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Acarnania

[British Museum Catalogue of Greek Coins, Thessaly to Aetolia, by P. Gardner, 1883.
Imhoof-Blumer, Die MŘnzen Akarnaiens in the Numismatische Zeitschrift, x. pp. 1-180, Vienna, 1878.]

Acarnania, the country between the Achelous on the east, and the sea on the west, derived its coin-standard from the two flourishing com- mercial colonies of Corinth—Anactorium and Leucas. Before the close of the fifth century the towns of Acarnania formed themselves into a Con- federacy, of which Stratus on the Achelous was the chief city.

At all the Acarnanian coast-towns staters of the Corinthian type, obv. Head of Athena, rev. Pegasos, now began to be issued, mainly for com- merce with Italy and Sicily, where they are still chiefly found. The cities of the interior, Stratus, Oeniadae, &c., took very little part in this Corinthian coinage, but struck small silver coins with their own types. About B.C. 300 Stratus fell into the hands of the Aetolians, and Leucas took its place as the chief city of the Acarnanian League. Thyrrheium likewise rose to importance after this date.

At what precise period the Pegasos staters ceased to be issued it is hard to determine, but it is certain that in the latter part of the third century (circ. 220) they had already been superseded by a regularly organised Federal currency, the coins having on the obverse the head of the national river-god Achelo÷s, and on the reverse a seated figure of the


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Actian Apollo. It is to be inferred that Leucas was the place of mintage of these Federal coins down to B.C. 167, when it was separated from Acarnania by the Romans, and began to strike silver in its own name.

After this date Thyrrheium continued for some time the series of coins of the Federal type, but with the legend ΘΥΡΡΕΙΩΝ in place of ΑΚΑΡΝΑΝΩΝ, until soon afterwards all coinage ceased in the land.

Alyzia. Corinthian staters, B.C. 350-250. Inscr. ΑΛΥ or ΑΛΥΖΑΙΩΝ (B. M. C., Corinth, Pl. XXX. 9-12), and contemporary bronze coins with types relating to the cult of Herakles, of whom there was a temple in the neighbourhood (Imhoof, Num. Zeit., x. 46, and Z. f. N., xv. 40).

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Anactorium. Corinthian staters down to B.C. 350 with the digamma (F) (Num. Zeit., x. 52 ff.). After B.C. 350 with ΑΝΑ (often in monogram), ΑΝΑΚΤΟΡΙΕΩΝ, ΑΝΑΚΤΟΡΙΩΝ, &c., and smaller denominations often with inscr. ΑΚΤΙΟ, ΑΚΤΙΟΥ, referring to the festivals of Apollo Actios in the territory of Anactorium, and ΑΚΤΙΑΣ accompanying the head of the goddess of the Actian Festival (B. M. C., Cor., Pl. XXXI, and Imhoof, l. c., p. 63). The more recent Pegasos-staters, circ. B.C. 300-250, bear the abbreviated names of magistrates, some of which are identical with those which occur on contemporary coins of Thyrrheium and Leucas. They may be the names of officials of the Acarnanian League (B. M. C., Cor., p. lx).

B.C. 250-167.

Head of Zeus. ΑΝ (mon.) in laurel-wreath.
AR 35 grs.
Head of Apollo. ΑΝΑΚΤΟΡΙΕΩΝ Lyre [B. M. C., Thes., Pl. XXVII. 10, 11].
Æ .75

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Argos Amphilochicum. Corinthian staters (B.C. 350-250), inscr. Α, ΑΡ, ΑΡΓΕΩΝ, ΑΡΓΕΙΩΝ, &c., and later ΑΜΦΙ, ΑΜΦΙΛΟΧΩΝ, &c. (B. M. C., Cor., Pl. XXXIII. 1-9), and bronze coins of two types:—

Young male head with short hair. ΑΡΓΕΙΩΝ Dog.
Æ .75
Head of Athena.   „  Owl facing [B. M. C., Thes., Pl. XXVII. 14, 15].
Æ .55

For the coin of Argos, which may have been struck by Amynander, king of the Athamanes, circ. B.C. 205, see Z. f. N., vii. 127.

