Almost every active collector of ancient coins meets from time to time with entirely unknown varieties, or with specimens whose types may present some slight but significant variation. A few such pieces, covering the less well known field of issues produced to the south and east of the Mediterranean Sea, have been chosen at random from his collection by the writer, and here described. To them have been added a few specimens whose types, though rare, are well known, but to which every added example may bring a little further understanding of the series as a whole.
Perhaps few of the coins presented here can boast of any very great importance in themselves, but it should be the scientific duty of every collector to make available a record of unusual pieces in his possession, in order that existing gaps in our numismatic material may be filled. The writer will be amply rewarded if even one of his specimens should prove of real assistance to some future student.
The large and interesting collection of coins, formed during his residence in Egypt by the late Llewellyn Phillips, M.D., passed after his death into the possession of Mr. Russell Burrage of Boston, Massachusetts. The Phillips' portion of Mr. Burrage's collection was later acquired by Mr. Wayte Raymond of this city. The present writer wishes here to express his appreciation for the permission readily granted by Mr. Raymond to look through numerous small boxes in which Dr. Phillips had once stored miscellaneous bronze coins and which apparently had not since been disturbed. The majority of these coins were in a more or less badly corroded state and consisted largely of Ptolemaic issues, Alexandrian coinages of the Imperial period, late Roman Imperial of the fourth century A.D., early Byzantine and Arabic coins. Many specimens were so corroded that they were quite illegible, or nearly so. Some of the more promising were cleaned by the writer in the hope of finding unusual or interesting varieties, and the sequel shows that the time thus spent was not entirely wasted. Among the half-dozen Cyrenaic coins found was the following piece, which appears to be an unpublished variety.
|1 ΑΜΜΩ, above laureate head of Apollo to l. Behind, ear of barley. The whole in circle of dots.||(Κ)-ϒ on either side of a silphium plant. To r., ear of barley. Circle of dots. Bronze.→. Gr. 8.82. The coin must have lost considerable weight in cleaning.|
In both style and fabric, the coin fits in with the series of bronze pieces assigned by Mr. E. S. G. Robinson 1 to circa 375–308 B.C. On our coin, however, Apollo's head faces to the l., and behind it is to be seen a symbol. The accompanying magistrate's name reads ΑΜΜΩ, perhaps the same person who signed only AM on the smaller denomination, (Cyrenaica, p. 45, No. 197, Pl. XIX, 9).
In the parcel of coins secured from the heirs of Richard Norton, 2 there were included a number of copper coins of common Cyrenaic types, both autonomous and Ptolemaic. Among these was the present specimen, but covered on each side with so thick and hard a layer of corrosion that it was absolutely illegible. At that time the writer was not versed in the art of cleaning copper, and because of the coin's shape believed it to be merely one of the early, thick pieces of Cyrene. He therefore laid it aside. Recently, in clearing out an old box of miscellaneous accumulations, he came across it once more; and having in the meanwhile learned from Dr. Fink's work3 the best means of cleaning such unpromising material, he proceeded to put it through the electrolytic process. Imagine his delighted astonishment when, after due time, the types gradually appeared and the name of Thibron, that reckless, unscrupulous and ill-starred adventurer, could be clearly read.
|2 Head of young Heracles to l., wearing lion's skin, in circle of dots.||ΘΙΒΡΩ between spear head to r. and club to l. Below, uncertain monogram or symbol (?). Circle of dots around. Bronze. Gr. 8.51. ↑↓.|
The story of Thibron is so well known that it hardly requires repetition here. A follower of Harpalos, Alexander the Great's absconding treasurer, Thibron first appears on the scene in Crete, whither Harpalos, after escaping from Athens, had led the fleet and army gathered together by the lure of his stolen gold. Thither also came certain political exiles from the Cyrenaica who joined the assembled group of mercenaries, disbanded soldiers and cut-throats, officered by a choice selection of like-minded "gentlemen of fortune." Such a band of adventurers, with all to gain and little to lose, if boldly led could effect much in turbulent times. The news of Alexander's death in distant Babylon had now reached the west. All restraint seemed thus removed; power and wealth lay in the grasp of any bold and persuasive spirit who was willing to dare all and to look not too closely at the means employed. Just such a person was Thibron. He now assassinated his master, and putting himself at the head of the assembled force, set sail for Cyrene to seek fame, fortune and a kingdom.
The district of the Cyrenaica at this time was, as usual, torn by bitter factional strife. The invaders landed, and after varying successes managed to seize Apollonia, the port of Cyrene, and even to besiege the capital. The towns of Barce and Euhesperides, seeing their chance, joined the marauders. Thibron proclaimed himself king. But fortune was fickle; Mnesicles, one of Thibron's officers, quarrelled with his chief over the spoils and deserted to the Cyrenaeans into whom he fused new courage. Help was also sent from Carthage, but their combined forces were routed by Thibron who again laid siege to the city. In desperation at this new misfortune, the Cyrenaeans appealed for help to Ptolemy, recently established in his satrapy of Egypt. The Lagide gladly grasped at this unexpected opportunity to add so wealthy and important a province to his dominions, and despatched his ablest general, Ophelias, with a body of troops to the aid of the hard-pressed Cyrenaeans. Ophelias was completely successful, Thibron's army was routed and dispersed, the adventurer himself captured and crucified at Apollonia, and the Cyrenaica pacified and incorporated with Ptolemy's Egyptian possessions.
The types chosen by Thibron for his short-lived coinage are strongly Alexandrine in character, although the style and fabric are clearly those of contemporaneous Cyrenaic bronze issues. 4 The head of young Heracles recurs on Alexander the Great's prolific silver and bronze coinages. The scheme of the reverse design is also definitely Alexandrine, although the usual bowcase is here replaced by the spear head. It is most unfortunate that the monogram or symbol on the reverse remains illegible, thus depriving us for the moment of a possible indication of the mint in which the coin was once struck. Apollonia, as the base of Thibron's operations against Cyrene, is a possible suggestion. Euhesperides might also be suggested, for this city coined more extensively in bronze than did Barce, the other Cyrenaic community which had supported Thibron's cause. It was also at Euhesperides where was located the scene of one of Heracles' labors, and its mint is known to have struck autonomous bronze coins with the Hero's head as their obverse type. 5 But for our particular coin, the choice of types is far more likely to have been due to the widespread influence of Alexander's issues (as is especially suggested by the scheme of its reverse design) than to any merely local reason.
The unexpected appearance of a coin bearing the name of Thibron adds another element to the controversy, once so popular among scholars, regarding the person to whom should be assigned the Θιβρώνειον νόμισμα of Photius' Lexicon, 6 —whether to Thibron the Spartan harmost of the early fourth century, or to Thibron the adventurer in Cyrene. The last word had remained with Ernest Babelon who argued 7 ably in favor of the former. The other side of the controversy was brilliantly sustained by Théodore Reinach in his L'histoire par les monnaies, pp. 257–260, where he marshals some telling arguments in favor of Thibron the condottiere of Alexander's age, as against the Spartan Thibron of the fifth century B.C.
One of Reinach's principal arguments is based on a neglected passage in Pollux where the expression Θιβρώνειον (νόμισμα) occurs in the middle of a group of names designating bad or forged coins, in con- trast to certain well-known and everywhere acceptable money previously mentioned. Most other commentators had overlooked this particular passage because it occurs in only two manuscripts and was omitted in the best (Bekker's) edition of Pollux. Reinach therefore argues that "Thibronian money" must mean a particularly bad kind of money, probably some fourrée or debased coins issued by Thibron when in dire need of funds with which to pay his mercenaries. Our coin can scarcely be a specimen of this supposedly "bad" money of Thibron's, for otherwise its types would have imitated some well known coin of precious metal, and not merely a copper coin of Alexander. But so long as no actual coin, bearing the name of Thibron, was offered in evidence, the question remained, at best, rather academic. Today we actually do possess such a coin, and as it comes from the Cyrenaica and as in types, style and fabric it can only belong to the Thibron of Cyrenaic fame, the scales are now heavily weighted in his favor.
On the other hand, Photius, or his original sources, would hardly have honored a mere copper coin by mention—but the fact that such a coin actually exists, renders likely a further assumption that silver (and even gold) coins had also once been coined by Thibron. For by the time he arrived in Africa perhaps little remained of Harpalos' stolen five-thousand talents of gold. "Money talks", especially to mercenaries and adventurers of the kind gathered about Thibron; and it would be surprising indeed if he had not commenced to coin at the earliest possible moment. He could not have depended merely upon such money as was to be found in Cyrene. But Ophelias, when he had finally secured the entire province for Ptolemy, would have been at especial pains to gather in all the adventurer's issues and melt them down for immediate recoinage. To date, only one (?) modest copper piece appears to have escaped. Further scientific excavations at Apollonia, Barce, Euhesperides, or even in our museums, may bring more to light.
The discovery of No. 2 seems to save from an apparently undeserved oblivion a similar coin first published by Pellerin, Recueil de médailles de peuples et de villes, Vol. I, pp. 164-165, Plate XXVI, 13. He there pictures it as having a helmeted head of Athena on the obverse and on the reverse the letters ΘΙΒΡΩ horizontally placed between a spear head and a club, the reverse thus being identical with that of our own coin. Pellerin assigned the piece to Thibros, a town supposedly in Thessaly 7a and mentioned only by Stephanus Byzantinus after Lycophron. Mionnet in his first edition, Vol. II, p. 24, No. 171, accepts Pellerin's description and attribution, but in the Supplement, Vol. III, p. 308, sees fit to place a query after the name. Perhaps he was led to this hesitancy by Eckhel's sceptical remark concerning the attribution, nescio an satis tuto, in his Doctrina numorum veterum, Vol. II, p. 150. Sestini, too, felt dubious with regard to the piece, for he mentions it only in the second portion of his Classes generales which is devoted to uncertain or erroneous attributions. On p. 130 he even says est suspectus, though it is not clear whether he here refers to the attribution or to the coin itself, probably to the former because, previously, on p. 32, he states that he had seen another similar coin in Cousinery's collection.
In the Annali of the Deutsches archäologisches Institut in Rom, 1839, p. 278, Pl. R, 8, H. Hase publishes a little coin from Baron Stackelberg's collection which he mistakenly likens to the above mentioned piece described by Pellerin and Mionnet. It is, however, merely a misread copper coin of Boeotia of the fourth century B.C. with a Heracles (not Athena, as believed by Hase) head to right on the obverse, and on the reverse the usual club and Boeotian shield accompanied by the letters of a magistrate's name. It is only to this piece that Friedlaender-Weil give a reference in their Repertorium zur antiken Numismatik, p. 162. In fact, no reference is there given to any other printed discussion of the Pellerin piece; and the coin seems, by this time, to have disappeared completely from scientific literature. Nor does so comprehensive a work as the first edition of Head's Historia Numorum make any mention of it. Even the many scholars (i. e., Mommsen, Lenormant, Babelon, Reinach, and others) who have discussed the Θιβρώνειον νόμισμα ignore or are unaware of so promising an object as a coin bearing the letters ΘΙΒΡΩ.
That the coin described by Pellerin must have been an actual piece, and not a figment of his imagination, is proved by the remarkable similarity between its reverse type, as pictured on his plate, and the reverse of the coin before us, brought directly from the Cyrenaica. His specimen differs from ours in its obverse type—an Athena head to r. instead of a Heracles head to l. It is possible that his coin may have been so damaged on the obverse that he misinterpreted the design, although he actually describes (p. 165) the piece as bien conservée. He does not give the size, but Mionnet states it to be 4½ according to his scale—which is also the exact diameter of our piece. The fact that Mionnet alone gives the size suggests that he actually had the coin itself before him, and it may thus still exist in the French national collection. It would be interesting if the authorities of the Cabinet des Médailles should succeed in rediscovering so interesting a coin. It well deserves being saved from scientific forgetfulness.
|7a||K. Ziegler, in Pauly-Wissowa, 2nd Series, Vol. VI, p. 277, follows Meineke in placing the town in Caria.|
|1||British Museum Catalogue, Cyrenaica, Nos. 180-186, Pl. XVIII, 9–17.|
|2||Brit. Mus. Cat., Cyrenaica, p. cvii, footnote.|
|3||Dr. Colin Fink, The Restoration of Ancient Bronzes and Other Alloys, New York, 1925.|
|4||Aside from the typical thick, heavy flan, note what Mr. Robinson, in speaking of other heads of Heracles on Cyrenaic coinages (loc, cit., p. xciv) calls "the Libyan character of the profile with its prominent frontal bone paralleled on heads of Ammon and Carneius."|
|5||Brit. Mus. Cat., Cyrenaica, p. cxciii, Nos. 5 bis a and b; p. 126, No. 5 bis, Plate XLVI, 10-12.|
|6||Cf. Hultsch, Metrol. Scriptorum reliquiae, Vol. I, p. 329.|
|7||La monnaie Thibronienne, in Mélanges numismatiques, 2nd Ser., 1893, pp. 313–322 (reprint of an original article in the Revue des Études grecques, 1893, Vol. VI). Cf., also. Traité des monnaies grecques,l Vol. I, pp. 474–479.|
Among the Norton coins was also the following, bearing straight Alexander types.
|3 Head of young Heracles to r., wearing lion's skin, in circle of dots.||ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ between club to l. and bow in case to r. Above, Εϒ. Bronze. Gr. 3.09. ↑↑.|
The presence of this piece among others which had definitely come from the Cyrenaica, almost presupposes its coinage in that particular district. However, it was not until after cleaning that there became legible the magistrate's initials which so closely link it to the Cyrenaica. In the quality and details of its style, it is not unlike the Alexandrine tetradrachms correctly assigned to Cyrene by Mr. Robinson.8 In this regard, as well as in its inscription which consists of the royal title only, our coin resembles the didrachm of Cyrenaic types given to the reign of Magas, 308–277 B.C. 9 For comparative purposes, a specimen of this type in the author's collection is reproduced on Plate I, A. Mr. Robinson assigns 10 this didrachm to the mint at Euhesperides, because of the apple-branch symbol in the field. Following this suggestion, the letters Εϒ on our bronze coin may be taken as the initials of that mint, rather than those of some magistrate—although the magistrates Εϒ, ΕϒΑ and ΕϒΦΡΙ do occur on other Cyrenaic coins of the last quarter of the fourth century B.C. Finally, it may be remarked, the careful style and neatness of manufacture of our coin point to a somewhat later date than the coin of Thibron, which in this regard more closely resembles the preceding autonomous copper.
|8||Brit. Mus. Cat., Cyrenaica, pp. cxxxix-cxl, 72, Nos. 1-2, Pl. XXVIII, 3-4.|
|9||Ibid., p. 55, No. 260, Pl. XXIV, 7.|
|10||Ibid., p. cxvi.|
Among the better preserved coins in Dr. Phillips' collection occurred the following specimen.
|4 ΒΑΣΙΛ above jerboa to l, in circle of dots.||Crab. Bronze. ↑←. Gr. 2.57.|
Its types clearly associate the coin with the similar rare pieces described by Mr. Robinson,11 but the magistrates' names ΕϒΑ and ΣΩΣΙ are here replaced by the title ΒΑΣΙΛ. This abbreviated title appears to link our piece with the above-mentioned didrachm (Plate I, A) bearing the inscription ΒΑΣΙ and the apple-branch symbol. As previously stated, this symbol has induced Mr. Robinson to suggest the assignment of the didrachm to the mint at Euhesperides, while the jerboa-crab coins belong to Cyrene itself because of the magistrates' names which they bear. Those with the letters ΕϒΑ depict the crab within a dotted circle on the obverse, the jerboa facing to the r. within another dotted circle on the reverse. Our coin, on the other hand, places the jerboa to the l. on the obverse, while the crab lacks the dotted circle and is on the reverse. In these respects, No. 4 exactly resembles the coins with ΣΩΣΙ. In point of fact, the writer is convinced that his coin and the Berlin specimen, reproduced by Mr. Robinson on Plate XXV, 24, of his catalogue, are actually from the same pair of dies. If that be the case, then the letters ΣΩΣΙ must have been misread for ΒΑΣΙΛ. The letters are none too clear in the reproduction, and a further damage to the Berlin specimen at this particular spot renders the proposed emendation highly probable.
|11||Brit. Mus. Cat., Cyrenaica, p. cviii, Nos. 285 a–d, Pl. XXV, 22–24.|
The great hoard of archaic silver staters, which was unearthed at Larnaca in July, 1933, has considerably enriched the list of known Cypriote varieties and enlarged our knowledge of the island's early numismatic history—thanks to the able description and study of the find made by Mr. P. Dikaios and Mr. E. S. G. Robinson.12 As stated by Mr. Dikaios, not all of the pieces found could be secured by the local authorities and many were surreptitiously sent out of the island. Over a year ago, upwards of a hundred pieces from the hoard were brought to the American Numismatic Society by two Cypriotes and offered for sale. No purchases were made as the lot contained no unusual varieties 13 and the owners had very exalted ideas as to their value.
