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Tyche Tetradrachm, Arados, 87-86Bc

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 6 / Views: 324Next Topic  
Pillar of the Community
United States
537 Posts
 Posted 12/08/2021  10:52 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add PNWType to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello, today I picked up my first piece of ancient coinage, and I am trying to decipher what the legends on it mean.


The obverse shows the goddess Tyche, the reverse shows Nike within a wreath.

The reverse appears to read:
APAΔIΩN - Arados (The location)
ΓOP - The date Γ=3, O=70, P=100 (year 173, Gregorian Date 87-86BC)

#67840; - Phoenician character aleph which stands for ' unsure of reason for inclusion
ΘC (Could also be OC)- Not sure what this is

It's those last three characters that have me stumped. I suspect they could be referring to mint officials of the era, more information would be much appreciated
[Custom 7070 v3.0 WIP] - - - [Custom 7070 v2.0] - - - [Custom 7070 v1.0]
Pillar of the Community
Russian Federation
3775 Posts
 Posted 12/09/2021  08:26 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add january1may to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I actually read the date as ςΟΡ = 176. No comment on the rest though.
Pillar of the Community
United States
537 Posts
 Posted 12/09/2021  2:43 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add PNWType to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ah I definitely agree with you on that reading of the date, thank you!
[Custom 7070 v3.0 WIP] - - - [Custom 7070 v2.0] - - - [Custom 7070 v1.0]
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Australia
14025 Posts
 Posted 12/09/2021  6:49 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think it's a case of "we know what the markings are, but we don't know why they're there". We know for sure that the top line is a Greek-numeral date, the second line is a Phoenician letter, and the bottom line is Greek lettering, but we don't know what those last two lines are for. The reason dates were put on coins is as part of the quality control system, so logically, the mystery symbols are part of the quality control system also. One would assume they are the symbols/initials of people responsible for the coinage, so that if "problem coins" are detected (low weight/fineness) then they can be traced back to the source. If I had to guess, my guess would be the Phoenician letter is the emblem of the die engraver - or perhaps a mark to indicate the source of the silver - and the Greek letters the initials of the responsible magistrate. But since we don't have a surviving list of magistrates from Arados to compare it with, these are just guesses.
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United States
6152 Posts
 Posted 12/09/2021  6:55 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I must be alone in this, but the reverse gives me some pause. Perhaps it's fine...
Pillar of the Community
United States
537 Posts
 Posted 12/10/2021  04:36 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add PNWType to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I hear you Sap, that all sounds reasonable and aligns with what I was thinking too.


Quote:
the reverse gives me some pause
Hmm :/ The mass is coming in at 14.86 and the diameter is 27mm at its widest point. Checking against images of the same coin from the same production range (86-75BC) it seems to check out but as mentioned, I'm newer to this. Anything specific that is making you question?
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Edited by PNWType
12/10/2021 04:37 am
Pillar of the Community
United States
6152 Posts
 Posted 12/10/2021  10:45 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Anything specific that is making you question?


There's no one red flag that prompts my hesitation but, essentially, it's the softness of the reverse iconography that makes me hesitant. As I said, perhaps all is fine here. However, the devices seem to have good relief (they are quite elevated from the fields) but, at the same time, they are all "soft", completely lacking details I expect to see remaining for such high relief. Nike's gown is completely devoid of details here, and yet almost every other well-worn tet I've seen of this type still shows a bit more detailing in that area. Some of the lettering bothers me as well, particularly the P in ΑΡΑΔΙΩΝ, as well as the P in the date (I've seen cast letters that had a similar fragmented appearance in some parts).



There are some real experts who frequent this forum, of course. You should take the fact that no one else has expressed suspicions as a good sign. I defer to them here.

Edited by Bob L
12/10/2021 10:47 am
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