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Old 10-24-2017, 05:56 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Canada
Posts: 153
Starling is on a distinguished road
Default Inscriptions and symbolism on Macedonian coins

I found a couple pictures of the same design on a Macedonian tetradrachm with different date ranges.

167-149 BC:

167-148 BC:

158-149 BC:

148-146 BC:

P. 306 of this book:

percussisse, ex inscriptione patet: cujus in adversa Clypeus Macedonius cum Diana Gazoria cernitur, & belli venationisque studium connotat: In aversa corona quercea cum fulmine & clava ad Jovem & Herculem pertinent, quibus Reges Macedoniae natales suos descendere ja?tabant.
Rough translation:

The inscription pressed into the coin is clear: in relief is the Macedonian shield with Diana Gazoria discernible, and the study of the Venetian war connotes: on the other side the crown of oak leaves with the lightning and club of Jupiter and Hercules, of whom Macedonian kings claim descent.

IDK about the Venetian war bit but the rest came up looking for the images I posted above. That book mentions some other coins worth digging up too.

Of interest is the top inscription, which include old italic that became berkanan (ᛒ) and what seems to be a variation of Jati (Ⱑ).



I'm not sure about the bottom inscription because it doesn't seem to be consistent. The latter part in the last image where it's present seems to be tne rather than me as you'd assume from the top one. The first part kinda looks like it could be 𐍂Ο or ΚΟ and Rome would make sense given the time period but some of those definitely don't have an m. One of them has ΣΡ as the bottom inscription. I don't know where that character is from but the image file seems to name it as hrho. Might be some variation of ursr. If that K looking bit is supposed to be a p then the bottom word in most of them would be potne. If this is all correct then we'd have the epithets Biatr potne and Ar ursr.

Another point of interest is that the oak leaves look like the Linear A character , which is unlikely to be a coincidence.

The fulmen to the left represents Zeus' lightning, which may have been stylized into another character. The club represents Hercules but may also have been a broader symbol of divine authority given the symbolism of pillar altars, sceptres and their prominence in Macedonian pillar altars and possible relation to tree worship. There was something about Saxon religious customs I'll have to look into.

More coins

Perseus, 178-168 BC:



Again you can see a wreath of oak leaves, a fulmen and a Macedonian sun. Hades seems to sport headbands.

The last image has and accented E between the eagle's legs and what appears to be the characters ΜΕ and a small ᚾ at the base of the wreath not present in the others. The line next to it might be another character since it isn't actually part of the wreath.

Didrachm of Philip V:

ΔΙ ?

A few more symbols I don't know and the face looks like Hades from the previous coins. My best guess is that the first one is a variation of the other symbol above while the latter might be an archaic form of Onsь (Ⱘ).

The pattern in the coin inscriptions so far seems to be a central inscription denoting the reigning king or something pertaining to Macedonia, with upper and lower inscriptions referring to the deity featured on the coin unless present on the other side.
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