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Coinage of Antiochus II in Bactria

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  • Jens Jakobsson
    Dear group, Frank Holt in his Thundering Zeus: the making of Hellenistic Bactria states that Antiochus II issued far less coins than Antiochus I in Bactria,
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 1, 2008
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      Dear group,

      Frank Holt in his "Thundering Zeus: the making of Hellenistic Bactria"
      states that Antiochus II issued far less coins than Antiochus I in
      Bactria, and uses this as evidence for the "high chronology" - that
      Diodotus I became independent in 255 BCE instead of around 246 BCE,
      which is a time that makes far more sense politically (as Antiochus II
      apparently never cared about Bactria seceding in the middle of a
      relatively tranquil period of Seleucid history).

      The view is seemingly supported by Bopearachchi in ANS9 (Bactria and
      India) where Antiochus II is represented by only a few coins with a
      single monogram.

      Does anybody know if there is more definite proof of this discrepancy,
      and whether this is important proof for the "high chronology"?

      Best regards,
      Jens Jakobsson
    • Patrick Pasmans
      Dear Jens, Brian Kritt concludes in his very interesting study Seleucid Coins of Bactria (CNG No. 1, 1996): The relative abundance of the coins of Antiochus
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 1, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        Dear Jens,
        Brian Kritt concludes in his very interesting study"Seleucid Coins of Bactria" (CNG No. 1, 1996):
        "The relative abundance of the coins of Antiochus I over those of Seleucus I (coregency) can be attributed to the opening of the mint at Aï Khanoum late in the coregency. The mint production peaks in the reign of Antiochus I, with relatively few issues from the short period of Seleucid control under Antiochus II."
        Best regards,
        Patrick Pasmans



        To: seleukids@yahoogroups.comFrom: jens.jakobsson@...: Fri, 1 Aug 2008 12:47:35 +0000Subject: [seleukids] Coinage of Antiochus II in Bactria




        Dear group,Frank Holt in his "Thundering Zeus: the making of Hellenistic Bactria" states that Antiochus II issued far less coins than Antiochus I in Bactria, and uses this as evidence for the "high chronology" - that Diodotus I became independent in 255 BCE instead of around 246 BCE, which is a time that makes far more sense politically (as Antiochus II apparently never cared about Bactria seceding in the middle of a relatively tranquil period of Seleucid history).The view is seemingly supported by Bopearachchi in ANS9 (Bactria and India) where Antiochus II is represented by only a few coins with a single monogram.Does anybody know if there is more definite proof of this discrepancy, and whether this is important proof for the "high chronology"?Best regards,Jens Jakobsson





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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • BrianKritt@aol.com
        In a message dated 8/1/2008 8:48:10 AM Eastern Daylight Time, jens.jakobsson@spray.se writes: Dear group, Frank Holt in his Thundering Zeus: the making of
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 2, 2008
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          In a message dated 8/1/2008 8:48:10 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
          jens.jakobsson@... writes:




          Dear group,

          Frank Holt in his "Thundering Zeus: the making of Hellenistic Bactria"
          states that Antiochus II issued far less coins than Antiochus I in
          Bactria, and uses this as evidence for the "high chronology" - that
          Diodotus I became independent in 255 BCE instead of around 246 BCE,
          which is a time that makes far more sense politically (as Antiochus II
          apparently never cared about Bactria seceding in the middle of a
          relatively tranquil period of Seleucid history).

          The view is seemingly supported by Bopearachchi in ANS9 (Bactria and
          India) where Antiochus II is represented by only a few coins with a
          single monogram.

          Does anybody know




          You should read my book, "Dynastic Transitions in the Coinage of Bactria,"
          Lancaster, 2001.

