 10, 11, 13), in pose and proportions. These coins have already been discussed in Chapter III. Their archaic style is not in evidence on these light tetrobols; the advance in technique is comparable to that of the remainder of Group II. The horses are so different from those on the A series of the same denomination that the one unlinked, anepigraphic, obverse die (that of no. 86, Plate VIII) automatically takes its place in the A series because of the style of the horse. 13
The style of the octobols (Plate VII) is very like that of the octadrachms. Nos. 66-68 may well be from a die cut by the artist of the octadrachm, no. 45. There is the same easy pose of both animal and man, the same slight forward tilt of the man's head, and the same soft folds of the chlamys at the neck. Nos. 69-72 are more like the octadrachms nos. 47-57, showing a smoothness of modelling, but a certain stiffness of pose. The A dies of the last three octobols, nos. 73-75, present a peculiarity which must be taken in connection with the two octobols illustrated on Plate VI, a and b, and the octadrachm no. 46. The latter two octobols have their obverses from the same die; one reverse has the Bisaltian ethnic, the other has the name of Mosses. 14
This group of A dies has the lower part of the attendant's chlamys visible below the body of the horse. All three (SA 7, SA 8, and that of the two on Plate VI, a and b, have various slight differences: that of those on Plate VI has a small attendant, with a rather long-bodied horse; the composition is not so well fitted to the field. That of no. 73 (SA 7) is the only die either of the octobols or the octadrachms where the attendant is taller than the horse, although the composition as a whole is better than that of the preceding die. The die of nos. 74 and 75 (SA 8) is the best and was, I believe, made by a foreign (southern) artist. It has the feature that was imitated on the octobols just mentioned, the chlamys hanging below the body of the horse, but it has a refinement which was not appreciated by the imitators. The horse is standing perfectly still; on the small compass of the octobol, this is a neater pose than the one suitable to the octadrachm, where the horse has his left forefoot raised. There is some question whether the arrangement of the octobols is justifiable, since the dies with the long chlamys, one possibly by a Greek, are put last. My confidence in the rapid response of Macedonian die-cutters to outside influence leads me to prefer this arrangement on the ground that the native artists would soon have seen effectiveness of the standing horse and would have made their dies accordingly. Since there is no wear on any of the linking P dies, the order could be changed, but there is no tangible, incontrovertible proof for either arrangement.
The octadrachm, no. 46, which is out of place anywhere in its series, looks like an attempt by a die-cutter who had more courage than skill to reproduce this type variant, for it is closely modelled after the die of nos. 74 and 75. It stands out among the octadrachms and has no compeers among the tetradrachms; its oddness is further emphasized by the fact that the spears are reversed. There is not the slightest reason for condemning the piece, which for all its awkwardness shows the vigor and originality always associated with northern artists, whatever their degree of skill. 15 The arrangement of the octadrachms whereby this coin is placed second in the series may be questioned in view of the fact that the octobols to which it is similar are placed at the end of their series. It has been done because with the exception of no. 45 and it (no. 46), the octadrachms are the work of the Macedonians, among which a little sequence dependent on the few linking dies is possible. Actually, it may be almost contempo- raneous with no. 53, the last before the waning moon symbol is added. The chart of die sequences at the end of Chapter IV shows how little of this series remains; consequently, any arrangement depends on intangibles. In this case, it seemed better to isolate no. 45, which is surely not by a Macedonian, and no. 46, which, although probably native, is quite unlike the others. If more coins come to light, a different order may be possible.
Before considering such meager evidence as there is for the duration of Group II, the relation between the peculiarities of the group and the events occurring in the north should be pointed out. At the beginning of this chapter, reference was made to Cimon's attack on Eion in 476/5; 16 there is no hint in Thucydides' abbreviated "Pentecontaetia" that Alexander was consulted or even informed in advance of Greek plans. The clue pointing in such a direction is the A die of the octadrachm no. 45. Since this obviously influenced the makers of the other dies, it was placed first; it is hard to account for the presence of an Athenian (or other Greek) artist in Macedonia at this time if Alexander was not transacting business with the Greeks and privy in their plans. So far as we know, the two regions were not in close contact with one another so early in the century; it looks as though the plan for the change in denominations and the importation of a southern artist were the result of some sort of planned cooperation between Alexander and the Greeks. In any case, whether these conclusions be justifiable or not - and if they are not, we have to assume that Alexander quite independently decided to be ready to work with the Athenians when they arrived - the coins themselves probably did not appear before Cimon and the fleet were in northern waters. Therefore, it is safe to date the beginning of the group in 476/5. This date (and, consequently, that of the end of Group I, 477/6) and that of the beginning of Group I in 480/79 are the only dates in the coinage of Alexander which can be fixed with any degree of assurance. The date of the end of Group II is hard to define and both beginning and closing date for Group III are somewhat arbitrary, as will be seen in Chapter VII.
From the coins, it seems that Alexander was reviving some portion, at least, of the old inter-tribal cooperation of the sixth century, which in the years of the Persian advance, notably 492 and following, had become a military alliance - probably only for defensive purpose. He succeeded in influencing the Bisaltians, the tribe over which Mosses ruled, the tribe represented by the H and the "foreign" horse, and possibly even the Edonians, to unite. These latter, who struck coins using the Apollo-Hermes types, lived a little above Eion on the Strymon (Thuc. I, 100); hence they would be concerned with Athenian action so near home. The probability of including the Edonians in the "alliance" is enhanced by the form of the letters on some of their octadrachms. These coins bear on the obverse the variety of the Apollo-Hermes type which shows two oxen and an attendant, who is presumably Hermes; 17 the type is thus similar to the form of the Ares type used always by the Bisaltians, with the ethnic on the obverse, used without an inscription earlier by the Macedonians (see Chapter III), and only here with Alexander's name. The form 18 of the A in the inscription on the reverse ΓEΤΑΣ BΑΣΙΛEΟ[Σ] HΔΟΝEΟΝ is the one which displaced the shortly after 479 on Macedonian coins and on various others in that area, and which is used on the coins of Acanthus, first inscribed at this time. 19 The earlier coins of the Edonians likewise have the form . It seems fair to conclude that Getas was a ruler of the Edonians contemporary with Alexander, who took part in the renewal of the old alliance revived to give assistance to the Delian League when its contingents moved north.
