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Home>Catalog>GreekCoins>GreekCountermarked PAGE 1/212»»»

Countermarked Greek Coins


Aspendus, Pamphylia, 195 - 194 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great
Click for a larger photo After Alexander took Perga peacefully, Aspendos sent envoys to offer surrender if he would not take the taxes and horses formerly paid as tribute to the Persian king. Agreeing, Alexander went on to Side, leaving a garrison behind. When he learned they had failed to ratify the agreement their own evnvoys had proposed, Alexander marched to the city. The Aspendians retreated to their acropolis and again sent envoys to sue for peace. This time, however, they had to agree to harsh terms - they would host a Macedonian garrison and pay 100 gold talents and 4.000 horses annually.

When this coin was struck, Antiochos III the Great had recovered central Asia Minor for the Seleukid Kingdom. Aspendos accepted Seleukid authority in 197 B.C. The city surrendered to Rome in 190 B.C.
SH59525. Silver tetradrachm, Price 2897, SNG Cop 771, Cohen DCA 312, VF, weight 16.722 g, maximum diameter 31.3 mm, die axis 0o, Aspendos mint, 195 - 194 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; Seleukid countermark: anchor in roughly rectangular punch; reverse Zeus enthroned left, eagle in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, AΣ / IH (year 18 Era of Aspendos) left; $290.00 (€217.50)

Aspendus, Pamphylia, 191 - 190 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great
Click for a larger photo After Alexander took Perga peacefully, Aspendos sent envoys to offer surrender if he would not take the taxes and horses formerly paid as tribute to the Persian king. Agreeing, Alexander went on to Side, leaving a garrison behind. When he learned they had failed to ratify the agreement their own evnvoys had proposed, Alexander marched to the city. The Aspendians retreated to their acropolis and again sent envoys to sue for peace. This time, however, they had to agree to harsh terms - they would host a Macedonian garrison and pay 100 gold talents and 4.000 horses annually.

In 190 B.C., Aspendos, which had been under Seleukid rule, surrendered to the Romans.
SH59444. Silver tetradrachm, Price 2901, Müller Alexander 1214, Cohen DCA 312, VF, weight 16.227 g, maximum diameter 31.6 mm, die axis 0o, Aspendos mint, 191 - 190 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; Seleukid countermark: anchor in a rectangluar punch; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, right leg drawn back, eagle extended in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, wreath above AΣ / KB left (year 22 Era of Aspendos); $270.00 (€202.50)

Side, Pamphylia, c. 220 - 190 B.C., Seleukid Royal Countermark
Click for a larger photo Side tetradrachms often bear Seleukid anchor countermarks. Often the coins had very little wear (and thus circulation) before countermarking. Houghton and Lorber do not attribute the countermark to a specific ruler, but it seems likely the countermarks are related to Antiochos III's offensive into Asia Minor, Thrace and Greece and the subsequent war with Rome in 190 B.C.
SH90619. Silver tetradrachm, SNGvA 4792; SNG BnF -; countermark: Houghton-Lorber II 63, aVF, weight 16.455 g, maximum diameter 30.1 mm, die axis 0o, Side mint, c. 220 - 190 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in a crested Corinthian helmet; reverse Nike advancing left, wreath extended in right, pomegranate in left field, CT (magistrate's initials) below; Seleukid countermark: anchor in rectangular incuse; ex FORVM 2001; $300.00 SALE PRICE $270.00 ON RESERVE

Aspendus, Pamphylia, 188 - 187 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great
Click for a larger photo After Alexander took Perga peacefully, Aspendos sent envoys to offer surrender if he would not take the taxes and horses formerly paid as tribute to the Persian king. Agreeing, Alexander went on to Side, leaving a garrison behind. When he learned they had failed to ratify the agreement their own evnvoys had proposed, Alexander marched to the city. The Aspendians retreated to their acropolis and again sent envoys to sue for peace. This time, however, they had to agree to harsh terms - they would host a Macedonian garrison and pay 100 gold talents and 4.000 horses annually.

At the time this coin was struck, the territory of Aspendos was surrounded by the Attalid's Pergamene Kingdom but retained independence.
SH59445. Silver tetradrachm, Price 2904, Müller Alexander 1217, Cohen DCA 312, gF, weight 15.885 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, die axis 0o, Aspendos mint, 188 - 187 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; Seleukid countermark: anchor in a rectangluar punch; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, eagle extended in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, wreath above AΣ / KE left (year 25 Era of Aspendos); $260.00 (€195.00)

Aspendus, Pamphylia, 194 - 193 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great
Click for a larger photo After Alexander took Perga peacefully, Aspendos sent envoys to offer surrender if he would not take the taxes and horses formerly paid as tribute to the Persian king. Agreeing, Alexander went on to Side, leaving a garrison behind. When he learned they had failed to ratify the agreement their own evnvoys had proposed, Alexander marched to the city. The Aspendians retreated to their acropolis and again sent envoys to sue for peace. This time, however, they had to agree to harsh terms - they would host a Macedonian garrison and pay 100 gold talents and 4.000 horses annually.

