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Kyrene, Cyrenaica (Magas Reconciled, 285-246 BC.)


[B]Kyrene, Cyrenaica (Magas Reconciled with Ptolemy II Philadephus; 285-246 BC.) AR Didrachm[/B] [u]Obv[/u]: Diademed and draped bust of Berenike I, facing right; dotted circular border. [u]Rev[/u]: BAΣIΛIΣΣHΣ BEPENIKHΣ, upright club; monogram to left, trident head to right, MAΓ monogram below; all within a laurel wreath. [u]Attribution[/u]: Svoronos 318; Caltabiano pl. 1, 3; SNG Cop. 429; BMC Cyrenaica p76, 1. [u]Provenance[/u]: ex.Vauctions (lot#64), 1.8.08 [u]Weight[/u]: 6.98 gm. [u]Maximal Diameter[/u]: 20 mm. [u]Axis[/u]: 12 [u]Note[/u]: These didrachms struck in the name of Berenike have been attributed to either Berenike I, wife of Ptolemy I, or Berenike II, wife of Ptolemy III. Even at the time of Svoronos' great corpus, there was no unanimity among prominent numismatists. While Svoronos favored an attribution to Berenike I, Poole (in BMC Ptol.), Head, and Müller preferred Berenike II. A full discussion of these attributions was taken up by Robinson in his introduction in BMC Cyrenaica (pp. cxlix-cliv). His argument supports an attribution to Berenike I, but much later than Svoronos' dating, to the period of Magas' revolt against Ptolemy II. His conclusions are largely based on the attribution of the bronze coinage in this period, and further refinements have necessitated a lowering of Robinson's dating, placing the Berenike coins in the period after the revolt, when Magas was reconciled to Ptolemy, circa 261-258 BC (cf. Buttrey, Coins, 199, and p. 55). Caltabiano, however, has assigned all of the coinage in the name of Berenike, both Egyptian and Kyrenaikan, to Berenike II, and dates them to the period that Berenike was regent while Ptolemy III was away fighting in the Third Syrian War. Much of her argument is based on control mark links she identifies between the Berenike coinage and that assigned to Ptolemy III and IV. Both theories have significant flaws. The attribution to Berenike I relies strongly on the dating of the bronze 'Koinon' coinage of Kyrenaika, but recent finds have suggested these issues may be later than previously thought. On the other hand, Caltabiano's linkage between the Kyrenaikan and Egyptian coinage in the name of Berenike is conjectural, and ignores the significance of the MAG monogram, which must be related to Magas (cf. BMC Cyr. p. cl). Perhaps the most important deficiency in analyzing this coinage is the absence of any known mixed-coinage hoard containing these didrachms. (CNG ref.) The MAG monogram cannot be ignored, leading one back to the most likely prospect that the obverse bust is that of Berenike I, and this coinage is from the period immediately after the end of Magas' revolt. JB299

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North Africa - Cyrenaica

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Again, very unusual type, congrats on finding it. Magas will be pleased to know he has a fan club after all these years! Alex
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Thanks. Just wait...there's more on the way that would make Magas proud!


To clarify, I don't have a Magas crush. My pocket book can't afford many of the pre-Magas Cyrenaica issues (not many can because the larger AR and AV issues are often in the 5-figures), so I'm mostly relegated to coinage minted 307 BC and later.

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