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NUMISMATICS (Lat. numisma, nomisma, a...

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Originally appearing in Volume V19, Page 873 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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NUMISMATICS (Lat. numisma, nomisma, a coin; from the Greek, derived from voj4 u', to use according to law), the science treating of coins (Low Lat. cuneus, a die) and medals (Low Lat. medalla, a small coin). The earliest known coins were issued by the Greeks in the 7th century before the Christian era. By the 4th century the whole civilized world used money (q.v.), each state generally having its proper coinage. Thisas continued to be the case to the present time; so that now t ere are few nations without a metal currency of their own, and of these but a small proportion are wholly unacquainted with the use of coins. Coins, although they confirm history, rarely correct it, and never very greatly. The earliest belong to a time and to nations as to which we are not otherwise wholly ignorant, and they do not afford us that precise information which, would fill in any important details of the meagre sketch of contemporary history. We gain from them scarcely any direct historical information, except that certain cities or princes issued money. When in later times the devices and inscriptions of the coins give more detailed information, history is far fuller and clearer, so that the numismatic evidence is rarely more than corroborative. There are, indeed, some remarkable exceptions to this rule, as in the case of the Bactrian and Indian coins, which have supplied the outlines of a portion of history which was otherwise almost wholly lost. The value of the corroborative evidence afforded by coins must not, however, be overlooked. It chiefly relates to chronology, although it also adds to our knowledge of the pedigrees of royal houses. But perhaps the most interesting manner in which coins and medals illustrate history is in their bearing contemporary, or nearly contemporary, portraits of the most famous kings and captains, from the time of the first successors of Alexander the Great to the present age, whereas pictures do not afford portraits in any number before the latter part of the middle ages; and works of sculpture, although occupying in this respect the same place as coins in the last-mentioned period and under the Roman empire, are neither so numerous nor so authentic. There is no more delightful companion in historical reading than a cabinet of coins and medals. The strength and energy of Alexander, the ferocity of Mithradates, the philosophic calmness of Antoninus, the obstinate ferocity of Nero, and the brutality of Caracalla are as plain on the coins as in the pages of history. The numismatic portraits of the time following the founding of Constantinople have less individuality; but after the revival of art they recover that quality, and maintain it to our own day, although executed in very different styles from those of antiquity. From this last class we can form a series of portraits more complete and not less interesting than that of the ancient period. While coins and medals thus illustrate the events of history, they have an equally direct bearing on the belief of the nations Mythology. by which they were issued; and in this reference lies no small part of their value in connexion with history. The mythology of the Greeks, not having been fixed in sacred writings, nor regulated by a dominant priesthood, but having grown out of the different beliefs of various tribes and isolated settlements, and having been allowed to form itself comparatively without check, can scarcely be learned from ancient books. Their writers give us but a partial or special view of it, and modern authors, in their attempts to systematize, have often but increased the confusion. The Greek coins, whether of kings or cities, until the death of Alexander, do not, with a few negligible exceptions, represent the human form. Afterwards, on the regal coins, the king's head usually occupies the obverse and a subject, usually sacred, is placed on the reverse. The coins of Greek cities under the empire have usually an imperial portrait and a reverse type usually mythological. The whole class thus affords us invaluable evidence for the reconstruction of Greek mythology. We have nowhere else so complete a series of the different types under which the divinities were represented. There are in modern galleries very few statues of Greek divinities, including such as were intended for architectural decoration, which are in good style, fairly preserved, and untouched by modern restorers. If to these we add reliefs of the same class, and the best Graeco-Roman copies, we can scarcely form a complete series of the various representations of these divinities. The coins, however, supply us with the series we desire, and we may select types which are not merely of good work, but of the finest. The mythology of ancient Italy, as distinct from that