          Brian Kritt



          **************Looking for a car that's sporty, fun and fits in your budget?
          Read reviews on AOL Autos.
          (http://autos.aol.com/cars-BMW-128-2008/expert-review?ncid=aolaut00050000000017 )


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Makis Aperghis
          Dear Jens The date for Baktrian independence is, as we all know, controversial. Here are my ideas in support of a low date, from 246 to 239: 1. The kingship
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 3, 2008
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            Dear Jens



            The date for Baktrian independence is, as we all know, controversial. Here
            are my ideas in support of a low date, from 246 to 239:



            1. The kingship issue. Diodotos I is depicted on his 'Thundering Zeus'
            coinage with his diademed head on the obverse and the legend 'of king
            Antiochos' on the reverse. The diadem is a clear claim to kingship. So
            either Diodotos had been granted joint-kingship by Antiochos II, for which
            there is no evidence or precedent for someone not of the Seleukid family, or
            he was a rebel who had usurped the title of king. But, if he was a rebel,
            why place the name of the former sovereign he was replacing on his coin?
            Would this have stopped Antiochos from marching against him as a rebel?
            Certainly not. However, if Antiochos II had just died (246), things changed.
            There was considerable uncertainty in the western part of the empire as to
            who would succeed him. First Ptolemy III had established himself as
            Antiochos' successor, but had to retire to Egypt. Then Seleukos II had to
            face his brother, Antiochos Hierax, but was defeated at the battle of Ankyra
            in 239. In the uncertainty as to who would finally win, Diodotos could sit
            on the fence by displaying the name of the last universally acknowledged
            king on his coins from 246 to 239. If whoever won was strong enough to
            threaten him, Diodotos could justifiably explain that he had not known who
            his future sovereign was to be. Only after Seleukos' defeat in 239, could
            he feel safe enough to drop the name of Antiochos.



            2. The numismatic issue. As things are presented in "Seleucid Coinage"
            there is a lot of Baktrian coinage for Antiochos I and hardly any for
            Antiochos II, which has prompted scholars to go for a date c. 255 for
            Baktrian independence. However, much of the coinage of Antiochos I shows a
            portrait of Antiochos I 'rejuvenated and idealised'. Since Antiochos II also
            issued coins with the portrait of his father 'rejuvenated and idealised' in
            his western mints, according to SC, common sense suggests that some
            attributions to Antiochos I may not be correct and should be made to
            Antiochos II. Perhaps numismatists would care to look at this again. It
            seems peculiar to me, for instance, that there is a reverse die link between
            one of the 'rejuvenated' issues of Antiochos I (no. 436.6) and a proper
            issue of Antiochos II (no. 616.1). It also seems peculiar that there are no
            tetradrachms for Antiochos II, while there are gold staters and drachms.



            3. The administrative issue. In general I do not find it strange when
            one Seleukid king has more coinage than another at a particular mint, even
            per year of reign. Seleukid coinage issues tend to be mostly spasmodic
            affairs dependent on military activity in a region or peace-time needs that
            are most often associated with city-building. Of military activity there
            does not seem to have been much in the reigns of both Antiochos I and II,
            but one can certainly point to a heavy investment in city-building in
            Baktria, Sogdiane and Margiane under Antiochos I which would require coinage
            to get a city's economy started (see my Seleukid Royal Economy).



            All the best

            Makis





            _____

            From: seleukids@yahoogroups.com [mailto:seleukids@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
            Of Jens Jakobsson
            Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 5:48 AM
            To: seleukids@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [seleukids] Coinage of Antiochus II in Bactria



            Dear group,

            Frank Holt in his "Thundering Zeus: the making of Hellenistic Bactria"
            states that Antiochus II issued far less coins than Antiochus I in
            Bactria, and uses this as evidence for the "high chronology" - that
            Diodotus I became independent in 255 BCE instead of around 246 BCE,
            which is a time that makes far more sense politically (as Antiochus II
            apparently never cared about Bactria seceding in the middle of a
            relatively tranquil period of Seleucid history).

            The view is seemingly supported by Bopearachchi in ANS9 (Bactria and
            India) where Antiochus II is represented by only a few coins with a
            single monogram.

            Does anybody know if there is more definite proof of this discrepancy,
            and whether this is important proof for the "high chronology"?

