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This shouldn't be


Celator
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I picked up this up knowing something was off about it. Quick inspection would identify this coin as a normal Antiochus VI with Kantharos reverse. Indeed the reverse fits that description as being SC 2015.2f. However anyone familiar with the series knows all bronze coins of Antiochus VI are radiate. So why does this coin not show any spikes. Are they weakly struck, smoothed away, something else.... the folks at Forvm believe the radiate is not visible because of it's condition which includes the site owner, so I didn't argue further there and just let it go. 

When dealing with classical Numismatics I think you have to keep an open mind when dealing with coins in which their history is not exactly set in stone, especially with the time period these fall into. Antiochus VI was a young ruler probably not even 10 when he died and only was recognized as king for a couple of years. He was allowed to rule until the usurper Diodotos Tryphon decided to sieze power. 

This would normally be a very common coin, except I can't get over the obverse which I don't think it belongs to the series.

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22mm 6.2g

I've owned around 40 Antiochus VI's, looked at hundreds online, and I've never seen one with a radiate so weakly struck or worn that they were all missing. The coin actually has decent relief and suffers more from corrosion than wear. I've looked at every angle under a 20x loop and see zero signs of a radiate which should show 6 spikes. I also don't see evidence of tooling or excessive smoothing. Here is one I sold that is nearly worn flat and the radiate is still clearly visible. 

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Also the portrait looks nothing like Antiochus VI to me. Especially the eye socket, nose, and hair. 

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One more thing the flan seems extremely oversized for the portrait. 

Assuming I can convince some of you that this is not Antiochus VI, who is it then I'm sure you are wondering. To me the portrait looks young, even younger the Antiochus VI. You would also have to assume the king is named Antiochus due the the inscription. Antiochus VI ruled 144 to 142 BC so that narrows it down to 9 possibilities. 

Realizing the youthfulness of the portrait I immediately thought of Antiochus son of Seleucus IV, but that predates the reverse and does not at all resemble the portrait. That left me with just one more plausible ruler. Young Antiochus Epiphanes is believed to be Antiochus VIII before his sole rule. Cleopatra Thea had 3 sons including Antiochus VIII. Scholars propose she elevated him to king to preserve her rule against Demetrius or Ptolemy. There is some debate as to whether coins recognized as his are actually Antiochus VIII. What is certain is that they are some of the rarest in the Seleucid series. I'm not going to debate who is actually on those coins, but instead make a comparison of the bust. Young Antiochus is only known from silver coinage, so that is what I am going to compare against. This drachm was sold at a HJB sale.

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This coin was minted in 128 or 15 years after Antiochus VI, so within the realm of possibility. First I'll show the side by side

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The eyes, nose, and hair line up much closer here. Under magnification the extremities of the tousled hair and diadems match up up almost exactly with the Drachm. Unfortunately the photo does not show those well on my coin. I would almost say it is a die match, but my coin is too worn for me to make that conclusion. If it were though, that would explain the "oversized" flan, as Drachms are around 18mm. Still not convinced? Here is an overlay from a different lighting angle 

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as I said, the non over lapped areas are visible under magnification including the diadems. 

Assuming I am correct, what does this mean? Possibly a coin of Antiochus VI was overstruck with that of young Antiochus. Since the identity of young Antiochus is still debated, it's possible he is not actually Antiochus VIII. Always bothered me those portraits don't depict his trademark hooked nose. Could be the Epiphanes series is actually a younger Antiochus VI before his Dionysus epitaph or even the son of Antiochus VII. I'm not sure and don't have time to postulate that here, but I am standing with conviction that this is NOT Antiochus VI at least the portrait. If some disagree with that, so be it.

Lastly unrelated, the kantharos more represents a Loutrophoros pictured here.

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As compared to a kantharos here

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Post some coins you think don't quite fit into the accepted criteria or you feel are a bit "off".

Edited by Celator
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