by Dr. Ortwin Knorr
(Associate Professor of Classics, Willamette University)
with the assistance of Lauren Saxton, cand. B.A. Classics
1. Greek and Persian Coins
1.1. Asia Minor and Eastern Aegean, including Egypt
Mysia (Western Turkey)
Pergamon, Silver Cistophoric Tetradrachm, ca. 92-88 BCE
weight: 12.4g; width: 2.68cm; die axis: 1h
- OBVERSE: Serpent emerging from the half-open lid of a cista mystica, surrounded by ivy wreath; design worn and off-center.
- REVERSE: Two serpents entwined around a gorytos (bow case) that is decorated with an aplustre (a curved decoration at an ancient ship's stern). Monogram PER (= Pergamon) on left; on top DH [delta eta] above monogram PRY [for "Prytanis"]; in right field, thyrsos entwined by serpent.
Pamphylia (Southern Turkey)
Aspendos, Silver Stater, 4th century BCE
weight: 10.3g (Persian standard); width: 2.36cm; die axis: 11h
- OBV.: In dotted circle, two wrestlers locked in opening hold; between them, mint mark FE (digamma epsilon).
- REV.: In dotted circle, slinger aiming sling right; in right field, a triskeles of human legs (badge of the city); below that a club of Herakles and part of a Phi. In left field, Greco-Pamphylian inscription ESTFEDIIYS (= Estwediiys, "Aspendian").
HFMA nr. 2006.010.001. Ref.: Brixhe (1976) 195 nr. 11 (more info).
Cilicia (Southeastern Turkey)
Tarsus, Silver Stater, 373/72-369/68 BCE
weight: 10.7g; width: 2.2cm; die axis: 10h
- OBV.: Facing head of a goddess or nymph, inclined to left, wearing a sphendone, multipendant necklace, and earings, all set in dotted border.
- REV.: Bearded male head (Ares?) wearing an Attic helmet with three-part crest and movable double visor, facing to the right, set in dotted border. Aramaic inscription in right field: TRKMW, i.e., Tarkamuwa, the Persian satrap known to the Greeks as Datames.
HFMA nr. 2006.010.008. Ref.: Kraay (1976) pp. 201-2 (more info).
Antiochus II (261-246 BCE), Silver Tetradrachm, Seleucia-on-the-Tigris mint
weight: 16.1g; width: 2.92cm; die axis: 1h
- OBV.: : Diademed head of Antiochus I Soter (281=261 BCE) right, set in dotted border.
- REV.: Naked Apollo sitting on the Delphic Omphalos, looking left down on an arrow, in dotted border. Apollo’s bow is leaning against the right side of the omphalos. Inscription left: "ANTIXOY" (= Antiochou, "of Antiochos"), right: "BASILEWS" (= Basileos, "of the king"). Control-marks: monogram left: MAT, monogram right: APO (?).
HFMA nr. 2006.010.002 (on exhibit). Ref.: SNG Spaer 385 (= Newell, ESM 180) and Spaer 386 (both with same control-marks); cf. Houghton, CSE 955 (only MAT mark) (more info).
Demetrios II Nikator, First Reign, Silver Tetradrachm, Seleucia on the Tigris mint, 145-138 BCE
weight: 14.9g; width: 2.66cm; die axis: 1h
OBV.: In fillet border, diademed head of Demetrius II right.
REV.: Tyche seated on backless throne, cradling a cornucopia in her left arm, holding a scepter in her right hand. The right leg of the throne has the form of a winged Tritoness (snake-bodied nymph). On right side of throne is inscribed "BASILEWS DHMHTRIOY" (= Basileos Demetriou, "of king Demetrios", on the left side "FILADELFOY NIKATOPOS" (= Philadelphou Nikatoros, "friend of his sibling, victor." AYT monogram in exergue.
HFMA nr. 2006.010.021. Ref.: SNG Spaer 1752; Houghton, CSE 1010 = SNG Lockett 3151, LeRider Suse, pl. XXIX (more info).
Antioch-on-the-Orontes (autonomous city in Roman Syria), Bronze Unit (large denomination), 64-49 BCE
weight: 8.3g; width: 1.94cm; die axis: 2h
OBV.: In dotted circle, laureate head of bearded Zeus right.