Some ten years after the liberation of Eion, the Athenians returned to the north to defeat the Thasians who had differed with them about the ownership of the mainland and the mines. Thucydides 20 states that at the same time the Athenians sent out 10,000 colonists from Athens and the allies to found a colony at Ennea Hodoi, on the Strymon, in Edonian territory. This action is generally dated in 465, 21 despite the statement of Diodorus that it took place directly after the release of Eion. Thucydides concludes his brief account of the first attempt at colonizing Amphipolis with the statement that the Athenians, after conquering at Ennea Hodoi, went thence inland and were utterly defeated by all the Thracians at Edonian Drabescus. There is no doubt that this abortive colony at Ennea Hodoi was as unpleasing to Alexander as to the Edonians. Of course, his realm did not yet extend beyond the Strymon, and we may be sure that any plans he may have had for such an extension were not known to Getas, but for other Greeks to seize land so close to him was as bad as having Persians in the vicinity. He would have felt doubly insulted, for he claimed Greek ancestry and was accepted as a Greek at the great sanctuaries of Delphi and Olympia.
It is of some significance that Thucydides, for all his brevity, mentions that the land was Edonian, but does not mention the king, and says that all the Thracians defeated the Athenians. In the first chapter, it was pointed out that the term "Thracian" and "Macedonian" were used rather indiscriminately by both Herodotus and Thucydides; thus the wording does not exclude Macedonians from participation in the conflict. This is the action of the revived tribal alliance, no longer cooperating with the Delian League, but opposed to its members. That Alexander was the prime mover is to be seen from the coins. The latest of his octadrachms (OA 13, 14, 15) carry in the upper left field the unusual symbol of the waning moon. This I take to be Alexander's way of making known his sentiments to the Athenians, who were at Thasos conducting a siege for two or three years after Drabescus. It was the symbol they had used to mark their defeat of the Persians, interlopers into their world. 22 Alexander used their own symbol to mark their defeat as interlopers into his world. 23
A curious aftermath of the two ventures of Cimon in the north comes out in Plutarch, 24 where the story of the charge of bribery is told. Plutarch states that when Cimon was accused of treason in 461, one of the charges against him was that he had taken a bribe not to invade Macedonia when he freed Eion. It can be conjectured that the Athenians, who felt keenly the defeat at Drabescus, willfully or otherwise confused the monetary assistance given Cimon by Alexander and the tribes in 476/5, and presumably for some time thereafter, with the continued issue of alliance coins and the defeat at Drabescus. It is in a sense the confirmation of the hypothesis that Alexander led the coalition in 465, since there is no hint in the ancient authorities that the plans of the Athenians in 476 included the annexation of Macedonian territory.
The terminal date for Group II is not readily apparent. I believe that the symbol on the octadrachms is to be dated after 465, but how much longer the issue lasted is quite indeterminable. The number of known dies, die combinations and specimens, and the die sequences cast no light on the matter. The die combinations are as follows:
|Denomination||P Dies||A Dies||Combinations||Specimens|
The evidence from this chart and from the die sequences (Chapter IV) shows how few remain from the two large denominations. Using as a criterion the proportion of three A dies to one P die (see Chapter IV), one can easily judge how large is the number of missing A dies. There is no clue to the number of missing P dies. If we add to this scanty die survival the circumstance that among the octadrachms one of the three links is that where one A die is used with three P dies (nos. 49-51), a sign of increased mint activity, it becomes clear that we have only fragmentary remains of a heavy issue. The fact that there are only two more specimens than die combinations is another indication that many dies or their combinations are lost. The rate of survival of the tetradrachms is somewhat better: there are eight combinations and eighteen specimens, but no significant links.
The smaller denominations are better represented. The octobols are entirely linked, the links including two occurrences of one P die with three A dies. The rate of twenty-four surviving specimens for ten combinations is quite high. In the two instances where one A die is used with two P dies (nos. 66, 67, and 74, 75) none of the punch dies is worn, which may well mean that they were used simultaneously. The H series of light tetrobols is almost as unrevealing as the two large denominations: an equal number of both dies and only three more specimens than combinations. However, the die links, with two instances of one A die used with three P dies (nos. 99-101 and 103-105), provide the series with almost complete linkage and furnish the same evidence of heavy striking as was indicated in the octadrachms. The A series of heavy tetrobols shows the clearest signs of heavy minting, and it may be that this issue, which provided convenient Attic change and which was stamped as Alexander's, was more heavily struck than any of the others. Six P dies and eighteen A dies, twenty combinations with twenty-nine specimens, one P die used with five, and another used with six A dies, all indicate a large issue. The incongruity of the evidence is too great for any assumption that all denominations were struck in such quantities as the A series of light tetrobols, and the remains make it difficult to judge the length of the period during which Group II was struck.
Possibly some such conclusion as this might be reached. In 476/5 the issue was begun with octadrachms (without the moon), tetradrachms (probably without the A), octobols, and both series of light tetrobols, the A series in larger numbers than the other. 25 At this time also the Bisaltian octobols