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Trajan Decius, July 249 - First Half of June 251 A.D., Anazarbus, Cilicia
This coin commemorates an Olympic victory by Anazarbus. Agonistic "urns" or "crowns" were awarded to winners at ancient Greek games. They are called "crowns" because they may have been placed on the head of the victor. Beginning about two decades after this issue, the Olympics would begin a long decline. In 267, the German Heruli invaded Greece attacking Athens, Corinth, Argos, and Sparta. Although the invaders probably never reached Olympia, buildings were dismantled for material to build a wall around the Temple of Zeus and the Bouleterion. An earthquake, a failing economy, further invasions, and Christian antagonism probably caused further decline. The record of victors is very patchy after 261, with a gap of nearly a century from c. 277 to c. 369. Events may merely lack documentation or perhaps there was a moratorium. The last known Olympic victor was the Athenian boxer, M. Aurelios Zopyros in 385. In 393, Theodosius I outlawed all pagan festivals, including the Olympics, ending a thousand years of Greek tradition. Source: Eros and Greek Athletics by Thomas F. Scanlon.
RP84934. Bronze triassarion, Ziegler
744 (Vs 2/Rs 2, 4 spec.), SNG Levante
1495, SNG Pfalz
4732, SNG Leypold
2272, SNG BnF
-, F, dark patina
, interesting portrait, porous, Anazarbus (Anavarza, Turkey) mint, weight
8.486g, maximum diameter
24.1mm, die axis
, 249 - 250 A.D.; obverse
AYT K KVI TPAIAN ∆EKIOC CEB, radiate head
ANAZA• EN∆OΞ• ET HΞC (glorious Anazarbus, year 268), agonistic
prize crown inscribed ∆EKIOC, containing palm
frond, Γ − Γ (seat of 3 provinces, holder of 3 neocorates) flanking crown, OIKOVM/ENIKOC (Ecumenical = Olympic Games) in two lines below; very rare
Catalog current as of Monday, December 11, 2017.
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