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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     79000598
Type:     Roman Provincial
Region:     IONIA
City:     Phocaea
Issuer:     Philip I (Cl. Scribonianus, strategus)
Date Ruled:     A.D. 244-249
Metal:     Bronze
Denomination:     Medallion
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     AD 244-249
Weight:     29.67 g
Die Axis:     6 h
Obverse Legend:     •A•K•MAP•IOV•-•ΦIΛIΠΠOC•
Obverse Description:     Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind
Reverse Legend:     •EΠ • CT KΛ • CKPEI / •BΩNIA/NOY• / •ΦΩKAIEΩN•
Reverse Description:     Dog standing right, biting into a captured dolphin left with tail upturned.
Primary Reference:     SNG MÜnchen -
Reference2:     SNG Cop -
Reference3:     SNG VA -
Reference4:     BMC 160
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     Good VF, brown patina
Notes:     Sale: CNG 79, Lot: 598 Extremely rare, one of two known (the other is in the BM). The enigmatic reverse type of this coin has defied any substantially conclusive explanation. Phocaea’s extant foundation mythology does not include this topos, and the civic badge was the seal, rather than the dolphin. To date, Head’s suggestion (HN, p. 590) seems the only explanatory attempt: the dog is a personification of the local river, the Smardos, rushing down to the sea, personified by the dolphin. Otherwise, the meaning of this scene is unknown.