ΑΡΓΕΙΩΝ Helmeted bust; Ares (?). ΑΜΥΝΑΝΔΡΟΣ Greyhound.
Æ .6

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Astacus. Corinthian staters (circ. B.C. 350), inscr. ΑΣ, and symbol crayfish (αστακος) (Imhoof, l. c., p. 97, and B. M. C., Cor., lxx. 123, Pl. XXXIII. 10).

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Coronta (?). Corinthian staters (B.C. 300-250). Inscr. Κ and Mace- donian shield (B. M. C., Cor., Pl. XXXIII. 11).

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Echinus (?). To this place, on the south shore of the Ambracian Gulf, a Pegasos-stater is conjecturally attributed, c. B.C. 300-250, with Ε and fish-hook behind the head of Athena (B. M. C., Cor., Pl. XXXIII. 12).

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Leucas. This city began early in the fifth century to strike Corin- thian staters, and continued to do so down to about B.C. 250 with inscr.


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Λ, ΛΕ, ΛΕΥ, ΛΕΥΚΑΔΙΩΝ, &c., as the chief city of the Acarnanian Confederacy (B. M. C., Cor., Pls. XXXIV-XXXVII).

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After the fall of Stratus it appears also to have been the place of mintage of a series of Corinthian staters distinguished by the letters ΑΚ (in mon.) (ibid., Pl. XXX. 5, 6). The bronze coins of Leucas (B.C. 350-250) are of the following types :—

Λ Head of Athena. Chimaera [B. M. C., Thes., Pl. XXVIII. 1].
Æ .75

(Usually restruck on Æ of Philip of Macedon.)

ΑΚ Head of man-headed bull (Ache- lo÷s). ΛΕ Chimaera.
Æ .8
Id. or Head of Aphrodite.   „  Trident [B. M. C., Thes., Pl. XXVIII. 4].
Æ .7
Bellerophon on Pegasos. ΛΕΥ Chimaera [Ibid., Pl. XXVIII. 6].
Æ .75
Pegasos. ΛΕΥΚΑΔΙΩΝ Trident.
Æ .55
Λ Head of Pegasos. Dolphin and trident.
Æ .5
Head of Apollo. ΛΕΥ Prow [Ibid., Pl. XXVIII. 11].
Æ .75
Λ Pegasos. Id.
Æ .6

From about B.C. 250 to 167 Leucas was probably the chief mint of the Federal coinage of the Acarnanian League. See Federal coinage (p. 333).

After B.C. 167.

In B.C. 167 Leucas was separated by the Romans from the Acarnanian Confederacy, but it continued to be a place of importance, and, like Corcyra, appears to have retained its autonomy under Roman protection. To this period may be ascribed the long series of silver coins with magistrates’ names (Prytaneis ?), of which more than forty are known.

coin image
FIG. 187.

Statue of goddess, ‘Αφροδιτη Αινειας, with attributes—crescent, aplustre, owl, stag, and sceptre surmounted by dove; the whole in a wreath. ΛΕΥΚΑΔΙΩΝ Prow, and name of magistrate (Fig. 187)
AR Attic Didr.
Head of young Herakles. ΛΕΥΚΑΔΙΩΝ Club in wreath, and magistrate’s name [B. M. C., Thes., Pl. XXVIII. 17].
AR 77, 67, and 59 grs.

The figure on these Leucadian coins has been identified by E. Curtius (Hermes, x. 243) as a statue of Aphrodite Aineias, whose sanctuary stood


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on a small island at the northern end of the canal which separated Leucas from the mainland. The bronze coins of this last period of Leucadian autonomy often bear the same magistrates’ names as the silver (Imhoof, Num. Zeit., x. p. 135). They are of various types (B. M. C., Thes., Pl. XXIX).

Medeon (?). (Num. Zeit., x. 139.)

BRONZE. Circ. B.C. 350-300.

