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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Greece| ▸ |Illyria||View Options:  |  |  | 

Illyria, Greece

Illyria, in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula, was divided into small hereditary kingdoms, none ruling the entire region, and some with only a single town. Numerous Greek colonies were also established in Illyria. Epidamnos was found in 627 B.C. and Apollonia founded in 588 B.C., both by colonists from Corinth and Corfu. The most notable Illyrian kingdoms and dynasties were those of Bardyllis of the Dardani, and of Agron of the Ardiaei. Agron extended rule to other tribes and created the last and best-known Illyrian kingdom. Rome defeated Gentius, the last independent king of Illyria, at Scodra (in present-day Albania) in 168 B.C. Four client-republics were set up, which were in fact ruled by Rome. Later, the region was governed as a province, with Scodra as its capital. In 10 A.D., after crushing a revolt, Rome dissolved the province of Illyricum and divided it between the new provinces of Pannonia and Dalmatia. Illyricum was made a Roman prefecture during the 4th century, and was abolished, re-established and divided several times during the late Roman and Byzantine periods.Map of Ancient Greek colonies on the northern coast of the Black Sea

Dyrrhachion, Illyria, Greece, Roman Protectorate, c. 229 - 30 B.C.

|Illyria|, |Dyrrhachion,| |Illyria,| |Greece,| |Roman| |Protectorate,| |c.| |229| |-| |30| |B.C.||drachm|
Apparently unpublished. While the combination of these two magistrates is published, we did not find another example of this variety with a veiled Hera and owl on the obverse. Most similar specimens are described as depicting Isis above and grapes in the exergue, though some are so poorly struck that that they could be this variety. The veiled goddess on this coin is certainly not Isis. From Coin Archives, we know of one other likely specimen of this variety but the owl is entirely off flan.
GS95930. Silver drachm, Maier 130 var. (grapes below), SNG Leipzig 708 var. (same), SNG Mun 411 var. (same), Ceka 422 var. (no symbols), BMC -, SNG Cop -, SNG Tub -, Choice gVF, broad flan, attractive old collection toning, tiny edge cracks, weight 3.407 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 270o, Dyrrhachium (Durrs, Albania) mint, magistrates Filemon and Aristenos, 229 - 100 B.C.; obverse cow standing right, looking back at her suckling calf, above: veiled bust of Hera wearing stephane and with scepter behind her shoulders, over ΦIΛHMΩN; owl standing right with head turned facing in exergue; reverse ∆YP - API-ΣTH-NOΣ, double linear bordered square divided into two compartments with a stellate pattern in each; from the Errett Bishop Collection; extremely rare; SOLD

Dyrrhachion, Illyria, c. 340 - 280 B.C.

|Illyria|, |Dyrrhachion,| |Illyria,| |c.| |340| |-| |280| |B.C.||stater|
Dyrrhachion is today Durrs, the second largest city of Albania located on the central Albanian coast, about 33 km west of the capital Tirana. Founded in the 7th century B.C. by Greek colonists from Corinth and Corcyra under the name Epidamnos, it has been continuously inhabited for 2,700 years.

According to Wikipedia, "the Romans renamed the city Dyrrachium (Greek: Dyrrhachion). They considered the name Epidamnos to be inauspicious because of its wholly coincidental similarities with the Latin word damnum, meaning "loss" or "harm". The meaning of Dyrrachium ("bad spine" or "difficult ridge" in Greek) is unclear, but it has been suggested that it refers to the imposing cliffs near the city." This type with the ethnic ∆YP, indicates the city was renamed before Roman rule in 229 B.C. Either Wikipedia is incorrect or numismatists have dated this type too early.
SH63946. Silver stater, Maier p. 17, 1; BMC Thessaly p. 65, 1; SNG Cop 423; HGC 3.1 34 (S), aVF, weight 10.626 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 90o, Dyrrhachium (Durrs, Albania) mint, c. 340 - 280 B.C.; obverse cow standing right, looking back at suckling calf standing left below; reverse ∆YP, double stellate pattern, divided by line, in double linear square border; club left below; all within linear circle border; scarce; SOLD



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Calciati, R. Pegasi, Volume II: Colonies of Corinth and related issues. (Mortara, 1990).
Ceka, H. Questions de numismatique illyrienne. (State University, Tirana, 1972).
Gardner, P. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thessaly to Aetolia. (London, 1883).
Head, B. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Corinth, Colonies of Corinth, Etc. (London, 1889).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of Macedon and Its Neighbors, Volume 3, Part I: Macedon, Illyria, and Epeiros, Sixth to First Centuries BC. HGC 3.1. (Lancaster, PA, 2016).
Imhoof, F. Numismatische Zeitschrift, 1884, pp. 246 ff.
Maier, A. "Die Silberprgung von Apollonia und Dyrrhachion" in NZ 41 (1908), pp. 1 - 33.
Patsch, C. Congres de Num., 1900, p. 104 ff.
Prokopov, I. Coin Collections and Coin Hoards From Bulgaria, Vol. I, Numismatic Collections of the Historical Museum Lovech & the Historical Museum Razgrad. (Sofia, 2007).
Schlosser, J. von. Beschreibung der Altgreichischen Mnzen I: Thessalien, Illyrien, Dalmatien und die Inseln des Adriatischen Meeres, Epeiros. (Vienna, 1893).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 3: Greece: Thessaly to Aegean Islands. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Mnchen Staatlische Mnzsammlung, Part 12: Thessalien - Illyrien - Epirus - Korkyra. (Berlin, 2007).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Bibliothque National, Collection Jean et Marie Delepierre. (Paris, 1983).
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Vison, P. "Greek-Illyrian Coins in Trade, 1904-2005" in SNR 84 (2005).

Catalog current as of Friday, January 27, 2023.
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