REV.: Enthroned Zeus Nikephoros, i.e., Zeus holding a winged Nike in his right hand, in his left a sceptre. Off-centered so that the right inscription (ANTIOXEWN THS) is missing; inscription left: (M)HTROPOL(EWS) (= Antiocheon tes metropoleos, "of the metropolis of the Antiocheans"). In left field next to leg: cornucopiae. Pompeian Era date in exergue off the flan.
HFMA nr. 2006.010.029. Ref.: RPC 4201-15, cf. image RPC 4212 (but w/o cornucopiae); BMC Syria p. 155, nr. 32 [cf. image BMC 34, plate xix.1] (more info).
Silver Siglos, 485-470 BCE
weight: 5.3g; width: 1.6cm; die axis: 11h
REV.: Tooth-shaped incuse mark.
HFMA nr. 2006.010.009. Ref.: Carradice (1987) siglos type IIIb group A, pl. xii (cf. obverse nr. 17) (more info).
Unknown ruler, Silver Drachm, ca. 190-164 BCE
weight: 3.9g; width: 1.69cm; die axis: 4h
REV.: Fire altar (overstruck) with double-paneled doors, podium, pilaster, and architrave, surmounted by stepped gables. Between the gables, a Farnah (king's splendor) hovering right. The altar is framed by a falcon standard on the left and a barely visible ruler in adoring position with upraised arms on the right.
HFMA nr. 2006.010.017. Ref.: Cf. Alram 1986 nr. 550, also [but with mirror-inverted reverses] BMC Arabia pl. XXX, 2-7 (there as "Darius (?)"); tetradrachm SMBerlin Nr. 18208603. (more info).
Ptolemy II Philadelphos (285-46 BCE), Silver Tetradrachm, Sidon (Lebanon) mint, 250/49 BCE
weight: 13.7g; width: 2.63cm; die axis: 12h
OBV.: Diademed head of Ptolemy I Soter (305-285 BCE) in dotted border; two bankers' marks in right field (flying bird and Taueret, the Egyptian goddess of childbirth).
REV.: In dotted border, eagle with closed wings standing on a fulmen (thunderbolt); overstruck on similar die. Inscribed (PT)OLEMAIOU SWTHROS (= Ptolemaiou Soteros, "of Ptolemy the Savior"). Mint-marks in left field: SI (= Sidon) and DI; date in right field: LC (year 36 = 250 BCE).
HFMA nr. 2006.010.003. Ref.: BMC Ptolemies p.30 nr. 75; Svoronos 749 (more info).
Ptolemy IX Soter II (first reign 116-107 BCE), Silver Tetradrachm, 110/09 BCE
weight: 14.2g; width: 2.45cm; die axis: 11h
OBV.: Head of Ptolemy I wearing diadem and aegis right, set in dotted border.
REV.: Eagle sitting on a fulmen (winged thunderbolt of Zeus). Inscription above: "PTOLEMAIOU BASILEWS” (= Ptolemaiou Basileos, "of King Ptolemy). In left field, L and year "H" (8. year = 110/09 BCE). Mint mark on right: "PA" (= Alexandria).
HFMA nr. 2006.010.018. Ref.: BMC Ptolemies p.108 nr. 59-60 [plate xxvii.1]; Svoronos 1669 (attributed incorrectly only to Ptolemy X and Paphos); SNG Copenhagen 352; Nicolaou/Mørkholm 1976, p. 91 (nr. 822-869, cf. plate XXI, 825) (more info).
1.2. Mainland Greece
Thasos (Northern Greece)
Silver Stater, ca. 525/10 - ca. 480/78 BCE
weight: 7.8g, width: 2.14cm; die axis: 1h
OBV.: Naked ithyphallic satyr running right with struggling maenad in his arms.
REV.: Quadripartite incuse square.
HFMA nr. 2006.010.004 (on exhibit). Ref.: Picard (1990) Group I, Kraay (1976) p. 149-50 [nr. 519] (more info).
Philipp II (359-336 BCE), Silver Tetradrachm, Amphipolis mint, ca. 323-315 BCE
weight: 13.8g; width: 2.19cm; die axis: 11h
OBV.: In dotted circle, laureate head of Zeus facing right. Counter-mark "X" (Chi) below head.
HFMA nr. 2006.010.011 (on exhibit). Ref.: SNG ANS 749, LeRider plate 46, 19 (more info).
Alexander III (the Great), Lampsacus (Mysia) mint, Gold Stater, 328-323 BCE
weight: 8.5g; width: 1.92cm; die axis: 1h
OBV.: Head of Athena facing right, wearing a crested Corinthian helmet adorned with a coiled snake.
