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Author Topic: Question on a Ptolemaic Kings of Egypt Coin Attribution Contradiction?  (Read 273 times)

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Online Virgil H

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I am confused by a particular coin and how it is described and attributed. I have looked at a number of listings for this coin and all are consistent. Here is one sample I pulled off coinarchives:

PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. temp. Kleopatra III and Ptolemy IX to Ptolemy XII. 116-51 BC. Æ (19mm, 8.72 g, 12h). Alexandreia mint. Series 9. Diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right / Two eagles with their wings closed standing left on thunderbolt; cornucopia to left. Svoronos 1426 (Joint reign of Ptolemy VI and VIII); Faucher & Lorber pp. 46–7, Series 9; SNG Copenhagen 311-4 (Joint reign of Ptolemy VI and Ptolemy VIII). Brown surfaces. VF. Well centered and struck.

I have also seen the dates as 116-117 BC. Yet, when you look at the Svoronos and SNG Cop notes, it is attributed to the joint reign of Ptolemy VI and VIII. This would make the coin decades earlier than 116 BC. One note I saw had a Weiser 143 number for Ptolemy V. Having two eagles on the reverse would lend credence to the joint reign attribution.. But, it seems we have coin with three or four different attributions, therefore three or four possible dates. Could this have been minted posthumously? Or is this just a coin that is unclear as to when and under whose authority it was minted. I am not posting pics because I don't think they are really relevant and all the coins of this type I looked at were similarly described by different auction houses.

I am having a tough time doing a coin flip for the example of it I have. I would like to pin it down if at all possible. Anyone have any thoughts?

Thanks,
Virgil

Offline Kevin D

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Or is this just a coin that is unclear as to when and under whose authority it was minted.

Yes, I believe this is the case. I don’t have any of these coins and have not studied them, but of the references you have listed, I consider Faucher and Lorber as being the most up-to-date.

Thomas Faucher and Catharine Lorber ‘Bronze Coinage of Ptolemaic Egypt
in the Second Century BC’
Page 49, “…bronze Series 9 (Sv. 1426/27 et al.) circulated mainly from the
joint reign of Cleopatra III and Ptolemy IX through the reign of Ptolemy XII.”

The ruler list for this period is complicated. For Ptolemaic genealogy and much more, I recommend the work of Chris Bennett:
http://www.instonebrewer.com/TyndaleSites/Egypt/ptolemies/genealogy.htm

Online Virgil H

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Kevin,
Thank you very much for your response. You confirmed my suspicions and I realize that many coins cannot be pinned down precisely. This is my first coin from Ptolemaic Egypt and I am quite happy with it. Thanks for that link, too.

Regards,
Virgil

Offline PtolemAE

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Re: Question on a Ptolemaic Kings of Egypt Coin Attribution Contradiction?
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2021, 03:16:21 am »
I am confused by a particular coin and how it is described and attributed. I have looked at a number of listings for this coin and all are consistent. Here is one sample I pulled off coinarchives:

PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. temp. Kleopatra III and Ptolemy IX to Ptolemy XII. 116-51 BC. Æ (19mm, 8.72 g, 12h). Alexandreia mint. Series 9. Diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right / Two eagles with their wings closed standing left on thunderbolt; cornucopia to left. Svoronos 1426 (Joint reign of Ptolemy VI and VIII); Faucher & Lorber pp. 46–7, Series 9; SNG Copenhagen 311-4 (Joint reign of Ptolemy VI and Ptolemy VIII). Brown surfaces. VF. Well centered and struck.

I have also seen the dates as 116-117 BC. Yet, when you look at the Svoronos and SNG Cop notes, it is attributed to the joint reign of Ptolemy VI and VIII. This would make the coin decades earlier than 116 BC. One note I saw had a Weiser 143 number for Ptolemy V. Having two eagles on the reverse would lend credence to the joint reign attribution.. But, it seems we have coin with three or four different attributions, therefore three or four possible dates. Could this have been minted posthumously? Or is this just a coin that is unclear as to when and under whose authority it was minted. I am not posting pics because I don't think they are really relevant and all the coins of this type I looked at were similarly described by different auction houses.

I am having a tough time doing a coin flip for the example of it I have. I would like to pin it down if at all possible. Anyone have any thoughts?

Thanks,
Virgil

Svoronos 1426 are among the most common of all Ptolemaic coins and there is no persuasive evidence that they were minted in a neatly prescribed period of time under one particular ruler. For all anyone knows they may have been minted in huge quantities for decades spanning the reigns of several kings and queens.

Faucher and Lorber (2010) may be the most 'up to date' but there are good reasons to believe that paper may not be a reliable guide.

The problem is that, unlike their predecessors of the 3rd C., so many of the 2nd C. Ptolemaic bronze coin types lack any 'markings' (control symbols, etc.) that sensibly connect them into easily agreed denomination series. Svoronos also has some errors which don't make their interpretation any easier.

What to make of your coin? Hard to back up with evidence more than that it seems to be from Alexandria, made some time during the 2nd half of the 2nd C. BC. Want to pin it to a king? Take your pick of the ones you listed - no one can prove you wrong.

PtolemAE

 

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