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Catalogue of the Greek coins
in the British Museum

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This volume of the Catalogue of Greek Coins describes the money
of the Ptolemies, It forms part of the series devoted to the coinage
of Alexander's successors, of which the Catalogue of the Coins of
the Seleucidae has already appeared.

The diflSculties of the production of this work have been very
great; but they have been lightened by generous aid which is here
gratefully acknowledged. M. Eevillout, of the Egyptian Depart-
ment in the Louvi*e, has afforded valuable information on dis-
puted points of chronology, and M. J. P. Six, of Amsterdam, on
the order of the coinage, while Mr, Head and Professor Gardner
have assisted in the revision. To M. Feuardent, of Paris, the author's
thanks are due for affording him the opportunity of examining and
'publishing rare coins, particularly from the collection of M. De-
metrio, of Alexandria, whose liberality in the matter deserves espe-
cial acknowledgment.


British Museum.
November, 1882.

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Preface v

List of Plates xi

Intboduction : —

§ 1. Abbangement.

Principles of Classification xiii

Ptolemy I. First Coinage, not here represented. Second,
Attic Third, Attic and Rhodian. Fourth, Ehodian.
Gold stater of Cyrene. Local Coinage of Ptolemy.
Monetary reform under Ptolemy as king. Phoeni-
cian standard finally adopted for gold and silver.
Coins of Ptolemy as king. Discussion of earliest
Ptolemaic regal coins. G roup with title king ; mostly
with A. Group with title Soter, of Phoenicia, struck
under Ptolemy II. and III. Title Soter dates from
25th year of Ptolemy II. B.C. 261-0. Coins with
A, partly of Philadelphus, his First Coinage; partly
of Ptolemy I., his Sixth. Coins without A , Fifth
Coinage of Ptolemy I. Coinage of Cyrenaica dis-
cussed; of Ptolemy I. and II; Magas governor, king,
a second time governor . . . - . xv

Ptolemy II. First General Coinage. Monetary change
in middle of reign. Cyprus, Second Coinage.
Buckler as symbol. Phoenicia, First and Second
Coinages. Title Soter. New copper coinage of
Phoenicia and Egypt . . . . . . xxxii

Ptolemy 11. and Arsinoe II. with Ptolemy I. and
Berenice I. Medallic issues of Philadelphus. Coins
with four portraits. Later issues .... xxxviii

Arsinoe 11. Variety of types. Later issues . . xxxix

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Ptolemy III. Cyprus, First Coinage ; Second. Phoenicia,
First Coinage ; Second ; Third. Egypt, First
Coinage ; Second. Cornucopiae as symbol. Cyre-
naica zlii

Berenice II. Import of title ^aa-tXtxra-a, Cyrenaica . xlv

Note on coins of Cyrene with inscription KOI N ON . xlvii

Ptolemy IV. Cyprus, Ordinary currency ; Dionysiac

silver. Phoenicia, First Coinage ; Second. Egypt xlix

Arsinoe III. . liii

Ptolemy V., Epiphanes. Cyprus, beginning of series of
dated tetradrachms; their arrangement. Coins of
Epiphanes, Cyprus; Phoenicia; Egypt; Cyrenaica,
Types liii

Ptolemy VI., Philometor. Regency of Cleopatra L,
Cyprus; Egypt; Cyrenaica. Classification of Cyprian
currencies of Philometor and Physcon. Mint-letters
PA used for Paphos and at Alexandria. Regency
of Eulaeus and Lenaeus; Cyprus; Egypt. Usurpa-
tion of Antiochus IV.; Egypt. Joint reign of
Philometor and Physcon, Cyprus ; Egypt ; Cyre-
naica. Sole reign of Philometor, Cyprus ; Phoe-
nicia; Egypt lix

Ptolemy VI. and Ptolemy VII., Eupator . . . Ixvi

Ptolemy VIII., Euergetes 11. (Physcon), Cyrenaica.
Alexandrian mint. Sole reign after Philometor,
Cyprus; Egypt. Coregency, Cyprus; Egypt . Ixviii

Ptolemy VIII. and Ptolemy IX., Philopator II. . . Ixxii

Uncertain Coins of, and anterior to, the period of
Ptolemy VI. and VIII. Uncertain of about time of
Physcon. Coins of an Era Ixxiii

