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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, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws 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 (€299.20)
 


Rhodes, Caria, c. 20 - 60 A.D.

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After surrendering its independence to Rome, Rhodes became a cultural and educational center for Roman noble families and was especially noted for its teachers of rhetoric, such as Hermagoras and the unknown author of Rhetorica ad Herennium. At first, the state was an important ally of Rome and enjoyed numerous privileges, but these were later lost in various machinations of Roman politics. Cassius eventually invaded the island and sacked the city. In the early Imperial period Rhodes became a favorite place for political exiles. Early in the 1st century A.D., the Tiberius spent a brief term of exile on Rhodes. Saint Paul brought Christianity to people on the island. Rhodes reached her zenith in the 3rd century.
SH89053. Bronze drachm, RPC I 2764 (5 spec.), SNG Keckman I -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG München -, SNG Tübingen -, BMC Caria -, F, uneven strike with weak areas, spots of corrosion, edge split, weight 24.388 g, maximum diameter 37.0 mm, die axis 0o, Rhodos (Rhodes, Greece) mint, c. 20 - 60 A.D.; obverse head of Dionysos right, wreathed in ivy; reverse Nike standing left on basis, raising filleted wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand, PO∆I/ΩN / EΠI in three lines low on left, ZHNO/∆OTOY (Zenodotos [magistrate]) in two lines on right; zero sales of this type recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades, we could not find another example online, HUGE 37mm coin; very rare; $180.00 (€158.40)
 


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; $140.00 (€123.20)
 


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; $110.00 (€96.80)
 


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, seen from above, term; scarce; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


Rhodes, Caria, c. 31 - 61 A.D.

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BMC Caria identifies the obverse bust as Alektrona (also called Electryone), a daughter of Helios and Rhodos. She died a virgin and was worshiped as a heroine on the island of Rhodes. She was possibly worshiped as goddess of the morning, or of man's waking sense, which causes him to wake up in the morning. The Doric form of her name, Alektrona, is akin to the Greek word for "rooster," while the Attic form Electryone is akin to the word for "amber," as in the amber color of sunrise. A marble tablet from the 3rd century B.C. found in Ialyssus contains an inscription about the regulations for visitors to the temple of Alektrona.
GB89138. Bronze AE 17, BMC Caria p. 266, 391; cf. RPC I 2771 (various control symbols); cf. Keckman 776 (control obscure); SNG Cop 900 (same); Lindgren 703 (prow control), aVF, attractive black patina with red earthen highlighting, weight 4.705 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rhodos (Rhodes, Greece) mint, c. 31 - 61 A.D.; obverse radiate head of Rhodos or Alektrona(?) right; reverse Nike advancing left, holding wreath and palm (or aphlaston or stylis), sunrise (control symbol) in left field; rare with sunrise; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


Rhodos, Carian Islands, c. 170 - 150 B.C.

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The c. 3 gram drachm standard on which this coin is struck, used by Rhodes and other Carian cities, is called 'Plinthophoric' for the square incuse around the reverse type (plinthos = brick or ingot). The archaized incuse reverse revived a characteristic more typical of the 5th century B.C.
GS89321. Silver hemidrachm, Jenkins Rhodian, group B, 41; HGC 6 1462 (S); cf. SNG Cop 844 (ΞENOKΛHΣ); SNG Keckman -; SNG München -; BMC Caria -, aVF, areas of corrosion, porosity tiny edge chips, weight 1.104 g, maximum diameter 12.1 mm, die axis 0o, Rhodos (Rhodes, Greece) mint, magistrate Zenophantos, c. 170 - 150 B.C.; obverse radiate head of Helios facing slightly right; reverse ΞENOΦANTOΣ (magistrate), rose with bud to lower right, star of eight rays (control symbol) lower left, P-O flanking across fields, all within incuse square; scarce; $55.00 (€48.40)
 







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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.
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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 Tuesday, July 16, 2019.
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Rhodos