Featured Stephanophoric Tetradrachms

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Al Kowsky, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. NewStyleKing

    NewStyleKing Beware of Greeks bearing wreaths Supporter


    The Myrina types were copied by Kolophon and are quite rare. It looks as though the die artists transferred to Kolophon for a duration. Why they didn't adapt their own style...who knows!

    From ac search Roma Numismatics
    Ionia, Kolophon AR Tetradrachm.
    Ionia, Kolophon AR Tetradrachm. Circa 155-145 BC. Laureate head of Apollo right / Apollo Clarius standing right holding filleted branch, right hand placed on lyre, ΚΟΛΟΦΩΝΙΩΝ to left, all within laurel wreath. SNG von Aulock 7916; Waddington 1489; Milne Colophon 164. 16.31g, 34mm, 11h.
    Light porosity, otherwise Extremely Fine. Exceedingly Rare.
    Four examples of this coinage are known to exist, only two of which are in private hands. Of the two, this specimen is arguably the finer, having suffered less wear and damage.
    Kolophon was a city of great antiquity, and one of the oldest of the twelve cities of the Ionian League. It was the strongest of these cities, and was renowned for its cavalry as well as the luxurious lifestyle of its inhabitants, until it was conquered by Gyges of Lydia in the 7th century BC. Kolophon then went into decline and was rapidly eclipsed by Ephesos. In 430 Kolophon was conquered by the Persians in consequence of a stasis between the citizens. Many Kolophonians living in the city fled and settled in Notion, which would later come to be known also as New Kolophon, Kolophon-on-Sea, or simply as Kolophon. The old city was destroyed by Lysimachos around the same time as he destroyed and forcibly depopulated nearby Lebedos, and unlike the latter, Kolophon did not recover. Indeed, it appears that Ephesos made efforts to ensure that this was the case.
    The obvious similarities in style and fabric between this coin and those of Myrina suggest that not only were the dies most likely produced by an artist responsible for engraving dies for Myrina, but also that they were struck at the same mint facility. While a cooperation between Myrina and Kolophon is unattested in the ancient sources, such an arrangement would not have been unprecedented or unusual.
    The reverse of this coin depicts Apollo Clarius, who had a temple at Clarus, near the site of Notion. Clarus was famed throughout the Greek world for its oracle, which appears to have existed there far back into Greek history, being mentioned in the Homeric Hymns to Artemis. This oracle delivered her prophesies in a dark, crypt-like adyton under the Temple of Apollo, much of which remains to the present day. The narrow, vaulted labyrinthine corridors under the temple remain, as does the base and fragments of a colossal sculpture of Apollo with his lyre. This statue, partially restored, appears to have measured over seven metres in height. The monumental entrance to the sanctuary was discovered in 1905 and between 1950 and 1961 a further series of important dedicated monuments were excavated, along with the famous Doric Temple itself.
    eparch, Bing and PeteB like this.
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  3. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    B.A., I just noticed you're new to Coin Talk, so welcome to the website :D! I haven't been a member for a long time but really enjoy the website :happy:. It sounds like our upbringings were eerily similar :p. My father was born in Germany & was musically gifted (he couldn't read music but could play nearly any instrument), so he forced me & my brother to learn the accordion, & we hated it :mad:. Henry & I also had to polish the family silver along with other typical chores. The smell of the tarnish would stay on our hands for a full day :sour:.
  4. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    John, Thanks for this interesting info :D. Without surprise, I never heard of this variety. As you point out, the coins are so similar to the Myrina product they must have been at Myrina also. It's interesting how the Hellenized version of Apollo became feminized, compared to the classical version that was very masculine.
    PeteB and NewStyleKing like this.
  5. marchal steel

    marchal steel Member

  6. goossen

    goossen Senior Member

    The sharpness and detail of the coin in the first photo are amazing
  7. marchal steel

    marchal steel Member

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