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Fourth century BC silver stater from the city of Aspendus

Fourth century BC silver stater from the city of Aspendus

SKU: C023


Fourth century BC silver stater from the city of Aspendus


Obverse: Two nude wrestlers, standing and grappling with each other; between them, LΦ.


Reverse: ΕΣΤFΕΔΙΙΥΣ Slinger standing right; to right, triskeles running left.


Artist: Unknown die engraver at the mint of Aspendus.


Origin: The city of Aspendus, Pamphylia (in southern Turkey, not far from the city of Belkis in the Gulf of Antalya).


Materials and method: Struck in good quality silver from engraved dies.


Dimensions: 23 mm diameter.


Weight: 10.74 gm


Date of creation: Attributed to the years 380 - 330 BC.


Condition: good Very Fine.


Stock no: C023


Other comments:


  • The coinage from Aspendus is very eye appealing but is often not struck well, either the blank is not well-centred on the dies or there is weakness in the strike. Unlike many, this coin is very sharply struck from what appear to be fresh dies and is well centred, thus giving full expression to the artistry of the die engraver. There is some wear from use but not so much as to detract from the beauty of the coin. The quality silver from which the coin is made also has an attractive light toning.
  • Although the Aspendus was a Greek settlement, it was politically aligned with Persia and used the Persian weight standard for its coinage.
  • If you were wondering why the Greek name on the reverse is does not read, Aspendus, it is because the coinage uses the Anatolian for the city name, Estvediys. The locals were a mix of indigenous Anatolians and Greek settlers.
  • The badge of the city is the triskeles, the three legged device that appears in the field on the reverse.
  • We do not know why Aspendus chose to decorate its coinage with a pair of wrestlers. It may be that it was a popular sport in the city and was known regionally for the wrestling matches it held. In 708 BC, upright wrestling (of the kind shown on this coin) was added to the Olympic Games. However, recorded victories do not mention Aspendus.


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