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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)

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)

Apameia, Phrygia, c. 100 - 48 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Rome received Apameia with the Pergamene Kingdom in 133 B.C., but sold it to Mithridates V of Pontus, who held it till 120 BC. After the Mithridatic Wars it became a great center for trade, largely carried on by resident Italians and Jews. By order of Flaccus, nearly 45 kilograms of gold, intended by Jews for the Temple in Jerusalem was confiscated in Apamea in 62 B.C.
GB90319. Bronze AE 26, SNG Cop 161 - 162; SNGvA 3466 - 3467; SNG München 114; BMC Phrygia p. 83, 78 - 82 (none with countermark), aVF, earthen and dark green patina, weight 8.211 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 0o, Apameia mint, Kokos, magistrate, c. 100 - 48 B.C.; obverse bust of Athena right, wearing high-crested Corinthian helmet and aegis; c/m: facing bull’s head in round punch; reverse eagle alighting right from a basis ornamented with meander pattern, star above, basis flanked on each side by a star above a pileus, AΠAMEΩN above, KOKOY below; ex CNG auction 231 (14 Apr 2010), lot 106 ($180 plus fees); $220.00 (€165.00)

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)

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)

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; $125.00 (€93.75)

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)

Tomis, Moesia Inferior, 2nd Century B.C.
Click for a larger photo Tomis (Constanta, Romania today) was founded by Greek colonists around 600 B.C. on the Black Sea shore for trade with the local Getic population.
GB54172. Bronze AE 28, SNG BM 301 ff. var (TOMI above eagle, different magistrates), 302 same countermark; AMNG I/II 2407 ff. var (same); SNG Stancomb -, SNG Cop -, F, nice green patina, weight 9.674 g, maximum diameter 27.8 mm, die axis 0o, Tomis mint, 2nd century B.C.; obverse head of Great God diademed and bearded right, countermark: helmeted head right in a round punch; reverse TO-MI (divided by eagles head) / NO... (below, magistrate), eagle right, wings closed, all within wreath; high relief obverse, reverse flattened by application of the countermark; very rare; $105.00 (€78.75)



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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 Saturday, August 23, 2014.
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Countermarked Coins