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Author Topic: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery  (Read 9629 times)

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Offline rjohara

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Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« on: November 23, 2005, 11:50:02 pm »
OK, I've got a puzzle that is very confusing. I'm trying to type it out here to help myself understand it, and in the hope that someone may know more about the situation than I do.

There was a small city on the banks of the Maeander near Miletus that was called Myus (or Myous, or Myes). It was never a very large place, and in the 3rd century (if I remember correctly) it was voluntarily absorbed by Miletus and ceased to be an independent political entity. Myus issued very few coins of its own; all were small bronzes and are dated from 350-300BC. Sear describes three types:

#4522, AE 15, laureate Apollo right / goose right within maeander pattern and MYH above

#4523, AE 11, laureate Apollo right / dolphin right with trident below and MY above

#4524, AE 11, laureate Poseidon right / dolphin right with trident below and MY above

These attributions are pretty widely repeated in other references I have at hand.

*But* (this is the puzzling part), I now find that some sources are attributing the Poseidon/dolphin type to a city called Mygissos, said to be in Caria. If you look at the only two Myus entries in coinarchives.com you'll see that one specimen is attributed to Myus, and the other to Mygissos as a correction to Myus, thus: "MYGISSOS. Æ-Chalkus, 386/300 v. Chr.; 1,36 g. Kopf des Poseidon r. mit Lorbeerkranz//Delphin r. über Dreizack. BMC -; SNG Cop. 1022 (Myus); SNG v. Aulock 2114 (Myus, korr. Index 11); SNG Tübingen 3115 (Myus)." From this it appears that most everyone had given Myus as the mint, but that SNG von Aulock alone, in a correction, changed this to Mygissos. I don't have access to a copy of SNG von Aulock to check what it says, so if anyone has that handy I'm be very glad to know.

I've attached an image of the coinarchives.com specimen given to Mygissos below.

To confuse matters more, I find one other archived sale of a coin of this type which attributes it to neither Myus nor Mygissos, but *Myndos*, thus: "Caria, Myndos (?), 4th century BC, AE 11.6 mm (1.20 gm.). Obv.: Bearded head (Zeus or Poseidon ?) laureate r. Rev.: M-Y above; dolphin r. over trident. SNG Helsinki I, 235; SNG Tübingen (Mygissos) 3432." Here an SNG Tübingen reference is given for the Mygissos attribution; that's one I don't have either, so can't speak to the basis of the attribution.

Now, "Mygissos" turns out to be an exceedingly obscure location. A search of Google for the word turns up only the coin sales mentioned above. "Mygissus" returns nothing; perhaps there is another spelling? A search of the Perseus database for Mygissos and Mygissus also returns nothing. I don't find Mygissos mentioned as a mint (or mentioned at all) in any of the Greek coin references I have, including Sear. Perhaps it was on the island of Atlantis?  ;D

Myndos, by contrast, certainly is attested, as "a coastal town situated west of Halikarnassos" (Sear, p. 447), but Sear lists no coins from Myndos before the 2nd century, and these Poseidon/dolphin types are usually placed in the 3rd century. (But then if we don't know where they come from, who knows when they might have been minted.)

So, I think that now expresses the confused state of my understanding. If anyone can clarify the situation (or even confuse it more) I'd be very pleased to hear!

RJO

Offline rjohara

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Re: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2005, 12:32:59 am »
I've found one additional Mygissos reference: Klein's Sammlung von Griechischen Kleinsilbermünzen und Bronzen (1999) lists two Poseidon/dolphin specimens and attributes them to Mygissos with the citations SNG Tübingen 3432 and 3435.

RJO

Lawrence Woolslayer

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Re: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2005, 01:11:22 am »
SNG von AULOCK 2114 and 2115:

MYUS
4. Jh. v. Chr.
Vs. Poseidonkopf im Lorbeerkranz.  Rs. Delphin uber Dreizack r.; oben (Mu).
2114 AE 1.32g  cf. Imhoof-Blumer, Kleinasiatische Munzen, Tafel III 15.
2115 AE 1.27g  Mu.

Lawrence Woolslayer

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Re: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2005, 01:18:37 am »
Sear 4522 Laur Apollo: reference Babelon (Traite) pl. 149, 30
Sear 4523 Laur Apollo: reference Forrer/Weber 6065
Sear 4524 Laur Poseidon: reference SNG Von Aulock 2114-5

Your coin look like Sear 4524; SNG von Aulock 2114-2115, Myus, 4th cent BC

Offline AlexB

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Re: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2005, 04:32:28 am »
Hi RJO

This is a great website - this page includes information on Myus (see bottom right - esp. interesting part about gnat infestation!) and you can also search for more information in search box left. This site has helped me tidy up my background for my coin collection and seems very authorative, quoting from all the usual sources and some besides.

http://www.ancientlibrary.com/gazetteer/0237.html

Brgds

Alex
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Offline slokind

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Re: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2005, 01:33:29 pm »
I shall watch this thread with great interest; this is the kind of question that is really hard to answer, and unless there is some recent archaeological information (perhaps a Turkish excavation or find of a hoard at one of these sites--not Myus), there is always the possibility that the new theory may be no better grounded than the old.    Pat Lawrence

Offline rjohara

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Re: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2005, 04:53:48 pm »
Thanks to Alex for the excellent geographical reference. Myus is an interesting place, and certainly well attested, even though it was always very small. There are some beautiful photographs at the Herodotus Project's site. It seems that no one has contested the assignment of the Apollo/goose coins to Myus, and the presence of the distinctive maeander pattern on the reverse is telling. Myus was one of the first cities to succumb to the silting effects of the river.

