The coinage of Apollonia and Dyrrhachium:

Bronze coins

18 April 2021

Contents of this page

  1. Introduction
  2. Apollonia
  3. Dyrrhachium

1. Introduction

Bronze coins were the small change for the everyday transactions. Because of the low intrinsic value, they were not accepted outside the borders of the local administration. Despite the monetary alliance of Apollonia and Dyrrhachium for the cow-calf type silver coins (both during the era of the staters and the drachms), their bronze coins have town-specific features and different weight standards; and do not occur intermixed in hoards. The exact chronology of the Illyrian bronze coins has not been worked out satisfactorily.

Bronze coins corrode easily in aggressive (acidic) soil unless a resistant patina protects them. Few pieces have been preserved in fully identifiable condition.

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2. Apolloniate bronze coins

All Apolloniate bronze coins display the ethnic in full, ΑΠΟΛΛΩΝΙΑΤΑΝ. Beware, if the last vowel is omega, the coin was not produced in Illyrian Apollonia.

  1. Artemis - tripodArtemis-tripod

    Obv. Head of Artemis to right. Monogram behind neck. Rev. Tripod within laurel wreath. AΠOΛΛΩ/NIATAN (APOLLO/NIATAN). BMC 47.

  2. Demeter/tripod
  3. Dionysos/cornucopia
  4. Apollo/obelisk
  5. Apollo/lyre
  6. Athena/thunderbolt
  7. Apollo/three nymphs
  8. Roman prvincional types

The Apollo/obelisk and the Apollo/lyre types are present in the Dimalla hoard in two different modules. Those displaying head of Apollo to left with name anticlockwise left in field on the obverse and border of dots on the reverse, and the Apollo/three nymphs types are dealt with in the Apollo denar; the provincial types in the Roman provincial issues chapters.

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3. Dyrrhachium

  1. Zeus/tripod. Obv. Head of Zeus to r. Rev. Tripod lebes between name in two parts, ΔΥΡ below. This is the most frequent Dyrrhachian bronze type. Almost all known varieties were found in a temple urn, see the Elbasan hoard.Since the names correspond with those found on the reverse of the cow/calf type silver drachms (several eponymous persons from Class D2 till D5), I conclude that these bronze pieces were the small change of the drachms.
  2. Herakles/bow, club, and quiver. Smaller mould. Obv. Head of young Heracles wearing lion skin facing L or R. Rev. Bow, club, and quiver, in various arrangement. Legend can be ΔΥΡ; sometimes within the strung bow. Rarely, a name can also appear.
  3. Helios/prow
  4. Aphrodite/eagle
  5. Nike/palm and bunch of grapes

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