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Peloponnesos


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The Peloponnesos is the mountainous land forming the southwest portion of Greece. It is separated from the main body of Greece by the narrow Isthmus of Corinth, flanked to the north by the Gulf of Corinth and the east and south by the Aegean Sea. It was the location of many decisive battles and military campaigns that determined the direction of Greek history over a millennium.

55 files, last one added on May 10, 2016

Thrace to Central Greece and Aegean Islands


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Northern Greece was a region of shifting allegiances and the origin of the Macedonian Empire. Located at the edge of Europe it was the gateway to Greece from the East and thus a crossroads for the fusion of Greek and Eastern culture. It was the location of many of the conflicts involving Greeks states.

Central Greece was a region of continuously shifting allegiances, full of belligerents the egos of whom continuously resulted in friction with the adjacent neighbors, a microcosm of Greek culture and dysfunction through time. Simultaneously it was home to the high point of Greek architecture and art (Classical Athens) and the dancing ground Ares, of the god of war (the plain of Plataea), at the cross roads in and out of Greece.

30 files, last one added on Jul 17, 2018

Asia Minor


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Greek settlements in the Asia Minor were the product of Greek population pressure induced migrations of the 10th-6th centuries BC. The Greeks were as fertile than rabbits and it required the development of serious internecine warfare from the 6th century BC to continuously cull populations, sufficient to reduce population pressure as a driver of colonization. By the 6th century the Greeks in the east found themselves on the western frontier of the expansionary Persian Empire and were soon subsumed by it. This became the basis of a struggle for imperium between variously the Persians and the Athenians, the Spartans, the Macedonians and eventually the Romans.

19 files, last one added on Jul 17, 2018

The First Alexanders


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Following the Battle of Issos in 333 BC, Alexander the Great extended Greek influence beyond Asia Minor into the Persian realm to the east, as far as modern day Pakistan. His conquests were complete by 324 BC and a legacy of Greek influence remained in the east for the next three centuries.

14 files, last one added on Jul 16, 2018

Babylon


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The mint at Babylon, the largest and one of the oldest cities of the agent world, operated for a brief period of about twenty-five years following the surrender of the city to Alexander the Great in October 331 BC. This produced a high volume of coinage, dominated by the output Alexandrine tetradrachm emissions and lesser quantities of the Persian inspired Babylonian lion staters. Smaller silver denominations, gold double darics and gold Alexandrine staters were produced in more limited quantities until the closure of the mint around 305 BC. Babylon fell into a terminal decline over the following few centuries. Little remains of what was once the largest city of the ancient world. Its surviving coinage encompasses a brief period of ttwenty five years, which includes the zenith of Alexander’s power; his death in Babylon and the early struggles amongst his would be successors.

8 files, last one added on Mar 01, 2015

Early Seleukid


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The Seleukid Empire was one of the three successor states to the Macedonian empire forged by Alexander III 'the Great'. Following Alexander's death, his greatest generals, the diadochi, divided the empire among themselves, but the settlement was not enduring and nearly constant warfare resulted from their ambitions to widen their respective areas of control. Seleukos I, despite being passed over in the initial settlement in 323 BC, received the satrapy of Babylon in the second settlement in 320 BC. By the time of his death in 281 BC, Seleukos had expanded his realm to encompass most of Alexander's eastern possessions from Asia Minor to Baktria. Seleukos continued to strike coins in the name of Alexander, although he opened a number of new mints to serve his various campaigns and his growing empire. After assuming the royal title in 305 BC, Seleukos began issuing coinage in his own name, and introduced a variety of new types that propagated a mythology of his new dynasty and celebrated his considerable accomplishments.

19 files, last one added on Dec 20, 2018

Baktria


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"Probably in battle, that arbiter of so much in Hellenistic civilization, the thunder of the Diodotid Zeus fell silent forever on the Bactrian frontier." Frank Lee Holt: Thundering Zeus.