Recently the writer purchased a small lot of seven staters 14 from a traveller who claimed to have received the coins from Cyprus. Their surface corrosion and general appearance correspond exactly with the other coins in the hoard and there is little doubt that they once were in the Larnaca find. Only the two following are worthy of mention here, as they are better preserved than the single specimen described by Mr. Dikaios and so furnish us with the means of definitely assigning them to their original mint, Citium.
|5 Bearded head to r. wearing a crested Attic helmet.||above These letters are to the l. of Heracles advancing to r., wearing lion-skin over head and hanging down back. He holds a bow in his outstretched l. and brandishes a club in his upraised r.; the whole within a square dotted frame in an incuse square. Stater. Gr. 11.07.|
|6 From the same die as the preceding.||From the same die as the preceding. Stater. Gr. 10.56.|
Both coins are from the same dies used for the specimen first published by Mr. Dikaios, No. 530, Pl. XV, 8. By a most fortunate chance the flan of No. 5 is slightly larger than usual and, in consequence, has received the complete impression of the obverse die,—more so than either No. 6 or the coin published by Mr. Dikaios. This fact now enables us to ascertain definitely that the obverse type does not represent Heracles, 15 as was hesitatingly suggested by Mr. Robinson. The full outline of the helmet's crest is quite clear. With such a coin as No. 5 before us, it is also easy to recognize certain characteristic features of the helmet, not only on No. 6 but also on the coin published in the Numismatic Chronicle. Therefore we cannot have Heracles before us, but must recognize in the helmeted head a probable representation of the giant (Geryon?)—as Mr. Robinson at first correctly surmised.
Furthermore, the slightly sharper impression of the reverse die on our coins enables us to secure another bit of information. In his description of the similar stater from the Larnaca hoard, Mr. Dikaios says 16 of the reverse: "no trace of possible letter." We can now ascertain that what he doubt- less mistook for further portions of the lion-skin behind Heracles' back are actually the Phoenician letters and the one above the other. The happy presence of these letters assures us that the mint of these coins must have been Citium. For and can hardly be aught else but the initials of that is Melek Kition, King of Citium. This now enables us to assign the entire group, 17 of which Nos. 5 and 6 are obviously the final issue, to that important mint, an attribution that the characteristic Heracles types of their reverses would presuppose. Thus is bridged that evident stylistic gap existing between the earliest (one-sided) issues 18 of this important city and the later prolific coinages bearing the name of Baalmelek I. 19 The striding Heracles on the reverse of our coins is the direct prototype of the similar figure which constitutes the obverse type of the vast majority of the coins struck at Citium from Baalmelek I (479-449 B.C.) to Pumiathon (361-312 B.C.). The attribution also modifies the curious anomaly that otherwise a large hoard found in Larnaca, the ancient Citium itself, contained but three specimens of that flourishing city's coinages.
|12||Numismatic Chronicle, 5th Ser., Vol. XV, 1935, pp. 165–190.|
|13||The lot comprised only three main types: Mr. Dikaios' Nos. 4–30 (Idalium), 47–160 (Lapethus) and 187–426 (Paphus).|
|14||Comprising 2 Lapethus (Dikaios Nos. 47–160), 2 Paphus (Dikaios Nos. 187–426), 1 Salamis (Dikaios Nos. 477–505) and 2 Citium (Dikaios No. 530).|
|15||Mr. Dikaios, p. 174, No. 530, contents himself with merely calling the obverse type a "bearded head," while Mr. Robinson, p. 186, states: "it is tempting to … call the head here …. that of the giant. Otherwise it is perhaps Herakles again, though the lion-skin head-dress might have been expected to show more clearly."|
|16||Ibid., p. 174, No. 530.|
|17||Mr. Dikaios' Nos. 526-530.|
|18||Brit. Mus. Cat., Cyprus, Pl. II, 7 and Dikaios, Nos. 1–3, Pl. XIII, 1.|
|19||Ibid., Pl. II, 8–12.|
The interesting story of Demonicus, so far as it can be pieced together from our scanty materials, has been most interestingly worked out by Ernest Babelon 20 and accepted by Sir George Hill. 21 Son of an eminent Athenian emigré, Demonicus for a short period, and under circumstances we can only guess at, made himself king of Citium. Doubtless this could only have taken place during the years 388–387 B.C. when the Athenian general Chabrias controlled the affairs of Cyprus. In the long series of typically oriental coinages of the Phoenician kings of Citium, the very rare issues of Demonicus distinguish themselves by their fine, free Attic style and the Athenian influence which dictated the character and choice of their obverse types. The scarcity and interest of his coins in general will be sufficient apology for describing the following two specimens, the second of which appears to present an as yet unpublished variety and denomination.
|7 Athena, wearing crested Attic helmet, standing to front, head l.; r. resting on spear, l. holding shield, in circle of dots.||Heracles, wearing lion's skin fastened around neck and hanging down behind, advancing to r., wielding club in r. and holding bow in out-stretched|
|l. In front, ankh; the whole contained in an incuse square. Diobol. Gr. 1.57.|
|8 Athena, wearing crested Attic helmet, standing to front, head r.; r. arm bent, hand resting on hip; with l. holding spear horizontally over l. shoulder, in circle of dots.||Heracles, bearded and nude, walking to r.; holding club in lowered r. and bow in his outstretched l.; over l. forearm hangs the lion's skin. The whole contained in an incuse square.|
|Obol. Gr. 0.79.|
The first of these pieces is similar to ones already described by both Babelon and Hill. The second piece, however, is entirely new for the issues of Demonicus, both as to its denomination and the details of its types. That it certainly belongs to those issues is proved by its style and fabric, by its choice of types (standing Athena on the obverse, Heracles on the reverse), and by the close stylistic affinities between all these figures on the coins of Demonicus, however much their individual poses may differ. Incidentally, the obol reached the author in a lot composed of Cypriote coins exclusively.
As is the case with the now famous and practically contemporaneous stater of Timocharis of Paphos, 22 we may perhaps have before us, in these two divergent but statuesque Athena types, representations of well known statues of the goddess in distant Athens.
|20||Mélanges Numismatiques, II, pp. 71 f.; Perses Achémenides, pp. cxxxi f.; Traité 2, Vol. II, pp. 747 f.|
|21||Brit. Mus. Cat., Cyprus, pp. xxxvii f.; Historical Greek Coins, p. 68.|
|22||Brit. Mus. Cat., Cyprus, pp. lxxiv-lxxvi, 43, No. 45, Pl. VIII, 7; Babelon, Traité 2, Vol. II, pp. 793–798.|
|9 Struck from an extremely worn die which once probably bore the representation of a lion's head to r.||in front of a bull's head and neck to r.; the whole in a dotted frame in an incuse square. Stater. Gr. 11.00.|
Within two years of the discovery of the Larnaca treasure two Cypriote staters reached the author from Damascus. They also bear every evidence of having once formed part of that great hoard. The one is a stater of Idalium similar to Brit. Mus. Catalogue, Cyprus, P1. V, 6–8: the other is the coin described above. This particular variety is not listed by Mr. Dikaios as among the specimens known to have been in the hoard, but he does publish somewhat similar types 23 obviously struck in the same mint. Nor is our coin a new variety, for almost exactly similar pieces have been described by Babelon 24 and Sir George Hill. 25 Babelon here combats Hill's reading of the inscription as Βα Ϝα and proposes, instead, Bα E. This emendation is made certain by the present example whose second sign is a quite orthodox Cypriote E. Unfortunately the attribution to Golgi, proposed by Six, 26 is as uncertain as Babelon's assignment to a supposed King Eunostos I (?) of Soli.
|23||Numismatic Chronicle, 5th. Ser., Vol. XV, 1935, p. 174, Nos. 533–546, Pl. XVI, 1–5.|
|24||Traité 2, Vol. II, p. 814, No. 1348, Pl. CXXXVI, 6. Cf. also ibid., Vol. I, p. 615, No. 968, Pl. XXVII, 15 (from the same obverse die as No. 9 ?).|
|25||Brit. Mus. Cat., Cyprus, p. 69, No. 4, Pl. XIII, 8.|
Early in 1931, there were received from Damascus two of the coins described below, followed a little later by the third. They obviously had come from a single find, as their surfaces were absolutely uniform in appearance: with a thin purplish-black corrosion accompanied by patches of verdigris. What else the hoard may once have contained, and when or where it had been found, could not be ascertained in spite of a considerable amount of correspondence. Certainly, it had come to light somewhere in northern Syria, but closer than that it was impossible to get. As it seems useless to delay any longer, the three coins are here described in the hope that perhaps some collector or museum official may have additional information at his disposal.
|26||Numismatic Chronicle, 3rd Ser., Vol. XVII, 1897, pp. 206 f.|
|10 Head of Athena to r., wearing an ear-drop and an elaborately decorated and crested Attic helmet. In the field is the following counterstamp:||ΗΡΑΚΛΕΩΤΩΝ above club to r., beneath which are the two monograms and flanking a winged figure of Nike advancing to l., holding a wreath in her outstretched r. The whole is surrounded by an oak wreath.|
|Tetradrachm. Gr. 14.35.|
|11 Similar head to r. In field the same counterstamp.||Similar to the preceding, except that the two monograms are and Slightly double-struck. Tetradrachm. Gr. 15.23.|
|12 Head of Athena to r. with corkscrew curls, wearing laureate, crested Attic helmet. In the field is the same counterstamp as on the preceding pieces.||ΛΕΒΕΔΙΩΝ above an owl facing and standing upon a club, flanked by two crossed cornucopiae bound with taenias. Below, ΑΠΟΛΛΟΔΟΤΟΣ. The whole is surrounded by a laurel wreath. Tetradrachm. Gr. 13.70.|
The types of these autonomous tetradrachms of Heraclea and Lebedus have long been known. The monograms on the former, as well as the magis- trate's name Άππολόδοτος on the latter, are all familiar. The really novel feature presented by the coins before us, lies in the curious counterstamp which each of them bears on its obverse. These counterstamps were apparently produced by two different punches—one being used for Nos. 10 and 11, another for No. 12. In detail of design, however, they are identical. In a shallow oval incuse is depicted a tall, pointed Macedonian helmet to l., with spike at the top and wide brims below, from which depend two cheek-pieces. The helmet is further adorned, in front, with a tall, curved ibex horn, while beneath the brim may be discerned two fluttering diadem-ends. Above, on the right, is a large letter, beta. In all Greek numismatics there exists only one helmet which exactly corresponds to this, the well-known helmet with which the Syrian usurper Tryphon adorned the reverses of his silver and bronze coins struck at Antioch. 27 That in the present case the helmet is meant to be a royal one, is evidenced by the dependent diadem ends, and is further suggested by the accompanying beta, surely the initial letter of the royal title, βασιλεύς.
The counterstamp was probably impressed upon these coins after Tryphon had finally done away with the little Antiochus (whose regent he had been) and proclaimed himself king in his stead. 28 It doubtless dates from the very commencement of his reign, before there was time to cut dies and strike his own tetradrachms. But money was an instant necessity in order to establish his bold and open bid for power, and to bind the soldiery 29 and influential people at once to his cause. Whatever foreign coin chanced to lie in the royal treasury was thus stamped with the minimum of delay, to accompany the proclamation of his usurpation. Probably even earlier royal Seleucid money was also counter-stamped, for Tryphon was envisaging a new dynasty; but, if so, none has as yet been recorded.
So far as the writer is aware, only one other specimen of this "emergency" issue of Tryphon's is to be found in numismatic literature. Sir George Macdonald has published a tetradrachm of Heraclea, exactly like our No. 11, in his Catalogue of the Hunterian Collection in Glasgow, Vol. II, p. 345, No. 1, Pl. LI, 2. But the counterstamp on this particular specimen is contained in a square frame. Macdonald described the object as a Macedonian helmet adorned with feathers. The fact that the letter beta was illegible and the characteristic ibex horn was mistaken for a feather, prevented his recognizing the obvious connection between this object and the special insignia adopted by the usurper Tryphon.
|27||Cf. Newell, The Seleucid Coinage of Antioch, in The American Journal of Numismatics, Vol. LI, 1917, pp. 67-73, Pl. IX, Nos. 259–262.|
|28||E. R. Bevan, The House of Seleucus, Vol. II, pp. 230-1; A. Bouché-Leclercq, Histoire des Séleucides, Vol. I, p. 367.|
|29||As expressly stated by Josephus, XIII, 7, 1.|
|13 Youthful, draped male bust to r. wearing diademed bonnet adorned with an embroidered design: Fillet border.||ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ on r., ΑΡΣΑΜΟϒ on 1.|
|Bearded figure of Heracles, nude, standing facing, r. hand outstretched, l. holding club upright. Bronze. Gr. 4.93.|
At least two coins of a King Arsames have long been known. 30 The obverse of our piece resembles the known coins in all essential details; the reverse, on the other hand, presents a new type, that of a standing Heracles. Although rarely appearing on Armenian coins, 31 the hero must have played a prominent rôle in Armenian folklore, according to the fabulous stories which once passed for serious history in the pages of Moses of Chorene and Pseudo-Agathangelos. 32
Babelon agrees with Langlois 33 and Peilerin 34 in assigning the known coins to the Arsames who, as Arsabes, is mentioned by Polyaenus 35 as having been a friend of Antiochus Hierax, and dates these coins to circa 230 B.C. In the eastern part of the Taurus range, on the topmost pinnacle of Nimrud-Dagh, Antiochus I of Commagene erected a magnificent monument 36 in honor of himself, his ancestors and the gods whom he especially revered. Among the bas-reliefs of the East Terrace, which comprise the images of his Persian and Armenian ancestors, the tenth panel was dedicated to a "King Arsames, son of King Samos," as read by Puchstein. 37 But the damaged inscription gives only ΒΑΣΙΛΕΑ ΡΣΑ (?)——ΤΟΝ ΕΚ Β———ΣΑΜΟϒ, and Puchstein, himself, suggests 38 that the father's name could almost equally well be read Arsames, instead of Samos. Théodore Reinach 39 and Dittenberger 40 adopt the second reading, which gives us two Armenian kings, father and son, both bearing the name Arsames. Puchstein equates his Arsames, son of Samos, with the Arsabes of Polyaenus and friend of Antiochus Hierax (247–227 B.C., mistakenly given by Puchstein as 247–222 B.C.), and supports his belief by the following calculations. The fifth panel of the ancestor series on the East Terrace of Nimrud-Dagh bears the name of Aroandes, son of Artasura, who married Rhodogune, daughter of the Achaemenid king Artaxerxes Mnemon. Now this Aroandes is better known to us from Xenophon and other Greek writers as the Orontes, satrap of Armenia and the son-in-law of Artaxerxes Mnemon, who played a leading part in Persian history in the early fourth century, B.C. As Arsames occupies the tenth panel, Puchstein assumes that he must represent the fifth generation from Orontes and so, allowing the usual thirty years to each generation, supposes his floreat to have been early in the last half of the third century B.C.
So far, everything, the coins, the historical reference in Polyaenus and the ancestor panels of Nimrud-Dagh appear to support each other very well indeed. But a closer inspection of the coins themselves arouses some doubt. Their style and fabric, especially those of our No. 13, appear a little late for the mid-third century. Especially disturbing is the fillet border which surrounds the obverses. On Seleucid coins, this ornament first appears some years after 41 the commencement of the reign of Antiochus III (223-187 B.C.). It is hardly likely that so striking an innovation in a coin design should have first appeared on the issues of a petty king, residing in a mountainous and out-of-the-way canton such as Armenia, only to be later copied on the coinages of the great Seleucid empire. The inverse order is practically certain to have been the true one. In that case, we should perhaps accept Reinach's theory that in the third century B.C. there had actually existed two Armenian kings by the name of Arsames, a father and a son. If the first were the Arsabes mentioned by Polyaenus, then the second, his son and successor, could well have lived in the time of Antiochus III. To this second Arsames might be assigned the coins, which must then be dated not earlier than circa 215 B.C. This date, on the one hand, suits better their style, fabric and the presence of the fillet border, while, on the other hand, it still leaves room for that Orontes, mentioned by Strabo, 42 whose lands were divided by two of Antiochusthe Great's generals, Artaxias and Zariadris. This partition of the country took place before 190 B.C., for Strabo expressly states 43 that after the battle of Magnesia, the two sided with the Romans and were acknowledged as independent kings.
