Jump to content

A late overstrike 'homereion' of Smyrna


Recommended Posts

Smyrna is one of the Greek cities claiming to be the birthplace of the poet Homer, a claim fully represented on the Hellenistic coinage of the city. According to Strabo, the denomination was called the 'homereion' by the local inhabitants of Smyrna.

This is a late 'Homereia' series Period XVI, with no magistrate name.


AE22mm 9.81g copper homereion, ca. 75-50BC
Head of Apollo wearing laurel inside laurel wreath
ΣMYPNAIΩN; Homer seated left, holding sceptre and scroll
Milne Type J Period XVI 359

The series is known to have been usually overstruck on earlier issues, as seen also on this spec, with the reverse legend being partially legible on the obverse of the present issue as [..] MYPN[..], running vertically on the face of Apollo.


Milne's 'Autonomous Coinage of Smyrna' notes this series as intermediate coinage probably short-lived in the interval between ca. 75 and 50BC, with no magistrate name or monogram. Likely a turmoil period as the city was moving from the autonomous administration to ever increasing Roman influence.

  • Like 12
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fantastic coin @seth77! These homereion coins from Smyrna are really cool. It’s especially fascinating that they were mentioned directly by Strabo. Here is mine.

Ionia, Smyrna
Menophilos Krabaus, magistrate.
Ae Homereium, struck ca. 105-95 BC
Dia.: 21 mm
Wt.: 7.05 g
Obv.: Laureate head of Apollo right
Homer, holding scroll and resting chin upon hand, seated left on plinth; sceptre behind
Ref.: Milne 1927, 294
Ex Gerhard Plankenhorn Collection of Ionian Coins, Numismatik Naumann 97, lot 1369 (Jan. 6, 2020)

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fascinating bit about how the coinage was mentioned by Strabo. Not to derail the topic at hand but it made me think about what other coins were directly mentioned in antiquity... Dio's line about the Eid Mar came to mind.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, zadie said:

Fascinating bit about how the coinage was mentioned by Strabo. Not to derail the topic at hand but it made me think about what other coins were directly mentioned in antiquity... Dio's line about the Eid Mar came to mind.

@Steppenfoolmade a video about a few of them a while back (that included my Julian Bull).


Edited by Curtisimo
  • Like 5
  • Smile 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, zadie said:

other coins were directly mentioned in antiquity

Greek coins were quite often mentioned, just a few included here  - the Demareteion of Syracuse was discussed a lot eg Herodotus, and the Samian counterfeits re Sparta,  Aristotle opined on coins of Taras,  and  of course Athenian owls a great deal!

Aristophanes -

Little Laureotic owlets
Shall be always flocking in:
You shall find them all about you,
As the dainty brood increases,
Building nests within your purses;
Hatching little silver pieces.


A  Homereion contribution here -

Smyrna Æ Homereion. Circa 145-125 BC.




  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Way to nab a Homer! Here's mine:


Ionia, Smyrna. Circa 125-115 BC. Æ 20mm (21mm, 8.27g). Phanokrates, magistrate. Laureate head of Apollo right / The poet Homer seated left, holding scroll. Milne, Autonomous 194a; SNG Copenhagen. Former Kairos Numismatik

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay then...

Smyrna, Ionia

75-50 BC
AE21 (21mm, 7.33g)
O: Laureate head of Apollo right, within laurel wreath.
R: Homer seated left, holding scroll and staff; ΣΜYΡΝΑΙΩΝ to right.
SNG Cop 1207; Mionnet 921; Weber 6138; SNG Tuebingen 3180; BMC 116; Sear 4571v (wreath)
ex Jack H. Beymer

~ Peter 


  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting coin @seth77.  I just got one of these and it took me a long time to attribute it because I had a real hard time finding the magistrate - there were a lot of them!  Finally, I did get a magistrate match and figured it out.  I think this is a "late period" too, since the star in the reverse field seems to have a later date (per the auctions, etc. I looked at):  


Ionia, Smyrna     Æ Homereion Megakles, Magistrate (c. 74-50 B.C.Laureate head of Apollo right / ΣMΥΡNAIΩN |  [M]EΓAKΛHΣ poet Homer seated left, resting chin on right hand, scroll in left, transverse scepter behind, star in left field Cf. Milne, Autonomous 379-380 (13.00 grams / 23 x 22 mm) eBay Dec. 2023                

Notes:  Found only one specimen for magistrate MEΓAKΛHΣ (Megakles); not a die-match:

Roma Numismatics Limited E-Sale 16; Lot 121; 28.02.2015 Cf. Milne, Autonomous 379-380.

CNG (drachm):  "magistrate Megakles is only known for Milne’s period XVII coinage, and the obverse die link to the drachms of Apollonios of this period confirms this placement."


  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A great overstrike! Here's my coin of this type - and my notes:


"There is also a library; and the Homereium, a quadrangular portico containing a shrine and wooden statue of Homer; for the Smyrnaeans also lay especial claim to the poet; and indeed a bronze coin of theirs is called Homereium."
-Strabo, Geographia, XIV.1.37



  • Like 7
  • Heart Eyes 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...