Featured Helmet down, shield up, that's the way we like to FIGHT!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ryro, May 4, 2019.

  1. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Lately I've been really enjoying the Macedonian shield coins. An area that has always fascinated me, but one that I am having a very hard time finding data on.
    The most impactful piece of literature that I have found so far is this this brief pdf: http://www.astro.ro/~roaj/26_2/17-Rov_Mac_f7_n30.pdf
    A good amount, I would dare say most, of these coins listed on eBay, in all their varying types, are erroneously listed as Alexander the greats. That said, it is an area that really stresses the importance of knowing monograms and what, where and whom various symbols are attached to.
    Case in point, here is a Demetrios Poliorketes from my good ol coin pal @ominus1, aka ominomonophthalmus1, where all you need to know is the monogram of "the besieger of cities". But without that knowledge you might have as hard a time figuring it out as Demetrios did getting into Rhodes!
    (He never got inside. And as the story goes, he left the siege engine at Rhodes, where the Rhodeians used the parts to build their great colossus!)


    Demetrios Poliorketes
    Æ15. Amphipolis, circa 294- 288 BC. Macedonian shield with monogram in boss / BA- ΣΙ, crested Macedonian helmet, bunch of grapes in left field. Newell, Demetrius 130. 4.24g, 17mm, 10h.

    And one I picked up as a snack a bit ago:


    Another wonderful obverse monogram is that of Pyrrhos. Sadly, the last time I tried to acquire one I got smoked like a cheap cigar. (If anyone has one they aren't in love with or looking to sell please pm me).

    The first types that I came across when I began collecting were the Facing Gorgon types. My love and fascination of the gorgon being a driving force to collect ancients early on, I would buy simply for the image of the gorgon not caring much who or where they were in the name of.
    The most cherry example I've owned is in the name of Antigonus Monophthalmus (I've since given it to my poppa along with one of his boy Poliorketes as a set).


    Antigonos I Monophthalmos. As king, 306/5-301 BC. Æ Unit (16mm, 4.56 g, 12h). Salamis mint. Struck under Demetrios I Poliorketes. Macedonian shield, boss decorated with facing gorgoneion / Macedonian helmet; kerykeion and monogram to lower left and right. Price 3159 (c. 323-315 BC)

    Here is one that was a hard nut to Crack! Purchased as a facing gorgon. It wasn't until I was looking through as many examples of these as I could find that I found it is a 3/4 facing Herakles! And my only coin in the name of Alexander's special brother!!!


    KINGS of MACEDON. temp. Philip III – Antigonos I Monophthalmos. Circa 323-310 BC. Æ Half Unit (16mm, 3.65 g, 12h). Uncertain mint in western Asia Minor. Macedonian shield; on boss, head of Herakles, wearing lion skin, facing slightly left / Macedonian helmet; below, grain ear left. Price 2805 var. (grain ear right).

    This one being a fun example of the symbolism used by Alexander's general, Seleucus and his descendants.
    If you're a fan of Seleukid coins you'll know they love them some anchors and elephants! My newest Macedonian helmet coin bares both:


    Antiochos III Megas
    Seleukid Kingdom. Uncertain (military) mint 60. 223-187 BC. Struck 202-187 BC Bronze Æ 17mm., 4,60g. Macedonian shield with gorgoneion in central boss / ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑNΤΙΟΧΟΥ, elephant walking right, anchor above, monogram of ΠΑ below. very fine SC 1089.3a; HGC 9, 490
    Former: Savoca

    One very common one that is "in the name of" Alexander are these from Salamis and minted under Nikokreon (note the cadueces right and monogram left of cheek guards):


    Alexander III the Great
    336-323 B.C. Æ 1/2 unit (15 mm, 3.82 g, 11 h). Salamis mint, Struck under Nikokreon, ca. 323-315 B.C. Facing Gorgoneion in the center, forming central boss of Macedonian shield ornamented with five double crescents / B-A, crested Macedonian helmet with cheek guards; caduceus to left, NK monogram to right. Price 3162; SNG Alpha Bank 851. VF, black patina with some earthen highlights. Former: Savoca

    As we travel through time even the last claimants to the throne of Macedon, Philip V and his boy, Perseus, until the Roman's got tired of their revolts and put a puppet ruler in place, honored their ancestors coinage:


    Philip V and Perseus. Ca. 221-168 B.C.E
    Macedonian Kingdom. AE unit (17.1 mm, 6.07 g, 12 h). Uncertain Macedonian mint. Macedonian shield, star with spiral arms/swastika in center boss / M-K, ΔONΩN, Macedonian helmet with cheek guards, BA monogram below. SNG Alpha Bank -; SNG Cop -; McClean 3666. VF. Rare.

