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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Types| ▸ |Architecture||View Options:  |  |  |   

Architecture on Ancient Coins
Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Akko-Ptolemais, Phoenicia

|Phoenicia|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.,| |Akko-Ptolemais,| |Phoenicia||AE| |27|
Akko was refounded as a Roman colony, colonia Ptolemais, probably in 53 or 54 A.D., the last year of Claudius' reign or the first year of Nero’s. Akko was one of hundreds of cities in the Roman provinces that minted civic coins. In the mid 3rd century cities stopped producing their own coins. The last city coins were struck under Gallienus, and Akko was among the very last cities to strike its own coins.
JD96394. Bronze AE 27, BMC Phoenicia p. 138, 50 var. (obv. leg.); Rosenberger 86 var. (same); Kadman Akko 256 var. (same, draped); Sofaer 293 ff. (draped, etc.); SNG Cop -, aF, rough green patina, light earthen deposits, a little off center, weight 13.158 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 0o, Ake Ptolemais (Acre, Israel) mint, 253 - 268 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES LIC GALLIEN[VS AVG], laureate head right; reverse COL P-TOL, portable shrine containing a statue of Zeus Heliopolites, shrine consisting of a frame within two pillars supporting a architrave with hatched decoration, two carrying poles projecting from bottom, figure of deity within standing facing on rock or base, wearing short chiton, double axe in right hand, harpe(?) in left hand; an unpublished variant of a very rare type; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection, 1977 surface find at Caesarea Maritima, Israel; $440.00 (€404.80)
 


Philip II, July or August 247 - Late 249 A.D., Zeugma, Commagene, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Philip| |II,| |July| |or| |August| |247| |-| |Late| |249| |A.D.,| |Zeugma,| |Commagene,| |Syria||AE| |27|
Zeugma was founded by Seleucus I Nicator who almost certainly named the city Seleucia after himself. In 64 B.C. the city was conquered by Rome and renamed Zeugma, meaning "bridge of boats." On the Silk Road connecting Antioch to China, Zeugma had a pontoon bridge across the Euphrates, which was the long time border with the Persian Empire. The Legio IV Scythica was camped in Zeugma. The legion and the trade station brought great wealth to Zeugma until, in 256, Zeugma was fully destroyed by the Sassanid king, Shapur I. An earthquake then buried the city beneath rubble. The city never regained its earlier prosperity and, after Arab raids in the 5th and 6th centuries, it was abandoned again.
SL89808. Bronze AE 27, Butcher 31c; SNG Cop 35; BMC Galatia p. 128, 35; SGICV 4142, NGC Ch VF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (4094544-007), weight 15.63 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 0o, Zeugma (Belkis, Turkey) mint, 247 - 249 A.D.; obverse AYTOK K M IOYΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CEB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ZEYΓMATEΩN, tetrastyle temple with peribolos enclosing the sacred grove of trees, below Capricorn right; from the Martineit Collection of Ancient and World Coins, NGC| Lookup; $200.00 (€184.00)
 


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Zeugma, Commagene, Syria

|Roman| |Syria|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Zeugma,| |Commagene,| |Syria||AE| |23|NEW
Zeugma was founded by Seleucus I Nicator who almost certainly named the city Seleucia after himself. In 64 B.C. the city was conquered by Rome and renamed Zeugma, meaning "bridge of boats." On the Silk Road connecting Antioch to China, Zeugma had a pontoon bridge across the Euphrates, which was the long time border with the Persian Empire. The Legio IV Scythica was camped in Zeugma. The legion and the trade station brought great wealth to Zeugma until, in 256, Zeugma was fully destroyed by the Sassanid king, Shapur I. An earthquake then buried the city beneath rubble. The city never regained its earlier prosperity and, after Arab raids in the 5th and 6th centuries, it was abandoned again.
RY92575. Bronze AE 23, RPC IV T8532 (controls A - Θ); BMC Galatia p. 125, 11 var. (control); SNG Hunterian 2628 var. (same); SNG Munchen 416 var. (same); SNG Cop -, VF, nice green desert patina with red highlights, double struck, slightest porosity, a few light scratches, weight 11.871 g, maximum diameter 23.3 mm, die axis 0o, Zeugma (Belkis, Turkey) mint, Aug 138 - 7 Mar 161 A.D.; obverse AYTO KAI TIT AIΛ AΛPI ANTWNINONOC CEB EY (or similar), laureate head right; reverse ZEYΓMATEWN (counterclockwise from 9:00), tetrastyle temple with peribolos enclosing the sacred grove of trees (poor use of perspective, as on all examples of this type), crescent above, H (Greek control number 8) in upper left field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $130.00 (€119.60)
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, William of Villehardouin, 1246 - 1278

