Marathus, Ca. 230 BC (PHOENICIA)


ID Number: AC04-0401
Category: Ancient Coins
Description: Marathus, Ca. 230 BC (PHOENICIA)
Country or State: PHOENICIA
Period: Ca. 230 BC
Head of State/Ruler:  
Currency: drachm
Face Value:  
Obverse: Head of Athena right in crested Corinthian helmet
Obverse Legend:  
Obverse Designer:  
Reverse: Nike standing left, holding wreath and stylis
Reverse Legend: ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡ[ΟΥ]
Reverse Designer:  
Edge: Irregular
Note: The drachm of Marathus was long known from a single specimen in Paris. Its types are those of the gold staters of Alexander the Great and Philip III Arrhidaeus. The only other silver coin to employ these types was a drachm issue of Seleucus II from the mint of Seleucia on the Tigris. This hint of a link to Seleucus II is reinforced by the occurrence of four drachms of Marathus in a Seleucid hoard buried early in the reign of Seleucus III. Also included in the hoard were issues of Aradus and other mints of the Aradian peraia, mostly of Alexandrine type, dated to the last few years of Seleucus II and the first of Seleucus III. These coins have been thought to represent contributions to various Seleucid military campaigns. The drachm of Marathus, though undated, seems to belong to this same context of special levies on the cities of northern Phoenicia.
Mint Mark:  
Composition: Silver (Ag)
Diameter: ~18.0 mm (irregular)
Weight: 3.4 grams
Krause & Mishler Number:  
Other Catalog Number: De Luynes 1439. Rouvier 781. BMC Phoenicia pl. xiii
State of Conservation: Extremely Fine (XF)
Rarity: Extremely rare

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Mint State/Mint Condition (MS) € -
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Extremely Fine (XF) € -
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Very Good (VG) € -
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Amrit, also known as Marathos or Marathus, was an ancient city located near Tartous in Syria. It was founded during the Amoritesperiod, 3rd millennium BC. The city was known as Amrit or Amurre in ancient Canaanite. In the time of Alexander the Great, Amrit was known by the Greek name of Marathos or the Latin equivalent Marathus. It was one of the biggest cities in the East. Coins minted here in the 2nd and 3rd century BC imply that Amrit played an important economical role. It was under Aradus domination.