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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     832946
Type:     Ancient East
Region:     PHOENICIA
City:     Arados
Date Ruled:     Circa 400-380 BC
Metal:     Silver
Denomination:     Obol
Date Struck:     BC Circa 400-380
Diameter:     9 mm
Weight:     0.65 g
Die Axis:     11 h
Obverse Description:     Half-length bust of marine deity facing, head right, holding fish in both hands
Reverse Description:     Prow of galley right; below, dolphin right; all within incuse square
Primary Reference:     Betlyon 8
Reference2:     SNG Cop 6-7
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Notes:     Exceptional strike Arados, located on a small island off the northern coast of Phoenicia, was one of the most important centers of commerce in the region, and controlled a number of smaller towns located in its vicinity. Although much is known of the city in the Hellenistic and later periods, its origin and history during the Persian period is relatively obscure. Strabo noted that it was founded by colonists from Sidon in the 8th century, but other literary and archaeological evidence place the founding much earlier. Nevertheless, by the 5th or early 4th century Arados was under the hegemony of the Persian Empire. Evidence of the city's coinage in this period is quite obscure, and our understanding of it is primarily based upon comparisons with the more firmly researched coinages of Sidon, Biblos, and Tyre (see Betlyon, pp. 77-8). Betlyon placed this particular issue in the third series of coinage, circa 400-380 BC. The types employed are purely local in character; the obverse marine deity must represent a local god worshipped at Arados, and the reverse galley is a reference to the source of Aradian prosperity -- its maritime trade.