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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ Anatolia ▸ Caria ▸ RhodosView Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Coins of Rhodos, Carian Islands

Rhodes was an important slave-trading center, best known for The Colossus of Rhodes. The Colossus of Rhodes, the sixth of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was a huge statue of Helios measuring 32 meters (100 feet) high, built at Rhodes in 280 B.C. but destroyed by an earthquake later in that century. It has inspired many later sculptures including the Statue of Liberty.


Rhodos, Carian Islands, c. 205 - 190 B.C., Civic Coinage in the Name of Alexander the Great

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Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece and the principal town of the island is also named Rhodes. The city of Rhodes had 50,636 inhabitants in 2011. It is located northeast of Crete, southeast of Athens and just off the Anatolian coast of Turkey. Rhodes' nickname is The island of the Knights, named after the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who once conquered it. Historically, Rhodes is famous for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, a giant bronze statue once standing at the harbor. It was completed in 280 B.C. and destroyed in an earthquake in 224 B.C. No trace of the statue remains today. Historical sites on the island of Rhodes include the Acropolis of Lindos, the Acropolis of Rhodes with the Temple of Pythian Apollo and an ancient theater and stadium, ancient Ialysos, ancient Kamiros, the Governor's Palace, Rhodes Old Town (walled medieval city), the Palace of the Grand Masters, Kahal Shalom Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter, the Archeological Museum, the ruins of the castle of Monolithos, the castle of Kritinia, St. Catherine Hospice and Rhodes Footbridge.
GS87644. Silver tetradrachm, HGC 6 1455 (S); cf. Price 2520 ff. (various magistrates), Muller Alexander 1162 ff. (same), VF/F, well centered, choice obverse, reverse rough with burnished area, scratches and marks, slight double strike, weight 15.795 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rhodos (Rhodes, Greece) mint, c. 205 - c. 190 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse Zeus seated left on throne, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, magistrate's name under arm and over rose left, PO (Rhodos) under throne; scarce; $340.00 (€289.00)
 


Rhodos, Caria, c. 1 - 25 A.D.

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Although the radiate heads on coins of Rhodes are usually Helios, the wreath of ivy indicates this is Dionysos. Teimostratos was the first official named on the bronze coinage struck at Rhodes after Actium. His title, Treasurer (TAMIA), is unusual. The officials that followed at Rhodes were identified as Legate (EPI) in the inscriptions.
GB86523. Bronze drachm, RPC I 2748; SNG Keckman 759; SNG Cop 888; Ashton Early 107; Lindgren 700; BMC Caria p. 264, 377, F, broad flan, near black patina, earthen deposits, reverse double struck, porous, weight 25.209 g, maximum diameter 35.3 mm, die axis 0o, Rhodes mint, c. 1 - 25 A.D.; obverse radiate head of young Dionysos right, wearing ivy wreath; reverse Rose seen in profile, small bud on tendril on each side of stem, poppy to left of stem, stalk of grain to right of stem, PO∆IΩN (Rhodos) above, TA-MIA / TEI-MO/CTP-ATOY (treasurer Teimostratos) in three lines divided across field; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; $225.00 (€191.25)
 


Lampsacus, Mysia, 360 - 340 B.C.

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Recent hoard and coin finds prompted Ashton to reattribute this type to the Troad, probably Lampsakos (Ashton Memnon, NC 162 (2002), pp. 11-15). Ashton suggests ME refers to Memnon of Rhodes, that these coins were struck at Lampsakos when he controlled the city and similar coins inscribed EY and NI possibly refer to Memnon's subordinates. Memnon of Rhodes was a prominent Greek commander in the service of the Persian Achaemenid Empire. Related by marriage to the Persian aristocracy, he served the Persian king for most of his life. Memnon was arguably the toughest defender to challenge Alexander and was nearly successful in putting a halt to his advance.
GB86134. Bronze chalkous, Ashton Memnon 2 (A1/P2); Ashton Solar p. 30, 1; BMC Caria p. 221, 4; SNG Cop (Caria) 914; Waddington 2813; Traité II 1733, VF, green patina, tight flan, earthen deposits, areas of light corrosion, weight 0.708 g, maximum diameter 8.9 mm, die axis 180o, Lampsacus (near Lapseki, Turkey) mint, under Memnon of Rhodes, c. 360 - 340 B.C.; obverse radiate youthful head of Helios right; reverse rose in profile, M-E flanking low across field; very rare; $160.00 (€136.00)
 