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |William| |of| |Villehardouin,| |1246| |-| |1278||denier| |tournois|
William of Villehardouin became Prince of Achaea when his brother Geoffrey II died in 1246. He conquered the remaining Peloponnese territory and built the fortress of Mistra near Sparta. In 1249 he accompanied Louis IX of France on the Seventh Crusade, joining him in Cyprus with 400 knights and 28 ships. Louis gave him a license to mint coins in the style of royal French money. William defeated Venice in the War of the Euboeote Succession and defeated the Duke of Athens in 1258, reaffirming his power over the duchy. In 1259 he formed an alliance with the Byzantine Despotate of Epirus against Nicaea. He led the Achaean forces against the Nicaeans, but the Epirote army deserted and William was defeated. He fled and hid under a haystack, but was captured. He remained captive until 1262 and permanently lost all his power.Arms_of_Achaea
CR96932. Billon denier tournois, Metcalf Crusaders pl. 39, 940; Malloy Crusaders 10a; Tzamalis Frankish GV224; Schlumberger pl. XII, 12, F, uneven strike with part of obverse legend weak, light marks and deposits, slightly off center, tiny edge splits, weight 0.735 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 235o, Corinth mint, 1246 - 1278; obverse +:G:PRINCE ACh', cross pattée within inner border; reverse DCLARENTIAV, castle tournois, spire in the form of Λ, surmounted by cross dividing legend; from the Louis G Estate; $130.00 (€119.60)
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Charles II of Anjou, 1285 - 1289

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |Charles| |II| |of| |Anjou,| |1285| |-| |1289||denier| |tournois|
Charles II succeeded his father, Charles I, in Achaea as well as Sicily (now reduced to the Kingdom of Naples), but he was a prisoner in Aragonese hands. In the interim, the rule of Achaea devolved upon a series of baillis chosen from the Morean nobility. Not long after his release and coronation in 1289, he granted the Principality to Isabelle of Villehardouin upon her marriage with Florent of Hainaut, in part to redress the greedy application of the Treaty of Viterbo at William's death. However, he retained feudal overlordship over the Principality, and his grant provided that neither Isabelle nor any daughter who was her heir might marry without his consent.Frankokratia_Map
CR96936. Billon denier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 12 (S); Metcalf Crusades pl. 39, 942; Tzamalis Frankish KA101; Schlumberger XII 17, F, light toning, light marks, minor edge flaw, small edge cracks, weight 0.789 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Clarentza mint, 1281 - 1289; obverse + • K• R• PRINC ACh• (curly foot R = Clarentza mint), cross pattée within inner border; reverse :DE: CLARENCIA: (colons indicate double x stops, DE probably abbreviates denarius, curly foot R = Clarentza mint), castle tournois surmounted by cross dividing legend; from the Louis G Estate; scarce; $130.00 (€119.60)
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Florent of Hainaut, 1289 - 1297

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |Florent| |of| |Hainaut,| |1289| |-| |1297||denier| |tournois|
Florent of Hainaut was Prince of Achaea in right of his wife, Isabella of Villehardouin. He was the son of John I of Avesnes and Adelaide of Holland. From his father he received the stadholdership of Zeeland. After he left Zeeland, he took up service with Charles II of Naples, who made him constable of the Kingdom of Naples. Florent settled with his wife in Morea. He negotiated the Treaty of Glarentsa with the Byzantine Empire in 1290; however, the situation for the Franks in Greece was hopeless by this time. The fall of the Angevins in Sicily meant that they were preoccupied with recouping territory there and few Western governments would send troops to defend Morea. Florent thus made peace and maintained it until 1293, when the Greeks retook Kalamata. Florent did not despair and did not reopen the war which had been ongoing until his succession: he instead sent an embassy in protest to Andronikos II Palaiologos, and the emperor returned Kalamata. In 1296, the Greeks retook the castle of Saint George in Arcadia. Florent besieged the castle, but died before it could be taken.Arms_of_Achaea
CR88457. Billon denier tournois, Malloy Crusaders 13c; Metcalf Crusades type F4, pl. 39, 961, VF, well centered, toned, weight 0.785 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Clarentza mint, 1289 - 1297; obverse + ⚜FLORENS P AchB, cross pattée within inner border; reverse DE CLARENCIA', castle tournois surmounted by cross dividing legend; from the Louis G Estate; $125.00 (€115.00)
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, William of Villehardouin, 1246 - 1278