of the Greek colonies of Italy, is not so fully illustrated by the coins of the country, because these are for the most part of Greek design. There are, however, some remarkable exceptions, especially in the money of the Roman commonwealth, the greater number of the types of which are of a local character, including many that refer to the myths and traditions of the earliest days of the city. The coins of the empire are especially important, as bearing representations of those personifications of an allegorical character to which the influence of philosophy gave great prominence in Roman mythology. Coins are scarcely less valuable in relation to geography than to history. The position of towns on the sea or on rivers, the race of their inhabitants, and many similar particulars are Geo- positively fixed on numismatic evidence. The informa- sg aphy. tion that coins convey as to the details of the history of towns and countries has a necessary connexion with geography, as has also their illustration of local forms of worship. The representations of natural productions on ancient money are of special importance, and afford assistance to the lexicographer. This is particularly the case with the Greek coins, on which these objects are frequently portrayed with great fidelity. We must recollect, however, that the nomenclature of the ancients was vague, and frequently comprised very different objects under one appellation, and that therefore we may find very different representations corresponding to the same name. The art of sculpture, of which coin-engraving is the offspring, receives the greatest illustration from numismatics. Not only is the memory of lost statues preserved to us in the designs of ancient coins, but those of Greece afford admirable examples of that skill by which her sculptors attained their great renown. The excellence of the designs of very many Greek coins struck during the period of the best art is indeed so great that, were it not for their smallness, they would form the finest series of art-studies in the world. The Roman coins, though at no time to be compared to the purest Greek, yet represent not unworthily the Graeco-Roman art of the empire. From the accession of Augustus to the death of Commodus they are often fully equal to the best Graeco-Roman statues. This may be said, for instance, of the dupondii struck in honour of Livia by Tiberius and by the younger Drusus, of the sestertii of Agrippina, and of the Flavian emperors, and of the gold coins of Antoninus Pius and the two Faustinas, all which present portraits of remarkable beauty and excellence. The Italian medals of the Renaissance are scarcely less useful as records of the progress and characteristics of art, and, placed by the side of the Greek and Roman coins, complete the most remarkable comparative series of monuments illustrating the history of the great schools of art that can be brought together. Ancient coins throw some light upon the architecture as well as upon the sculpture of the nations by which they were struck. Under the empire, the Roman coins issued at the city very frequently bear representations of important edifices. The Greek imperial coins struck in the provinces present similar types, representing the most famous temples and other structures of their cities, •of the form of some of which we should otherwise have been wholly ignorant. The art of gem-engraving among the ancients is perhaps most nearly connected with their coinage. The subjects of coins and gems are so similar and so similarly treated that the authenticity of gems, that most difficult of archaeological questions, receives the greatest aid from the study of coins. After what has been said it is not necessary to do more than mention how greatly the study of coins tends to illustrate the Ltterseure. contemporary literature of the nations which issued them. Not only the historians, but the philosophers and the poets, are constantly illustrated by the money of their times. This was perceived at the revival of letters; and during the 17th and 18th centuries coins were very frequently engraved in the larger editions of the classics. The science of numismatics is of comparatively recent origin. The ancients do not seem to have formed collections, although they appear to have occasionally preserved individual Origin specimens for their beauty. Petrarch has the credit of the Scknce. of having been the first collector of any note; but it is probable that in his time ancient coins were already attracting no little notice. The importance of the study of all coins has since been by degrees more and more recognised, and at present no branch of the pursuit is left wholly unexplored. Besides its bearing upon the history, the religion, the manners, and the arts of the nations which have used money, the science ct>ce1 of numismatics has a special modern use in relation to Pra Use. art. Displaying the various styles of art prevalent in different ages, coins supply us with abundant means for promoting the advancement of art among ourselves. If the study of many schools be at all times of advantage, it is especially so when there is little originality in the world. Its least value is to point out the want of artistic merit and historical commemoration in modern coins, and to suggest that modern medals should be executed after some study of the rules which controlled the great works of former times. Definitions.