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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Greek CountermarkedView Options:  |  |  |    ▷▷

Countermarked Greek Coins

Phaselis, Lycia, 213 - 212 B.C., Civic Issue in the Name of Alexander the Great, with Seleukid Countermark

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Phaselis was under Ptolemaic control from 209 to 197 B.C. Antiochus III took control in 197 and formally took possession of the Egyptian territories in Anatolia through the Peace of Lysimachia in 195. Despite the vicissitudes of the area, Phaselis seems to have retained significant autonomy and struck Alexander type tetradrachms with remarkable continuity from 218 - 185 B.C. The series ended shortly after the conclusion of the Apamea treaty, when Phaselis and the other cities of Lycia were handed over to the Kingdom of Rhodes. From 190 to 160 B.C. it remained under Rhodeian hegemony. After 160 B.C. Phaselis was absorbed into the Lycian confederacy under Roman rule. In the 1st century B.C., the city was taken over by the pirate Zekenites for a period until his defeat by the Romans.
SH71158. Silver tetradrachm, Price 2840, Mektepini Hoard 495, Cohen DCA 315, Mller Alexander -, VF, broad flan, attractive dark toning worn from high-points, slight double strike, weight 16.651 g, maximum diameter 32.4 mm, die axis 0o, Lycia, Phaselis mint, 213 - 212 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; Seleukid countermark: anchor in an oval punch; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, right leg drawn back, eagle extended in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, C (year 6) over Φ left; countermark: Seleukid anchor in rounded rectangular incuse; scarce; $360.00 (313.20)


Aspendus, Pamphylia, 195 - 194 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

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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 (252.30)


Aspendus, Pamphylia, 191 - 190 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

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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, Mller 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 (234.90)


Aspendus, Pamphylia, 188 - 187 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

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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, Mller 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 (226.20)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy IV Philopator, 221 - 204 B.C.

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Svoronos 1149 is the same as Svoronos 1148 but with the addition of the countermark.

Ptolemy IV is a major protagonist of the apocryphal 3 Maccabees, which describes events following the Battle of Raphia, in both Jerusalem and Alexandria.
GP72049. Bronze tetrobol, Hosking 42 (with c/m); Svoronos 1149 (same); SNG Cop 211 (same); BMC Ptolemies p. 75, 76 (same, Ptolemy V); Noeske 151 (no c/m); Weiser 97 (Pt. V), VF, weight 39.031 g, maximum diameter 38.0 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, obverse horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, head turned back right, ΣE monogram between eagle's legs, rectangular cornucopia countermark; big 38 mm bronze; $200.00 (174.00)


Kyzikos, Mysia, c. 200 - 27 B.C.

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Cyzicus was one of the great cities of the ancient world. During the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.) Cyzicus was subject to the Athenians and Lacedaemonians alternately. In the naval Battle of Cyzicus in 410, an Athenian fleet completely destroyed a Spartan fleet. At the peace of Antalcidas in 387, like the other Greek cities in Asia, it was made over to Persia. Alexander the Great captured it from the Persians in 334 B.C.
GB72168. Bronze AE 28, SNGvA 7355 (with same countermark); SNG BnF 505 (also with same c/m); SNG Cop 84; BMC Mysia p. 40, 167, VF, nice style, well centered, nice green patina, bevelled obv edge, weight 12.530 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 90o, Cyzicus (Kapu Dagh, Turkey) mint, c. 200 - 27 B.C.; obverse head of Kore Soteira right, wearing grain wreath; countermark: eagle standing right, wings open in a 7.5mm round punch; reverse tripod with three loop handles, KYZI/KHNWN from upper right, in two flanking downward lines, branch right above, torch left below, monogram outer right, monogram outer left; $185.00 (160.95)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy IV, 221 - 204 B.C.

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This rare countermark is also found on Weiser 117, 118 and 114; all bronzes from Tyre. Perhaps the countermark was applied under Seleukid hegemony, when Ptolemy V lost Judea, Philistia, and Phoenicia to Antiochos III after the battle of Panium in 198 B.C.
GP72051. Bronze hemidrachm, Svoronos 1130; Noeske 95 (Ptolemy II, 260-246 B.C.); BMC p. 53, 65 (Pt. III); Hosking 56; Malter 156; Weiser 48 (Pt. II, 253-249 B.C.); SNG Cop -, F, some corrosion on the reverse, weight 29.982 g, maximum diameter 33.2 mm, die axis 0o, Phoenicia, Tyre mint, obverse horned head of Zeus Ammon right, wearing taenia; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, club before, ∆I between legs; countermark: ivy leaf in irregular shaped punch; rare countermark; $165.00 (143.55)


Side, Pamphylia, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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Side was founded by Greeks from Cyme, Aeolis, most likely in the 7th century B.C. The settlers started using the local language and over time forgot their native Greek. Excavations have revealed inscriptions written in this language, still undeciphered, dating from as late as the 2nd century B.C. The name Side is from this indigenous Anatolian language and means pomegranate.
GB90296. Bronze AE 18, BMC Lycaonia p. 151, 70 (with same Helios countermark); SNG Cop 411 (same); SNG BnF 750 ff.; SNG PfPs 501; Lindgren -, VF, unusually broad flan with full legends, nice green patina, reverse flattened by countermarking, weight 2.667 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 0o, Side mint, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, in crested Corinthian helmet; countermarks: facing head of Helios, helmeted head of Athena right, ΣI∆HTΩN horizontal above; reverse Nike advancing left, holding wreath; wearing long chiton, peplos around waist and left arm, pomegranate in left field, ΣI∆H−TΩN horizontal above divided by Nike's head; ex Frascatius Ancient Coins; $120.00 (104.40)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Berenice II and Ptolemy III, 244 - 221 B.C.

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In "The Ptolemaic mint of Ras Ibn Hani," INR 2, pp. 63 - 75, Catherine Lorber identifies the mint as Ras Ibn Hani "a Ptolemaic stronghold on the Syrian coast near Lattaqiyah (ancient Laodicea ad Mare)."
GP71897. Bronze dichalkon, Svoronos 1056 (Gaza or Joppa), Noeske 131 (Gaza), Cox Curium 83 (Uncertain mint), Paphos II 57, SNG Cop -, SNG Milan -, Weiser -, Hosking -, F, glossy dark patina with earthen highlighting, tiny pitting, weight 3.754 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Phoenician mint, 244 - 221 B.C.; obverse BASILISSWS BEPENIKHΣ, diademed and draped bust of Berenice II right, hair in melon coiffure; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, head left, EY left, two oval countermarks; $120.00 (104.40)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy VI Philometor, 180 - 145 B.C.

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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.; $110.00 (95.70)




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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 contremarques 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 Tuesday, June 30, 2015.
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Countermarked Coins