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Author Topic: field monograms on cappadocian king coins?  (Read 164 times)

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Offline Ron C2

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field monograms on cappadocian king coins?
« on: January 15, 2022, 04:18:49 pm »
I've been looking though the various sources I have, primarily Simonetta's and Mørkholm's works on these coins, in the vain hopes of finding something to make sense of the field monograms on Cappadocian coinage.

After a lot of reading of old scanned copies of numismatic chronicle, all I've really been able to determine is:

Simonetta did the first serious work on cappadocian kingly coinage and his reference numbers are used today alongside HGC to reference these.  That said, there are obvious errors in Simonetta's works, largely argued and documented by Mørkholm, but never consolidated into a useful single reference work.  For example, Simonetta misattributes some Ariarathes V coins to Ariarathes IV, making for interesting attribution challenges today.  HGC 7 tried to wade through this, but does not differentiate much between monogram and exergue marks.

The only solid work that differentiates field monograms by different reference numbers is really Simonetta, but Simonetta didn't cite every monogram and includes remarks like "off flan", "illegible", etc. and it's clear he worked with limited samples, pre-internet.  He also had not defensible theories on the meanings of inner, outer, left and right field monograms

Simonetta's hypothesizing about the correlation between exergue letter, in order of the greek alphabet, corresponding to regnal year is accepted by many, but Mørkholm makes an almost unbreakable case that at least in some cases (for example,  :Greek_Gamma:  :Greek_Lambda: corresponding to regnal year 33) this cannot be the case based on incidence of coins in hoards and the period in which they would have had to mint that volume. 

So all that to say, is there a modern definitive work on monograms an exergues of these coins that I am missing?  any updated and good theories on their meanings, sequencing and use? 

And because every good thread needs a photo, here is an example of HGC 811 from my collection, in this case an Arirarathes V that Simonetta mis-attributed to Ariarathes IV (i.e. Simonetta 26). 


https://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=174097
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R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline djmacdo

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Re: field monograms on cappadocian king coins?
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2022, 06:14:49 pm »
A lovely coin.  Monograms are frustrating because they usually can be resolved in several different ways.  A wile ago a fellow besieged the Forum with his argument that monograms, rather than representing magistrates' names, indicated the number of coins or the amount of metal issued.  I do not think he convinced many.

Offline Ron C2

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Re: field monograms on cappadocian king coins?
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2022, 06:18:59 pm »
If anything, I was thinking they likely refer to a moneyer or officina official overseeing that batch's production.  But that is only a guess having read a number of theories.

I was also hoping more had been done on whether exergues actually correlate to regnal year, and an accepted explanation for when observed cases make this unlikely.
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R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline djmacdo

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Re: field monograms on cappadocian king coins?
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2022, 08:45:49 am »
Portraits do age as the numbers get higher.

Offline Ron C2

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Re: field monograms on cappadocian king coins?
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2022, 09:22:11 am »
Definitely true. However, there are some rulers where the numbers don't add up.  For example Ariarathes V regnal year 33 coins. There are something like 5 times more of them in circulation than any other regnal year. The output was likely not possible for a single year Mazaka.

I think the regnal year system is likely right, but not universally so, and the exceptions aren't well understood. Mørkholm wrote a paper on this for the numismatic chronicle which I generally accept as accurate.
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Offline Anaximander

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Re: field monograms on cappadocian king coins?
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2022, 02:05:50 pm »
When it comes to dating ancient coins, one reference is Dated Coins of Antiquity, by Edward Cohen (CNG, Lancaster PA, 2011). Your coin is listed as DCA #454 and Simonetta 23.13a, with the regnal year ΓΛ (described as "Greek Additive dates") in the exergue = 131/130 BC. Sadly, there is only the most meager discussion of the issue you raised on Simonetta vs. Morkholm.

I have a pseudo-Seleucid tetradrachm of Ariathes VII imitating Antiochos VII. It was apparently convincing enough that Newell assigns it to Antiochos VII (Newell SMA #298). Newell discusses magistrates and mint marks at length, tracing the usage of controls like ⍋ over generations of magistrates and finally cites it as a mint mark (in the literal sense), going full circle.  You'll note that the abundance of controls A Λ and variants in this coinage (see graphic).  The Seleukid reference SC is replete with appendices on dating and imitations, but doesn't cross over into Cappadocia.
Chris “Anaximander” Thomsen. Member Since 2019.
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Offline Ron C2

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Re: field monograms on cappadocian king coins?
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2022, 05:33:05 pm »
Thanks Chris,

For most of the coinage of Ariarathes iv and v, the regnal dates work.  Specifically for ΓΛ, they appear not to make sense, and Mørkholm describes that perfectly across hi published work.

I suspect study of cappadiocian king coinage is likely not pursued by many, and there may be no more recent work on the subject. Unfortunately.

I would look at ityself, if I had a larger sample size, but even online imagery of these coins is scant.
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R. Cormier, Ottawa

Offline Altamura

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Re: field monograms on cappadocian king coins?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2022, 02:27:07 am »
There is some more recent work by Catharine Lorber, Elke Krengel and some others:
https://www.jstor.org/stable/42666402 (only accessible via JSTOR)
https://www.jstor.org/stable/42678607 (only accessible via JSTOR)
https://www.academia.edu/1399412/Die_Regierungszeiten_des_Ariarathes_VI_und_Ariarathes_VII_anhand_einer_Neuordnung_ihrer_Drachmenpr%C3%A4gung
https://www.academia.edu/37650535/_The_silver_mints_of_Ariarathes_V_Eusebes_of_Cappadocia_RBN_CLXIV_2018_pp_255_284 (not yet available online :-\)

As far as I remember monograms are always playing a role as a grouping criterion, but there are no further explanations.

Perhaps this helps :).

Regards

Altamura

Offline djmacdo

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Re: field monograms on cappadocian king coins?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2022, 07:45:23 am »
I remember some years ago that Mørkholm and Simonetta disagreed with one another about Cappadocian coinage.  The disagreement turned into a real feud and got rather nasty.

 

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