Ptolemy X., Soter 11. (Lathyrus), Ptolemy XL, Alex-
ander I., and Ptolemy (Apion) King of Cyprus.
Cyprus, Lathyrus ; Alexander ; first periods ; La-
thyrus, second reign. Egypt, Lathyrus; Alex-
ander. Double dates of Cleopatra III. and Alexander.
Cyrenaica; Lathyrus, Apion .... Ixxvi

Ptolemy XIII., Neus Dionysus (Auletes) . . . Ixxx

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Ptolemy, King of Cy.prus , Ixxxi

Coins of Successors of Auletes. Cyprus, Cleopatra VJL ;
Ptolemy XV* and Arsinoe IV ? Egypt, Cleo-
patra VII. ; Ptolemy, XVL ... • . . Ixxxii
§ 2, Mints : —

Cyprus ; Phoenicia; Egypt ; Cyrenaica ; Asia Minor?

and doubtful Ixxxv

§ 3. Weights: —

Gold and Silver ; Copper xc

Table I. Stemma Ptolemaeorum xciii

Table II. Chbonology xciv

Table III. Mints and Dates xcvi

Ptolemaeus I.^ Soter I . 1

MagaB, Governor of Cyreuaica 11

Ptolemaeus L and Ptolemaeus II. . ... . . . 13

Ptolemaeus IL, Philadelphus . . 24

MagaSy Governor ...••..• 37

Magas, King 38

Magas, Governor, second time 38

Ptolemaeus II. and Arsinoe II, with Ptolemaeus 1. and Bere-
nice I. . ...... . . . . 40

Arsinoe II., Philadelphos 42

Ptolemaeus III., Euergetes I. ...... . 46

Berenice II., Euergetis ........ 59

Berenice II. and Ptolemaeus III. 61

Ptolemaeus IV., Philopator I. . 62

Arsinoe III., Philopator 67

Arsinoe III. and Ptolemaeus IV. 67

Ptolemaeus V., Epiphanes 68

Ptolemaeus VI., Philometor I 78

Cleopatra I., Eegent 78

Eulaeus and Lenaeus, Begents 80

Antiochus IV., Epiphanes • 81

Ptolemaeus VIII., Euergetes II 82

Ptolemaeus VI. and Ptolemaeus VIIT 82

Ptolemaeus VI., alone 83

Ptolemaeus VI. and Ptolemaeus VII., Eupator ... 87


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Ftolemaous YIII., Eaergetes II 88

Ptolemaeus VIII. with Cleopatra 11. and III. ... 95

Ftolemaeus YIII. with Ptolemaeus IX., Philopator II. . 96

Ptolemaeus VIII. ? 100

Coins dated by an uncertain Era ••.... 101
Ftolemaeus X., Soter 11. : —

With Cleopatra III 104

Alone . 108

Ptolemaeus XL, Alexander 1 110

With Cleopatra IIL 112

Alone 113

Ptolemaeus X.| last reign . . . . . ' . 114

Ptolemaeus (Apion) King of Cjrene ? 114

Ptolemaeus XIIL, Neus Dionysus : —

First Reign 115

Second Reign 116

Ptolemaeus, King of Cyprus 118

Ptolemaeus XY. and Arsinoe lY ? . • . . . • 121

Cleopatra YIL, Philopator 122

Cleopatra YII. and Ptolemaeus XYI., Csesar . . . 122

Ptolemaeus XYI 124


Index I., Geographical 125

Index II., Types 127

Index IIL, Symbols 130

Index lY., Kings and Grovemors 132

Table of Weights .184

Table of Measures ......... 136

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L Ptolemaeus Soter as Governor.

IL Ptolemaeus Soter.

in. Ptolemaeus Soter and Ptolemaeus Philadelphus.

IV. Ptolemaeus Philadelphus.

V. Ptolemaeus Philadelphus.

VI. Ptolemaeus Philadelphus, Magas.

Vn. Ptolemaeus Philadelphus and Family.

Vni. Arsinoe Philadelphos.

IX. Ptolemaeus Euergetes.

X. Ptolemaeus Euergetes.

XI. Ptolemaeus Euergetes.

XII. Ptolemaeus Euergetes.

Xm. Ptolemaeus Euergetes, Berenice 11.

XIV. Ptolemaeus Philopator.

XV. Ptolemaeus Philopator, Arsinoe Philopator.

XVT. Ptolemaeus Epiphanes.

