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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Denominations ▸ Greek FractionsView Options:  |  |  |   

Greek Silver Fractions

Eryx, Sicily, c. 344 - 339 B.C.

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Eryx was founded by Elymians on the summit of a mountain in northwest Sicily, about 10 km from Drepana (modern Trapani), and 3 km from the sea-coast, at the site of modern Erice. The Elymians maintained friendly relations and alliances with Carthage and came into frequent conflict with the Greeks. In 397 B.C., however, Eryx joined Dionysius I of Syracuse. It was speedily recovered by Himilco the following year. It again fell into the hands of Dionysius shortly before his death in 367 B.C., but was soon recovered by the Carthaginians, and probably was subject to their rule until the expedition of Pyrrhus in 278 B.C.
GS84640. Silver litra, Campana CNAI 47; Jenkins I pl. 24, 24; SNG ANS 1348; Jameson 1894; Winterthur 630; HGC 2 324 (????) corr. (male head/man-faced bull); SNG Cop -, VF, toned, tight flan, obverse slightly off center, weight 0.567 g, maximum diameter 10.1 mm, die axis 270o, Eryx (Erice, Sicily) mint, Punic rule, c. 344 - 339 B.C.; obverse head of nymph left, hair in a bun at the crown, wearing triple-pendant earring and necklace; reverse bull standing left, Punic "RK" above; from the Nicholas Molinari Collection; very rare; $765.00 (€680.85)
 


Anatolia (Lycia?), 5th Century B.C.

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Although unlisted in the major references, a similar hemidrachm type was first published by 1897. Five obols of this type, including this coin, are listed on Coin Archives having been offered at auction in the last two decades.

The chimera was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing creature of Lycia, composed of the parts of three animals - a lion, a snake, and a goat or stag. Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that ending with a snake's head, the Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe anything perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible.
GA85627. Silver obol, 5 specimens know from auctions, otherwise unpublished; cf. Boston MFA 2325 (hemidrachm), Greenwell 1897, p. 281, 2 (= Boston MFA 2325), VF, well centered, light marks, light corrosion, weight 0.647 g, maximum diameter 7.1 mm, die axis 270o, uncertain (Lycian?) mint, 5th century B.C.; obverse chimera standing (right?) with heads of a lion (in center with looking left), stag, and serpent, joined on one quadruped body at the center and radiating outward; reverse gorgoneion (facing head of Medusa), snaky locks, tongue protruding, within incuse square; ex Roma e-sale 36, lot 112; extremely rare; $300.00 (€267.00)
 


Rhodes, Carian Islands, c. Mid 4th Century B.C.

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This may be a fraction of the Pseudo-Rhodian "solar disk drachm" that Ashton suggests may be from Lampsakos under Memnon of Rhodes. Bronzes of a similar style are now known.
GS84169. Silver tetartemorion, Other than the two previous auction listings for this coin, apparently unpublished, VF, edge chip, weight 0.128 g, maximum diameter 6.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rhodos (Rhodes, Greece) mint, c. mid 4th century B.C.; obverse facing radiate head of Helios, delicate linear ring around; reverse rose bloom; ex CNG e-auction 377 (29 Jun 2016), lot 130; ex Numismatik Naumann Auction 39 (3 Jan 2016), lot 386; unique(?); $280.00 (€249.20)
 


Maroneia, Thrace, c. 398 - 385 B.C.

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Maroneia was on the Aegean coast about midway between the mouths of the Hebrus and the Nestus rivers. The city was named after Maron, sometimes identified as a son of Dionysos, who in the Odyssey gives Odysseus the wine with which he intoxicates Polyphemos. Maroneia was famous for its wine, which was esteemed everywhere and was said to possess the odor of nectar.
GS85194. Silver triobol, BMC Thrace p. 127, 37; SNG Delepierre -; Schönert-Geiss -; SNG Cop -; SNG UK -; Traité -; McClean -; Psoma -, aVF, centered, edge cracks, weight 2.672 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 270o, Maroneia (Maroneia-Sapes, Greece) mint, c. 398 - 385 B.C.; obverse forepart of bridled horse prancing left, dotted body truncation, H-P flanking at neck; reverse bunch of grapes on a vine, MAP-ΩNI flanking low across the field, all in a dotted linear square border within a square incuse; extremely rare variety; $250.00 (€222.50)
 


Aspendos, Pamphylia, c. 490 - 450 B.C.

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Aspendos is about 40 km east of Antalya, Turkey about 16 km inland on the Eurymedon River. In 546 B.C. it fell to Persia. After a Persian defeat in 467, the city joined the Attic-Delos Maritime League. Persia took it again in 411 B.C., Alexander in 333 B.C., and Rome in 190 B.C. Although often subject to powerful empires, the city usually retained substantial autonomy.
GA84056. Silver obol, Rosen 392, SNG BnF -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG PfPS -, SNG Kayhan -, BMC Lycia -, Klein -, VF, well centered, etched surfaces, obverse die crack, weight 0.626 g, maximum diameter 8.3 mm, Aspendos mint, c. 490 - 450 B.C.; obverse triskeles right, three pellets, one between each leg, reverse quadripartite incuse; extremely rare; $240.00 (€213.60)
 


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 440 - 375 B.C.

