Meaning of monograms on reverse of Antiochos VIII tetradrachm?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by DonnaML, May 31, 2020.

  1. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I've posted this coin before, but I didn't ask at the time if anyone knows what the two different monograms on the reverse signify -- see the boldfaced portion of my coin description:

    Syria, Seleucid Empire, Antiochos VIII Epiphanes (Grypon) Tetradrachm, 109-96 BCE Antioch Mint. Obv. Diademed head of Antiochos VIII right / Rev. Zeus Nikephoros seated left on high-backed throne, holding Nike on outstretched right hand and scepter in left; to outer left, P/E monogram above A; ΔI monogram below throne; BAΣΙΛΕΩΣ ANTIOXOY EΠIΦANOYΣ; all within laurel wreath. Seleucid Coins [SC] Pt. 2, 2309; Seleucid Coins Online [same] (see; Seaby 7145 (ill.) [D. Sear, Greek Coins & their Values, Vol. II: Asia & Africa (Seaby 1979)]; Hoover HGC 9, 1200 [Oliver Hoover, Handbook of Syrian Coins, Royal and Civic Issues, Fourth to First Centuries BC, The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series, Volume 9 (2009)]; Newell SMA 405 [E.T. Newell, The Seleucid Mint of Antioch (1918)], SNG Israel 2554-55 [A. Spaer & A. Houghton, Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Israel I, The Arnold Spaer Collection of Seleucid Coins (London, 1998)]; BMC Seleucid Syria 2 (p. 98) (ill. Pl. XXVI, No. 3) [erroneously attributed to Antiochos XI] [P. Gardner, A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Vol. 4, The Seleucid Kings of Syria (London, 1878)]. 27 mm., 16.2 g. (Purchased from Frank S. Robinson in Feb. 2020 auction.)

    Detail Antiochos VIII tetradrachm.jpg

    Here are closeups of the two monograms:

    The P/E above A, on the left:

    3rd Detail Antiochos VIII tetradrachm (2).jpg

    The ΔI monogram below the throne:

    2nd Detail Antiochos VIII tetradrachm (2).jpg

    These same two monograms appear on most of the examples of this coin type shown at Seleucid Coins Online (

    They also appear on the British Museum's example on Plate XXVI of its 1878 catalog volume entitled The Seleucid Kings of Syria (for whatever reason, erroneously attributing the coin to Antiochos XI):

    Antiochos VIII tetradrachm (example from BMC Seleucids, Plate XXVI, No. 3 (1878).jpg
    Does anyone have any idea what either of these two monograms signifies?
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
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  3. jlblonde

    jlblonde Señor Member

    I would assume that the "ΔI" is the minter's monogram...
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  4. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you. And such a monogram would be likely to appear on all or most of the examples of a particular coin type minted in Antioch?
  5. Pavlos

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

    I am not surprised A stands for Antioch, since pretty much all tetradrachms from different rulers other than Antiochos VIII, such as Antiochos VII, Antiochos IX, Antiochos X that were minted in Antioch bear an A monogram on the left side.
    The P/E mark is specifically found on the third reign of Antiochos VIII in Antioch only, so I can assume this is most likely a financial administrator mark.

    My bet like @jlblonde is that the ΔI monogram is just a mint mark.

    This is a tetradrachm from the same ruler but then his 2nd reign in Antioch:
    Antiochos VIII Epiphanes (Grypos) (121/0-97/6 B.C.) AR Tetradrachm. 2nd reign at Antioch. Antiochia on the Orontes mint, 112-111/10 B.C.
    Diademed head of Antiochos VIII to right.
    Reverse: BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ANTIOXOY - EΠIΦANOYΣ Zeus Ouranios standing front, head to left; holding star in his right hand and long scepter in his left; above, crescent; to left, monogram above A; to inner right, Δ; all within laurel wreath.
    Reference: SC 2302.1f.
    16.26g; 27mm
  6. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    I think the PE monogram to the left is the magistrate, and the A below it is the mint mark for Antioch.
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  7. jlblonde

    jlblonde Señor Member

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  8. jlblonde

    jlblonde Señor Member

    Pavlos is spot on! And a nice collection to boot...
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  9. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks to all!
  10. Nemo

    Nemo Well-Known Member

    That is an an amazing coin!
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