Phillip: Zeugma

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by ancient coin hunter, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Good 'Ol Gallienus

    I picked up this coin in @John Anthony 's auction of last week, thought I'd snap a photo once it arrived. I posted it on a Facebook ancient coin group and it received 37 likes in a couple of hours, one poster commenting that this coin type got him involved in collecting ancients many years ago. The city was actually destroyed in 256 A.D. by the forces of Shapur, not long after the minting of this coin. So, without further adieu:

    COMMAGENE, Zeugma.
    Philip II and II.247-249 AD.
    Æ31, 19.2g; 6h (a nice chunky coin, how about that?)
    Obv.: AYTOK K M IOYΛI ФIΛIΠΠOC CЄB; Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right.
    Rev.: ZЄYGM-ATЄΩN; Peribolos containing grove of trees, seen in perspective; tetrastyle temple in distance, draped figure within (Zeus?); in exergue, capricorn to right.
    Reference: Butcher 31c; BMC 35.


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  3. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    I love the temple style reverses on these coins.
  4. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Good 'Ol Gallienus

    Yeah I have to say it's pretty cool.
  5. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Kevin Butcher in "Coinage in Roman Syria," has another take on what is depicted. He writes, "tertrastyle temple on a hill, with structures at base of hill and up either side."

    For a few years I have been looking for examples of perspective on ancient coins. I started a thread on it in 2016:
    and contributed to a thread on the OP type which argues it is not a courtyard :

    Here is a similar coin for his wife, Otacilia Severa.

    29 mm. 16.65 grams.
    Butcher CRS Zeugma 31b. "Probably struck at Antioch" (for Zeugma).
    Sear Greek Imperial 4056.
    TIF, Marsyas Mike, chrsmat71 and 6 others like this.
  6. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Very nice coin indeed, fabulous type congrats on owning one.
    ancient coin hunter likes this.
  7. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    ancient coin hunter likes this.
  8. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Good 'Ol Gallienus

    Thanks. Not sure it's a slam dunk but it appears to be the case.
  9. Jims Coins

    Jims Coins Supporter! Supporter

  10. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Here's mine:

    Philip II, AD 244-249 (or 247-249).
    Roman provincial Æ 28.0 mm, 14.93 g, 12 h.
    Syria: Commagene, Zeugma.
    Obv: AVTOK K M IOVΛI ΦIΛIΠΠOC CЄB, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust, right.
    Rev: ZЄYΓMATЄΩN, tetrastyle temple, before which is a grove; colonnade on right and left; portico in front. Capricorn right in exergue.
    Refs: Sear 4142; BMC 40; Butcher 31c; SNC 60-62.
  11. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Good 'Ol Gallienus

    I'm glad I got one as it is a really interesting type and one I was unfamiliar with before. Gotta keep looking for those cool provincials.
  12. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Interesting how almost Aztec the temples look on these, in a strange sort of way. My eye keeps seeing "pyramid with building on top" instead of "grove of trees with temple in distance".
  13. John Anthony

    John Anthony Ultracrepidarian Supporter

    Periboli were very common structures adjacent to temples in the Greek world, so it's an application of Occam's Razor as far as I'm concerned. If an Aztec-like pyramid with a temple at the top were discovered in the ruins of Zeugma, we would of course have to reconsider. But as for now, I don't see how you can legitimately interpret the coin any other way.
  14. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Oh, I'm not extrapolating Aztec-style pyramids in Greece. Merely commenting upon the optical illusion of that, which resulted from the way I initially viewed the images.

    The use of perspective is actually more interesting, once I retrained my eyes to see what was going on there.
    John Anthony likes this.
  15. John Anthony

    John Anthony Ultracrepidarian Supporter

    Yeah, the problem is that drawing perspective on coins was not a refined technique at the time, so it's easy to see that image as flat.
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