Lampsacus, Mysia, 360 - 340 B.C.

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Recent hoard and coin finds prompted Ashton to reattribute this type to the Troad, probably Lampsakos (Ashton Memnon, NC 162 (2002), pp. 11-15). Ashton suggests ME refers to Memnon of Rhodes, that these coins were struck at Lampsakos when he controlled the city and similar coins inscribed EY and NI possibly refer to Memnon's subordinates. Memnon of Rhodes was a prominent Greek commander in the service of the Persian Achaemenid Empire. Related by marriage to the Persian aristocracy, he served the Persian king for most of his life. Memnon was arguably the toughest defender to challenge Alexander and was nearly successful in putting a halt to his advance.
GB86133. Bronze chalkous, Ashton Memnon 10 (A2/P10); Ashton Solar p. 30, 1 ff.; SNG Cop (Caria) 914; Waddington 2813; BMC Caria p. 221, 4; Traité II 1733, VF, green patina, tight flan, earthen deposits, light corrosion, weight 0.658 g, maximum diameter 8.8 mm, die axis 180o, Lampsacus (near Lapseki, Turkey) mint, under Memnon of Rhodes, c. 360 - 340 B.C.; obverse radiate youthful head of Helios right; reverse rose in profile, M-E flanking low across field; very rare; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


Rhodos, Caria, c. 229 - 205 B.C.

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Zeus is not a normal type for Rhodes but is the normal obverse for Ptolemaic Egypt. This coin honors Ptolemy III of Egypt for providing earthquake relief. In 229 B.C., a devastating earthquake knocked down the Colossus of Rhodes and destroyed the city. Ptolemy III promised the Rhodians 300 talents of silver, a million artabae of corn, ship-timber for 10 quinqueremes and 10 triremes, 1000 talents of bronze coinage, 180,000 pounds of tow (for ropes), 3000 pieces of sailcloth, 3000 talents (of copper?) for the repair of the Colossus, 100 master-builders with 350 workmen, and 14 talents yearly to pay their wages, plus 12,000 artabae of corn for their public games and sacrifices, and another 20,000 artabae for victualling 10 triremes. The greater part of these goods were delivered at once, as well as one-third of the money.
GB88083. Bronze tetrachalkon, Ashton NC 1986 33 (A15/P30), Ashton 234, SNG Cop 795, HGC 6 1469 (R1), SNG Keckman -, VF, dark green patina with red earthen highlighting, well centered on a compact flan, bumps and marks, corrosion, minor edge flaking, weight 5.904 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rhodes mint, c. 229 - 205 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse rose, tendrils left and bud right, TE left, P - O flanking stem; rare; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


Rhodos, Caria, c. 40 B.C. - 25 A.D.

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Helios is the god and personification of the Sun in Greek mythology. He is the son of the Titan Hyperion and the Titaness Theia (according to Hesiod), also known as Euryphaessa (in Homeric Hymn 31) and brother of the goddesses Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn. Helios was described as a handsome young man crowned with the shining aureole of the Sun, who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky each day to earth-circling Oceanus and through the world-ocean returned to the East at night. In the Homeric Hymn to Helios, Helios is said to drive a golden chariot drawn by steeds (HH 31.14–15); and Pindar speaks of Helios's "fire-darting steeds" (Olympian Ode 7.71). Still later, the horses were given fire related names: Pyrois, Aeos, Aethon, and Phlegon. The equivalent of Helios in Roman mythology was Sol.
GB87753. Bronze AE 19, SNG Keckman 751; SNG München 673; SNG Cop 875; BMC Caria p. 263, 359; Weber III 6758; HGC 6 1470 (S), F, green patina, edge crack, weight 3.894 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 0o, Rhodos (Rhodes, Greece) mint, c. 40 B.C. - 25 A.D.; obverse radiate head of Helios right; reverse PO∆IWN, full blown open rose with four pedals, from above, term; scarce; $90.00 (€76.50)
 







