The coinage of Apollonia and Dyrrhachium:
New thoughts: 3 August 2018
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Bronze coins were the small change for the everiday transactions. Because of the low intrincic value, they were not accepted outside the borders of the local administration. This applies also to Apollonia and Dyrrhachion: dispite their alliance for the cow-calf type silver coins (both for the staters and the drachms), their bronze coins have town-specific features and different weight standards. They do not occur together in hoards, therefore these are discussed separately. 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 for gradual dissolution. Few pieces have been preserved in fully identifiable condition.
2. Apolloniate bronze coins
All Apolloniate bronze coins display the ethnic in full, ΑΠΟΛΛΩΝΙΑΤΑΝ. If the last vowel is omega, the coin was not produced in Illyrian Apollonia.
- Artemis - tripod
Obv. Head of Artemis to right. Monogram behind neck. Rev. Tripod within laurel wreath. AΠOΛΛΩ/NIATAN (APOLLO/NIATAN). BMC 47.
The Apollo/obelisk and the Apollo/lyre types are present in the Dimalla hoard (see Further reading) in two different modules. Those dislapying head Apollo to left, a name left in field, inward (anticlockwise) on the obverse, and border of dots on the reverse, are dealt with in the Apollo denar chapter, because they belong to the Apollo denar series, minted after the Augustan coinage reform in 23 B.C in the Roman imperial standard. However, some of the types listed above could remain in circulation until then.
- 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 in Further reading. Since the names correspond with those found on the reverse of the cow/calf type silver drachms (several eponymous persons from Dyr Class 2 till Dyr Cass 5), I conclude that these bronze pieces were small change of the drachms. There average weight is around ... g and the diametre is around ... mm.
- Herakles/bow, club, and quiver. Rare, smaller pieces. 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.
- Nike/palm and bunch of grapes