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Illyria (Illyricum)

IllyrianTribes.jpg  Map_Ancient_Vindelicia_and_Illyricum_1900pix.jpg  Northwester_Greeks_and_Southern_Illyrian_tribes.png  800px-Illyricum_%28Imperium_Romanum%29.png

Ancient Coins from Illyria in the Forum Ancient Coins shop

Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Brunömid, J. Die Inschriften und MŁnzen der griechischen Stšdte 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. ďDie Silberpršgung von Apollonia und DyrrhachionĒ in NZ 41 (1908), pp. 1 - 33.
Prokopov, I. Coin Collections and Coin Hoards From Bulgaria, Volume I, Numismatic Collections of the Historical Museum Lovech & the Historical Museum Razgrad. (Sofia, 2007).
Schlosser, J. von. Beschreibung der Altgreichischen MŁnzen 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, Volume 3: Greece: Thessaly to Aegean Islands. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, MŁnchen Staatlische MŁnzsammlung, Part 12: Thessalien - Illyrien - Epirus - Korkyra. (Berlin, 2007).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, BibliothŤque National, Collection Jean et Marie Delepierre. (Paris, 1983).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, GrŤce, Collection Rťna H. Evelpidis, Part 2: Macťdoine - Thessalie - Illyrie - Epire - Corcyre. (Athens, 1975).
Visonŗ, P. ďGreek-Illyrian Coins in Trade, 1904-2005Ē in SNR 84 (2005).

In classical antiquity, Illyria was a region in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula inhabited by the Illyrians, a region roughly defined from the Drin river (in modern north Albania) to Istria (Croatia) in the west and to the Sava river (Bosnia and Herzegovina) in the north.

Illyria 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. Salona (near modern Split in Croatia) functioned as its capital. 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. The province was then divided into Pannonia in the north and Dalmatia in the south. 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.

Amantia. Autonomous bronze coins of the period of the Epirote Republic, B.C. 230-168, with Epirote types. Heads of Zeus Dodonaeos or of Zeus and Dione. Rev., Fulmen or serpent. Bust of Artemis. Rev. Torch. Inscr., ΑΜΑΝΤΩΝ. (Imhoof MG, p. 137, and BMC Thessaly, Pl. XXXI. 10, 11.

Apollonia. Colony of Corcyra. Silver coins of five periods:ó

(i) Circ. B.C. 450-350, with Corcyrean types, Cow and Calf. Rev. ΑΠ, Conventional pattern usually called Gardens of Alkinoos, which I shall in future describe as a Square containing a stellate pattern, or as a Stellate square. (See infra, p. 325 f.) Staters of circ. 160 grs. ∆ Lyre, Rx ΑΠΟΛΛΩΝΟΣ Obelisk of Apollo (BMC Thessaly, Pl. XII. 1, 2).

(ii) Circ. B.C. 350-300. Staters of Corinthian types and weight, reading ΑΠΟΛ, etc. (BMC Corinth, Pl. XXVI. 1).

(iii) B.C. 229-100. New series of silver coins of the period during which Apollonia and Dyrrhachium were under the protection of Rome. These coins are of the weight of the Roman Victoriatus, circ. 52 grs. (see Haeberlin in Z. f. N., 1907, p. 238). Obv., Cow and Calf. Rev., Stellate square (BMC Thessaly, Pl. XII. 3), and of the half Victoriatus, circ. 26 grs. Rev., Fire of the Nymphaeum. They bear magistratesí names on both sides. It is supposed that the name on the obverse, in the nominative case, is that of the mint-master, and that the name on the reverse, in the genitive, stands probably for an eponymous annual magistrate.[1] There are also bronze coins of two distinct series with identical types, an earlier and a later, each represented by two or more denominations. In the later series the weights seem to have been doubled (see Hunter Cat., II. pp. 2 ff.). Inscr., ΑΠΟΛΛΩΝΙΑΤΑΝ (BMC Thessaly, Pl. XII. 8-12).

Head of Artemis, or veiled head. Tripod within wreath.
∆ 1.05
Head of Dionysos. Cornucopia.
∆ .9
Head of Apollo. Obelisk within wreath or lyre.
∆ .65

(iv) From circ. B.C. 100 to Augustus. About B.C. 104 the Victoriatus was abolished at Rome, being assimilated to the Quinarius. From this time forwards the silver coins of Apollonia were issued on the standard of the Roman Denarius.

