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Two Eagles on Ptolemaic Coins as Representations of Co-Regency

Review of denominations of early Ptolemaic bronze coins  -  Ptolemy III 

As with the table for Ptolemy II in Part 1, the table below for Ptolemy III shows each denomination by a row across a set of columns.  There are ten different denominations that include three new ones added to the eight (or possibly six) denominations of Ptolemy II (see column right, under Pt II Module).  The largest denomination (A, c.92g) of Ptolemy II has not been listed here, it was apparently not continued by Ptolemy III;  the heaviest denomination of Ptolemy III was 59-78g corresponding to denomination B (c.68g) of Ptolemy II.Coins produced in Cyprus, Phoenicia and Palistine are not included in the table 

The three new denominations in the table are C, E, and J.  These additions and changes make Mørkholm's letter designations of Ptolemy III's coins (in the first column from the left) differ from those of Ptolemy II (in the last column). The weights listed in the same row under the columns "Weight" and "Pt II Module" indicate the same denomination of Ptolemy III and Ptolemy II.

ModuleObverseReverseDiameterWeightPt II
A Pt IIIAmmoneagle, cw43-5 mm59-78gc.68gB
B Pt IIIAmmoneagle,cw,hr,cs40 mm39-53gc.46gC
C Pt IIIAmmoneagle, cw35 mm28-38g--
D Pt IIIAmmoneagle, cw30 mm19-25gc.22gD
E Pt IIIZeuseagle, ow27 mm10-16g--
Fi Pt IIIAmmoneagle, cw25 mm9-13gc.11gE
Fii Pt IIIAlexandereagle,cw,hr,cs25 mm8-12g
G Pt IIIAmmoneagle, cw, cs20 mm4.5-6gc.6.8gF
17 mm3-5gc.5.2gG
I Pt IIIAmmoneagle, cw16 mm2-3gc.3.4gH
13 mm1-2g--

 O. Mørkholm, Early Hellenistic Coinage (Cambridge, 1991), p.107.

 ow = open wings; cw = closed wings; hr = head reverted; cs = cornucopia at shoulder













Different denominations
with same obv. / rev.

Same denomination with
different obv. / rev.

Small denominations
with same obv. / rev.

Same denomination (of PtII and
PtIII) with different obv. or rev.

To view coins click on See examples of the small modules H and J

  The small coins H and J both have the same obverse and the same reverse types.
  Other than size and weight these two small coins give no indication that they are different denominations.

Conclusions from small denominations with same obv. / rev. :

Modules H and J have an identical obverse (Alexander head) and an identical reverse;  however, they span module I that has a different obverse (Ammon head).  The coalescence of adjacent modules with the same obverse and reverse that led Le Rider and de CallataÿCoins H, I, J, are distinct denominations to make two pairs of small coins (i.e., Ptolemy II’s modules E, F and G, H) into two,  rather than four,  denominations is not possible with modules H and J of Ptolemy III.  This is because module I (See module I ),  with a modular weight intermediate between the adjacent H and J,  has an Ammon obverse that differs from the Alexander obverse of both H and J.

If the Ammon head and the Alexander head indicated different denominations,  the coalescence of the identical Alexander head modules H (17mm, 3-5g) and J (13mm, 1-2g) presents a confusing weight/size range for denomination I (16mm, 2-3g) that lies within the wide weight range for a H=J (13-17mm, 1-5g) coalesced denomination.  Just as the identical obverse and reverse on modules A, C, D, Fi and I does not indicate the same denomination,  the identical obverse and reverse on H and J also does not indicate the same denomination.

Since the Ammon head (on I) and the Alexander head (on H and J) do not indicate different denominations perhaps modules H and I,  with little or no difference in size and a relativelyOther suggested coalescence of modules narrow weight range (16-17mm, 2-5g),  are the same denomination.  They would be like module F that exists as the two types Fi and Fii (25mm, weights 8-13g) with different Ammon and Alexander heads.

Since we can now accurately and rapidly measure weights, we can be more aware of small weight differences than the ancient Egyptians.  Yet, coins with small weight differences were produced and were no doubt useful in the market.  Whether they were identified by weight or size,Use of small module coins the Ptolemaic mint did not put denomination marks even on the smallest of Ptolemy III's coins.

It should be noted that coins H, I and J are part of a denominational set (together with A, C, D, F, and G See table) of Ptolemy III that is unified by each coin showing the same control mark.  These coins were produced near the same time and very probably under the same unified policy.  With the exception of module G (that differs only by having a cornucopia at the eagle's shoulder) none of the coins in this series has a unique obverse or reverse that would indicate its denomination.

  go to 1 - Review of bronze denominations of Ptolemy II go to 1b - Review of hoard data regarding denominations of Ptolemies II, III and IV

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