MACEDON, as Roman Protectorate
AE24. 10.61g, 24.2mm
MINTED: MACEDON, as Roman Protectorate. Transitional bronze issue. Thessalonica mint (?), circa 166-165 BC
REF: BMC 55; HGC 3.1, 1117; SNG Cop 1324-6 (D. Junius Silanus, praetor)
OBVERSE: Facing head of Silenos, wearing ivywreath.
REVERSE: MAKE / ΔONΩN, legend in two lines; D above; all within ivy wreath.
Fine. Toned copper and green surfaces with patches of red. Struck on a broad flan.
A visually and numismatically interesting issue, struck in Macedonia after the end of the Third Macedonian War (171-168 BC) and the subsequent organization of the former kingdom as a Roman Protectorate. Pierre MacKay dates the series to 166-165 BC, placing it after the 'Roma/Wreath' series of 168-167 BC, suggesting that the first series was recalled when the Macedonian population took offense to their local coinage bearing the names of Roman quaestors and depicting the goddess Roma on its obverse. The "D" on the reverse may stand for decreto, a decree by the Roman Senate instructing the recall and restrike of the earlier coins of quaestors Gaius Publilius and Lucius Fulcinnius. The choice to portray on the obverse the mask of Silenos - a satyr that was a companion and tutor of Dionysos the god of drunken ecstasy - remains enigmatic.
MACEDON, as Roman Protectorate . 166-165 BC . AE24 . Mask of Silenos
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