Little more than a few score lines of the ancient texts refer to Baktria in the period between the conquests of Alexander III the Great in 329-327 BC and the fall of the region to Scythian invaders around 145 BC. Yet this was the easternmost outpost of Greek civilization for two centuries after Alexander the Great. As a result, the history of the Greeks in Baktria is largely written from the ancient coinage produced in the region north of the Hindu Kush and south of the Amu Darya (the ancient Oxus River). The following collection explores that history, one that proved to be a microcosm of the Hellenistic world.

21 files, last one added on Dec 25, 2018

Magna Graecia


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Commencing in the 8th century BC population pressures in the Greek city-states resulted in emigration and the establishment of Greek cities throughout the Mediterranean, but particularly in Sicily and southern Italy, otherwise known as Magna Graecia.

6 files, last one added on Mar 15, 2015

Carthage and the Second Punic War


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Carthage, the capital of Zeugitana, was located on the coast of modern day Tunis. Phoenician colonists from Tyre established the city in the eighth century BC. From the sixth to the third centuries BC it came to dominate maritime trade in the western Mediterranean. Its economic success brought it into conflict with an emerging Rome resulting in the First Punic War in 264 BC. The struggle continued intermittently for more than a century, eventually resulting in the total destruction of Carthage in 146 BC at the end of the Third Punic War.

In the Second Punic War 218-201 BC Carthaginian forces under Hannibal took the war to Rome’s doorstep and came within a hair’s breadth of of conquering the Romans in 216 BC, before the tide of war turned gradually under the superior economic strength of Rome. Hannibal was defeated eventually on Carthaginian soil by Scipio Africanus at Zama in 202 BC, after which the former sued for peace. Most of the following Punic coins are from the time of this epic conflict.

7 files, last one added on May 19, 2015

Miscellaneous


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9 files, last one added on Apr 22, 2019

Modern


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3 files, last one added on Dec 16, 2018

 

11 albums on 1 page(s)

Last additions - n.igma's Gallery
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Parthia, Andragoras, ca. 245-238 BC, AR Didrachm22 viewsHelmeted head of Athena r.; bunch of grapes behind.
Owl standing r., head facing, crescent, olive spray (largely off-flan) and bunch of grapes (mostly off-flan) behind, AΘE to r.

Taylor Birds of a Feather 2.3, 96 (dies a7/p12) ; HGC 12, 4 (Baktria); H. Nicolet-Pierre & M. Amandry, RN 1994, 24-28 (Baktria); SNG ANS 9, 5 (Baktria).

(19 mm, 7.94 g, 6h).

Roma Numismatics XVII (28 Mar. 2019), lot 587; ex 'Andragoras-Sophytes' Hoard.

The 'Andragoras-Sophytes' hoard came to market from mid-late 2017. It was reputedly found in 2014 and consisted of approximately 600 coins from at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan (Hoard information: Olivier Bordeaux & Osmund Bopearachchi). Around half of these coins were marketed by Roma Numismatics in a succession of auctions commencing in 2017 and continuing through to 2019.
1 commentsn.igmaApr 22, 2019
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Baktrian Kingdom, Eukratides II, ca. 145-140 BC, AR Tetradrachm 28 viewsDiademed bust of Eukratides II r.
ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ EYKPATIΔOY Apollo standing l., arrow in his r. hand, in l. hand a bow resting on ground, monogram inner l. field.

Bopearachchi Series 3B; Mitchiner 173a (attributed to Eukratides I); SNG ANS 9, 625 (same dies); HGC 12, 162.

(31 mm, 16.62 g, 12h).

Harlan J. Berk Buy or Bid Sale 164 (Apr. 2009), Lot 251.
1 commentsn.igmaDec 25, 2018
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Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312-281 BC, AR Tetradrachm – Carrhae 29 viewsHead of Herakles r. wearing lion-skin headdress.
ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣEΛEYKOY Zeus Aëtophoros seated l., wreath and monogram to l., ΛY beneath throne.

SC 42.5; HGC 9, 12a (R2-3); WSM 776 dies A16/P30; Commerce ("Seleucus I") Hoard 2005 (CH 10.265) 1254 (this coin); CSE 2, 16 (AHNS 1026).
Carrhae (Karrhai) after 301 BC.

