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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 76. Estimate CHF1000. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF425. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

MESSENIA, Messene. Circa 35 BC. Hemidrachm (Silver, 2.40 g 11), Polykles. Diademed head of Zeus to right Rev. ΜΕΣ / ΠΟΛΥΚΛΗΣ Tripod within inscription; all surrounded by an olive wreath. BCD Peloponnesos 753. Grandjean 203. SNG Copenhagen 507. Rare. Attractively toned. Extremely fine.

From the BCD collection, ex Auctiones 18, 21 September 1989, 709.

There has been a great deal of controversy over the date for the late silver coinages of the Peloponnesos. For a long time it was thought that the Roman sack of Corinth in 146 BC, and the defeat of the Achaean League resulted in a complete cessation of all silver issues. However, thanks to a number of hoards and the pioneering research of C. Boehringer and J. Warren, we now can be sure that a considerable amount of silver was produced, especially in the early 1st century around the time of Sulla and later during the Roman Civil Wars (there are some scholars who prefer the earlier chronology but they are in a minority). This coin is one of those late issues, produced in the years just before Actium when Antony and Cleopatra held Greece against Octavian.