ΜΕ Head of Apollo, hair short. Α or Μ in laurel-wreath.
Æ .7
Head of Apollo; hair long. Μ Ε Tripod.
Æ .7
Head of Athena.   „  Id. or owl [B. M. C., Thes., Pl. XXIX. 9, 10].
Æ .7-.6

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Metropolis. Corinthian staters (B.C. 300-250) with ΜΗ in mon. (Imhoof, Num. Zeit., p. 142; B. M. C., Cor., Pl. XXXVIII. 1).

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Oeniadae. For the silver coins with the digamma (F) and Τ (= Τριω- βολον ?) formerly attributed to Oeniadae, see Stratus. The Aetolians seized Oeniadae in the time of Alexander. As the bronze coins of this town are not of early style, they can hardly have been struck before B.C. 219, when Philip V took it from the Aetolians, nor can they well be subsequent to B.C. 211, when the Romans gave it back to that people.

Circ. B.C. 219-211.

Head of Zeus.
[B. M. C., Thes., Pl. XXIX. 14.]
ΟΙΝΙΑΔΑΝ Head of man-headed bull, Achelo÷s, and ΑΚΑΡ. in monogram.
Æ .95

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Palaerus (?). Silver (B.C. 350-250), (Imhoof, Num. Zeit., x. p. 153). The signification of the monogram on this coin is very doubtful.

Female head, and mon. ΠΑΛΑΙΡ (?). Pegasos.
AR 25 grs.

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Phytia (?). Corinthian drachms (wt. 40 grs.), B.C. 350-250, and bronze coins resembling those of Medeon (Num. Zeit., x. p. 153).

Head of Apollo; hair long. Φ Υ Tripod.
Æ .7

Stratus, down to the early part of the third century, was the chief town of the Acarnanian Confederacy. It then passed into the hands of the Aetolians, and Leucas became the capital of the country. The coins of Stratus fall into the following classes :—

Circ. B.C. 450-400.

Bearded head of Achelo÷s, facing.
[B. M. C., Thes., Pl. XXIX. 15.]
Σ Τ R Α (retrogr.). Incuse square in which head of KallirrhoŰ, facing.
AR 36 grs.
Id. [Num. Zeit., x. Pl. I. 22.] Σ Τ R Α (retrogr.) Young head in profile.
AR 15 grs.

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The nymph KallirrhoŰ was a daughter of the river-god Achelo÷s, and mother of Akarnan the eponymous ancestor of the Acarnanians


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(Paus. viii. 24. 9). About B.C. 400 these autonomous coins were replaced by a Federal coinage of the same types as the above, but with Α Κ on the reverse or the name of a strategos (?). ΑΓΗΜΩΝ. The following coins, some formerly attributed to Oeniadae, may be preferably given to Stratus.

Circ. B.C. 400-300.

Barley-corn and (?). ΚΑΛΕRΙ in incuse square.
AR 6.6 grs.
Head of Achelo÷s in profile. F in incuse square, around ΚΑΛ- ΛΙΡΟΑ.
AR 34 grs.
Id. Τ between oak-boughs ΚΑΛ.
AR 16 grs.
Id. ΣΤΡ in concave field.
AR 18 grs.
Id. ΚΤΟ in concave field.
AR 17 grs.
Id. ΟTΤ in concave field.
AR 18 grs.
Head of bearded Herakles. [B. M. C., Thes., Pl. XXIX. 11-13]. ΙΤR between two bunches of grapes, incuse square.
AR 17 grs.

The digamma on the largest of the above described coins is probably the initial letter of the word Ϝακαρνανες. The letter Ε may stand for Hemiobol and Τ for Trihemiobol. The signification of some of the small letters between which the larger ones are placed is doubtful. ΣΤΡ might stand for Stratus (Num. Zeit., x. 163 ff.).

