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Roman Provincial Coins from Greece

Apollonia, Illyria, Greece, c. 120 - 70 B.C.

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Strabo, in about 17 A.D. wrote: "On the territory of the people of Apollonia in Illyria there is what is called a nymphaeum. It is a rock which emits fire. Below it are springs flowing with hot water and asphalt..." The Nymphaeum was likely a burning natural gas seep.
GS83574. Silver drachm, BMC Thessaly p. 59, 41 - 42; SNG Cop 398; Maier p. 15, 120, VF, bumps, scratches, corrosion, small edge split, weight 3.05 g, maximum diameter 17.34 mm, die axis 90o, Apollonia mint, magistrates Aibatios & Chairenos, c. 120 - 70 B.C.; obverse AIBATIOΣ, cow standing left, head turned back right, suckling calf standing right, grain ear left in exergue; reverse AΠOΛ − XAI−PH−NOΣ, the Nymphaeum of Apollonia ablaze, lagobolon below, within double linear square with sides curved inward; very rare; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


The Perrhaiboi, Thessaly, Greece, c. Late 2nd - Early 1st Century B.C.

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The Perrhaiboi were a Pelasgian (indigenous non-Greek) tribal people who lived in Perrhaibia, north of Thessaly proper and bordering Macedonia. Their capital was Phalanna, and their most significant town was Olosson. In the Iliad, Homer wrote of "the valiant Perrhaiboi, who dwelt about wintry Dodona, and held the lands round the lovely river Titaresios, which sends its waters into the Peneus." The Perrhaiboi fought in the Battle of Thermopylae. Through most of their history they were overshadowed and controlled by Thessaly, although they had two votes at the Delphic Amphictyony. Philip II of Macedon took their kingdom and it remained under Macedonian control until the Roman conquest in 196 B.C.
GB76999. Bronze trichalkon, BCD Thessaly I 1247 (same dies); BCD Thessaly II 561; Rogers 440, fig. 239; SNG Cop 197, HGC 4 157, aVF, well centered, some corrosion, weight 6.372 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 0o, Olosson or Phalanna mint, c. late 2nd - early 1st century B.C.; obverse head of Zeus right, wearing oak wreath; reverse ΠEPPAI/BΩN (in two lines, starting upward from lower left, ending downward on right), Hera seated right on backless throne, long scepter vertical behind in right hand, resting left hand on knee, no magistrate name or initials; $120.00 (€102.00)
 


Kierion, Thessaly, Greece, c. 400 - 344 B.C.

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Kierion was originally named Arne for the Nymph on the reverse of this coin. Most references, including BCD, identify the male god on the obverse as Zeus. SNG Cop says Poseidon. Since, according to one myth, Arne became pregnant by Poseidon and bore the twins Aiolos and Boiotos, we think Poseidon is more likely.

This coin has potentially active corrosion. We have had the coin for over a year and it has remained stable and unchanged. It must, however, be stored in a humidity controlled environment.
GB79733. Bronze chalkous, cf. BCD Thessaly II 107.4; Rogers 173a; SNG Cop 35; BMC Thessaly p. 15, 1; SNG Evelpidis 1516; HGC 4 679 (S), VF, well centered, dark patina, corrosion, weight 2.494 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 315o, Kierion mint, c. 400 - 344 B.C.; obverse bearded head of Zeus right, fillet binding his hair; reverse KIEPIEIΩN, the nymph Arne kneeling right on right knee, looking left, her torso bare, leaning on right hand on the ground, tossing astragaloi with left; scarce; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


Thessalian League, Greece, Mid - Late 1st Century B.C.