    As with a lot of ancients we have plenty with no answers (or at least none that Ryro here has been able to find).
    Here are 3 examples:
    What the heck is the "K" for? Where was this made??
    And was it really ATG himself???
    (Plus isn't that a pretty bad @$$ double headed battle axe????)


    Alexander III 'the Great'
    (336-323 BC). Ae 1/4 Unit. Uncertain mint, possibly Miletos or Mylasa.
    Obv: Macedonian shield, with facing gorgoneion on boss. Rev: B - A.
    Helmet; labrys to left, K to right. Price 2065; cf. HGC 3.1, 958a (1/2 unit; Alexander IV). Condition: Extremely fine.

    Do these have anything to do with the Macedonian shield coins or are they just super rad looking or both?


    Caria Mylasa ΕΥΠΟΛΕΜΟΣ
    (Eupolemos), strategos 295-280 BC. Bronze Æ 15mm., 4.46g. Three overlapping shields, with spearheads on bosses / EYΠOΛEMOY, sheathed sword, in left field, labrys. Good very fine SNG München 21; Lindgren III 435.

    And lastly, why the heck is Lydia making these bad boys so far away in geography and time from when and where they had began?


    LYDIA. Philadelphia. Ae (Circa 1st century BC).
    Obv: Macedonian shield with star on boss.
    Winged thunderbolt within wreath. Control: Monogram above.
    Cf. SNG Copenhagen 343-7 (Monogram).
    Condition: Extremely fine.
    Weight: 2.68 g.
    Diameter: 13 mm.

    Please post your Macedonian helmet coins, ATGs, Diadochi, answers, any recommended books or literature on the subject or anything at all that you deem groovy!
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Alexander III 2.jpg
    AE Half Unit
    OBVERSE: Gorgoneion in the center of a Macedonian shield
    REVERSE: A Macedonian helmet; caduceus and NK monogram flanking below (Struck under Nikokreon)
    Struck at Salamis mint. Struck under Nikokreon 323-315 BC
    4.9g, 15mm
    Price 3162
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  4. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..ah, got you back on track with the Rhodes story eh?! :)kool! ..i've still got the other besieger bronze(it came from Ilya Zoblin), along with 3 others i think are attributable but were bought as unknown interims.. doves  Greek shield bronzes 002.JPG doves  Greek shield bronzes 003.JPG
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  5. chrsmat71

    chrsmat71 I LIKE TURTLES!

    I've got a cool shield helmet combo coin from the Macadonian gang.


    Kings of Macedon
    Antigonos II Gonatas
    Uncertain Macedonian mint
    277-239 BC
    O:Macedonian shield with head of Hercules (I believe this is the head of hercules and not a gorgon based on similar coins..note how small the worn head is).
    R:Macedonian helmet; kerykeion to right, monogram of Antigonos to left.
    SNG Alpha Bank 1008 var.(?)
    16 mm
    3.5 g
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  6. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Great collection Ryro, Last week I bought a rare Perdikkas II king of Macedonia diobol (451-413 BC)
    This Macedonian shield & helmet came with it (sellers pic)
    Alexander III macedonian shield heracles.jpg
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  7. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter


    Frentani (hey, it is not a Makedonon shield, but it is a Quinicunx)
    Larinum Frentani 210-175 BCE AE Quincunx 22mm 9.8g Mars or Athena corinthian helmet- Galloping Horseman spear sheild tbolt 5 pellets NH Italy 625 BMC 2 SCARCE

    Makedonon Shields

    MAKEDON Philip III Arrhidaios 323-317 BCE Æ 1-2 Unit 17mm 4.2g Miletos mint Makedonwn shield Gorgoneion - Helmet bipennis K Price 2064

    Makedon Amphipolis Philip V - Perseus - lost empire to Romans - helmet Tetrobol.JPG
    Makedon Amphipolis Philip V - Perseus - lost empire to Romans - helmet Tetrobol
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  8. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Here is a Macedonian shield on a tetrobol from the time of Philip V (c. 187-179 BC) or Perseus (179-168 BC).
    15 mm. 2.00 grams.
    The lower left monogram is expanded to Zoilos (cf. Sear Greek 6803)
    Hoover 3.1 #324.
    Sear Greek --, belongs before 6802.
    SNG Copenhagen II Macedonia 1285 (same monogram).
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
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  9. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    Anchor and elephant, Shield and helmet in these 2 Seleucid coins of Macedonia.

