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My First Animal On A Coin.

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 Posted 09/15/2020  8:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Another coin from Cyzikus (Kyzicos) in Mysia. I find these tiny coins fascinating and it's a three in one this time, with the head of a lion, the forepart of a boar, and a tunny fish.

Cyzicus was said to be founded by Pelasgians from Thessaly at the coming of the Argonauts, many colonies coming from Miletus in 756 BC. Cyzicus had a strategic location on the coast of the Propontis (Sea of Marmara), over the sea routes from Greece to the Black Sea, and became important around the end of the Peloponnesian War.

The Peloponnesian War lasted fom 431-404 BC and during that time Cyzicus was subject to the Athenians and Lacedaemonians alternately. The naval Battle of Cyzicus took place in 410 BC, when an Athenian fleet routed and completely destroyed a Spartan fleet. Cyzicus was made over to Persia, as were other Greek cities, at the peace of Antalcidas in 387 BC. In 334 BC Alexander the Great captured Cyzicus from the Persians, later claiming responsibility for building the land bridge connecting the island to the mainland.

Cyzicus (Kyzikos), Mysia. AR Trihemiobol, c. 450-400 BC.
Obverse: Forepart of running boar left, tunny fish swimming upwards behind. Reverse: Head of roaring lion left, within shallow incuse square. Diameter: 11 mm. Weight: 1.10 gr. BMC Mysia, 112.
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 Posted 09/15/2020  8:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Super coin, Jim. Always liked this type.
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 Posted 09/16/2020  08:12 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add thq to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That's the type I tried to photograph novicius. I need a better camera.

The detail on these tiny coins is incredible. And for your money you get a lot of animals, both real and imaginary.

Regarding Cilicia and Tarsus, the passage in Xenophon's Anabasis describing the Cilician Gate interests me. It is a bottleneck on the road from Greece to Persia. The modern photos remind me of the Siskiyous on the OR/CA border.

https://www.livius.org/articles/pla...lician-gate/
"Two minutes ago I would have sold my chances for a tired dime." Fred Astaire
Edited by thq
09/16/2020 08:22 am
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 Posted 09/16/2020  09:40 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Super coin, Jim. Always liked this type.

It is a break away from the bronze theme Bob, as there doesn't seem to be an equivalent in bronze. An animal themed collection wouldn't be complete without at least one of these beautiful little coins.

Quote:
That's the type I tried to photograph novicius. I need a better camera.

All my images were taken on a very old Sony compact Cyber-Shot DSC-W35 @thq. I clamp it to an even older Krokus enlarger stand.

I've always been amazed at the amount of detail to be found on these tiny coins. The engravers were very skilled indeed.

Thank you for the link to the "Cilician Gate" article. I hadn't seen anything about it before, and it was very informative. It must have been a nightmare for a military commander, but shows the worth of Alexander's cavalry.

Jim
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 Posted 09/16/2020  10:37 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add thq to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The Anabasis is well worth reading. While Xenophon may have exaggerated some parts of the story, it was written in the place and the time of the coins that interest us. Many of the locations are unknown, particularly the battle of Cunaxa, but the Cilician Gate is well-known. The 10,000 Greek mercenaries were stranded in front of Babylon after the death of Cyrus and had to fight their way back across Asia Minor to get home. Great drama.
"Two minutes ago I would have sold my chances for a tired dime." Fred Astaire
Edited by thq
09/16/2020 10:39 am
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 Posted 09/16/2020  6:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The Anabasis is well worth reading.

I found an on-line translation by H. G. Dakyns and am looking forward to a good read.

I am wondering how many of the 10,000 mercenaries actually made it home?
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 Posted 09/18/2020  8:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This coin had been listed as GAUL, Massalia, after 200 BC. Turreted head of city right / Crouching lion right, ΜΑΣΣΑ above. After some research the coin turned out to be from Plakia in Mysia circa 350 BC.

