Coinage of the two Greek-Illyrian city states

Apollonia and Dyrrhachium

By Gyula Petrányi

General debugging: 23 October 2018; for chapter review dates see Contents panel

The coinage of Apollonia and Dyrrhachium is a less known area in ancient numismatics. Founded by Corcyra, these city states on the east coast of the Adriatic produced parallel series of similar coins during the first four centuries B.C. Except from the probably earliest coin series (the Pegasus-type Corinthian staters), the characteristic coins of Apollonia and Dyrrhachium display devices adopted from Corcyra: the cow with suckling calf on the obverse and a symmetrical geometrical pattern on the reverse, beginning with the staters. The longer, better known drachma series was minted from the end of the 3rd c B.C. until the mid-1st c. under Roman protectorate. The coin above is a typical silver drachma from Apollonia around 64 B.C. Various and town-specific bronze coins were also produced throughout. A large number of cow-calf type drachms from the last phase of their production arrived in the North-East Balkan area, causing much speculation about their role in these far territories.

Following the drachma series and now under direct Roman rule, only Apollonia minted coins. First, the Apollo denar series and fractions in the weight of the post-reform standard of Augustus (23 B.C.); with head of Apollon on the obverse and three dancing nymphs on the reverse. Much later, some roman emperors issued provincial bronze coins in Apollonia.

The most elaborate part of this website is on the cow/calf type drachms; but this spring, I found lots of interesting, so far unpublished pieces upon which I re-worked the Bronze issues, the Apollo denar series, and the Countermarks chapters - see the actual dates in the Contents panel.

Many aspects of the Illyrian coinage in the following pages are based on my obervations and scientific methodology; contrasted with other views and stipulation. I am open for debate, send me an email with your counter-arguments, questions, and suggestions.

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