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Apollonia, Illyria

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.

Coins of Illyria for sale in the Forum Ancient Coins shop.

Numismatic References

Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Brunsmid, J. Die Inschriften und Münzen der griechischen Städte Dalmatiens. (Vienna, 1898).
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).
Imhoof, F. Numismatische Zeitschrift, 1884, pp. 246 ff.
Maier, A. "Die Silberprägung von Apollonia und Dyrrhachion" in NZ 41 (1908), pp. 1 - 33. ONLINE
Mirnik, I. "A Contribution to the Study of the Circulation of the Drachms of Apollonia and Dyrrhachium in Southern Pannonian Plain" in Annotazioni Numismatiche 24 (Dec. 1996), p. 526. ONLINE
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 Münzen 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, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Part 12: Thessalien - Illyrien - Epirus - Korkyra. (Berlin, 2007).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Bibliothèque National, Collection Jean et Marie Delepierre. (Paris, 1983).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Grèce, Collection Réna H. Evelpidis, Part 2: Macédoine - Thessalie - Illyrie - Epire - Corcyre. (Athens, 1975).
Visonà, P. "Greek-Illyrian Coins in Trade, 1904-2005" in SNR 84 (2005).


Petrányi, G. Coinage of the two Greek-Illyrian city states Apollonia and Dyrrhachium, website: http://asklapiadas.ancients.info/index.html
Wikipedia, Apollonia (Illyria), website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollonia_(Illyria)

Historia Numorum

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.[1] 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.
Æ 1.05
Head of Dionysos. Cornucopia.
Æ .9
Head of Apollo. Obelisk within wreath or lyre.
Æ .65

(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.
AR 4.02g.
Fire of the Nymphaeum.
[Congr. int., p. 113.]
AR 2.85g and 2.01 grs.
Head of Athena. [Ibid., Pl. XII. 15.] Obelisk.
AR 1.88g.
Lyre and quiver (?). [B. M.] Obelisk.
AR .87g.

(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).


Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.
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.

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