—The following are the most necessary numismatic definitions. 1. A coin is a piece of metal of a fixed weight, stamped by authority of government, and employed as a circulating medium.' 2. A medal is a piece, having no place in the currency, struck'to commemorate some event or person. Medals are frequently comprised with coins in descriptions that apply to both equally; thus, In the subsequent definitions, by the term coins, coins and medals must generally be understood. 3. The coinage of a country is usually divided into the classes of gold, silver and bronze (copper), for which the abbreviations N, JR, and sE are employed in catalogues. In addition to these metals, and to the modifications of them created by the presence of varying amounts of alloy, certain other compounds were frequently used, notably electrum, billon, brass and potin. ' This definition excludes, on the one hand, paper currencies and their equivalents among barbarous nations, such as cowries, because they are neither of metal nor of fixed weight, although either stamped or sanctioned by authority, and, on the other hand, modes of keeping metal in weight, like the so-called Celtic " ring-money," because it is not stamped, although perhaps sanctioned by authority. The latter has attracted much attention, but it is by no means made out that the rings were made with the primary intention of serving as money. But it is a very common usage among savage or semi-savage races to wear all their wealth in the form of ornaments (as a woman may even now wear her dowry as ornaments in the form of coins) and to use the ornaments (or cut-off portions of them, " 'killings ") whenever occasion arises as a medium of exchange. These rings then were doubtless used in this manner, but they were no more money than were any other precious possessions which couldbe used in exchange. There is no good evidence for the use of the little Gaulish " wheels " as money. On these questions see Blanchet, Monn. gaul. pp. 24-29. On the border of the definition are such prehistoric " dumps " of metal as have been found at Enkomi in Cyprus and at Cnossus in Crete; one of these indeed seems to bear traces of a mark of some kind. 4. Electrum Oliver pop, Ti\EKTpoS, XEUKdS Xpuoos),acompound metallic substance, consisting of gold with a considerable alloy of silver. Pliny makes the proportion to have been four parts of gold to one of silver.2 The material of early coins of Asia Minor struck in the cities of the western coast is the ancient electrum. The amount of silver varies very considerably with time and place. Gold largely alloyed with silver, not struck by the ancient Greeks or their neighbours, should be termed pale gold, as in the case of some of the late Byzantine coins. 5. Billon, a term applied to the base metal of some Roman coins, and also to that of some medieval and modern coins. It contains about one-fifth silver to four-fifths copper. When the base silver coins are replaced by copper washed with silver the term billon becomes inappropriate. 6. Brass, a mixture of copper and zinc. It may be used as an equivalent to the orichalcum of the Romans, a fine kind of brass of which the sestertii and dupondii were struck, but it is commonly applied indiscriminately to the whole of their copper currency under the empire. 7. Potin, an alloy of copper and tin (therefore a variety of bronze) used for some late Gaulish coins. 8. Various other metallic substances have been used in coinage, including iron (in Peloponnesus) and an alloy of copper and nickel employed for some Bactrian coins. The so-called " glass coins " of the Arabs are merely coin-weights. 9. The forms of coins have greatly varied in different countries and at different periods. The usual form in both ancient and modern times has been circular, and generally of no great thickness. lo. Coins are usually measured by millimetres, or by inches and tenths, the greatest dimension being taken, or, when they are square or oval, the greatest dimension in two directions. 11. The weight of a coin is of great importance, both in determining its genuineness and in distinguishing its identity. Metric weights are used by most numismatists except in England, where troy weight is still in general use. 12. The specific gravity of a coin may be of use in determining the metals in its composition. 13. Whatever representations or characters are borne by a coin constitute its type. The subject of each side is also called a type, and, when there is not only a device but an inscription, the latter may be excluded from the term. This last is the general use. No distinct rule has been laid down as to what makes a difference of type, but it may be considered to be an essential difference, however slight. 