(26 mm, 17.08 g, 3h).

Roma E-Sale 3 (30 Nov. 2013), lot 290; from "a private American Collection"; ex- Holyland Numismatics (2012); ex- Commerce ("Seleucus I") Hoard 2005 (CH 10.265) #1254.

Carrhae (Karrhai) was Biblical Haran, the home of Abraham, located in southeastern Turkey a few kilometres from the modern-day village of Altınbaşak, on a tributary of the Euphrates River in northern Mesopotamia. A mint was established in the city around 315 BC under Antigonos Monopthalmos, who settled Macedonian veterans in the city. Many of these veterans joined Seleukos when he passed through the city in 311 on his way to reclaim his Babylonian Satrapy, although the city remained under Antigonid authority. After the Battle of Ipsos in 301 BC, the city fell within the Seleukid Empire.
2 commentsn.igmaDec 20, 2018
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Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312-281 BC, AR Tetradrachm – Sardis33 viewsHead of Herakles r. wearing lion-skin headdress.
ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣEΛEYKOY Zeus Nikephoros seated l., monogram on shield to l., AΣ beneath throne.

SC 3.1; HGC 9, 16a; Miller & Hoover AJN 22 (2010), 8 (this coin) dies A1/P2; WSM 1350 P2 β, A1/P2 (this coin). Seleukos’ military mint at Sardis 282-281 BC.

(25 mm, 17.07 g, 12h).

Naville Sale XV (2 Jul. 1930), lot 1061.

This coin was struck in 282 BC following the fall of the city of Sardis to Seleukos, during the preliminaries of the campaign that delivered the decisive victory over Lysimachos at Korupedion, in the late summer of 281 BC. This coin is from the first obverse and second reverse die used in the series. It is one of two examples from this die set that survives to this day. The series from which it comes was interpreted by Miller and Hoover (The Sardes Mint under Seleucus I Nicator) to have originated from a military mint operation associated with Seleukos army. The obverse bears a striking resemblance to the last die used at Seleukeia in Pieria, to the extent that both dies were almost certainly engraved by the same hand. This led Miller and Hoover to propose that "Stylistic affinities between the first die of Sardes and the last of Seleucia in Pieria raise the possibility that the equipment and personnel of the latter may have been moved to Sardes to serve as a supplemental military mint."
2 commentsn.igmaDec 20, 2018
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Parthia, Andragoras, ca. 245-238 BC, AR Didrachm45 viewsHelmeted head of Athena r.; monogram behind.
Owl standing r., head facing; galley prow r. above grape vine branch behind, AΘE to r.

Taylor 'Birds of a Feather' 2.15; HGC 12, 3 (Baktria); H. Nicolet-Pierre & M. Amandry, RN 1994, 49 (Baktria); SNG ANS 9, 4 var. (Baktria).

(18 mm, 8.11 g, 6h).

Roma Numismatics E-Live 4 (20 Nov. 2018), lot 440; ex- 'Andragoras-Sophytes' Hoard.

This coin like all the Series 2 didrachms has a strongly developed hammered edge fabric giving the edge of the coin a faceted appearance that is much more evident in hand than in the photo.

Although the mint control symbol consisting of a galley prow may seem out of place on a coin struck in Parthia, it should be remembered that the province of Parthia bordered the Caspian Sea, the world's largest inland body of water, undoubtedly plied by galleys in ancient times.

The 'Andragoras-Sophytes' hoard came to market from mid-late 2017. It was reputedly found in 2014 and consisted of approximately 600 coins from at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan (Hoard information: Olivier Bordeaux & Osmund Bopearachchi). Around half of these coins were marketed by Roma Numismatics in a succession of auctions commencing in 2017 and continuing through 2019.
3 commentsn.igmaDec 16, 2018
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Hanover, George III, 1760-1820, Cu Halfpenny, Tower (London) mint 1771 26 viewsGEORGIVS · III · REX · laureate and armoured bust right.
BRITAN NIA · Britannia seated left on globe, holding olive branch and long transverse sceptre, Union shield to lower right, 1771 in exergue.

