RPC I, 5453


Image of specimen #6


Coin type
Volume I
Number 5453
Province Uncertain
Region Uncertain
City Uncertain
Reign Tiberius
Person (obv.) Drusus Caesar
Magistrate Xenophantos, son of Karakudes
Obverse inscription ΔΡΟΥΣΟΥ ΚΑΙΣΑΡΟΣ
Obverse design bare head of Drusus, right
Reverse design winged caduceus
Metal copper-based alloy
Average diameter 18 mm
Axis 1, 5
Reference Grant, NC 1950, 140
Specimens 7 (4 in the core collections)
Note The reverse legend can now be read in full. LGPN attests a name Καρακύδης from a 4th century BC inscription from Hercalea in Pontus (IHeraclea p. 145). ΚΑΡΑΚΥΔΗ should be in the genitive, whether a patronymic or a second name, so it perhaps stands for Καρακύδη(ου). The coin does not look Pontic, so its city of origin remains uncertain (Feb. 2021). Original comment: "A similar (but very worn, to judge from the misdescription of the rev.type) coin was published by D. Sestini, Lettere e Dissertazioni Numismatiche,Tomo VIII (1805), p. 70 and Tab. V. 23, 'ex mus. Seckendorff', with the reading ΕΠΙ ΞΕΝΟ Φ ΑΝ ΜΟΣΘΙΔΙΟΥ ΑΡ Α ΚΥ, and in the field ΜΑΙΩΝ, and so with the attribution to Cyme (= Mi S6.18.138). It was independently published by J. Millingen, Sylloge of Ancient Unedited GreekCoins (1837), p. 79 and pl. 4.56, with the reading (on the illustration, a line drawing) ]ΕΝΟΦΑΝ[ ]KAPAKI[ , and an attribution to a place called Characa (between Nysa and Tralles). Millingen's coin was connected with Sestini's by W. H. Scott, NC (1855), p. 200, who therefore rejected the attribution to Characa, as did Imhoof-Blumer, GM, p. 71 5. Imhoof-Blumer suggested that the coin was either from Cyme or Hierocharax. 1-2 were published by M. Grant, NC (1950), pp. 140-2, with the reading ]ΞΕΝΟΦΑΝΤ[O]Y KAPAKY[; accepting KY as an ethnic he made the attribution ('only conjectural') to Cyme or Cyzicus. Neither Sestini's nor the Cop specimen (which might conceivably be the same piece) have a countermark, but the L example has an amphora countermark (GIC 369); Howgego has recorded the countermark on two other coins (the NY one which he illustrates might well be another example of the Drusus coin), one of which (the Mu coin) also has a countermark of an imperial head (GIC 87); unfortunately neither of the countermarks is of any use in attributing the coin. The legend is clearest on the L coin, which gives some support for Grant's reading of a Y before KAP and a Y after KAPAK, but it does not seem possible to be sure that any part of this legend is part or all of an ethnic. The attribution to Caystriani, implicit in the L trays and followed by Howgego, is based on the use of the rev. type on Hellenistic coins of Caystriani (Cop 101-3). None of the attributions suggested (Caystriani, Cyme, Cyzicus and Dioshieron on the ticket under the Mu coin) is very compelling. A similar amphora countermark occurs on a coin of Byzantium (https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coin/360544).

Specimens of this coin type

Number Number Museum Bibliography
1 1     L: 1838,0419.123
2 2     Cop SNG 18
3 3     NY
4 4     Mu: Incerti
5 5     CNG EA 439, 6 Mar. 2019, lot 306
6 6     ✸ Numismatik Naumann 102, 2 May 2021, lot 381
7 7     Naville Numismatics 67, 1 Aug. 2021, lot 137