Kyrene, Cyrenaica (Magas Reign)
[B]Kyrene, Cyrenaica (Magas Reign; 308-277 BC.)
[u]Obv[/u]: Diademed head of Zeus Ammon, hair in shaggy locks covering the neck, short beard, facing right; a uraeus-like ornament rises from the diadem above the middle of the forehead.
[u]Rev[/u]: Palm tree with fruit; K-Y-R-A scattered in field on either side of tree; coiled serpent lower right field; no silphium plant (as is on other issues of this type); circular incuse.
[u]Attribution[/u]: BMC Cyrenaica 302, Pl. XXVI 6; Lindgren III, Pl. 85, 1576 (this coin).
[u]Provenance[/u]: ex. Ebay (#8357794216), 12.3.05; ex. Lindgren Coll.
[u]Weight[/u]: 3.51 gm.
[u]Maximal Diameter[/u]: 18.22 mm
[u]Note[/u]: Ammon-palm tree type = 3rd stage of Fourth Period (Magas Reign, 308-277 BC.) bronze coinage (BMC nomenclature). The Ammon-palm tree coins fall into two groups, the one marked by twelve sequence letters, A-M, the other by a changing symbol (accompanied in one case by letters)...what this A-M sequence consists is uncertain. It can hardly be of regnal years, for the coins are too late for Ptolemy I, the district was independent for too long under Ptolemy II, and it is doubtful whether Magas ever definitely assumed the royal title. The head of Ammon, always with the diadem and uraeus-like ornament, is remarkable for its more animal treatment, the beard being very short and patterned in such a way over cheek and throat as to suggest the neck of a ram. The combination of certain Ptolemaic traits with the beast-like type produces a curious effect. The palm tree without silphium as adjunct only appears on one issue (no. 302, Pl. XXVI 6), has been used as a type once before on silver and bronze, which (Robinson) relates to Ophellas' Carthaginian adventure. The palm tree of course is common enough in Libya, but what decided its choice in this instance is hard to imagine in view of the special interest of Carthage in the type (Robinson, BMC Cyrenaica, pgs. cxxxi-cxxxii).