XvJi. Ptolemaeus Epiphanes.

XVm. Ptolemaeus Epiphanes, Ptolemaeus Philometor, and Cleopatra I.

XIX. Ptolemaeus Philometor.

XX. Ptolemaeus Philometor.

XXL Ptolemaeus Euergetes II.

XXII. Ptolemaeus Euergetes IL

XXm. Ptolemaeus Euergetes II. and Cleopatra II. and til.

XXIV. Ptolemaeus Euergetes II. , &c.

XXV. Coins of an Era.

XXVI. Ptolemaeus Soter IL and Cleopatra III.

XXVII. Ptolemaeus Soter IL, Ptolemaeus Alexander I.

XXVIII. Ptolemaeus Alexander I. and Cleopatra III., Ptolemaeus
Soter II., Ptolemaeus Apion.

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XXIX. Ptolemaeus Neus Dionysus, Ptolemaeus King of Cyprus.
XXX. Ptolemaeus King of Cyprus, Cleopatra VII., Ptolemaeus

XXXI. Coins with portraits, not Egyptian currency, (1) Arsinoe, of
Ephesus; (2) Berenice II., of Marathus; (3) Philopator I?
of Marathus; (4) Neus Dionysus, of Ascalon; (5) Ptole-
maeus XIV., of Ascalon; (6) Cleopatra VII., of Ascalon;
(7) Cleopatra VII. and Antonius of Antioclu
XXXII. Coins (no. 1 excepted) not in the British Museum.

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Kg series of coins struck by the successors of Alexander is

more difficult to class than that of the Ptolemies,
fiftftffflfifttion. ^^ ^^^ indeed so difficult except the less important

issues of the Pergamene kings.
. The regular silver coinage presents the head of the first Ptolemy^

and the name common to him and his descendants,
data. ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^^^ *^^ exceptional silver money bears the

portraits of Ptolemy I. and of other kings and
queens, and sometimes their special titles, and the names of the
queens ; but the gold coins, as a class, are by no means struck
in the lifetimes of the sovereigns whose portraits are seen on them.
The copper money haa almost always heads derived from mythology.
There is na reckoning from an era, like that of the Seleucidae,
save in the issue of a foreign dependency which does not illustrate
the ordinary coinage. Most of the silver coins, indeed nearly all
those of the later Ptolemies, are dated by the regnal years of the
kings under whom they were struck, and it is upon their evidence
that the chronological sequence of the whole coinage in all metals
can be approzimatdy determined.

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The geographical indications are even less definite than the chrono-
logical. The mints of Cyprus and Phoenicia are
data^^*^ ® ^ certain, but those of Egypt, and most of those
of the Cyrenai'ca, can only be described as un-
attributed to mints, but falling within the territorial limits which
the fabric and the provenance indicate. The money of Asia
Minor occupies a middle place, a few mints being probably

It has thus been possible to arrange the coins in the Catalogue

in historical order, usually in the succession of
Arrangement, • i , .• -■ .

historical under reigns, but sometimes under coinages covering

reigns, or coin- several reigns, there being cases in which it

is convenient or necessary to treat a coinage as

a whole. These coinages are however exceptional, and may thus

be specially treated.

Farther, each series is divided into geographical
Subdivisions, geoo . , . ,

graphical under groups. It IS necessary here to explain the

reigns, or coin- main principles of arrangement, which are not so
ages. .

obvious as those based on the succession of reigns.

The main geographical groups of the Ptolemaic coinage

are those of (1) Cyprus, (2) Asia Minor, (3)
Geographical _-..
groups. Phoenicia, (4) Egypt, and (5) Cyrenaica. The

Cyprus. coinage of Cyprus, as the most complete in

chronological indications, has been placed at the
Asia Minor, head. The group of Asia Minor is merely a tem-
porary issue of the first and second Ptolemies, best
Phoenicia. placed after the mints of Cyprus. The important

currency of Phoenicia, characterized by distinctive
peculiarities of style and manner of issue, and second only
to the Cyprian in historical indications, holds the next
Egypt. place. The Egyptian money, historically and

artistically inferior, follows. The money of the

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' Deviations from
order under Pto-
lemy I. and IL

CTrenaica. Cyrenaica has a very special character tUronglioat,

which marks it as the least connected with the
sister correncies : it thus closes the order* With
the first and second Ptolemies it is not possible to ad-
here strictly to this system. For instance, Ptolemy
II. first coined for the whole empire, except the
Cyrenaica, a nniform currency. In the middle of his reign the
Phoenician issues on a new system break this uniformity. Con-
sequently they are placed after the general coinage, and before
that of the Cyrenaica.