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |William| |of| |Villehardouin,| |1246| |-| |1278||denier| |tournois|
William of Villehardouin became Prince of Achaea when his brother Geoffrey II died in 1246. He conquered the remaining Peloponnese territory and built the fortress of Mistra near Sparta. In 1249 he accompanied Louis IX of France on the Seventh Crusade, joining him in Cyprus with 400 knights and 28 ships. Louis gave him a license to mint coins in the style of royal French money. William defeated Venice in the War of the Euboeote Succession and defeated the Duke of Athens in 1258, reaffirming his power over the duchy. In 1259 he formed an alliance with the Byzantine Despotate of Epirus against Nicaea. He led the Achaean forces against the Nicaeans, but the Epirote army deserted and William was defeated. He fled and hid under a haystack, but was captured. He remained captive until 1262 and permanently lost all his power.Arms_of_Achaea
CR88480. Billon denier tournois, Tzamalis Frankish GV222; Metcalf Crusaders pl. 39, 938; Malloy Crusaders 10b, VF, centered, toned, uneven strike, encrustations, weight 0.755 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 270o, Corinth mint, obverse +•G•PRINCEPS, cross pattée within inner border; reverse :CLARENCIA▼ (R with a wedge foot = Corinth), castle tournois, spire in the form of Λ, surmounted by cross dividing legend; from the Louis G Estate; $125.00 (€115.00)
 


Synnada, Phrygia, 249 - 251 A.D.

|Other| |Phrygia|, |Synnada,| |Phrygia,| |249| |-| |251| |A.D.||AE| |24|
Synnada (Suhut, Turkey today) was of considerable importance as a station on the road from Apameia to the north and east. Synnada was celebrated throughout the Roman Empire for its precious Synnadic marble, a light color marble interspersed with purple spots and veins. From quarries on Mount Persis in neighboring Docimeium, it was conveyed through Synnada to Ephesus, from which it was shipped over sea to Italy.
RP92750. Bronze AE 24, RPC IX 887 (2 spec.), SNG Tüb 4199, BMC Phrygia p. 397, 29 var. (palm fronds flank shield); SNGvA 8447 var. (same); SNG Cop 717 var. (same), VF, green patina, light earthen deposits, weight 6.418 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 180o, Synnada (Suhut, Turkey) mint, time of Trajanus Decius, 249 - 251 A.D.; obverse CYNNA∆EΩN, bare head of Hercules right; reverse ∆ΩPIEΩNIΩNΩN, distyle temple, containing ornamented shield, star in arched pediment; ex Tom Vossen; rare; $125.00 (€115.00)
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Charles I of Anjou, 1278 - 1285

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |Charles| |I| |of| |Anjou,| |1278| |-| |1285||denier| |tournois|
Charles I of Anjou, was a member of the royal Capetian dynasty and the founder of the second House of Anjou. He was Count of Provence (1246-85) and Forcalquier (1246-48, 1256-85) in the Holy Roman Empire, Count of Anjou and Maine (1246-85) in France; he was also King of Sicily (1266-85) and Prince of Achaea (1278-85). In 1272, he was proclaimed King of Albania; and in 1277 he purchased a claim to the Kingdom of Jerusalem.Carlos_I
CR96935. Billon denier tournois, Metcalf Crusades pl. 39, 948; Tzamalis Frankish KA202; Malloy Crusaders 11 (S), aVF, well centered, light deposits and marks, small edge splits/cracks, weight 0.550 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 0o, Corinth mint, 1278 - 1285; obverse +•K• R• PRINC' ACH' (R with wedge shaped foot = Corinth mint), cross pattée within inner border; reverse ▼CLARENCIA• (R with wedge shaped foot = Corinth mint), castle tournois surmounted by cross dividing legend; from the Louis G Estate; $120.00 (€110.40)
 


Crusaders, Frankish Greece, Principality of Achaea, Mahaut (Maud) of Hainaut, 1316 - 1318

|Crusaders|, |Crusaders,| |Frankish| |Greece,| |Principality| |of| |Achaea,| |Mahaut| |(Maud)| |of| |Hainaut,| |1316| |-| |1318||denier| |tournois|
This was one of very few medieval coin types minted under female authority. In 1313, Philip I of Taranto, in compensation for breaking their engagement, granted Achaea to Maud and gave her hand to Louis of Burgundy. The principality was, however, possessed by another claimant, Ferdinand of Majorca. At the Battle of Manolada on 5 July 1316, Ferdinand was killed and Louis took control. He was poisoned soon after, leaving 23-year-old Maud in charge. Rule was soon disputed by varying claimants and Maud was dispossessed of her fief by 1318, in which year John, Duke of Durazzo, abducted the princess and forced her to marry him. She did not give him children, however, and he repudiated her in 1321. Maud married again to Hugh de La Palice and retired to Aversa, where she died in 1331.Arms_of_Achaea
CR88473. Billon denier tournois, Metcalf Crusades MA1c; Malloy Crusaders 36, VF, toned, tight flan, edge cracks, light deposits, weight 0.876 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Clarentza(?) mint, 1316 - 1318; obverse + MAhAVTA·P·Ach, cross pattée within inner border; reverse DE CLARENCIA (R with a small thin foot = Clarentza?), castle tournois surmounted by cross dividing legend, annulet left, three branched plant between two small pellets below; from the Louis G Estate; $115.00 (€105.80)
 




  



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REFERENCES

Price, M.J. & B. Trell. Coins and Their Cities: Architecture on the Ancient Coins of Greece, Rome, and Palestine. (London, 1977).

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