Apollonia Illyrici was an ancient Greek city located on the right bank of the Aous river (modern-day Vjosë). Its ruins are situated in the Fier region, near the village of Pojani (Polina), in modern-day Albania. Apollonia was founded in 588 BCE by Greek colonists from Corfu and Corinth, on a site where native Illyrian tribes lived, and was perhaps the most important of the several classical towns known as Apollonia. Apollonia flourished in the Roman period and was home to a renowned school of philosophy, but began to decline in the 3rd century AD when its harbor started silting up as a result of an earthquake. It was abandoned by the end of Late Antiquity.
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Apollonia. Colony of Corcyra. Silver coins of five periods:—(i) Circ. B.C. 450-350, with Corcyrean types, Cow and Calf. Rev. ΑΠ, Conventional pattern usually called Gardens of Alkinoos, which I shall in future describe as a Square containing a stellate pattern, or as a Stellate square. (See infra, p. 325 f.) Staters of circ. 10.37g. Æ Lyre, Rx ΑΠΟΛΛΩΝΟΣ Obelisk of Apollo (BMC Thessaly, Pl. XII. 1, 2).
(ii) Circ. B.C. 350-300. Staters of Corinthian types and weight, reading ΑΠΟΛ, etc. (BMC Corinth, Pl. XXVI. 1).
(iii) B.C. 229-100. New series of silver coins of the period during which Apollonia and Dyrrhachium were under the protection of Rome. These coins are of the weight of the Roman Victoriatus, circ. 3.37g. (see Haeberlin in Z. f. N., 1907, p. 238). Obv., Cow and Calf. Rev., Stellate square (BMC Thessaly, Pl. XII. 3), and of the half Victoriatus, circ. 1.68g Rev., Fire of the Nymphaeum. They bear magistrates’ names on both sides. It is supposed that the name on the obverse, in the nominative case, is that of the mint-master, and that the name on the reverse, in the genitive, stands probably for an eponymous annual magistrate. There are also bronze coins of two distinct series with identical types, an earlier and a later, each represented by two or more denominations. In the later series the weights seem to have been doubled (see Hunter Cat., II. pp. 2 ff.). Inscr., ΑΠΟΛΛΩΝΙΑΤΑΝ (BMC Thessaly, Pl. XII. 8-12).
|Head of Artemis, or veiled head.||Tripod within wreath. |
|Head of Dionysos.||Cornucopia. |
|Head of Apollo.||Obelisk within wreath or lyre. |
(iv) From circ. B.C. 100 to Augustus. About B.C. 104 the Victoriatus was abolished at Rome, being assimilated to the Quinarius. From this time forwards the silver coins of Apollonia were issued on the standard of the Roman Denarius.
|Head of Apollo.|
[BMC Thessaly, Pl. XII. 13.]
|Three nymphs dancing round the fire
of the Nymphaeum. |
|Fire of the Nymphaeum.
[Congr. int., p. 113.]
AR 2.85g and 2.01 grs.
|Head of Athena. [Ibid., Pl. XII. 15.]||Obelisk. |
|Lyre and quiver (?). [B. M.]||Obelisk. |
(v) Imperial. Augustus to Geta. Inscr., ΑΠΟΛΛWΝΙΑΤΑΝ, ΝΕΡWΝΙ ΑΠΟΛΛWΝΙ ΚΤΙCΤΗ, ΝΕΡWΝΙ ΔΗΜΟCΙW ΠΑΤΡWΝΙ ΕΛΛΑΔΟC, etc. Types:—Three nymphs dancing; Obelisk of Apollo; Hades seated with a standing female figure before him carrying an infant in her arms; Apollo; Poseidon; Asklepios; River-god; Temple of Herakles; etc.
The Nymphaeum near Apollonia was sacred to Pan and the nymphs. It is described by Strabo (p. 316) Πετρα δ εστι πυρ aναδιδουσα, υπ aυτη δε κρηναι ρεουσι χλιαρου και ασφαλτου. The obelisk is that of Apollo Αγυιευς (see Ambracia, p. 320).
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APOLLONIA ILLYRICI, one of the places extra urbem, where Roman coins were appointed to be minted, under the government of the Republic.--See D. N. V. vol. v. p. 68.