My very first Greek coppers!

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Only a Poor Old Man, Feb 26, 2021.

  1. Only a Poor Old Man

    Only a Poor Old Man Well-Known Member

    My collecting area is Greek/Byzantine, so I am not a stranger to copper coins where the Byzantine empire is concerned. However, until now I never got my hands on a Greek copper/bronze sample. It wasn't a conscious decision, it is just that Greek silver coins are plentiful and quite desirable too. I think it is natural to be drawn to them especially considering that the number of copper examples are not as common.

    Recently I embarked on a mission to actively seek them, which in part was a cost saving exercise. I had already bookmarked a nice looking coin from Seleukeia a while ago, and when a small and attractive Ionian dichalkon showed up in the listings of the same seller, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. Here they are:



    Pretty little specimens, and with an attractive patina, which is the first thing I look for in coppers. To my surprise though they presented me with a problem I haven't really run into before. A few weeks back when I got my Parthian drachm, I commented on the lack of historical sources that made the researching of the coin challenging. However looking back now, that coin was a goldmine of information compared to these ones! For starters, I don't even know what denomination the Ionian coin is. Both coins are from roughly around the first century BC, and they are from Asia Minor, and specifically from cities/areas that belonged to the autonomous Kingdoms of Pergamon and Seleukeia. For the dichalkon we also have the name 'Diogenes' which must have been a magistrate of some sort... And that's it! I can't find any more information.


    If anyone can share some additional information about these coins please do so, and if you have any examples to share, even better! But if you don't have any, please share your Greek bronzes and coppers. I would love to see what's out there!
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  3. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Very nice greek coppers.

    I remember my first greek bronze & still have it. It's also one of my favorite coins after all these years.

    Macedonian Kingdom, Perseus, (179 - 168 B.C.)
    Pella or Amphipolis mint
    O: Head of hero Perseus right, wearing winged helmet peaked with griffin head, harpa right.
    R: eEagle standing half-left on thunderbolt, wings open, head right, B - A above wings flanking head, ΓΗ monogram and ΕΡ monogram in ex
    SNG Cop 1277, SNG München 1208, SNG Evelpidis 1465
  4. Alegandron

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

    Great AE @Only a Poor Old Man !

    1927 Movie Classic: METROPOLIS...

    I think this would be a GERMAN AE :)


    Here is one of my recent Greek AE's:

    Mysia Pitane
    AE10mm 0.9g
    4th-3rd C
    Hd Zeus-Ammun r -
    Pentagram Gk PTIAN
    SNG Fr 2349
  5. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    Good job @Only a Poor Old Man

    Here is my first Greek bronze.
    Had no idea what it is, at that time I had a very small interest in ancient coins, I only knew about some 4th century bronzes.
    I was impressed about the thickness of this small coin.

    Kings of Macedon, Philip II (359-336 BC). Æ Unit . Uncertain mint in Macedon. Diademed head of Apollo r. R/ Youth on horseback riding r.; monogram and trident head below. SNG ANS 908.
  6. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ...Greek coppers eh?!..hehe...very nice oapom...they are varied and very collectable, copper/bronze Greek coins are ..good path to go down sir :) Greek coppers.jpg perseus 002.JPG perseus 005.JPG Perseus bronze
  7. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    My best Greek AE is probably this one of Attalea, Lydia.
    Maybe not "Greek enough" as its an RPC, but...
    Attalea Lydia RPC IV 2812.JPG
  8. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    Nice coins, with great patina. :)
    Only a Poor Old Man likes this.
  9. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    I only have a few Greek bronzes. Here are two I enjoyed most.
    Syracuse, Hiketas II, 287-278 BC
    AE (7.26g, 24mm, 9h)
    Obv: Head of Kore left, grain ear behind
    Rev: Charioteer in biga right, star above.
    SNG Cop 802, SNG ANS 760.

    Cimmerian Bosporos. Pantikapaion
    circa 310-304 BC
    Obv: Bearded head of satyr right
    Rev: Π-Α-Ν. forepart of griffin left, below, fish left
    Anokhin 1023; MacDonald 69; HGC 7, 113
  10. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Are there any Greek AEs before the 4th c. BCE? I don't remember ever seeing one. (...Maybe why you get those AR fractional obols in the 5th century?)
  11. ambr0zie

    ambr0zie Dacian Taraboste

    I think this is my favorite Greek bronze.

    Aeolis, Aigai Æ12. 2nd-1st centuries BC. Head of Hermes right, wearing petasos / Forepart of goat right; monograms above and to right. SNG München -; SNG Copenhagen 14; SNG von Aulock -.
  12. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ..that's a good question...we don't wanna steal the shine of oapom's OP, but i've never really thought about it, my earliest are of Phillip ll of Macedon i believe..

    Attached Files:

  13. Pavlos

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

    Very nice bronzes, congrats on the additions! Bronze coins can generally be more interesting since more obscure and smaller places only minted those. Your bronze coins are struck particularly late in the Hellenic age, where many places in that region struck a lot of issues, probably because they were finally autonomous.

