The coinage of Apollonia and Dyrrhachium:
The other Illyrian coinages
2 February 2017
Contents of this page
- Illyrian kings
- Literature references
The territory "Illyria" refers to a not well defined area on the Eastern coastland of the Adriatic, including a rich archipelago and the adjacent mainland, where Illyrian tribes lived. Some parts became colonized by Greek city states, like Apollonia and Dyrrhachium by Corcyra (herself a Greek colony); or the islands Issa and Pharos, close to the mouth of the Neretva river, by Diodorus of Syracuse around 385 BC. They were sailors and traders, some were living from piracy.Their relation to the growing Roman Republic varied from time to time; some became allies ("friends"), or faught against the Romans. Some territiries issued coins, mainly in bronze, seldom in silver. A ship is a frequent device on the reverse.
The legends are in Greek; the ethnic is in the genitive plural like ΑΜΑΝΤΩΝ, ΒΥΛΛΙΩΝ, ΔΑΟΡΣΩΝ, ΗΡΑΚΛ[...], ΛΑΒΙΑΤΑΝ, ΛΙΣΣΙΤΑΝ, ΣΚΟΔΡΙΝΩΝ, ΩΡΙΚΙΩΝ,etc. The expansion of Rome gradually conquered all these territories, and by the first Roman emperors, all they lost independence.
Some of the Illyrian leaders' names are also known from coins spelt in Greek (in genitive singular); sometimes with the title as king. Their relationship with the Romans varied, too.
- Monunius (ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΟΝΟΥΝΙΟΥ) occupied Dyrrhachium and minted cow/calf-double stellate pattern staters there around 280 BC, see in the Cow/calf type staters chapter.
- Genthius (ΓΕΝΘΙΟΥ) was defeated by the Romans in the Third Illyrian war in 168/167 BC; this ended the Illyrian Kingdom; the city states became Roman protectorates.
- Ballaeus issued coins in Rhizon bearing his name without title (ΒΑΛΛΑΙΟΥ); and later in Pharos as king (ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑΛΛΑΙΟΥ).
I have not studied the coinage of these tribes myself, therefore I call your attention at recent publications, which give you more information on geography, history, archaeology, and coinage. The list below is in the alphabetical order of the authors.
- Bonačiċ Mandiniċ, M. Greek coins displayed in the Archaeological Museum Split. Split, 2004
- Dragičević, I. Daorsi coins and a contribution to the understanding of the circulation of coinage in Daorsi territory. Vjesnik za arheologiju i historiju dalmatinsku. 109 (2016) 107-128
- Jelićić Radonić, J, Katić, M. Faros - osnivanje antičkog grada I. [Pharos - the foundation of the ancient City 1.]. In Croatian, with extensive summary in English. Kniževni Krug Split. Filozofski Fakultet Sveučilista u Splitu. Split, 2015
- Paškvan, S. Prijedlog za novu kronologiju kovanja Ballaiosevih emisija hvarskog (Pharos) i risanskog (Rhizon) tipa. [Suggestion for a new chronology of the coinage of Ballaios issues of Hvar (Pharos) and Risan (Rhizon) types]. Proceedings of the 1st International Numismatical Congress in Croatia, 12-15.10.1995. Opatija, 1996
- Šašel Kos, M. The Illyrian king Ballaeus - some historical aspects. In: Épire, Illyrie, Macédonie... Mélanges offerts au Professeur Pierre Cabanes. Centre de Recherches sur les Civilisations Antiques (CRCA). Presses Universitaires Blaise Pascal. Clermont-Ferrand (France), 2007
- Ujes, D. Novac "kralja" Balajosa i risanske kovnice iz Narodnog muzeja u Beogradu. Numizmatičar 16 (1993) 5-35
- Ujes, D. Monete di Ballaios dall'Ermitage di San Pieterburgo. Rivista italiana di numismatica e scienze affini 17 (1996) 37-41