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VOTIVECOINSIN DELIAN INSCRIPTIONS.

243

VOTIVE COINS IN DELIAN INSCRIPTIONS.


IN the very important Delian inscriptions of which one is
published by M. Homolle in the sixth volume of the Bulletin de
CorrespondanceHellenique, mention is made among the votive
offerings preserved in the temple of Apollo of several sorts of
coins.1 In his comments upon these mentions, both in the
inscription which he' publishes, and in others which he has
read and copied, M. Homolle is less correct than in other parts
of his very valuable paper; numismatics being a branch of
archaeology in regard to which excellent scholars are sometimes
strangely ill-informed. It may perhaps be of some service, in
view of M. Homolle's further publications in the same line
which may be shortly expected, to insert here a few notes on
the votive coins of his Delian lists; and so contribute a little to
the full success of his very important labours.
M. Homolle begins thus: 'Les moinnaies d'or sont designees
par les mots Xpvo-oW ou crTarTp-Xpvo- WXaXedv8peo0t, 'AvTr1-
QlJ-rrtL7retO, aTr1pe,9 Aiytvatoi, 'Eb&o-ot, KopivOtot.,
X?EtO, II faut ajouter les Dariques.'
KpyerKo0t Kvt/cuivot"II'roX
epae•aKo.
It would seem that M. Homolle takes for granted that aTab^pes6
are necessarily gold coins. But the ancients not seldom speak
of the stater as rerpd8paxzov v'6tto-pa; the term is as often
applied to silver money as to gold. The stater2 at any city is
the ordinary staple of currency, whether in gold or silver: the
Greeks would apply the term to the English sovereign, the
American dollar, and the German mark. In fact shilling and
sovereign are alike staters. Of the staters mentioned in the
1 P. 131. to the indexes of works such as
I have thought it unnecessary to Hultsch's Metrologie and Metrologici
give references to prove statements Scriptores.
when they can be tested by referring
244 VOT- VE COINSIN DELIAN INSCRIPTIONS.

inscriptions, the Aeginetan, Ephesian, Corinthian, and Cretan


are probably silver, unless of course the contrary is stated in the
inscriptions themselves. For we have no large gold coins of any
of these cities and districts issued before the second century B.C.1
Cyzicene staters were, as is well known, made of electrum, and
widely current in the Levant. The Ptolemaic stater was perhaps
of silver, though there are gold coins issued by the Ptolemies
which certainly bore the name. M. Homolle's list then will
run as follows:-gold staters or didrachms of Alexander the
Great, of Antiochus I. II. or III. of Syria (later kings of Syria
issued gold staters but rarely), and of Philip II. of Macedon:
Aeginetan staters or didrachms of silver (struck before the
conquest by Athens or at the time of the restoration by
Lysander), Ephesian tetradrachms or didrachms of silver (each
of which denominations was at a different time the stater),
Corinthian silver tridrachms, Cretan silver didrachms of
Aeginetan standard, Cyzicene tetradrachms of electrum, and a
Ptolemaic stater of uncertain metal. All of these coins are
rather common.
The next mention is of a far rarer piece, Kapvaria Xpvo-l,
a gold drachm of Carystus. This entry occurs in the !" list of
Demares, about 180 B.c. On this iVI.Homolle remarks, ' La
drachme 6tait partout en Grace l'unit6 mon6taire pour l'argent;
je ne sais done comment interpreter le texte, qui est certain.'
But the drachm was just as much the unity for gold as for
silver; it was a fixed weight of metal, coined or uncoined.
Gold drachms are frequently mentioned by the writers. This
Carystian coin must be the rare piece 2 struck about B.c. 200,
weighing some 50 grains, and having as types on one side the
head of Heracles, on the other a reclining bull.
Next come a series of silver
tetradrachms-TeTpda8paX•a
Mavo cXleta,'AXEddv8petov,IITokXepa/JtKa'dAvO-lXea,
Nata, 'E The
doCrtov. tetradrachms of Mausolus, of 'A•rLOXeta,
Alexander
the Great, and his generals Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Antiochus,
and those of Naxos and Ephesus are all well known. Then
comnesilver drachms:-ApaX' ALXta, Ai7ryvala, 'AXeav8pela,
CPo.la, tuwovaia, 4)coKat`'. As to these it need only be said
1 The coins 2 Period V. B. 29 of the B.
purporting to be early Museum
Ephesian gold are forgeries. The later exhibition.
gold belong to the time of Mithridates.
VOTIVECOINS IN DELIAN INSCRIPTIONS. 245
that drachms of Delos and Phocaea are very rare indeed; though
silver coins of Delos are known, I am not sure whether a drachm
is published. As the entry of the Delian coin occurs in the
list of Demares it must probably have been struck about B.c.
200-180. M. Homolle connects with the Phocaean drachm a
<JoKat&9s v6'ptaoua,mentioned in several lists; but this coin is
not a drachm at all, but a Phocaean hecta of electrum, as is
proved by its position at the end of the electrum,
Xpvo-tov
These were widely known in antiquity as kw)Kaa3e'.
XevKo'v.
Next comes a very interesting entry which seems to occur
only in the list of Demares:--re'rpdivota AAPI 111 81vojta AI-
vo'ot A.WM. Homolle rightly remarks that the vFapov (nummus)
was a small silver coin of Magna Graecia and Sicily. But it
was also, as Mommsen 2 has abundantly shown, the Roman
silver sestertius. Now if the sestertius of 2- asses is reckoned
as the nummus, the ordinary Roman quinarii and denarii will
be dinoma and tetranoma. On the other hand doubles and
quadruples of the local nummi were not early issued as coin
either in South Italy or Sicily. It seems to me therefore certain
that in the present entry Roman coins are intended, which
were at about this time first making their way in the Levant
As the denarius was more common than either quinarius or
sestertius, we can readily explain the fact that in the Delian
treasury there were 29 denarii as against 11 quinarii and 10
sestertii. All of these were no doubt of the early type, having
on the obverse a head of Roma and on the reverse the Dioscuri
on horseback.
The term Iortaic'v applied to another coin completely puzzles
M. Homolle. Clearly the noun to be supplied is v6tuo-pa. The
Histiaic coins are clearly the very abundant late coins in silver
issued at Histiaea in Euboea, and familiar to all coin collectors.
They bear on the obverse the head of a Maenad; on the reverse
the nymph Histiaea sitting on a ship.
Obols are mentioned of Boeotia, Orchomenus, and Phocaea.
Also certain coins called according to M. Homolle's reading
0,oXoi apkvXtcol. This phrase I cannot at all explain: as,
however, M. Homolle remarks, ' Ces dernibres seules 'taient
certainement d'argent,' it is perhaps worth while to ask whether
1 Line of inscr. 215. 2 1R.m.
Miinzwescn, p. 198.
H.S.-VOL. IV. S
246 VOTIVECOINSIN DELIAN INSCRIPTIONS.
the reading may not be p-pyvpbKo(. But of course without see-
ing the Delian stone we can only make the suggestion with
complete diffidence. Itis fairly certain that all the other obols
mentioned were of silver, silver obols of all the three kinds
above mentioned being known.
The only bronze coins mentioned separately are the local
currency xaXK'c A Xtov. All other coins of this metal are
termed XaXic 7rarvTo8ar7v we'rt'&ov,miscellaneous bronze
coins.
M. HIomolle remarks on the frequency with which coins are
described as plated or false. It is the same in Athenian and
other treasure lists. The motive of the dedicator in such cases
is somewhat obscure; he could not hope to win the favour of
the deity by a gift of no value, and we can scarcely suppose that
he meant to deceive the deity; rather perhaps he intended to
invoke divine wrath against the maker of the forgery, whom
men might not be able to discover, but who would scarcely
escape the eyes of Apollo or Athene.
This seems to be a good opportunity for adding a few words
on the actually existing coins in various collections, which are
proved by their inscriptions to have been dedicated in temples.
Perhaps the most interesting is a didrachm of Sicyon in Achaia,
now in the British Museum, which bears in finely punctured
letters the inscription1 APTAMITo: TA: EAKETA:E
AMO N, 'Apvd/To7 -?v ecXKe-rTa ? ap&v,an inscription in the
Doric dialect apparently recording the dedication of the coin to
Artemis the deliverer, although the word EAK I<ETAE is still
unexplained. The inscription is no part of the original design
of the coin, but added afterwards by the aid of some sharp-
pointed instrument. Beside this piece we may place an early
coin of Croton in the French collection which bears the incised
inscription lapov ro[D] 'Ar6Xk[Xawcovo, and a tetradrachm of
Ptolemy Soter inscribed $apdaw[r8t] Jv[diOfpa.2 The shorter
inscription AN or A NAG (Dva'"dOpa) is not rare on coins.
In the temple of Zeus Casius at Corcyra, regular punches
were used for countermarking and defacing coins presented to