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The Thessalian League was a loose confederacy of city-states and tribes in the Thessalian valley in N. Greece. Philip II of Macedon took control of Thessaly in 344 B.C and it remained under Macedonia until the Roman victory in 197 B.C. The league was reestablished in 196 B.C. but had little autonomy after Thessaly became part of the province of Macedonia in 146 B.C.
GB71024. Bronze dichalkon (or obol), BCD Thessaly II 907.2, SNG Cop 331, Rogers 59, Burrer p. 62, BMC Thessaly -, VF, weight 7.412 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Larissa(?) mint, Philokrates, Italos, and Petraios, magistrates; obverse ΦIΛOKPA−TOYΣ (magistrate), head of Athena right, wearing crested helmet and aegis; reverse ΘEΣΣA−ΛΩN, Athena Itonia standing left, Nike standing left offering wreath in her extended right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield behind, spear standing behind, ITA−ΛOY (magistrate) across upper field, ΠETPAIOΣ exergue; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


Megara, Megaris, Peloponnesos, Greece, Early 1st Century B.C.

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Megara is in west Attica, the northern section of the Isthmus of Corinth opposite the island of Salamis, which belonged to Megara in archaic times, before being taken by Athens. Megara was a trade port, its people using their ships and wealth as a way to gain leverage on armies of neighboring poleis. Megara specialized in exportation of wool and other animal products including livestock such as horses. It possessed two harbors, Pegae, to the west on the Corinthian Gulf and Nisaea, to the east on the Saronic Gulf of the Aegean Sea.
GB85897. Bronze dichalkon, BCD Peloponnesos 38; SNG Cop 471; BMC Attica p. 120, 16; Kroll 647; HGC 4 1795 (S), aVF, centered on a tight flan, dark patina, marks, some corrosion, weight 3.242 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 90o, Megara mint, early 1st century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse tripod lebes, MEΓA/PEΩN flanking in two downward lines, the first on the right; ex J. Cohen Collection; ex BCD with his ticket; ex Schulten Co (27 Mar 1990), lot 97 (DM 80+15%); scarce; $75.00 (€63.75)
 


Thessalian League, Thessaly, Greece, c. 70 - 27 B.C.

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Athena Itonia was not only a war goddess, but a goddess of the arts of peace, especially poetry. She was worshiped widely, especially in Thessaly.
GB85930. Bronze trichalkon, BCD Thessaly 901.1; Rogers 31; BMC Thessaly p. 5, 60; SNG Cop 318; HGC 4 226, VF, dark green patina, centered on a tight flan, bumps and marks, weight 6.528 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 0o, Larissa(?) mint, magistrates Philok... and Asor..., c. 70 - 27 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse ΘEΣΣA/ΛΩN (starting upward on left, ending downward on right), Athena Itonia striding right, wearing crested helmet, hurling spear with right hand, shield on her left arm, ΦI-ΛOK (magistrate) divided above spear, A/S-OP (magistrate) divided across field below arm and shield, monogram low in inner right field; $75.00 (€63.75)
 


Thespiai, Boiotia, Greece, 146 - 27 B.C.

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Thespiae stood on level ground commanded by the low range of hills which run eastward from the foot of Mount Helicon to Thebes, near modern Thespies. During the Hellenistic Period, Thespiae sought the friendship of the Roman Republic in the war against Mithridates VI. It is subsequently mentioned by Strabo as a place of some size, and by Pliny as a free city within the Roman Empire, a reward for its support against Mithridates. Thespiae hosted an important group of Roman negotiatores until the refoundation of Corinth in 44 B.C.
GB76252. Bronze AE 14, BCD Boiotia 611; Head Boeotia p. 94, pl. VI, 13; BMC Central p. 92, 14, pl. XVI, 12; SNG Cop 406 - 407; HGC 4 1408 (S), VF, weight 3.511 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, Thespiai mint, 146 - 27 B.C.; obverse female (Arsinoe III) head right, wearing kalathos and veil; reverse chelys, ΘEΣΠI/EΩN in two downward lines, starting on right, ending on left, all in laurel wreath; ex BCD with his tag noting, "Pz. nz. Th., Jan 86, 1000 drs."; scarce; $50.00 (€42.50)
 


Thespiai, Boiotia, Greece, 146 - 27 B.C.