REV.: Winged Nike standing, facing left, holding a wreath in her outstretched right hand and a ship’s standard (stylis) in her left hand. Mint marks: Two horse-foreparts conjoined in left field, monogram "Di(o)" below left wing. Inscription ALEXANDROU (= "of Alexander") in right field.
HFMA nr. 2006.010.005 (on exhibit). Ref.: Price (2001) nr. 1358 (more info).
Alexander III (the Great), Tarsus (Cilicia) mint, Silver Tetradrachm, 333-327 BCE
weight: 16.8g; width: 2.38cm; die axis: 11h
OBV.: Young head of Hercules, wearing lion's skin, facing right.
REV.: Zeus seated on throne with bulbous legs, facing left, feet on footstool. He holds an eagle in his outstretched right hand and a scepter in his left. Inscription ALEXANDROU (= "of Alexander") in right field. Mint mark "B" below throne.
HFMA nr. 2006.010.013. Ref.: Price (2001) nr. 3000 (more info).
Pharsalos, Thessaly (Central Greece)
Silver Hemidrachm (a.k.a. triobol), 440-425 BCE
weight: 2.9g; width: 1.37cm; die axis: 11h
OBV.: Head of Athena with earrings facing right, wearing a crested Attic helmet with raised cheek guards.
REV.: Horse head in incuse square facing right. In right field, inscription "F-AR" with archaic Greek R (short for: Pharsalon, "of the Pharsalians"; test cut on base of horse head.
HFMA nr. 2006.010.007. Ref.: Lavva (2001) nr. 31 (more info).
Thessalian League (Roman Province of Macedonia), Silver Drachma, 168-100 BCE
weight: 3.9g; width: 1.88cm; die axis: 3h
OBV.: Laureate head of Apollo right, letter H left of neck.
REV.: Athena Itonia, advancing right with raised spear and shield. Inscription "QESSA-LWN" (Thessalon = of the Thessalians). Magistrate signature left and right of Athena's legs: "POLY". Most likely minted in Larissa.
HFMA nr. 2006.010.023. Ref.: SNG UK vol. IV 2482 (same mint mark), cf. SNG Cop 300 (more info).
Silver Drachma, ca. 350 BCE
weight: 5.1g; width: 1.73cm; die axis: 4h
OBV.: Land turtle, head turned right, seen from above, flanked by letter "alpha" on its left, "iota" on the right, the initials of AI(GINA).
HFMA nr. 2006.010.014. Ref.: Kraay (1976) nr. 138 (more info).
Athens, Attica (Greece)
Silver Tetradrachm, 450-440 BCE
weight: 17.0g; width: 2.32cm; die axis: 9h
OBV.: Archaic head of Athena facing right. Her Attic helmet is decorated with a diadem of three olive leaves. Test cuts in Athena's throat and cheek.
HFMA nr. 2006.010.006 (on exhibit). Ref.: Kraay (1976) 65 and 67 [nr. 198] (more info).
1.3. Magna Graecia
Croton, Bruttium (Italy)
Silver Stater, 530 BCE
weight: 7.8g; width: 1.98cm; die axis: 2h
OBV.: Tripod-lebes with three handles and lion’s feet; in right field, marsh bird (heron?) facing left. Retrograde inscription in left field "KPW" (= KROTON), with archaic letter koppa; raised dotted border (quite worn).
REV.: Tripod incuse, with incuse border of radiating lines.
HFMA nr. 2006.010.010. Ref.: BMC Italy, p. 343, 15; SNG ANS 238-242, SNG Lloyd 592, and SNG Munich 1421 (more info).
Heraclea, Lucania (Italy)
Silver Didrachm, 400-330 BCE
weight: 7.6g; width: 2.19cm; die axis: 5h
OBV.: Athena in a Corinthian war helmet decorated with crest and Skylla throwing stone. Above helmet worn inscription: “HRAKLHIWN” (Herakleion = of the Herakleians). Below the helmet under Skylla's tail is the engraver’s mark "K" .
REV.: Herakles standing naked, facing forward. His left arm is leaning on a club. Floating at his left shoulder is a wine jug (oinochoe). Spread across his right arm is his lion pelt; in his hand he holds a bow and arrow. Remnants of inscription “HRAKLHIWN” (Herakleion = of the Herakleians) in right field. Inscription beside the club: "AQA" (= Atha...).
HFMA nr. 2006.010.020. Ref.: SNG UK Vol. III 346 Lockett Collection; BMC 33; Sear # 391 (more info).
