Greek AE - Grynion or Gyrneion

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by gsimonel, Nov 21, 2020 at 8:59 PM.

  1. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    I have a coin similar to this one that I found on Wildwinds:
    It was Lot 454 of the Triton V sale, 1/16/2002.
    The coin was listed as from Grynion, in Aeolis, but the inscription reads "Gyrneon" (R and Y switched).

    This coin was sold at CNG's eAuction 203 in 2009:
    It was Lot 121, and it was listed as from Gyrneion, in Aelois. The listing includes this note:
    Herodotus, in his History (i.149), lists “Gryneion” as one of the eleven ancient cities of Aeolis. While every reference down to the present day notes “Gryneion”, “Grynion”, or “Grynium” as the city name, all the coins are clearly marked ΓYPNHωN (“Gyrneion”). This is an example of "metatheses" or the transposition of syllables in a word. It would be interesting to find other ancient inscriptions with the city name to compare spellings.

    Is Gyrneion now the accepted city? Is the typo on the coin or in Herodotus?
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  3. shanxi

    shanxi Well-Known Member

    On there's an article about this type.

    It's in turkish, but with google translator easy to read. At the beginning the author states that the city was called Gryneion, Gyrneion or Gryneia. Later he mentions the fact that the ethnic is written differently on the coins than in other sources, but unfortunately gives no reason.
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  4. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Words change over time, often in set patterns (Grimm's law, for example).

    Metathesis is one form of linguistic change and it often occurs with letters that have a semi-vowel character, such as R and L, and with sibilants, such as S and Z.

    For example, the Old English word for bird was brid. The Archaic Greek word for heart was kradia, which later became kardia. Chaucer used ax instead of ask.
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  5. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the tip, shanxi. I'm still trying to decide whether to label it as Gryneion or Gyrneion in my collection. I noticed the article referenced 4 specimens sold by CNG, so I checked to see how they listed them:

    Triton V, (2002) - Grynion
    eAuction 203, (2009) - Gyrneion
    eAuction 287 (2012) - Gyrneion
    eAuction 365 (2015) - Gryneion

    They switched from Gry to Gyr and then back Gry. Perhaps there is no consensus. Being that the inscription is ΓYPNHΩN, I'm going to label it Gyrneion.
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  6. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

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