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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Anatolia| ▸ |Caria| ▸ |Kos||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Coins of Kos, Caria

Kos is a Greek island 40 by 8 kilometers, 4 km off the coast of Bodrum, Turkey, and ancient Caria. In mythology, the island was visited by Hercules. The island was home to a famous sanatoria of Asclepius. Other chief sources of wealth were its wines and silk manufacture. Aristotle mentions silk weaving by the women of the island. Silk garments were manufactured in large factories by women slaves. During the Greco-Persian Wars it twice expelled the Persians. In the 5th century, it joined the Delian League. After the revolt of Rhodes, it served as the chief Athenian station in the south-eastern Aegean. In 366 B.C., a democracy was instituted. After helping to weaken Athenian power, in the Social War (357-355 B.C.), it fell for a few years to the king Mausolus of Caria. In 366 B.C., the capital was transferred from Astypalaia to the newly built town of Kos. In the Hellenistic age, Kos attained the zenith of its prosperity. Its allies the Ptolemies used it as a naval outpost to oversee the Aegean. As a seat of learning, it arose as a provincial branch of the museum of Alexandria, and became a favorite resort for the education of the princes of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Among its most famous sons were the physician Hippocrates, the painter Apelles, the poets Philitas and, perhaps, Theocritus.Gymnasium of Kos


Kos, Carian Islands, c. 345 - 340 B.C.

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Herakles was traveling by sea when Hera, who hated him, sent a storm, sinking his boats. Hercules and only a few friends survived, swimming to Kos. Once ashore they asked a shepherd for food and shelter. The shepherd refused and insulted Hercules and they fought. People from nearby Antimachia joined the fight against Hercules. Hercules and his friends slipped into a house, disguised as women, and escaped. Another town welcomed Hercules and declared war on Antimachia. Hercules killed the king of Antimachia and married the newly elected king's sister, Halkiopi. Their son, Thessalos, would later be the king of Kos and Nisyros.
GS86516. Silver didrachm, Pixodarus p. 234, 13 (A2/P7); SNG Cop 619; Weber 6629; HGC 6 1305 (R1); BMC Caria p. 195, 18 ff. var. (magistrate); SNG Keckman 287 var. (same), gVF, attractive style, bold strike, toned, tight flan cutting off ethnic, corrosion, edge cracks, weight 6.369 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, Kos mint, Ma[...], magistrate, c. 345 - 340 B.C.; obverse bearded head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse veiled female (Halkiopi?) head left, MA (magistrate) behind, KΩION below; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; rare; SOLD


Kos, Carian Islands, c. 366 - 300 B.C.

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Herakles was traveling by sea when Hera, who hated him, sent a storm, sinking his boats. Hercules and only a few friends survived, swimming to Kos. Once ashore they asked a shepherd for food and shelter. The shepherd refused and insulted Hercules and they fought. People from nearby Antimachia joined the fight against Hercules. Hercules and his friends slipped into a house, disguised as women, and escaped. Another town welcomed Hercules and declared war on Antimachia. Hercules killed the king of Antimachia and married the newly elected king's sister, Halkiopi. Their son, Thessalos, would later be the king of Kos and Nisyros.
GS80125. Silver didrachm, SGCV II 4988 var., SNG Cop 621, SNGvA 2752, BMC Caria p. 196, 22, aVF, nice toning, weight 5.924 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 0o, Kos mint, c. 366 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of bearded Herakles right, clad in lion-skin head dress; reverse KΩION, veiled female (Halkiopi?) head left, BITΩN behind; scarce; SOLD


Kos, Carian Islands, 220 - 200 B.C.

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Herakles was traveling by sea when Hera, who hated him, sent a storm, sinking his boats. Hercules and only a few friends survived, swimming to Kos. Once ashore they asked a shepherd for food and shelter. The shepherd refused and insulted Hercules and they fought. People from nearby Antimachia joined the fight against Hercules. Hercules and his friends slipped into a house, disguised as women, and escaped. Another town welcomed Hercules and declared war on Antimachia. Hercules killed the king of Antimachia and married the newly elected king's sister, Halkiopi. Their son, Thessalos, would later be the king of Kos and Nisyros.
GS86729. Silver drachm, SNGvA 2757, SNG Keckman 293, BMC Caria p. 201, 83, HGC 6 1313 (S), VF, areas of rough corrosion, die crack on reverse, weight 2.682 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 0o, Kos mint, magistrate Philinos, 200 - 220 B.C.; obverse head of bearded Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion skin scalp headdress; reverse crab seen from above, club right below, KΩION above, ΦIΛINOΣ below; very scarce; SOLD


Kos, Carian Islands, c. 167 - 88 B.C.

