AR Drachm. 6.02g, 15.5 x 11.9mm
MINTED: PAPHLAGONIA, Sinope, Circa 490-425 BC
REF: SNG BM Black Sea 1359–63; HGC 7, 384
OBVERSE: Head of sea-eagle left.

REVERSE: Quadripartite incuse square with two opposing quarters filled, the others stippled and with pellet.


Pleasant light tone with nice details. 

An fascinating archaic chunk of silver with an unusual and wonderfully stylized depiction of the head of an eagle.  Sear describes this type as "of very crude style and is barely recognizable as an eagle's head." Frank Robinson imaginatively suggests that it "looks more like a slug's head, but with spikes all around."


Historical Notes:

Sinope, a city-port situated on the northern most edge of the Paphlagonian Black Sea coast, was founded as a Greek colony by Ionians from Miletos around the 7th century BC.  Sinope was the birthplace of the famed Cynic philosopher, Diogenes of Sinope, who was banished from the city for fradulently debasing its currency when he was in charge of minting its coinage.  Sinope maintained its independence until it was conquered in 183 BC by Pharnakes I of Pontos, who then made it the capital of his kingdom.

PAPHLAGONIA, Sinope . 490-425 BC . AR Drachm . Unusual stylized head of eagle

SKU: 276
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