14. A difference too small to constitute a new type makes a variety. 15. A coin is a duplicate of another when it agrees with it in all particulars but those of exact size and weight. Strictly speaking, ancient coins are rarely, if ever, duplicates, except when struck from the same pair of dies. 16. Struck coins are those on which the designs are produced by dies impressed on the blank piece (or flan) of metal by some form of hammering or pressure; they are distinguished from cast coins made by running metal into a mould. 17. Of the two sides of a coin, that is called the obverse which bears the more important device. In early Greek coins it is the convex side, or the side impressed by the lower die; in Greek and Roman imperial it is the side bearing the head ; in medieval and modern that bearing the royal effigy, or the king's name, or the name of the city; and in Oriental that on which the inscription begins. The other side is called the reverse. 18. The field of a coin is the space unoccupied by the principal devices or inscriptions. Any detached independent device or character is said to be in the field, except when it occupies the exergue. 19. The exergue is that part of the reverse of a coin which is below the main device, and distinctly separated from it; it often bears a secondary inscription. Thus, the well-known inscription CONOB occupies the exergue of the late Roman and early Byzantine gold coins. 20. The edge of a coin is the surface of its thickness. 21. By the inscription or inscriptions of a coin all the letters it bears are intended; an inscription is either principal or secondary. 22. In describing coins the terms right and left mean the right and left of the spectator, not the heraldic and military right and left, or those of the coin. 23. A bust is the representation of the head and neck; it is commonly used of such as show at least the collar-bone, other busts being called heads. A head properly means the representation of a head alone, without any part of the neck, but it is also commonly used 2 Hist. nat. xxxiii. 23; cp. xxxvii. 11. Pliny distinguishes two kinds of " electron,"—amber, and this metallic substance. In Greek poetry the name seems to apply to both, but it is generally difficult to decide which is meant in any particular case. Sophocles, however, where he mentions rdsrd EapfEwv ff XEKrpov, . Kai Tat, 'IvSucbv Xpuehv (Ant. 103g-1039), can scarcely be doubted to refer to the metallic electrum. when any part of the neck above the collar-bone is shown. The present article follows custom in the use of the terms bust and head. When the neck is clothed, the bust is said to be draped. 24. A bust or head is either facing, usually three-quarter face, or in profile, in which latter case it is described as to right or to left. Two busts may be placed in various relative positions, as jugate or confronted. 25. A bust wearing a laurel-wreath is said to be laureate. 26. A bust bound with a regal fillet (diadem) is called diademed. 27. A bust wearing a crown with rays is said to be radiate. 28. An object in the field of a coin which is neither a letter nor a monogram is usually called a symbol. This term is, however, only applicable when such an object is evidently the badge of a town or individual. The term adjunct, which is sometimes employed instead of symbol, is manifestly incorrect. 29. A mint-mark is a difference placed by the authorities of the mint upon all money struck by them, or upon each new die or separate issue. 3o. A coin is said to be " over-struck " or " re-struck " when it has been struck on an older coin, of which the types are not altogether obliterated. 31. A double-struck coin is one in which the die or dies have shifted so as to cause a double impression. 32. A coin which presents two obverse types, or two reverse types, or of which the types of the obverse and reverse do not correspond, is called a mule; it is the result of mistake or caprice. Arrangement of Coins.—No uniform system has as yet been applied to the arrangement of all coins. It is usual to separate them into the three great classes of ancient coins (comprising Greek and Roman), medieval and modern, and Oriental coins. The details of these classes have been differently treated, both generally and specially. The arrangement of the Greek series has been first geographical, under countries and towns, and then chronological, for a further division; that of the Roman series, chronological, without reference to geography; that of the medieval and modern, the same as the Greek; and that of the Oriental, like the Greek, but unsystematically—a treatment inadmissible except in the case of a single empire.. Then, again, some numismatists have separated each denomination or each metal, or have separated the denominations of one metal and not of another. There has been no general and comprehensive system, constructed upon reasonable principles, and applicable to every branch of this complicated science. Without laying down a system of rules, or criticizing former modes of arrangement, we offer the following as a classification which is uniform without being servile. 