• sulla80

Illyrian Drachms

Updated: Sep 26

Here are two silver drachms from Illyria, one from Apollonia (AΠOΛ on reverse) and one from Dyrrhachion (ΔYP on reverse). Two relatively recent articles are useful for dating these coins, both from Gyula Petranyi (2007) & (2010). The author also has an excellent website. There are around 600 cow-calf type drachma emissions in total.

Illyria, Apollonia, 53-48 BC, ΤΙΜΗN (Timen) and ΔΑΜΟΦΩΝTOΣ (Damophontos), magistrates, AR drachm

Obv: TIMHN, cow standing left with suckling calf, monogram below

Rev: [AΠOΛ] ΔAMOΦΩNTOΣ, double stellate pattern

Ref: BMC 14


Using the articles references above, we can confirm the type and date range:

The next drachm, from Dyrrhachion, has a lot of items on the obverse: cow, calf, owl, Helios.

Illyria, Dyrrhachion AR Drachm, 92-60 BC, Exephron and Zopuro, magistrates. Obv: Cow standing right, looking back at suckling calf standing left below; head of Helios right and EXEΦΠΩN above, owl before Rev: Double stellate pattern within slightly curved double linear square; ΔYP ZΩΠYPOY around

Dyrrhachium (cow always to right) Class 4. Various obverse names with the same reverse,multiple symbols on the obverse​


With thanks to the author of these papers, I can share that this Ehefron-Zopyrou type can be found in many catalogues: Ceka 196; BMC 70*, SNG Copenhagen 468*, SNG Tubingen 1404*, Pozzi 2931*; and others with the asterisk highlighting those with photo,. This coin is found mainly in Romanian hoards and is -25 in the relative chronology (72 BC) of Gyula Petranyi. Other known obverse names in the Zopyrou issue are : Falakros, Lysen, Zoilos, Mahatas, Filotas.


The reverse, is more common with bent sides as with my example above, however, some exist with straight double sided borders of the stellate pattern (e.g. SNG Munchen 414*).


This coin was minted close to the period of unrest in Rome between Sulla and Marius, the period that has been an important focus of my collection.

"In the spring of 87 BC Sulla landed at Dyrrachium, in Illyria. Asia was occupied by the forces of Mithridates under the command of Archelaus. Sulla’s first target was Athens, ruled by a Mithridatic puppet; the tyrant Aristion." -Wikipedia, Sulla

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