But, even so, there remains yet another disturbing factor as presented by the coins of Arsames. The form of the king's bonnet seems out of place in the third century B.C. Such bonnets were either flat-topped, like those worn by Ariaramnes 44 and Ariarathes 45 of Cappadocia, by Ariarathes of Tyana and Morima, 46 Sari … (or Dsari …) of Morima and Anisa, 46 and by some earlier kings of Persis, 47 or pointed, as on the earliest coins of the Arsacid kings. 48 In striking contrast, the bonnet of Arsames is taller and more nearly square in shape. 49 It certainly far more nearly resembles those worn by Antiochus I of Commagene (69–34 B.C.) 50 and by Tigranes the Great of Armenia (97–56 B.C.) and his successors. 51 All of these later bonnets, including that found on No. 13, are ornamented on their sides with embroidered designs which is not the case with any of the earlier bonnets until the reign of Mithra-dates II of Parthia (123–94 B.C.). This distinctly suggests that the Arsames of the coins should be placed well down in the second, and not in the third century B.C. There is ample room for him among the extremely fragmentary lists of the kings of Armenia and Sophene. 52
|30||For a description, with references to earlier literature, cf. E. Babelon, Rois de Syrie, etc., p. cxciii, p. 211, Pl. XXIX, 2.|
|31||The writer knows only of the present instance and of a bronze coin issued by Tigranes the Great.|
|32||It is also to be remembered that Antiochus I of Commagene, proud of his Perso-Armenian ancestry and traditions, erected on Nimrud-Dagh a monument of which the principal feature consisted of gigantic statues dedicated to himself, to Zeus-Oromasdes, to Mithra-Apollo-Helios, to the Tyche of Commagene, and to Artagnes-Heracles-Ares. Accompanying them were also five great bas-reliefs honoring the same five deities. Both statues and basreliefs depict Heracles holding his club upright with his l. hand, very much as he does on the coin described here. On the Armenian Vahagn, or Heracles, cf. P. de Lagarde in Göttingen Nachrichten, 1886, p. 148 ff.|
|33||Numismatique de l'Arménie, p. 12.|
|34||Lettres, etc., p. 80.|
|35||Polyaenus IV, 17.|
|36||Humann und Puchstein, Reisen in Kleinasien und Nordsyrien, pp. 232-353.|
|37||Ibid., p. 285. Cf., also, Pauly-Wissowa, Supplementband IV, pp. 980-983.|
|38||Ibid., p. 286.|
|39||L'histoire par les monnaies, p. 239, note 3.|
|41||Newell, The Seleucid Mint of Antioch, in the American Journal of Numismatics, Vol. LI, 1917, pp. 6–7.|
|42||XI. 14, 15.|
|43||XI, 14, 5 and 15.|
|44||Regling, Zeitschrift für Numismatik, Vol. XLII, 1935, Pl. I, 1a-5b.|
|45||Newell, Some Unpublished Coins of Eastern Dynasts, Numismatic Notes and Monographs, No. 30, p. 15, No. 13, Pl. II. The author, unfortunately, overlooked a similar piece which had previously been published by Dr. Joseph Scholz in Numismatische Zeitschrift, Vol. XXXIII, 1901, p. 47, No. 96, Pl. VII, who also assigns it to Cappadocia, but to Ariaramnes.|
|46||Regling, loc. cit., Pl. I, 6–11.|
|47||British Museum Catalogue, Arabia etc., Pls. XXVIII-XXX.|
|48||British Museum Catalogue, Parthia, P1. I.|
|49||Perhaps slightly less square on his horseman coins, more so on our No. 13.|
|50||Babelon, Rois de Syrie, etc., Pl. XXX, 5.|
|51||Ibid., P1. XXIX, Nos. 8–20.|
|14 Head of king to r., wearing tall, pointed "satrapal" bonnet ending in a "button."||ΒΑΙΛΕΩ ΑΡΣΑΜΟϒ (?) in two lines above a winged thunderbolt. Below, several uncertain letters.|
|Bronze. Gr. 3.62. ↑↑.|
At the outset it must be stated that the form, as here given, of this unknown prince's name is far from certain. Only the last four letters, Α Μ Ο ϒ, are clear. Of the first letter in the name, only a right-hand, sloping stroke (\) still exists on the coin. The second letter appears to be an upright stroke enlarged at the top, something like which could have been intended for a rho. The third letter, damaged by corrosion, is very doubtful, but what remains seems to have a form something like To read this as a possible sigma is not far from a counsel of despair. From the letters which we have before us, some such name as ΑΡΣΑΜΟϒ appears to be the most acceptable reading. The royal title, with its reversed sigmas, is quite clear. Below the thunderbolt there exist vague traces of further letters, which probably once gave the prince's epithets but which are now, unfortunately, quite illegible.
Assuming that the name was once really Arsames, we are unable to connect this coin with any one of the three possible Arsames' mentioned in the preceding section. The style and fabric of No. 14 point to a comparatively late date, certainly not before the second century B.C. Neither they, nor the types, in the slightest degree resemble the known coins of the Armenian Arsames. On the other hand, the portrait head with its curiously tall, pointed bonnet, does remind one of the bronze coins 53 of Samos, 54 king of Commagene, and also of certain issues struck by his son, Mithradates Callinicus. 55 A very similar head-dress is to be found on a rock sculpture at Gerger in Commagene, where the figure according to the accompanying inscription represents a portrait of Samos. 56 It is likewise found on some of the ancestor portraits of Nimrud-Dagh, 57 and so is, apparently, the characteristic "tiara" worn by Commagenian kings before Antiochus I. 58 There thus seems little doubt but that we have before us a coin of one of these kings.
According to extant inscriptions and to coins, the line of the Commagenian kings, from Samos down, is now known. 59 Our coin must then belong to a predecessor of Samos, and the writer would suggest his father as the most likely. Although one of the Gerger inscriptions 60 does give his name, it is unfortunately so damaged by time and plant growths that it is almost illegible. Its publisher, Puchstein, practically admits this. 61 He tentatively suggests the reading Μιθραδάτου, but the letters as found in his transcript made on the spot hardly bear him out. Reinach 62 offers a more plausible suggestion in reading the name Πτολεμαίου, and equating him with that Ptolemy who is mentioned in a fragment of Diodorus 63 as having been epistates of Commagene under the Seleucid kings and who later revolted. Both readings appear hazardous, according to Puchstein's own transcript.
Unfortunately the letters of the inscription in question are not arranged stoichedon, and the lines contain a varying number of letters. Of the eight lines which comprise the inscription, the reading of the first six is practically certain as they follow a given formula reproduced scores of times on the inscriptions of Nimrud-Dagh. We thus find that the first six lines of our inscription contain 32, 30, 31, 29, 27, and 30 letters, respectively. The seventh line is badly damaged at the beginning but preserves, sufficiently well, the known epithets of king Samos. The line can thus be restored almost certainly as Βασιλέα Σάμον Θεοσεβῆ δίϰαιον τὸν έϰ, which gives us the title, the name and the epithets of King Samos in 31 letters. The eighth and last line is the most damaged of all. Both Puchstein's and Reinach's readings give us a line of 33 letters, 64 which is longer than any other single line in the inscription. By substituting Άρσάμου for the Μιθραδάτου of Puchstein and the Πτολεμαίου of Reinach, we would secure a line of 30 letters, which seems slightly more in keeping with the remainder of the inscription. In any case, Άρσάμου would fit the given traces of the original letters about as well (or as poorly), as the readings proposed by Puchstein and Reinach, respectively.
If the discovery of a new inscription, or a careful revision, undertaken on the spot, of the old should invalidate the present writer's proposed emendation, then Arsames will have to be considered as perhaps the grandfather, rather than the father, of Samos. 65 In any case, it is not surprising to find the name Arsames re-appearing in the line of the kings of Commagene, who traced their ancestry directly back to the third century kings of Armenia, among whom an inscription proves there had existed at least one, and possibly two, rulers bearing this very name. That an Arsames once ruled in Commagene may be surmised from the name Arsameia, borne by the ancient town in Commagene which is now known as Gerger. 66 This Arsameia had obviously been the capital and burial place of the Commagenian kings before Antiochus I, who is responsible for the long inscriptions which give us what little information we possess concerning the city. It was thus most intimately connected with the kings of Commagene in particular, and not demonstrably so with any earlier Arsames as king of Armenia.
The style and fabric of our coin point definitely to the last half of the second century B.C. Its type of the winged thunderbolt could have been copied from similar Seleucid coins of Alexander I Bala (150–145 B.C.), Antiochus VIII Grypus (125–96 B.C.), or Antiochus IX Cyzicenus (whose coins of this type are actually dated in the Seleucid years 199 and 200, or 114/3 and 113/2 B.C.). 67
|52||The immediate successors of the Artaxias mentioned above were Abdissares and Xerxes (circa 170 B.C.). Between them and Tigranes the Great, the names of Armenian kings can only be guessed. The successors of Zariadris are unknown, until we reach the Artanes of Sophene who is stated by Strabo, XI, 14, 15, to have been deposed by Tigranes the Great.|
|53||E. Babelon, Rois de Syrie, p. ccviii, fig. 45; Imhoof-Blumer, Porträtköpfe auf antiken Münzen hellenischer und hellenisierter Völker, Pl. VI, 9; Glasgow, Hunter Coll., Vol. III, Pl. LXX, 20.|
|54||As shown by Théodore Reinach, L'histoire par les monnaies, p. 243, the nominative form of the name must be Samos, not Sames as given by earlier writers.|
|55||Imhoof-Blumer, loc. cit., Pl. VI, 10.|
|56||Humann und Puchstein, Reisen in Kleinasien und Nordsyrien, pp. 355–357, Fig. 50.|
|57||Ibid., Pl. XXXV, 2 and 4.|
|58||Ibid., p. 356.|
|59||Pauly-Wissowa, Supplementband IV, pp. 984–986.|
|60||Humann und Puchstein, loc. cit. p. 356.|
|61||Ibid., pp. 356–357.|
|62||Loc. cit., pp. 241–2.|
|63||XXXI, 192, Dindorf.|
|64||For the Βασιλέως Μιθραδάτου τὸν 'εαυτοῦ πάππον of Puchstein, Reinach would substitute Βασιλέως Πτολεμαίου τὸν 'εαυτοῦ πάππον, and this reading is accepted by Dittenberger.|
|65||There is abundant room for another name in the line of the Commagenian kings, The Seleucid epistates (and later rebel), Ptolemy, flourished about 162 B.C. (Pauly-Wissowa, Supplementband IV, p. 980). The next king, of whose dates there is any certainty, is known to have been ruling in 69 B.C. and he continued until after 38 B.C. Of his father, Mithradates Callinicus, all we know is that he married Laodice, daughter of Antiochus VIII Grypus, who died in 97/6 B.C. Even assuming with Pauly-Wissowa (loc. cit., p. 985) that Mithradates came to the throne about 100 B.C., we would still have some sixty years in which to accommodate from two to three kings, including the Samos who certainly flourished in the last decade of the second century B.C.|
|66||Humann und Puchstein, loc. cit., pp. 354–372.|
|15 Bust of Tyche r., wearing turreted crown and veil, in circle of dots.||ΑΡΑΔΙΩΝ. Winged Nike advancing l.; holding aphlaston in outstretched r., and palm over l. shoulder. In l. field, BKP above above The whole within a laurel wreath. Tetradrachm. Gr. 14.97.|
|Coll. of Dr. G. L., Mario Ratto Sale, Paris, May 16th, 1935, No. 69, Pl. III.|
The date borne by this tetradrachm appears to be unpublished. It is year 122 of the Aradian "Era of Freedom" 68 and corresponds to 138–137 B.C. It is unknown to both of the latest comprehensive works on the subject, 69 and is the earliest year we so far possess for this particular series of dated Aradian tetradrachms with autonomous types. We must therefore put back by one year, (i.e. from 137/6 to 138/7 B.C.) the hitherto accepted date 70 for the opening of this issue. The combination of mint letters (C) observable on our coin, is also new for this series and throws serious doubt on Sir George Hill's suggestion 71 that the first of these letters may represent alphabetic numerals indicating the month, as on contemporaneous Athenian tetradrachms. By no stretch of the imagination can we suppose (16) to represent even an intercalary month.
|67||Cf. Babelon. loc. cit., Pl. XVIII. 7-8; XXV, 11; XXVI, 1.|
|68||Brit. Mus. Cat., Phoenicia, pp. xiv f. and 349.|
|69||Loc. cit. and Dr. Jules Rouvier's "corpus" in the Journal international d'archéologie numismatique, Vol. III, 1900, p. 237.|
|16 Laureate head of Tyrian Heracles to r.||ΤϒΡΟϒ ΙΕ(ΡΑΣ KΑΙ) ΑΣϒΛΟϒ. Eagle standing l. with palm-branch over r. shoulder. In l. field, ΡΠΔ above club. In r. field, KP above E Between legs, Tetradrachm. Gr. 14.12.|
In contrast to the previous Aradian stater (No. 15), which is the earliest known issue of its particular series, No. 16 appears to be the latest known date of the Tyrian autonomous shekels. It was struck in the hundred and eighty-fourth year of Tyrian independence, or in 58–59 A.D., a date that is given neither by Rouvier nor by Hill. 72 In the Paris collection, however, there exists a half-shekel or didrachm of this same year. 73 If this be really the final issue, we secure evidence that the autonomous coinage of Tyrian tetradrachms came to an end in 58–59 A.D.
|70||Cf. the above mentioned works, as well as Six, Numismatic Chronicle, New Ser., Vol. XVII, 1877, p. 188; Head's Historia Numorum, 2nd ed., 1911, pp. 789–790.|
|71||Brit. Mus. Cat., Phoenicia, p. xxxiii.|
|17 AVT ΚΑΙ ΑΝΤΩΝΙΝΟС Сε. Laureate, cuirassed bust of Caracalla to r., seen from the back. Circle of dots.||ΔΗΜΑṚX (εΞVΠ)ΑΤΟС Τ. Δ. View of the temple-crowned Mt. Gerizim within a double circle, supported below by the outspread wings of an eagle. Circle of dots.|
|Tetradrachm. Gr. 13.29.|
So far as the writer knows, this represents a completely new variety to be added to the large number of tetradrachms which were coined through- out all Syria and Mesopotamia in the reigns of Caracalla and his immediate successor, Macrinus. Fortunately, the comparative uncertainty, which usually dogs all attempts to attribute the majority of these tetradrachms to their respective mints, does not impede us in the present case. The interesting reverse type points unmistakably to Neapolis of Samaria as the mint of our coin. For here we find, carefully depicted, the well known representation of the holy mountain, Gerizim, beneath whose shadow, on or near the site of ancient Shechem, had been founded by Vespasian the "new city" of Neapolis, to become in time the modern Nablus.
The earliest numismatic representations of the mountain, we find on certain bronze coins of Antoninus Pius. 74 Their large scale enables us to grasp more clearly all the essential features of the design. We see the two unequal peaks of the mountain, 75 the taller of which is surmounted by an altar, the lower supports a temple of classic form to which a stairway, flanked by small shrines, ascends from a pillared portico which spans the mountain's base. Similar representations are found on the bronze coins of Caracalla and later emperors. Our coin is distinctive, however, in that Mt. Gerizim is placed within a double halo, held aloft by the outspread wings of a Roman eagle. A somewhat similar combination of mountain (but without the encircling halo) and eagle reappears on the coins of Philip Sr., and continues to the end of the imperial coinage. Eckhel 76 explains the eagle as being the bird of Zeus, which Sir George Hill 77 accepts, and points out that "In many oriental representations of Zeus we find him supported by an eagle; here he is replaced by his sacred mountain."
