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Greek "Spain"


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If you look at a map of the Mediterranean "upside down" the whole place seems to open up more for a series of Greek settlements. Once you'd rounded the toe  of Italy and passed the dastardly Etruscans there was a large natural basin and no obvious necessary divisions  into "France" and "Catalonia".  Some settlements are well-known, such as Massalia/Marseilles, but also Monoikos/Monaco, Nikea/Nice and Antipolis/Antibes. But not knowing where "France" stopped, trading posts continued  into Catalonia, such as  Emporion/Empuries and Rhode/Roses [home until not long ago of possibly the most famous restaurant ever, El Bulli]. 


There are some really interesting Greek coins from some of these cities, but  the further west you go, the less research is easily available, partly reflecting output, perceived quality, quantity etc.  All this is a long, roundabout way of saying  Moneda Iberica is available online and has lots of very good examples of relevant coins. I only realized this from an advert for an upcoming ANS event.

https://numismatics.org/the-long-table-series/  in mid May.

As  Moneda Iberica seems to  be interested in non-Greek coins too (!) there are of course also  good sections on all sorts of  other "Spanish" coins too, Punic, Celtiberian etc -


It's in Spanish (how dare they...) but autotranslates  really easily.


I know it's a somewhat obscure area  in Greek coinage, but I thought  I'd flag it. Here are a few coins of the area. Please feel free to post similar, comment etc!


Emporion (Empúries) Silver, 0.87 g, Diameter 10.4 mm. Obol. 5th century BC Obverse: Two sphinxes facing,  their heads joined in a janiform style Reverse: Incuse geometric shape (if you squint)



Emporion. 3rd century BC. Hemiobol (Silver, 10 mm, 0.43 g). Laureate head of Apollo to right. Rev. Pellet within crescent.



And back east, Massalia. Circa 460-450 BC. Hemiobol (Silver, 9 mm, 0.43g). Archaic head of Apollo to left. Rev. Crab; below, inverted M



Fun fact : Julius Caesar (obviously much later than these coins) reported that the  Gaulish druids, though preferring to commit to memory, used Greek as their written language of choice.

(Commentarii de Bello Gallico, VI.14)

The Druids do not go to war, nor pay tribute together with the rest; they have an exemption from military service and a dispensation in all matters. Induced by such great advantages, many embrace this profession of their own accord, and [many] are sent to it by their parents and relations. They are said there to learn by heart a great number of verses; accordingly some remain in the course of training twenty years. Nor do they regard it lawful to commit these to writing, though in almost all other matters, in their public and private transactions, they use Greek characters. That practice they seem to me to have adopted for two reasons; because they neither desire their doctrines to be divulged among the mass of the people, nor those who learn, to devote themselves the less to the efforts of memory, relying on writing; since it generally occurs to most men, that, in their dependence on writing, they relax their diligence in learning thoroughly, and their employment of the memory.

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18 hours ago, Phil Anthos said:

Having just reread Pytheas I find this particularly interesting, thanks.

~ Peter 

Would you have a good recommendation for Pytheas? 

I see works from Lionel Scott, Barry Cunliffe, Francois Herbaux, and Joachim Lelewel. The last two are in French, which I can read.

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25 minutes ago, kirispupis said:

Would you have a good recommendation for Pytheas? 

I see works from Lionel Scott, Barry Cunliffe, Francois Herbaux, and Joachim Lelewel. The last two are in French, which I can read.

I read the Barry Cunliffe which of course is mostly speculation, but it is argued very logically and reads much like a Pausanias travel guide. 

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