1. Greek Coins.—All coins of Greeks, or barbarians who adopted Greek money, struck before the Roman rule or under it, but without imperial effigies. The countries and their provinces are placed in a geographical order from west to east, according to the system of Eckhel, with the cities in alphabetical order under the provinces, and the kings in chronological order. The civic coins usually precede the regal, as being the more important. The coins are further arranged chronologically, the civic commencing with the oldest and ending with those bearing the effigies of Roman emperors. The gold coins of each period take precedence of the silver and the silver of the copper. The larger denominations in each metal are placed before the smaller. Coins of the same denomination and period are arranged in the alphabetical order of the magistrates' names, or the letters, &c., that they bear. 2. Roman Coins.—All coins issued by the Roman commonwealth and empire, whether struck at Rome or in the provinces. The arrangement is chronological, or, where this is better, under geographical divisions. 3. Medieval and Modern Coins of Euwflk.—All coins issued by Christian European states, their branches and colonies, from the fall of the empire of the West to the present day. This class is arranged in a geographical and chronological order, as similar as possible to that of the Greek class, with the important exception of the Byzantine coins and the coins following Byzantine systems, which occupy the first place. The reason for this deviation is that the Byzantine money may be regarded not only as the principal source of medieval coinage but as the most complete and important medieval series, extending as it does without a break throughout the middle ages. The regal coins usually precede the civic ones, as being the more important. The medals of each nation should be arranged in two series: (I) medais of rulers, according to their dates; (2) medals of private persons, as far as possible according to the artists. 4. Oriental Coins.—All coins bearing inscriptions in Eastern languages, excepting those of the Jews, Phoenicians and Carthaginians, which are classed with the Greek coins from their close connexion with them. These coins should be arranged under the following divisions: Ancient Persian, Arab, Modern Persian, Indian, Chinese and coins of the Far East. This method of arrangement will be found to be as uniform as it can be made, without being absolutely mechanical. It differs in some important particulars from most or all of those which have previously obtained; but these very differences are the result of the consideration of a complete collection, and have therefore an inductive origin. A general uniformity is no slight gain, and may well reconcile us to some partial defects. I. GREEK COINS There are some matters relating to Greek coins in general which may be properly considered before they are described in geographical order. These are their general character, the chief denominations, with the different talents of which they were the divisions, their devices and inscriptions, their art, and the mode of striking. The period during which Greek coins were issued was probably not much less than a thousand years, commencing about the beginning of the 7th century B.C. and generally ending at the death of Gallienus (A.D. 268). If classed with reference only to their form, fabric, and general appearance they are of three principal types—the archaic Greek, the ordinary Greek, and the Graeco-Roman. The coins of the first class are of silver, electrum and sometimes gold. They are thick lumps of an irregular round form, bearing on the obverse a device, with in some cases an accompanying inscription, and on the reverse a square or oblong incuse stamp (quadratum incusum), usually divided in a rude manner. The coins of the second class are of gold, electrum, silver and bronze. They are much thinner than those of the preceding class, and usually have a convex obverse and a slightly concave or flat reverse. The obverse ordinarily bears a head in bold relief. The coins of the third class are, with very few exceptions, of bronze. They are flat and broad, but thin, and generally have on the obverse the portrait of a Roman emperor. Many Greek cities, however, during the empire issued quasi-autonomous coins bearing the head of some deity or personification. Greek coins thus fail mainly into the classes of autonomous, quasi-autonomous and imperial. The coinage of Roman colonies in Greek as in other lands is usually distinguished by Latin inscriptions. Since Greek coinage originated in Asia Minor, the coins were ad- sted to the weight-systems there in use, and these go back to a Buabylonian origin. But it is possible that some of the Mone standard of Greece proper had a native origin. The unit systems of weight in the East was the shekel (siglos). This was alb of the manah (mina, mna), and this of the talent (talanton). This scale the Greeks