Silver stater of Evagoras

Greek, about 411-374/3 BC
From Salamis, Cyprus

On display in Room 72 

View on floor plan 

Greek-style coinage in Cyprus

The production and use of silver coins spread outwards from Asia Minor during the sixth century BC, and was taken up late in the century on the island of Cyprus. The city of Salamis was probably producing a primitive form of coinage by around 525 BC. The design of a lying ram on the obverse (front) of these coins was established early and would become common on Salaminian coinage. Remarkably, the reverse sides of the earliest issues were completely flat with no design at all, not even a punch mark. In this respect they were unlike those of Greece and Asia Minor.

By the accession of the greatest king of Salamis, Evagoras (about 411-374/3 BC), however, coin design was fully developed. Evagoras, a staunch ally of the city of Athens in the late fifth and early fourth centuries BC, produced a substantial coinage, in part to pay for his unsuccessful attempt to bring the entire island under his sway. The issue of his coinage represented by this silver stater features the head of Herakles on the front, a lying goat on the reverse. The inscription, written in the Greek language, but in a non-Greek script peculiar to Cyprus, reads 'Of King Evagoras'.

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More information

Bibliography

G.K. Jenkins, Ancient Greek coins (London, Seaby, 1990)

C.M. Kraay, Archaic and Classical Greek co (London, Methuen, 1976)

I.A. Carradice, Greek coins (London, The British Museum Press, 1996)

I.A. Carradice and M.J. Price, Coinage in the Greek world (London, Seaby, 1988)

Dimensions

Weight: 11.12 g

Museum number

CM BMC Salamis 55

CGR73366

Location

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