            Best regards,
            Jens Jakobsson





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Jens Jakobsson
            Thanks for your replies, everybody. Brian, I have requested a copy of your book from Spink and son. Does this book concern the subject of the commemorative
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 25, 2008
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              Thanks for your replies, everybody.

              Brian, I have requested a copy of your book from Spink and son. Does
              this book concern the subject of the commemorative coins, especially the
              appearance of 'Antiochos Nikator'?

              Here are my replies to Makis


              --- In seleukids@yahoogroups.com, "Makis Aperghis" <maperghis@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > Dear Jens
              >
              >
              >
              > The date for Baktrian independence is, as we all know, controversial.
              Here
              > are my ideas in support of a low date, from 246 to 239:
              >
              >
              >
              > 1. The kingship issue. Diodotos I is depicted on his 'Thundering Zeus'
              > coinage with his diademed head on the obverse and the legend 'of king
              > Antiochos' on the reverse. The diadem is a clear claim to kingship. So
              > either Diodotos had been granted joint-kingship by Antiochos II, for
              which
              > there is no evidence or precedent for someone not of the Seleukid
              family, or
              > he was a rebel who had usurped the title of king. But, if he was a
              rebel,
              > why place the name of the former sovereign he was replacing on his
              coin?
              > Would this have stopped Antiochos from marching against him as a
              rebel?
              > Certainly not. However, if Antiochos II had just died (246), things
              changed.
              > There was considerable uncertainty in the western part of the empire
              as to
              > who would succeed him. First Ptolemy III had established himself as
              > Antiochos' successor, but had to retire to Egypt. Then Seleukos II had
              to
              > face his brother, Antiochos Hierax, but was defeated at the battle of
              Ankyra
              > in 239. In the uncertainty as to who would finally win, Diodotos could
              sit
              > on the fence by displaying the name of the last universally
              acknowledged
              > king on his coins from 246 to 239. If whoever won was strong enough to
              > threaten him, Diodotos could justifiably explain that he had not known
              who
              > his future sovereign was to be. Only after Seleukos' defeat in 239,
              could
              > he feel safe enough to drop the name of Antiochos.
              >


              JJ: This is a matter where I agree wholeheartedly. It would make
              political sense on a grand scale that the Diodotid independence was due
              to the turmoil after the third Syrian war and the war of the brothers.

              However, there are other examples when territories broke free during the
              reign of Antiochos II. In Cappadocia, according to Grainger's A Seleucid
              Prosography and Gazetteer (Kappadokia) , the Seleucid governor was
              killed c. 255 BCE and AFAIK the Seleucids did not even attempt to
              recover the province (unless we count the installation of Orophernes a
              century later). Vesta Curtis has also revealed that a dynasty
              priest-kings in Persis overstruck several coins of Alexander and
              Seleukos I and yet were allowed to prevail for a considerable period.
              Antiochos I cannot have been too happy about that. So perhaps there
              were several secessionists and the Seleucids were unable to cope with
              them all.

              Further, I personally have some doubts about the entire idea that the
              Diodotid 'Antiochos coins' were issued by Diodotos I. I think - and
              there are a number of numismatic indications to support this - that they
              may have belonged to a separate Bactrian king, Antiochos Nikator.


              >
              > 2. The numismatic issue. As things are presented in "Seleucid Coinage"
              > there is a lot of Baktrian coinage for Antiochos I and hardly any for
              > Antiochos II, which has prompted scholars to go for a date c. 255 for
              > Baktrian independence. However, much of the coinage of Antiochos I
              shows a
              > portrait of Antiochos I 'rejuvenated and idealised'. Since Antiochos
              II also
              > issued coins with the portrait of his father 'rejuvenated and
              idealised' in
              > his western mints, according to SC, common sense suggests that some
              > attributions to Antiochos I may not be correct and should be made to
              > Antiochos II. Perhaps numismatists would care to look at this again.
              It
              > seems peculiar to me, for instance, that there is a reverse die link
              between
              > one of the 'rejuvenated' issues of Antiochos I (no. 436.6) and a
              proper
              > issue of Antiochos II (no. 616.1). It also seems peculiar that there
              are no
              > tetradrachms for Antiochos II, while there are gold staters and
              drachms.
              >
              JJ: I agree here too. The shift from Antiochos I - Antiochos II is the
              first of only two Seleucid successions (the other being Seleucus II
              -III) where he have homonyms without epithets and dates. There's really
              no way apart from assumptions based on portraits to distinguish an issue
              of Antiochos I from one of his son, and we cannot be certain if
              Antiochos II thought it important to immediately make his own visage
              appear on Seleucid coins.