1 See my paper in the Numismatic tioned by F. Lenormant, RIvue Num.


Chronicle,1873, p. 183. xv. p. 331, and La Monn. dans l'Antiq.
2 These and other instances men- i. p. 32.
VOTIVECOINSIN DELIAN INSCRIPTIONS. 247
the god. In the British Museum is quite a series of pieces 1
punched with the word A 0 C or <A CI0 or both together,
written at length or contracted into monograms. Perhaps in
the same category of dedicated coins we ought to place the
coins of Stratonicea in Caria, minted under Caracalla and Geta.
These pieces originally bore the heads of the two brothers; but
later the issue was called in and the head of Geta carefully
erased with a hammer; and in its place was stamped the word
with a small helmeted head, apparently that of
Oeov, together
Pallas or Roma. It appears from other coins of Stratonicea
that an armed goddess, possibly Roma, but more probably
Pallas, was worshipped in the city; we may therefore suppose
that the whole series of these coins was dedicated in her temple,
and thus stamped in order to unfit theip for further circulation.
It has been suggested 2 that the word Oeoi may have reference
to the deification of Geta after his death; but as this explanation
does not account for the presence of the armed head, it seems
less worthy of acceptance than that above stated.
In an inscription from the temple of A mnphiaraiisin Boeotia 3
mention is made, among other dilapidations there recorded, of
the falling of coins from memorial tablets on the walls, through
decay of the ligaments with which they were fastened. These
ligaments might be of metal, but might also be merely of wax,
for Lucian speaks of votive coins fastened with wax to the statue
vo/uto-/.zara wa ap~vpa
of a divinity,4 h'oto-Nara v p K17pa
pyvpc 7rpoq' TOPA17tPOV p
"'
cecoXXoI/L6va. Of this custom traces still exist "v
in the Levant; 5

the Greeks still fasten gold coins with wax to the pictures of
saints. Coins dedicated in this solemn fashion had probably
mostly a history; but the ordinary coins presented to the gods,
the v6po-1tcra7ravTro8arv of the Delian lists, were used up for
cups or for repairs in the more artistic votive offerings which
required them. The custom of dedicating coins by throwing
them into sacred wells was common throughout Greece; and to
this fortunate habit we owe some very valuable hoards discovered
in modern days.
PERCY GARDNER.
1 See B.A. Cat. of Coins, Thessaly, 1 C. I. No. 1570.
&c., p. 158. 4 Philopseud. c. 20.
2By Dr. Birch in the Num. Chron. 5 Newton, Travels and
Discoveries,
vol. i. p. 194. i. p. 87 and ii. p. 5.
s2