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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Macedonia| ▸ |Pella||View Options:  |  |  |   

Pella, Macedonia

Pella was founded in 399 B.C. by King Archelaus (413 - 399 B.C.) as his capital. It was the seat Philip II and of his son, Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C., it was sacked by the Romans, and its treasury transported to Rome. Later the city was destroyed by an earthquake. By 180 A.D., Lucian could describe it in passing as "now insignificant, with very few inhabitants."


Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonus II Gonatas, 277 - 239 B.C.

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Antigonus II Gonatas was a powerful ruler who solidified the position of the Antigonid dynasty in Macedon after a long period defined by anarchy and chaos and acquired fame for his victory over the Gauls who had invaded the Balkans. He was the grandson of Antigonus I Monophthalmus, who then controlled much of Asia. His maternal grandfather was Antipater. who controlled Macedonia and the rest of Greece and was recognized as regent of the empire, which in theory remained united.
SL89733. Silver drachm, Panagopoulou 152; AMNG III-2 p. 187, 5; SNG Cop 1203; SNG Mün 1079; SNG Alpha Bank 984; SNG Lockett 1526; SNG Berry 360; HGC 3.1 1044 (R3), NGC Ch VF, strike 4/5, surface 3/5 (4629570-003), weight 3.59 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 0o, Pella mint, 272 - 239 B.C.; obverse wreathed head of Poseidon right; reverse Athena Alkidemos advancing left, brandishing thunderbolt in right hand, shield decorated with aegis on left arm, Macedonian helmet inner left, TI inner right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (Greek: king) downward on right, ANTIΓONOY downward on left; ex CNG Triton IX (10 Jan 2006), lot 829 (realized $600 plus fees); ex Robert Weimer Collection; very rare; $540.00 (€475.20)
 


Dion (or Pella?), Macedonia, c. 22 - 30 A.D.

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The Pietas obverse type is copied from a imperial dupondius struck at Rome in 22 - 23 A.D. (RIC I 43). That portrait has been traditionally described as depicting Livia as Pietas, based on Cohen. Even if as early as 1880, A. Colson was proposing that the portrait is actually Livilla, Drusus' wife, but that was not in time for Cohen to consider it for his catalog. On the dupondius, Pietas is paired with a reverse naming Livilla's husband, Drusus. At the time, Livilla was praised for piety over the sickness and death of her husband. Later it would become clear that she had poisoned Drusus for her lover Sejanus.
RP89332. Leaded bronze provincial as, Kremydi-Sicilianou Dion p. 271, pl. 38 - (E7/O8, unlisted die combination); RPC I 1543; AMNG II p. 60, 4; Varbanov -, VF, areas of light corrosion, earthen deposits, weight 10.519 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 180o, Dium (or Pella?) mint, reign of Tiberius, c. 22 - 30 A.D.; obverse veiled and draped bust of Pietas (Livilla or Livia as Pietas?) right, PIETAS below; reverse L RVSTI/CELIVS / CORDVS / II • VIR / QVINQ / D D (L. Rusticelius Cordus, duovir quinquennalis, decreto decurionum) in six lines; ex CNG auction 420 (9 May 2018), lot 361; ex Belgica Collection; ex CNG e-auction 181 (6 Feb 2008), lot 671 (realized $330 plus fees); ex the Patrick Villemur Collection; rare; $250.00 (€220.00)
 


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Pella, Macedonia

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Pan is depicted in the pose of the life-size marble statue known as the Barberini Faun (Drunken Satyr) in the Glyptothek in Munich. A Faun is the Roman equivalent of a Greek Satyr. The position of the right arm over the head was a classical artistic convention indicating sleep. The statue is believed to have once adorned Hadrian's Mausoleum. The historian Procopius recorded that during the siege of Rome in 537 the defenders had hurled down upon the Goths the statues adorning Hadrian's Mausoleum. When discovered, the statue was heavily damaged; the right leg, parts of both hands, and parts of the head were missing. Johann Winckelmann speculated that the place of discovery and the statue's condition suggested that it had been such a projectile.Barberini Faun

RP89875. Bronze AE 25, cf. SNG ANS 629 (younger, Caracalla?), Moushmov 6476 (syrnix in field), Varbanov 3732 (R4, same), AMNG -, SNG Cop -, SNG Hunt -, BMC -, Lindgren -, Choice gF/aVF, broad flan, nice green patina, light scratches and marks, scattered minor porosity, weight 9.863 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 180o, Pella mint, 16 May 218 - 11 Mar 222 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR ANTONINVS, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse CO IVL AVS PELLA (sic), Pan seated left on rock, nude, right hand raised to top of head, left forearm leaning on syrnix on rock behind; other than SNG ANS specimen, with an obscure legend and a much different portrait which we suspect is Caracalla, this type is unpublished in the standard references, there is one specimen on Coin Archives (attributed to Caracalla in error), Wildwinds lists this type but misidentified as Moushmov 6476; extremely rare; $120.00 (€105.60)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip II of Macedonia, 359 - 336 B.C.

