#4(RA-BR) - Antigonos II Gonatas

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by gsimonel, May 17, 2021.

  1. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    Here's an interesting little Greek bronze that I got in a lot from Roma:
    Kings of Macedon
    Antigonos II Gonatas, 277-239 B.C.
    Obv: Helmeted head of Athena, right
    Rev: Pan erecting trophy, between B and A. ANT monogram in lower left.
    HGC 3.1, 1049
    20 mm, 4.3g.

    Here's what I find interesting about this common coin: Look at the lower right of the obverse, doesn't that look like an inscription? I can almost make out a retrograde POY between 3 and 4 o'clock.

    I've never heard of this coin--or just about any early Greek bronze--having an obverse inscription. The auction listing said: "Possible early Celtic imitation?", but I don't think that's relevant. Instead, I am offering 4 possible explanations, in increasing order of likelihood:

    1) (least likely) This coin has been overstruck on a later provincial coin, probably from Marcianopolis to judge by the density of the lettering, and is proof that aliens visited the ancient Greeks and taught them how to time travel;

    2) It is indeed a Celtic imitation and the Celts, knowing that I would own this coin someday, added a bogus inscription just to mess with my head;

    3) I have misidentified this coin and it's something else entirely;

    4) The "inscription" is actually an artifact from a combination of corrosion, die weirdness, and an overactive imagination on my part.

    Post any wild conspiracy theories that you might have about this or any other coins in your collection.
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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    ANTIGONOS GONATAS, King of Macedonia
    AE 19
    OBVERSE: Head of Athena right in crested Corinthian helmet
    REVERSE: BA above, ANTI monogram below, Pan advancing right, erecting trophy
    Struck at Macedonia, 277-239 BC
    4.58g, 19mm
    Lindgren III, 105, Sear #6786 (var)
    Countermarked on obverse
  4. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I got this from a Roma lot and I had no idea what it was at first; in fact I figured it featured a labor of Hercules on the rev!
    Antigonos II Gonata Pella or Amphipolis.JPG
  5. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    @hotwheelsearl, it looks like you have a helmeted Athena countermark on the obverse. I recently posted a coin with this Countermark, and @seth77 and @Broucheion gave me some helpful information about it.
    Broucheion likes this.
  6. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure it's the same countermark tho.
  7. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    It looks like a helmeted Athena, but I agree it's different. Looks like maybe a Corinthian helmet (think: Syracuse) rather than the crested helmet (think: Athens) in my c/m.
  8. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    This is a really great type! We all need one. :)
    Pretty sure that's just the dotted border, smeared a bit.

    I had my own adventures with one of these. In my case it was the odd monogram between Pan's legs:
    philip v pan.png
    I eventually decided it was a monogram of Philip V... and later had this confirmed with the help of Walter Holt, who is working on these. Turns out they were issued well past the death of Antigonos II, through the reigns of Demetrios II Aetolicus, Antigonos III Doson, and into Philip V’s reign. The main source for the series is Furtwängler, Beobachtungen zur Chronologie antigonidischer Kupfermünzen im 3. Jh. V. Chr, Obolos 7 2004, pp. 277-290. (pm me if you'd like a copy.)
    Last edited: May 19, 2021
  9. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    I can see the ΦIΛ in the monogram of @Severus Alexander's coin.
    I noticed that the Handbook of Greek Coinage (HGC) changed the date to 274/3-211 B.C., which is the beginning of Philip V's reign. This new information extends it even more. Up until 179 B.C.?

    My coin has an ANT monogram, so I think it's safe to assume it was minted during the reign of Antigonos, but Antigonos II or III? Perhaps it was the case that the original issue did not have any monograms since at the time everyone know who the issuing authority was but that later kings felt the need to add their monograms to show that the coin was still supported by the king. This would suggest that my coin is from Antigonos III, not II. But I don't know if I'll ever be able to say for sure.

    I guess that I can be pretty confident that it was before Philip V, though.

    Thanks for the offer of the article, but if it's in German I don't think I'd be able to make much sense of it. I'll just take your word for it. I have a lot of respect for your knowledge and opinions.
    Severus Alexander likes this.
  10. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    I didn't have that volume of HGC when I was researching these originally - my notes say that the issue ended early in Philip's reign so I expect those HGC dates are right (following Fürtzwangler presumably).

    According to Fürtzwangler, the monogram was used for Antigonos II, Demetrios II, and Antiogonos III. You have to look at what other markings are on the coin. Yours is somewhat unusual in having the ANT monogram to the left, rather than between Pan's legs. The symbol to the right seems to be a Macedonian helmet, which puts it under Antigonos III? (Assuming that's the symbol in column A of Fürtzwangler's table below. The scan I have isn't very good.) Can you make out a symbol between Pan's legs?

    Screen Shot 2021-05-21 at 12.18.21 PM.jpg
    Unfortunately the row numbers are cut off, so you just have to count. :) I also don't speak German so the article is a struggle!

    As you can see, you're definitely overestimating my expertise and opinion here. I'm just muddling along too. :D
    galba68 likes this.
  11. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    Unfortunately, it is very difficult to distinguish a design element from corrosion on parts of this coin. I think a Macedonian helmet is possible, but I'm reluctant to claim anything about what might be between Pan's legs.

    (Hmm . . . I wish I had worded that better.)
    Severus Alexander likes this.
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