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The name Larissa is in origin a Pelasgian (pre-Greek) word for "fortress." There were many ancient Greek cities with this name. The name of Thessalian Larissa is first recorded in connection with the aristocratic Aleuadai family. Larissa is thought to be where the famous Greek physician Hippocrates and the famous philosopher Gorgias of Leontini died.
GS77554. Silver trihemiobol, BCD Thessaly 1120, Trait 690 and pl. CCXCVII 23, SNG Cop -, BMC Thessaly -, aVF, weight 0.893 g, maximum diameter 12.3 mm, Larissa mint, c. 440 - 375 B.C.; obverse a bull's hoof with bone, laying on a small round dish or shield with a dotted edge, all within an outer dotted boarder; reverse diademed bust of Asklepios right, with long beard, drapery on his left shoulder, erect curving snake with head right before him, ΛAPI upward behind; very rare; $230.00 (€204.70)
 


Lamia, Thessaly, Greece, 400 - 344 B.C.

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Lamia has been inhabited since at least the 3rd millennium B.C., but the first historical mention is after an earthquake in 424 B.C., when it was an important Spartan military base. The city held a strategic location, controlling the narrow coastal plain that connected southern Greece with Thessaly and the rest of the Balkans. It was therefore fortified in the 5th century B.C., and was contested by the Macedonians, Thessalians and Aetolians until the Roman conquest in the early 2nd century B.C.
GS84913. Silver hemidrachm, BCD Thessaly 1089; BCD Thessaly II 123; SNG Cop 77; SNG Alpha Bank VI 59, Traité IV 457 & pl. CCLXXXVII, 20; BMC Thessaly p. 22, 2; Georgiou Lamia 6, VF, attractive style, weight 2.656 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 315o, Lamia mint, 400 - 344 B.C.; obverse head of Dionysos left, wearing ivy wreath; reverse ΛAMIE−ΩN, volute krater, prochous with handle right on lower right, ivy-leaf above, all within shallow round incuse; ex BCD Collection with his round tag; $225.00 (€200.25)
 


Histiaia, North Euboea, Greece, c. 267 - 168 B.C.

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Histiaia, named after its patron nymph, commanded a strategic position overlooking the narrows leading to the North Euboian Gulf. In the Iliad, Homer describes the surrounding plain as "rich in vines." It was pro-Macedonian during the 3rd century, for which it was attacked in 208 and captured in 199 by a Roman-Pergamene force. The Roman garrison was removed in 194. It appears Histiaia continued to prosper but little is known of its later history. Finds at the site indicate it continued to be inhabited in Roman, Byzantine, and later times.
GS85144. Silver tetrobol, BCD Euboia 412 - 413; HGC 4 1524; BMC Central p. 134, 123 var. (trident head below galley); SNG Cop 530 var. (same), Choice gVF, well centered and struck, attractive toning, reverse die wear, light marks, edge bump, weight 2.160 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 180o, Histiaia (near Oreoi, Greece) mint, c. 267 - 168 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Histiaia right, wearing earring and necklace, hair rolled and wreathed in vine; reverse IΣTI−AIEΩN (starting below, ending downward upper left), nymph Histiaia seated right on stern of a galley holding naval standard, ornate apluster, star ornament on hull; ex Art of Money (Portland, OR); $225.00 (€200.25)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312 - 281 B.C., Babylonia, In the Name of Alexander the Great

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Seleukos was never one of Alexander the Great's principal generals but he commanded the royal bodyguard during the Indian campaign. In the division of the empire after Alexander's death, Seleukos did not receive a satrapy. Instead, he served under the regent Perdikkas until the latter's murder in 321 or 320. Seleukos was then appointed satrap of Babylonia. Five years later Antigonus Monophthalmus (the One-eyed) forced him to flee, but he soon returned with support from Ptolemy. From 312 B.C., Seleucus ruthlessly expanded his dominions and eventually conquered the Persian and Median lands. Seleucus ruled not only Babylonia, but the entire enormous eastern part of Alexander's empire. He declared himself king in 306 B.C., founding the Seleukid Empire and the dynasty which ruled Syria until Pompey made it a Roman province in 63 B.C.
GS84888. Silver obol, Houghton-Lorber I 85, Price 3706, Müller Alexander -, SNG Munchen -, SNG Alpha Bank -, SNG Saroglos -, VF, a little rough, reverse off center, weight 0.534 g, maximum diameter 7.7 mm, die axis 270o, Babylon Imperial Workshop mint, as satrap of Babylon or as king, 311 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse MYP monogram in wreath on left, club, bow and quiver, H right (off flan); very rare; $220.00 (€195.80)
 


Persian Empire, Tarkumuwa (Datames), Satrap of Cilicia & Cappadocia, c. 384 - 362 B.C., Tarsus, Cilicia

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Datames' enemies in Artaxerxes' court accused him, perhaps falsely, of intending to revolt against the Great King. Secretly warned, he then did, in fact, revolt, c. 370 B.C. The revolt appeared to be leading to a breakup of the entire western half of the empire into autonomous states. His own son's desertion to Artaxerxes was, however, the beginning of the end, which came when Datames was assassinated, c. 362 B.C.
GS84906. Silver obol, Gokturk 25; SNG BnF 278; SNG Levante 81; Casabonne series 1, pl. 3, 22, aEF, toned, tiny edge splits, weight 0.611 g, maximum diameter 10.1 mm, die axis 45o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, 378 - 372 B.C.; obverse female head right (Aphrodite?), wearing earring, necklace, and diadem; reverse Aramaic legend right, helmeted male head (Ares?) right; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 28 (2 Jul 2016), lot 231; $210.00 (€186.90)
 




  



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Greek Fractions