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REFERENCES

Ashton, R. "A revised arrangement for the earliest coinage of Rhodes" in Essays Carson-Jenkins.
Ashton, R. "A Pseudo-Rhodian drachm from Kaunos" in SM 151 (August 1988).
Ashton, R. "A Series of Pseudo-Rhodian Drachms from Mainland Greece" in NC 1988.
Ashton, R. "A series of Rhodian didrachms from the mid-third century BC" in NC 1989.
Ashton, R. "Clubs, Thunderbolts, Torches, Stars and Caducei: more Pseudo-Rhodian Drachms from Mainland Greece and the Islands" in NC 2002.
Ashton, R. "More Pseudo-Rhodian Drachms from Central Greece: Haliartos (again), Chalkis, and Euboia uncertain(?)" in NC 160 (2000).
Ashton, R. "The Pseudo-Rhodian Drachms of Mylasa" in NC 1992.
Ashton, R. "Rhodian Bronze Coinage and the Earthquake of 229-226 BC" in NC 1986.
Ashton, R. "Rhodian Bronze Coinage and the Siege of Mithradates VI" in NC 2001.
Ashton, R. "Rhodian Coinage and the Colossus" in RN 144 (1988).
Ashton, R. "Rhodian coinage in the early imperial period (CH 3: no. 82)" in Recent Turkish Coin Hoards and Numismatic Studies.
Ashton, R. "Rhodian Plinthophoroi-a Sketch" in Kraay-Mørkholm Essays.
Ashton, R. "Rhodian-Type Silver Coinages from Crete" in SM 146 (May 1987).
Ashton, R. "The Coinage of Rhodes 408-c. 190 BC" in Money and its Uses in the Ancient Greek World. (Oxford, 2001).
Ashton, R. "The Only Recorded Name on Rhodian Plinthophoric Chalkoi" in NC 2010.
Ashton, R. & G. Reger. "The Pseudo-Rhodian Drachms of Mylasa Revisited" in Studies Kroll.
Ashton, R. & A. Weiss. "The Post-Plinthophoric Silver Drachms of Rhodes" in NC 1997.
Burnett, A., M. Amandry & P. Ripollès. Roman Provincial Coinage I: From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44 BC-AD 69). (1992).
Forrer, L. Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber, Vol. III, Part 1. (London, 1926).
Hackens, T. "Trésor hellénistique trouvé a délos en 1964" in BCH 89 (1965).
Head, B. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Caria, Cos, Rhodes, etc. (London, 1897).
Jenkins, G. "Rhodian Plinthophoroi" in Kraay-Mørkholm Essays.
Numismatik Lanz. Auktion 13: Sammlung Karl, Münzen von Karien. (27 Nov 2006).
HNO - Historia Numorum Online Database - http://hno.huma-num.fr/
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 5: Ionia, Caria and Lydia. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Part 22: Caria. (Berlin, 2006).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Münzsammlung Universität Tübingen, Part 5: Karien und Lydien. (Berlin, 1994).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock, Vol. 2: Caria, Lydia, Phrygia, Lycia, Pamphylia. (Berlin, 1962).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Finland, The Erkki Keckman Collection in the Skopbank, Helsinki, Part 1: Karia. (Helsinki, 1994).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 1: The Muharrem Kayhan Collection. (Istanbul, 2002).

Catalog current as of Thursday, December 13, 2018.
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Rhodos