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Two Eagles on Ptolemaic Coins as Representations of Co-Regency

Difficulties in attempted publication of a manuscript reviewing the two-eagle/co-regent hypothesis

The website has resulted from a manuscript (see Part 6 - Manuscript) that included a study of Cypriot bronze coins attributed to Cleopatra VII with her co-regent Caesarion.  Because these coins have two-eagle reverse types,  the manuscript also presents a general review of other Ptolemaic two-eagle coinage.

The manuscript shows that the image of two eagles on coins of Ptolemy II and Ptolemy VI is not a denomination mark.  It also establishes that there is a correlation of two-eagle coinage with the times of co-regency.  Attempts to publish this Cleopatra/Caesarion - two-eagle manuscript in reputable numismatic journals are described below.

Click on   Conclusions   to go to a summary (at the bottom of this page).


Review of attempted publication

In March 2002, the manuscript was sent to The Numismatic Chronicle and, in May, it was accepted for publication in the 2003 issue.  However, in December 2002, an additional referee report was received.Time element in submissions and replys  This second referee report was decidedly negative on both the attributions of the Cypriot coins and the two-eagle co-regent hypothesis.  [Note:  The new attributions of two Cypriot coins to Cleopatra and Caesarion have been accepted for Roman Provincial Coinage, Supplement II].Attributions in RPC, Supplement II

The referee stated that, since many of the bronzes with double eagles belong to groups of issues which also contain bronzes with only a single eagle (as with the coins of Ptolemy II),  the double eagle must be a denominational marker and the whole case for royal symbolism therefore falls.  He/she also felt, if the two eagles were a symbol of co-regency, they should occur on precious metal coinage as well.  The editor added, if the two-eagle/co-regency thesis was correct then all or most of the bronze coins during a co-regency should show two eagles. 

The editor decided that the manuscript would be acceptable if it was limited to a note solely about the Cypriot bronze types with my view,  equating the two eagles with Cleopatra/Caesarion,  being presented as a possible single case.  I expressed my reluctance for such rewriting and later,  after submitting rebuttals for the referee (who did not respond),  suggested another referee be obtained.

The third referee was generally concerned with how co-regency is recognized and what it means in terms of political power in a legal/constitutional sense, i.e., comments that were not directly related to the analysis of coins and coin hoards.   Comments on referee reports  

The editor reiterated that the part of the manuscript giving the attributions of coins of Cleopatra/Caesarion could be published but without the two eagles/co-regents hypothesis.  However, I did not want to publish only the attributions of the two-eagle coins of Cleopatra/Caesarion.

I then sent the manuscript to Schweizerische Numismatische Rundschau.  The editor informed me that,  due to lack of interest,  SNR does not publish manuscripts on Ptolemaic topics.

In January 2005, I submitted the manuscript to Revue Numismatique.  In December 2005, the Secrétaire reported that two referee reports had been obtained and the referees had judged that the two-eagle hypothesis was not new and not well supported.  Therefore, the manuscript was not publishable.  Referee reports were not made available.     Comments on availability of referee reports  

In April 2006, I submitted the manuscript to the American Journal of Numismatics and was informed that two reviewers were not convinced by my arguments for the correlation of two eagle coins with co-regency and both recommended rejection.

In March 2007, I decided that publication in reputable journals was precluded and I began development of this website.

Summary of attempts to publish a review of the two-eagle/co-regent hypothesis

There seems to be a strong inclination to believe that the two-eagle reverse type must be a denomination mark and cannot therefore be an indication of co-regency.  It is also clear,  from the partial referee reports made available to me,  that neither the evidence against denominational marking by two eagles nor the evidence for their chronological correlation with co-regency were evaluated.  I certainly received no comments on the evidence in the manuscript.  

The comments of the second referee showed an overriding belief that the two-eagle reverse type is an indication of denomination and that the double eagles cannot act as indicators of co-regency.  This strong belief seems to have prevented consideration of the evidence against it.

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