              >
              > 3. The administrative issue. In general I do not find it strange when
              > one Seleukid king has more coinage than another at a particular mint,
              even
              > per year of reign. Seleukid coinage issues tend to be mostly spasmodic
              > affairs dependent on military activity in a region or peace-time needs
              that
              > are most often associated with city-building. Of military activity
              there
              > does not seem to have been much in the reigns of both Antiochos I and
              II,
              > but one can certainly point to a heavy investment in city-building in
              > Baktria, Sogdiane and Margiane under Antiochos I which would require
              coinage
              > to get a city's economy started (see my Seleukid Royal Economy).
              >
              JJ: Mark Passehl supported similar arguments as well, but the stray
              findings in Ai Khanoum still disfavour Antiochos II enormously. Holt
              claims there has been found 62 coins of Antiochos I, 26 for the
              Diodotid kings and 49 for Euthydemos while Antiochos II left only 2
              stray coins. This is a substantial difference, and it begs the question
              why Bactria needed no coinage between 261-246 BCE? The stray finds were
              mainly bronzes and these were struck for everyday use by ordinary
              people. I am a bit uncertain here.


              Kindly

              Jens




              > All the best
              >
              > Makis
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > _____
              >
              > From: seleukids@yahoogroups.com [mailto:seleukids@yahoogroups.com] On
              Behalf
              > Of Jens Jakobsson
              > Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 5:48 AM
              > To: seleukids@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: [seleukids] Coinage of Antiochus II in Bactria
              >
              >
              >
              > Dear group,
              >
              > Frank Holt in his "Thundering Zeus: the making of Hellenistic Bactria"
              > states that Antiochus II issued far less coins than Antiochus I in
              > Bactria, and uses this as evidence for the "high chronology" - that
              > Diodotus I became independent in 255 BCE instead of around 246 BCE,
              > which is a time that makes far more sense politically (as Antiochus II
              > apparently never cared about Bactria seceding in the middle of a
              > relatively tranquil period of Seleucid history).
              >
              > The view is seemingly supported by Bopearachchi in ANS9 (Bactria and
              > India) where Antiochus II is represented by only a few coins with a
              > single monogram.
              >
              > Does anybody know if there is more definite proof of this discrepancy,
              > and whether this is important proof for the "high chronology"?
              >
              > Best regards,
              > Jens Jakobsson
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Makis Aperghis
              Dear Jens, It seems we are generally in agreement on Baktrian independence. Regarding the huge imbalance between bronze coins of Antiochos I and Antiochos II
              Message 6 of 6 , Aug 26, 2008
              • 0 Attachment
                Dear Jens,



                It seems we are generally in agreement on Baktrian independence.



                Regarding the huge imbalance between bronze coins of Antiochos I and
                Antiochos II found at Ai Khanoum, as reported by Holt (62 : 2), look at it
                this way. We are simply relying on how the different known bronze types have
                been attributed: 10 to Antiochos I and 5 to Antiochos II in 'Seleucid
                Coinage'. But there is nothing really to make this certain using
                administrative criteria, i.e. portraits, legends and monograms, which is
                what I rely on mainly. None of the types shows a portrait and they all
                display 'Of King Antiochos' and mostly use the 'delta' monogram. And, to
                take one example, how about the ANCHOR countermark found on a
                'Herakles/bull' bronze of Antiochos I (no. 441.1) and on a 'Hermes/crossed
                caducei' bronze of Antiochos II (no. 623)? Kritt considers that both
                countermarks were probably applied during the campaign of Antiochos III,
                with which I agree, and it is likely that the bronze in circulation then was
                the more recent. This and the fact that Herakles, a very common subject on
                Seleukid coins, is present on three types of Antiochos I and missing from
                Antiochos II would make me suspect that the 'Herakles/bull' type may belong
                to Antiochos II. This was just one example.