Peck 898; SCBC 3774.

(28 mm, 9.88 g, 6h).

Classical Numismatic Group; ex- C. W. Pearson Collection.
2 commentsn.igmaDec 16, 2018
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Great Britain, Captain James Cook Medal (Æ) by Lewis Pingo for the Royal Society 178411 viewsLeft-facing bust of Captain James Cook (1728-1779) in his naval uniform. IAC. COOK OCEANI INVESTIGATOR ACERRIMVS (James Cook the most intrepid investigator of the seas) around the border. REG. SOC.LOND. / SOCIO. SVO (The Royal Society London, to its Fellow) below; signed L.P.F. (Lewis Pingo fecit) beneath the truncation of the shoulder.

The personified figure of Fortune leaning against a rostral column, holding a rudder resting on a globe; shield bearing Union Jack leaning against rostra column. NIL INTENTATVM NOSTRI LIQUERE (Our men have left nothing unattempted) around the border. In exergue AUSPICIIS / GEORGII / III (Under the auspices of George III).

MH 374; BHM 258; Betts 553; Eimar 780.

(43 mm, 12h).

On 14 February 1779, the world’s greatest navigator and maritime explorer, Captain James Cook (1728-1779), was killed in a skirmish with the Hawaiian inhabitants at Kealakekua Bay, on the big island. News of his death took almost a year to reach England. On receiving the news, the Chairman of the Royal Society, Sir Joseph Banks, sought designs for a medal to celebrate Cook’s achievements. Many artisans submitted ideas for consideration. However, it was the design of the chief engraver of the London Mint, Lewis Pingo (1743-1830) that won the sanction of the Royal Society. Work on the dies commenced on 15 June 1780 although it was to be more than three years before Sir Joseph Banks announced that the engraving was complete in November 1783. The medal was struck the following year in gold (22 copies), silver (322 copies) and bronze (577 copies). The bronze strikes were distributed free to the Fellows of the Royal Society, while gold and silver were by subscription only, with several of the gold medals reserved for dignitaries, including the King George III and James Cook’s widow Elizabeth.

The portrayal of Cook on the medal is derived from the famous portrait by Nathaniel Dance. The accompanying Latin legend translates to ‘James Cook the most intrepid explorer of the seas.' The reverse celebrates Cook's journeys, with the image of Fortune holding a rudder over the globe and a motto in Latin, which translated reads 'Our men have left nothing unattempted'.
n.igmaDec 14, 2018
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temp. STUART, William Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1677-1690, AR Medal by George Bower 1688 30 views* GVIL · SANCROFT · ARCHIEPISC · CANTVAR · 1688 Bust of William Sancroft, the Archbishop of Canterbury, wearing camauro and canonical robes, facing right.
Seven medallions of the Bishops committed to the Tower of London: Bishops Henry Compton (middle – London), Francis Turner (upper right, proceeding clockwise – Ely), Thomas Ken (Bath), Sir John Trelawney (Bristol), Thomas White (Peterborough), John Lake (Chichester), and William Lloyd (St. Asaph); twelve stars around; signed GB·F· (George Bower fecit) below.

MI 622/37; Eimer 288b. By G. Bower. Dated 1688.

(51 mm, 53.45 g, 12h).

CNG 85 (15 September 2010) Lot 1562: California Collection of British Historical Medals.

This remarkable medallion portrays no less than eight people directly associated with a historical event that did much to shape the modern secular British democracy. In 1687, King James II enacted unilaterally and against the will of the Parliament the Declaration of Indulgence as the first step in establishing the freedom of religion in England. The ensuing protest concerned the legality of James right to make the dispensation in the absence of the support of Parliament, plus the absence of a guarantee that the Anglican Church would remain as the established church. Many leaders within the clergy refused to read the Declaration in church from the pulpit as instructed by the King in early 1688. This culminated in a petition to the King against the reading of the Declaration. The petition originated from the hand of the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Sancroft, depicted on the obverse of the medal and was signed by the six other bishops identified around the margin of the reverse of the medallion. Bishop Henry Compton, depicted in the centre of the reverse, was included on the medal due to his earlier dissent to the King’s approach to Catholicism, for which James removed him from office.