The arrangement of the Catalogue is thus first historical, and
secondly geographical. The grounds of the arrangement have now
to be stated, under the historical divisions, the reader being referred
to the section on Mints for the grounds of geographical identic

Coins of Ptolemy L, Soten

The rule of the first Ptolemy may be divided into five

periods, the dates of which, like nearly all in this
Ptolemy I. ^ ' ' ^

Periods of reign, volume, are taken from Lepsius's Konigshuch der
Aegypter (Syn. Taf. p. 9) : —

1. Ptolemy, Governor for Philip Aridaeus .

2. „ „ Alexander IV.

3. „ Independent during Interregnum

4. „ King

(5. „ Ex-King



284-283 [?])

8iz coinages.

Ptolemy seems to have struck no less than six
coinages, besides unimportant local issues : —

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^[?jpei of silver. Name. Wt.

1. of Alexander the Great. Philip (Aridaeus). Attic.

2. „ Alex. IV,,rev. of Alex. Gr, Alexander (IV.). „

3. ,j Alexander IV. „ Attic and Ehodian.

4. ,^ i$ n Rhodian.

5. ^, Ptolemaeus. Ptolemaeus, Phoenician.

The First Coinage is of gold and silver on the Attic Standard.

As Ptolemy acknowledges Aridaeus as king in his

Pirst Coinage. hieroglyphic inscriptions, it is reasonable to suppose

for ^pwuT^i^- some of that sovereign's money to have been struck

daeofl, B.C. 823- by the governor while ruling in his name. The coins


of Aridaeus are found in Egypt. One of his gold
staters may be attributed with probability to a mint of that country.
(Usual types: A I, and thunderbolt in field of rev.). It is, however,
at present impossible to separate the issues of Ptolemy during
this period from those of the other generals. The whole coinage
of Aridaeus is therefore classed under that of the kings of Macedon.

The coins which bear the name of Alexander IV., commonly
called Alexander Aegus by modem writers, must cover the whole
time from the end of the reign of Aridaeus until the accession of
Ptolemy as king, the money bearing the name Ptolemy without the
royal title being local and unimportant.

The Second Coinage, so far as we know of silver tetradrachms

Second Coinage. o^ly> undoubtedly stands next in order to the

(PL i. 1.) money of Philip Aridaeus. The weight is still

rev \f Alex The ^^^^^y ^^^ th© types retain the reverse-type of

Great. Alexander the Great and Aridaeus, the seated Zeus

Attie standard. Aetophoros, with a new obverse-type, that of Alex-
Ptolemy governor •'^
forAlex.iv.,816- ander IV., the head of Alexander the Great with

^^^' the horn of Ammon, clad in the elephant's skin and

aegis. This obverse-typ© ig thus similar to the well-known one of

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the second coinage of Lysimachus, in which the homed Alexander
is bare-headed. The fabric of the coinage of Aridaens, and that of
Alexander the Great, struck daring his reign and shortly after
(Miiller, Numismatiqne d' Alexandre le Grand, Classe IV.), is main-
tained. The thunderbolt, which is constant in the field of the
reverse, may be regarded as Ptolemy^s badge, as it occurs in com-
bination with the eagle as the general reverse-type of regal Ptole-
maic coins, with the exception of limited groups, most of which are
personally commemorative. It is thus evident that these coins
form a first departure from the types of Alexander the Great and
Aridaeus, and the true beginning of the Ptolemaic coinage, intro-
ducing a new obverse-type and a constant special badge. The
moneyer's letters OP, it may be noticed, are found in this currency

(no. 1), and that of Alexander the Great. This
struck in Egypt 1 coinage was probably issued in Egypt, at the fii*st

the most secure part of Ptolemy's dominions. The
scantiness of the series would imply a short period of issue, as the
greater quantity of that with the new reverse type of Alexander IV.
would suggest a longer one. Moreover a remarkable monogram of a
moneyer ^ is common to the larger group and to Alexander's
money, and therefore we cannot widely separate the two.*

The Third and Fourth Coinages present in the silver money
the same obverse-type as the Second, but the reverse bears a new
type, the figure of the Macedonian Athena Alkis, with the eagle on
the thunderbolt in the field, which was Ptolemy's badge. The
fabric is less thick and consequently more spread than that of

* A remarkable coin procured in Egypt by the Eev. Greville J. Chester is of
Phoenician weight, as if subsequent to the Fourth Coinage (p. xviii.), but
while presenting the head of Alexander of the Third and Fourth Coinages, has
the reverse of the Second, with however the Ptolemaic eagle in the field, as in
the Third and Fourth. It is perhaps of a local coinage in Phoenicia.
(PL xxxii. 2.)

