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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Rare Second Meris Tetradrachm

Triton XIV, Lot: 97. Estimate $2000.
Sold for $5000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

MACEDON (Roman Protectorate), Republican period. Second Meris. Circa 167-149 BC. AR Tetradrachm (31mm, 16.62 g, 9h). Thessalonika mint. Diademed and draped bust of Artemis right, bow and quiver over shoulder, in the center of a Macedonian shield / Club; monogram and MAKΔONΩN above, ΔEYTEPAΣ below; all within oak wreath; thunderbolt to left. AMNG III/1, 185 (same obv. die as illustration); Liampi, Schild M 57; SNG Copenhagen -; BMC -. Good VF, lightly toned. Extremely rare.

After the defeat of Perseus at the battle of Pydna in 168 BC, the Romans divided Macedonia into four separate autonomous administrative regions (merides). The first region (ΠPΩTEΣ) lay east of the Strymon with its capital at Amphipolis, the second (ΔEYTEPAΣ) between the Strymon and Axios with its capital at Thessalonica, the third between the Axios and Peneos with its capital at Pella, and the fourth (TETAPTHΣ) included most of Upper Macedonia with its capital at Heraclea Lynci. These four regions only lasted until 148 BC when the country was finally united to constitute a Roman Province and proceeded to issue coins under the authority of its legatus pro praetore.

Livy informs us that initially all commerce between the regions, exploitation of the silver and gold mines and the importation of salt were forbidden. Almost all the coinage of this period is struck in the name of the first region and runs parallel to the mass coinages of Thasos and Maroneia from about 158 BC. The first region was the most prolific in its coin issues, striking huge issues of tetradrachms and bronze. The second region had only two issues of tetradrachms and the fourth had only two issues of bronzes. Coins from these two regions are very rare today. No coinage is known from the third region.