The following silver and bronze coins of Stratus belong also to the fourth century :—

ΣΤΡΑΤΙΩΝ Head of Athena; symbol, head of Achelo÷s. Pegasos [Z. f. N., xv. Pl. III. 6].
AR Corinthian Stater.
Head of KallirrhoŰ (?). ΣΤΡΑΤΙΩΝ Head of Achelo÷s [B. M. C., Thes., Pl. XXIX. 16].
Æ .7

Thyrrheium was in late times a place of some importance, and after the separation of Leucas from Acarnania in B.C. 167, it became the chief place of mintage for silver in Acarnania. It struck Corinthian staters (circ. B.C. 350-250?) with inscr. Θ, ΘΥ, ΘΥΡ, ΘΥΡΡ (B. M. C., Cor., Pl. XXXVIII. 2-13), and perhaps also certain pieces weighing about 106 grs., with Corinthian types and the Achelo÷s head as an adjunct symbol behind the head of Athena (B.C. 250-167, Ibid., Pl. XXX. 7, 8).

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There are also bronze coins :—

Head of Athena in Attic helmet. ΘΥΡΡΕΩΝ or ΘΥΡ Owl.
Æ .8-.55

Cf. similar coins with Attic types of Argos and Medeon.

After circ. B.C. 167.

When Leucas was separated from Acarnania, Thyrrheium appears to have adopted the types of the Federal coinage, which ceased to be issued at that time.

Head of beardless Achelo÷s, and magistrate’s name.
[B. M. C., Thes., Pl. XXX. 1.]
ΘΥΡΡΕΙΩΝ Apollo Aktios seated, naked, holding bow.
AR 165-132 grs., and 73 grs.
ΘΥΡΡΕ Head of Athena. Magistrate’s name in wreath.
AR 45 grs., and 20 grs.


333

Among the names of magistrates we meet with one ΞΕΝΟΜΕΝΗΣ, who may be an ancestor of the Xenomenes of Thyrrheium, who enter- tained Cicero when he passed through the town in B.C. 51 and 50.

Federal Coinage of Acarnania

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Circ. B.C. 400-350 (Mint, Stratus).

Head of Achelo÷s, facing. Α Κ Head of KallirrhoŰ, facing. [B. M. C., Thes., Pl. XXVII. 1].
AR 29 grs.
Id. [Num. Zeit., x. 14.] Same type. ΑΓΗΜΩΝ (Strategos?)
AR 30 grs.

Circ. B.C. 350-300 (Mint, Stratus ?).

Series of silver drachms marked F (initial of Ϝακαρνανες) and Triobols marked Τ described above; see Stratus.

Circ. B.C. 300-250 (Mint, Leucas).

Series of Corinthian staters with ΑΚ in mon. (B. M. C., Cor., p. 113) and bronze coins.

ΑΚ Head of Achelo÷s.
[Num. Zeit., x. 20.]
Chimaera.
Æ .8

Circ. B.C. 250-229 (Mint, Thyrrheium?).

Series of reduced Corinthian staters with head of Achelo÷s as a symbol, wt. 106 grs. (B. M. C., Cor., Pl. XXX. 7, 8).

Circ. B.C. 250 (?)-167 (Mint, Leucas?).

Inscr., ΑΚΑΡΝΑΝΩΝ, and name of Strategos on obverse or reverse.

coin image
FIG. 188.

Head of beardless Achelo÷s (Fig. 188). Apollo Aktios seated with bow. AV 66 grs. [Hunter, Pl. XXXII. 9].
AR 156 grs., and 78 grs.
Id. [B. M. C., Thes., Pl. XXVII. 4.] Artemis running with torch.
AR 65 grs.
Id. [N. C., 1892, Pl. I. 15.] Apollo Kitharoedos standing; symbols, Seleucid (?) elephant or anchor.
AR 100 grs., and 45 grs.
Id. Zeus hurling fulmen.
AR 49 grs.
Head of Apollo.
[Brit. Mus. Guide, Pl. LV. 20.]
Artemis with bow, quiver, and torch, running; symbol, Seleucid (?) anchor.
AR 113 grs.


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The Seleucid emblems, Elephant and Anchor, point to the year B.C. 192-191 as the date of issue, when Antiochus III visited Greece and was welcomed by the Acarnanians among other peoples (Livy xxxvi. 11. 12).

Head of Zeus. ΑΚ or Α Head of bearded Achelo÷s.
Æ .95
Head of young Herakles. Similar.
Æ .85
Head of Athena. Similar [B. M. C., Thes., Pl. XXVII. 6-8].
Æ .95