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Back from Callatis holiday ... only to find a Callatis coin waiting for me


ambr0zie

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Just returned from my holiday ... I have to admit that sitting on the beach, drinking an eating all day could be my next job and I would have nothing against it. I might even become a top performer in this job. 

Like almost every year, my destination was a small village south of Callatis (nowadays Mangalia), unfortunately with every year it becomes way too popular and way too expensive. 

Some pictures and details about ancient Callatis 

Orașul Antic Callatis - Sit arheologic

87358961_2574673986111277_6494351646632443904_n.jpg?_nc_cat=100&ccb=1-7&_nc_sid=730e14&_nc_ohc=ioP-QfITZnEAX8MVTNm&_nc_ht=scontent.fias1-1.fna&oh=00_AfBwvx92KCn1RTVpOt77Ky4zH6k6F-CPSzBOwvTuMG1Q4g&oe=64DF253D

calatis.jpg

Callatis was founded, according to ancient literary sources, at the end of the 6th century BC, by the Dorian colonists coming from Heraclea Pontica. The fortress was built at the behest of an oracle on the site of a Getic settlement called Cerbatis or Acervetis. We have information about the foundation of the Callatis fortress from a number of ancient writers, including: Ptolemy, Strabo, Memnon, Ovid, Pliny the Elder, Arian, Pseudo-Skymnos, Demetrios from Callatis and Scylax from Cariadna.

Pseudo-Skymnos mentioned that "Callatis appeared as a colony of the Heracleots at the command of an oracle; they founded it when Amyntas ruled over Macedonia"

Demetrios of Callatis wrote a geography volume made up of 20 volumes "About Asia and Europe" (now lost), in which he mentions the Heracleotian origin of Callatis, the command of the Delphi oracle that was the basis of the foundation of the city and the date of its foundation, which he places at the beginning of the reign of the Macedonian king Amyntas.

The epigraphic inscriptions discovered in Mangalia reinforce the hypothesis that the foundation of the Callatis fortress was made as a result of the order of the oracle at Delphi.

However, it must be emphasized that although the ancient writers place the foundation of the Callatis fortress at the end of the 6th century BC, the oldest archaeological evidence discovered in Mangalia is not older than 4th century BC. It is certain that in the IV BC the city registers a special development and the defense wall of the fortress is also built then.

Also in the 4th century BC, the city-citadel was conquered by Philip II the Macedonian (359-336), and Macedonian rule continued under his son, Alexander the Great (336-323). Callatis frees itself from Macedonian rule in 281 BC.

In the years 72-71 BC, Callatis allies itself with the Roman Empire. In 61 BC it comes out from under the rule of the Romans, and in the years 55-54 BC it falls under the rule of the Dacian king Burebista. In the years 29-28 BC, following a new war, Callatis again came under the rule of the Roman Empire for several centuries. The fortress developed during the Roman emperors: Diocletian (284-305), Constantine the Great (306-337), Anastasius (491-518) and Justinian (527-565).

During this period, however, migratory peoples also appeared, causing great destruction to the city, among them being: the Costoboci - 2nd century, Goths and Carpi - 3rd century and the Huns - 5th century. The Callatis fortress was definitely destroyed by the attacks of the Avars and Slavs at the beginning of the 8th century. 

Here is the coin I won a few weeks ago (again, the post probably used some snails as couriers). Not extremely special when it comes to design, but I find it interesting and I am glad I managed to add a coin from Callatis to complete the series I wanted (Tomis-Callatis-Histria)

image.png.1f51ac4107133f1ec842ee1a56cefc17.png

Moesia, Kallatis. 1st - 2nd century AD. Ӕ 15,3 mm 2,29 g

Obv: Helmeted head of Athena right, K to right.

Rev: KAΛΛA-TIA in two lines beneath small shield, three corn-ears above, club to left, bow in bow-case to right.

Moushmov 219; cf AMNG 271

 

Do you have coins from Callatis? Or coins from places you like to visit? 

 

Edited by ambr0zie
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Very interesting! I've never been to Kallatis but would love to go someday. Here's my only coin from there.

331A9346-Edit.jpg.00f7af9212ad1f0b051c889521bf5f9b.jpg

Thrace, Kallatis
Circa 250 BCE
Bronze 25mm 9.74g
Laureate head of Apollo right
Tripod “KA??A-TIANON” “A?O?A” below
HGC 3.2, 1828

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Wonderful pictures and excellent shield coin!!! (One more to add to my list of needs!)

Glad to read you were chilling on the beach drinking and eating. I'll be doing that in a couple months time while getting some much needed R&R in sunny San Diego (not nearly as cool as Kallatis, but it'll do).