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In the Hellenistic age, Kos attained the zenith of its prosperity. Its alliance was valued by the kings of Egypt, who used it as a naval outpost to oversee the Aegean. As a seat of learning, it arose as a provincial branch of the museum of Alexandria, and became a favorite resort for the education of the princes of the Ptolemaic dynasty; there was also a medical school. Among its most famous sons were the physician Hippocrates, the painter Apelles, the poets Philitas and, perhaps, Theocritus.
SH17515. Bronze AE 16, BMC Caria p. 203, 103; SGCV II 5016, VF, weight 5.229 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Kos mint, c. 167 - 88 B.C.; obverse head of young Herakles half right, wearing lion skin knotted at neck; reverse KΩION / APXΩN, bow inside case above club; dark patina; SOLD


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Kos, Carian Islands

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"In the suburb [of the town of Kos] is the Asklepieion (Temple of Asklepios), a temple exceedingly famous and full of numerous votive offerings." -- Strabo, Geography 14. 2. 19

Herakles was traveling by sea when Hera, who hated him, sent a storm, sinking his boats. Hercules and only a few friends survived, swimming to Kos. Once ashore they asked a shepherd for food and shelter. The shepherd refused and insulted Hercules and they fought. People from nearby Antimachia joined the fight against Hercules. Hercules and his friends slipped into a house, disguised as women, and escaped. Another town welcomed Hercules and declared war on Antimachia. Hercules killed the king of Antimachia and married the newly elected king's sister, Halkiopi. Their son, Thessalos, would later be the king of Kos and Nisyros.
RP84595. Bronze AE 17, RPC I 2739 (27 spec.); BMC Caria p. 217, 226; SNG Cop 699; SNG München 548; SNG Tübingen 3539; Lindgren-Kovacs 684; Weber III 6670, aVF, toned brassy surfaces, tight flan, reverse a little off center, some corrosion, weight 3.087 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 0o, Kos, Carian Islands mint, 16 Jan 27 B.C. - 19 Aug 14 A.D.; obverse ΣEBAΣTOΣ, bare head right; reverse KΩIΩN downward between snake coiled staff of Asklepios on left and club of Herakles on right, ΣOΦOKΛHΣ (magistrate Sophokles) curving downward on right; very scarce; SOLD


Kos, Carian Islands, c. 88 - 50 B.C.

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In the Hellenistic age, Kos attained the zenith of its prosperity. Its alliance was valued by the kings of Egypt, who used it as a naval outpost to oversee the Aegean. As a seat of learning, it arose as a provincial branch of the museum of Alexandria, and became a favorite resort for the education of the princes of the Ptolemaic dynasty; there was also a medical school. Among its most famous sons were the physician Hippocrates, the painter Apelles, the poets Philitas and, perhaps, Theocritus.
GB84656. Bronze AE 15, apparently unpublished, cf. SNGvA supp. 8176 (head l., A vice B), BMC Caria -, SNG Keckman –, SNG Cop –, SNG Tüb -, SNG Mugla -, Lindgren -, HGC 6 -, VF, green patina, earthen highlighting, a little porous, weight 3.375 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 0o, Kos mint, c. 88 - 50 B.C.; obverse head of Asklepios right; reverse snake coiled around staff, B left; extremely rare; SOLD


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Cos, Carian Islands

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Except for occasional incursions by corsairs and some severe earthquakes, the island has rarely had its peace disturbed. Following the lead of its larger neighbor, Rhodes, Kos generally displayed a friendly attitude toward the Romans; in 53 A.D. it was made a free city. It was known in antiquity for the manufacture of transparent light dresses, the coae vestes. The island of Kos also featured a provincial library during the Roman period. The island first became a center for learning during the Ptolemaic dynasty, and Hippocrates, Apelles, Philitas and possibly Theocritus came from the area. An inscription lists people who made contributions to build the library in the 1st century A.D. One of the people responsible for the library's construction was the Kos doctor Gaiou Stertinou Xenofontos, who lived in Rome and was the personal physician of the Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, and Nero.
RP39994. Bronze AE 20, BMC Caria p. 216, 219 ff. (various magistrates), aVF, rough, weight 4.783 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, Kos mint, c. 10 B.C. - c. 10 A.D.; obverse [ΣEBAΣTOΣ], laureate head right; reverse KΩIΩN, laureate head of Aesklepios right, magistrate's name right (off flan); SOLD


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Cos, Carian Islands, Ex John Quincy Adams Collection

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Ex John Quincy Adams Collection, 6th President of the United States, and His Descendants, ex Massachusetts Historical Society Collection, ex Stack’s Sale, 5-6 March 1971.
JA47620. Bronze AE 16, RPC I 2733, F, weight 2.776 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Caria, Cos mint, Nikagoras Da, c. 10 B.C. - 10 A.D.; obverse ΣEBAΣTOΣ, head of Augustus right; reverse KΩIΩN NIKAΓO, head of Herakles right laureate in lion skin; comes with a John Quincy Adams Collection tag from the Stack's Sale; very scarce; SOLD


Kos, Carian Islands, 530 - 500 B.C.