    AnchorAntio I        Macedon.JPG AnchorElf R             SC 339.3a.JPG MacedShield.jpg Macehelmet.jpg
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  10. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    @Ryro that Antiochos III elephant bronze is great. Almost never seen in that condition.

    I am here to show two Macedonian shield coins with Perseus as boss, both perchased from Cointalkers.

    This one is very scarce:
    Macedon, Philip V 2.14g AE15, Uncertain mint in Macedon
    Obv: Shield with Perseus facing right as boss
    Rev: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ / ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΥ; Uncrested Macedonian helmet
    Purchased from @Barry Murphy at NYINC, January 2003

    This one is rare:
    Macedon, Philip V, 3.0g AE16, Uncertain mint in Macedon
    Obv: Macedonian shield with Perseus facing left as boss
    Rev: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ / ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΥ; Uncrested Macedonian helmet, star above
    Ref: SNG Alpha Bank 1067
    Purchased from @Ken Dorney VCoins shop January 2012

    Back in 2012 I was not able to find other left-facing examples besides the one in SNG Alpha Bank. There was another in a G&N sale in 2014.
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
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  11. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Great post!! Except you outbid me on that Antiochos III. :shifty: :D

    Here's a Pyrrhos for the thread:
    Screen Shot 2019-05-04 at 6.36.19 PM.jpg
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  12. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    Martin Price said the spear-head/Σ, caduceus/M and (NK) issues are Cypriot, citing a hoard from Amathus and similarity of the letter symbols to gold and silver of Salamis. Price said Edward Newell sought to link the NK monogram with king Nikokreon/Nicocreon and the M with Ptolemy’s brother Menelaus. Little is known of king Nikokreon except that he paid homage to Alexander the Great at Tyre in 331 BC. Nikokreon co-operated with Seleukos in 315 BC but was not mentioned during the siege of Salamis in 306 BC – implying he died before that date.

    For the Medusa bronzes, Richard Ashton believes the double-axe, Κ, and Μ issues are from Kaunos, the rose issue from Sardes, and the "hat" issue from an uncertain Northern mint. Ashton’s attributions are correlated with the number of specimens in regional Turkish museums. Ashton’s attributes revise the earlier standard work by Martin Price. Price had assigned the double-axe / K and spear-head / K varieties to Miletus, citing similarities to gold and silver of Miletus and the Caria (1986) hoard. Price had put the "hat" / M and rose varieties in his “Miletus or Mylasa” section.

    The most detailed study of the series is Katerini Liampi’s. She believes there is no relationship between the anonymous issues and those with monograms as episema [=boss iconography]. They depict different shield and helmet types — the only common issue is the labrys and the K on anonymous and Demetrios coins. Liampi believes the bronze issue with thunderbolt boss started in Alexander III’s lifetime because of connections in legends and monograms. The thunderbolt boss issue circulated as the smaller denomination alongside Alexander’s Herakles/bow and club type. Liampi reports that at the city of Demetrias, founded in 293 BC, there were no anonymous pieces so they cannot belong to the interregnum.

    There was an English summary of Katerini Liampi („Zur Chronologie der sogenannten ‚anonymen’ makedonischen Münzen des späten 4. Jhs. v. Chr.” from Jahrbuch für Numismatik und Geldgeschichte, 1986, p. 41-65) by FORVM web site user Drapsul. I don't know if it is still there. Other things worth reading are Richard Ashton, “Kaunos, not Miletos or Mylasa”, Numismatic Chronicle (2004), p. 33-46 and R. W. Matheisen “The Shield / Helmet Bronze Coinage of Macedonia: A Preliminary Analysis”, in SAN X (1979)
  13. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    Here's a big Seleucid elephant under Antiochus III. The obverse is presumed to be a Nymph.

    Antiochs R    NymEleph.JPG Antioc 3 O    nymph.jpg
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  14. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    Great post, and awesome shields. I'm lacking in the helmet department, but here's my favorite coin with a Macedonian shield.

    Macedonia - First Meris Tetradrachm 1946.jpg
    MACEDONIA, as Roman Protectorate
    AR Tetradrachm. 16.84g, 32.7mm. MACEDONIA (as Roman Protectorate), First Meris, Amphipolis mint, circa 167 - 149 BC. SNG Cop 1313; Prokopov 127. O: Diademed and draped bust of Artemis right, bow and quiver over shoulder, in the center of a Macedonian shield. R: Club; monogram above, two monograms below, MAKEΔONΩN above, ΠPΩTHΣ below; all within oak wreath, thunderbolt to left.
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  15. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Thanks for all the beautiful coins and wonderful insights.
    Excellent example @Bing!
    That was a fun watch @ominus1!

