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Available online: http://numismatics.org/digitallibrary/ark:/53695/nnan30114
The five tetradrachms of this king, which were published in the recently issued volume of the British Museum Catalogue,1 formed part of a hoard. Of this hoard 50 pieces in all were secured by Col. H. B. McCormick, D.S.O. Whether the hoard ever contained any more than these I am unable to state. It was reported to have been fetched across the border from Susa to Amara, where it was bought; but there may be no more truth in that statement than in another, to wit: that the coins had been buried in a bronze pot which, when examined by experts, proved to be of Arab workmanship and perhaps a thousand years later than the coins. That the coins had been in contact with copper is, however, undoubtedly true, for the forty-five coins which were brought to me by Col. McCormick were so thickly coated with a copper deposit that their real composition — a not very pure silver2 — could hardly be surmised. They have all since been cleaned — nearly all with complete success; two, however, had considerable patches of deep-seated decay, which in the cleaning disappeared altogether, leaving large cavities on the obverses.
Of the 45 new coins shown by Colonel McCormick, one has been kept by himself, and 22 by the British Museum. In the following list, an asterisk is placed against the weight of the specimens retained by the Museum. I proceed to give a complete list of all the coins known to me of this king—51 in all, including the Berlin specimen, or 52, if, as seems probable, the bronze coin at Paris is of him and not of the second Attambelos.
All the coins are of the general description already given in the Museum Catalogue, as follows:
Obv. Head of King r., diademed, bearded, hair in curls; border of dots.
Rev. Herakles seated l., with club which rests on his r. knee. On r. downwards and on l. downwards, inscription (rarely preserved in full) ΒΑΣӀΛΕΩΣ ΑΤΤΑΜΒΗΛΟY on r., ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΚΑӀ ΕYΕΡΓΕΤΟY on l. Above r. arm, monogram; in exergue, date (too often mutilated).
They fall into three groups, according as they have
a monogram on obverse in front of the head, and on the reverse a monogram or letter under the arm, as well as the monogram above it.
no monogram on obverse, but a letter under the arm as well as the monogram above it.
no monogram on obverse, and on the reverse no letter under the arm, but only the monogram above it.
Contrary to the usual rule in the development of coins, the equipment of monograms and letters becomes less complicated as time goes on; the chronological order of the groups is the same as that given above.
On the obverse, monogram image in front of head.
1–5. On the reverse, above arm, below; date, when legible ΖΞΣ (267). Weights, 15.09 grams, 14.78 gr.*, 13,41 gr., 12.97 gr.* (Pl. I), 12.82 gr.
6. On the reverse, obscure monogram3 above arm, Ο below date НΞΣ (268). Wt. 11.24 gr.* (Pl. I).
No monogram on obverse; on reverse, above arm (No. 7) or (Nos. 8–13); below, a letter.
7. Letter under arm obliterated. Date, θΞΣ (269). Wt. 10.50 gr.* (B.M C. p. 291, No. 1).
8. Letter under arm, Ζ. Date, ΞΣ Wt. 14.47 gr.
9. Letter under arm, Ζ. Date illegible. Wt. 13.37 gr.*
10. Letter under arm, Ρ. Date illegible. Same obv. die as No. 9. Wt. 14.02 gr.* (Pl. I).
11. Similar to No. 10, but from different dies. Date, Ο(?)Σ (270). Double struck on rev. Wt. 11.88 gr.
12. Letter X (?) under arm. Date, Σ (270). Wt. 13.15 gr*.
13. Letter X under arm. Date off the flan. Wt. 10.74 gr.* (B.M.C. p. 292, No. 5).
1 Arabia etc., pp. 291–2. In the course of these notes I have made a few tacit corrections in my previous descriptions of these coins.
2 But easily distinguishable from the metal of the succeeding kings, which is very base.
3 All that is clear is a loop resembling the lower part of a B.
4 Assuming the use of the Seleucid era, and not that of Alexander; a point on which Col. Allotte de la Fu˙e will have something to say.
5 Mélanges numismatiques iii (1900) p. 230.
6 BMC Arabia p. 293. Nos. 1–3. I note here that No. 5 of this king has the same monogram as his earlier coins of Σ. EΣ and Τ, and should therefore have been placed before No. 1, although its date is illegible.
7 There is also one at Paris with Σ.
8 BMC Arabia, p. cciii.