Any ideas what this is? Late bronze coin with cross in wreath on the reverse

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Harry G, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. Harry G

    Harry G Well-Known Member

    Hi all!

    I saw this on eBay in an unresearched lot, and am just curious as to what it might be - I don't plan to bid on it (unless it's something special)

    The obverse legend is throwing me off, as it appears to start with a B, of which I don't know any emperors of that era (apart from Basiliscus), although it can't be that, as the reverse doesn't match (it appears to be a cross in a wreath, with a legend surrounding it).

    Any ideas?

    B COIN.png

    Thanks! :)
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  3. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    It's a coin from Axum ca. 350-70
  4. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    You'd better pass this coin. Condition below zero. Personal advice..
    Orange Julius and +VGO.DVCKS like this.
  5. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    @seth77 is correct, the coin is from the Kingdom of Axum, which was located in what is now Ethiopia and Eritrea. The inscription on both sides is in Greek. Here's a similar type (though not an exact match) from my collection:

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    @7Calbrey is right. The earlier issues have double borders; later ones may be imitations, possibly by the early Christian kingdoms of the upper Nile (cf. Munro-Hay p. 142). Between that and the condition, this is nothing to write home about.
    DonnaML likes this.
  7. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    The coin of @Parthicus is acceptable and identifiable. Now I think it's a rare coin of historical importance. The Axum Kingdom in Africa ( Ethiopia) during the Roman Empire. Was it one of the early first Christian kingdoms ?
    +VGO.DVCKS likes this.

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    You guessed right. Several people here have posted very informative threads on the Axumite /Aksumite series; if you were curious, it might be worth a search. ...Except that the orthographic variants are both used by academic historians. I prefer 'Aksumite' only because it's the one used by Munro-Hay, who wrote the best reference extant on the numismatics, along with making significant contributions to the history and archeology.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021
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  9. Broucheion

    Broucheion Supporter! Supporter

  10. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Bravo, @Broucheion! That one effectively hasn't been replaced. Two slightly later ones which complement it (with, for instance, relatively minor variations in regnal chronologies), are both by David W. Phillipson. Ancient Ethiopia (BM, 1998), and Foundations of an African Civilisation: Aksum & the Northern Horn, 1000 BC -AD 1300 (Addis Ababa University, 2012 /paper 2014). Naturally, Munro-Hay's book goes into some depth with the coins; so does the first one by Phillipson.
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