Head of Apollo.
[BMC Thessaly, Pl. XII. 13.]
Three nymphs dancing round the fire of the Nymphaeum.
AR 62 grs.
Fire of the Nymphaeum.
[Congr. int., p. 113.]
Lyre.
AR 44 and 31 grs.
Head of Athena. [Ibid., Pl. XII. 15.] Obelisk.
AR 29 grs.
Lyre and quiver (?). [B. M.] Obelisk.
AR 13.5 grs.

(v) Imperial. Augustus to Geta. Inscr., ΑΠΟΛΛWΝΙΑΤΑΝ, ΝΕΡWΝΙ ΑΠΟΛΛWΝΙ ΚΤΙCΤΗ, ΝΕΡWΝΙ ΔΗΜΟCΙW ΠΑΤΡWΝΙ ΕΛΛΑΔΟC, etc. Types:óThree nymphs dancing; Obelisk of Apollo; Hades seated with a standing female figure before him carrying an infant in her arms; Apollo; Poseidon; Asklepios; River-god; Temple of Herakles; etc.

The Nymphaeum near Apollonia was sacred to Pan and the nymphs. It is described by Strabo (p. 316) Πετρα δ εστι πυρ aναδιδουσα, υπ aυτη δε κρηναι ρεουσι χλιαρου και ασφαλτου. The obelisk is that of Apollo Αγυιευς (see Ambracia, p. 320).

Byllis, on the north bank of the Aous, about twenty miles above Apollonia. Small bronze coins of the period of the Epirote Republic,

B.C. 230-168 (cf. coins of Amantia, p. 313). Inscr., ΒΥΛΛΙΟΝΩΝ or

1 For fuller information on the coins of Apollonia and Dyrrhachium and complete lists of magistrates, see A. Maier, N. Z., 1908, pp. 1 ff., published since the above was printed.

ΒΥΛΛΙΣ. Types:óHead of Zeus; Rx Serpent twined round cornucopia. Youthful helmeted head; Rx Eagle on fulmen (BMC Thessaly, p. 64), or Quiver (Patsch Congres, 111).

Daorsi. An Illyrian tribe which had been subject to king Genthius, on whose defeat by the Romans it obtained its freedom (Livy xlv. 26. 14). Bronze coins of the second century, after B.C. 168.

Head of Hermes to r.
[Brunömid, p. 74.]
ΔΑΟΡΣΩΝ Galley l. [Z. f. N., xiii. p. 68].
∆ .5

Dyrrhachium (Dyrrhachii. Epidamnus) the capital of the Dyrrhachians, was a colony of Corcyra of considerable importance. The money of this city down to about B.C. 100, when it comes to an end, falls into the same periods as that of Apollonia. The coins bear the name of the people and not of their chief town.

(i) B.C. 450-350. Silver staters of the Corcyrean standard, c. 170 grs.

Cow suckling calf.
[BMC Thessaly, Pl. XIII. 10.]
ΔΥΡ Double stellate square.
AR Staters.

(ii) Circ. B.C. 350-229. Staters, etc., of Corinthian types and weight (see Colonies of Corinth) (BMC Corinth, Pl. XXVI).

(iii) B.C. 229-100. New series of Dyrrhachian coins.

Cow suckling calf. ΔΥΡ Double stellate square [Brit. Mus. Guide, Pl. LXV. 12].
AR 53 grs.
Forepart of cow. Ą Id. [BMC Thessaly, Pl. XIV. 3]
AR 26 grs.

These coins are of the weight of the Roman Victoriatus and Ĺ Victoriatus, and bear the names of two magistrates, probably that of the eponymous annual magistrate in the genitive on the reverse, and that of the superintendent of the mint in the nominative on the obverse. (See note 1, p. 314.) The adjunct symbol on the obverse changes with the name on the reverse, and therefore belongs properly to it. The bronze coins, also with magistratesí names, bear types relating to the worship of the Dodonaean Zeus, Herakles, Helios, Asklepios, etc.

Lissus. This town, at the mouth of the Drilo, was probably one of the colonies founded under the auspices of Dionysius of Syracuse, but the few coins which are known belong chiefly to the period of Macedonian supremacy, B.C. 211-197.

Goat standing.
[NC, 1880, Pl. XIII. 3.]
ΛΙΣΣΙΤΑΝ Fulmen.
∆ .5

King Genthius (infra, p. 316), B.C. 197-168, may also have struck a few of his own coins at Lissus; and after his defeat in the latter year by the Romans, Lissus again issued a few autonomous pieces.

After B.C. 168.

Head of Hermes (?) in petasos.
[Brunömid, Pl. VI. 93.]
ΛΙΣΣΙ[ΤΑΝ] Galley.
∆ .7

Oricus. A seaport in the neighborhood of Apollonia, not far from the mouth of the Aous.