20190628_185302_D85C9FE5-54DF-4079-9621-4753225C54AF-985-00000125CC17F4DD.png.7dcc27ee9d5a319c0cee5e60787979bb.png

MOESIA. Kallatis. 3rd-2nd centuries BC. Tetrachalkon (Bronze, 21 mm, 7 g), Poly..., magistrate. Head of Dionysos right, wearing wreath of ivy; on neck, countermark: head of Artemis to right, with bow and quiver over her shoulder. Rev. ΠΟ/ΛY within wreath; above, KAΛΛA. AMNG I 221.

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That looks like a terrific place to vacation, @ambr0zie.  Thanks for sharing those pictures.  

I have two from Kallatis/Callatis, both with some issues.  First a silver hemidrachm which seems to be crystalizing from the inside out.  The surfaces and nice and smooth and respectable, but there has been some major spalling on the obverse and a fissure running down it.  I'll bet the slabbing service would call it "fragile."  

Kallitas-HemidrachmNov2020a(0).jpg.079846df93bce29ed5af2e5b0ad2d13a.jpg

Thrace, Kallatis    Hemidrachm (c. 300-101 B.C.Head of Herakles right wearing lion skin headdress / ΚΑΛΛΑ, club and ear of barley below, bow in bow case (gorytos) above. AMNG I-I, 201.  (2.13 grams / 14 mm)  eBay Oct. 2020 Attribution Note: These often have a letter in the field (Φ, A, O, Σ etc.), which might be off flan on this specimen.  Attribution from Numista, with no letters noted. https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces194439.html

This one's a Provincial that got an area of the edge flattened.  It's not pretty otherwise, that's for sure, but from what I could find, it is pretty scarce.  

Kallatis-Sev.AlexanderTychelotFeb2022(0).jpg.867d0100465bc54ecbf25932103018c7.jpg

Severus Alexander Æ Tetrassarion  (c. 222-235 A.D.) Kallatis, Thrace / Moesia Inf. AVT K M AV[Ρ CEYH] AΛEXANΔΡOC, laureate head r. / KAΛΛATIANΩN, Tyche standing left, holding rudder and cornucopiae, Δ in left field. Varbanov 348; Moushmov 314. (12.32 grams / 26 x 25 mm) eBay Feb. 2022        Lot @ $3.80 Notes:  Die-match obverse and reverse to Ken Dorney specimen sold on Vcoins ($150.00 but much nicer coin).  Noted as "rare."  Did not find any on acsearch; Wildwinds has one.  

 Here's the Dorney example from Vcoins, which is much nicer:

KallatisThrace-SeverusAlexanderTychestandingVarb348-VcoinsDIEMATCHpic.jpg.66c8f3966b2d2b56acd0403081321123.jpg

https://www.vcoins.com/en/stores/ken_dorney/52/product/severus_alexander_222__235_ad_tetrassarion_of_kallatis_rare/1448346/Default.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Marsyas Mike said:

That looks like a terrific place to vacation, @ambr0zie.  Thanks for sharing those pictures.  

I have two from Kallatis/Callatis, both with some issues.  First a silver hemidrachm which seems to be crystalizing from the inside out.  The surfaces and nice and smooth and respectable, but there has been some major spalling on the obverse and a fissure running down it.  I'll bet the slabbing service would call it "fragile."  

Kallitas-HemidrachmNov2020a(0).jpg.079846df93bce29ed5af2e5b0ad2d13a.jpg

Thrace, Kallatis    Hemidrachm (c. 300-101 B.C.Head of Herakles right wearing lion skin headdress / ΚΑΛΛΑ, club and ear of barley below, bow in bow case (gorytos) above. AMNG I-I, 201.  (2.13 grams / 14 mm)  eBay Oct. 2020 Attribution Note: These often have a letter in the field (Φ, A, O, Σ etc.), which might be off flan on this specimen.  Attribution from Numista, with no letters noted. https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces194439.html

This one's a Provincial that got an area of the edge flattened.  It's not pretty otherwise, that's for sure, but from what I could find, it is pretty scarce.  

Kallatis-Sev.AlexanderTychelotFeb2022(0).jpg.867d0100465bc54ecbf25932103018c7.jpg

Severus Alexander Æ Tetrassarion  (c. 222-235 A.D.) Kallatis, Thrace / Moesia Inf. AVT K M AV[Ρ CEYH] AΛEXANΔΡOC, laureate head r. / KAΛΛATIANΩN, Tyche standing left, holding rudder and cornucopiae, Δ in left field. Varbanov 348; Moushmov 314. (12.32 grams / 26 x 25 mm) eBay Feb. 2022        Lot @ $3.80 Notes:  Die-match obverse and reverse to Ken Dorney specimen sold on Vcoins ($150.00 but much nicer coin).  Noted as "rare."  Did not find any on acsearch; Wildwinds has one.  