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Thespiae stood on level ground commanded by the low range of hills which run eastward from the foot of Mount Helicon to Thebes, near modern Thespies. During the Hellenistic Period, Thespiae sought the friendship of the Roman Republic in the war against Mithridates VI. It is subsequently mentioned by Strabo as a place of some size, and by Pliny as a free city within the Roman Empire, a reward for its support against Mithridates. Thespiae hosted an important group of Roman negotiatores until the refoundation of Corinth in 44 B.C.
GB76253. Bronze AE 16, BCD Boiotia 611; Head Boeotia p. 94, pl. VI, 13; BMC Central p. 92, 14, pl. XVI, 12; SNG Cop 406 - 407; HGC 4 1408 (S), F, green patina, earthen deposits, weight 4.046 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 90o, Thespiai mint, 146 - 27 B.C.; obverse female (Arsinoe III) head right, wearing kalathos and veil; reverse chelys, ΘEΣΠI/EΩN in two downward lines, starting on right, ending on left, all in laurel wreath; ex BCD with his tag noting, "Ex Ian Johnson, FPL, Vol. XI, no. 5, Sep 92, no. 4"; scarce; $50.00 (€42.50)
 


Domitian, 13 September 81 - 18 September 96 A.D., Thessalian League

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The Thessalian League was a loose confederacy of city-states and tribes in the Thessalian valley in N. Greece. Philip II of Macedon took control of Thessaly in 344 B.C and it remained under Macedonia until the Roman victory in 197 B.C. The league was reestablished in 196 B.C. but had little autonomy after Thessaly became part of the province of Macedonia in 146 B.C. BCD notes, "The League coinage for Domitian must have been quite abundantly struck. It circulated over a wide area, and for a very long time, almost certainly until the reign of Gallienus."
RP83541. Bronze diassarion, RPC II 277; Rogers 88; Burrer p. 167, 1 ff.; BCD Thessaly I 1407; BCD Thessaly II 946; BMC Thessaly p. 7, 76; SNG Cop 339; SNG München 253, F, well centered, marks and scratches, centration dimple on reverse, weight 5.427 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalian League mint, 1st emission, c. 13 Sep 81 - 83 A.D.; obverse ∆OMITIANON KAIΣAPA ΘEΣΣAΛOI, laureate head of Domitian right; reverse ∆OMITIAN ΣEBAΣΣTHN, draped bust of Domitia Longina right, her hair in a long queue tied up at the back; $50.00 (€42.50)
 


Thespiai, Boiotia, Greece, 146 - 27 B.C.

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Thespiae stood on level ground commanded by the low range of hills which run eastward from the foot of Mount Helicon to Thebes, near modern Thespies. During the Hellenistic Period, Thespiae sought the friendship of the Roman Republic in the war against Mithridates VI. It is subsequently mentioned by Strabo as a place of some size, and by Pliny as a free city within the Roman Empire, a reward for its support against Mithridates. Thespiae hosted an important group of Roman negotiatores until the refoundation of Corinth in 44 B.C.
GB76255. Bronze AE 14, BCD Boiotia 611; Head Boeotia p. 94, pl. VI, 13; BMC Central p. 92, 14, pl. XVI, 12; SNG Cop 406 - 407; HGC 4 1408 (S), F, green patina, earthen deposits, weight 3.479 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 90o, Thespiai mint, 146 - 27 B.C.; obverse female (Arsinoe III) head right, wearing kalathos and veil; reverse chelys, ΘEΣΠI/EΩN in two downward lines, starting on right, ending on left, all in laurel wreath; ex BCD with his tag noting, "Ex Kunker 27, 27 Sept. 94, part of lot 191, the lot of 73 pcs for DM 1400+15%+7%"; scarce; $36.00 (€30.60)
 







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REFERENCES

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Classical Numismatic Group. The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Boiotia. Triton IX Auction, Session 1 (10 Jan 2006, New York).
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Catalog current as of Wednesday, October 17, 2018.
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Roman Greece