    Boy, I do love that other Poliorketes of yours. The top left coin you have I can see cadueces on the reverse, making me think it's a "in the name of Alexander" NK. Which probably means strike under Nikokreon (though some of the excellent reading Ed recommended puts this in doubt). But I think it's the same type. The one on the top right I would like closer pics of. But that one on the bottom looks neat! I don't really recognize the symbols but think it identifiable.
    Great Gonatas @chrsmat71! Just got added to my must have list. That Gonatas also made those mesmerizing silver gorgon coins that have been on my list for some time!
    LOVE that nearly neon green patina @Andres2. But now I'm itching to see your new Perdikkas II!
    Wait? @Alegandron is into Greek/Macedonian coins??? Who knew :wacky:
    Ridonkulous assortment right there buddy.Amazing quincunx!
    You would refer to a double sided axe as a bipennis.

    Man, those silver tetrobols of you and @Valentinian are simply boss! I really love the symbols and monograms.
    Very cool to see the anchor on the shield with elephant reverse.:cigar: Thanks for sharing this beauties @7Calbrey.
    @Ed Snible, excellent coins! Right and left facing P-dog! I've never seen a left facing one. Thank you so much for the knowledge and resources!
    What I was able to find from drapsuls, was a short but very insightful, overview of Liampi's work. Are you of the opinion that the NK is for Nikokreon? I gathered she doesn't. I hope there is more or that someone else has translated it. Her arguments are very sound and backed up by hoard find. And I had to submit a request, pending approval from the author, to get access to the other works. Hopefully I get approval...
    Thank you so much for posting your Pyrrhos, @Severus Alexander! That is an excellent example...and though I'm sorry that there were not 2 Megas up for auction so we both could have one. It does make me feel good to know that an expert, such as yourself, has interest in a coin that I acquired! I would offer to trade straight up for your Pyrrhos, but that wouldn't be a fair trade to you. That and I got a pretty good compliment from Ed on the rare condition of this little fella.
    @7Calbrey, that nymph looks just like what I had gathered was a gorgon. Looking just like my antiochus iii Megas listed above. As well as a countermark that I had been trying to identify for years (funny enough @Ed Snible had pointed me in the right direction in this old thread.https://www.cointalk.com/threads/show-your-gorgoneion.297043/page-2#post-3429895 but I couldn't find examples until recently to put this one to rest...that and in the old Pic I had the reverse upside down).

    Seleukos II Kallinikos
    Seleukid Kingdom. 246-226 B.C. AE 15 (15.43 mm, 3.55 g, 11 h). mint of Sardes. Head of Hercules right wearing lion-skin headdress, paws tied at neck, countermark of Gorgon/ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ / ΣΕΛΕΥΚΟΥ, legend vertically downward to right and left of naked Apollo Delphios seated left on omphalos, holding arrow and grounded bow; monogram in outer left and Σ in outer right field. . SNG Spaer pl. 29, 443-4;

    That's how to show up @zumbly! Hubba Hubba, old sport ;) That Artemis belongs in my old one in a million girl thread https://www.cointalk.com/threads/one-in-a-million-girl.331820/
    She IS a beauty!!!
  16. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    i will get that for ya shortly...i'm painting walls right now :D...yeah, that was a good watch wasn't it..:)
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  17. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    Great coins @Ryro! And I agree with the others, excellent Antiochos III coin.

    I got only one shield to share:
    Alexander III the Great Bronze Coin (320 B.C.) two chalkoi (quarter obol).
    Macedonian shield, boss decorated with gorgoneion.
    Reverse: Macedonian helmet; B-A to left and right; double axe below left; K monogram below right.
    Mint: Miletos, Ionia. 320 B.C. Reference: Price 2064.
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  18. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..here it is Ryro..but it looks different to me now :p... Greek shield coin 003.JPG Greek shield coin 002.JPG
  19. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    The collection grows...

    I found this rough n Tumble Pyrrhos for super cheap, made a ridiculously low counter, they excepted. So I got a hard to find Macedonian shield coin of one of the greatest generals and militaristic minds of all time... for single digits $.

    My replacement Antigonus "Blinky" Polermo.


    Macedon. Koinon of Macedon. Claudius AD41-54. Bronze Æ
    23mm., 9,79g. nearly very fine. Ex Savoca

    No silver Shields... Yet. But they will come.

    Boy-O, @ominus1, fun coin. Though it does look different from the first pick (though I'm sure it's just lighting). I thought the reverse appeared to have caduceus to left of the helmet... But now I'm not so sure.
  20. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    kool beans Ryro...yeah, it's in purdy ruff shape and would be hard to call on that i think :)
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