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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ Greece ▸ IllyriaView Options:  |  |  | 

Illyria, Greece

Illyria, in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula, was divided into small hereditary kingdoms, none ruling the entire region, and some with only a single town. Numerous Greek colonies were also established in Illyria. Epidamnos was found in 627 B.C. and Apollonia founded in 588 B.C., both by colonists from Corinth and Corfu. The most notable Illyrian kingdoms and dynasties were those of Bardyllis of the Dardani, and of Agron of the Ardiaei. Agron extended rule to other tribes and created the last and best-known Illyrian kingdom. Rome defeated Gentius, the last independent king of Illyria, at Scodra (in present-day Albania) in 168 B.C. Four client-republics were set up, which were in fact ruled by Rome. Later, the region was governed as a province, with Scodra as its capital. In 10 A.D., after crushing a revolt, Rome dissolved the province of Illyricum and divided it between the new provinces of Pannonia and Dalmatia. Illyricum was made a Roman prefecture during the 4th century, and was abolished, re-established and divided several times during the late Roman and Byzantine periods.Map of Ancient Greek colonies on the northern coast of the Black Sea


Dyrrhachion, Illyria, c. 340 - 280 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Dyrrhachion is today Durrës, the second largest city of Albania located on the central Albanian coast, about 33 km west of the capital Tirana. Founded in the 7th century B.C. by Greek colonists from Corinth and Corcyra under the name Epidamnos, it has been continuously inhabited for 2,700 years.

According to Wikipedia, "the Romans renamed the city Dyrrachium (Greek: Dyrrhachion). They considered the name Epidamnos to be inauspicious because of its wholly coincidental similarities with the Latin word damnum, meaning "loss" or "harm". The meaning of Dyrrachium ("bad spine" or "difficult ridge" in Greek) is unclear, but it has been suggested that it refers to the imposing cliffs near the city." This type with the ethnic ∆YP, indicates the city was renamed before Roman rule in 229 B.C. Either Wikipedia is incorrect or numismatists have dated this type too early.
SH63946. Silver stater, Maier p. 17, 1; BMC Thessaly p. 65, 1; SNG Cop 423, aVF, weight 10.626 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 90o, Dyrrhachium (Durrës, Albania) mint, c. 340 - 280 B.C.; obverse cow standing right, looking back at suckling calf standing left below; reverse ∆YP, double stellate pattern, divided by line, in double linear square border; club left below; all within linear circle border; SOLD


Dyrrhachion, Illyria, c. 340 - 280 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Dyrrhachion is today Durrës, the second largest city of Albania located on the central Albanian coast, about 33 km west of the capital Tirana. Founded in the 7th century B.C. by Greek colonists from Corinth and Corcyra under the name Epidamnos, it has been continuously inhabited for 2,700 years.

According to Wikipedia, "the Romans renamed the city Dyrrachium (Greek: Dyrrhachion). They considered the name Epidamnos to be inauspicious because of its wholly coincidental similarities with the Latin word damnum, meaning "loss" or "harm". The meaning of Dyrrachium ("bad spine" or "difficult ridge" in Greek) is unclear, but it has been suggested that it refers to the imposing cliffs near the city." This type with the ethnic ∆YP, indicates the city was renamed before Roman rule in 229 B.C. Either Wikipedia is incorrect or numismatists have dated this type too early.
SH68907. Silver stater, Maier p. 17, 2; BMC Thessaly p. 65, 6; SNG Cop 423 corr. (inscription not described as retrograde), VF, weight 10.713 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 315o, Dyrrhachium (Durrës, Albania) mint, c. 340 - 280 B.C.; obverse cow standing right, looking back at suckling calf standing left below; reverse double linear bordered square divided into two compartments with a stellate pattern in each, retrograde ∆−Y−P and club around, all within a linear circle; SOLD


Dyrrhachion, Illyria, c. 340 - 280 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Dyrrhachion is today Durrës, the second largest city of Albania located on the central Albanian coast, about 33 km west of the capital Tirana. Founded in the 7th century B.C. by Greek colonists from Corinth and Corcyra under the name Epidamnos, it has been continuously inhabited for 2,700 years.

According to Wikipedia, "the Romans renamed the city Dyrrachium (Greek: Dyrrhachion). They considered the name Epidamnos to be inauspicious because of its wholly coincidental similarities with the Latin word damnum, meaning "loss" or "harm". The meaning of Dyrrachium ("bad spine" or "difficult ridge" in Greek) is unclear, but it has been suggested that it refers to the imposing cliffs near the city." This type with the ethnic ∆YP, indicates the city was renamed before Roman rule in 229 B.C. Either Wikipedia is incorrect or numismatists have dated this type too early.
SH65528. Silver stater, Maier p. 17, 10; BMC Thessaly p. 65, 11; SNG Cop 423 (cow right, legend not retrograde), VF, weight 10.544 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 45o, Dyrrhachium (Durrës, Albania) mint, c. 340 - 280 B.C.; obverse cow standing right, looking back at suckling calf standing left below; reverse ∆YP (retrograde ∆YP), double stellate pattern, divided by line, in double linear square border; club left below; all within linear circle border; SOLD







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REFERENCES

Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Brunsmid, J. Die Inschriften und Münzen der griechischen Städte Dalmatiens. (Vienna, 1898).
Calciati, R. Pegasi, Volume II: Colonies of Corinth and related issues. (Mortara, 1990).
Ceka, H. Questions de numismatique illyrienne. (State University, Tirana, 1972).
Gardner, P. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thessaly to Aetolia. (London, 1883).
Head, B. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Corinth, Colonies of Corinth, Etc. (London, 1889).
Imhoof, F. Numismatische Zeitschrift, 1884, pp. 246 ff.
Maier, A. "Die Silberprägung von Apollonia und Dyrrhachion" in NZ 41 (1908), pp. 1 - 33.
Patsch, C. Congres de Num., 1900, p. 104 ff.
Prokopov, I. Coin Collections and Coin Hoards From Bulgaria, Vol. I, Numismatic Collections of the Historical Museum Lovech & the Historical Museum Razgrad. (Sofia, 2007).
Schlosser, J. von. Beschreibung der Altgreichischen Münzen I: Thessalien, Illyrien, Dalmatien und die Inseln des Adriatischen Meeres, Epeiros. (Vienna, 1893).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 3: Greece: Thessaly to Aegean Islands. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Part 12: Thessalien - Illyrien - Epirus - Korkyra. (Berlin, 2007).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Bibliothèque National, Collection Jean et Marie Delepierre. (Paris, 1983).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Grèce, Collection Réna H. Evelpidis, Part 2: Macédoine - Thessalie - Illyrie - Epire - Corcyre. (Athens, 1975).
Visonà, P. "Greek-Illyrian Coins in Trade, 1904-2005" in SNR 84 (2005).

Catalog current as of Saturday, November 18, 2017.
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Illyria