 Here's the Dorney example from Vcoins, which is much nicer:

KallatisThrace-SeverusAlexanderTychestandingVarb348-VcoinsDIEMATCHpic.jpg.66c8f3966b2d2b56acd0403081321123.jpg

https://www.vcoins.com/en/stores/ken_dorney/52/product/severus_alexander_222__235_ad_tetrassarion_of_kallatis_rare/1448346/Default.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wonder why date the hemidrachm 300-101BCE

Edited by seth77
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3 hours ago, seth77 said:

I wonder why date the hemidrachm 300-101BCE

I had a lot of trouble figuring this one out.  The date is probably wrong...if you have a better date/reference, please share and I'll update.  Although the issue is common, from what I remember when I originally worked it up, the dates were all over the place (acsearch, etc.).  

Here's a numista link with those dates:  https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces194439.html

Edited by Marsyas Mike
added numista link
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1 minute ago, Marsyas Mike said:

I had a lot of trouble figuring this one out.  The date is probably wrong...if you have a better date/reference, please share and I'll update.  Although the issue is common, from what I remember when I originally worked it up, the dates were all over the place (acsearch, etc.).  

I think both AMNG and local research have these as 3-2nd centuries BCE. That means likely starting around the time of Lysimachos and ending way before Mithradates VI Eupator. '300-101' seems to be a Google translate version of the more vague 3-2nd BCE including the full 200 years rather than the historical possibilities.

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image.jpeg.80588226c4f7fb7ed7f06ed6a03c928c.jpegMOESIA INFERIOR. Callatis/Kallatis. Pseudo-autonomous. Time of Antoninus Pius to Marcus Aurelius (138-180). Æ (15mm, 2.44 gm, 12h). Obv: Helmeted and draped bust of Athena right, wearing aegis.
Rev: ΚΑΛΛΑΤΙΑΝΩΝ (Starting bottom left and going around counter-clockwise to the top). Shield decorated with wreath between club right and quiver left.  RPC IV.1 online 8359. (var. reverse legend location); AMNG I 269 (var. same).

 

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1 hour ago, seth77 said:

I think both AMNG and local research have these as 3-2nd centuries BCE. That means likely starting around the time of Lysimachos and ending way before Mithradates VI Eupator. '300-101' seems to be a Google translate version of the more vague 3-2nd BCE including the full 200 years rather than the historical possibilities.

Thank you for that clarification.  Can you help me out with the actual dates?  I really try to avoid 3rd C. BCE because although I understand 300-201 B.C. are the dates, I then see this:  Λυσίμαχος, Lysimachos; c. 360 BC – 281 BC) (Wikipedia) and Mithradates VI Eupator (Greek: Μιθραδάτης;[2] 135–63 BC) (ibid) - this range is 4th-1st C. BCE...and so I am still fuzzy on the actual years. 

This confusion happens to me all the time when I am attributing ancients - I've always been bad at math/numbers.  

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21 minutes ago, Marsyas Mike said:

Thank you for that clarification.  Can you help me out with the actual dates?  I really try to avoid 3rd C. BCE because although I understand 300-201 B.C. are the dates, I then see this:  Λυσίμαχος, Lysimachos; c. 360 BC – 281 BC) (Wikipedia) and Mithradates VI Eupator (Greek: Μιθραδάτης;[2] 135–63 BC) (ibid) - this range is 4th-1st C. BCE...and so I am still fuzzy on the actual years. 

This confusion happens to me all the time when I am attributing ancients - I've always been bad at math/numbers.  

Yours seems to have no markings, I wonder if it is not from the late 4th century. It is also heavy enough to be on the Attic standard, which would indicate an early Lysimachos period, possibly before 305BCE. I will need to check some articles.

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5 hours ago, seth77 said:

Yours seems to have no markings, I wonder if it is not from the late 4th century. It is also heavy enough to be on the Attic standard, which would indicate an early Lysimachos period, possibly before 305BCE. I will need to check some articles.

Thank you so much for your attention to this @seth77.  Like I mentioned before, when I was first attributing this, I was kind of confused by the great number of varieties of the type.  

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On 7/19/2023 at 9:13 PM, ambr0zie said:

Just returned from my holiday ... I have to admit that sitting on the beach, drinking an eating all day 

Here is the coin I won a few weeks ago (again, the post probably used some snails as couriers). Not extremely special when it comes to design, but I find it interesting and I am glad I managed to add a coin from Callatis to complete the series I wanted (Tomis-Callatis-Histria)

 

Do you have coins from Callatis? Or coins from places you like to visit? 

