Coin of the Month

September 2023: A New Magistrate of Abydos

The Coin of this Month is presented by Vladimir Stolba

Abydos, the Milesian foundation on the Asian shore of the Hellespont, boasts probably the most interesting and variegated, yet still insufficiently studied, coinage in the Troad, which continues to delight us with new finds.

The specimen selected as our COM for September 2023 belongs to the group of silver coins struck on the Chian weight standard and dating roughly to the middle of the fourth century BC. On the coins of this group represented by different denominations, the obverse invariably depicts the head of Apollo while the reverse shows an eagle with closed wings supplemented by the city-ethnic ABY. Various symbols and magistrate names that accompany the principal design designate different issues within the group. Written usually in full, these names constitute an invaluable source for the city’s prosopography. This is exactly in that regard the new drachm presented here is interesting for us. Although it has emerged on the market in 2014, it has not been properly integrated in the studies on the city’s history and coinage. The magistrate name ΦΙΛΩΝΙΔΗΣ appearing on its reverse is by no means rare, attested in LGPN on 157 occasions. Yet this is the first time we find it in Abydos and in the Troad as a whole. Given the fact that for the entire population of Abydos LGPN lists only 151 individuals, any new addition is highly valuable.

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