Kyrene (Apollonia), Cyrenaica (Ptolemy I Soter)
[B]Kyrene, Cyrenaica (Ptolemy I Soter; 308-305 BC.)
[u]Obv[/u]: Jerboa, standing right; dotted circular border.
[u]Rev[/u]: Crab; dotted circular border.
[u]Attribution[/u]: Muller 340; BMC 285b, pl.25, 23; Buttrey pl.5,157-64 var.
[u]Provenance[/u]: ex. HJB Mail/Bid 159 (#494), 4.8.08; ex. John Twente Coll.; ex. JSD Coins, 1982.
[u]Weight[/u]: 2.66 gm.
[u]Maximal Diameter[/u]: 14.42 mm
[u]Note[/u]: Regarding this extremely rare issue Buttrey writes, "The gazelle/silphium halves and the crab/jerboa quarters must [follow the rare Ammon/palm tree AE issues signifying Ophellas' disasterous Carthaginian campaign (309 BC.)] on the basis of fabric: the flans continue dumpy and the reverses incuse, characteristic of the earliest Kyrenaica bronzes, but the standard is lighter than that of the first series, perhaps to a drachm weight of ca. 3.20 gm." Additionally, he notes, "the legends on the jerboa/crab excavation coins (158-64) cannot be recovered. Robinson read SOSI on the Berlin piece (BMC 285c), surely correctly, though doubted by Newell: the Berlin piece is not from the same obverse die as the piece published by Newell clearly reading BASIL. The chronology is very tight: if Morkholm is correct in dating the next Kyrenaica revolt to 305 BC. there will have been little time for news of Ptolemy's assumption of the title BASILEUS in that year to have been reflected on the local coin." (pg.36-7).
Of addtional interest to this issue, Robinson (BMC) writes, "there are two varieties with the crab (symbol), distinguished by the distribution of the legend (nos. 293-6, Pl. XXVI, 2, and nos. 297-300, Pl. XXVI, 3)...the crab...as a symbol covers perhaps a quarter of a century, and it is found from time to time with various monograms, and in all metals both in the autonomous and the regal coinage. No Cyrenaic moneyer's mark has anything like such currency. It occurs far too frequently and with too great a variety of types to be a mere adjunct, like the occasional jerboa of an earlier period and it is not found like other adjuncts on the coins of other Cyrenaic cities. We are therefore driven to follow Muller in reading into it a local significance. Apollonia satisfied all the necessary conditions. The crab, as he remarks (i, p.93), is especially appropriate to, and in its claws symbolical of, a port." pg. cxcix-cc
Jerboas are jumping rodents capable of covering a distance of 3 m (10 ft) with one leap. They spring from their extended hind legs, using their tails for balance. Jerboas live primarily in the arid regions of Africa and Central Asia and feed on plants, seeds, and insects. They extract all the water they need from these foods.