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A pair of Macedonian shield coins?!


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As many of you know, I collect Greek coins from roughly the area of Alexander the Great from the 4th and first half of the 3rd centuries BCE. This has put several of the cities of Akarnania in my crosshairs and recently I was very happy to add the following two rare examples.


Akarnania, Koronta
300-250 BCE
AR stater 8.23g
D/ Pégase en vol à g
R/ T. casquée d'Athéna à g. Derrière, K et bouclier macédonien orné d'un foudre
Pegasi 1; BMC 1



Acarnania, Metropolis
ca 300-250 BCE
AR Stater, 8.27g
Obv: Pegasus flying l., M below.
Rx: Head of Athena l.; monogram and Macedonian shield behind.
Calciati-1/4 (same obv. die), BM-1, Weber-3867


What caught me about the descriptions is that in both cases they're described as "Macedonian shields." Yes, mine look a bit more like balloons, but given the rarity I was happy to sacrifice a bit of quality and both coins look far better in hand. Contrast this with some of the other former Corinthian colonies in Akarnania.


Circa 375-350 BCE
AR Stater 19 mm, 8.47 g, 6 h
Λ Pegasos flying left.
Rev. ΛEYKAΔIΩN Head of Athena to left, wearing Corinthian helmet; behind, Π.
BCD Akarnania 194. Calciati 48/2



Akarnania, Anaktorion
Circa 350-300 BCE
AR Stater 21 mm, 7.96 g, 9 h
Pegasos flying left; below, monogram of AN.
Rev. Head of Athena to left, wearing Corinthian helmet; behind neck guard, ΔΩ and small altar.
BCD Akarnania 108. Calciati 58. HGC 4, 763


As you can see, there are no shields. This made me wonder, are they really MSC coins? That would imply they were in league with Philip II (or Alexander III). But what about the other Akarnanian cities? Why didn't they have shields? Note that I also have coins from several other Akarnanian cities, but they're bronze. However, AFAICT, only Miletopolis and Koronta included any shields on their coins.

I managed to find this paper, by Carl Roebuck in which he mentions in the comments:


...contributions of the members of the "Hellenic League" add the Acarnanians and all the Peloponnesians; but Acarnania seems to have been divided in loyalty

The paper covers the initial states that were against Philip II's subjugation of the Greek cities and how he played politics to get around this. Unfortunately, I couldn't find much more, but I did map out the various Akarnanian cities known for their coinage. Note that locations are approximate based on my ability to place them on the map after looking at my copy of Barrington.


From here, Koronta and Metropolis were among the easiest to access from the rest of Greece. Could Macedonian troops have been there? Or did the two cities have historical ties to Macedon? While there is evidence that both were members of the Akarnanian League, my suspicion is they were partial to Macedon and therefore not in line with the other Akarnanian cities in opposing Philip II.

Unless there's some article I'm missing (and that's likely), this could be one case where coinage provides us history that has otherwise disappeared. Of course, it's possible that this is someone else's shield, but better copies clearly show a gorgon and pattern that appear on bronze MSC's, so the identification as Macedonian seems strong. I did try to figure out which reference made this original attribution, but I have none of those typically cited, nor could I find them online.

However, it does appear that these are either MSC's or "semi-MSCs" (because the shield is only a small part of the reverse - I don't know what the official requirement is) and that they indicate that the cities favored Macedon at a time when many of their compatriots didn't.

Any other info on this would be appreciated.

Or, just show off your Pegasos coins. 🙂 

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Must not be MSs. More likely ancient balloons. Better sell em to me at basement bargain prices. 😉Just teasing. Very desirable coins, my man!

I've been on the lookout for the type for some time. And have no doubt they are Macedonian shields represented behind Athena's head.

Not mine and from ac search, but to make it crystal clear that's a Macedonian shield:


AKARNANIA, Koronta(?). Circa 350-300 BC. AR Stater (8.22 g, 11h). Pegasos flying left / Helmeted head of Athena left; K and Macedonian shield behind. Pegasi 1; BCD Akarnania 175.1 (this coin); SNG Copenhagen 323. Good VF, toned. Very rare mint.

Ex BCD Collection.

Though, I don't have one of the type, yet, I can offer up a Pegasos shield coin nevertheless:


Khinakha (c. 470/440 BC). Dynasts of Lycia.

1/3 Stater, 14mm 2.86g, (Tetrobol, Silver). Approx. 470 - 440 BC Chr.

Obv: Pegasos flying left on round shield.

Rev: Triskeles in round incuse.

Müseler - (cf. IV,78 Stater); Traité 221, pl. XCV, 3; SNG by Aulock - (cf. 4089 stater).

Rare. Very nice. Purchased from Solidus Numismatik March 2023

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