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Phrygia, Gordion AR Obol. Autonomous issue, circa 2nd-1st centuries BC. Jugate busts of Artemis and Apollo, both laureate, quiver over the shoulder of Artemis / Bow and quiver, ΓOΡΔI-ANΩN vertically across fields. Paris AA.GR.10254 = Borrell, Unedited Greek Coins, p. 27 in NC 1845-1846; Roma XV, 282; Nomos 16, 135; otherwise unpublished. 0.62g, 9mm, 11h.

Extremely Fine. Of the highest rarity, one of only four specimens known.

From a private English collection.

The first discovered example of this excessively rare coinage, the only known issue of Gordion, was published in the Numismatic Chronicle in 1846 by H. P. Borrell. Not a single other specimen came to light for 172 years until a further example was published in Roma Numismatics XV. It must not be confused with Gordus, or Gordus-Julia, under which entry it is incorrectly listed by the Bibliothèque nationale, who hold the Borrell specimen. Gordion was the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Phrygia, of which the quasi-legendary Midas was the most famous king. The city was destroyed c. 800-700 BC, but according to ancient tradition the knot with which Midas had tied a wagon (associated with the prophetic rise to power of Midas' father, Gordias) to a pole in dedication to the Phrygian god Sabazios still stood on the acropolis of the city when Alexander came upon the place in 333 BC, from which comes the legendary story of Alexander and the Gordion Knot. After the death of Alexander in 323 BC, Gordion was controlled by Antigonos, the Seleukids, Celts, Attalids and finally by the Romans from 189 BC. The timing of this coin's issue is uncertain, but we may presume that it was struck during a brief period of autonomy, perhaps under Roman suzerainty.

Phrygia, Gordion AR Obol. (rxvi335)

Price: £1,025.60

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  • (Rates for 17/10/2018)
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