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Philip II became the ruler of all Greece when he defeated the Athenians at the Battle of Chaeroneia in 338 B.C. Philip personally selected the design of his coins. His horse, on the reverse of this coin, won a race in the Olympic Games in 356 B.C., the year his son Alexander the Great was born.
GS92918. Silver 1/5 Tetradrachm, Le Rider 485 (bee), SNG Cop 576 (same type by insect identified as a locust), SNG ANS -, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, toned, bumps, marks, scrape on reverse, closed edge crack, weight 2.426 g, maximum diameter 13.8 mm, die axis 180o, Macedonia, Pella mint, posthumous, c. 323 - 315 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Apollo right; reverse nude horseman cantering right, ΦIΛIΠΠOY above, insect (bee or locust) below center, A below right; rare variety; $120.00 (€105.60)
 


Maximinus I Thrax, 20 March 235 - Late May 238 A.D., Pella, Macedonia

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Pella was founded in 399 B.C. by King Archelaus (413 - 399 B.C.) as his capital. It is best known as the historical capital of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and birthplace of Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C., it was sacked by the Romans, and its treasury transported to Rome. Later the city was destroyed by an earthquake. By 180 A.D., Lucian could describe it in passing as "now insignificant, with very few inhabitants."
RP92878. Bronze AE 26, Varbanov III 3747 (R5); SNG Cop 285; Moushmov 6486; cf. BMC Macedonia p. 40, 40 (cuirassed bust); SNG ANS -; SNG Hunter -; AMNG III -, aVF, well centered, green patina, light deposits, light marks, part of reverse legend weak, weight 9.387 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 180o, Pella mint, 20 Mar 235 - late May 238 A.D.; obverse IMP C C IVL VER MAXIMINVS, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse COL IVL AVG PELLA, Pan seated left on rock, nude, right hand on top of head, pedum in left hand, syrnix (Pan flute) in left field ; $110.00 (€96.80)
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Pella, Macedonia

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Pella was founded in 399 B.C. by King Archelaus (413 - 399 B.C.) as his capital. It was the seat of Philip II and of his son, Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C., it was sacked by the Romans, and its treasury transported to Rome. Later the city was destroyed by an earthquake. By 180 A.D., Lucian could describe it in passing as "now insignificant, with very few inhabitants."
RB79934. Bronze AE 24, Varbanov III 3735 (R4), SNG ANS 633, Moushmov 6479, SNG Cop -, F, superb portrait, attractive green patina, tight flan, weight 11.112 g, maximum diameter 24.2 mm, die axis 0o, Pella mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXANDER AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse COL IVL AVG PELLA, city-goddess seated left, kalathos on head, right hand raised to shoulder; $95.00 (€83.60)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Perseus, 179 - 168 B.C.

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Perseus of Macedonia was the last king of the Antigonid dynasty, who ruled the successor state in Macedonia created after the death of Alexander the Great. After losing the Battle of Pydna on 22 June 168 B.C., Macedonia came under Roman rule.

The hero Perseus, the legendary founder of Mycenae and of the Perseid dynasty there, was the first of the mythic heroes of Greek mythology whose exploits in defeating various archaic monsters provided the founding myths in the cult of the Twelve Olympians. Perseus was the hero who killed Medusa and claimed Andromeda, having rescued her from a sea monster.
GB83486. Bronze AE 19, cf. SNG Alpha Bank 1142, SNG Cop 1275, SNG Dreer 628, HGC 3.1 1099 (R2), SNG München -, VF, green patina, weight 5.227 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 180o, Macedonia, Pella or Amphipolis mint, c. 179 - 168 B.C.; obverse head of hero Perseus right, wearing winged helmet peaked with griffin head, harpa right; reverse eagle standing facing on thunderbolt, wings open, head right, B − A flanking head above wings, Π-E flanking across lower field outside wings, star in exergue; rare; $95.00 (€83.60)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Perseus, 179 - 168 B.C.

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At the end of the Third Macedonian War (171 - 168 B.C.), King Perseus of Macedonia was decisively defeated by Rome at the Battle of Pydna. He surrendered to general Lucius Aemilius Paullus and was imprisoned in Rome with his half-brother Philippus and his son Alexander. Around 300,000 Macedonians were enslaved. The Antigonid kingdom was replaced with four republics, which were later dissolved and became the Roman province of Macedonia.
GB88958. Bronze 1/2 unit, SNG München 1217, HGC 3 -, SNG Alpha Bank -, SNG Saroglos -, SNG Cop -, Lindgren -, AMNG III -, VF, brown tone, light marks, tight flan, weight 2.817 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, Pella or Amphipolis mint, 179 - 168 B.C.; obverse Macedonian shield, boss ornamented with a whorl; reverse harpa right, BA (Baσiλeωσ - king) above, ΠEP monogram (Perseus) below, star lower right; ex Gerhard Rohde; very rare variety; $80.00 (€70.40)
 


Pella, Macedonia, c. 187 - 168 B.C.

