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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Thrace & Moesia| ▸ |Apollonia Pontica||View Options:  |  |  | 

Apollonia Pontica, Thrace

Apollonia Pontica was founded as Antheia by Greek colonists from Miletus in the 7th century B.C. They soon changed its name to Apollonia after building a temple for Apollo. The temple contained a colossal statue of Apollo by Calamis, which was later taken to Rome and placed in the Capitol. The anchor on the coinage is evidence of the importance of its maritime trade.

Apollonia Pontika, Thrace, 450 - 404 B.C.

|Apollonia| |Pontica|, |Apollonia| |Pontika,| |Thrace,| |450| |-| |404| |B.C.|, |reduced| |drachm|
Homer wrote about the Gorgon on four occasions, but only about the head, as if the creature had no body. Up to the 5th century B.C., the head depicted was very ugly, with her tongue sticking out, boar tusks, puffy cheeks, her eyeballs staring straight ahead and the snakes twisting all around her. The direct frontal stare was highly unusual in ancient Greek art. In some cases a beard, (probably representing streaks of blood) was added to her chin, making her appear as a wild. Gorgoneia painted on the shields of warriors on mid-5th century Greek vases, however, are not as ugly, strange or frightening. By that time, the Gorgon had lost her tusks and the snakes were rather stylized. The Hellenistic marble known as the Medusa Rondanini shows how the Gorgon changed over time into a beautiful woman..Medusa Rondanini
GS95326. Silver reduced drachm, SNG Stancomb 36 (same dies); Topalov Apollonia p. 586, 45; SNG Cop 457; SNG BM 160; HGC 3.2 1324, VF, toned, struck with worn obverse die, porous, weight 2.749 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 45o, Apollonia Pontica (Sozopol, Bulgaria) mint, 450 - 404 B.C.; obverse Attic style gorgoneion (facing head of Medusa), large cheeks, rows of normal human hair curls to brow, wide nose, protruding tongue, wearing taenia, snakes around; reverse reverse anchor flukes up, A left, crayfish right; ex CNG e-auction 347 (25 Mar 2015), lot 73; ex Collection of a Southern Pathologist; ex Antioch Associates (1994); $110.00 SALE |PRICE| $99.00


Apollonia Pontika, Thrace, c. 450 - 425 B.C.

|Apollonia| |Pontica|, |Apollonia| |Pontika,| |Thrace,| |c.| |450| |-| |425| |B.C.|, |drachm|
A gorgoneion was a horror-creating apotropaic Gorgon head pendant. The name derives from the Greek word gorgs, which means "dreadful." The Gorgons were three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying face that turned those who saw it to stone. Stheno and Euryale were immortal, but their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by Perseus. Zeus, Athena, Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors wore Gorgoneion for protection. Images of the Gorgons were also put upon objects and buildings for protection. A Gorgon image is at the center of the pediment of the temple at Corfu, the oldest stone pediment in Greece from about 600 B.C.
GS91771. Silver drachm, Topalov Apollonia p. 588, 44; SNG BM 162; HGC 3.2 1324; SNG Stancomb -, gVF, well centered on a slightly irregularly shaped flan, attractive toning, some die wear, small edge splits, weight 3.349 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, die axis 300o, Apollonia Pontica (Sozopol, Bulgaria) mint, last late issues, c. 450 - 425 B.C.; obverse anchor flukes up, curved stock, crayfish left, A right; reverse full-face of a noble Gorgon's head with a low narrow forehead, projecting eyebrows and eyes, a short flat nose, abnormally open mouth, long teeth, protruding tongue, human hair mixed with thin snakes, slightly concave; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00 ON RESERVE


Apollonia Pontika, Thrace, 225 - 210 B.C.

|Apollonia| |Pontica|, |Apollonia| |Pontika,| |Thrace,| |225| |-| |210| |B.C.|, |AE| |18|
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in ancient Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. The ideal of the kouros (a beardless, athletic youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of light and the sun, truth and prophecy, healing, plague, music, poetry, and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis.
GB91722. Bronze AE 18, Corpus Nummorum Thracorum 6332, SNG BM Black Sea 187, Topalov Apollonia II 102, HGC 3.2 1341 (S), SNG Stancomb -, F, green patina, bumps and marks, weight 4.866 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 0o, Apollonia Pontica (Sozopol, Bulgaria) mint, 225 - 210 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse anchor flukes up, IH left, crayfish right; scarce; $45.00 SALE |PRICE| $40.50







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REFERENCES|

Corpus Nummorum Thracorum - http://www.corpus-nummorum.eu/
Hoover, O. The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series, Vol. 3 - Handbook of Coins of Macedon and Its Neighbors. Part II: Thrace, Skythia, and Taurike, Sixth to First Centuries BC. (Lancaster, 2017).
Imhoof-Blumer, F. Monnaies Grecques. (Amsterdam, 1883).
Naville Co. Monnaies grecques antiques S. Pozzi. Auction 1. (4 April 1921, Geneva).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 2: Macedonia and Thrace. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain IX, British Museum, Part 1: The Black Sea. (London, 1993).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XI, The William Stancomb Collection of Coins of the Black Sea Region. (Oxford, 2000).
Topalov, S. Apollonia Pontica, Contribution to the Study of the Coin Minting of the City 6th - 1st c. B.C. (Sofia, 2007).
Victoor, R. Roulles Celtes et Objets Assimils. (Rosendal-lez-Dunkerque, 1989).
Wroth, W. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Mysia. (London, 1892).

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