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Two Eagles on Ptolemaic Coins as Representations of Co-Regency

Review of denominations of early Ptolemaic bronze coins  -  Ptolemy II 

The fundamental characteristic of early Ptolemaic denominations is their individual modular weight and size.  Because not a great deal of care was taken in the production of bronze coinage, the weight of an individual coin may vary greatly from the modular weight.  The question to be answered is whether or not the Ptolemaic mint put features on the coins that would aid identification of each denomination.  This question is first considered by looking at data as presented in tables by O. Mørkholm.  Shown below is his table for denominations of Ptolemy II.

Module  Obverse  ReverseDiameterWeight
AAmmoneagle, ow, hr48 mm76-105 g
BAmmontwo eagles, cw42 mm62-78 g
CAmmoneagle, ow36 mm41-50 g
DZeuseagle, cw30 mm17-25 g
24 mm9-15 g
20 mm5-8 g
GAmmoneagle, ow18 mm4-6 g
HAmmoneagle, ow16 mm2-4 g

 O. Mørkholm, Early Hellenistic Coinage (Cambridge, 1991), p.105.

 ow = open wings; cw = closed wings; hr = head reverted











Compare denominations A,B, C

Compare denominations C and D

Compare denominations E and F

Compare denominations G and H

  Coins E and F differ from all the others by showing an obverse Alexander head.  However, the two modules have the same type of obverse and the same type of reverse.  The only distinguishing characteristic is their difference in weight and in size.


Conclusions from denominations E and F:
   Since both obverse and reverse are the same on these two modules, neither of these aid identification of denominations.  It has been suggestedPossibility of a total of six rather than eight denominations that Mørkholm (and Svoronos) were wrong in giving two denominations for coins E and F and that E and F are the same denomination.  However, the weights of modules E and F can apparently be divided into two fairly distinct groupings.Histogram of a sampling of denominations E, F, G and H  This indicates, but does not prove,  that two denominations, E and F, were produced with the same obverse and reverse types and that denominational marking was not used.  In this case,  the weight/size differences would still be sufficient to distinguish these two denominations (however,  see the comparison of G and H).


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