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Research Coins: Electronic Auction


In Honor of Theophanes and Archedamis

191, Lot: 66. Estimate $150.
Sold for $260. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

LESBOS, Mytilene. Augustus. 27 BC-AD 14. Æ 20mm (4.46 g, 6h). Bare head of Divus Theophanes right / Draped and veiled bust of Diva Archedamis right. RPC 2342. Fair, rough orichalcum surfaces, some deposits.

From the J. S. Wagner Collection.

Mytilene issued a rare series of bronzes honoring men and women who were either connected with the history of the city or distinguished local citizens. The first coin in the series appears to be an issue honoring the historian and politician Theophanes and, preseumably, his wife Archedamis. Theophanes was a friend of Pompey the Great, and it was his influence that won the city its freedom from Pompey in 62 BC (Plutarch, Pompey 42). Theophanes died in 44 BC, but his memory was perpetuated by a local cult that flourished until about AD 33, when the descendents of Theophanes, still influential on the island, came to the attention of the typically suspicious Tiberius and were put to death.