This interpretation is on the whole probably correct, though the origin of the design is susceptible of quite another explanation, thanks to our coin. We start from the fact that the characteristic types of the silver tetradrachms issued by the Romans in such enormous quantities from their provincial capital at Antioch had been based, ever since the reign of Nero, on the well known and immensely popular shekels and half-shekels coined at Tyre. These had commenced as royal Seleucid money, imitating the preceding Ptolemaic coinage, and then in 124 B.C. had become autonomous in character and continued as such down to and beyond the middle of the first century after Christ, when the Romans put an end to their issue. In place of the head of Tyrian Heracles and the Ptolemaic eagle, the Roman authorities adopted the emperor's portrait and their own varied conceptions of the eagle. So closely connected in the popular mind with the old Tyrian coinage were these Roman tetradrachms that, as late as the reign of Hadrian, 78 they were still known as "good silver of the Tyrian mint," 79 even though they were for the most part struck in Antioch. 80 Perhaps for the sole purpose of maintaining this Tyrian fiction, and doubtless pushed thereto by the insistent demands of the general public, the Roman mint authorities in Syria took evident pains to continue the presence of the customary eagle somewhere on these tetradrachms. For, apparently, the eagle was looked upon as practically an essential feature of this sort of money, until the coinage's final discontinuance at the end of the reign of Trebonianus. Thus, in the second year of Vespasian, the portrait of his son Titus suddenly displaces the eagle on the reverse. 81 But even before the close of this particular issue the eagle reappears, now placed beneath the head of Vespasian. 82 The same phenomenon occurs later under Trajan whenever Tyrian Heracles or the Tyche of Antioch occupy the reverse side of the coins. In every such case, the eagle is still to be seen upholding the bust of Trajan on the obverse. 83 Again under Caracalla, whenever the eagle on the reverse happens to be replaced by an imperial portrait or some other type, the royal bird is almost certain to be found beneath the bust, 84 either on the obverse or on the reverse.
So when the authorities at Neapolis decided, with pardonable local pride, to place a representation of their beloved and hallowed Mount Gerizim on the reverse of the tetradrachms ordered by Caracal la to be coined in their mint, they were constrained to incorporate the necessary eagle somewhere in their design. To them, the most logical and artistic location was beneath the reverse design. It was a happy thought to surround the mountain with a circle or halo as a suitable frame to the picture, which was further enhanced by depicting the eagle en face, thus supporting the entire design with his outspread wings. 85 The conception was evidently appreciated by later Samaritan die-cutters who adopted it (though without the halo) on the bronze issues from Philip senior to Volusian. Whatever the scene of the eagle upholding the holy mountain may have been intended to convey esoterically, the first conception of the design was predicated upon the necessity of displaying an eagle somewhere on the silver tetradrachm to proclaim it as άργυρίου ϰαλοῦ Τυρίου ϰόμματος in the words employed by the writer of the Dura parchment.
To the mint at Neapolis should perhaps also be assigned the following No. 18, which exhibits a more orthodox reverse type.
|18 ΑᴠΤ ΚΑΙ ΑΝΤΩΝΙΝΟС СΒ. Radiate and laureate, cuirassed bust of Caracalla to r., seen from the back, in circle of dots.||ΔΗΜΑΡΧ εΞᴠΠΑΤ. ΤΟ. Δ. Eagle, head turned to l., holding wreath in beak, standing facing with outstretched wings. Between his claws, facing figure of Zeus Heliopolites with outstretched arms, in circle of dots.|
|Tetradrachm. Gr. 13.55.|
|19 ΑᴠΤ Κ Μ Α ΑΝΤΩΝΙΝΟС СΒ. Laureate, draped bust of Caracalla to r., seen from the back.||ΔΗΜΑ(ΡΧ ε)ΞνΠΑΤΟС Δ. Eagle, head turned r. holding wreath in beak, standing facing with outstretched wings. Between his claws, facing figure of Zeus Heliopolites holding whip and corn-ear in his outstretched hands. He is flanked by two facing bulls.|
|Tetradrachm. Gr. 12.28.|
It should be noted that the rather crude style of the obverse of No. 18 is very similar to that displayed by the obverse of No. 17. Of particular interest is the emperor's bust wearing scale armor, which on both coins is seen from the back. This peculiarity is found, so far as the writer is aware, on no other Syrian issues of the tetradrachm under Caracalla, although it does occur at Edessa in Mesopotamia. Other minor details are also similarly handled on the two coins, such, for instance, as the manner of depicting the hair (especially at the nape of the neck), the ear, the form of the diadem ends, the shape of the fold of drapery appearing in the field above the right shoulder, etc. That the former mint of No. 18 may be tentatively placed in Palestine is suggested by these close analogies with No. 17, and by the fact that only at nearby Gaza 86 do we find a radiate bust of Caracalla 87 at all similar in style and character to that of No. 18.
The tiny mint-symbol beneath the eagle on No. 18 is unfortunately somewhat obscure, but appears to represent a crude, facing figure with arms outstretched. It could almost equally well be intended as some sort of plant or tree with two branching limbs! Its true nature may at least be guessed at by comparing it to the larger symbol beneath the eagle on No. 19. Here we must have a representation of Zeus Heliopolites, with the customary calathus on his head, the whip in his right hand, the ear of corn in his left, and flanked by his accompanying bulls. Similar coins have been published by M. Seyrig, 88 who interprets the figure somewhat differently. He recognizes a harpa and not the whip in the god's right hand, an uncertain object (which he calls une sorte de broche, i.e. a spit or spindle) in the left, and two doubtful animals flanking the central figure. He compares this figure with the Baal of Orthosia who is represented on certain late Hellenistic coins of that city. 89 But there he is depicted in profile and as holding only a harpa in his right hand, and in his left, the reins leading to two winged lions which appear to be drawing the car on which the god stands. A far closer analogy may be found on certain common bronze coins of Marcus Aurelius struck at Neapolis in Samaria. Here we find a representation of Zeus Heliopolites, 90 exactly as he occurs on our No. 19. 91 On coins such as the latter, the object in the god's right hand has the form which is more like a whip than an orthodox harpa as found on the coins of Orthosia. The object in his left can be readily interpreted as an ear of corn, while on the coins of Orthosia this hand holds only the reins. The animals on our coin are certainly not winged, as at Orthosia, where the god is always in profile and not facing as on the above mentioned bronze coins of Neapolis and on our No. 19. In the light of these coins, the obscure figure on No. 18 may also be interpreted as a Zeus Heliopolites. Because the god appears on certain bronze issues of Neapolis, and because of definite stylistic similarities between Nos. 17 and 18, the latter piece may plausibly be assigned to Neapolis Samariae.
On the other hand, the present writer would not insist that such coins as No. 19 should also be definitely attributed to that city. The differences in style and obverse inscription between this coin and Nos. 17 and 18 make such an assignment problematical, in our present state of knowledge. But M. Seyrig's proposed attribution to Orthosia seems even more problematical. A far better suggestion, at least in the writer's opinion, would be Heliopolis, where Zeus Heliopolites was held in such particular veneration that he derived his special designation therefrom.
In his article, M. Seyrig has pointed out a most interesting distinction between the two forms of obverse inscriptions as they appear on the tetradrachms of Caracalla's fourth consulship. The one formula, ΑᴠΤ.Κ. Μ.Α.ΑΝΤΩΝεΙΝΟС.СεΒ, he shows to have originated in Antioch and to have been adopted in general by inland cities. The other formula, ΑᴠΤ.ΚΑΙ.ΑΝΤΩΝΙΝΟС.Сε,Β originated in Tyre and was adopted by various coastal cities. There exist, as is usual in any such rule, certain exceptions, 92 but on the whole the observation seems to hold fairly well. If we assign coins like No. 19 to Heliopolis we find that this city, like other inland places, followed the Antioch formula. 93 Nos. 17 and 18, on the other hand, follow the Tyrian protocol, as did Gaza, but not Ascalon. 94
|72||Jour, internat. d'arch. numismatique, Vol. VI. 1903, p. 313; Brit. Mus. Cat., Phoenicia, p. 249. If correctly read, there exist in the British Museum two Tyrian half-shekels or didrachms bearing later dates—but there is some doubt concerning these particular dates, as note 6 on p. cxxxiv testifies.|
|73||Revue numismatique, 4th. Ser., Vol. XIII, 1909, p. 167 and p. 463, note 3.|
|74||Hill, Brit. Mus. Catalogue, Palestine, Pl. V, 14–16, Pl. XXXIX, 7–8.|
|75||It may be asked if in reality we may not have before us the picture of both Mt. Ebal and of Mt. Gerizim? The city lies on the neck between the two mountains, of which Mt. Ebal (Jebel Eslâmîyeh) is the higher, Mt. Gerizim (Jebel et-Tôr) the more sacred and the one on which was located the famous temple of Zeus Hypsistos. But see Hill, loc. cit., pp. xxviii f., for reasons arguing in favor of Mt. Gerizim alone.|
|76||Doctrina Numorum Velerum, Vol. III, p. 434.|
|77||Loc. cit., p. xxix.|
|78||In 121–122 A.D., or well over sixty years after the final issue (dated ΡΠΔ = 58-59 A.D.) of a true Tyrian shekel, or tetradrachm. For a specimen of this coin, see above, No. 16.|
|79||Cf. A Parchment Contract of Loan from Dura-Europus on the Euphrates, by M. I. Rostovtzeff and C. Bradford Welles, in Yale Classical Studies, Vol. II, 1931, p. 6, line 6. The passage is interesting proof that the inferior alloy of contemporary Parthian tetradrachms (though not the drachms) was fully appreciated along the Euphrates, and offers an illuminating instance of how a well-founded and splendid reputation may in later years still shed lustre upon a somewhat baser imitation. For these Antiochene tetradrachms are not quite so good in standard as the Tyrian shekels had been.|
|80||Ever since the reign of Augustus, the principal mint for these Syro-Roman tetradrachms had been Antioch. In the early empire a few very rare issues were, from time to time, coined elsewhere, i.e. at Seleucia ad Orontem under Augustus and Tiberius, at Laodicea ad Mare under Augustus, Nero and Hadrian. Tyre coined very sparingly under Vespasian and Titus (cf. Wruck, Die Syrische Provinzialprägung von Augustus bis Traian, Nos. 83 and 100). Under Trajan, only such tetradrachms as bear the head of Tyrian Heracles for their reverse type (Wruck, loc. cit. Nos. 142-3, 146-8, 150-1, 156, 159, 162, 165, 168, 170, 173, 176 and 178) are likely to have been struck at Tyre.|
|81||Wruck, loc. cit., Nos. 80–81.|
|82||Wruck, loc. cit., No. 82, Pl. 4. The tetradrachms coined in Cyprus do not follow this practice, which is evidently purely Syrian in origin. Cf. Brit. Mus. Cat., Cyprus, Pl. XV, Nos. 1-3, 8-9, and Wruck, loc. cit., Pl. 4, 91 (certainly also a Cypriote issue).|
|83||Like the Cypriote issues, the tetradrachm of Trajan with the Heracles bust struck in Alexandria (Wruck, loc. cit., Pl. 6, 154) does not display the eagle. See below, No. 42.|
|84||Instances may be found in Brit. Mus. Cat., Palestine, Pl. XLI, 5 and Imhoof-Blumer, Revue suisse de numismatique, Vol. VIII, p. 45, No. 8, Pl. II, 21. The only Syrian exceptions to the general rule, known to the writer, are Tyrian tetradrachms of Caracalla or of Geta with the head of Tyrian Heracles on the reverse. Cf. Brit. Mus. Cat., Phoenicia, Pl. XXXVII, 4. In this case, the presence of Tyrian Heracles may have been deemed sufficient, not needing the addition of an eagle on the obverse to proclaim these as "Tyrian money."|
|85||A somewhat similar design is also found on a rare tetradrachm of Caracalla from the mint of Caesarea in Palestine. The coin itself is in the Paris collection, was mentioned by M. Dieudonné in the Revue numismatique, 4th Ser., Vol. XIII, 1909, p. 477, and pictured in the Revue numismatique, 4th Ser. Vol. XXXII, 1929, Pl. V, 3. Here the letters S.P.Q.R. are within the "halo," supported by the eagle with outstretched wings. This type was also continued in use on later bronze coins of Caesarea.|
|86||Radiate busts of Caracalla do not seem to occur on the known tetradrachms of Caracalla issued in the coastal districts of Syria and Phoenicia. In contrast, they do occur rather frequently at mints in Commagene, Cyrrhestica and Mesopotamia and, now it seems, also in Palestine. The radiate busts on the Palestinian issues, however, are very different in style from those of the north and north-east.|
|87||Cf. Brit. Mus. Cat., Palestine, Pl. XLI, 11.|
|88||Syria, Vol. XIII, 1932, pp. 364–5.|
|89||Cf. Brit. Mus. Cat., Phoenicia, Pl. XVI, 1.|
|90||Cf. Brit. Mus. Cat., Palestine, pp. xxx-xxxi, P1. VI, 1.|
|91||See also Seyrig, loc. cit., illustrations on p. 364.|
|92||Tripolis, for instance, follows Antioch, while Edessa employs both formulae.|
Until further hoards have been unearthed and studied, and additional scientific excavations made at the innumerable ancient sites of Palestine, little real progress can be achieved towards correctly dividing and assigning to their true mints that ever increasing conglomeration of curious coins, which have been handled in their entirety by Sir George Hill 95 under the comprehensive title of the Philisto-Arabian series. Meanwhile, the addition of new types, or even minor varieties, to our known material may prove of some help to future scholars wishing to bring coherence and understanding to this baffling but most interesting series.
Actually, only one considerable hoard of such pieces has been subjected to scientific scrutiny. Mr. Lambert, in the Quarterly of the Department of Antiquities in Palestine, Vol. II, 1933, pp. 1–10, has conferred a real benefit by so carefully describing a large group of these coins which were secured by the Palestine Museum in the preceding years. The coins in question appear to have come upon the antiquity market from the general vicinity of Gezer, and at about the same time. They probably constituted a real hoard, but Mr. Lambert is careful to state that, instead, they may have been collected singly by the Arabs of the vicinity rifling some ancient site. But as the group forms a coherent whole and as the surface corrosion of the individual pieces seems to have been more or less the same, it is likely that they really constituted an actual hoard. Because the following Nos. 20, 25, 27, 29, 30 and 31 also came upon the European coin market at practically the same time as those in the Palestine Museum, and because they comprise similar types and are of similar outward appearance, having a very thin, dark corrosion, easily removed, it is probable that they too all originally came from the same Gezer hoard.
|93||It is a pity that M. Seyrig did not give the obverse inscriptions of the coins similar to our No. 19. On the author's specimen the name Antoninus is spelled with iota only, and has not the accompanying epsilon found in the orthodox "Antiochene" formula.|
|94||M. Seyrig is mistaken (loc. cit., p. 367) in placing Ascalon in his Tyrian column. The obverse inscription on the two known specimens reads ΑᴠΤ.Κ.Μ.ΑΝΤΩΝεΙΝΟС.|
|95||Brit. Mus. Cat., Palestine , pp. lxxxiii-lxxxviii. See also Babelon, Traité 2, Vol. II, pp. 635 ff.|
|20 Diademed (or laureate?) male head to l. with hair arranged in the "Assyrian" style, i.e. heavy beard, long moustache, and curled locks in a large bunch at the nape of the neck. In front of the profile, a series of uncertain marks which may||on either side of a naked, bearded figure of Bes (Typhon) facing. His knees and arms are bent and each hand grasps by the hind leg a pendent lion with reverted head. The whole is surrounded by a dotted square within an incuse square.|
|possibly be traces of an inscription.||Cahn Sale No. 71, Oct. 1931, No. 575, Pl. 18. Drachm. Gr. 3.26.|
After cleaning, it is now possible to present a more accurate description of the piece than that found in the sale catalogue where it first appeared. The inscription is certainly composed of the letters aleph and shin not of aleph nun as reported by the cataloguer. The last two letters actually occur on some other varieties, 96 which have been ascribed 97 to Ascalon because of the final nun. If that be so, then our coin might be assigned to the other well-known Palestinian city Ashdod—though Ascalon would also always remain an equal possibility because the names of both cities begin with the same two letters, aleph shin.