Circ. B.C. 230-168.
Head of Zeus.
[Vienna Cat., I. Pl. V. 8.]
ΩΡΙ[ΚΙ]ΩΝ Eagle on fulmen in oak wreath.
∆ .8
Head of Apollo.
[BMC Thessaly, Pl. XXXI. 13.]
ΩΡΙΚΙΩΝ Obelisk of Apollo Agyieus, in wreath.
∆ .65
Head of Athena. Ą Fulmen.
∆ .5

Rhizon. Bronze coins after circ. B.C. 168. Inscr., ΡΙΖΟ and ΡΙΖΟΝΙΤΑΝ (?) (Num. Chron., 1880, p. 292, 295, and PL XIII. 9, 10; Brunömid, p. 75). Types similar to, but not identical with, those of the coins of King Ballaeus (infra, p. 317).

Scodra. The earliest coins of this town may be referred to the reign of Philip V of Macedon, who was supreme in Illyricum between B.C. 211 and 197.

Macedonian shield. [Brunömid, p. 70.] ΣΚΟΔΡΙΝΩΝ Helmet; all in wreath.
∆ .6

After B.C. 168.

Head of Zeus. ΣΚΟΔΡΕΙΝΩΝ War galley and, sometimes, magistrateís name.
∆ .65
[Num. Chron., 1880, p. 288; Brunömid, p. 71.]

 

Kings of Illyricum

Monunius, circ. B.C. 300 or 280, king of the Dardanian Illyrians. He occupied Dyrrhachium and struck money there of the Dyrrhachian type.


FIG. 178.

Cow suckling calf. (Fig. 178.)
[BMC Thessaly, Pl. XIV. 10, 11.]
ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΟΝΟΥΝΙΟΥ Double stellate square.
AR Staters, 160 grs.

On the coins of this king the Σ is sometimes written C, a form which is rarely met with at so early a date (Droysen, iii. 1. 184).

Genthius, circ. B.C. 197-168, probably succeeded to the Illyrian throne on the expulsion of Philip V of Macedon from his Illyrian possessions, by the stipulations of the Peace of Tempe, B.C. 197. Genthius was afterwards induced by Perseus to attack the Romans, but was defeated beneath the walls of Scodra and taken prisoner by L. Anicius. It would seem that the coins of Genthius were struck both at Scodra and at Lissus.

Macedonian shield. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΓΕΝΘΙΟΥ Helmet ∆ .6
Head of Genthius in kausia.
[Brunömid, p. 71.]
Ą Ą Illyrian galley.
∆ .7
Id. Ą Ą Fulmen.
∆ .5

Ballaeus, known only from coins. The date of his reign is probably B.C. 167-135 (Num. Chron., 1880, p. 300; Brunömid, pp. 82 ff.).

Head of king, bare.
[BMC Thessaly, Pl. XIV. 14.]
ΒΑΛΛΑΙΟΥ or ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑΛΛΑΙΟΥ Artemis with torch and two spears, running, or Artemis standing.
AR 55 grs., and ∆ .7-.6

The coins with the title Βασιλευς come chiefly from Risano (Rhizon); those without the regal title chiefly from the island of Lesina (Pharos).

Islands of Illyricum

[Imhoof, Num. Zeit., 1884, pp. 246-60.]

In the early part of the fourth century Dionysius of Syracuse began to turn his attention to the western coasts of Illyricum and the islands in the Adriatic sea. He assisted the Parians in colonizing the two islands of Issa and Pharos, B.C. 385 (Holm, Gesch. Sic., ii. 134). About the same time the island of Corcyra Nigra, so called from its dark pine forests, appears to have received a Greek colony. The money of a town named Heracleia, perhaps situate in the island of Pharos, in which the coins which bear its name are found, belongs also to this category (Brunömid, p. 54). The coins of the whole of this group are chiefly of the fourth and second centuries B.C. There are apparently few of the third.

Corcyra Nigra (?).

Fourth century B.C.

Rude head of Apollo. ΚΟΡΚΥΡΑΙΩΝ Ear of corn [Num. Zeit., 1884, Pl. IV. 20].
∆ .8

Heracleia.

Fourth century B.C.

