As a component of the National Endowment of the Humanities funded Hellenistic Royal Coinages project, PELLA is an innovative research tool aiming, among other things, to provide a comprehensive typology and catalogue of the coinages struck by the Macedonian kings of the Argead dynasty (c. 700–310 BC), arguably the most influential coinages of the ancient Greek world. Fueled first by indigenous precious metal mines in their native Macedonia, and later by the spoils of their conquests, including the rich treasures of the Persian Empire, the Argeads’ numismatic output was monumental. For centuries after their deaths, coins in the name of Philip II (ruled 359–336 BC) and Alexander the Great (ruled 336–323 BC) continued to be produced by successor kings, civic mints, and imitators from Central Asia to Central Europe. The coinage of the Argeads themselves and that produced in their names has been extensively studied, but to date no comprehensive, easily accessible catalogue of their coinages exists. PELLA is designed to fill that gap, cataloguing the individual coin types of the Argead kings from Alexander I (ruled 498–454 BC), the first of the Macedonian kings to strike coins, down to Philip III Arrhidaeus (ruled 323–317 BC), the last of the titular kings to do so. Included as well as are the numerous posthumous civic and successor coinages struck in the names of the kings.
The current version of PELLA provides links to examples of the coinage (in the name) of Alexander the Great and Philip III Arrhidaeus present in a dozen collections located in the United States and Europe (see Contributors). The PELLA project currently focuses on the coinage (in the name of) Alexander III and Philip III, using reference numbers from Martin Price's The Coinage in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus , London 1991, as the means of organizing the coinages from various institutions. The next stage will focus on the coinage (in the name of) Philip II, using Le Rider, Le monnayage d'argent et d'or de Philippe II frappé en Macédoine de 359 a 294 , 1977, as the means of organizing the coinages. Pella will then focus on the coinages of Alexander I to Perdiccas III using SNG ANS as the means of organizing the coinages from various institutions.
PELLA is made possible by stable numismatic identifiers and linked open data methodologies established by the Nomisma.org project. Coin type data are made available with an Open Database License. All images and data about physical specimens are copyright of their respective institutions. Please see the Contributors page for further details about individual licenses. The current version of PELLA uses the numbering system and typology originally created and published in Price (1991) with the addition of modifications that greatly enhance the volume’s usefulness as an online resource.
In March 2017, the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded PELLA $262,000 as part of the the broader Hellenistic Royal Coinages (HRC) initiative. This grant is issued through the NEH Humanities Collections and Reference Resources program, to be dispersed over three years, to complete the project.