The two animals held by Bes are certainly lions because of their long tails, and not antelopes as described by the cataloguer. Although of different style, the reverse type is the same as that found on the following coin.
|21 above lion to r. standing upon the back of a crouching ram to r. Circle of dots.||Feathered and naked figure of Bes facing; with bent knees and rigidly outstretched arms holding|
|two pendent lions with reverted heads, grasping the one on the l. by the hair of the rump, the one on the r. by its tail; the whole surrounded by a dotted square placed in an incuse square. This coin was sent to the writer from Damascus.|
|Drachm. Gr. 3.77.|
|22 above Sidonian galley riding to l. upon a zig-zag line of waves. Circle of dots.||OF in front of owl standing to l., within an incuse square.|
|Obol. Gr. 0.66.|
Two obols, corresponding to No. 21, were published by Mr. Lambert from the Gezer hoard in the Quarterly of the Department of Antiquities in Palestine, Vol. II, 1933, Nos. 45 and 46. Many other Philisto-Arabian coins provided with the letter beth have also been published. 98 A drachm whose reverse type (lion to r. upon the back of a boar) resembles the obverse type of our coin, and displays the same letter, was formerly attributed by the Duc de Luynes 99 to the Persian satrap Boges while in Macedonia at the time of Xerxes' expedition against Greece. Babelon rightly discards such a fanciful theory and suggests, 100 instead, the assignment of this coin to the eunuch Batis or Betis (Babemesis, according to Josephus), to whom Hegesias gives the title βασιλέυς. This person has made himself historically famous by his courageous defiance of Alexander the Great and the terrible siege endured at Gaza, which for two months of 332 B.C. delayed the conqueror's victorious advance upon Egypt. 101 Our various classical sources would seem to suggest that Batis was actually lord of Gaza, rather than a mere general who threw himself into that powerful fortress in order to prevent Alexander's further progress southwards. We certainly now possess too many varieties, of somewhat dissimilar style, to allow of their being assigned to Batis during the two months' siege of Gaza. If the letter beth which they all bear, really represents the initial of his name, then he must have been in a position to coin money over a longer period than two short months.
The reverse type of the obol, No. 22, is the ever popular Athenian owl which so many issues of Gaza had borne from the very beginning of its coinage. 102 Even portions of the original Athenian inscription ΑΘΕ remain, reduced and transformed to OF, meaningless to a Greek, yet capable of being read as the Aramaic letters and the contraction of Gaza's name . 103
The obverse of the coin bears the war galley which had long graced the obverses of the Sidonian coinage, and from which it is certainly copied.
|23 on l. of male figure in Persian costume to r., who with outstretched arms grasps the bridle of a facing horse with head turned to r.; the whole contained in a dotted square.||on l. above lion, with reverted head, bounding to r. above a ram's head to r.; the whole in a dotted square contained in an incuse square.|
|Obol. Gr. 0.83.|
|24 on l. above lion, with facing head, couched to r. in a dotted square.||on r., above lion, with facing head, couched to l. in a dotted square, the whole contained in an incuse square.|
|Obol. Gr. 0.61.|
A specimen similar to No. 23, from the de Luynes collection, 104 is described by E. Babelon in his Traité, 105 but he there mistakes the inscription on the obverse for the raised right arm of the figure, while on the reverse he fails to notice the presence of another inscription. On the de Luynes specimen the reverse type is to the left, on ours to the right.
No. 24 has for type a couched lion, accompanied by the same inscription as found on No. 23. Both type and inscription are repeated on the reverse. Together with No. 32 below, these coins appear to be the only examples in all the Philisto-Arabian series which have their obverse type, as well as that of the reverse, framed by a dotted square.
|103||Six, Numismatic Chronicle, New Ser., Vol. XVII, 1877, p. 231; Babelon, loc. cit., p. 646.|
|104||Jean Babelon, Catalogue de la collection de Luynes, Vol. III, p. 100, No. 2892, Pl. CVII.|
|105||Traité 2, Vol. II, p. 667, No. 1080, Pl. CXXIV, 28.|
|25 Head of Athena to r., wearing ear-ring and crested Attic helmet adorned with olive leaves and a floreate spiral. The lozenge-shaped eye is seen from the front.||ΑΟΕ on r. Owl to r., behind it, an olive sprig. Between the inscription and the owl, The whole in incuse square. Cahn Sale 80, Feb. 1933, No. 398, Pl. 13.|
|Obol. Gr. 0.75.|
An exactly similar piece was published by Mr. Lambert from the Gezer hoard, 106 but he reads the Aramaic inscription as 107 of which he naturally can make nothing. Fortunately every letter on our coin is perfectly clear and legible and gives us the form 108 This has a distinctly Iranian sound 109 and may, at least provisionally, be rendered in some such Greek form as Manapates. He may have been some Persian governor or general stationed in Palestine about 400 B.C.—for the style of the coin is good and offers an excellent reproduction of a true Athenian obol of the last half of the fifth century B.C.
More and more are similar Athenian imitations, bearing various Aramaic or Jewish inscriptions, coming to light. The two latest are the interesting obols of Athenian types bearing the Hebrew in scriptions (Yehud) 110 and … (Hezekiah), 111 respectively.
|106||Quarterly of the Department of Antiquities in Palestine, Vol. II, 1933, p. 5, No. 4, Pl. I.|
|107||Loc cit., p. 5, note 2, he very diffidently suggests the Greek name Mentor, at which he arrives only through the desperate expedient of transposing the resh and the tau.|
|108||The of the cataloguer (Cahn Sale 80) is, of course, impossible.|
|96||Babelon, Traitê 2, Vol. II. p. 647, Nos. 1040, 1043.|
|97||Ibid., p. 650.|
|98||Babelon. Traité 2,Vol. II, p. 651, No. 1050; p. 655, No. 1055; p. 657, No. 1058. Lambert in the Quarterly of the Department of Antiquities in Palestine, Vol. II, 1933, Nos. 18, 38, 44–47.|
|99||Numismatique des Satrapies et de la Phénicie, pp. 40–41. Cf. Babelon, loc. cit., p. 655, No. 1055, Pl. CXXIV, 4.|
|100||Loc. cit., p. 655, Note 1.|
|101||Cf. Arrian, II, 25–28.|
|102||Brit. Mus. Cat., Palestine , Pl. XIX, 1–12.|
|26 Head of Athena to r., wearing ear-ring and crested Attic helmet adorned with floral design and olive leaves.||Owl to r. On l., olive spray. On r., traces of an Aramaic (?) inscription. In field to r. of owl, lotus bud.|
|From the de Jonghe Coll. Obol. Gr. 0.88.|
|27 Youthful male head to r., wearing taenia.||ΑΟΕ. to r. of owl standing r.; on l., olive spray. Cahn Sale 71, Oct. 1931, No. 574, Pl. 17. Hemi-obol. Gr. 0.32.|
The first of these coins has been re-struck upon a similar(?) coin, of whose reverse type the top of the owl's head, the tail feathers and the end of its wing feathers, may still be made out. Unfortunately, the greater portion of the inscription is off flan, but what remains clearly suggests that it was not once the usual ΑΘΕ, but rather some other inscription, perhaps in Aramaic characters. The coin is distinguished by a neatly made lotus bud placed in the field immediately to the r. of the owl. The style of the coin, while still excellent, has some of the hard dryness usually associated with a copy. The model must have been a late fifth century Athenian obol.
Hemi-obols, apparently similar to our No. 27, may be found in Svoronos' Les monnaies d'Athènes, Pl. 110, Nos. 45–47. The letters ΑΘΕ are still legible and the style of the coin cannot be much later than the very beginning of the fourth century B.C.
|109||Not in Justi, Iranisches Namenbuch, but apparently composed from some such words as mannus (O. P., man) and pali (O. P., lord, master) or peli (O. P., mighty). Compare, for instance, such numismatically attested names as Orontopates (or Rhoontopates), and Namopat.|
|110||W. F. Albright, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, No. 53, Feb. 1934, pp. 20–22.|
|111||O. R. Sellers, The Citadel of Beth-Zur, 1933, pp. 73f.|
|28 Bearded head to r. in linear circle.||Bearded head of Heracles (?) to r. surmounted by lion's head facing to l.; olive sprig in upper r.|
|hand corner; the whole in a dotted square in an incuse square. Test cut. Drachm. Gr. 3.28.|
This drachm varies from the one described by Babelon 112 in minor details only. On the obverse, the hair is rendered by lines instead of dots. The head on the reverse is less well executed and appears to be bearded. The present coin is provided with only a single olive spray, instead of two.
|29 Bearded, facing head of Bes (Typhon), surrounded by a dotted circle.||Lion's head to r. in a dotted square, within an incuse square.|
|Cahn Sale No. 71, Oct. 1931, No. 578, Pl. 18. Obol. Gr. 0.72.|
|30 Male head to r. with long beard and hair looped at back of neck, wearing crested Attic helmet adorned with olive leaves.||Two lions, each with raised fore-paw, seated vis-à-vis above two dolphins facing each other; the whole in a dotted square within an incuse square.|
|Cahn Sale 71, Oct. 1931, No. 576, Pl. 18.|
|Obol. Gr. 0.65.|
Both coins appear to be unpublished. The head on No. 30, although that of a bearded man, recalls the obverses of the Athenian coins so popular in these districts. The two dolphins on the reverse of No. 30 may point to one of the many coastal towns in Philistia as the probable mint. In passing, it may be remarked how very rarely objects connected with the sea are pictured on these Philisto-Arabian coins.
|31 Young male head to r. within a finely dotted circle.||Kneeling goat to r., looking backwards at a bird (dove?) perched on the animal's rump; the whole in a dotted square within an incuse square. Cahn Sale 71, Oct. 1931, No. 577, Pl. 18.|
|Obol. Gr. 0.69.|
A similar piece from the Gezer hoard was published by Mr. Lambert,113 who there suggests 114 its possible assignment to Ascalon because of the dove which he recognizes in the bird perched on the goat's back. The compiler of the Cahn Catalogue correctly refers to the similar drachms described by Babelon. 115 Our coin will be the accompanying fraction. 116
|32 Facing, horned head of the Persian lion-griffin, with wide-open jaws revealing its fangs; the whole within a square; guilloche border.||Winged and horned Persian lion-griffin couched to r. within a guilloche square in an incuse square.|
|From the Dr. Jules Rouvier Coll.|
|Drachm. Gr. 3.115.|
These new and interesting types are among the very few varieties of the Philisto-Arabian series that suggest in the slightest degree the Persian domination over the region. They are probably, however, cases of borrowed, rather than imposed types. The flat technique and shallow incuse of our coin point to a late period, perhaps just previous to the invasion by Alexander and his armies. The guilloche pattern is also unusual 117 for this series, though it is found on one Sidonian issue 118 and is common to the Tyrian coins 119 of the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.
|112||Traité 2, Vol. II, p. 659, No. 1061, Pl. CXXIV, 10.|
|113||Quarterly of the Department of Antiquities in Palestine, Vol. II, 1933, p. 10, No. 62, Pl. II.|
|114||Ibid., p. 3.|
|115||Traité 2, Vol. II, p. 653, Nos. 1052-3, Pl. CXXIV, 1-2.|
|116||Cf. also the similar drachm in the British Museum from the Gezer hoard, and the remarks by Mr. Robinson, Numismatic Chronicle, 5th Ser., Vol. XVI, 1936, p. 199.|
|117||It seems to be present only on such coins as Babelon, Traite 2, Vol. II, Pl. CXXIV, 1-2.|
|118||Babelon, loc. cit., Pl. CXIX, 1-7.|
|119||Ibid., Pl. CXXII.|
|33 Head of Athena to r., wearing ear-ring and crested Attic helmet adorned with olive leaves.||ΑΘΕ on r. Owl to r.; behind it, an olive spray and crescent moon; before it, the Egyptian hieroglyphic sign, The whole in a shallow incuse square.|
|From the Earle-Fox Coll.|
|Obol. ↑↑. Gr. 0.53.|
|34 Head of Athena to r., hair in formal curls, wearing necklace, earring and crested Corinthian helmet adorned with a serpent. Circle of dots.||On r., A; on l., E. Owl to r. In front, lotus flower on stalk. The whole in a shallow incuse square.|
|Obol. ↑↑. Gr. 0.58.|
A coin similar to the first of these 120 was published many years ago by Mr. J. Mavrogordato. 121 He assigned it to Egypt because of the great similarity between the symbol in the field and the well-known Egyptian hieroglyph uah, and dated the coin about 390–370 B.C. The thin, spread flan, prepared by clipping, the noticeably low relief and very shallow incuse square of the present coin, point, in the writer's opinion, to a later period in the fourth century B.C. In style, the coin has many affinities with the imitation Athenian tetradrachms struck in Egypt at the end of the Persian domination. 122
No. 34 is certainly of Alexander's period, or slightly later. The Athena head is directly copied from the gold staters which he and his immediate successors struck in such great quantities. The style of the head is still fine, while the owl is beginning to reveal signs of degeneracy, and the theta of the inscription is completely barbarized. The lotus plant symbol is typically Egyptian in form, and so suggests coinage in that country rather than in northern Arabia or Palestine. Interestingly enough, the dies of both coins seem to have been regularly placed.
|120||Several similar specimens, from a find said to have been made in Sicily, were in the Photiadès Pacha Collection, lot No. 572. One of these is Mr. Mavrogordato's specimen. Our specimen may well be one of the remaining eight examples.|
|121||Numismatic Chronicle, 4th Ser., Vol. VIII, 1908, pp. 197-9.|
|35 Head of Athena to r. with flowing locks and wearing ear-ring and crested Attic helmet.||ΝΑƳ on the r. Owl facing to r. Behind, olive sprig.|
|Obol. Gr. 0.64.|
This interesting little coin was formerly in the collection of W. Gedney Beatty, from whom the writer obtained it by exchange in 1927. According to the ticket accompanying the coin, Mr. Beatty had purchased it in 1905 from Prof. G. N. Olcott of Columbia who, in turn, stated that he had acquired it about the year 1902 from a missionary returning to this country from Egypt. This provenance, and the presence of the letters ΝΑϒ which replace the ΑΘΕ of the original Athenian prototype, indicate that the present obol was actually coined in the city of Naucratis in the Egyptian Delta. It belongs to the same general category as the numerous imitations of Athenian coins reaching us from Egypt and Palestine, some of which bear symbols or the names of local mints or officials (usually expressed in Aramaic letters or even Egyptian hieroglyphs) in place of, or alongside, the original ΑΘΕ. The style of our coin, the modelling of the features, and the eye seen in profile indicate that it was copied from an Athenian coin of the first half of the fourth century B.C. It was probably intended to circulate among the Greek merchants and expatriates residing in the famous trading emporium which Egyptian Pharaohs had permitted the Greeks to found at Naucratis. In the excavations of that site many genuine Athenian coins have been unearthed, showing what popularity that type of money had long enjoyed there.
In point of time, our obol may have preceded the well known copper pieces (a specimen of which, in the author's collection, is reproduced on Plate IV, B) which beneath the female head of the reverse also bear the letters ΝΑϒ, and which have always been accepted 123 as local issues of Naucratis. It may also be contemporaneous—a point, however, on which mere style displayed by an imitation will not allow us to be dogmatic.
|122||See below, Nos. 36–38.|
|36 Head of Athena to r., wearing ear-ring and crested Attic helmet adorned with olive leaves. Punchmark:||on r. Owl standing to r. Behind it, olive spray and crescent; before it, crescent above thunderbolt.|
|Purchased at Bedrashin, Egypt.|
|Tetradrachm. Gr. 16.35.|
|37 Similar to the preceding. No punchmark.||Similar to the preceding. The inscription on the r. reads Behind the owl is another in scription,|
|From the Pozzi Coll., Naville Sale I, April, 1921, No. 1587, Pl. IL (sic!). Tetradrachm. Gr. 16.95.|
|38 From the same obverse die as No. 37. Punchmark,||The two inscriptions read and respectively.|
|Dr. Schauffler Coll. Tetradrachm. Gr. 17.21.|
|39 Lion advancing to r.; above it, an eight-pointed star; in front, traces of letter M; the whole within a linear border.||Archer, in Persian costume, to r., drawing his bow.|
|From the Collection of Llewellyn Phillips, M.D., who purchased it in Myt-Rahineh.|
|Bronze. Gr. 1.18.|
The special category of imitated Athenian tetradrachms represented by Nos. 36–38, is well known and has frequently been described and discussed by able scholars. 124 Of all the many and varied readings of the Aramaic inscriptions and the proposed attributions, only those put forward by Six 125 appear fully to meet the requirements of style and the established find-spots of the coins themselves. Six read the principal Aramaic inscription, that to the right of the owl, as and attributed the coins to Sabaces, the Persian satrap of Egypt who, with his contingent of troops, joined Darius III just preceding the battle of Ipsus, only to perish there at the hands of Alexander and his invincible Macedonians. 126
The difficulty lies principally in Six's admittedly hazardous reading of the badly written and frequently contradictory inscriptions, and in his bold explanation 127 of them as representing the name of Sabaces. It is at this, certainly the weakest point, that Babelon attacks 128 the attribution.