The seven bishops who signed the petition were charged with seditious libel and imprisoned in the Tower of London in May 1688. Brought to trial before the Court of the King’s Bench, the bishops were acquitted. This served as a precursor to James’ deposition shortly thereafter.

This medal was issued following the trial, in commemoration of the action taken by William Sancroft and his fellow bishops in refusing to follow James II’s edict to read the Declaration of Indulgence from the pulpit. The medal connects directly with one of the key events in British history, which lead ultimately to the deposition of James II by his son-in-law and daughter, William III and Mary II of Orange on 5 November 1688. As a direct result of the action of the seven bishops, the right to petition the king was enshrined in the new Bill of Rights in 1689. Simplistically, some people see this medal as a testament to religious intolerance, although the issues of the time that brought it into being were far more complex, involving matters of secular authority, constitutional right, and the very basis of power in the evolving secular democratic British state. This is demonstrated by the decision of Sancfroft and five of the seven bishops that they could not swear allegiance to the new protestant King William III, for to do so would be a repudiation of their prior sworn loyalty to the deposed Catholic King James II. As a result, Sancroft was dismissed from his role in 1690 and died in relative obscurity three years later.

Few coins, or medals, connect so directly with history and in doing so depict so many influential participants. The medal was the work of George Bower (d. 1690) a medallist who worked in London from 1650-1689. He had been appointed to the position of Engraver of the Royal Mint and Embosser in Ordinary in 1664.
2 commentsn.igmaDec 13, 2018
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Parthia, Andragoras, ca. 245-238 BC, AR Tetradrachm26 viewsHelmeted head of Athena r.; ΠYMH monogram behind in lower l. field.
Owl standing r., head facing; olive-sprig, crescent and grape bunch behind, AΘE to r.

Taylor Birds of a Feather 2.7, 51 (this coin) dies A5/P8; HGC 12, 2 var.; H. Nicolet-Pierre & M. Amandry, "Un nouveau trésor de monnaies d’argent pseudo-Athéniennes venu d’Afghanistan” RN 1994, 13-15 (attributed to Baktria); Bopearachchi Sophytes 1 (Baktria); Mitchiner 13e (attributed to Babylon).

(22 mm, 16.83 g, 6h).

Coin India; ex- Hakim Hamidi (an Afghan coin dealer).
1 commentsn.igmaDec 12, 2018
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Parthia, Satrapy of Andragoras, ca. 250-238 BC, AR Tetradrachm39 viewsHelmeted head of Athena r.
Owl standing r., head facing, olive-sprig and crescent behind, AΘ[E] to r.

Taylor 'Birds of a Feather' 1.1; SNG ANS 9, 1; HGC 12, 1.

(23 mm, 16.73 g, 6h).

Roma Numismatics eSale 45 (5 May 2018), Lot 373; ex-'Andragoras-Sophytes' Hoard.


The advanced style of the owl and the 6h die adjustment of this coin indicate that it was struck at the end of Series 1 in the transition to Series 2 at which time the die axis adjustment changed from 12h to 6h and the reverse incuse square gave way to a non-incuse reverse. This intermediate fabric is proof that the two series were struck without a time gap between them.

The 'Andragoras-Sophytes' hoard came to market from mid-late 2017. It was reputedly found in 2014 and consisted of approximately 600 coins from at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan (Hoard information: Olivier Bordeaux & Osmund Bopearachchi). Around half of these coins were marketed by Roma Numismatics in a succession of auctions commencing in 2017 and continuing through 2019.
4 commentsn.igmaDec 05, 2018
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Pamphylia, Aspendos, ca. 420-400 BC, AR Stater 11 viewsTwo wrestlers grappling within a dotted border.
Slinger discharging sling r., triskeles in r. field, ethnic EΣTFEΔIIVΣ to l., all within shallow incuse square.

SNG France 49; SNG von Aulock 4504.