modified, in that, starting from the siglos as unit, they invented a money-mina of 5o sigli, with a money-talent of 6o minae or 3000 sigli. The siglos-units (and corresponding standards) chiefly employed in Asia Minor were the following (the relation between gold and silver at the time of the invention of these units seems to have been 131:1) : Gold shekel, 8.4o grammes. Phoenician silver shekel, 7.44 g. ='6 of 111.72 g. of silver, which was equivalent to 8.4 g. of gold. Babylonian or Persic silver shekel, 11.17 g. =ylp of 11I.72 g. of silver, which was equivalent to 8.4 g. of gold. Thus one gold shekel was the equivalent of 15 Phoenician or Io Babylonian silver shekels. Side by side with this system was another in which the weights were exactly double of those just given; a shekel of the heavier system might be regarded as a double shekel of the lighter. Various Babylonian weights are extant, dating from 2000 B.C. downwards, which prove the existence of minae of the two systems. The gold shekel standard was almost invariably used for gold coins, sometimes also for electrum. The Babylonian and Phoenician standards were also sometimes used for gold or electrum as well as silver. A weight more or less approaching that of the gold shekel or its multiples seems to have been usual all over the civilized world in Greek times; e.g. the Phocaean standard of 16.52 g. was but a modification of it. But for silver in Greece proper, from a very early period, the following standards prevailed: the Aeginetic (unit, didrachm or stater, of 12.6 g.) and the Euboic-Attic (stater of 8.72 g.), with its modification the Corinthian. The Euboic-Attic standard attained enormous importance owing to the spread of Athenian trade and the adoption of the weight by Alexander of Macedon. It was used for both gold and silver. The Corinthian standard differed only in its divisional system, the stater being divided into thirds instead of halves. From it were derived some of the standards in use among the Greeks of S. Italy. Other standards of more local importance were : the Campanian, used in a large part of S. Italy (didrachm originally of 7.41 g., afterwards reduced), and perhaps derived from 872 the Phoenician; the Rhodian (instituted about 400 B.c., tetra-drachm about 15 g.) ; and the cistophoric (from about 200 B.C., with a tetradrachm of about 12.73 g.). Denomina- The following table exhibits the weights in grammes boas. of the principal denominations of the Greek systems The term stater is usually applied to the didrachm, but also to the tetradrachm, and at Cyrene to the drachm. The bronze standards have been less fully discussed. Some notice of them will be given under different geographical heads. In the types of Greek coins (using the term in its restricted sense) the first intention of the designers was to indicate the city or state by Types, which the money was issued. The necessity for distinctive devices was most strongly felt in the earlier days of the art, when the obverse of a coin alone bore a design, and, if any inscription, only the first letter, or the first few letters, of the name of the people by whom it was issued. Whatever may have been the original significance of the type in itself, religious or otherwise, it was adopted for the coinage—at least in the earliest times—because it was the badge by which the issuing authority was recognized. It was only with the increased complexity of the denominations in later times, when new distinguishing types had to be found, that—as in the 4th century B.c.—the religious motive in the choice of types came deliberately into play. Greek coins, if arranged according to their types, fall into three classes: (I) civic coins, and regal without portraits of sovereigns; (2) regal coins bearing portraits; and (3) Graecoclasses. Roman coins, whether with imperial heads or not. The coins of the first class have either a device on the obverse and the quadratum incusum on the reverse, or two devices; and these last are again either independent of each other, though connected by being both local, or—and this is more common—that on the reverse is a kind of complement of that on the obverse. It will be best first to describe the character of the principal kinds of types of the first class, and then to notice their relation. It must be noted that a head or bust is usually an obverse type, and a figure or group a reverse one, and that, when there is a head on both obverse and reverse, that on the former is usually larger than the other, and represents the personage locally considered to be the more important of the'two. We must constantly bear in mind that these types are local if we would understand their meaning. In the following list the types of Greek coins of cities, and of kings, not having regal portraits, are classed in a systematic order, without reference to their relative antiquity. 1. Head or figure of a divinity worshipped at the town, or by the people, which issued the coin, as the head of Athena on coins of Athens, and the figure of Heracles on coins of Boeotian Thebes. Groups are rare until the period of Graeco-Roman coinage. 