RPC I, 2724


Image of specimen #6


Coin type
Volume I
Number 2724
Province Asia
Subprovince Conventus of Halicarnassus
Region Caria
City Cos
Reign Uncertain
Person (obv.) Nikias
Magistrate Antiochos
Dating c. 30 BC (?)
Obverse inscription ΝΙΚΙΑΣ
Obverse design wreathed (?) head of Nikias, right (lightly bearded)
Reverse inscription ΚΩΙΩΝ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΣ
Reverse design laureate head of Asclepius, right
Metal copper-based alloy
Average diameter 31 mm
Axis 12
Reference BMC 196, Cop 687, Kôs 2179–2187Kôs I
Specimens 6 (5 in the core collections)
Note There are very clear wreath 'ties' at the back of the neck, but only very faint traces of a line going across the hair (barely visible even on the best-preserved specimens). This certainly does not look like a diadem, but it seems much slighter than the laurel wreath on the rev. head. Thus its nature and significance is somewhat unclear. Traces of a beard are visible only on very well-preserved specimens. 2724-31 The coins of Nicias have been discussed by K. Buraselis, Kos. Between Hellenism and Rome (Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 90, Philadelphia, 2000), pp. 30-7. He also mentions three specimens in Cos museum: 1 as 2724 (Antiochos), 1 as 2729 (Olympichos), and 1 with illegible name. He discusses the wreaths worn by Nicias and by Asclepi- us and suggests that Nicias wears a band of Asclepi- us. However, the band worn by Nikias seems slighter than the band (whatever it is) worn on the same coins by Asclepius. Nethertheless, some sort of heroic band, as suggested by Buraselis’s discussion, seems quite likely. Buraselis also argues that the coin recorded by Sestini from the Wiczay coll. with the obv. inscription ΝΙΚΙΑΣ ο ΔΑΜΟΣ should be accepted as authentic, and theorises that Nicias was closely identified with the people. However, this seems implausible and we prefer to think that Sestini was misdescribing a worn specimen. Sestini gives a reference to Wiczay’s earlier publication, Musei Hedervarii..Numos Antiquos (Vienna, 1814) no. 5182, with the comment ‘sed ibi male descriptus, et perperam sub Augusto’. The Wiczay publication describes the coin as ‘ΚΑΙΣS.... Caput Aug nudum sm’. That the same coin could be read in such different ways suggests that it was very worn, and we should hesitate before accepting Sestini’s view.For further discussion of the magistrates and date (30s BC) of the coinage of Nicias, see W. Leschhorn, ‘Die Antiken Münzen von Kos. Aufschriften und Beamten- namen’, in To Nomisma sta Dodekanesa, OBOLOS 8 (Athens, 2006), 90-1.See also B. E. Stephanakè, Nomismata-Nomismatikè Aigaiou. Kôs I (Athens, 2012), a die study of the coinage of Kos from the end of the sixth century until the end of the first century BC, including the coinage of Nicias (Series XIX, 51e emission). 19 obverse dies and 44 reverse dies were identified, all illustrated on p. 493-7. The mean weight of the series is 20.97 g (65) (against 20.70 g [30] in RPC). In Series XIX, B. Stephanakè also includes coins of the type BMC Caria 194-5 (Laureate head of Asclepius, r./ΚΩΙΩΝ; coiled serpent, R. and magistrate's name ΕΥΑΡΑΤΟΣ ΔΙ [BMC 194], ΕΥΑΡΑΤΟΣ ΕΙ [BMC —] and ΠΥΘΟΚΛΗΣ [BMC 195 and pl. XXXII, 12]), which she dates from c. 20–10 BC.

Specimens of this coin type

Number Number Museum Bibliography
1 1     L BMC 196
2 2     L: 1961,0301.331
3 3     P: 1339
4 4     Mu: 12
5 5     Cop SNG 687
6 6     ✸ Bertolami 4, 5 Dec. 2011, lot 7