                Overall I am not happy with the distribution of Baktrian silver and bronze
                between Antiochos I and II. The political and administrative criteria
                should, in my view, take precedence and the numismatic evidence does not
                seem strong enough to counter these.



                Makis



                _____

                From: seleukids@yahoogroups.com [mailto:seleukids@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                Of Jens Jakobsson
                Sent: �������, 25 ��������� 2008 7:26 ��
                To: seleukids@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [seleukids] Re: Coinage of Antiochus II in Bactria




                Thanks for your replies, everybody.

                Brian, I have requested a copy of your book from Spink and son. Does
                this book concern the subject of the commemorative coins, especially the
                appearance of 'Antiochos Nikator'?

                Here are my replies to Makis

                --- In seleukids@yahoogrou <mailto:seleukids%40yahoogroups.com> ps.com,
                "Makis Aperghis" <maperghis@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Dear Jens
                >
                >
                >
                > The date for Baktrian independence is, as we all know, controversial.
                Here
                > are my ideas in support of a low date, from 246 to 239:
                >
                >
                >
                > 1. The kingship issue. Diodotos I is depicted on his 'Thundering Zeus'
                > coinage with his diademed head on the obverse and the legend 'of king
                > Antiochos' on the reverse. The diadem is a clear claim to kingship. So
                > either Diodotos had been granted joint-kingship by Antiochos II, for
                which
                > there is no evidence or precedent for someone not of the Seleukid
                family, or
                > he was a rebel who had usurped the title of king. But, if he was a
                rebel,
                > why place the name of the former sovereign he was replacing on his
                coin?
                > Would this have stopped Antiochos from marching against him as a
                rebel?
                > Certainly not. However, if Antiochos II had just died (246), things
                changed.
                > There was considerable uncertainty in the western part of the empire
                as to
                > who would succeed him. First Ptolemy III had established himself as
                > Antiochos' successor, but had to retire to Egypt. Then Seleukos II had
                to
                > face his brother, Antiochos Hierax, but was defeated at the battle of
                Ankyra
                > in 239. In the uncertainty as to who would finally win, Diodotos could
                sit
                > on the fence by displaying the name of the last universally
                acknowledged
                > king on his coins from 246 to 239. If whoever won was strong enough to
                > threaten him, Diodotos could justifiably explain that he had not known
                who
                > his future sovereign was to be. Only after Seleukos' defeat in 239,
                could
                > he feel safe enough to drop the name of Antiochos.
                >

                JJ: This is a matter where I agree wholeheartedly. It would make
                political sense on a grand scale that the Diodotid independence was due
                to the turmoil after the third Syrian war and the war of the brothers.

                However, there are other examples when territories broke free during the
                reign of Antiochos II. In Cappadocia, according to Grainger's A Seleucid
                Prosography and Gazetteer (Kappadokia) , the Seleucid governor was
                killed c. 255 BCE and AFAIK the Seleucids did not even attempt to
                recover the province (unless we count the installation of Orophernes a
                century later). Vesta Curtis has also revealed that a dynasty
                priest-kings in Persis overstruck several coins of Alexander and
                Seleukos I and yet were allowed to prevail for a considerable period.
                Antiochos I cannot have been too happy about that. So perhaps there
                were several secessionists and the Seleucids were unable to cope with
                them all.

                Further, I personally have some doubts about the entire idea that the
                Diodotid 'Antiochos coins' were issued by Diodotos I. I think - and
                there are a number of numismatic indications to support this - that they
                may have belonged to a separate Bactrian king, Antiochos Nikator.