Plakia (Placia) was a town of ancient Mysia on the coast of the Propontis at the foot of Mount Placus, east of Cyzicus, in a small region once called Cilicia (not the Cilicia in southern Anatolia). According to ancient sources, the settlement of the region dates back to the 13th century BC, was founded by Herakles after his sack of Troy and named after his birthplace, Thebes in Boeotia. Plakia was called Cilician Thebe in Homer's Iliad. It was a Pelasgian town, and according to Herodotus, they had preserved their ancient language down to his time.

At the time of the Trojan War, the people were known as the Cilicians, and ruled by King Eetion. Eetion's daughter Andromache was given in marriage to Hector, son of King Priam of Troy. The Achaians, led by Achilleus, sacked the city during the latter part of the war, killed King Eetion, his wife and his sons. They also carried off several women, including Chryseis, who became the concubine of Agamemnon. Chryseis' father attempted to ransom his daughter, Agamemnon refused, and the plot of Homer's Iliad was laid down.

Around 350 BC, when this coin would have been minted, the Ionians arrived in the area.

Plakia in Mysia, circa 350 B.C.
Obverse: Head of Kybele right, wearing turreted headdress, hair rolled. Reverse: ΠΛAKIA above lion right, devouring prey, ear of corn beneath. Bronze. Diameter: 12mm. Weight: 1.48 gms. Reference: Sear 3983, B.M.C.15.174,5
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 Posted 09/18/2020  8:38 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice rendition of the lion there, Jim. Some seriously old coins in your collection.
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 Posted 09/20/2020  8:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Some seriously old coins in your collection.

Thanks Bob, the collection does seem to be heading that way.

It is nice to see a dove, the symbol of peace, on the reverse of this scarce coin from Metropolis.

Metropolis was a town and city-state of Histiaeotis (or of Thessaliotis) in ancient Thessaly, described by Stephanus of Byzantium as a town in Upper Thessaly. It was located at the foot of a low spur of the Pindus Mountains, some 9 km South West of Karditsa, in the West Thessalian plain. It was formed from an amalgamation of towns into poleis, or city-states, and was one of the corners of the square formed by Trikka, Metropolis, Pelinna, and Gomphoi.

It is first heard of in the 4th century BC, and issued coinage c 400 to 344 BC and again c 300 to 200 BC. Its outlying farms were attacked in 198 BC by the Aitolians when it was under Macedonian control, and in the same year it surrendered to Rome. It seems to have been prosperous and an important member of the post 196 BC Thessalian League.

Thessaly, Metropolis, 325 - 275 BC. AE Chalkous,
Obverse: Young male head to right, with short hair. Reverse: ΜΗΤΡΟΠΟΛΙΤΩΝ from above to right; below, dove with wreath in beak, landing to right.
BCD 480.12. Ex-BCD Collection.
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 Posted 09/23/2020  7:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I don't think I've ever seen a goose on an ancient coin till I saw this one from Eion in Macedonia.

Eion was a seaport town located at the mouth of the River Strymon (modern day Struma). It was a place of considerable strategic importance during the Persian invasions of Darius I and Xerxes I. Under Athenian rule it also played an important part in the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) between the Delian League (Athens and its allies), and the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta.

The coinage of Eion is generally regarded as circa 510/500-437 BC, and features a bird most often described as a goose. The attribution of these coins with a goose or geese to the town of Eion, is apparently due in large part to their having been part of the local fauna.

Mitchiner, among others, noted that the coinage ended when the Athenians besieged the town during 476/475 BC. It has also been suggested that the coinage lasted until 437 BC, as this date marks the establishment of the city of Amphipolis. Eion was only about three miles from Amphipolis, and from 437 BC onwards it served merely as a seaport for this larger, more famous city. Eion now being secondary to Amphipolis, it is unlikely to have had a separate mint.

