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Historia Numorum

Gades (Cadiz), the extreme western emporium of the ancient world, was established by the Phoenicians long before the beginning of classical history. Its silver coinage cannot, however, have commence much before the middle of the third century B.C., and it comes to and and in B.C. 206 when the town submitted to the Romans. The types of its coins refer to the cultus of the Tyrian Herakles (Melkart) and to the fisheries for which Gades was famous. (Athen. vii. 315; Pollux, vi. 49; Hesych. s.v. Gadeira).

Before circ. B.C. 250-206.

Head of the Tyrian Herakles (Melkart) in lion-skin. (Heiss, Pl. LI. 1-4).

Tunny fish and Phoenician inscrr.; above or ; beneath or


The denomination known as the drachm, 78 grs., half-drachm, 39 grs., together with Sixths, Twelfths, and Twenty-fourths of the drachm, the last three being uninscribed. The standard to which these coins belong is either indigenous or of Carthaginian origin, and appears to be the same as that of the money of Emporiae and Rhoda. Bronze coins with analogous types and inscriptions have been assigned to the period before the erection of the Roman province.


Coins with Phoenician inscriptions (bronze of the second and first centuries B.C.) were also issued by cities in the district of Malaca (Abdera, Sexi, Malaca, &c.)

Dictionary of Roman Coins

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

GADES (Boeticae Hispaniae) municipium, new Cadiz.  The coins of this city consist of autonomes, and imperial municipals (with a single silver exception) in small and middle bronze.  The antonomes are with Phoenician inscriptions, and for the types bear heads of the Sun, and of Hercules, dolphins, tridents, and fishes. 

Father Florez gives one autonome with Latin legends, vis. -- Obv. -- MVN. inscribed in two lines and a head of grain above. 

No. 109 of Mionnet has for obverse type the head of Hercules covered with the lion 's skin, and with the club near the neck.  The reverse legend is BALBVS PONT. and in the field are a simpulum and a lituus.

In reference to the antiquitey of this city, Mr. Akerman observes, "Both Strabo and Stephanus call it Gadeira."  Alluding to the autonomes, the same writer adds as follows: "The larger brass coins of Gades are extermely common and attest to its importance as a commercial city, before the subjugation of Spain by the Romans.  They remain to this day remarkable evidences of the imperishable nature of a national coinage.

Hercules was the chief deity in Gades; and Hannibal sacrificed to him previous to his expedition against the Romans.  Philostatas mentions the temple, but says it was of the Egyptian Hercules.

The imperial Latin coins struck by this municipium are of Augustus, Caius and Lucius, Agrippa, and Nero.  The reverse types consist of winged lightning; pontifical instruments; a four-columned temple within a crown of laurel; the simpulum; and the aplustre.  For the latter symbol, see MVNICIPII PARENS, and MVNICIP GA PATRONVS.   See also HERCVLES GADITANVS.

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