2. Natural or artificial objects—(a) animal, often sacred to a divinity of the place, as the owl (Athens) and perhaps the tortoise (Aegina); (b) tree or plant, as the silphium (Cyrene) and the olive-branch (Athens); (c) arms or implements of divinities, as the arms of Heracles (Erythrae), the tongs of Vulcan (Aesernia). It is difficult to connect many objects comprised in this class with local divinities. Some of them, as the tunny at Cyzicus, are doubtless only so connected because the chief industry of a place was placed under the tutelage of its chief divinity. 3. Head or figure of a local genius—(a) river-god, as the Gelas (Gela); (b) nymph of a lake, as Camarina (Camarina); (c) nymph of a fountain, as Arethusa (Syracuse). 4. Head or figure of a fabulous personage or half-human monster, as a Gorgon (Neapolis Macedoniae), the Minotaur (Cnossus). 5. Fabulous animal, as Pegasus (Corinth), a griffin (Panticapaeum), the Chimaera (Sicyon). 6. Head or figure of a hero or founder, as Ulysses (Ithaca), the[GREEK COINS Lesser Ajax (Locri Opuntii), Taras, founder of Tarentum (Tarentum). 7. Objects local hero, as public religious festivals and contests, as at the Olympic games (Syracuse). The relation of the types of the obverse and reverse of a coin is a matter requiring careful consideration, since they frequently . illustrate one another. As we have before observed, this relation is either that of two independent objects, which are connected only by their reference to the same place, or the one is a kind of complement of the other. Among coins illustrating the former class we may instance the beautiful silver didrachms of Camarina, having on the obverse the head of the river-god Hipparis and on the reverse the nymph of the lake carried over its waters by a swan, and those of Sicyon, having on the obverse the Chimaera and on the reverse a dove. The latter class is capable of being separated into several divisions. When the head of a divinity occurs on the obverse of a coin, the reverse is occupied by an object or objects sacred to that divinity. Thus the common Athenian tetra-drachms have on the one side the head of Athene and on the other an owl and an olive-branch; the tetradrachms of the Chalcidians in Macedonia have the head of Apollo and the lyre; and the copper coins of Erythrae have the head of Heracles and his weapons. The same is the case with subjects relating to the heroes: thus there are drachms of the Aetolian League which have on the obverse the head of Atalanta and on the reverse the Calydonian boar, or his jaw-bone and the spear-head with which he was killed. In the same manner the coins of Cnossus, with the Minotaur on the obverse, have on the reverse a plan of the Labyrinth. Besides the two principal devices there are often others of less importance, which, although always sacred, and sometimes symbols of local divinities, are generally indicative of the position of the town, or have some reference to the families of magistrates who used them as badges. Thus, for example, besides such representations as the olive-branch sacred to Athene on the Athenian tetradrachms, as a kind of second device dolphins are frequently seen on coins of maritime places; and almost every series exhibits many symbols which can only be the badges of the magistrates with whose names they occur. Regal coins of this class, except Alexander's, usually bear types of a local character, owing to the small extent of most of the kingdoms, which were rather the territories of a city than considerable states at the period when these coins were issued. The second great class—that of coins of kings bearing portraits —is necessarily separate from the first. Religious feeling affords the clue to the long exclusion of regal portraits—the feeling that it would be profane for a mortal to take RePorgaitra,itswith . a place always assigned hitherto to the immortals. Were there any doubt of this, it would be removed by the character of the earliest Greek regal portrait, that of Alexander, which occurs on coins of Lysimachus. This is not the representation of a living personage, but of one who was not only dead but had received a kind of apotheosis, and who, having been already called the son of Zeus Ammon while living, had been treated as a divinity after his death. He is therefore portrayed as a young Zeus Ammon. Probably, however, Alexander would not have been able, even when dead, thus to usurp the place of a divinity upon the coins, had not the Greeks become accustomed to the Oriental " worship " of the sovereign, which he did not discourage. This innovation rapidly produced a complete change; every king of the houses which were raised on the ruins of the Greek empire could place his portrait on the Types of Civic, &c., Coins. Gold Shekel Babylonian Phoenician. Aeginetic. Euboic-Attic. System. or Persic. Double shekel, distater or tetradrachm 16.80 22.40 14'92 25'20 17'44 Shekel, stater or didrachm . 