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Pella was founded in 399 B.C. by King Archelaus (413 - 399 B.C.) as his capital. It was the seat of Philip II and of his son, Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C., it was sacked by the Romans, and its treasury transported to Rome. Later the city was destroyed by an earthquake. By 180 A.D., Lucian could describe it in passing as "now insignificant, with very few inhabitants."
GB79966. Bronze AE 19, SNG ANS 572; SNG Cop 257 var. (no monogram upper right); BMC Macedonia p. 92, 29 var. (same); HGC 3 615, aVF, attractive patina, well centered on a tight flan, scratches, weight 7.510 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 0o, Pella mint, c. 187 - 168 B.C.; obverse veiled facing head of Demeter; reverse cow grazing right; ΠEΛ/ΛHΣ in two lines, starting above, ending below; monogram upper right, monogram below; ear of barley right on right in exergue; $75.00 (€66.00)
 


Macedonia, Roman Protectorate, Quaestor Gaius Publilius, 168 - 167 B.C.

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On 22 June 168 B.C., Lucius Aemilius Paullus won the Battle of Pydna, ending the Third Macedonian War. According to Plutarch, Paullus kept too much plunder for himself, displeasing his legions. On his return to Rome, to keep them happy, Paullus stopped in Epirus, a kingdom suspected of sympathizing with Macedonia. He sacked 70 towns, enslaved 150,000, and left the region bankrupt. Paullus' return to Rome was glorious. With the immense plunder, he celebrated a spectacular triumph, featuring the captured king, Perseus of Macedonia. The senate awarded him the cognomen Macedonicus.
RP88237. Bronze AE 20, BMC Macedonia p. 18, 76; SNG Cop 1323; AMNG III 210, MacKay pl. III, 5; Touratsoglou Macedonia 23, aVF, well centered, rough, weight 10.000 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Bottiaea, Pella(?) mint, 168 - 167 B.C.; obverse head of Athena Parthenos right, wearing crested Athenian helmet adorned with a griffin and foreparts of horses (as on contemporary Athenian tetradrachms); reverse cow grazing right, ΠΛY (ΠOΠΛIΛIOY) monogram above right, BT (Bottiaea) monogram below, ΓAIOY above, TAMIOY in exergue; scarce; $55.00 (€48.40)
 




  



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REFERENCES

Burnett, A., M.Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Gaebler, H. Die antiken Münzen von Makedonia und Paionia, Die antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands Vol. III. (Berlin, 1906).
Head, B. V. British Museum Catalogue of Greek Coins, Macedonia, etc. (London, 1879).
Le Rider, G. Le monnayage d’ argent et d’ or de Philippe II frappé en Macédoine de 359 à 294. (Paris 1977).
Lindgren, H. C. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins: European Mints from the Lindgren Collection. (1989).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
MacKay, P. A. "Bronze Coinage in Macedonia, 168-166 B.C." in ANS MN 14 (1968), pp. 5 - 13, pl. III.
Müller, L. Numismatique d’Alexandre le Grand; Appendice les monnaies de Philippe II et III, et Lysimaque. (Copenhagen, 1855-58).
Newell. E.T. The Coinage of Demetrius Poliorcetes. (London, 1927).
Price, M. J. The Coinage in the name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus. Vol. 1-2. (Zurich - London, 1991).
RPC Online - http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Austria, Klagenfurt, Landesmuseum für Kärnten, Sammlung Dreer, Part 3: Thracien-Macedonien-Päonien. (Klagenfurt, 1990).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum. Volume 2: Macedonia and Thrace. (New Jersey, 1981).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Makedonien - Könige, 10/11 Heft. (Berlin, 2001).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain V, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Part 3: Macedonia. (London, 1976).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XII, The Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, Part 1: Roman Provincial Coins: Spain-Kingdoms of Asia Minor. (Oxford, 2004).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Greece II. The Alpha Bank Collection, Macedonia I: Alexander I - Perseus. (Athens, 2000).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, SNG Grèce, Collection Réna H. Evelpidis, Part 2: Macédoine-Thessalie-Illyrie-Epire-Corcyre. (Athens, 1975).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Greece, Volume IV, Numismatic Museum, Athens, The Petros Z. Saroglos Collection, Part 1: Macedonia. (Athens, 2005).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Schweiz II. Münzen derAntike. Katalog der Sammlung Jean-Pierre Righetti im Bernischen Historischen Museum. (Bern, 1993).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 7: Macedonia 1 (Cities, Thraco-Macedonian Tribes, Paeonian kings). (New York, 1997).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 8: Macedonia 2 (Alexander I - Philip II). (New York, 1994).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, Burton Y. Berry Collection, Part 1: Macedonia to Attica. (New York, 1961).
Thompson, M. "The Mints of Lysimachus," in Essays Robinson.
Varbanov, I. Greek Imperial Coins And Their Values, Volume III: Thrace (from Perinthus to Trajanopolis), Chersonesos Thraciae, Insula Thraciae, Macedonia. (Bourgas, 2007).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, October 15, 2019.
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Pella, Macedonia