(23 mm, 10.84 g, 5h).
Kirk Davis
n.igmaJul 17, 2018
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Kings of Pergamon, Eumenes I, 263-241 BC, AR Tetradrachm18 viewsDiademed head of Philetairos r.
ΦIΛΕΤAIPΟY Athena enthroned l., holding shield; spear behind, ivy leaf to inner l., bow to r., A on throne.

Westermark Group II (V.X/R.1); SNG France 1604; SNG von Aulock 1354; Meydancikkale 3002; Sear 7217.

(28 mm, 16.14 g, 12h).
John Jencek
2 commentsn.igmaJul 17, 2018

Random files - n.igma's Gallery
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Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312-281 BC, AR Tetradrachm – Uncertain Mint 433 viewsHead of Herakles right wearing lion-skin headdress.
ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ reading up on left, ΣEΛΓYKOY (misspelled with Γ rather than E) reading down on right, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, ΣΕ monogram to left, circled ΜΗY monogram beneath throne.

SC 60.2; HGC 9, 12d (R2-3); WSM 1342 (same obverse die).

Uncertain Mint 4 in Cappadocia, Eastern Syria, or Northern Mesopotamia 301-281 BC.

(26 mm, 17.15 g, 5h).
Naville 21, 20 March 2016, 97.

Seleucid Coins (p. 33) notes the declining competence exhibited by reverse dies in the series to which this coin belongs. This is a characteristic along with the mint controls, shared with some of the later issues of Uncertain Mints 6A/1, perhaps pointing to the mobile military nature of the mint and resultant variable access to skilled engravers. The misspelled legend fits with this observation.
3 commentsn.igma
Macedonian_Kingdom,_Alexander_III_The_Great,_AR_teradrachm_Amphipolis_Mint~0.jpg
Kings of Macedon, Alexander III the Great, 336-323 BC, AR Tetradrachm - Amphipolis Mint under Antipater104 viewsHead of Herakles right, wearing lion skin headdress.
AΛEΞANΔPOY Zeus Aëtophoros seated left; janiform head vase in left field. Graffiti in upper left field - Aramaic kaph (k) and sadhe (s).

Price 6; Troxell, Studies, Issue A3; SNG Cop 660; Muller 853.
Struck at Amphipolis in the period 332-329 BC.

(29 mm, 17.15 g, 2h)

This is one of the first emissions of Alexander’s coinage struck in his homeland, albeit about three years after he departed for Asia Minor. Recent scholarship places the start of Alexander’s distinctive coinage in 333/2 BC at Tarsos, in eastern Asia Minor, shortly after which the design was transferred to Macedonia where Alexander’s coinage was struck under the authority of his regent in Greece, Antipater. Die studies indicate that this coin was from the fourth tetradrachm emission of a mint in Macedonia, most probably Amphipolis. It was most probably struck in the period 332-329 BC. The Aramaic graffiti on the reverse, plus the obverse reverse rim test cut are pointers to the likelihood that this coin travelled beyond its location of issue in Macedonia, into the eastern Mediterranean where Aramaic was the main spoken language.
3 commentsn.igma
heraia__AE15_-_HGC_5,_840_(this_coin).jpg
Arkadia, Heraia, ca. mid-4th Century BC, Æ Dichalkon11 viewsHead of Athena wearing crested Attic helmet right.
Straight sided letter H.

HGC 5, 840 (this coin); BCD Peloponnesos 1367 (this coin); BMC 27; Traité 1020.

(15 mm, 2.70 g, 1h).
ex- BCD Collection: LHS 96 Lot 1367 (8 May 2006). Found near Phigaleia (in SW Arkadia) per BCD collection tag and acquired by BCD through exchange with AR in March 1994.

Heraia was a fortified city located in western Arkadia on the border with Elis. It was situated on one of the banks of the river Alpheios upstream from Olympia. Little is known of its history. The site of the ancient city was excavated in 1931, but it remains closed to the public. Phigaleia, where this coin was found, was a fortified city, located about 50 km due south of Heraia in one of the most elevated parts of the Peloponnesos. Phigaleia fell into decay under Roman rule in the third century AD.
n.igma