8'4o II.20 7'46 12.60 8.72 Hemistater or drachm 4.20 5.60 3'73 6.30 4'36 Third or tetrobol 2.80 3.73 2'49 4'48 2.92 Twelfth or obol 0.70 0.93 o•62 1.12 0.73 connected with heroes—animal connected with the Calydonian boar or his jaw-bone (Aetolians). 8. Celebrated real or traditional sacred localities, as mountains on which divinities are seated, the labyrinth (Cnossus). 9. Representations connected with the a chariot victorious money which he issued, and few neglected to do so, while the sovereigns of Egypt and Syria even assumed divine titles. The reign of Alexander produced another great change in Greek coinage, very different from that we have noticed. He suppressed the local types almost throughout his empire, and compelled the towns to issue his own money, with some slight difference for mutual distinction. His successors followed the same policy; and thus the coins of this period have a new character. The obverses of regal coins with portraits have the head of the sovereign, which in some few instances gives place to that of his own or his country's tutelary divinity, while figures of the latter sort almost exclusively occupy the reverses. Small symbols, letters, and monograms on the reverses distinguish the towns in this class. The Graeco-Roman coins begin, at different periods, with the seizure by Rome of the territories of the Greek states. They are almost all bronze; and those in that metal are the Rraeco most characteristic and important. In their types we Roman. . see a further departure from the religious intention of those of earlier times in the rare admission of representations, not only of eminent persons who had received some kind of apotheosis, such as great poets, but also of others who, although famous, were not, and in some cases probably could not have been, so honoured. We also observe on these coins many types of an allegorical character. The following principal kinds of types may be specified, in addition to those of the two previous classes. (I) Head or figure of a famous personage who either had received a kind of apotheosis, as Homer (Smyrna), or had not been so honoured, as Herodotus (Halicarnassus) and Lais (Corinth). (2) Pictorial representations, always of a sacred character, although occasion-ally bordering on caricature. We may instance, as of the latter sort, a very remarkable type representing Athene playing on the double pipe and seeing her distorted face reflected in the water, while Marsyas gazes at her from a rock—a subject illustrating the myth of the invention of that instrument (Apamea Phrygiae). (3) Allegorical types, as Hope, &c., on the coins of Alexandria of Egypt, and many other towns. These were of Greek origin, and owed their popularity to the sculpture executed by Greeks under the empire; but the feeling which rendered such subjects prominent was not that of true Greek art, and they are essentially characteristic of the New Attic school which attained its height at Rome under the early emperors. There is a class of coins which is always considered as part of the Graeco-Roman, although in some respects distinct. This is the colonial series, struck in Roman coloniae, and having almost always Latin inscriptions. As, however, these coloniae were towns in all parts of the empire, from Emerita in Spain (Merida) to Bostra in Arabia, in the midst of a Greek population and often of Greek origin, their coins help to complete the series of civic money, and, as we might expect, do not very markedly differ from the proper Greek imperial coins except in having Latin inscriptions and showing a preference for Roman types. We have now to speak of the meaning of the inscriptions of Greek coins. These are either principal or secondary; but the former InscNp- are always intended when inscriptions are mentioned Jnscri without qualification, since the secondary ones are non- dons. The inscription of civic money is almost always the name of the people by which it was issued, in the genitive plural, as AOHNAISIN on coins of the Athenians, EYPAKOEIf1N on coins of the Syracusans, or the name of the city in the genitive singular, as AKPAI'ANTOE at Agrigentum. The inscription of regal money is the name, or name and title, of the sovereign in the genitive, as AAE ANAPOY, or BAEIAECIE AAE,ANAPOY, on coins of Alexander the Great. Instead of this genitive an adjective is sometimes found, as 'Apea&iKbv on early Arcadian coins, 'AXE vbpsros on staters of Alexander of Pherae. This genitive or adjectival form implies a nominative understood, which has been generally supposed to be vopavpa " money," or the name of some denomination. There are a few instances in which a nominative of this kind is expressed on coins—cPAENOE EMI EHMA, " I am the badge of Phaeno (?) or Phanes " on an archaic Ionian coin; FOPTYNOE TO IIAIMA, " the striking, struck piece, or type of Gortys "; 4'AIETION TO IIAIMA EEYOA APrYPION (silver money), or KOMMA (" striking " or " struck piece ") ; and KOTYOM
End of Article: NUMISMATICS (Lat. numisma, nomisma, a coin; from the Greek, derived from voj4 u', to use according to law)
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