Topography and History
Even today, identifying the location of the ancient Agathopolis/Agathokleia proves problematic. In addition to a localization on the Thracian Chersonese,1 a location between Abdera and Maroneia has long been discussed, and an equalization with the modern Achtopol on the Black Sea coast has also been considered.2 K.J. Rigsby not only sees the city’s locale as problematic, but also doubts the name Agathopolis itself. In his opinion, the abbreviated beginning of the city name in the coinage may instead be more likely to complement Agathokleia.3
Minting System and Typology
The attribution of all coins with an abbreviation of ΑΓ/ΑΓΑ/ΑΓΑΘΟ to a single mint may be questionable because of inconsistencies in image motifs and weight. The obverse of the bronzes features a man’s head to the right, short-haired and wearing a diadem. They are connected to a reverse motif showing the legend within a wreath, which is possibly divided into two weight categories;4 another reverse motif of an owl with two different weight categories;5 and, finally, to one further motif featuring a double-headed owl in one weight category.6 This obverse motif is also connected to a winged 7 or a caduceus8 on the reverse. There is also a barbarized version of the type with the legend in the wreath.9
There are also coins that have a monogram instead of the portrait on the obverse10 and can be linked to the male heads by a wreath and legend on the reverse.11 The monogram can be resolved to ΑΓΑΘΟ, and these coins are addressed as Chalkoi by S. Psoma and K. Chryssanthaki-Nagle. Specimens have been found in Maroneia and Abdera,12 indicating that they were minted in Thrace. Chryssanthaki-Nagle assumes that they were produced in Maroneia, which was temporarily renamed Agathokleia by Lysimachos in honour of his son. Based on the excavation finds, further bronzes with Maroneian motifs (horse protomo/grape) and the legend ΑΓ/ΑΓΑ are attributed to this phase of renaming.13
Due to the numerous uncertainties in connection with the coins featuring ΑΓ/ΑΓΑ, especially in the coin trade, there are allocations of coins that are not able to be exactly localized.14 O. Tekin and A. Erol ÖzdIzbay, among others, point out that it is likely that several places had been renamed for a short period of time, and so not every coin that features this abbreviated legend must necessarily be assigned to the Thracian Agathokleia.15
Our type catalogue represents the state of research from August 2019 and does not take into consideration any coin types that have become known later. Further information, especially about new types, is always welcome.
CN_Type7769 and CN_Type6417. The latter strongly resembles the broze types of Ainos. An assignment to Agathopolis/Agathokleia must remain unclear. This is based on the assignment in the Berlin Coin Cabinet. ↑
Chryssanthaki-Nagle 2005, 47–50. ↑
Psoma 2008, 207. ↑
cn.Maroneia.2458. In CN under Maroneia, also with E. Schönert-Geiss, but erroneously there with the legend MA. ↑
For instance https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=4947828 (Heracles head/eagle, from RPC IV online 9948 temporary, but Thyatira in Lydia, see https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/search/browse?q=9948) or: https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=3665612 (Athena head/unclear motif). Head/wreath but only A or an unidentifiable letter, e.g. https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=3181659 and https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=6107138. ↑
Tekin – Özdlzbay 2011, with discussion of further locations, especially in Mysia and Ionia for the reverse with owls. ↑
- Borrell 1841–1842 = H.P. Borrell, Unedited Autonomous and Imperial Greek Coins, Numismatic Chronicle 4, 841–1842, 1–11.
- Chryssanthaki-Nagle 2005 = K. Chryssanthaki-Nagle, Les bronzes au monogramme [A], Revue numismatique 161, 2005, 47–50.
- Psoma 2008 = S. Psoma - C. Karadima - D. Terzopoulou - M. Tassaklaki - V. Psilakakou, The Coins from Maroneia and the Classical City at Molyvoti : A Contribution to the History of Aegean Thrace (Athen 2008), 207–211.
- Psoma 2009 = S. Psoma, Agathocles Son of Lysimachos in Thrace and Asia Minor. The Numismatic Evidence, in O. Tekin (Hg.), Ancient History, Numismatics and Epigraphy in the Mediterranean World. Studies in Memory of Clemens E. Bosch and Sabahat Atlan and in Honour of Nezahat Baydur (Istanbul 2009), 309–320.
- Rigsby 2005 = K.J. Rigsby, Agathopolis and Doulopolis, in: Epigraphica Anatolica 38, 2005, 109–112.
- Stancomb 1998 = W. M. Stancomb, Agathopolis: A Mint on the Black Sea Coast, in: R. Ashton - S. Hurter (Hrsg.), Studies in Greek Numsimatics in Memory of M.J. Price, 1998, 335–338.
- Tekin 2011 = O. Tekin - A. Erol ÖzdIzbay, Two Numismatic Examples for a Certain Agathoclea / Agathopolis, in: H. Sahin u.a. (Hrsg.), Studies Presented to Mehmet and Nesrin Ozsait (Istanbul, 2011) 393–396.