Messana, Sicily (Italy)
Silver Tetradrachm, 470-466 BCE
weight: 16.3g; width: 2.66cm; die axis: 2h
OBV.: Seated charioteer, bent forward with long arms, driving an apene, a race chariot drawn by two mules, to the right. Large laurel leave in exergue; all set in dotted border.
REV.: In dotted border, hare jumping right. Inscription "MESSE-N-ION" (of the Messenians) with small letter omikron.
HFMA nr. 2006.010.016. Ref.: SNG ANS 317; Caltabiano Series IV, cf. obverse of Nr. 145 (D 89) (more info).
Metapontum, Lucania (Italy)
Silver Stater, 325-300 BCE
weight: 7.7g, width: 2.15cm; die axis: 2h
OBV.: Head of Demeter, wearing necklace and triple-pendant earring and crowned by a wreath of three barley ears and two pairs of leaves, facing right. Signature under chin: “DA(I)”.
REV.: Seven-grained ear of barley in center with a leaf curving to the right. Above the leaf is a small plow, below it part of the mint supervisor's mark, “M(AX)”. In left field, inscription "META," abbreviation for METAPONTIWN (= Metapontion, "of the Metapontians"). There is a die flaw in the upper left awns of the ear of barley.
HFMA nr. 2006.010.019. Ref.: Johnston Class C1, SNG ANS 467ff; SNG UK Vol. III 425 (more info).
Syracuse, Sicily (Italy)
Agathokles (317-289 BCE), Bronze Litra, Period 4, ca. 295 BCE
weight: 8.3g; width: 2.15cm; die axis: 10h
OBV.: Head of Artemis, in profile facing right, hair bound in a ponytail-cum-bun, with triple-pendant earring and necklace, quiver over shoulder. On the right, corroded inscription SWTEIRA (Soteira = "the (female) savior").
REV.: Fulmen (winged thunderbolt of Zeus) in center. Inscription on top: "AGAQOKLEOS" (Agathokleos = "of Agathokles"), on bottom: "BASILEW(S)" (basileos = "of the king").
HFMA nr. 2006.010.030. Ref.: BMC 422; SNG ANS 708; SNG Cop 779; Calciati II, p. 277, nr. 142 (more info).
Tarentum, Calabria (Italy)
Silver Diobol, 325-300 BCE
weight: 1.2g; width: 1.06cm; ; die axis: 4h
OBV.: Head of Athena, facing left, wearing a crested Attic helmet decorated with olive wreath and wing.
REV.: Hercules, kneeling on his right leg, left leg extended, a club in his right arm, is fighting off the Nemean Lion that is attacking him from the right.
HFMA nr. 2006.010.015. Ref.: Vlasto 1364; SNG UK Vol. III 283 Lockett Collection; SNG UK vol. VIII 53 Blackburn Museum (more info).
Tarentum, Calabria (Italy)
Silver Didrachm, 281-276 BCE
weight: 7.9g; width: 2.05cm; die axis: 6h
OBV.: Nude warrior on horseback galopping right, carrying round shield and two spare spears in left hand, another spear pointed downwards in right. Remnants of inscriptions left behind rider (SI) and between horse’s legs (LYKWN) (= Lykon, probably the mint master).
REV.: Young heros riding dolphin left; inscription TARAS right.
HFMA nr. 2006.010.012. Ref.: Vlasto 695, SNG ANS 1069, HN Italy 967 (more info).
Thurii, Lucania (Italy)
Silver Stater, 400-350 BCE
weight: 7.5g; width: 1.99cm; die axis: 5h
OBV.: Head of Athena, wearing a crested Attic helmet adorned with a Skylla who is shading her eyes.
REV.: A bull pawing the ground, facing right, head down. "THOUPIWN" (= Thurion, "of the Thurians) inscribed above. Mullet-fish swimming right in exergue.
HFMA nr. 2006.010.028 (on exhibit). Ref.: cf. Kraay (1976) p. 184 [nr. 731] (more info).
Velia [Elea], Lucania (Italy)
Silver Drachm, 535-510 BCE
weight: 3.8g; width: 1.6cm; die axis: 12h
OBV.: Forepart of a lion right, tearing at stag’s leg.
REV.: Quadripartite incuse square.
HFMA nr. 2006.010.024. Ref.: Williams 11 or 13; Rosen 20; SNG ANS 1202-1204 (more info).