Leaving this knotty problem for the last, let us turn to the other factors in the case, which are of equal importance. Six states 129 that no less than four of the seven specimens which he enumerates under his No. 27 came from Egypt. This indication of the usual provenance of these coins has since been confirmed many times over. About 1907, a hoard comprising about sixty examples of these particular coins was unearthed at Samanoud 130 in the Delta. No. 36, above, was purchased by the writer in the winter of 1908 at Bedrashin Railway Station, where travellers descend to visit the ruins of Memphis. Either the coin had been found by one of the Arabs living on the site and brought to the stationmaster for disposal to passing tourists, or it had come from the Samanoud hoard. No. 38, above, was secured from Dr. Schauffler, who had himself acquired it from Egypt. During several of his visits to the country of the Nile, the present writer has been offered other specimens, but all in such poor condition that they were not worth purchasing.
Even if we did not thus learn that such pieces almost invariably come from Egypt, 131 the peculiar punchmarks which the majority bear ought to have apprised us of that fact. The deeply driven etc., seen on nearly every specimen, 132 are absolutely typical of hundreds of other Athenian tetradrachms found in Egypt, 133 and appear to have been widely prevalent only in that country. In other words, coins such as Nos. 36 to 38 circulated principally in Egypt; and as they are seldom found elsewhere, they were probably coined there as well.
This fact appears to be proved by the following observations. In his Traité 2, Vol. II, p. 635, No. 1026, Babelon published for the first time a bronze coin, similar to our No. 39 described above, which bears the inscription in Aramaic characters more or less identical with those seen on the imitation Athenian tetradrachms. The writer's specimen came from Dr. Phillips' collection. It turned up in one of his boxes containing miscellaneous material. Together with a few Ptolemaic and Alexandrian coppers, it was wrapped up in an old piece of paper marked "Myt-Rahineh." Apparently, these coins had been purchased by Dr. Phillips at, or sent to him from, Myt-Rahineh, a modern village on the site of ancient Memphis. Our coin was so heavily corroded that it was quite illegible, but a few weeks in the electrolytic bath has restored it almost to its pristine state. Another example, but very badly struck off-centre, was found by Dr. Fisher in the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania's excavations at Memphis. Therefore, this particular category of bronze coins may with confidence be assigned to Egypt. Because of their obverse type, they must have been coined under Persian domination. Very probably they were actually struck at Memphis, the capital of the country then, and the letter M, seen on the obverse of the specimen published by Babelon, was perhaps intended to indicate this mint. With them must go the imitation Athenian tetradrachms bearing the same inscription.
In Paris, in the de Luynes collection, there exists a silver Phoenician trihemiobol 134 which is said to bear the same inscription The types of the coin are Sidonian: obverse, galley to left; reverse, Persian king to right, slaying a lion. But Babelon 135 correctly appreciated that it could only be an imitation of the Sidonian issues and so coined elsewhere—in other words, it is a piece similar to the obol published in the present study, No. 22, as probably having been struck in Palestine. But the inscription of de Luynes' coin associates it definitely with the imitation Athenian tetradrachms and the bronze coin, Nos. 36–39, which we have seen could only have been coined in Egypt. As genuine Sidonian coins are frequently found in Egypt, 136 they must also have circulated there to a considerable extent. Hence, they might very well also have been imitated there. As a Phoenician trihemiobol corresponds sufficiently closely in weight with an Attic obol, it could have been struck in Egypt to circulate alongside the Athenian tetradrachms described above.
In recapitulation, then, we possess a large group of imitation Athenian tetradrachms, distinguished by a certain name written in Aramaic characters. Alongside of these, we also possess an imitation Sidonian trihemiobol (Attic obol) and certain bronze coins bearing the same Aramaic inscription. Two of the three known specimens of the bronze coin were found in Egypt, and being of this humble metal were therefore almost certainly struck there. The Egyptian origin of the entire group is therefore so extremely probable that it may now be assumed as a fact. The bronze coins bear an unmistakably Persian type, which is also true of the reverse of the Sidonian imitation. It may therefore likewise be taken for granted that these coins were struck under Persian rule. The tetradrachms obviously imitate true Athenian coins of mid-fourth century type. Hence the entire group, silver as well as bronze, can only date from the final Persian dominion over Egypt, i.e. from its reconquest by Artaxerxes Ochus in 345 B.C. to its invasion by Alexander the Great in 332 B. C.
As stated above, all members of the group bear the same inscription in Aramaic characters, an inscription which can only represent some personal name. On the analogy of scores of other Persian issues in Asia Minor and Syria in the fourth century B.C., the name is almost certainly that of some Persian satrap or commander-in-chief charged with raising an army for some particular military expedition. For the period to which we have seen that coins like Nos. 36–39 must be assigned, we possess the names of but two Persian satraps—the Sabaces who in 333 B.C. raised and led the Egyptian contingent to Darius III and perished on the field of Issus; and Mazaces who succeeded Sabaces as satrap of Egypt and surrendered the country to Alexander in 332 B.C. 137 Again following the analogy of such Persian satraps or generalissimos as Pharnabazus, Tiribazus, Datames, Mazaeus and several others who are known to have organized large military or naval forces and, in their own names, to have coined money on an extensive scale to finance their operations, both Sabaces and Mazaces might well be expected to have coined money likewise. For Sabaces raised a considerable force with which to join Darius, while Mazaces, after the debacle of Issus, rallied and reorganized the Persians and their sympathizers in Egypt sufficiently to hold down native unrest, guard the eastern frontier at Pelusium, and to fight off and destroy some eight-thousand Greek mercenaries who under ambitious leaders tried to seize the country for their own purposes.
On the bronze coins described above, the Aramaic inscription is written in particularly clear and carefully formed characters. The inscription on the silver "Sidonian" trihemiobol is partly off flan and so will be disregarded here. On one or two of the better style imitation Athenian tetradrachms, the in scription is also well-formed and gives us 138 Thereafter, it grows more and more slovenly until it finally degenerates into something like Here, we need only consider the best formed inscriptions, as representing the official model and the original intentions of the die engravers. The remainder are poor copies, gotten out in the hurry of military preparations by die-cutters not fully conversant with true Aramaic forms. On well-preserved coins there can be no possible doubt about the reading of the first and third letters. These can only be samech and iod (λ), respectively. Both Six and Babelon are fully agreed on these. The final letter as it appears on the bronze coins, with its open, rounded curve and very long downward stroke, can most reasonably be taken as a kaph. On the better silver, the letter presents a somewhat less rounded form ( or ) but even there it can hardly be intended as anything else than a kaph. 139 Here, too, Babelon 140 agrees with Six. On the later silver, it degenerates into something like which Babelon reads as a nun. 141 This, however, is not supported by Cooke's table which, for this very period of the Persian domination in Egypt, gives 142 only forms such as for the nun. In any case, then, nun is to be discarded, which leaves us with a probable kaph. The second letter, which varies in form between and is more doubtful and could be a waw or even a pe. Babelon, however, accepts Six's reading of waw.
Thus, when analyzed, Babelon and Six are in fairly close accord, so far as the actual reading of the letters is concerned. Following these scholars we secure the letters CH-I-V-S, for which Six pro- poses a Greek form, Σευίχως. He points out that the Greeks rendered the name of Sabataka, second king of the Egyptian 26th Dynasty, as both Σευίχως and Σεβίχως; while his predecessor's name Sabaka, they render Σαβάϰων. From there, it was but a short step for Six to attribute the coins to Σαβάϰης, the penultimate Persian satrap of Egypt. As our coins are certainly of Egyptian origin, and as by their style and types they must belong to the last period of Persian rule in Egypt, i.e. to the very period in which we know a certain Sabaces was satrap of the country, the author (as a numismatist and not a professing philologist) is prone to follow Six's attribution. He is not in a position to judge rightly if or presents a possible rendering of the name Sabaces, a name, be it noted, that has been transmitted to us only through western writers. 143 In the form in which it has come down to us, the name of Sabaces does not seem to possess a particularly Iranian sound or appearance. In this regard, it seems far more Egyptian in character—but would the Persians have dared place a person of Egyptian origin over a province that was ever ready to rebel against their hated domination?
The attribution of Nos. 36–39 to Sabaces (or whatever his correct Iranian name may have been) would seem to gain further support from a consideration of the following pieces.
|123||Numismatic Chronicle, 3rd Ser., Vol. VI, 1886, pp. 10–11, Pl. I, 9; ibid., 4th Ser., Vol. II, 1902, Pl. XVII, 10.|
|124||For additional specimens and references to the literature on the subject, see Babelon's Traité 2, Vol. II, pp. 675-682.|
|125||Numismatic Chronicle, 3rd Ser., Vol. VIII, 1888, pp. 132 f.|
|126||Arrian, II, 11, 8.|
|127||Numismatic Chronicle, 3rd Ser., Vol. VIII, 1888, pp. 132-137.|
|128||Mélanges numismatiques, 2nd Ser., 1893, pp. 100 f.; Traité 2, Vol. II, pp. 677 and 681.|
|129||Loc. cit., p. 133.|
|130||As reported by Mr. Mavrogordato, Numismatic Chronicle, 4th Ser., Vol. VIII, 1908, p. 204 who saw five specimens and states that the remainder had been melted down.|
|131||The only specimen recorded from a non-Egyptian source is the coin described by v. Sallet, Zeitschrift für Numismatik, Vol. XV, 1887, p. 14. It is there stated to have been found at Beyrouth.|
|132||Nos. 36 and 38 described above have such punchmarks, as do six of the specimens described by Six, loc. cit., p. 133, No. 27, a, b, c, d, f and g. See also Hill, John Ward Coll., Greek Coins and their Parent Cities, No. 502, Pl. XII; Hirsch Sale XXIX, 1910, No. 461, Pl. VIII, and Egger Sale XLVI, 1914, No. 492, Pl. IX.|
|133||The writer has himself purchased thirty or forty Athenian tetradrachms in Egypt so marked, and seen scores of others for sale there. These had certainly been found in Egypt.|
|134||Babelon, Traité 2 Vol. II, p. 607, No. 978, Pl. CXXI, 22 and Les Perses Achéménides, p. 39, No. 275, Pl. VI, 16. Jean Babelon, Catalogue de la Collection de Luynes, Vol. III, p. 163, No. 3244, Pl. CXVII.|
|135||Loc. cit., p. 607.|
|136||Noe, Bibliography of Greek Coin Hoards, 1937, No. 144. Some have turned up in excavations and are to be found in the museum at Alexandria. The writer has also seen or purchased several in Egypt, ostensibly from local finds. There are two specimens among the material brought back by Dr. Fisher from his excavations at Memphis, now in the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania.|
|137||Arrian, III, 1, 2 and 4.|
|138||See, for instance, the fine specimens in the Late Collector Coll., Sotheby Sale, May, 1900, Pl. IX, 439 and in the Delbeke Coll., Sotheby Sale, Apr. 1907, Pl. VIII, 223.|
|139||Cf. G. A. Cooke, A Text-book of North-Semitic Inscriptions, Pl. XIII, Memphis Inscription No. 71, ninth from the top, third form.|
|140||Traité 2, Vol. II, pp. 635, No. 1026 and 675, No. 1087.|
|141||Loc. cit., 675, No. 1090; p. 677, Nos. 1091-2.|
|142||Loc. cit., Pl. XIII.|
|143||Justi, in his Iranisches Namenbuch, seems somewhat nonplussed at the name. He prefers Arrian, as the most trustworthy, who gives Σαβάϰης; while Curtius (III, 11, 10 and IV, 1, 28) gives Sataces and Diodorus (XVII, 34, 5) the obviously garbled Τασιάϰης. In passing, it may be remarked, that however blundered the latter form may be, it does seem to give us the iota sound corresponding to the iod of the inscriptions.|
|40 Head of Athena to r., wearing ear-ring and crested Attic helmet adorned with olive leaves.||on r. Owl to r. On 1., olive spray and crescent; on r., symbol, The whole in shallow incuse square.|
|Not in author's collection. Hirsch Sale XXXIV, May 1914, No. 498, Pl. XV.|
|Tetradrachm. Gr. 17.08.|
|41 on r. Head of bearded satrap to r., wearing satrapal bonnet. 144||Symbol above galley to r., riding over the waves represented by two zigzag lines.|
|Bronze. Gr. 1.41.|
There exists in various public and private collections a large and well-known group of imitation Athenian tetradrachms superficially similar to No. 40. In fabric, however, they differ radically from the piece here described, and their place of origin seems to be, almost exclusively, Babylonia. They will be discussed in more detail on pp. 82-88 below.
The specimen here described, and in striking contrast to Nos. 44–47 below, is of the same flat, spread fabric to which we have become accustomed in studying Nos. 36–38. Its style, too, is identical with the latter coins and its origin may therefore be assumed to have been Egypt. Accompanying it must go the little bronze coin No. 41 which was actually purchased in the bazaar at Cairo and probably had been found in Egypt. It bears the same curious symbol and the same Aramaic inscription as does the tetradrachm No. 40. The inscription, fortunately, is this time written in clear, unequivocal characters which read (CH-D-Z-M). The mim and the zayin present typical forms; the daleth has a short downward stroke; while the kaph, though as usual more or less identical with daleth, yet is here carefully distinguished from it by a longer downward stroke. The letters, as they stand before us, can hardly represent aught else but the Persian name Mazaces.
In the two coins, then, we have every reason to recognize a continuance of the previously described coinage of Sabaces, now struck under Mazaces who, as our classical sources inform us, 145 was appointed by Darius after Issus to replace as satrap of Egypt the fallen Sabaces, and, God willing, to hold the land for the Persian king. Mazaces' task was an unenviable one, being well-nigh hopeless from the very outset. Most if not all of the Persian troops in Egypt had followed Sabaces. They had doubtless perished or become scattered in the rout. Mazaces must have raised some native levies, for Arrian states that he had no Persian troops, while Diodorus, XVII, 48, 3/4, speaks only of the "inhabitants" of Memphis ('εγχωρίοι and oί έϰ τῆς πόλεως). With this unpromising material, Mazaces not only firmly upheld Persian rule in a land ripe for rebellion so soon as the dire news of Issus had become generally known, but he even successfully coped with a dangerous invasion by some eight thousand Greek mercenaries who, escaped from Issus, were led into Egypt by the ambitious condottiere Amyntas and some kindred souls desirous of securing a place for themselves in these troublous times. Amyntas and his followers were apparently defeated and slain before the walls of Memphis. But Alexander and nearly his entire army, fresh from the successful sieges of Tyre and Gaza, were now approaching. Against such an array, Mazaces and his feeble forces were powerless. He opened negotiations, gracefully surrendered the cities and treasures under his jurisdiction, and was kindly treated by the conqueror.
The features of Mazaces, as they appear on the little bronze coin, are handsome, genial but not over masterful. He, like his friend Amminapes, 146 doubtless joined the group of noble Persians in Alexander's train, served his new master faithfully, and was later rewarded (as we have reason to believe) 147 with some official position in Alexander's empire. The galley on the reverse of this coin is also interesting, for it is obviously copied from well known Sidonian issues and so supports the attribution to Egypt of the trihemiobol of Sabaces mentioned above, p. 66.
These coins, Nos. 36–41 inclusive, form a coherent whole, each group supporting the other in its assignment to the land of the Nile, while the proposed explanation of their Aramaic inscriptions confirm the traditional names of the last two Persian satraps of Egypt.
|144||First published by the writer in the American Journal of Numismatics, Vol. XLVIII, 1914, p. 70, No. 32, Pl. IX. Not being at that time very familiar with the vagaries of Aramaic characters; being further misled by Imhoof-Blumer (Monnaies grecques, p. 369, No. 63 and Choix, Pl. V, 177) and Babelon (Traité 2, Vol. II, p. 679, No. 1095, Pl. CXXV, 13) who give the highly dubious reading or of an inscription which is partly off flan on an imitation Athenian tetradrachm bearing the same curious symbol in the field; and, finally, hoping at last to have discovered a real portrait of the famous satrap Mazaeus, the writer erroneously attributed this coin to that satrap.|
|145||Cf. Berve, Das Alexanderreich, Vol. II, pp. 245–6.|
|42 ΑᴠΤ ΚΑΙ | ΝεΡΟᴠΑ ΤΡΑΙΑΝ | Οᴠ. Laureate, draped bust of Trajan to r. Circle of dots.||СεΒ ΓεΡ ΔΑΚΙ ΔΗΜ εΞ ϒΠ ε. Laureate bust of Tyrian Heracles (with the features of Trajan) to r., wearing the lion's skin knotted about his throat. Beneath, LIB. Circle of dots.|
|From Dr. Jules Rouvier's Coll.|
|Tetradrachm. Gr. 13.93. ↑↓.|
This rare coin, first described by Dr. Rouvier,148 has been included by Wruck 149 among his Roman provincial issues of Syria. In questioning 150 Rouvier's reading of the inscription, Wruck is correct. The coin bears ΤΡΑΙΑΝΟᴠ (not ΤΡΑΙΑΝ) and ΔΑΚΙ (not ΔΑΚ), just as on the similar specimen in Berlin. He is mistaken, however, in placing the coin among the Syrian issues.