Eion, Macedonia Diobol 480-470 BC
Obverse: Goose standing right, head reverted, pellet above. Reverse: Quadripartite incuse square. Silver. Diameter: 8 mm. Weight: 0.9 gr.
Reference: SNG ANS 270-2; SNG Copenhagen 174-5. Same type as Savoca 21st Silver Auction, Lot 63 (11 Mar. 2018).
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 Posted 09/23/2020  7:39 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Tiny one at 8mm. Early fifth century BC...wow. We're really talking "ancient" here. The goose's neck and head just made it onto the coin - fortunately. Sweet addition, Jim.
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 Posted 09/25/2020  04:44 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Some lovely additions Jim.
Really enjoying your write ups too. So thanks for spending the time putting them together.
It's always nice to learn something new...Paul
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 Posted 09/25/2020  7:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
There is an even smaller one on the way Bob. Yes, the goose's head and neck just made it, thank goodness. I think I'm becoming addicted to these ancient coins.

Thanks Paul. I'm really enjoying researching these old coins, and some of the history behind them is absolutely fascinating.

Originally in Pisidia (and later in Pamphylia), Selge was an important city. It was located on the southern slope of Mount Taurus, where the river Eurymedon forces its way through the mountains. Due to it's fair laws and political constitution, Selge rose to the rank of the most powerful and populous city of Pisidia, and at one time was able to send an army of 20,000 men into the field. This ability, and the valour of its inhabitants, for which they were regarded as worthy kinsmen of the Spartans, the Selgians were never subject to any foreign power, but remained free and independent. Pisidia included the mountainous country between Phrygia and the north of Pamphylia, and the north-east of Lycia. Uncivilized in early times, only Selge struck coins before the time of Alexander the Great.

The city was believed to be a Greek colony, for Strabo states that it was founded by Spartans, but added the somewhat strange remark that previously it had been founded by Calchas. The district in which the town was situated was extremely fertile, producing an abundance of oil and wine. The town itself though was difficult to access, being surrounded by precipices and rapid torrents flowing towards the Eurymedon and Cestrus (today Aksu) rivers, requiring bridges to make them passable.

From its coins we know that Selge was still a flourishing town in the time of Hadrian. It is also mentioned in Ptolemy and Hierocles. As well as wine and oil, the country about Selge was rich in timber, and a variety of trees, among which the storax was much valued from its yielding a strong perfume. Selge was also celebrated for an ointment prepared from the iris root.

Selge, Pisidia. 2nd - 1st cent. BC.
Obverse: Head of Herakles facing slightly right, wreathed with styrax, lion's skin around neck, club over right shoulder. Reverse: Forepart of stag right, looking back, ΣΕ-Λ in field, spearhead to right. Bronze. Diameter: 12 mm. Weight: 1.5 gr.
Originally listed as Sear 5489, it would appear to be actually SNG Copenhagen 262. https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=2086348
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 Posted 09/25/2020  8:38 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice, Jim. Selge sure did like front-facing Herakles and Gorgoneions.
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 Posted 09/28/2020  8:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Selge sure did like front-facing Herakles and Gorgoneions.

They certainly did Bob, much more than any other place that I've seen.

This coin of Magnesia ad Maeandrum appears to be a scarce one.

Magnesia ad Maeandrum was an ancient inland city of Ionia, situated on a small tributary of the Maeander River about 12 miles southeast of Ephesus. Magnesia lay within Ionia, but because it had been settled by Aeolians from Greece, was not accepted into the Ionian League. The city was originally named Magnesia, after the Magnetes from Thessaly who settled the area along with some Cretans, and had "on the Meander" added later to distinguish it from the nearby Lydian city Magnesia ad Sipylum.

Destroyed in the Cimmerian invasion of c. 650 BC, the city slowly recovered and became the residence of Oroetes, the Persian satrap, and later of the exiled Themistocles. Too far inland to enter the Athenian Empire, it was transplanted some time later to a more defensible site among the eastern foothills of Mt. Thorax. The new city gained major status about 200 BC, continued to flourish under the kings of Pergamum and the Roman Republic, and produced Hegesias, founder of the rhetorical school called "Asiatic".

Interestingly, magnets may have got their name from the lodestones found in Magnesia.

Ionia, Magnesia ad Maeandrum, 2nd - 1st cent. BC.
Obverse: Laureate head of Apollo right. Reverse: Horse pacing right, ΜΑΓΝΗΤΩΝ behind. Bronze. Diameter: 23 mm. Weight: 8.4 gr. Sear 4494v.
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