When this coin was struck, Antiochos III the Great had recovered central Asia Minor for the Seleukid Kingdom. Aspendos accepted Seleukid authority in 197 B.C. The city surrendered to Rome in 190 B.C.
SH59449. Silver tetradrachm, Price 2898, Müller Alexander 1211, Cohen DCA 312, F, weight 15.969 g, maximum diameter 30.1 mm, die axis 0o, Aspendos mint, 194 - 193 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, eagle in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, AΣ / IΘ (year 19 Era of Aspendos) left; Seleukid countermark on right: anchor in a rectangular punch; $180.00 (€135.00)

Kingdom of Thrace, Rhoemetalces I, c. 11 B.C. - 12 A.D., Augustus Reverse
Click for a larger photo When the Cotys VII, King of Thrace, died about 48 B.C. Rhoemetalces I became the guardian of his nephew Rhescuporis I, his brother's young son and heir. In 13 B.C., Rhescuporis I was defeated and slain in battle by Vologases, chief of the Thracian Bessi, who was leading a revolt against Rome. As Rhescuporis I had left no heir, Rhoemetalces became king. An ally of Augustus, the Roman Historian Tacitus described Rhoemetalces as attractive and civilized. After his death, Augustus divided his realm, half for his son Cotys VIII and the other half for Rhoemetalces' brother Rhescuporis II. Tacitus states that Cotys received the cultivated parts, most towns and most Greek cities of Thrace, while Rhescuporis received the wild and savage portion with enemies on its frontier.
SH63439. Bronze AE 26, Youroukova 204 - 208; RPC I 1711; BMC Thrace 4; Weber 2743, gVF, countermark on obv, weight 10.33 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 180o, obverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ POIMHTAΛKOY, jugate heads of Rhoemetalces I, diademed, and Queen Pythodoris right, countermark; reverse KAIΣAPOΣ ΣEBAΣTOY, bare head of Augustus right; ex CNG auction 159, lot 137; ex Garth R. Drewry Collection; ex Alex G. Malloy XVIII (1 December 1980), lot 663; $160.00 (€120.00)

Tetrarchy of Chalkis, Coele Syria, Ptolemaios, 85 - 40 B.C., Cleopatra Countermark
Click for a larger photo Ptolemaios (also known as Ptolemy I) was succeeded by his son Lysanias, who was put to death by Marc Antony for supporting Mattathias Antigonus over Herod the Great, the Roman nominee for the Judaean throne. Antony gave the tiny kingdom of Chalkis to Cleopatra as a gift. Attribution of the countermark to Cleopatra is speculative, but the evidence seems to fit. Similar countermarks are known for Antioch, Chalkis, Seleukia and Laodicea.
GB57768. Bronze AE 20, Hoover Syrian 1441; Herman 7; BMC Galatia p. 279, 2; SGCV II 5896 var; Lindgren 2134A, aVF, rough, weight 6.201 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, Chalkis sub Libanos mint, 85 - 40 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; countermark: bust right in oval punch; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY / TETPAPΞOY / AXP (AX ligate), eagle flying right, monogram above tail; $140.00 (€105.00)

Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy VI Philometor, 180 - 145 B.C.
Click for a larger photo The Seleukid countermark was applied for Antiochos IV.
SH58536. Bronze AE 26, Svoronos 1398 (same countermark), SNG Cop 294 (same countermark), Weiser 152 (no countermark), VF, desert patina, weight 10.742 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 0o, Cypriot mint, c. 176 - 168 BC; obverse diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing on thunderbolt left; lotus to left, EYΛ between legs; countermark: Seleukid anchor.; $140.00 (€105.00)

Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Gadara, Decapolis
Click for a larger photo Another option for the countermark could be the head of Hadrian applied during the Second Jewish Revolt ("Bar Kochba" uprising) led by Simon Bar Kochba against Rome, 133 - 135 A.D. In 135 A.D., Hadrian destroyed Jerusalem and founded "Aelia Capitolina" on the site. The Jews were dispersed throughout the Roman Empire.
RP59018. Bronze AE 23, Spijkerman 26; SNG ANS 6, 1300; countermark: cf. Howgego 207 (Tyche), F, weight 9.368 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, Decapolis, Gadara mint, 71 - 72 A.D.; obverse OYECΠACIANOC KAICAP, laureate head right; reverse ΓA∆APA, Tyche standing left, wreath in right, cornucopia in left, date LEΛP left; $125.00 (€93.75)

Akragas, Sicily, c. 425 - 406 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Located on a plateau overlooking Sicily's southern coast, Akragas was founded c. 582 B.C. by colonists from Gela. It grew rapidly, becoming second only to Syracuse in importance on Sicily, but was sacked by Carthage in 406 B.C. and never fully recovered. It was renamed Agrigentum after it fell to Rome in 210 B.C.
CM66634. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati I p. 165, 10; SGCV I 1026; BMC Sicily p. 18, 117, coin: Fair, countermark: Fine, weight 9.129 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, Akragas mint, c. 425 - 406 B.C.; obverse undertype: eagle right, wings open, head lowered, standing on hare (obscure); reverse countermark: head of Herakles wearing lion-scalp headdress right in round incuse; undertype: crab, crayfish left below, six pellets around; $110.00 (€82.50)



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REFERENCES

Bauslaugh, R. "Cistophoric Countermarks and he Monetary System of Eumenes II" in NC 1990.
Calciati, R. Corpus Nummorum Siculorum. The Bronze Coinage. (Milan, 1983 - 1987).
Howgego, C. Greek Imperial Countermarks. Royal Numismatic Society, Special Publication No. 17. (London, 1985).
McAlee, R. The Coins of Roman Antioch. (Lancaster, PA, 2007).
Seyrig, H. "Monnaies contremarquées en Syrie," in Syria 35 (1958).
Topalov, S.A. New Contributions to the Study of the Countermarking of Coins in the Area of the West Pontic Cities, 3rd-1st c. B.C. (Sofia, 2002).

Catalog current as of Thursday, July 24, 2014.
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Countermarked Coins