But what of "Mygissos"? Can anyone find a record of its existence and location? From what we've assembled so far, it seems the attribution to Mygissos traces to one of these two sources:

SNG v. Aulock 2114 (Myus, korr. Index 11)
SNG Tübingen 3432 and 3435

The SNG Tübingen series started in 1981 I believe, and the von Aulock series ran from 1957-1968, but "korr. Index 11" suggests that this particular attribution was given at some later date as a correction. The von Aulock citation is probably earlier than Tübingen, but I don't know that for sure.

As Pat says, this may be a very difficult one to track. Unless there are finds from known localities, why should MY be Mygissos rather than Myus or Myndos. (Or even Mykale, a famous coastal site known to be sacred to Poseidon; were any coins minted at Mycale?)

But given that earlier sources all seemed to attribute these Poseidon/dolphin coins to Myus, and that von Aulock or Tübingen changed that attribution to Mygissos, what was the reason for doing so? They must at least have had some knowledge of the existence of the place, if not of its coinage.

Bob O'Hara (watching the snow falling in the twilight out my window)

Offline esnible

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Re: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2005, 09:07:51 pm »
Does anyone have the SNG VA index volume?  Perhaps it includes a citation to a paper  providing the academic basis for Mygissos.

The ANS library has no hits for Mygissos, which means there have been no numismatic papers written with that city name in the title.

Google Print and Amazon's 'search inside' don't have any hits for Mygissos.  Amazon is a good place to search for information on obscure Greek cities; it searches tens of thousands of books including An Inventory of Archaic and Classical Poleis: An Investigation Conducted by the Copenhagen Polis Centre for the Danish National Research Foundation.

Offline Dapsul

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Re: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2005, 08:54:12 am »
Isegrim lists seven specimens of those coins as probably minted at Mygissos. Yesterday, I tried to figure out a shape of this obscure town in Caria. The only ancient sources mentioning Mygissos are Steph. Byz. (Hekataios fr. 363 M = frg. 12 Jac.) and an Athenian tribute list of 451/50 B.C. (IG I, 3rd ed., no. 194 line 19). That's definitely all. There's no entry neither in Hansen - Nielsen, Inventory of Greek poleis nor in dyabola, which means, that we know nothing more than the Realencyclopädie 100 years before. I can't imagine how it is possible to attribute a coin type to this town, but Franke, Leschhorn and Stylow, who created the Index Aulock, are reliable scholars.

Regards - Frank

Offline rjohara

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Re: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2005, 11:41:51 pm »
Quote
but Franke, Leschhorn and Stylow, who created the Index Aulock, are reliable scholars

Do you have a copy of this index, Frank? Were you able to see whether they gave any rationale for the revised attribution? (Apparently the main text says Myus, and it is only in the index that Mygissos appears.)

RJO

Offline Dapsul

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Re: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2005, 11:14:47 am »
No, Bob, they don't explain their attribution of two Myous and one Nisyros coin, but they added a question mark. For several hours I tried to solve the riddle, but now I think there is none and you should rather leave your coin to the unhappy enough Myous.
Frank

Roland Mueller

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Re: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2005, 04:07:40 pm »
I have also one coin with dolphin in my collection. I put it to Myndos! Also in SNG Kayhan-Coll. are two of them under Myndos (No. 847+848).
I have an other very rare coin from Myndos, hammered 200 years later and very different.

Karien, Myndos, 2.-1. cent. BC
AE-11 mm, 1.28 gr.

AV: Hekate with creszent in the hair
RV: MYN / DAIWN, fire-altar between, within dotted border

Roland


Offline rjohara

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Re: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2006, 02:37:19 am »
A brief and additionally inconclusive update: a correspondent was kind enough to check the recently-published and enormous Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, and he reports that Mygissos is nowhere to be found in it.

This place really begins to sound like a figment of someone's imagination.

Offline Dapsul

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Re: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2006, 03:14:45 am »
Bob, of course there is no indication of the site of Mygissos in the Barrington Atlas. The only sources for this town are the two I gave in reply #8. But it is not unusual for a minor ancient town to be mentioned once or twice, if at all, in our sources, without topographic indications, so we know that there was a town called so-and-so, which possibly minted coins with its name as legend, but that's it and we do know nothing more.

Frank

Offline rjohara

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Re: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2006, 09:48:58 pm »
"Of course" is pretty strong, Frank. As someone who hasn't seen the Barrington Atlas, it would be perfectly reasonable to think that it might have a section on "place-names not located." Or that, since it is based on ongoing research, some recent discoveries might have been made -- a new inscription somewhere, a new text fragment, a new archaeological site, and that this might have been incorporated into the atlas in some way. The only "of course" I know in this context is that if one doesn't search, then of course one won't find anything.