Head of Herakles in lion-skin.
[BMC Thessaly, Pl. XIV. 8.]
ΗΡΑΚΛ, ΗΡΑΚ or ΗΡΑ Bow and club.
∆ .95 and .7
Female head.
[Hunter Cat., Pl. XXXI. 11.]
ΗΡΑ Dolphin.
∆ .7

Issa. The earliest coins of this island belong to the fourth century B.C., and consist of heavy bronze pieces resembling in fabric the large bronze issues of various Sicilian cities (cf. Head, Coinage of Syracuse, Pl. VII A). On the obv. is the head of Ionios, the son of Adrias, the eponymous hero of the Ionian sea, and the inscr. ΙΟΝΙΟ[Σ]. On the rev. is a dolphin with a line of waves beneath (Num. Zeit., 1884, 257; Hunter Cat., Pl. XXXI. 12). The coins which bear the name of the town of Issa follow next in order, but do not seem to extend much beyond the end of the third century. The following are the principal varieties:ó

ΙΣΣΑ Head of Artemis (?). Star with eight rays.
∆ .9
Head of Athena. ΙΣ Goat.
∆ .95-.75
Head of Athena. ΙΣ Stag with head turned back.
∆ .6
Head of Zeus (?). Ι Σ Id.
∆ .75
ΙΣ Amphora. Vine-branch with grapes.
∆ .75
Jugate heads. ΙΣ Grapes.
∆ .7
Youthful head. Ι Σ Kantharos.
∆ .85

Pharos.

Fourth century B.C.

Head of Zeus. [BMC Thessaly, Pl. XV. 4.] ΦΑΡ Goat standing.
AR 41 grs.
Id. [BMC Thessaly, Pl. XV. 5.] ΦΑΡΙΩΝ Id. symbol: sometimes, serpent.
∆ .95
Head of Persephone.
[Brunömid, Pl. I.]
ΦΑ Goat.
∆ .8

Second century B.C.

Head of young Dionysos ivy-crowned.
[BMC, p. 84, 11.]
ΦΑ Grapes.
∆ .6
Young head laureate.
[BMC, Pl. XV. 8.]
Ą Kantharos.
∆ .8

 

Illyrio-Epriote Silver Coinage

[Zeit. f. Num., i. 99, xvi. 3, xvii. 3, xxi. 258; Fox, 73; B. C. H., vi. 211.]

Damastium. The silver mines of this town are mentioned by Strabo, vii. p. 326. Its coins belong to the fourth century B.C., and may be compared for style with the money of the kings of Paeonia.

Head of Apollo laureate [BMC Thessaly, Pl. XV. 10-13; Pl. XVI. 1, 2.] ΔΑΜΑΣΤΙΝΩΝ Tripod, often with name, in the genitive, of dynast or magistrate, ΗΡΑΚΛΕΙΔΟ, ΚΑΚΙΟ, ΚΗ, ΚΗΦΙ, ΚΗΦΙ[ΣΟΦΩ]ΝΤΟΣ, ΣΩΚΡΑΤΙΔΑ, ΑΡΡΙΑ, etc.
AR Staters, Paeonian standard, circa 206-190 grs.
Female head with hair in net.
[BMC Thessaly, Pl. XVI. 4.]
ΔΑΜΑΣΤΙΝΩΝ Large square ingot marked with caduceus or swastika, and with a handle attached, for carrying it. (Svoronos, Journ. Int., 1906, p. 176).
AR 48 grs.
Head of Apollo. [BMC Thessaly, Pl. XVI. 8.] ΔΑΜΑΣΤΙΝΩΝ Pickaxe.
AR 29 grs.

For other varieties see Imhoof MG, p. 135, and Num. Zeit., 1884, p. 260, where a silver coin weighing 50 grs. has on the obverse a female head, and on the reverse the proper name ΔΑΡΑΔΟ in a double linear square (Hunter Cat., Pl. XXXI. 13).

Pelagia. Silver coins of the same types as those of Damastium, but of ruder style. Inscr., ΠΕΛΑΓΙΤΩΝ or ΠΕΛΑΓΙΤΑΣ (BMC Thessaly, Pl. XVI. 9-11 , Z. f. N., i. 99, xxi. 203).

Sarnoa. Probably identical with Σαρνους (Steph. Byz. s.v.). Coins similar to the above. Inscr., ΣΑΡΝΟΑΤΩΝ (Z. f. N., i. 113).

Tenestini. Similar AR coins. Inscr., ΤΕΝΕΣΤΙΝΩΝ (Hirsch Coll.).

These unknown tribes or towns were probably only small mining communities in the vicinity of Damastium (Imhoof MG, p. 136).


DICTIONARY OF ROMAN COINS


Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.
Illyricum, or as it is otherwise called Illyris, is a region lying on the shores of the Adriatic, opposite to those of Italy, and extending inwards from the Alps and the sea, to the Danube. By some writers this tract of country is considered to be what is now called Dalmatia.

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