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Carystus, Euboea

Robinson, David M. A Hoard of Silver Coins from Carystus. ANSNNM 124. (New York, 1952).

Carystus was an ancient city-state on Euboea. In the Iliad it is controlled by the Abantes. The name also appears in the Linear B tablets as "ka-ru-to" (identified as Carystus). By the time of Thucydides it was inhabited by Dryopians. A Persian force landed at Carystus in 490 BC and quickly subdued its inhabitants. Soon after the Battle of Salamis the Athenian fleet led by Themistocles extorted money from the city. Soon afterward Carystus refused to join the Delian League. The Athenians wanted Carystus to join the Delian League, but seeming as though it had been under Persian control, they refused. Athens would not accept a refusal, so they attacked and plundered Carystus. This forced Carystus to side with the Delian league. Athens employed this tactic frequently, as it was said to be better for the league. This way, a Greek city-state could not side with Persia and offer their city as a base, and also could not get the advantages of a Persian-free Greece without paying their share. The creation of the Delian league leads to the Imperial nature of Athens that fueled the Peloponnesian War. Imperial nature tends to take on a modern association, however with the creation of the league essentially people of uneducated agricultural background were given the right to vote in the assembly. This version of Athenian Democracy took on a role that allowed for a tyrannical nature of a seemingly egalitarian ideal. The league demanded submission to create a unified Greece, the only problem is that instead of creating a standing army or improved military strength to prevent further invasion, the Athenians under the direction of Pericles started the periclean building projects that squandered funds and glorified Athens and Greece in their defeat of Persia. This misapplication of tribute from surrounding Attican city-states created the rejection of this idea by Sparta, and subsequently the Peloponnesian War, not securing Greece form an outside Persian attack, but opening it for an internal rejection of the league. -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carystus

Of this town it does not appear that there are many coins of the sixth century, but after B.C. 480, except during the intervals of Athenian and Macedonian rule, the coinage is continuous.


B.C. 550-445 and 411-336.

ΚΑRVΣΤΙΟ[Ν] Ox scratching itself with its horn. [Babelon, Trait, Pl. XXXII. 14.]Incuse square, in which cock.
AR Tetradr.
Cow suckling calf. [B. M. C., Cent. Gr., Pl. XVIII. 1, 5, 6, 11.]Κ, ΚΑ, or ΚΑΡΥΣ, &c. Incuse square (except on later coins), within which, cock.
AR Didr.
Head of Herakles.
[Ibid., Pl. XVIII. 3.]
ΚΑΡΥ Bull recumbent.
AR Drachm, and Drachm.
Id. [Ibid., Pl. XVIII. 4.]Κ Α Palm tree.
Forepart of bull. [Ibid., Pl. XVIII. 2.]Incuse square, palm tree.
AR Drachm.
Bull 's head. [Ibid., Pl. XVIII. 9.]ΚΑΡΥ Two palm trees.
AR Diobol.
Bull 's head.
[N. C., 1898, Pl. XIX. 7.]
Palm tree in incuse square.
AR Obol.

1 before the publication of the first edition of the present work there was, however, a find of these coins in the island of Euboea itself. U. Koehler, Mnzfunde auf Euboea in the Mitth. d. Arch. Inst. Athen., ix. p. 354.


Head of Apollo.
[B. M. C., Cent. Gr., Pl. XVIII. 10.]
Κ Three palm trees.
AR Obol.
Head of Herakles.
[Ibid., Pl. XVIII. 13.]
ΚΑ Bull 's head.

B.C. 197-146.

Head of bearded Herakles.
[B. M. Guide, Pl. XLIII. 29.]
ΚΑΡΥ Bull recumbent.
AV 49.3 grs.
Beardless head, bound with royal diadem. [1] [B. M. Guide, Pl. XLIII. 30.]ΚΑΡΥΣΤΙΩΝ Nike in biga.
AR Didr.
Head of bearded Herakles.
[N. C., 1890, Pl. XIX. 9.]
ΚΑΡΥ and magistrate 's name ΦΙΛΩΝ. Bull rushing; beneath, club.
AR Drachm, 64.2 grs.
Head of Herakles.
[B. M. C., Cent. Gr., Pl. XIX. 3.]
ΚΑ Bull 's head.
Head of Zeus. [Ibid., Pl. XIX. 4.]ΚΑΡΥΣΤΙΩΝ Eagle; wings open.
Veiled head of Hera. [Ibid., Pl. XIX. 5.]ΚΑΡΥ Bull butting.
Id. [Ibid., Pl. XIX. 8.]ΚΑΡΥ Dolphin.
Head of Poseidon. [Ibid., Pl. XIX. 6.]ΚΑΡΥΣΤΙΩΝ Dolphin and trident.
Head of young Dionysos (?).
[Ibid., Pl. XIX. 9.]
ΚΑΡΥ Dolphin.

The Imperial coins (Nero and Trajan) have usually a head of Poseidon on the reverse. Sestini (Mus. Font., iii. Pl. IV. 18) attributes also a coin to M. Aurelius.

For the Cow and calf see Corcyra, p. 326. The Bull or Cow is possibly connected with the cult of Hera, who possessed a primitive temple on Mount Oche, at the foot of which Carystus stands (Steph. Byz. s.v. Καρυστος; Walpole, Travels, p. 235).

The Cock (κηρυξ, καρυξ, Aristoph. Eccl. 30) may perhaps contain an allusion to the name of the town Καρυστος, cf. καρυσσω (Anthol., p. 5. 3), to crow; see Himera, p. 144.

The gold coins of Carystus were called drachms; see the Inventory of Demares, one of the Ιεροποιοι of the Temple of Apollo at Delos, who, among other gold and silver coins dedicated to the god, registers one Carystian gold drachm (B. C. H., 1882, p. 49).

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