Moneta Gallery Coin Museum



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Pamphylia - Aspendos
Pamphylia - Aspendos

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Moneta



Registered: August 2005
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 1,928
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Aspendos was a Greek colony on the West coast of Anatolia (Turkey). This is the famous scene that shows games, similar to the Olympics, held in that area. There are several varieties of these but all I have for a reference is Sear [Asia & Africa] and I believe the closest example there is S 5387. The obverse side is the one with the wrestlers. This type should be wrestler on left grasps w/ right hand his opponents left leg and with left punches his stomach; on the right the wrestler grasps his opponents arms, but it's not all that clear here. The reverse side with slinger has the longer legend behind [EΣTF]EΔII[VΣ] (magistrate name upward to left and a triskeles in field before; slinger in throwing stance right, triskeles to right, all within pelleted square border.
This one has very nice style and preservation. This stater was struck between 410 - 385 B.c. and is about 10.9 gm. silver. S 5387; B.M.C. 19.95, 15; SNG Paris 105; SNG von Aulock 4565; BMC 35.
Free eBook: The Olympics - How They All Began [ link ]


From a ROMA Numismatics Auction catalog [Sept 2019, Lot #644]: Pamphylia, Aspendos AR Stater. Circa 400-370 BC. Two wrestlers beginning to grapple with each other / ΕΣ]ΤFΕΔΙΙ[ΥΣ], slinger striding right,
preparing to launch sling-bolt; triskeles to right.
Coins depicting a pair of wrestlers were first issued by Aspendos beginning circa 400 BC, and continued to be struck until they were replaced by
Alexander’s ‘universal’ currency in the 320s. These wrestler coins replaced the earlier types, which had generally featured a militaristic obverse
depicting a hoplite warrior or cavalryman, with a triskeles or boar upon the reverse.
The wrestler coins may seemingly be divided into two broad groups: the first, clearly minted earlier, shows a great deal of variation in the posture of
the wrestlers; the second shows the wrestlers always in the same stances. This second group was in all probability inaugurated by an issue (von Aulock
4568) bearing the inscription MENETΥΣ EΛΥΨA, which Hill (NC 1920, pp. 115-116 ) interprets as the names of the two wrestlers: Menetos and
Elypsa. The obvious conclusion is that the wrestlers depicted represent a commemorative statue group erected at Aspendos, with the first group of coins
struck after the event commemorated, but before it was set in stone, and the second group with its unchanging stances being struck after the completion
of the statue group. The reason for such a work is uncertain however. It is possible that one of Apendos’ citizens was victorious at the Olympic games,
since such victories are believed to have inspired coin types on more than one occasion (at Messana and on Philip II of Macedon’s coinage). It is also
known however that games were instituted at Aspendos in 402 BC, and that they represented a revival of an earlier festival. In any case, the prominence
of this type, which endured on their coins for over a century, suggests it was of particular significance to the city, and the importance of this coinage in
the region was such that the city of Selge in Pisidia issued a series of its own staters in the 4th century that clearly imitated Aspendos’ coinage.
· Date: August 5, 2012 · Views: 2,538 · Filesize: 36.6kb, 90.9kb · Dimensions: 860 x 474 ·
Keywords: Wrestlers olympics

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