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(PI. i. 2-4.)
Attic standard;
Drachms, Sho-
dian. Ptolemy
B.C. 816 - 811,
or Interregnum,

Wholly struck in
Cyprus (1) within
interval, 815-806.

the Second Coinage. In type these coinages, the Third and Fourth,
are the same : they are distinguished by their weight.

The Third Coinage shows a farther departure from the system
Third Coinage. . before in use, by the adoption of the Rhodian
standard for its drachms, whereas the tetra-
drachms are still Attic. It would appear, from
the comparison of its monograms and letters
with those of the Fourth Coinage, that, so far as
we know, it was wholly struck in Cyprus. Possibly
it was local, and if so, for a time current with the
Fourth Coinage issued elsewhere ; but it may, though
locally struck, have been intended to supply the
monetary needs of the whole state. Its peculiarity of a double
standard of weight, Attic and Rhodian, would be due to its place
as a link between the wholly Attic Second Coinage and the wholly
Rhodian Fourth, unless the Rhodian drachms were introduced to
exchange with tetradrachms in the same standard of the Fourth
Coinage elsewhere in circulation.

In the Third Coinage, copper money occurs with the head of
Alexander the Great, homed and uncovered, and
the regular Ptolemaic reverse, now appearing for
tlie first time as a separate type, the eagle on the thunderbolt.

This coinage, which is a peculiarly transitional
Transitional. series, seems from its scantiness to have been soon

The Fourth Coinage is of Rhodian weight, tetradrachms
Fourth Coinage. alone being known, and the Attic standard thus
disappears from Ptolemy's coinage. It will be
seen, that under the Fifth Coinage the Rhodian
weight is in turn supplanted by the Phoenician,
after gradually descending to which the standard
was fixed for the rest of the rule of the Ptolemies,


(PI. i. 6-8.)

Bhodian: A on
some : Ptolemy
governor for
Alex. IV., or In-

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This natural order is confirmed by the appearance on the aegis

of Alexander, in some coins of the Fourth Coinage, of the letter

A, which on the coinage here classed as the Sixth

^ *^rtl*^''* ^* Ptolemy I. and the First of Philadelphus, is seen
behind Ptolemy's ear. This can only be an en-
graver's signature, and the two coinages must therefore be near
together in date. It might have been thought best to place the
coins of Alexander IV. with the A at the end of the Fourth Coinage,
but it is not certain that the letter is characteristic of a special issue,
as in the case of the Sixth Coinage of Ptolemy I. and First of
Philadelphus, in which it is seen on all gold coins large enough to
admit it, and on all silver coins, and farther it cannot be determined
whether it was not sometimes in the die, but too near the edge to
appear in a coin ; besides which, it is also often hard to distinguish
the letter from a scale of the aegis.

This coinage was probably issued throughout Ptolemy's domi-
nions. It contains coins which appear to be of

PonrtlL Coinage ^*^

general. Cyprus, and others probably of the Cyrenaica.

.^. The money of Cyprus presents a monogram which

interval B.C.315- it can scarcely be doubted indicates Paphos and

• another which may indicate Salamis, and, like the

Faphos, Sala- supposed Cyprian money of the Third Coinage,

"^' it has a special copper issue. But the Fourth

Symbols of offices Coinage contains far more distinctly Cyprian coins

of strategos of ^i^aj^ i\^q Third. Its silver bears some symbols found
Cypms 1

on later coins of Cyprus, but not, with very rare

exceptions, of other parts of the Ptolemaic dominions, the helmet,
the aplustre, and the star. These three symbols may not improbably
indicate three great oflBces, those of strategos, admiral, and high-
priest of the island, all held at once by a strategos under the
Ptolemies, as we learn from an inscription. (Boeckh, C.LG. 2622.) It

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