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Tzamalis and Svoronos attributed this type as Thraco-Macedonian.
GS69899. Silver hemiobol, SNG Kayhan 903; Klein 543; BMC Caria, p. 193, 5; SNGvA 6665; HGC 6, 1297 (R2); Tzamalis 5 (Thraco-Macedonian); Svoronos HPM pl. XV, 16 (same), VF, weight 0.499 g, maximum diameter 7.8 mm, die axis 180o, Kos mint, 530 - 500 B.C.; obverse crab; reverse rough irregular incuse; very rare; SOLD


Kos, Carian Islands, 360 - 330 B.C.

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Kos is a Greek island 40 by 8 kilometers, 4 km off the coast of Bodrum, Turkey, and ancient Caria. In mythology, the island was visited by Hercules. The island was home to a famous sanatoria of Asclepius. Other chief sources of wealth were its wines and silk manufacture. Aristotle mentions silk weaving by the women of the island. Silk garments were manufactured in large factories by women slaves. During the Greco-Persian Wars it twice expelled the Persians. In the 5th century, it joined the Delian League. After the revolt of Rhodes, it served as the chief Athenian station in the south-eastern Aegean. In 366 BC, a democracy was instituted. After helping to weaken Athenian power, in the Social War (357-355 BC), it fell for a few years to the king Mausolus of Caria. In 366 B.C., the capital was transferred from Astypalaia to the newly built town of Kos. In the Hellenistic age, Kos attained the zenith of its prosperity. Its allies the Ptolemies used it as a naval outpost to oversee the Aegean. As a seat of learning, it arose as a provincial branch of the museum of Alexandria, and became a favorite resort for the education of the princes of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Among its most famous sons were the physician Hippocrates, the painter Apelles, the poets Philitas and, perhaps, Theocritus.
GB66036. Bronze AE 12, BMC Caria p. 196, 29; SNG Cop 624 ff. (different magistrates); SNG Tüb 3506 ff. (same), SNG Keckman -,, VF, nice green patina, weight 2.036 g, maximum diameter 11.8 mm, die axis 0o, Kos mint, 360 - 330 B.C.; obverse veiled head of Demeter right; reverse KΩIΩN, crab, club over ∆AMΩN (magistrates name) below; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Ashton, R., et al. "The Pixodarus Hoard" in Coin Hoards IX. (2002), pp. 159 - 243, pls. 21 - 41.
Barron, J. "The Fifth-Century Diskoboloi of Kos" in Kraay-Mørkholm Essays.
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Babelon, J. Catalogue de la collection de Luynes: monnaies greques. (Paris, 1924-1936).
Babelon, E. Traité des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines. (Paris, 1901-1932).
Brett, A. Catalogue of Greek Coins, Boston Museum of Fine Arts. (Boston, 1955).
Forrer, L. Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber, Vol. III, Part 1. (London, 1926).
Grose, S. Catalogue of the McClean Collection of Greek Coins, Fitzwilliam Museum, Vol. II: The Greek mainland, the Aegaean islands, Crete. (Cambridge, 1926).
Head, B. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Caria, Cos, Rhodes, etc. (London, 1897).
HNO - |Historia| |Numorum| |Online| |Database| - http://hno.huma-num.fr/
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of the Islands: Adriatic, Ionian, Thracian, Aegean, and Carpathian Seas, 6th to 1st Centuries BC. HGC 6. (Lancaster/London, 2010).
Jameson, R. Collection R. Jameson. Monnaies grecques antiques. (Paris, 1913-1932).
Klein, D. Sammlung von griechischen Kleinsilbermünzen und Bronzen. Nomismata 3. (Milano, 1999).
Kroll, J. "The Late Hellenistic Tetrobols of Cos" in MN XI (1964).
Lindgren, H. Lindgren III: Ancient Greek Bronze Coins from the Lindgren Collection. (Quarryville, 1993).
Lindgren, H. & F. Kovacs. Ancient Bronze Coins of Asia Minor and the Levant. (San Mateo, 1985).
Mildenberg, L. & S. Hurter, eds. The Dewing Collection of Greek Coins. ACNAC 6. (New York, 1985).
Requier, P. "Les premiers tétradrachmes hellénistiques de Cos" in SNR 75 (1996).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Stefanaki, V. E. KΩΣ I. (Athens, 2012).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 5: Ionia, Caria and Lydia. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Part 22: Caria. (Berlin, 2006).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Münzsammlung Universität Tübingen, Part 5: Karien und Lydien. (Berlin, 1994).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock, Vol. 2: Caria, Lydia, Phrygia, Lycia, Pamphylia. (Berlin, 1962).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Finland, The Erkki Keckman Collection in the Skopbank, Helsinki, Part 1: Karia. (Helsinki, 1994).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Bibliothèque National, Collection Jean et Marie Delepierre. (Paris, 1983).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey I: The Muharrem Kayhan Collection. (Istanbul, 2002).
Waggoner, N. Early Greek Coins from the Collection of Jonathan P. Rosen (ANS ACNAC 5). (New York, 1983).

Catalog current as of Thursday, August 22, 2019.
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Kos