Asia Minor Coins - Photo Gallery

Ancient Greek and Roman coins from Asia Minor

Coin ID #1546

Samos (BC 404-394) Tridrachm

ca 404 or 394 BC. AR Tridrachm or Double Siglos (11.29g, 12h). The infant Herakles, nude but for a baldric over his left shoulder, kneeling to right on ground line, strangling a serpent with each hand, ΣΥΝ / Lion's mask facing, ΣΑ below; all within circular incuse. Extremely rare. Toned EF. From the collections of C. Gillet, 1138, R. Jameson, and the Reverend H.V. Elliott, SWH 2/1908, purchased in Asia Minor 1818-1819.

This rare coin was struck to celebrate an alliance (syn = synmachikon = a coin of allies) between cities in western Asia Minor (Byzantion, Ephesos, Iasos, Knidos, Kyzikos, Lampsakos, Rhodes and Samos), which all used the common type of infant Herakles/snakes on obv with rev bearing normal city badge. It was thought that this alliance came about in 394 after the defeat of the Spartan fleet, but Karweise, Lysander as Herakliskos Drakonopnigon ('Herakles the snake-strangler'), NC 1980, has made a good case for it having taken place 10 years earlier, when the cities threw off Athenian domination with the help of the Spartan Lysander. In many ways this seems a better choice, but hoard evidence is inconclusive.

File information
City/Mint name:Samos
Rating (19 votes):11111
Keywords:silver / classical
References:Barron 1b (this coin); BMC 129; Jameson 1528 (this coin); Kraay/Hirmer 616; WAW 89 (= Hunt I, 88)
Valuation:Leu Auc. 81 (5/2001), lot 283 (CHF 25,000 ($14,427) + comm)
Photo courtesy of:Leu Numismatik -
Filesize:38 KiB
Date added:Apr 10, 2005
Dimensions:700 x 375 pixels
Displayed:2396 times
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