    I like this bronze coin, interesting iconography and obscure mint:
    Iconion, Lycaonia Bronze AE, 1st Century B.C.
    Bust of Perseus right, wearing winged and griffin-crested helmet, harpa and head of Medusa over left shoulder.
    Reverse: Zeus seated left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, thunderbolt in extended right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, ЄIKONIЄΩN downward on right.
    Reference: vA Lykaoniens 195, SNG BnF 2270 corr. (same rev. die), SNG Tüb 4512, SNG Cop 2 var. (magistrate), SNGvA 5384 var. (same).
    4.61g; 19mm

    Indeed... There were mainly silver fractions and later on these small fractions were being replaced by bronze coins since it is much more convenient. Also, bronze coinage is fiduciary, so it is a big win for the kings/cities as well. I did a write up of it about a place on Crete:
    Unfortunately the images are still messed up... I hope it gets fixed soon.

    This is one of my oldest bronze coin, minted late 5th century:
    Islands off Troas, Tenedos. AE Chalkous. late 5th-early 4th century B.C.
    Head of Artemis to right, wearing stephanos.
    Reverse: T E Labrys.
    Reference: SNG Aulock 1589. SNG Cop. 522. SNG München 348.
  14. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Thanks on all counts, @Pavlos, and @ominus1 before that. This feels right, that AEs would show up in the late 5th c. BCE, but would be relatively scarce. The earliest I could think of were along the lines of @ominus1.
    Pavlos and ominus1 like this.
  15. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Nice start to a Greek collection - those are nice.

    I have a very low grade example of that Metropolis AE - same magistrate even!

    Ionia Metropolis - Ares & Thunderbolt Diogenes June 2020 (0).jpg

    Ionia, Metropolis Æ 15
    (c. 100-50 B.C.)
    Diogenes magistrate

    Helmeted head of Ares right /ΔIOΓENHΣ, Winged thunderbolt; monogram above.
    SNG Copenhagen 904.
    (4.19 grams / 15 mm)

    When I was researching this, I found a couple other examples - hope this helps:
  16. Alegandron

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

    I will not count my Carthage AE's from 400 and Earlier BCE. They are neither Greek nor Roman!

    On the edge:
    Lampsakos MYSIA 399-200BCE 1.24g AE10mm Fem hd - Forepart winged horse symbol BMC Mysia p84 var-symbol

    Makedon Amyntas II 395-393 BCE Æ12 2.0g Aigai or Pella mint Hd Pan - Forepart wolf chewing bone SNG Alpha Bank 179-80 Very Rare

    Phlius Phliasia Peloponnesus AE12 1.8g 400-350 BCE Bull butting - PHI 4 pellets BMC 16

    Fifth C BCE

    SYRACUSE 2nd Democr 466-405 BCE Æ Tetras 2.7g 15mm c.425 BCE Arethusa dolphins - Octopus 3 pellets SNG ANS 376 Calciati II.21.1

    Sicily Akragas AE Onkia 16mm 3.8g 425-406 BCE Eagle r fish fly - Crab conch SNG ANS 1062 var

    Sicily Syracuse AE Onkia 12-10mm 1.4g 425-415 BCE Arethusa - Octopus BMC 249

    Sicily Kamarina AE 15mm 3.4g 420-405 BCE Athena Owl Lizard 3 dots Sear Gk 1063

    SICILY Kamarina Æ Onkia 13mm 1.5g 420-405 BCE- Gorgon tongue - KAMA owl r lizard in claw pellet in ex SNG Münch 411
  17. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Liking your incisive distinction, @Alegandron. But they were imitating Greek motifs (granted, conspicuously from AR prototypes) left and right.
    ...But qua imitations. With your help, the Carthagininan series is putting me in mind of the early imitations of Athens /owl motifs in proto-Palestine and the Arabian peninsula. Also conspicuously Semitic in origin. But you wouldn't accuse them of being Greek.
    Only a Poor Old Man likes this.
  18. Alegandron

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

    Imitating Greek? Sicily was Magna Graecia... they were SETTLED by Greeks, they were Greek. If I live in Alaska or Hawaii, am I still not an American?
  19. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    Sorry for that, @Alegandron. I was stuck in Carthage. Needless to say, you couldn't be more right about Magna Graecia. ...For context that I, for one, can get more traction with (...granted, only by default), the Norman polity in the southern Italian peninsula and Sicily followed very similar geographic lines. ...With the Greek presence still very much in place, especially on the southern mainland, thanks largely to Justinian's Byzantine reconquest in the earlier 6th century CE.
  20. Alegandron

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


    On the Edge - AE's Earlier than 4th C
    (these are 1500 years before the Normans in Sicily)

    Zeugitania Carthage 400-350 BCE Æ unit 15.3 mm, 2.7g Tanit l earring necklace - Horse r palm tree two pellets r MAA 18a

    Carthage Zeugitana 400-350 BC AE 15 Tanit Horse std Palm 3 pellets Clipped

    Carthage Zeugitana 400-350 BC AE 15 6.1g Tanit Horse Galloping

    Carthage Zeugitana 400-350 BC AE 15 1.8g Tanit Horse std Palm 3 pellets

    Carthage Zeugitana 400-350 BC AE 13 2.3g Tanit Horse std Palm
  21. Theodosius

    Theodosius Fine Style Seeker Supporter

    Here is one of my favorite Greek bronzes.

    Himera Hemilitron 2a.jpg

    Himera, Sicily. AE Hemilitron, 420-407BC, 18mm, 5.35g.
    Obverse: Pan riding goat right, holding thyrsus over left shoulder and blowing on a conch shell; below goat, a Corinthian helmet.
    Reverse: HIMEPAION, Nike advancing left, holding open wreath in right hand, dress in left; six pellets (mark of value).
    SNG ANS 184, Cal p.42, 27

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