 

Snap! I just bought a coin from Kallatis, but it is yet to arrive. I do have the seller's (bad?) photos though. Heracles looks far from happy. (I shall post better ones when the coin arrives.)

Kallatis, Thrace, , Silver Hemidrachm, 300-200 BC

Magical Snap - 2023.07.27 19.33 - 092.jpgMagical Snap - 2023.07.27 19.33 - 093.jpg

BTW. Love the write-up.

Edited by Topcat7
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@Marsyas Mike here is from G. Talmatchi - Despre magistraţii monetari şi cronologia monetăriilor greceşti dobrogene  în perioada preromană, SN 9, p. 494:

'From our perspective, the chronology of issues at Callatis has the following order. The first issues are the silver coins with Herakles, struck between 330-281 (with some pauses). A hint in this sense is the discovery of such coins together with other emissions, especially Istrian, in a local hoard (Ioan Corvin, Constanta) dating 330-320BCE.'

The hoard is described and dated in An Inventory of Greek Coin Hoards, The American Numismatic Society, 1973, nr. 734.

The dating overlaps partly Istros group IV sg 3 (340-313) to sg 4 (313-281) - so both the era of Alexander and Lysimachos. The coins w/o marks or monograms are thought to be mainly pre Lysimachos as king, so as I said yesterday, pre 305BCE. So your coin is probably 330-313. AMNG 201-204 -- both your coin and mine I think are from this period.

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On 7/20/2023 at 12:28 AM, kirispupis said:

Very interesting! I've never been to Kallatis but would love to go someday. Here's my only coin from there.

331A9346-Edit.jpg.00f7af9212ad1f0b051c889521bf5f9b.jpg

Thrace, Kallatis
Circa 250 BCE
Bronze 25mm 9.74g
Laureate head of Apollo right
Tripod “KA??A-TIANON” “A?O?A” below
HGC 3.2, 1828

Believe your legend may be KAΛΛA-TIANΩN with AΠOΛΛO in exergue.

Poss. AMNG I 227; cf. SNG BM Black Sea 214 (monogram); cf. SNG Stancomb 69 (AΠOΛ)

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20 hours ago, seth77 said:

@Marsyas Mike here is from G. Talmatchi - Despre magistraţii monetari şi cronologia monetăriilor greceşti dobrogene  în perioada preromană, SN 9, p. 494:

'From our perspective, the chronology of issues at Callatis has the following order. The first issues are the silver coins with Herakles, struck between 330-281 (with some pauses). A hint in this sense is the discovery of such coins together with other emissions, especially Istrian, in a local hoard (Ioan Corvin, Constanta) dating 330-320BCE.'

The hoard is described and dated in An Inventory of Greek Coin Hoards, The American Numismatic Society, 1973, nr. 734.

The dating overlaps partly Istros group IV sg 3 (340-313) to sg 4 (313-281) - so both the era of Alexander and Lysimachos. The coins w/o marks or monograms are thought to be mainly pre Lysimachos as king, so as I said yesterday, pre 305BCE. So your coin is probably 330-313. AMNG 201-204 -- both your coin and mine I think are from this period.

@seth77 I really, really appreciate your help with this.  I have updated my attribution accordingly - I do like to get these as accurate as possible and you really helped me improve this one.  Thank you! 

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2 hours ago, Marsyas Mike said:

@seth77 I really, really appreciate your help with this.  I have updated my attribution accordingly - I do like to get these as accurate as possible and you really helped me improve this one.  Thank you! 

No prob, these are very interesting and dating them is similar to dating medieval immobilized coinages, which sparks my interest as a medievalist first and foremost.

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On 7/27/2023 at 5:53 AM, PeteB said:

image.jpeg.80588226c4f7fb7ed7f06ed6a03c928c.jpegMOESIA INFERIOR. Callatis/Kallatis. Pseudo-autonomous. Time of Antoninus Pius to Marcus Aurelius (138-180). Æ (15mm, 2.44 gm, 12h). Obv: Helmeted and draped bust of Athena right, wearing aegis.
Rev: ΚΑΛΛΑΤΙΑΝΩΝ (Starting bottom left and going around counter-clockwise to the top). Shield decorated with wreath between club right and quiver left.  RPC IV.1 online 8359. (var. reverse legend location); AMNG I 269 (var. same).

 

Interesting legend on this coin. on the reverse at the bottom we have ΚΑΛΛΑ that reads from left to right and at the top we have ΤΙΑΝΩΝ still following the legend around the coin but with the top of the letter on the rim of the coin, and also, the letters are 'mirrored' (the 'N's are back to front).

( A 'clearer to read' image, for reference, below).

 

 

Magical Snap - 2023.07.29 08.35 - 095.jpg

Edited by Topcat7
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