Numismatic and History Discussions > Greek Coins

Poseidonia Seilu/Megyl inscription

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ZVdP:
I was trying to find out a little bit more about the mysterious inscription on this Poseidonia stater.
I found a couple of references, but they all either reference or boil down to the note in HN Italy 1114: "... usually read as seilu ... but M. Guarducci reads megul ...".
'Seilu' supposedly refers to the Silaros river, while 'Megyl' would be the name (Megyllos) of a magistrate or oikist of Poseidonia.

M. Guarducci wrote about this in his article "Alcune monete di Posidonia e la fondazione dell'antica città" in "Gli archeologi italiani in onore di A. Maiuri" (1965). Unfortunately I haven't been able to get hold of the text so far.

This is what I'm reading (there's a clearer example of the coin on https://www.sixbid-coin-archive.com/#/en/search?text=seilu):

* 1. San vs Mu: All specimens I've seen seem to have a raised leg, pointing towards mu. However it could be a sloppily written san.
* 2. Epsilon
* 3. Iota vs Gamma: To read it as iota this inscription needs to be written in a different alphabet as iota is invariantly crooked in 'Posei' ( :zag:). On the other hand, this would simply be gamma in the expected local Achaian alphabet (cf. Jeffery 'Local scripts of archaic Greece')
* 4. Lambda vs Upsilon: To get lambda, this letter needs to be mirrored compared to the first, while it would be upsilon in the typical stemless form without mirroring.
* 5. Upsilon vs Lambda: This is not very clear on my coin, but one leg is usually shorter (see Sixbid examples). This seems difficult to explain in case of upsilon, but again, it matches nicely with the local form of lambda
So I'm a little bit confused why anyone would argue for the 'Seilu' interpretation given the various difficulties associated with it (alphabet change, letter mirroring, raised legs in first and last letters) when 'Megyl' is the straightforward reading in the expected alphabet of the Achaian colonies in Italy.

Is it known where the 'Seilu' reading originates from (and why it's seemingly still the usual interpretation in recent descriptions)?

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