Everything about this piece (fabric, lettering, diecutting, form of the date, etc.) are typical of the great mint at Alexandria in Egypt. They certainly are not Syrian. The simple expedient of visual juxtaposition with an Alexandrian bronze coin of Trajan's twelfth year (Plate IV, C) is sufficient to establish definitely their origin in a common mint. We even become aware of the possibility that one and the same die-cutter may have prepared their obverse dies. Note, for instance, that the curiously curling diadem ends are practically identical on the two coins.
This identification of the mint at once explains certain anomalies in No. 42, which embarrassed Wruck, 151 because he assumed that the coin had been struck in Syria. The most characteristically Egyptian "hallmark" of all is the presence of the Egyptian sign "L," denoting year, and the use of a regnal year to date by. Neither have been found on other Syrian coins of Trajan, but they do constitute the customary practice at Alexandria since the days of the Ptolemies. 152 The very presence, then, of LIB on No. 42 should clearly indicate to all that the coin could not possibly be a Syrian but must be an Alexandrian issue. Probably, no one would ever have questioned its origin in the mint of Alexandria, were it not for three important and very obvious considerations: 1) The reverse type of the Heracles bust is seldom found at Alexandria but is characteristically Tyrian, dating from 124 B.C. when a well known autonomous coinage with this type was inaugurated at Tyre which lasted down into Nero's reign. 2) Later, the Heracles type appeared again under Trajan and Caracalla at Tyre. 3) The quality of the silver and the weight of the coin are far superior to those of the current Alexandrian potin tetradrachms and, in this respect, are identical with the ordinary Syrian tetradrachms.
Thus, we are left with the following contradictory facts: The portrait of Trajan, the style of the diecutting, the fabric of the coin and kind of date it bears are typically Egyptian, while the quality of the silver, the weight of the coin and the reverse type it bears are typically Syro-Phoenician. The only way left for us to reconcile these contradictory facts is to admit that the coin is indeed of Egyptian origin, but that it was struck with Syrian types and on the Syrian standard.
It being established, then, that we have in No. 42 a special issue of Trajan's well known "Tyrian" tetradrachms coined in Egypt, there remains the question—why? This, unfortunately, proves difficult to answer satisfactorily, although the fact itself is certain. The date borne by the coin shows it to have been struck at some time between the 1st of Thot (August 29/30) 108 and the 1st of Thot 109 A.D. 153 If it had belonged to a slightly later period, we might have explained its issue in Alexandria as an attempt to supplement the activities of the mints in Antioch and Tyre preparing for the Parthian campaigns of Trajan. But in 108/9 A.D., more or less profound peace was being enjoyed throughout the Roman empire. The great Dacian wars had been successfully concluded some two years before; the Parthian war was still from four to five years away.
From Trajan's fifth Alexandrian year (101/2 A.D.), through his eleventh (107/8 A.D.) the Alexandrian mint had been steadily coining its usual potin tetradrachms. 154 Those of his twelfth year, on the other hand, are extremely rare; 155 and none at all are known for the thirteenth year. The few which bear LIB may then be assigned to the very commencement of that year, after which they ceased to appear until some time in the fourteenth year (110/11 A.D.). Perhaps towards the close of the Julian year 108, or in 109 A.D., may have come the issue of No. 42. Wruck, believing it to have been coined in Syria, suggests 156 that its issue may have been connected with Trajan's decennial celebrations. But that suggestion will not hold for Alexandria, where the issue would have come much too late. 157
Vogt, 158 followed very hesitatingly by Wruck, 159 has suggested that a visit to the east was contemplated by Trajan at about this very time, and connects therewith a certain type brought out by the Alexandrian mint in the twelfth year and the draping of Trajan's bust with the paludamentum at this same time. But the classical passages quoted to support the theory are none too definite, and the coin invoked is not certainly of the twelfth year. 160 In any event, what possible connection a coin like No. 42 could have with a merely contemplated visit of Trajan to the east, is not very clear. The fact of the Egyptian origin of No. 42 also does away with Wruck's theory 161 that it might commemorate the erection at Tyre of a statue of Heracles bearing the emperor's features, at the time a visit by Trajan was expected or when his decennial votives were being celebrated.
Strack has argued 162 for the inauguration by Trajan (to celebrate his Dacian triumphs) of games in honor of Heracles, his divine patron. He bases his theory on the inscription 163 of one T. Flavius Archibios from Alexandria, who therein lists as third among the celebrated games at which he was victor a Ήράxλεια έxινίxια αύτοxράτορος Νέρουα Τραιανοῦ Καίσαρος Σεβαστοῦ Γερμανιxοῦ Δαxιxοῦ. The place at which these games were once held is unfortunately lost, but Strack argues for Rome. He places the victory of Archibios just before or just after 106 A.D., certainly not later than 110 A.D. If the Ήράxλεια έπινίxια had been established at Alexandria,164 as is always a possibility because of the present damaged state of the inscription, then the exceptional issues represented by No. 42 may have taken place in connection with the previously mentioned games. On this theory, a special issue of coins (or even of monetary prizes) may have been brought out with a type and standard most familiar to visitors from Syria and Phoenicia. This is admittedly a rather hazardous explanation for the existence of coins like No. 42, and at best is based on but flimsy and unsatisfactory evidence.
Again, it is possible that for a moment Trajan actually contemplated a reform in the Alexandrian silver coinage. The old, light-weight, heavily-alloyed potin tetradrachm was to be replaced by a heavier and purer coin closely assimilated in type, weight and alloy to the "Tyrian" money coined in Syria. A parchment document from Dura 165 has recently revealed to us what great popularity this "Tyrian" money enjoyed at this time, even across the border in Parthian lands. Therefore the coining of the old Alexandrian tetradrachm ceased early in the twelfth Alexandrian year, its place being taken by coins such as No. 42. The experiment seems not to have proved a success however, probably for economic reasons not unconnected with the resultant loss to the emperor's private purse, for the land of Egypt was not so much a Roman province as a personal possession of the Roman emperors and fully exploited by them.
Be that as it may, the new issue must soon have been stopped and the coins withdrawn, seeing that only two specimens have so far come down to us. The coinage of the regulation Alexandrian potin tetradrachm was recommenced in the course of year 14, and continued through the remainder of the reign. No. 42, and its companion piece in Berlin, are thus interesting mementos of what may have been intended as the beginning of a "new deal" for the long exploited and underprivileged Egyptians.
|146||Arrian, III, 22, 1. See also Droysen, I2, 1, p. 347.|
|147||See below, p. 88.|
|148||Jour, inter, d'arch. num., Vol. VI, 1903, p. 331, No. 2284.|
|149||w. Wruck, Die syrische Provinzialprägung von Augustus bis Traian, No. 154, Pl. 6 (the only other known example, now in Berlin).|
|150||Ibid., p. 194, footnote.|
|151||Loc. cit., pp. 150, 153, 156, 159. Wruck does well to bring out (p. 159) the differences in portraiture so evident between our coin and the remainder of the Syrian issues. These differences are quite obvious—but also quite understandable when once we know that the coins were struck not only in different mints, but also on different continents!|
|152||The practice of using the sign "L" was first introduced on his Phoenician and Cypriote issues by Ptolemy V, and was regularly continued on Alexandrian issues from the reign of Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II.|
|153||Not Dec. 10th 107 to Dec 10th 108 A.D., as stated by Wruck, who was laboring under the mistaken assumption that the coin was of Syrian origin.|
|154||J. Vogt, Die Alexandrinischen Münzen, Vol II, pp. 24-27.|
|155||One is described by Dattari, Numi Augg. Alexandrini, No. 703. Another, of a different type, is in the author's collection.|
|156||Loc. cit., p. 157.|
|157||Wruck apparently also followed Strack's dating (Untersuchungen zur Römischen Reichsprägung des zweiten Jahrhunderts, Teil I, p. 29) of Trajan's decennial celebrations to the year 108 A.D. Mattingly, however, has shown (Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol. III, pp. lxxvi and lxxviii) that the vota were far more likely to have been held in 106 or early in 107 A.D.|
|158||Loc. cit., Vol. I, p. 77.|
|159||Loc. cit., pp. 156–7.|
|160||Cf. Strack, loc. cit., p. 132, note 525.|
|161||Loc. cit., p. 159.|
|162||Loc. cit., pp. 134 f.|
|163||I. G. R. I, 446.|
|164||At Alexandria, under Trajan, we find Heracles' types appearing for the first time on the money in the 10th year (106/7), and continued in the 11th (107/8) and 13th (109/10) years. Cf. Dattari, loc. cit., Nos. 663, 913-7, 1136.|
|165||See above, p. 40, note 79.|
In addition to the two groups of imitation Athenian tetradrachms from Egypt discussed above on pp. 62–75, there is yet another very large group of similar coins, which also bears an Aramaic inscription but which is never found in Egypt. These coins, in contrast to those from Egypt, are struck on small, thick, almost globular planchets. Their style is much more barbaric than that of the Egyptian pieces, and the individual specimens almost invariably come from Babylonia. Instead of the punchmarks which characterize the Egyptian tetradrachms, these of Babylonia never have punchmarks but are frequently gashed with a deep chisel cut. They represent the direct continuation of certain imitation Athenian tetradrachms which bear not an Aramaic inscription but the original ΑΘΕ—of which category the following piece is an example.
|43 Head of Athena to r., wearing round ear-ring and a crested Attic helmet adorned with floreate spiral and olive leaves. Chisel cut.||(Α)ΘΕ οn r. Owl standing to r. On l., olive spray and crescent.|
|From a Babylonian Hoard.|
|Tetradrachm. Gr. 17.58.|
This coin came from a hoard found, during or shortly after the war, in Babylonia, of which several specimens were acquired by the British Museum. These latter pieces are of the following types and bear an Aramaic inscription. No. 43, on the other hand, has only the ΑΘΕ but it chances to have been struck from the same obverse die as one of the coins now in the British Museum.
Identically similar in style and fabric are the following pieces:
|44 Similar head of Athena to r. Light chisel cut.||Similar to the preceding, but instead of ΑΘΕ on the r. may be seen the lower portions of In r. field, Deep chisel cut.|
|From Baghdad, 1929. Tetradrachm. Gr. 16.88.|
|46||Similar to the preceding, but the symbol has the form Two specimens, one (with two deep chisel cuts) weighs Gr. 17.21 and is from the same hoard as No. 43; the other (one chisel cut), weighs Gr.|
|15.75 and is from Prof. Haynes' collection.|
|47 Similar.||Similar, but Δ may be seen in the r. field, in addition to the|
|From Prof. Haynes' collection.|
|Tetradrachm. Gr. 17.20.|
Similar specimens, but showing the inscription in full, are in the British Museum. A very similar piece was published by Imhoof-Blumer 166 and was again described by Six, 167 together with another coin, from a cast in the British Museum, which bears alongside the main inscription the two Aramaic letters, ain and samech (reversed). On both of these last two specimens the tops of the letters at the end of the inscription are off flan. Thus, it resulted that both scholars erroneously read the inscription as (Mazri) or (Mazdi), and Six attributed the coins to Mazaeus. Babelon, unfortunately, perpetuated this error in his Traité. 168
Actually, as shown by the new specimens in the British Museum, the inscription reads (Mazdak), i.e. the same name that occurs on the Egyptian coins (Nos. 40–41), described earlier. This fact, indeed, might have been suspected before, for in the field of these tetradrachms from Babylonia there appears the same curious symbol, which so clearly characterizes the Egyptian issues of Mazaces. To Mazaces, then, must also be assigned these imitation "owls" from Irak. What exactly is the meaning or significance of the symbol is still uncertain, although Babelon saw in it the Himyarite caph and so suggested that the coins were struck in the Yemen. While its interpretation as a Himyarite letter is extremely doubtful, the assignment of the coins themselves to Arabia is demonstrably mistaken.
The issues of Mazaces continue with the following:
|48 Similar to the preceding.||on the r. Owl to r. Behind it, olive spray and crescent, which here takes the shape of a "satrapal bonnet," probably unintentionally so. In r. field, Pellet.|
|From Prof. Haynes' Babylonian Hoard. Tetradrachm. Gr. 17.51.|
|49 Similar to the preceding. Chisel cut.||Same inscription, and similar type. The crescent here is of normal form. In r. field,|
|Found at Ctesiphon. Tetradrachm. Gr. 17.16.|
|50 Similar.||Similar. In r. field,|
|From Baghdad, 1929. Tetradrachm. Gr. 15.83.|
|51 Similar. Chisel cut.||Similar to the preceding, but without letters in the field.|
|From Baghdad, 1929. Tetradrachm. Gr. 16.64.|
|52 Similar. Deep chisel||Similar to the preceding.|
|53 cut on No. 52.||Deep chisel cut on No. 52.|
|Both coins from Baghdad, 1929.|
|Tetradrachms. Gr. 16.90 and 15.92.|
|54 Similar to the preceding.||Similar, but owl faces to l. Olive spray and crescent on the r., blundered inscription, on the 1. From Prof. Haynes' Coll. Tetradrachm. Gr. 17.09.|
Six in 1884 published 169 a specimen, from a cast in the British Museum, similar to No. 48, and read the inscription as (Mazdad) or (Mazdar). Babelon 170 later published two further examples of this variety and follows Six in his reading of "Mazdad." Because of the uncertainty inherent in so many Aramaic letters, both and are possible, but on the analogy of the Egyptian coins Nos. 40-41 and legible specimens of Nos. 4447, the present writer believes the name should be read (Mazdak), and all these coins assigned to Mazaces.
Because of the Babylonian origin of every specimen in the writer's collection, as well as the hoard in the British Museum, it would seem practically certain that these coins had been struck somewhere in Babylonia. Because a coin was purchased in Baghdad it need not necessarily have been found in Irak. For a long time, coins actually unearthed in western Persia have been transported by merchants across the border in order to enjoy the more active coin market existing in Baghdad. 171 On the other hand, No. 49 is definitely stated to have been found in Irak, No. 48 came from a hoard found in Babylonia, while the other coins (Nos. 46, 47, 54) from Prof. Haynes' collection almost certainly came from Babylonia rather than from Persia. Assuming the coins to be really from the Babylonian district, where could they have been coined? Almost certainly not in Babylon itself, for that mint was far too actively engaged in producing masses of Alexander's own money, as well as the lion staters inaugurated there by Mazaeus, who from 331 to 328 B.C. was satrap of Babylonia for Alexander. The crude style and clumsy fabric of these coins seem of too poor a quality for the Babylon mint, whose issues from the very beginning were of a high order, both artistically as well as mechanically. Other possibilities are such large and actively commercial centres as Uruk-Orchoi (the modern Warka), or even Opis. Wherever they may actually have been struck, 172 our coins do suggest that Alexander had entrusted to Mazaces the governorship 173 of some important city, or district, as a reward for his ready surrender of Egypt and continued loyalty to the new régime. Mazaces there proceeded to coin Athenian "owls" for trade purposes, imitating the similar pieces he had previously issued from Memphis.
|166||Monnaies grecques, p. 369, No. 63 and Choix, Pl. V, 177.|
|167||Six, Numismatic Chronicle, New Series, Vol. XVII, 1877, p. 224, No. 18, and Numismatic Chronicle, 3rd Ser., Vol. IV, 1884, p. 141, Nos. 1 and 2, Pl. VI, 9.|
|168||Loe. cit., p. 679, No. 1095.|
|169||Numismatic Chronicle, 3rd Ser., Vol. IV, 1884, p. 141, No. 3, Pl. VI, 10.|
|170||Traité 2, Vol. II, p. 678, Nos. 1093–4, Pl. CXXV, 11-12.|
|171||The coin formerly in Prokesch-Osten's collection and now in Berlin, is stated by Imhoof-Blumer, Monnaies grecques, p. 369 to have come from Tauris and probably to have been found in Persia.|
|172||Six, having read the inscription as (Mazdar), assigned (loc. cit., p. 143) the coin bearing it to the Mazaros whom Alexander had appointed commandant of the citadel of Susa (Arrian III, 16, 9). But, as Berve (Das Alexanderreich, Vol. II, p. 246) points out, Mazaros, in spite of the Iranian sound to his name, was probably a noble Macedonian. In that case, he certainly would not have written his name in Aramaic characters on his coins, nor in his position as mere phrourarch (i.e. not even governor of the city, let alone satrap of the province!) of the citadel would he have been in any position to coin money in his own name.|
|173||As was the case with other Persians like Mazaeus, Amminapes, and many others.|
|55 ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΕΡΜΑΙΟϒ. Helmeted, diademed and fully accoutred figure of Hermaeus astride prancing horse to r.; at his back can be seen a spear and a bow in its case.||Maharajasa tratarasa Heramayasa in Kharoshti letters. Radiate, bearded and fully draped figure of Zeus-Mithra seated facing on high-backed throne with foot-stool; he wears Mithra's "bonnet" and holds callipers (?) in outstretched r. and long sceptre in l. In r. field,|
|Tetradrachm. Gr. 9.74.|
The coins of Hermaeus, perhaps the last Greek prince to hold sway over what is now modern Afghanistan, are for the most part fairly common. There is one type, however, which is excessively rare. On the obverse, we find Hermaeus mounted on a prancing charger; on the reverse, the seated figure of Zeus-Mithra with radiate head and wearing a so-called Phrygian cap, typical of all the later representations of the god Mithra. Hitherto, this particular combination of types has been represented only by a worn but unique drachm which General Cunningham secured from the Sonipat hoard 174 and which is now in the British Museum. A companion piece may perhaps be recognized in a square copper coin, also unique, from Cunningham's collection 175 and now, too, in the British Museum. This piece bears the horseman on the obverse, but the reverse type is off flan.
