Differences of Opinion


There are differences of opinion to whom adorns the obverse of this type and many other types depicting a female bust. When studying this interesting Marathos coin i came across two published coins that were described as being either that of Cleopatra II or Artemis. One of these can be found in HGC10 on page 56 No.200 and the other on acsearch. My arguments against Artemis are based upon her having a stronger Anatolian (Asia Minor or modern day Turkey) connection than that of Levantinian (Levant or Phoenicia). For the bust to be that of Cleopatra II i would say that age plays a big part in discounting her from this series, she would have been at the time of minting fourteen to sixteen years of age. We could also theorize that her mother Cleopatra I could have been a likely contender but she had died six years previously, long before this series went into production.

I´m not discounting the fact that the overlords or rulers of the time would have wanted their likenesses on Marathenian coins of this period, the hard part is proving that this is the case. This leaves for now one alternative, we know through ancient writings that the Phoenicians worshiped one female deity in particular and that was Astarte the goddess of war, fertility and sexuality. She is for me an obvious candidate, so inevitably and until further evidence suggests otherwise i will continue to attribute this type and others to that of Astarte.

The remaining coins i have been able to track down describe the obverse as being that of a female with laureate and draped bust (known specimens total 18 coins).

Moving on, i did manage to find a possible die match for my coin. They both appear to have the same die faults which i have marked with a white arrows, see attached images showing my coin left with die match on the right. Please give me your opinions, i would like to know if my imagination as got the better of me.

Also i attach a close up of Nike´s face from the reverse, i´m sure you will agree that the goddess of victory looks grimacingly unwelcoming whilst presenting her wreath.

Please follow link provided to see the coin in its entirety.


LD7       LD6

Nike          Nike face

By Coins Of The Southern Levant Posted in Marathos

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