                >
                > 2. The numismatic issue. As things are presented in "Seleucid Coinage"
                > there is a lot of Baktrian coinage for Antiochos I and hardly any for
                > Antiochos II, which has prompted scholars to go for a date c. 255 for
                > Baktrian independence. However, much of the coinage of Antiochos I
                shows a
                > portrait of Antiochos I 'rejuvenated and idealised'. Since Antiochos
                II also
                > issued coins with the portrait of his father 'rejuvenated and
                idealised' in
                > his western mints, according to SC, common sense suggests that some
                > attributions to Antiochos I may not be correct and should be made to
                > Antiochos II. Perhaps numismatists would care to look at this again.
                It
                > seems peculiar to me, for instance, that there is a reverse die link
                between
                > one of the 'rejuvenated' issues of Antiochos I (no. 436.6) and a
                proper
                > issue of Antiochos II (no. 616.1). It also seems peculiar that there
                are no
                > tetradrachms for Antiochos II, while there are gold staters and
                drachms.
                >
                JJ: I agree here too. The shift from Antiochos I - Antiochos II is the
                first of only two Seleucid successions (the other being Seleucus II
                -III) where he have homonyms without epithets and dates. There's really
                no way apart from assumptions based on portraits to distinguish an issue
                of Antiochos I from one of his son, and we cannot be certain if
                Antiochos II thought it important to immediately make his own visage
                appear on Seleucid coins.

                >
                > 3. The administrative issue. In general I do not find it strange when
                > one Seleukid king has more coinage than another at a particular mint,
                even
                > per year of reign. Seleukid coinage issues tend to be mostly spasmodic
                > affairs dependent on military activity in a region or peace-time needs
                that
                > are most often associated with city-building. Of military activity
                there
                > does not seem to have been much in the reigns of both Antiochos I and
                II,
                > but one can certainly point to a heavy investment in city-building in
                > Baktria, Sogdiane and Margiane under Antiochos I which would require
                coinage
                > to get a city's economy started (see my Seleukid Royal Economy).
                >
                JJ: Mark Passehl supported similar arguments as well, but the stray
                findings in Ai Khanoum still disfavour Antiochos II enormously. Holt
                claims there has been found 62 coins of Antiochos I, 26 for the
                Diodotid kings and 49 for Euthydemos while Antiochos II left only 2
                stray coins. This is a substantial difference, and it begs the question
                why Bactria needed no coinage between 261-246 BCE? The stray finds were
                mainly bronzes and these were struck for everyday use by ordinary
                people. I am a bit uncertain here.

                Kindly

                Jens

                > All the best
                >
                > Makis
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > _____
                >
                > From: seleukids@yahoogrou <mailto:seleukids%40yahoogroups.com> ps.com
                [mailto:seleukids@yahoogrou <mailto:seleukids%40yahoogroups.com> ps.com] On
                Behalf
                > Of Jens Jakobsson
                > Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 5:48 AM
                > To: seleukids@yahoogrou <mailto:seleukids%40yahoogroups.com> ps.com
                > Subject: [seleukids] Coinage of Antiochus II in Bactria
                >
                >
                >
                > Dear group,
                >
                > Frank Holt in his "Thundering Zeus: the making of Hellenistic Bactria"
                > states that Antiochus II issued far less coins than Antiochus I in
                > Bactria, and uses this as evidence for the "high chronology" - that
                > Diodotus I became independent in 255 BCE instead of around 246 BCE,
                > which is a time that makes far more sense politically (as Antiochus II
                > apparently never cared about Bactria seceding in the middle of a
                > relatively tranquil period of Seleucid history).
                >
                > The view is seemingly supported by Bopearachchi in ANS9 (Bactria and
                > India) where Antiochus II is represented by only a few coins with a
                > single monogram.
                >
                > Does anybody know if there is more definite proof of this discrepancy,
                > and whether this is important proof for the "high chronology"?
                >
                > Best regards,
                > Jens Jakobsson
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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