Recently, the writer has been fortunate enough to secure the tetradrachm belonging to this group. Like Cunningham's drachm it bears the monogram which is one of those most frequently found on the issues of the Greek princes who once ruled Afghanistan. It may be seen on the coins of Heliocles, Strato I, Archebius, Peucolaus, Diomed, Philoxenus, Amyntus, Hermaeus with Calliope, and Hermaeus alone. Being larger and much better preserved than Cunningham's unique drachm, the present piece allows us the better to appreciate its excellent style and the minute details of its types. It was possibly among Hermaeus' earliest issues and was soon replaced by his far commoner coins 176 adorned with the royal portrait on the obverse.
The rays which surround the god's head on the reverse are particularly clear on this new tetradrachm, as is also the form of the head-dress which he wears. The type is surely intended for a repre- sentation of the Iranian sun god Mithra 177 under the general guise of the Greek Zeus. The curious object held in his right hand has been noticed previously only by Mr. Whitehead178 but not discussed by him. The right hand is not held outstretched, with extended forefinger and thumb pointing downwards, as suggested by the engraver of Cunningham's plates and apparently accepted as such without question by later writers, but the god's hand is closed and grasps an object shaped somewhat like Another and even clearer representation may be seen in the coin illustrated here on Plate V, D. Without desiring to be dogmatic, the writer would call attention to a very similar object held in the outstretched hands of certain deities as depicted on some coins of Kanishka and Huvishka. So far as the writer is aware, it is only Cunningham who has ever mentioned it and attempted to give it a name. Whatever the object may be, it is important to note that it is invariably held by a sun- or moon-god, i.e. ΗΛΙΟС (Plate V, E), СΑΛΗΝΗ (Brit. Mus. Cat., Pl. XXVI, 1), MIIPO or MIOPO (Plate V, F) and MAO (Plate V, G). 179 Its form on these Kushan coins varies from to to 180 Cunningham, whenever he notes the object, calls it a pair of callipers and explains its significance " … to represent the Sun as a 'measurer of time' by years. The same type occurs with the moon-god Mao, who was also a 'measurer of time' by months." 181 This seems at least a plausible suggestion and covers such facts in the case as we now possess. If the explanation be the true one, then it is not surprising to find the object also in the hand of the deity depicted on the coins of Hermaeus. For the rays about his head are clear, and definitely proclaim him likewise a sun-god.
|174||Coins of Alexander's Successors in the East, p. 286 (12), No. 3. Percy Gardner, The Coins of the Greek and Scythic Kings of Bactria and India in The British Museum, p. 172, No. 2.|
|175||Cunningham, loc. cit., p. 287 (13), No. 5, Pl. XIV (VII), 10.|
|176||For a good example of this commoner type, see Plate V, D, a specimen in the writer's collection from Mr. R. B. Whitehead's collection.|
|177||A fine characterization of the same divinity may be seen in the rayed and mitred bust which constitutes the obverse type of early, square bronze coins of Hermaeus. For good specimens, see Brit. Mus. Cat., Greek and Scythic Kings of Bactria and India, Pl. XV, 8 and Catalogue of Coins in the Panjab Museum, Lahore, Vol. I, Pl. IX, 679. There exist similar coins of Amyntas on which the bust is accompanied by a sceptre. See Brit. Mus. Cat., ibid., Pl. XIV, 11.|
|178||Numismatic Chronicle, 5th Ser., Vol. III, 1923, p. 339.|
|179||It must not be confused with the obvious wreath which the sun- or moon-gods also at times hold in their outstretched hands. Cf. Cunningham, Coins of the Kushans in the Numismatic Chronicle, 3rd. Ser., Vol. XII, 1892, Pl. IX, 8-10, Pl. X. 8–9.|
|56 ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΝΙΚΑΤΟΡΟΣ ΑΜϒΝΤΟϒ. Diademed, draped bust to r.||Maharajasa jayadharasa Amitasa in Kharoshti letters. Zeus seated, facing, on high-backed throne; holding armed figure of Athena in his outstretched r., and palm-branch and long sceptre in l. In l field,|
|Tetradrachm. Gr. 9.89. ↑↑.|
Until the appearance of this coin, the only known obverse type for the tetradrachms of Amyntas was his helmeted bust, either draped to right or in fighting attitude to left. 182 We now possess a tetradrachm presenting the plain, diademed bust as on many of his known drachms. The reverse type is the enthroned Zeus, common to all the drachms of Amyntas but hitherto known for the tetradrachm only on the unique specimen first published by Mr. Whitehead. The monogram on our coin is also new for the tetradrachm, although it is of frequent occurrence on the drachms.
|180||Cf. Cunningham, loc. cit., Pl. X, 1–2.|
|181||Loc. cit., p. 129.|
|57 ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣΩΤΗ-ΡΟΣ ΝΙΚΙΟϒ. Diademed, draped bust of Nicias to r.||Maharajasa tratarasa Nikiasa in Kharoshti letters. Helmeted and draped figure of Athena facing, striding to l., with upraised r. brandishing a thunderbolt and holding a shield in her l. In l. field,|
|Tetradrachm. Gr. 9.43.|
No tetradrachms of this ephemeral ruler have hitherto been recorded. Even his extant drachms are so rare that they can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Curiously enough, the reverse type of the tetradrachm differs from that found on the known drachms. But this may be partially accounted for by the fact that, according to its monogram, it was coined in another mint. This type of the fighting Athena, in frontal aspect, occurs also on some very rare coins of Strato I, although on the latter she is standing, not striding to the left as on our coin. Her attitude also reminds one of the fighting Zeus seen on the coins of Archebius. But the monogram on our coin associates it with the issues of Antialcidas, Lysias(?), and Philoxenus, princes ruling in northwest India, and not with the coins of the Greek princes of Afghanistan.
The existence of a tetradrachm in the series of Nicias, suggests that some day may also be found tetradrachms of his immediate predecessors, Lysias and Theophilus, with whose coins his are closely associated in style and monograms.
|182||R. B. Whitehead, Numismatic Chronicle, 5th Ser., Vol. III, 1923, pp. 331-2, Pl. XVI, 7 and 9.|
|58 Beardless(?) male bust to l., wearing richly embroidered robe and tall head-dress.||in four lines.|
|Bronze. Gr. 2.16. ↑↓.|
This strange little coin was many years ago selected in London from among a miscellaneous lot of Parthian, Indo-Parthian, Kushan and later oriental coins of all sorts and ages. Unfortunately, the inscription is not quite complete, as a sizeable fragment has at some time been broken out of the coin. As it stands, however, the damaged inscription is about all that we have to guide us in attributing the coin to its original issuer.
Of the first letter in the first line, only a portion seems to have been left us by the corrosion, presenting a curved stroke with a rather sharp angle. Because the two succeeding letters are vowels, this stroke ought surely to be part of some consonant. This rules out a possible eta. It could be a lunate sigma were it not for the fact that the only other sigma present in the inscription is definitely square in form. It could be the right-hand stroke of a curved mu or nu, but the curve appears to be considerably more acute than these letters present in the second name on our coin. By turning the coin about, backwards and forwards, in various strong lights there does seem (to the writer at least) to remain a slight indication of the lower left hasta of a chi as X. This, together with the succeeding five definitely clear letters, gives us ΧΕΙΡΟϒ as the genitival form of some such name as ΧΕΙΡΟΗΣ or ΧΕΙΡΟΣ.
The next two letters still preserved to us are an omicron and an upsilon. These might, of course, belong to the second name, but it is easier and more reasonable to assume that a tau, or even upsilon iota, are off flan and that we have before us what remains of the usual Greek τοῦ or υίοῦ preceding the patr- onymic. Further probability is lent to this assumption by the slightly enhanced space existing between the final upsilon and the following letter, thus suggesting a word separation at this particular spot. Because of the available space, the writer believes that it may be only a tau that is actually missing.
The first letter of the father's name presents the form This could well be an eta, although that would give a rather weird and unsatisfactory form to the name. In late times, in the Greek orient, the letter mu often assumes this debased shape. 183 On the other hand, we apparently possess a strictly orthodox mu in the slightly damaged letter at the beginning of the next line. Hence, the writer would prefer to recognize here the sound h, as Dr. Fleet has shown 184 to be the case with a letter of this identical shape in the name Kharahostes (in the Greek inscription) appearing on the more or less contemporary coins of that ruler. To this, there succeed the two clearly written letters alpha (in cursive form) and rho, followed by a lacuna of from two to three characters, itself followed by the obviously genitival ending ΜΟϒ. For the father's name, then, we secure some such form as Har … mos or Har … mes. But if we should read the first letter as a mu, then the antepenult, being of another form, might be taken as a nu written backwards. 185
We thus would have some such form as Mar … nos or Mar … nes. The first suggestion appears to the writer to be the more acceptable one.
The succeeding square sigma, the writer takes to be the first letter of the next word, of which we have, besides, only ΑΠΟ. The space at our disposal and the probable presence of some sort of title following the two names, readily allow us to complete this word as σατράπου.
Who may Cheires, son of Har … mes, the Satrap, have been? And where and when did he rule? No prince of this name appears to be known to history or to numismatics.
There are several factors which lead us to look eastwards for his sphere of existence. In the first place, the milieu in which the coin turned up suggests Persia, Afghanistan or India. Certain letters in the inscription are typical of inscriptions found on late Parthian, even more so on Indo-Scythic or Indo-Parthian issues. The lunate epsilon is as common in the west as it is in the east and so is of little assistance to us here. The rho tends distinctly to assume the square form on coins of Zeionises, satrap of Taxila. The square omicron appears as early as the second century B.C. on coins of Nicias and Hippostratos, is common on those of Spalyris, Spalirises, Azes and their successors, but first occurs in Parthia on the coins of Orodes II (57–38 B.C.). The first step towards a cursive alpha begins to appear under the Greco-Indian princes in the form This becomes usual in the Indo-Scythic period, when also the more rounded form occurs from time to time. Both forms continue into the Kushan period, but the rounded form now largely predominates. The square sigma occurs as early as some of the bronze coins of Nicias, appears once or twice on those of Azes, is common on the issues of Spalyris, Spalirises, Gondophares, Sanabares, Kharahostes, Phseigacharis, Sapaleizes, Soter Megas, Kujula Kadphises and Kadaphes. But, after that, it again gives way to the lunate form. On Parthian coins, it occurs as early as Orodes II (57–38 B.C.), and afterwards becomes quite common. While the square forms of omicron and especially sigma, as well as the cursive alpha, do appear occasionally on coins to the west of the Tigris-Euphrates valley, they are particularly common on Parthian and Indian coins and support our assignment of No. 58 to the far east of the Greek world.
As regards the portrait head, its style is distinctly good, better, in fact, than those of Pacores, Orthagnes and Sanabares, and infinitely better than the crude heads of Gondophares and Abdagases. This may be due to a more skillful die-cutter; it may also be due to his earlier date or to the fact that he may have been more exposed to Greek influence. The embroidered upper edge of the robe is similar to that found on the bronze coins of Sanabares. 186 The head-dress suggests the usual Parthian one, but only in a general way, as the concave outline at the back and the flaring but somewhat flattened upper contour give the object on our coin a more individual character. It is not exactly like any bonnet or head-piece known to numismatics. Due to the corroded state of the coin, it is not possible to determine whether the bonnet possesses a long neck-piece, or whether this portion was intended to represent the satrap's hair. It is also to be noted that the usual flowing diadem-ends and large bow, which appear behind the head on Parthian and Kushan coins, seem to be lacking.
Thus far, everything about the coin has pointed to the east. One peculiarity, however, does not. The use of parallel lines of inscription to fill the reverse flan is not known to early Indian coins, while on Parthian coins it occurs only once—a small civic issue, probably of Ecbatana. In the west the practice is much more common, appearing on certain issues of Ma'nu of Edessa and prevalent throughout the Greco-Roman world. The preponderance of evidence, however, still seems to point to the east.
As for the date, by taking the forms of the letters and the general style and fabric into consideration, the coin may reasonably be assigned to the first century B.C., perhaps to its second half.
The curious names and especially the use of the diphthong, ιε, remind one of such Indo-Parthian or Indo-Scythian(?) princes as Sapaleizes, Phseiga-charis and Zeionises. 187 The use on a coin of the title of "satrap" points to the period and general district where once ruled Kharahostes, Zeionises, Raj uvula and the later Kshatrapa princes. May some philologist conversant with Central Asian or Indo-Iranian names recognize and elucidate for us the appellations, ΧΕΙΡΌϒ and ΗΑP … ΜΟϒ!
|183||Frequently on Parthian coins, and notably so on the Indo-Scythic coins of Maues, Azes and their successors.|
|184||Jour. Royal Astatic Society, 1907, pp. 1041-4.|
|185||which does happen occasionally on Parthian, Indo-Scythic, Indo-Parthian and Kushan coins.|
|186||Cf. Brit. Mus. Cat., Greek and Scythic Kings, Pl. XXIII, 12.|
|187||Kharahostes, in the Greek inscription on his coins, also twice makes use of the same diphthong. Cf. Catalogue of Coins in the Panjab Museum, Lahore, Vol. I, p. 159.|
|59 ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΠΟΛΛΟΔΟΤΟϒ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ. Apollo, nude, standing facing. In lower l. field,||Maharajasa tratar asa Apaladatasa, on three sides of a dotted square, within which, a tripod.|
|Across the field may be seen: of a later striking.||Across the field may be seen portions of an ornamental border, within which an ornamental design or traces of an illegible inscription.|
|Bronze. Gr. 9.55.|
The original coin is a common type of the square bronze issues of the Greco-Indian king, Apollodotus I. In comparatively recent times, to judge by the character of the Arabic inscription and the uncertain design on the reverse, the ancient coin has been re-used as a blank at the mint of some minor Mohammedan rajah or emir. The process of recoining was not very efficiently carried out, and the ancient types and inscriptions are far more legible than those of the Mohammedan prince.
Of the latter's types, one can still read on the obverse the word falus, accompanied above and below by indistinct traces of further letters or numerals. On the reverse, double-striking has rendered the modern legend practically illegible except for a possible Available publications of Oriental coins, as well as the well-stocked trays of the American Numismatic Society, have been searched without finding anything which exactly corresponds to the over-strike. Perhaps the nearest is represented by some squarish or octagonal coins of one Mahmoud Khan struck at Kalat in Baluchistan. On these, the word falus is written in a similar fashion. Below it, stands the mint name of which, on our coin, the two topmost points of the lam-alif appear still to be distinguishable. The reverses of the Kalat coins bear the ruler's name, Mahmoud Khan. This may be represented by the although the remaining traces of letters do not seem to correspond very closely with such Kalat coins as chance to be available. This, however, may be the result of the very severe disfigurement of the inscription occasioned by the double-striking. The writer is far from being completely satisfied with the Γ roposed identification and would welcome further suggestions.