Offline slokind

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Re: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2006, 10:19:59 pm »
Well, I haven't afforded it yet, but I thought the Barrington Atlas was, well, an atlas, concerned with where on earth places are and were.  I would look in a classical encyclopedia for places known to have existed, such as oases in the Sahara (which may not even be oases any longer).  Some of these towns may have been pretty exiguous or may have seemed to flourish once and briefly.  My grandfather was born in 1886 at a place with a postoffice called Phillips Mill on the slope of Mt. Lassen; some 35 years ago his grandnephews, those that survived, could not themselves agree where it had been.  Yet, as late as WW I it had its own postmark.  Then there are toponyms that aren't exactly towns or villages, such as, say, Penteskouphia near Corinth; in some cases I don't know how we'd distinguish a toponym that was simply a regional reference point from a similar name where such a 'hole in the road' had attracted some permanent population and became a town or a village.  Some such places got an urge to issue coins; others didn't.  No way to tell.  Yet they probably existed.  Any toponym with an -issos suffix probably existed, all right.  Using my imagination, I might suppose that there was a very obscure, very local cult at a Mygissos, or once there had been one; perhaps, by historical times, it was only an oral memory!  Or maybe it was just a place eventually down to its last house, and then none.  Pat L.

Offline Dapsul

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Re: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2006, 07:26:58 am »
Bob, with my pretty strong expression I didn't had in mind to critizise your expectations concerning the Barrington Atlas, "of course" not. I'm sorry about this misunderstanding. I meant it as a warning against the Barrington Atlas. I have strong doubts against such oversized and overpriced projects (LIMC is another example) which keep this encyclopedic attitude and promise which they can't fulfil in the actual use. Moreover, they tend to keep the students and even the scholars away from the sources by saying or by suggesting that "we have seen it all and you just have to consult Us to know everything that is to be known". Not even Hansen's and Nielsen's "Inventory of Greek Poleis" is likely to fulfil this expectation. (The Realencyclopädie may represent an exception.)
Best regards - Frank

Offline esnible

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Re: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2006, 08:25:52 am »
Inventory of Greek Poleis seems wonderful.  I haven't seen one in person Amazon's copy has "search within this book" enabled for quick-lookups.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0198140991

I usually spot-check a book by looking up "Astypalaea", an obscure Greek island that copied the coin types of Seriphos.  Unless something is wrong with my searches, Inventory seems to have two completely different listings for this Island....  That's a major editing flaw.

Offline Dapsul

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Re: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2006, 09:13:20 am »
I love to use the inventory, that's not my point. But I don't rely totally on it. For Astypalaia it has two entries, this is true. One is for the island, the second for the even more obscure town Astypalaia/Isthmos on the island of Kos.

Online Joe Sermarini

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Re: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2013, 03:40:10 pm »
A Gorny and Mosch listing on Coin Archives explains the attribution to Myggissos is based on the very similar reverse on coins of Nisyros (presumably Nisyros is nearby to Myggissos and the types related). The explanation is in German, but I think I got it right (with help from Google translation).  
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Re: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2013, 04:23:44 pm »
Joe,

Presumably you mean this Gorny & Mosch coin (German below).

Their comment:

"For the attribution see Akarca, Mylasa, pp. 60 f. Apart from Mygissos, the cities of Mylasa, Myndos, and Myrina have also been suggested as mints for this coin. The attribution to Myrina is probably the least likely. The stylistic similarity of the coins in question to those of the Carian Nisyros speaks for their attribution to Mygissos, whereas Mylasa and Myndos, which were also located in Caria, employed a different iconography."

Akarca on Mylasa is an older book, 1959, in French, that we do not appear to have in our library.

MYGISSOS. AE (1,19g). 4. Jh. v. Chr. Vs.: Kopf des Poseidon mit Lorbeerkranz r. Rs.: MY, Delfin, darunter Dreizack. SNG Kayhan 857 (Myous); SNG Cop. 1022 (Var., Myous); SNG München 335. R! Schöne dunkelgrüne Patina, ss
 Zur Zuweisung Akarca, Mylasa 60f. Neben Mygissos wurden Mylasa, Myndos und Myrina als Prägestätten vorgeschlagen. Letzteres ist wohl am wenigsten wahrscheinlich. Für Mygissos spricht die stilistische Verwandtschaft zur Prägung des karischen Nisyros, während sich die ebenfalls karischen Orte Myla und Myndos einer anderen Ikonographie bedienen.
Curtis Clay

Offline Johny SYSEL

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Re: Myus, Myous, Myes, Mygissos, Myndos Mystery
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2014, 11:11:25 am »
I've seen 3 Mygissus? and 1 Nisyros coins on German ebay this week. It seems to me they are from the same hoard. Reverses of Nisyros and Mygissos coins looks same. I think Mygissos (or different city with name beginning with MY) which struck coins with Poseidon on obverse and dolphin with trident on reverse must be located on Nisyros or on Kos since these 2 islands have mythological connections and people from Kos settled on Nisyros.

Best Regards

Jan

 

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