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Coin Typology of

Orthagoria *

Topography and History

The localization of Orthagoria is still uncertain today; it was formerly often located in Macedonia. 1  This claim has been doubted first by H. Gaebler and since then by many others, and the city has been relocated to somewhere along the Thracian coast. 2  Following Strabo, 3  it is usually believed that it was located east of Maroneia, 4  but, according to Pliny, Orthagoria was the older name of Maroneia. 5 

  1. Dazu ausführlich Chryssanthaki-Nagle 2004, 57–59.
  2. Gaebler 1925, 212–213: Orthagoria was not in the Chalcidice, but east of Maroneia in the locale of modern-day Makri. See also the article on Zone, which is also suspected to have been at this location.
  3. Strab. 7a.1.48.
  4. Robert 1940, 87–90; Lazaridis 1972, 40.158, 46.164; Pantos 1983, 171.27 and Isaac 1986, 123.
  5. Plin. NH 4.42.

Coin Production und Metrology

The name of the city has been handed down through coinage. In addition to the stater (double sigloi or didrachm; around 9.5–10.99 g, 22–24 mm) 1  and the ½-stater (hemisiglos or hemidrachm; 2.00–2.89 g, 13–16 mm), 2  Head of Artemis/Helmet types are also known in bronze. 3  The bronzes portray an Apollo head to the right and a helmet on the reverse. By weight, diameter, and iconography, they are likely, as suggested by S. Psoma, to be separated into two types: Hemiobols with an average diameter of ca. 12–14 mm, where Apollo has short hair; 4  und tetartemoria/chalkoi with an average diameter of 10–11, where Apollo has long hair. 5  The legend ΟΡΘΑΓΟΡΕΩΝ is present on the reverse of all types. 6  The silver emissions follow the Persian standard, based on the siglos weighing 5.35 g. Accordingly, Orthagoria coined double sigloi or didrachms with a weight of 10.7 g and hemidrachms weighing 2.67 g.

The coinage can be dated to the 4th century BC and fits in iconographically with the emissions of Philip of Macedon. 7  Therefore, Chryssanthaki-Nagle suggests dating it to 348/7 BC at the earliest. She dates the emission of the largest denomination, the didrachm, slightly later to the end of the 4th century BC and suggests that all three denominations were minted until the beginning of the 3rd century BC.

Coins from Orthagoria were found during the excavations of Abdera and Zone and were very numerous in Maroneia. 8 

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.

  1. CN_Type2237, CN_Type6718 is lighter than the lowest weight given by K. Chryssanthaki-Nagle for this nominal level.
  2. CN_Type2238 Also referred to in the literature as stater and triobol or fifth, Psoma 2008, 193–207.
  3. In the Parisian pieces, another type is present (Frontal Head/Rider r.), but was probably falsely assigned to Orthagoria and could possibly be from Pharsalos (BNF Fonds général, 892).
  4. CN_Type2239.
  5. CN_Type5749 Psoma 2008, 79–86.
  6. Gaebler 1925, 212–213, names a further type (Nr. 5, Taf. 18, 25, with Head of Artemis to r./Feathered Helmet) that was falsely assigned by Sestini Orthagoia. It is, in reality, a type of Zakynthos. Hoover (2016, 221 Nr. 601) has, in turn, adopted this type (BMC Taf. XX, 13, Peloponnes) as Bust of Hermes/Macedonian Helmet for Orthagoria with reference to Gaebler 1925.
  7. Hoover 2016: 350 BC or later.
  8. Psoma 2008, 194.

Bibliography

  • Chryssanthaki-Nagle 2004 = K. Chryssanthaki-Nagle, Le monnayage d’orthagoreia, Revue Numismatique 160, 2004, 49–62.
  • Gaebler 1925 = H. Gaebler, Zur Münzkunde Makedoniens: VI. Die Prägung der Stadt Olynthos und des chalkidischen Bundes / Die Lage von Orthagoria, Zeitschrift für Numismatik 35, 1925,193–216, hier 212–213.
  • Gaebler 1935 = H. Gaebler, Die antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands 3,2: Die antiken Münzen von Makedonia und Paionia (Berlin 1935), S. 92–93.
  • Hoover 2016 = O.D. Hoover, Handbook of Coins of Macedon and Its Neighbors. Part I: Macedon, Illyria, and Epeiros, Sixth to First Centuries BC, The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series, Volume 3 (Lancaster/London 2016), S. 221 Nr. 601.
  • Isaac 1986 = B. Isaac, The Greek Settlements in Thrace until the Macedonian Conquest (Leiden 1986), S.123.
  • Psoma 2008 = S. Psoma, Orthagoreia, a Macedonian Foundation in Thrace, in: S. Psoma – C. Karadima – D. Terzopoulou (Hrsg.), The Coins from Maroneia and the Classical City at Molyvoti (Athen 2008) 193–207 (Fundmünzen: S. 30 Molyvoti Halbinsel, S. 79–86 hellenistisches und römisches Maroneia).

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