Coin of the Month

January 2023: Happy New Year 2023 with Elaious on the Thracian Chersones!

The Coin of this Month is presented by Angela Berthold

The Corpus Nummorum team wishes everyone a happy New Year! May it be filled with joy and health! Also in 2023 we continue our tradition of celebrating each month by a new coin type carefully selected by our team.

Elaious, originally an Aeolian foundation of the 7th century BC, became already in the middle of the 6th century BC an Athenian Apoikia as ceramic evidence shows. The city was almost at the southernmost point of the Thracian Chersonese, at the entrance to the Dardanelles, and thus had a very important port. Our January 2023 Coin of the Month dates to the city's first minting period in pre-Roman times, which is usually from the middle of the 4th century B.C. to 281 BC is set.

The motifs of the bronze coin in the largest denomination refer to the city in various ways. The name of the city, from the Greek word η ἐλαία for ‘olive’, is represented by the depiction of the olive wreath on the reverse accompanied by an abbreviation of the city’s name. The obverse motif of the prow may refer to Protesilaos, whose Heroon was in Elaious or in its immediate vicinity. The Thessalian prince, Protesilaos, was one of the suitors of Helen and was also the first commander to set foot on the soil of Asia Minor when the Greeks entered the Trojan War. An oracle had predicted that the first one to land would be the first to die. Protesilaos was killed by Aeneas and buried near Elaious. The city’s Roman coinage features him armed and standing on the prow of the ship, ready to jump ashore (e.g. 6410).

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