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Two Eagles on Ptolemaic Coins as Representations of Co-Regency

Review of denominations of early Ptolemaic bronze coins  -  Ptolemy II 

In the reign of Ptolemy II (284-246 BC), a major reform of Egyptian bronze coinage occurred; extremely large coins (e.g., c.105g/48mm) were produced while the smallest denomination weighed c.3g/16mm (see table).  The variation of types on obverses and reverses has been taken to show various denominations.  For example, the value of module B would have been indicated by the two-eagle reverse type.  Before considering (in Parts 2 a,b) any special symbolism of the two-eagle reverse on module B, Part 1 reviews the general possibility of denominational indicators on early Ptolemaic bronze coinage.Parts 1b and 1c readily show that two-eagle symbol does not indicate denomination.

Module   Obverse   Reverse Diameter Weight
A Ammon eagle, ow, hr 48 mm 76-105 g
B Ammon two eagles, cw 42 mm 62-78 g
C Ammon eagle, ow 36 mm 41-50 g
D Zeus eagle, cw 30 mm 17-25 g
E Alexander eagle, ow 24 mm 9-15 g
F Alexander eagle, ow 20 mm 5-8 g
G Ammon eagle, ow 18 mm 4-6 g
H Ammon eagle, ow 16 mm 2-4 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

Click on one of the boxes above; a comparison of modules (i.e., denominations) will appear here.

Conclusions, based on the comparison, will appear below.

References and a general summary are also available (click on these labels above).



Home Page (Introductory Page and to downloads of the manuscript). go to 1a - Review the possibility of denominational indicators on coins of Ptolemy III